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Reclaiming the wise woman- The sacred power of menopause

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Artwork by Joyce Tenneson

Menopause - pause a moment now and feel, what is your reaction to this word...

This concept..

Is it a dirty word in your world? Spoken in hushed and whispered tones, out the side of a pursed mouth to other woman who may... understand...

Perhaps never spoken in the company of men...

If you are a man how does this word feel to you? what does it evoke, stop here and feel it without judging your response.

It reminds me of being a teenager and learning about 'periods' another time of toe curling embarrassment, another whispered and hushed word. Clinical scientific explorations at school and jokey ridicule from other girls who had begun their cycles of bleeding earlier than me. There was no elder guidance in my menarche years. Thank the gods for candid editorials and problem pages of teenage magazines. They were a lifeline to me speaking of normalising these changes, helping make sense of what was happening to me and preparing me for what was to come.

I plan for a better experience with my own daughter, I walk alongside her as she negotiates these first flushes of embarrassment of changing body and awareness of self. It is precious to do that for her.

(Coming soon- 'Becoming' rites for girls on the journey to woman hood- group work)

So what now for a woman in the process of menopause, a ceasing of menstruation, end to motherhood possibility, end of a fertile womb.

* I think it is important to honour here that these the content of this writing may not feel to represent everyone. If you are a person who was born to a female body (ciss female), but do not identify as female, or you identify as female but are ciss male/ or have chosen not to/or been unable to conceive.

Please know I recognise and acknowledge you here.

I believe many of these themes are also fundamentally based in an energetic feeling of femininity however you identify, or have not birthed a child yourself. I speak of the archetypes of crone, mother, maiden and I am open to the multiplicity of ways humans express these archetypal truths.

In fact- the world is a richer place for these complex and unique expressions. I hope you can read this blog with the frame of inclusivity- even if all the content does not fit for your life experience.

The sacred power of potential, crossing the threshold

When I look at older woman whom to my eye have engaged with their menopause with healthy respect I feel a yearning. These woman seem strong in their eldership, like they have shedded social constraints and are 'happy in their own new skin'. I love to see this quality in older woman, especially in a culture which does not on the whole value elders. I aspire to it.

So -how to approach this change of skin, the last of the Celtic archetypal triple goddesses of maiden, mother, crone. Crone -wisdom keeper. Particularly when the external messages seem to read that menopause is bad- get rid of it.

Every woman of course is different and each person experiences the menopause in their unique way.

Hot flushes? weight gain? insomnia? light headed dizziness. There are many symptoms to dance with. And at the end of the day I celebrate any woman who meets these challenges in whatever way works for her.

I also feel by working consciously with these symptoms I have found hot flushes seem to link with stress, if I feel a spike of stress- I get a flush within seconds.

Working with my medical herbalist I have discovered that the supporting my adrenal glands helps support fluctuating hormone levels and reduce or even eradicate the flushes. Gentle exercise and good nutrition also make a huge difference in the symptoms I experience, calming me and keeping my body supple. Reducing stimulants in my body ( and I love coffee and chocolate so this is hard!) but I really do see the benefit or the impact if I fall off that wagon.

Taking time for myself is not a luxury through these times of physiological and psychological change, I need this space to centre and rest my body, to reflect and let go. There is grief in letting go of this identity as well as a relief not to be ruled by the cycles of fertility and monthly menstruation symptoms. I need to feel both.

I need this space to sift though my feelings towards me/towards my life and process what needs to be processed. What needs to be accepted. What needs to be closed.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of all though I feel is to be with menopause in a sacred way, as an initiation to the next stage of life. To listen to my body and what it can teach through these symptoms. To be confident and speak of it not with shame but with strength. To know that this process no matter how long is a rite of passage experienced by woman for generation upon generation of ancestors.

Time to shed the skin and step across the threshold into a powerful place of coming home to all aspects of self. Dark corners, mystery and warts and all.

In a society obsessed with youth the invitation is wise woman rise.

If ever we have needed wisdom more it is now.

The sacred menopause - an act of rebellion

Be in the #sacred, the #sacredmenopause

If you are interested in exploring any of the themes evoked here go to my bookings page and see if any of my sessions interest you. I offer a free 30min call to discuss options and there is no obligation to book.

If you are a women beginning or within your menopause and you are interested in attending some retreat processes get in touch. I can put you on an email list for upcoming information and dates for 2022

All warm wishes


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