Laurel Alexander (from Women’s Wisdom: Natural Wellness Strategies for the Menopause Years published by Findhorn Press)
The Dark Goddess stirs her coils in the blackness of the deepest dark and sends forth her handmaiden, the Wise Woman, to walk with all women on their journey of Change. This is what the Wise Woman whispers in your heart: There you are, being in the community, caring for others, indulging in hobbies and crafts, laughing and crying with friends, engaging in domesticity, earning money to keep hearth and home together, moving with the ups and downs of life, ebbing and flowing on the tide of Doing.
You notice a change in your behavior or mindset. Something happens to make you look again. Your spiritual center of gravity is shifting out of the familiar to shadowy realms. What has always worked no longer seems to work as well. The nourishment from personal interactions seems unfulfilling. Activities that once fired you with passion are beginning to leave you arid and dry. Your life no longer nourishes you. You are missing a sense of connection. It may be an emotional quagmire, a practical challenge, a cognitive mish-mash, or a spiritual crisis. Destiny is calling you. You are moonstruck woman. This is the time of dark blood – the time of menopause.
You feel pinpricks of fear. What is this? What is happening? What is life about for you if this or that, him or her, no longer seem to give meaning to your life? There is fragmentation, as parts of your life seem to fall away. There is a desire to run into the past and hide behind memories of the familiar. You pretend all is well as your inner landscape shifts beneath the feet of your daily life.
You pretend to hold things together to avoid falling into some kind of spiritual abyss. You lean on psychological and physical compulsions. You ignore the call, throwing yourself into a frenzy of activities that hold little meaning in their illusion of safety as you slip towards the unknown.
All is the same. ALL IS WELL. If you shout loud enough, you believe you can drown out the voices, the fear and the loneliness as you move into what seems to be permanent night. Your distress is the beginning of your journey back to Self through the landscape of menopause.
I am your Wise Woman, your internal teacher. I will guide you through this transformative journey, as you begin to seek the knowledge that is within you. I will be present in your deepest despair. I will nurture you in the dark, as you descend into the shadow of your psyche. I will connect you to the awakening of your power and your creative fire.
As you walk through this symbolic inner world, you will interact with others in your daily life, both people you know and people you don’t know, who can help you face the unknown. Day by day, you move towards your first rite of passage. You meet the symbolic guardians of your inner dimensions. They will try to prevent your entry to the realms of self-discovery. At work or in your private life, these guardians will appear as well-meaning people who press your buttons of self-doubt. You will face them with courage and pass through the inner gate, a mindset activity, which may be reflected in the outside world through changing life circumstances. You have committed yourself to finding out your authentic nature and what your life needs to be. Crossing the threshold is your first step into the sacred realm of the Dark Goddess, which will take you to the source of all mysteries. I, your Wise Woman, will teach you how to experience yourself profoundly, how to be creative, assertive, intuitive, and sexual. You will face tests in your life, meeting foes and trusted companions along the road.
In a symbolic sense, you are journeying deep into the forest to regain your power and wholeness. The country you travel through is hazardous, dark, and filled with the unknown. You may experience work challenges, health issues, family difficulties, limited finances, and a loss of purpose or relationship problems. How you relate to yourself and express your potential will change. New people will cross your path, and you will be exposed to fresh ideas. You will renew your relationship with nature and the subtle dimensions of mind and spirit. With each new difficulty you embrace, you will develop inner strength, greater knowledge, and increased power for what lies ahead. You will collect more support from companions who will be useful in your purpose as you approach the most dangerous place of all, the innermost cavern of your being. Deeper into the forest and down into the underworld you travel.
Here is the nucleus of your journey, the inner sanctum of the Dark Goddess. You are approaching a time for solitude in this inner realm. You find your nemesis in the uterine-like cave where the Dark Goddess resides. The Dark Goddess is the symbolic initiator of menopause. She lives at your core. She is the midwife of your soul. She will guide you into a new way of living through a symbolic rebirth. She will move you through the cauldron of destruction of all that you no longer need to a place of authentic clarity.
You may become aware of soul loss during the menopause years, a feeling of disassociation and joylessness. Within this womb-like cave, you need to listen and learn before you can find the misplaced part of your soul, your treasure of knowledge and self-discovery. You will feel confused, grief-stricken, despairing, lonely, and angry. The darkness within the symbolic winter earth chills you to your core. Outside the cave, deep underground, you can hear the distant roar of volcanic activity as life continues to teem and foment with passion. As you walk through your spiral of transformation, now is the time to probe the mysteries of decay and regeneration. You will feel raw and vulnerable as you plunge to your core of truth. What roles are you hiding behind in your life?
Have your ambitions been yours or someone else’s? Are you selling your soul for the apparent kudos it might buy? To what extent have you bargained away your passion for what you think will bring you safety? Whose fears are you trying to placate by ignoring your own dreams? How do your self-deceptions manifest? There will be no comfort in the underworld as you hear and answer these questions.
As the moon grows to the deepest black and your bleeding slows, the Dark Goddess settles within your being. Instead of the menstrual flow, your dark blood of power is retained for creative use. The Dark Goddess is the destroyer of all that seeks to separate you from your essential nature. She demands that you clear out of your life all that is no longer essential, all that does not help you grow or help you fulfill your deepest needs.
You have turned within to know your mind with its enmeshment of thought and feeling, your body with its desires, and your spiritual needs. You have moved into your shadow depths to reclaim parts of yourself that have been lost. You have faced the supreme ordeal and confronted your greatest fears. You have undergone a symbolic life and death moment, the core challenge of your journey. The Dark Goddess is the High Priestess of Death and Regeneration. In the role of midwife, she has assisted in your rebirth to a new way of being. It is over, and the Dark Goddess blesses you and gives you the greatest treasure of all: your soul.
Symbolically, you wear nothing but the all-encompassing deepest purple cloak, which represents the gateway between matter and spirit, as you begin to take your true place in the reality of your daily living.
Nature is your balm. Your spirit is fed by the earth. A stream that begins from deep within the earth’s core releases its coolness into the cave and beyond. It will lead you out of the underworld to the land above with soul intact and in a transformed state. Now you need to bring yourself back to your daily life. Be aware. Old shadows murmur their seductive ways. Worn ideas and meaningless ways of doing things whisper their call to you.
But you have changed. A spiritual alchemy has taken place within you. You need to learn new ways of being and doing as you return from the underworld to your new life above. The old ways no longer work. You will experience a testing of your new powers as your soul takes rebirth and emerges from the womb, a new creature.
You will need your body to be cleansed inside and out and recharged with positive energy. You will need a refocus of your outer life to reflect the inner changes. There is new joy, new meaning. There is knowledge of integration, personal power, and freedom.
You are the mistress of your own life. You engage in “creative doing,” because the desire to do so springs from your true nature.
These are the Wysecraft words for working with your menopause years:
Honor your instincts, and set your intentions;
Allow your relationships with others to deepen;
Create ritual in your life;
Stretch your vision, and express your core energy in life;
Have trust in yourself;
Trust yourself to be alone and to restore yourself;
Become aware of your energy shifts (physical, psychological, and subtle);
Don’t allow others to drain or live off your energy;
Free yourself from harmful beliefs;
Don’t live off others’ energy;
Transmute negative energy (yours and others);
Engage in creative self-expression.
I am your Wise Woman through the menopause years and beyond, until your physical body passes from this dimension of consciousness to the next. I will always walk by your side. May the blessing of the Dark Goddess be with you throughout all time.