Guidance by ritual
Transitional rites (rite the passage)
In ancient times, transitions in a woman's life were marked by celebrating rites of passage. These ceremonies were performed by the women of the tribe / family. We do not know exactly which rites were in Europe, but one should think of the following occasions:
- Birth and death
- The menarche
- The pregnancy
- The birth of the child
- The wedding and the night before the wedding
- The first sexual intercourse
Foto gemaakt in Vikingcenter Ribe, Denemarken
In addition, they celebrated seasonal celebrations in order to go with the cycle of nature and to honor the gods. In our Western culture and in particular with the rise of paganism, the emphasis is (again) very much placed on male deities and thus on male aspects within these nature religions. The other side of the stories, the stories besides the heroism of the men of the Norwegian sagas, the prestige of King Arthur, the knighthood, and the portraits of scary stepmothers and witches in our surviving fairy tales of yesteryear, are not told. The aspect of the divine feminine and its (initiative) traditions, which have been passed on orally through stories and fairy tales, has almost been lost. Today we try to breathe new life into them and with the help of Marija Gimbutas, Annine van der Meer, Karin Haanappel and many others, Herstory, HER history, becomes visible again. Partly thanks to the work of them and my own research, we can also illuminate the feminine side of the seasonal celebrations and the female goddesses of our regions.
What do these kinds of ceremonies look like and what can I do for you?
A ceremony for a girl's first menstruation, during which she becomes a woman, may look like this;
The ceremony lasts a full day or afternoon, inviting people who are close to the girl, such as her mother, her aunts or friends, or the family who are closely involved in education or the girl in general. If they want it and the girl wants this too, a group of women can be chosen in consultation to participate in the ceremony. This day is celebrated either outside or in a beautiful environment, which is for example covered with red fabric and decorated with red cushions, because red is the color of the blood and the fertile period of the woman. You can sing, eat well, the girl can be pampered by massaging her, dressing her nicely, using scents, putting on make-up and doing her hair. A small sacrifice can be made in which the girl offers something that symbolizes her childhood and thus says goodbye ritual. She can walk through a gate of flowers or a rose hedge to confirm her transition to being a woman. She can then be reverently received by the rest of the women when she has come through here to welcome her into the adult women's group and tell her that in all her womanhood she will be helped and supported by the other women.
The above is of course only an example. Everything is possible and in consultation with you and the girl herself an unforgettable, festive day can be put together, in which the transition between the phases of being a woman is consciously considered. I use traditional symbols of the divine feminine and all its faces from these regions. What is absolutely beautiful is if a traditional family piece or subject can be intertwined in the ceremony so that the line continues from parents to children and from children to the descendants.
Image of the Great Mother with red ocher, which symbolizes the life force
Rituals around death
In 2015 I completed the training as a Death Doula from Linda Wormhoudt. The rituals surrounding the dying, the deceased and the surviving relatives have a special place in my heart and have traditionally been a typical women's affair. Women are deeply involved in new life and death and I, too, especially with the end of life, feel a need to support this transition. Certainly because there is still much progress to be made within our Western society that is struggling with this phase.
Death is still a big taboo in our regions. Western man is focused on life, beauty, fertility, action and vitality. They prefer to keep it until the end of time. Old age is not a phase that is recognized, the wisdom of the ancestors and the elderly is forgotten, and death is often very definitive in contemporary European man.
During my training as a Mourning Woman, and during my training as an Applied Psychologist, I learned how to shape rituals around dying in order to give voice and shape to that which is often hidden, hidden under benches and what is difficult. to deal with - emotionally and mentally. As a Mourning Woman, I am committed to making this transition as smooth as possible and to support the relatives in a more emotional and spiritual way by using rituals and ceremony, using the symbolism that the people involved are familiar with and the ancient customs around to die. In this way emotions are framed, which gives structure and support to the dying process of the dying self and the grieving process of the next of kin.
Send me an e-mail if you are interested in one of these services, then I can work with you to see how we can best shape or support the ceremony, the seasonal celebration, the rite of passage or the final stage of life. For more information about the role of the female in dying, please visit the blog section of this website.