Posts Tagged ‘empowering girls’

First Menstrual Blood.  Our American culture does not have a rite of passage ceremony for young women as their bodies enter adulthood. A girls first menstrual period is not celebrated.  It seems to be either ignored altogether and kept as an embarrassing secret or merely dealt with as one would deal with a glass of spilt milk…let’s take care of the mess, clean it up, and move on.

This was my experience, anyway.  Menstruation for me had always been dreaded.  It was an embarrassing , messy, curse of being a woman.  I never talked about it unless I had to and hated spending my hard earned money on menstrual products.

That all changed when I read the book “Shakti Woman” by Vicki Noble and came to understand the  history, power, and magnificence of the woman’s menstrual cycle.  The first menstrual period of a young woman is truly a beautiful and sacred thing.  It is a  transition of a female body from a child’s form into a woman’s.  This new woman form now has the power to create, nourish, and sustain life! That sounds like something to celebrate!

I was recently blessed with the opportunity to celebrate this transition as my oldest daughter reached the milestone of her first menstrual period.  She and I worked together to create a moon party celebrating and honoring this momentous transition within her.  She invited women who she felt supported her and asked them all to bring a bead.  Sending a bead was also a way for women who could not attend the event to support her.  All the various beads she received were put together into jewelry for her to wear as a symbol of all the women continuing to support and love her as she travels her journey into the world of womanhood.

We started the celebration off with dancing.  My daughter had chosen songs that were inspiring and meaningful to her and we all moved our bodies along with her and the rhythms of the music.  There were comments made as to the diversity of the music.  It did flow unexpectedly from spiritual and inspirational to country and to pop.  It did adequately represent the many facets of my daughter as a girl/woman/female.  On the last song, every woman was handed a ‘ribbon stick’ and a human archway was created for my daughter to walk through to her red throne (a chair that we had covered with red velvet material).

We then shared stories through a game. A ball covered with questions was thrown around the circle of women.  Each woman answered a question sharing stories of first kisses, thoughts on what made them feel feminine, and many more unique thoughts, favorites, perspectives, and words of wisdom.  This weaving of stories and thoughts was very powerful and I could almost feel the ancient voice of Woman speaking through us all.

With the energetic circle of women established, we then created a physical circle holding hands around Arianna for a ceremony:

Arianna and a friend who had not yet started her cycles entered the circle.  Both were decked out in maiden headpieces of flowers and ribbons.  Arianna carried two candles:  a white candle (lit) to symbolize her maiden-ness and a red candle (unlit) which represented her as a woman.  While she held the candles, my friend and I took turns speaking:

Arianna, you were born into this world 12 years ago, innocent and pure…held in the arms of your mother. 

You grew into a child and were protected and guided along the way by those who loved you. 

We are encircling you now…Holding you in love.  We represent all of the women who have loved and supported you throughout your childhood. 

Arianna, You are no longer a child.  You have left that phase of your life behind.  Now, your menstrual blood flows into the world.  As a symbol of this transition, I will ask you to now extinguish the white candle and light the red candle. (she did) 

The strength of the female body exists in its ability to create, nourish, and sustain life. 

Women have the power to bring new life into the world.

Women have the power to feed the new life from our own bodies.

Women have the power to support and sustain that new life as it grows and develops. 

Arianna Neal, You now also have that ability.  You now have that strength. 

You are a divinely beautiful, unique, and powerful female!  It is time for you to join the circle of women.  It is time for you to step into your power!  You are one of us!

Arianna then entered the circle of women while we played a beautiful song entitled Woman Spirit by Karen Drucker.  All the women hugged her and welcomed her into womanhood and we completed the celebration with food.  Arianna and I had made cookies in the shape of moons and served red punch to add to the array of healthy, body supporting dishes.

Most if not all of the women in attendance had not had a ceremony of this sort for themselves and I received many comments of how powerful and transformative it was for all of them to have been a part of it.

I think that recognizing and honoring the transition of our young girls into young women is important in empowering them as females in the world.  It helps them to embrace and honor their bodies.

When we plant a flower in the world, we tend it, nurture it, and watch the plant grow.   After long anticipation, the plant matures and we see a bud and can’t wait for the flower to open.  When the flower finally presents itself to the world in all it’s beautiful color and glory, we joyfully recognize and celebrate that beautiful flower now in our lives.

Our daughters…our nieces…the young women of our community…they are the most beautiful and precious of flowers.  We tend to their needs, nurture them, and guide them through their childhood,  We need to joyfully acknowledge and celebrate their own budding maturity as their childhood forms finally mature and begin to blossom into womanhood with the development of their menstrual cycles.

I fully acknowledge and celebrate the most beautiful of flowers that my daughter has become as she matures and offers her unique beauty, femininity, and sexuality to the world and I wish for all the young women in our world to be similarly acknowledged and celebrated.





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