Thoughts from a Mother to a Moon Maiden

In my previous post, I shared about the advent of my daughter’s first period, how it was celebrated and touched those around her. As part of an oceanside circle where her Godmothers and I welcomed her into the realm of cycles, each one of us prepared a few thoughts to share with her: here are mine. 

My Dearest S,

Here are a few thoughts for you as you transition out of childhood and into the world of cycles.

People often speak of menarche/first periods as when girls become women. While parts of this wisdom are definitely true for many people, I want to offer the perspective that rather than automatically “becoming a woman” now that you have started your period, that this terms is yours and yours alone to claim, if and when you feel ready. There is no rush, and how you define yourself is always your choice.

There is no rush, and how you define yourself is always your choice.

Welcome, then, my precious daughter, into the World of Cycles! You are now – in my opinion at least – initiated into a personal, direct relationship with the tides, the seasons, and – of course and best of all! – the moon. It is my belief that all the most powerful – by which I mean creative and generative – forces in the world are cyclical in nature. You’re on that list now too.

While it lies beyond my ability to comprehend or explain these connections, I encourage you to seek them out: notice, for example, the phase of the moon when you are bleeding or ovulating. Track your cycle, and pay close attention to your thoughts and feelings – and especially your dreams and intuition – as you move through it.

One of the ways that I do this is to think of my cycle as analogous to the four seasons: kind of like a year in a month. For example, when I am bleeding it’s like winter: a quiet, introspective time of self-care, reflection and letting go of things that no longer serve me along with my menses. Springtime comes after the end of my period, and is a great time to start new projects. summer (ovulation) is a time of ease, pleasure and ripeness, and fall, a time of slowing down and finishing tasks so that I can rest during the following season.

You will find your own way to understand your body’s needs and language.

You will find your own way to understand your body’s needs and language.

Also remember that your period is so much more than a mess to be cleaned up or an inconvenience to be tolerated (although it can definitely be those things!). It’s part of a far larger picture. As I see it, periods are a physical symbol and reminder of your power to create life and connection with the other cycles I mentioned earlier. It really is just the visible part or something much bigger, kind of like the tip of an iceberg.

Another gift waiting for you now is your connection with the other beings who also cycle: other humans, as well as some animals. You now share this with literally millions of others: respect and understand them through this lens.

Know that I am always here for you, not just as your Mom and someone who could not possibly love you more, but also as one of your cycling friends. I will rub your back, help you find the right solutions to manage your bleeding, listen if you want to talk, hold you if you need to cry, or simply honor your boundaries if you want to be alone.

On this occasion I wish you the gifts of:
Trust, especially in yourself.
Receptivity. This is a profound form of feminine power that is often undervalued in our “make it happen” world. Ask instead: what wants to happen?
Presence, with yourself and others. Enjoy the quiet moments in between the busyness and take your time.

This final phrase particularly struck me as a wrote it, and inspired me to write this poem.

Take Your Time

Take your time on the in breath
Let it gradually fill and nourish
At its own pace
No resistance
No judgement
No push
No hustle

Take your time on the out breath
Empty, release, surrender

Take your time in your life
From child to adult, girl to woman
Who you are today and who you choose to be tomorrow

Take your time when things are slow and silent
With the small ones, the vulnerable, the animals

Take your time to check in with yourself
What feels right or is gnawing in your belly

Take your time to ask questions and let the answers come
Or just sit in the mystery of that which is not yet understood
Life does not always need to make sense
Trees are not in a hurry, and the moon is not in a rush
You are already perfect and will know what you need to do
When you need to do it

Take your time, my Love.

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