Do women need formal initiations? Life provides us with natural initiations. We can’t avoid it.
Maidens don’t ask to be born. Birth is their initiation.
The 1st Seductress has menstruation thrust upon them.
Mothering is a consequence of giving birth, if you want your creation to survive.
The 2nd Seductress goes through predictable life phases like the empty nest, divorce, or becoming bored with the status quo or success. It just happens.
If a woman lives consciously, she can’t avoid the wisdom that comes from living life fully, seeing death, having spiritual experiences, and being brave enough to face adversity head on. So, the Crone energy may also be thrust upon us.
If all this is true, why are natural initiations not enough?
The Sacred Has Become Mundane
The thing that made natural initiations for women powerful was the understanding of the sacredness of the acts. Today those things have lost their meaning. They are mundane. We see the start of menstruation as science. Getting married is a formality, a piece of paper. Becoming independent from your parents is optional. Our focus doesn’t change when we become parents. Growing older is something we fight against.
We’re not flowing with nature or seeing all phases of life as sacred. So, these natural rites of passage have no meaning. Becoming initiated enlivens them with the power that was always there. It’s like going through life blindfolded.
Say My Name
If I were your boss and I gave you tasks every day without ever calling your name, you’d feel invisible, wouldn’t you? You would feel like a servant or an object.
As soon as I call your name, you become a person. It says that I see you. It’s like I am bringing you into the conversation rather than talking at you.
Sheniqua, that has a different energy than Chelsea, doesn’t it? If I were hiring Babbett, I am probably not looking for Hilda, right?
Our last name conveys legacy and belonging. I am not just Laura Giles. I belong to the clan of Giles. Their reputation is my reputation. Their status is my status. I share the history of those people. When I need courage, I can call upon all the Giles before me who have stood strong to be beside me and help me find my roots.
Titles are the same. They form part of our identity, so if I am just some chick, that doesn’t have the same weight as being President Giles or Dr. Giles, does it? If my title is “priestess,” that’s even different still, right?
So, while we may move through the stages of womanhood as a process of life, having an initiation creates identity. It solidifies who we are by going through an ordeal that transforms us. Once a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, there is no going back.
Initiations are also “no going back” moments because others witness it. These witnesses reinforce that state of being by treating us with the perks, responsibilities, and status that that the title brings.
For example, if I go to jail, I now have a label of being a convict. People will treat me differently. Some have seen my arrest. They know about the hearing. People know about the details of the crime and my sentence. This process is now part of my legacy. I will be seen differently because it’s a life changing event.
If I get married, it’s the same thing. People know of my engagement. They know about the family I am joining. They see the wedding we have created. They celebrate with us and support our journey moving forward.
Rites of passage may happen in isolation, but the initiation is a shared event. For example, boys may do a vision quest to find the man inside. That’s the rite of passage. He knows he’s changed.
When he returns to the community alive and changed, that’s when the initiation takes place, and they know he’s changed. Without it, it’s like saving the world and no one knows about it. Did it really happen?
Choosing to Be Initiated
When the settlers came to America, they were coming from a system where birth determined life. They wanted the freedom to create their own lives. They began eroding the power of all things that kept them down, like the family name, wealth, status symbols, religion, and even gender.
While that has allowed for upward economic mobility and a more equal playing field, it has also taken away structure and foundation that gives humans connection, individuality, and belonging.
In choosing to be initiated, you are reclaiming the power of womanhood. You are saying, “No, being a woman matters. I claim this identity, legacy, responsibility, beauty, joy, and experience as my own! This has meaning. I want to know who I am. I want to be prepared for womanhood, and honor it with my life so that those who come behind me have an easier time than I did.”
Do You Need an Initiation?
If you look around, you will see women who misuse sex, mothers who aren’t good parents, older women whose driving force is to be the cougar, and elderly women who have faded away.
If you are feeling like you don’t know yourself, don’t know your place in the world, aren’t sure what you are doing in life, don’t have a purpose, or don’t feel seen, you may need an initiation to get rooted.
There is still space in the fall Initiation Into Womanhood.
If you are ready to reclaim your rightful place and identity, join us. Those who are about to pass through this threshold, I welcome and salute you.