I had a big birthday recently.
Yep. Half a century.
Of course countless women have preceded me in this. And countless will follow. But still it felt really big. Not because I was resisting getting older, or mourning my youth, or anything like that. It just felt like something was shifting and I wanted to embrace the turning of this age in a healthy, positive way.
We have so few rituals for life transitions in our society. I wanted this milestone to be acknowledged and honored and celebrated with ritual – somehow, but I didn’t know how or what. I just knew that I wanted something, some way to acknowledge this new phase of life I am moving into.
So I called on my friend Kari Tauring and asked her to lead me through a ceremony on my actual birthday. She said, “You are moving into your Queen years. We will celebrate that.”
Wow. Yes. Perfect. She nailed it. (Of course, she knows I’m into divine feminine archetypes.)
In planning the ceremony, she suggested we also look at the other archetypal phases of a woman’s life. Some call this the maiden-mother-crone trilogy. But those labels don’t work for me for various reasons, including that they don’t address the phase of life that I am moving into now.
So we came up with these archetypes instead:
- The Innocent (child)
- Adolescent/Young Adult
In preparation for Kari’s arrival I did something I have never done. I pulled out all of my SoulCollage® cards, every single one of them. I had them spread all around the living room.
Then I took the ones that represented the phases of my life, and laid them out chronologically. Seeing how I had visually represented myself throughout my life, all these different energies together, was amazing and very powerful. It also showed me where I had gaps, those areas that weren’t well represented and maybe needed a little more attention.
Of course embracing one phase of life doesn’t mean that the others are done, or ignored, and Kari knew that and incorporated it into the ceremony.
We created an altar with the most relevant cards for each archetype. Then each one got a name, a flower representing her, a vessel, a food offering and a scarf or shawl to use ceremonially.
Kari then led me through a horn ceremony. We honored the Innocent, the Adolescent, and the Wife/Mother by listening to what she has to say: her wounds, her wisdom, and her unfinished business. We honored the initiations she had gone through that hadn’t been celebrated. We made a promise, a vow, to each one. We paid special attention to Queen, and the Crone was the receiver of all of this. We made offerings and had a little feast.
A few weeks later I had an Ayurvedic massage. If you’ve ever had an Ayurvedic massage, you will know that they use about a gallon of oil. I felt anointed!
Since the ceremony I’ve kept my “Queen” SoulCollage® card sitting out on my dresser. It’s a reminder that I am growing into this phase and also about my vows to the previous phases of my life. And sometimes, when the urge strikes or I feel particularly stuck, I’ll put on my tiara (yes, I now have one!) and ask “What would the Queen do?”
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