I was going through my book shelf the other day to see if I had some books that talk about the different phases of a woman’s life. You see, I’m in the process of preparing a presentation about this very topic, and the books I ordered haven’t come in yet. So, rather than sit around and wait, I felt sure that I had something on my shelf that might be helpful in the meantime. To my surprise, I found I had a number of books already. Books that I bought, read, and felt the need to save for future reference. What’s surprising to me is that I’ve been reading about the different aspects of a woman’s life for at least ten years without really being aware of where it was all heading.
Ten years ago, on my fiftieth birthday, my dance circle gave me a croning ceremony – a rite of passage from the Mother phase of my life, to the Wise Woman phase, or Crone. While we may think of a crone as a dried up old hag with nothing left to give, a crone is actually a woman who has compiled much wisdom throughout her life and is ready to impart that wisdom to the next generation of women. The only problem with this version of the triple goddess of Maiden, Mother, Crone – is that women live 20 years longer than in past generations. Because of this, many women feel that we move into the crone phase much too soon. This means that it’s necessary to create a fourth goddess to encompass this new viewpoint. But what should we call this fourth goddess? And what role would this goddess play?
THE TRIPLE GODDESS
The idea of the triple goddess is tied in with the cycles of the moon. The Maiden, or pre-menstrual young girl is associated with the Lunar cycle of the moon. The Mother, or full menstrual woman who is of child-bearing age, is associated with the full moon. And the Crone, is of course, tied to the waning moon, or post-menstrual woman. While I find it interesting that these phases of a woman’s life are tied in with the cycles of the moon, what I am more interested in is the phases themselves, and most particularly, the phase that has yet to be defined: that stage in a woman’s life where the children are gone and she is looking to redefine her role as a woman, and how she wants to fit into this new phase of life.
SEARCH FOR MEANING
I know when my 50 the birthday came around, I had been thinking for a long time about how I wanted the next phase of my life to look. I did not envision a life of decline waiting for the end to come. Far from it. I see myself having wisdom to impart, and energy to spare, to do whatever I want on this journey called life. In fact, I found myself looking for a deeper meaning to my existence. What did I still have to contribute to the world?
Women my age, sixty at this writing, have lived long enough to have learned a few things along the way. We’ve questioned the status quo and found it wanting. We have learned to quiet out mind and listen to the wisdom of the world. We are more in touch with our instinctual nature and have learned to trust it. We long for adventure and seek it together. We want to change what no longer works in our life. Together, we are a formidable force. So many of us want the same thing – to find meaning in our lives. And we’re happy to support each other in order to achieve our goal.
TRUST THE PROCESS
Based on the books I still have in my at home library, and the years I spent studying spirituality, it appears that I was already formulating my direction all those years ago. For, here I am today, talking and writing about the woman’s journey, and soon to be sharing my findings with other women. Not only through my book River of the Stick Wavers, but on my blog, and now I’m getting ready to share it with you face to face. And all because: We have a sense of a presence within us and beyond us that takes hold of what we release in the world, transforming it and creating powerful connections. Because that’s just what women do.
FEEL FREE TO BEGIN THE DIALOGUE:
What are your struggles? How do you move through these phases? Do you have a support system? Do you wonder what is possible for you? Do you have an inner censor that prevents you from trying new things?