Friday, February 29, 2008

Initiation and Ecstasy

According to Alexandra Pope, women can access their own ecstasy during menstruation. Not many of us look at our periods as a doorway to an altered state of consciousness, or one that builds our intuitive powers and gives access to a natural high.

Initiation is what happens for women at 3 stages, at puberty, at pregnancy and at menopause. We naturally are not aware that something deeper is going on than the physical changes of our body landscapes. It's sad that we have lost the rituals and initiation ceremonies that used to welcome women into the next phase of the journey, at least in most Western cultures.

But it's there nonetheless. It's like we have a symbolic death and rebirth every month, not just at menopause. The disturbance and PMS symptoms we experience, are mostly due to our being out of tune with ourselves, and because of the lack of guidance from our elders. The knowledge of a woman's cycle of initiation has been effectively stamped out by fear of paganism, and goddess-centered religions.

We struggle every month to get a handle on our emotions. We struggle at puberty and menopause and resist the changes that are inevitable. We struggle because we do not know.

"Menstruation was regarded as a natural time of visioning and prophecy for some indigenous peoples, such as in North America. A woman at such time would vision for her whole community. To my mind menstrual disturbances can be a nascent vision or prophecy attempting to happen that you don't yet know how to read and interpret for your community...If women collectively were to stop 'coping with' or medicating their distress away, but rather let the truth of it unfold, this would be a profound shamanistic act of healing the world." Alexandra Pope, A woman's quest

So what can we do to access this inner knowledge?

Look after yourself. Self-care is utmost on the list. Be aware of your cycle and where you are in it. Try to reduce your dependence on electro-magnetic fields like TV and computers, cell phones in the few days prior to your period. It messes up your psychic antennae according to Pope.
Ask for a vision: ask for a clear message. Especially leading into and during menstruation.
Work with trance states: mostly we call it foggy thinnking, but if you slow down, move at the pace your body wants to go, let the dreaminess happen, you may notice a different kind of awareness and openness. Revel in it!

Let the unknown power of women's visioning come and touch you.
Lose your fear of your own cycle.

imagine what an empowered woman can do in this world?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Reflections on feminine-masculine balance

Marion Woodman has written about slowing down and meeting the inner feminine, and of the addiction to perfection that comes from living from outer instead of inner values. In our society we are driven, strive for outer approval, let our minds rule our hearts, disconnected from our female bodies. There is a drive for competition and always being right, a drive for control that kills the vulnerability in me, that does not accept uncertainty, or not knowing. In my dreams, my male animus is either a rebel on a motorcyle with a knife aimed at my belly, with the power to kill me if I don't escape, or more recently, a dying father, having a heart-attack, crumpled on the floor at my feet, while my son tries to prop him up.

The old way is dying in me, if I allow it.

Reflections on the life lived with controlling animus in charge:

- what seeks to be right, always
- what hates to live in uncertainty
- what crushing weight on my shoulders
- what blocks my breath
- what pushes past my children in a rush
- what stirves to compete, rushes to get things done
- what forgets to breathe
- what outdoes itself all the time
yet leaves basic life supporting things undone
- what ignores the daily tasks that feed the body
- what derives nourishment from thin air and refuses the
real feelings that are food for the soul
- what punishes and never weeps
- what killing highwayman robs me in my sleep
- what nightmares I pass on to my daughter
- what love I withhold in the name of criticism
- what nasty digs and sharp words hurt others
- what refuses to be vulnerable
- what disdains all that is weak, all that is feminine & holy
- what eats up my quiet time with fretting
- what perfectionism destroys my confidence
- what adherence to law and rote ties my stomach up in knots & grinds my teeth
- what need for approval weighs me down
- what sucks all the joy out of my heart
- what puts a crick in my neck & an ache in my breast
- what will never surrender

The unknown within will be known, makes itself known, uncovers my blind eyes.

The heart sees truly, the body signals the need for self-knowledge.

The feeling body tells the truth.

I listen to my own sadness and cry cleansing tears.

It brings me closer to my self.

I hold myself dear.

alias little jenn