Women's Rites part one
by Michelle Royce / Spiraldancer
"The sun is warm on my back. A gentle breeze flows past my skin. I can hear the sound of trickling water.
I can hear the sound of trickling water. I sit on the earth. I have never felt so grounded, so at one with the elements that are singing, resonating to the song of the Goddess within and without at the same time. I feel my spirit slowly spiral outward, dancing with, embracing and encompassing all these things."
The above entry is an extract from my journal about my first experience of ritually returning my moonflow to the earth. Just over 12 years ago, at Imbolc, the Pagan holiday which honors the Celtic Triple Goddess Brigit, I began the conscious treading of my own feminine path to personal power.
Prior to this ritual I had been a student of Wiccan and Pagan traditions and joined with others in rituals to honour nature and the unseen powers, but it still didn't quite satisfy the inner longing I had felt for many years to reconnect with something I couldn't name but only feel as a summons which echoed faintly but insistently within my soul. About 15 years ago, a time which coincided with the birth of my first daughter, I began to come across many wonderful books such as "Her Blood Is Gold" by Lara Owen, "Shakti Woman" by Vicki Noble and "A Herbal For The Childbearing Year" by Susun Weed.
Discovering the Women's Mysteries was the magical key that in time unlocked the gateway to my own path. I began to dream, almost every night about women of all races and ages who came to teach and show me their wisdom. I received many gifts from my dream teachers , beautiful dream necklaces made of crystals, garnet, turquoise and finally, gold. But even more wonderful than these were the gifts I found myself bringing back from their teachings, the Women's Rituals that eventually became the soul of my book "Moon Rites."
I began to perform the rituals I had been given and to discover other rituals just for women. Finally, at Imbolc 12 years ago, I enacted the rite that I call "Feed The Tree". (Although I know that many versions of this ritual exist and are called by other names..) It was on this day that I consciously began remembering the Goddess guided journey that lasts forever, to actually feel Her presence and understand that I had been travelling towards this moment my whole life. I was truly at my female centre, my inner temple, at the place where all that was and is and will be comes together.
For a few brief moments I began to see the whole shining tapestry of existence woven by Her hands, to experience in my blood and bone and gut that we are all connected and that for this reason there is and always will be hope for all things. It was also in this moment that I felt I had finally found the means of true spiritual expression and connection with the divine that was perfect for me. The summons had been answered.
To be continued