This is Menopause ~ Journey into Change part 2
excerpt from New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way
by Susun Weed
Wise Woman stories say that menopause is an initiation and that initiation begins with a period of isolation. The grandmothers tell me that, as a menopausal woman, I need to draw inward, move away from outside responsibilities, and into myself. From this view, hot flashes, fatigue, headaches, irritability, sleeplessness, and emotional outbursts are understood as allies of wholeness, not problems; they urge me to be alone, to focus on myself and my Change.
Without knowledge of the women's mystery stories, without the help of herbal allies and the reassurance of other women, a woman may feel alone and unsupported in her disturbing and "pointless" changes. She may think her Change is only for the worse, or that something is going wrong with her. And when she seeks information, she is told (erroneously) that her Change will cause heart attacks and crumbling bones, wrinkles and grey hair, and loss of sex appeal and libido.
Where is Grandmother Growth to guide her through this immense, frightening metamorphosis, to show her the green gifts of nature that strengthen her heart and bones, soften her skin and keep her juicy? Science defines menopause as lack of estrogen, then prescribes drugs (hormones, estrogen and more). This stops our maturation, just as puberty-blocking hormones do. Women who agree to be "put on" hormones remain bound to our (and society's) ideas of who we ought to be, instead of exploring ourselves, our mature selves, our Crone self, our wise woman self
If I take hormones, I can pretend nothing is happening. I don't need to take time for transformation. There's no pressure to seek solitude. There's no reason to do the difficult work of encountering, nourishing, and sanctifying myself as a wise grandmother, a wrinkled wild woman, a lawless fierce crone.
My menopausal metamorphosis deserves as much attention as I can give it. And I am not that rare women who gives herself these gifts without the daily urgings of her body and feelings.
I urge us all to say a vigorous "no" to menopausal hormones. (The one exception is estrogen cream used vaginally to counter extreme dryness and pain. It's safe. It's effective. It's local; doesn't get into your bloodstream.)
We can let the "problems" of menopause give us the opportunity to claim all parts of ourselves, even those that are awkward, ugly, old, out of control, and afraid of death. By passing consciously through menopause, by embracing this Change in my life, by nourishing myself with green allies, I renew myself. The grandmothers say I make myself complete — reclaiming myself as maiden, redefining myself as mother, and knowing myself as crone. It is so.
"Take my hand, dear one. I will soothe your head, calm your heart, stabilize your grounding, and then teach you to fly. Take my hand, now. You are in the midst of Change."