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Thread: Different phases of womanhood

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    Different phases of womanhood

    To get some discussion going;

    How important is the different phases of your life in your path? For example, how important was or is your first menstruation? Did you celebrate or mourn the passing of it when your cycles stop?

    Do you believe its important to celebrate or appreciate the changing phases of your life? Why do you believe that society, as a whole, overlooks these milestones?

    What are your thoughts on this topic?
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    I think that the lack of celebration of biological milestones is partly what is going wrong with society. I think it leads to things like the so-called "Peter Pan Syndrome" and General Anxiety Disorder. I think that people have a very hard time understanding their place in society, much less their place in the universe and I think we can attribute that, at least in part to the lack of the rites of passage celebrated in other cultures and other times.

    For example, the "milestones" that have been celebrated in my life, by my family, by my culture: getting my driver's license (yay, I'm a grownup now!? Oh, I'm not?), graduating from school (yay! I don't have to learn anymore?!), turning 18 (oh, so now I'm allowed to make decisions for myself . . . oh, not all of them huh?), turning 21 (I'm celebrating that now I can make decisions for myself--well only just one. Yay, I can get drunk!), graduating from college (now I *really* don't have to learn anymore, right?)

    My Mother actually did "celebrate" in some small way when I started my period, but while it was made clear to me what this meant for me in terms of new privileges (i.e., I got to wear makeup finally), there was no real responsibility attached to it (i.e., I was not taught about birth control at that time). The same went for all of the other "milestones." I was taught what privileges it gave me, but not responsibility it brought. At no time was I ever told: "now you are an adult." And consequently, I flat out wasn't one until I suffered a life-altering tragedy last year.

    The next milestone I see coming will be my 40th birthday and then after that, or maybe before, menopause. I don't plan on getting married and I will most likely not have children. I sort of feel like all of this has passed me by and were not honored as they should have been.

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    Malidoma Some wrote an interesting book about how rituals tie us to the community and give us an anchor to tie our selves too, called Ritual: Power, Healing, & Community. Ruth Barrett discusses it in Women's Rites, Women's Mysteries, as well. That book discusses at length the importance of celebrating and ritualizing aspects of women's lives that we might not otherwise consider. In fact one thing I love about it is that although it talks about celebrating biological milestones such as menstruation and menopause, it also provides a wide range of things to celebrate and recognize within ourselves and our community.

    I think society overlooks ritualizing womanhood because most are either Christian, where such things are not celebrated, or are rebelling against the church and organized religion and therefore try to avoid anything that seems ritualized or spiritually significant. Actually I'm not even sure it's an active rebelliousness as much as for many, a disinterest in organized religion and "superstitious" spirituality, and therefore a lack of recognition of their importance in our lives. We've collectively leaned so far over to science that we dismiss any kind of magic or sacred connection. Even if we're not Christian, so many of us think "that's just silly superstition". And then you have the ones who don't want to celebrate womanhood for fear of being labelled with that big "f" word - feminism. *sigh*

    Reading some of Joseph Campbell's books or even Jung's will suggest how myth and ritual touch us and unite us. Some describes how each person's rituals tied them into the family, and each family's rituals tied them into the community as well, until all made a coherent whole through the simplest of tasks assigned as part of the rituals. I honestly think one of society's ills is the fact that so many ignore spirituality and ritualization. I think it's a big problem that we don't have the ways to tie together and act as unique citizens *and* as parts of the whole.

    Anyway, I digress.

    When I began menstruating my mother told me she wanted to take me out for dinner to celebrate my womanhood but we couldn't afford it and she made me a special dinner at home instead. Birth control and reproduction weren't big topics to discuss because my cousin had become pregnant when she was 14 and I was 8. So there was never "the talk" but it was a subject we had discussed at some point or other.

    One thing that Barrett introduced to me was the idea of celebrating motherhood at a child's birthday - aside from celebrating one's birth, also celebrating the labour of love and change in life that motherhood brings. I like this idea and will be considering it on my son's birthday. Maintaining pregnancy and becoming a mother where very difficult for me and having done it successfully is something for me to celebrate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philosophia View Post
    To get some discussion going;

    How important is the different phases of your life in your path? For example, how important was or is your first menstruation? Did you celebrate or mourn the passing of it when your cycles stop?

    Do you believe its important to celebrate or appreciate the changing phases of your life? Why do you believe that society, as a whole, overlooks these milestones?

    What are your thoughts on this topic?
    For me the phases of my life are very important in my path. Although I wasn't pagan when I started my period (around age 12) it was still an important milestone for me in my life. It meant I was finally becoming a woman and more like the women in my family that I admired, my mom and grandma. I believe that the first menstruation is very important for all that it represents. I believe its very important to celebrate the stages of womanhood and society does tend to overlook these things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RainInanna View Post
    One thing that Barrett introduced to me was the idea of celebrating motherhood at a child's birthday - aside from celebrating one's birth, also celebrating the labour of love and change in life that motherhood brings. I like this idea and will be considering it on my son's birthday. Maintaining pregnancy and becoming a mother where very difficult for me and having done it successfully is something for me to celebrate.

    Hmmmm. It seems so simple and obvious and yet it's something I would have never thought of on my own! Bad, bad me! Thank you for sharing this. It gives me a great deal to think about . . .

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    I'd like to believe that different phases are important for me, in my path. Unfortunately, I do not really celebrate them. I don't know how I'm going to feel about motherhood or menopause. I know that menstruation wasn't a big deal for me. I got a hug and that was basically it. I grew up in the Orthodox Christian church where menstruation and all things womanly are frowned upon. Once a girl gets her period, she is not allowed up at the altar, she's "tainted", and some even believe she shouldn't get receive communion while menstruating.

    I'm glad that my path is not like that. Womanhood is celebrated in my mind. I still need to be more open with myself, though.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigerlily View Post
    I'd like to believe that different phases are important for me, in my path. Unfortunately, I do not really celebrate them. I don't know how I'm going to feel about motherhood or menopause. I know that menstruation wasn't a big deal for me. I got a hug and that was basically it. I grew up in the Orthodox Christian church where menstruation and all things womanly are frowned upon. Once a girl gets her period, she is not allowed up at the altar, she's "tainted", and some even believe she shouldn't get receive communion while menstruating.

    I'm glad that my path is not like that. Womanhood is celebrated in my mind. I still need to be more open with myself, though.

    Tigerlily, have you ever seen this book?

    http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Girls-Pat...0562099&sr=8-3

    It's Wild Girls: Path of the Young Goddess by Patricia Monaghan. It was written for teenagers mostly, but I read it when I was 26 or 27 and I still got a great deal out of it and it's still one of my favorite books. You might check it out. It gives you tons of practical tools, craft projects, meditations, writing prompts, suggestions, ideas and on and on and on to help you celebrate your womanhood.

    "The Triple Goddess as Maiden, Mother and Crone, is a relatively new concept which was made popular during the 20th century. Hekate is today most often equated to the Crone aspect of this triplicate archetypal image, but this idea of Hekate as Crone Goddess is one which would have been completely alien to the people of ancient Greece. The only possible explanation for the continued association today is that somehow the darker, scarier aspects of Hekate has been equated to wisdom in old age, which is, when you think about it rather ludicrous." -- Sorita D'Este. Read more in the book: Hekate: Keys to the Crossroads.

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    it means alot to me and my coven
    our covens symbol is the triple Goddess
    it goes well with the cycles of life in general..male or female
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    Hopefully this wont offend as I am not a female.

    I do think the milestones of womanhood also impact upon the male far more than many realize or are willing to admit. I was aware of many of my sisters milestones because of things that where said, some implied and some that where the typical "Your a boy so wouldn't understand!"

    Yet you can't be the eldest child in a Southern family and not notice the onset of breasts, the arrival of older female family members at certain ages, and things. You also can not miss the "Male" your sister is now a woman and you have to treat her different at this time.

    In some instances it was appearant that something was happening by the arrival of certain elderly female family members. Granted, if there where any type of ceremonies or such I am not aware of them but then again "I am a boy so I wouldn't understand!"

    However, as a husband and father I find that my wife's milestones and cycles heavly impact upon me and to some extent trigger a cyclic pattern in myself and sons. NO I am not talking of the montly "Bitch" cycle but someting far deeper and seemingly coming together at those points but not for quit as long.

    In some ways one might say my solar cycle for a bit aligns with her Moon cycle. Yet in that alignement it's more of a joining and merging of cycles than my experiencing her cycle.

    I do know it is something that is often missed yet I recall my grandmother and other women saying it would happen. But maybe that is also because I am influenced by the Shamanic perspective of the world so it all makes a kind of sense to me.

    Sorry If I offend by inputting into this thread.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
    Hopefully this wont offend as I am not a female.

    I do think the milestones of womanhood also impact upon the male far more than many realize or are willing to admit. I was aware of many of my sisters milestones because of things that where said, some implied and some that where the typical "Your a boy so wouldn't understand!"

    Yet you can't be the eldest child in a Southern family and not notice the onset of breasts, the arrival of older female family members at certain ages, and things. You also can not miss the "Male" your sister is now a woman and you have to treat her different at this time.

    In some instances it was appearant that something was happening by the arrival of certain elderly female family members. Granted, if there where any type of ceremonies or such I am not aware of them but then again "I am a boy so I wouldn't understand!"

    However, as a husband and father I find that my wife's milestones and cycles heavly impact upon me and to some extent trigger a cyclic pattern in myself and sons. NO I am not talking of the montly "Bitch" cycle but someting far deeper and seemingly coming together at those points but not for quit as long.

    In some ways one might say my solar cycle for a bit aligns with her Moon cycle. Yet in that alignement it's more of a joining and merging of cycles than my experiencing her cycle.

    I do know it is something that is often missed yet I recall my grandmother and other women saying it would happen. But maybe that is also because I am influenced by the Shamanic perspective of the world so it all makes a kind of sense to me.

    Sorry If I offend by inputting into this thread.
    Don't apologize for contributing to this thread nor do I believe you offend anybody here. Any member can contribute as long as they do so in a respectful manner. Your words are wonderful and wise. Thank you for sharing them.
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    Question everything.

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