Menopause is a rite all menstruating women go through, but it can be an easy journey

Menopause: The Time of the Wise Woman

Spring carries the energy of the maiden – the prepubescent girl with her whole life ahead over her. Summer is the young mother, pregnant or having just given birth. Autumn is the experienced mother, still guiding her children, but watching them make their own decisions.

Winter is the time of the crone.

If you look at the definitions of crone online you find:

an old woman who is thin and ugly.

Or that she’s cruel, malicious or sinister.

But if you dig into the archetype of the crone or listen to the stories women tell each other about old women you see something different. You see a wise woman who uses the lessons she’s learned in life to guide those younger than her to the right path.

The crone teaches us that death cycles are inevitable. Winter always comes, age marches on and one day, we too will be grandmothers. And that scares us. It scares us in the way the nadir of death cycles always scares us. We don’t like cold, we don’t like darkness and we don’t like endings.

But every woman who menstruates will one day go through menopause. That process will mark the end of her reproductive days. As an ending, that’s scary. As a process, it can be frustrating.

This post has two purposes: to give you a guide through menopause to make the transition from mother to crone (or Wise Woman, or Grandmother) go more smoothly and also to show you that as part of a cycle it may be an ending, but it is not the End.

Menopause is a rite all menstruating women go through, but it can be an easy journey
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Menstruation is a source of shame, concern and pain for many women but it doesn't need to be that way

Taming the Red Dragon: Menstruation in Chinese Medicine

Last week I introduced the concept of death cycles on the Instagram feed. In a nutshell, a life cycle is a cycle an organism follows from birth to the point they reproduce and their offspring begin their own life cycle. A death cycle follows an organism through all the processes of birth, life, death and potential rebirth.

The handy thing about death cycles is that since the year is its own death cycle we can use it as a guide. Spring is birth, summer is growth, fall is decline and winter is death. The unique thing about winter is that it’s the season that contains all the things we, as a society, fear, are ashamed of, or hate.

Cold, darkness, old age, labor, and menstruation.

When you work with the seasons and death cycles, you learn that decline is a part of life and it’s usually a healthy part of the process. Trees wouldn’t flourish in the summer if they didn’t rest in the winter, the day doesn’t happen without the night and we wouldn’t continue our reproductive cycle without healthy menstruation.

Have you been told your entire life that your period is gross, something you shouldn’t talk about, something shameful or even, sinful?

What would happen if you saw it has a healthy sign of ovulation and embraced it as a time of rest? My bet is that it would be life changing and if you’re interested you should definitely read on.

Menstruation is a source of shame, concern and pain for many women but it doesn't need to be that way
(more…)
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