On my 39th birthday I decided to have a Menarche Ceremony, a rite of passage that marks your first period.
Getting our first period is an important time in our life, where we step into womanhood, but it is often ignored, or a time we have attached a lot of shame or embarrassment to.
Think back to the time of your own first period, how old were you? What was it like for you?
For many women, even if there was no shame associated with it, it’s likely there was no heartfelt acknowledgement either.
As a womb therapy bodyworker, I’ve seen how working with the womb has the power to help you to step into the person you are meant to be - unravelling layers of fear, shame and guilt and letting your true essence, the beauty of your soul shine through, accessing the core of your creative being.
Menarche ceremonies are a beautiful way to celebrate you as a woman with awareness and joy and to share that within the circle of sisterhood.
Luckily my good friend Melonie regularly holds Menarche Ceremonies and agreed to do mine. Together we sat down and began to discuss how I wanted this to happen. As we spoke, I thought back to my baby shower 10 years ago. I have pretty grim memories of that day. I didn’t like the silly games we played and didn’t like being the centre of attention.
I certainly didn’t want anything like that again and I wasn’t going to. Afterall, I am not the same woman I was 10 years ago, not only am I no longer afraid to express my likes and dislikes I know now, what they actually are.
When Mel left, she asked me to have an item ready on the day that represented something I wanted to let go of from my childhood. Mmmm, she left me a lot of time to think about it, but I just couldn't bear the thought of letting go of anything from my childhood. I just decided not to do my “homework” and hopefully she wouldn’t ask about it again.
I thought carefully about who I wanted there and we sent out the invites. It was wonderful preparing for the day, I even decided I would have vagina cupcakes made for this occasion! It was amazing getting in touch with local bakers to order them. It was one of the highlights of the day sharing them with friends and seeing their faces! Yeaiiiii
I spent the evening getting myself ready and preparing the space, we had a central altar space with flowers, candles, crystals and more. And then my guests arrived – my closest friends, all wearing something red. We spoke about our experiences of our first periods and growing up, which brought up a lot of emotion.
As part of the evening I got totally pampered by everyone. I had my nails done, received a head massage, and some of the ladies made me a flower crown and a bracelet made of beads.
After this luxury came the ceremony. Everyone sat around in a circle to witness me. I walked down a red pathway towards a threshold border. This symbolised stepping over from childhood into the first years of womanhood and marking my first period. I was blessed with the elements of earth, fire, water and air.
Then came the invitation to pass Mel my item that represented a part of my childhood, I was ready to let go of.
‘Oh No!!!’ I acted quickly though and passed Mel all the rubbish I could grab from around me (wrapping paper from gifts, empty food boxes..) and decided that my hoarding of ‘things’ was what I wanted to release.
The irony! Even as a child I couldn't let go of anything, my walls were full of posters, letters, stickers, glittery things, really anything and everything landed on my walls, or was kept in little boxes, bags, and drawers… There was nobody like Marie Kondo around in those days!
I tentatively handed Mel the rubbish and as I did I felt elated. ‘YES!!!’ Even though I’d become a lot better with the years I finally felt I was releasing that part of me.
I crossed over the threshold into womanhood and to my surprise I was handed back my rubbish with the words ‘We do not have to let go of our childhood years, our little us is with us forever.’ Now, I had tears in my eyes….that is what I had desperately tried to hold on to, my inner child.
The week after my ceremony, I remember feeling a bit low. I was heavy and full of emotions. I couldn’t consciously make sense of them. I went to my womb therapist because I knew I needed some 1:1 attention and during that session is where the final release came. Tears were rolling as I saw myself standing in circle with my maternal ancestors holding hands, and all I felt was love and forgiveness.
The biggest thing I got from the ceremony was a total sense of who I am without attachments to any stories - strong, courageous and confident.
In the months that have followed my menarche, I have felt a complete sense of freedom. freedom to be the woman I was meant to be. I am also able to love, respect and honour my mother fully.
In the past, in many situations, I would silently think to myself ‘Oh there we go, just like your mother.’ My menarche ceremony brought the spiritual aspect of cutting the umbilical cord to life. It may have physically happened 39 years ago but I felt connected still. Only now do I feel that I am my own person entirely.
Diane is supporting women on their fertility journey or life’s journey by helping them access their own healing power. She is an intuitive bodyworker, offering fertility/ womb massage and lomi lomi massage - an ancient hawaiian massage infused with ceremony and intention.
Diane also facilitates workshops, sharing menstrual cycle awareness, self-care practises and her love for womb yoga.
Contact Diane if you want to know more about Menarche Ceremonies, pre/aftercare or 1:1 womb healing.