I have an eleven year old daughter, soon to be twelve. Last month she had her first bleed.
I was so grateful to be here and present for her, (having only just returned 3 days earlier from being with my father for his 103 birthday in Switzerland). I was so delighted, that after a morning of scrambling and getting muddy on Dartmoor, and then coming home, she called out to me ‘Mum! Come here! It’s important!’ It was the evening before the full moon, and that night we went outside together, to bathe in the light of this fulsome planet, who’s form changes daily in its monthly cycle.
Two days before her menarche, my daughter, (who’s name, Kaia, is a more ancient form of the word Gaia, meaning Earth,), started to draw snakes. To be precise cobras. Again and again she practiced meticulously, and
I found one in her bedroom, drawn on red paper.
When her bleed came, I delighted in this wisdom of life that just knows!! This life called Kaia. I delighted in Kaia connecting to the energy of snake, which resonates with earth energy, with feminine wisdom, and when eating it own tail, is symbolic of the infinite. (Patriarchy relegates the snake to evil temptress, symbol of the fall of man!!)
I was delighted that she was deeply in contact with a knowing that knew what was coming, a knowing deeper than her conscious mind. And I am reminded of my journey shortly after a miscarriage over 13 years ago, when I was driving home, and heard a ‘voice’ giving me a directive: ‘ Your daughter will be called Kaia! A year later she was conceived. I had no conscious knowledge of the meaning of her name at the time.
Last week a friend who came over to receive the Metamorphic Technique as a gift, had also brought a gift for Kaia. A book called ‘Her blood is gold”. I started reading it, (it’s a bit advanced for Kaia, but I am reading bits aloud to her), and I was delighted to come across a section on the snake archetype! It reminded me that women and snakes share a pattern of cyclical shedding! The snake sheds its whole outer casing, while the woman sheds the lining of her womb.
The snake outgrows its form, and in the monthly shedding from her womb, each woman has an opportunity for renewal, cleansing, and for connecting to her source and her power.
I was further delighted when the book’s author, Lara Owen, quotes from another writer, Elinor Gadon, from the ‘Once & Future Goddess’:
“The word ritual comes from rtu, Sanskrit for menses. The earliest rituals were connected to the women’s monthly bleeding. The blood from the womb that nourished the unborn child was believed to have mana, magical power. Women’s periodic bleeding was a cosmic event, like the cycles of the moon and the waxing and the waning of the tides. We have forgotten that women were the conduit for the sacred mystery of life and death!”
In the living reality of a woman’s bleed, and in the ancient rituals surrounding it, we have the opportunity to connect to life, creation, birth, death and the transformation of patterns.
In the ritual and actuality of the practice of the Metamorphic Technique we have the opportunity to connect to life, creation, birth, death, and the transformation of patterns too.
The ancient rituals surrounding menses were there to remind us of its power and significance, and to give time-out for the woman to be in a/her sacred space.
The ritual and living practice of the Metamorphic Technique gives us time-out (Ha! Ha! Literally out of time!) for the life that we are to breathe more deeply into our form.