Excerpt from ~
Waves of Chaos, Fires of Change
Author: Roslyne Sophia Breillat
Menopause is a burning fire of transformation bequeathing infinite gifts of change. And for many women this powerful initiation creates much upheaval as the female spirit prepares to birth her deepening wisdom and maturity. Uncomfortable disharmony frequently erupts during this transitional journey into peaceful detachment and powerful wisdom.
Each woman’s experience is uniquely individual when she crosses this threshold into the unknown. She may feel as if she is losing all sense of familiarity with her body as it suddenly manifests tumultuous physical, psychological and emotional symptoms. The powerful intensity of this important pilgrimage requires courageous openness and sensitive honoring, for its awesome power cannot be ignored without living a life of compromise.
The woman who is journeying through menopause is learning to listen more profoundly to her body. She is also learning to slow down and nurture herself with awareness, caring and patience.
Through consciously aligning with her body’s ever-changing rhythm, she can ride these waves of upheaval and change towards more harmonious shores. Through being present with each moment of her menopausal phase, she will experience new facets of femaleness that will enable her to receive the abundant riches of her awakening wisdom. And she will experience an expansion of the feminine spirit that will enable her to enjoy the joyous freedom of true female power.
Many women are physically and emotionally exhausted as they reach this important climacteric. If they have given heart and soul to career, mothering or relationships without receiving sufficient nourishment, this phase becomes a wise and loving teacher in the wise and sensitive art of nurturing the feminine spirit.
Menopause is an important time for a woman to deepen her trust in her instinctive inner guidance. For heeding her body’s wisdom and her physical and emotional needs will prevent her from carelessly giving her power and authority away to others. Through opening more fully to her intuitive insight, she will learn to align with the exquisite silence that peacefully abides beneath any instability she is experiencing. And she will become more surrendered to her true purpose in life.
After emptying, filling and replenishing for many months and many years with the phases of the moon, her body is now rapidly changing. These subtle yet profound changes are often felt as dramatic, disorienting, disturbing and erratic. And like her beloved Mother Earth, her cyclic transformations are birthed through chaotic upheaval.
Experiences of intense emotional, physical or psychological chaos can be minimized through simplifying her outer life as much as possible. She will eventually become aware of the stillness that rests beneath disharmony and the tranquility that rests beneath disequilibrium.
Eliminating everything unnecessary from her life will give her more quietness, space and solitude for integrating this powerful flow of tumultuous inner changes. She now needs calm and centered awareness for receptively tuning in to the potent messages of her body’s strange new symptoms. Her regular sleeping patterns are frequently disrupted as intense physical sensations call her home to that vast deep space of immortal female wisdom.
This transforming process is often felt as a chaotic roller coaster ride that will eventually bring gentle serenity and grace-filled maturity. The modern world of instant fixes, instant sex and instant gratification thinks that menopause begins and ends when a woman experiences her last menstruation. But the powerful inner rebirth of the menopausal transition can last between seven and ten years.
For some women it lasts much longer than this. For its enriching lessons, its profound healing and its wise gifts run as deep as the river of life. And they require alignment with the slow and silent rhythm of the timeless to feel, to experience, to integrate.
Any woman who claims to experience nothing during her menopausal years is a woman who is in denial of her wisdom. And such a woman is not in tune with the ever-changing cycles of her feminine body and the empowering ways of her feminine essence.
The menopausal womb is relentless in its desire to release the past. It powerfully brings residual tensions and long-buried emotions to the light for healing. Many women experience heightened cellular memories and vivid dreams as past trauma is released during this phase. These suppressed memories are often deeply sexual, painfully raw and intimately real. And as they dissolve, they create a new space of clarity that will bestow vibrant passion, joyful aliveness and enhanced creativity.
The impersonal wisdom of the crone does not wish to journey with the baggage of her past. Her purpose now is to annihilate, let go, purge and purify. For she delights in releasing all that will not serve the harmonious flow of her new life.
This phase of female transformation is for shedding cluttered possessions, unreal dreams and impossible ideals. It is for relinquishing behavioral patterns, dishonoring lovers and dysfunctional relationships that are not aligned with the wise ways of the crone. And it is for dying to superficial situations that do not enhance the unfolding of true female power. As the creative weaver of wisdom, she cannot integrate these into her rich tapestry of new beginnings, her colorful fabric of life.
This is not a time for rigid structures and driven ambitions, for she no longer has any need to prove herself to the ways of the masculine world. Her primal wildness and instinctual passion are beginning to stir more deeply, opening her womb’s wisdom as it has never opened before.
She is being prepared for living from a wise inner place that rests far beyond deadening layers of discordant thoughts, attachments and feelings. She is diving into a cauldron of fire, a cauldron of flames, a cauldron of transformation. And like the mythical phoenix, she will soon arise, gloriously reborn from the ashes.
She is now being guided silently through her alchemical journey of truth, as the wisdom of her heart leads her through unfamiliar waters. This twilight phase can create fear in a woman, particularly if she identifies with her outer worldly roles as being the truth of who she is. This awesome pilgrimage frequently embodies a lone crossing of the vast barren desert. And it frequently demands a retreat of solitude into the dark night of the soul. For she cannot reap the glorious bounty of her menopausal transition unless she completely surrenders to the silent calling of its inner voice and the spiritual power of its wise wild spirit.
There will be no more babies birthed from her womb. There will be no more rich menstrual blood flowing with the moon. There will be no more pregnancies. There will be no more fears or joys of conception. A deeper seed is now being sown in preparation for her forthcoming fruitful harvest of wisdom and freedom. Finally, she envisages harmony upon the horizon. And finally her inner desert flower blooms with vibrant colors, emanating the subtle yet rich fragrance of mellowing peace, grace and maturity.
Contemporary civilization treats menopause as the death of the female spirit. Such lack of true sensitivity and knowledge of this important climacteric is conceived in ignorance. And such judgements of the menopausal woman can create distortion and disharmony in a woman’s psyche during her journey into wisdom.
Through the changes that take place now, the profound integrity of her feminine essence is preparing her to live with more aliveness and clarity. Our modern world rarely honors the graceful serenity of the mature woman. Nor does it support the truth that real femininity does not die with the childbearing years. The female essence is vast and immortal. It does not suddenly disappear as the body experiences menopausal changes.
Eventually, the dark night of the soul brings the dawning of a new peace, freedom and harmony. If a woman is conscious, present and open during this transformation, She, the timeless custodian of love and guardian of female mystery, comes forth as the wise Goddess unveiled.
Menopause bestows the opportunity for a woman to sink more deeply into the silent darkness and stillness that is her inherent nature. If she is used to filling this empty space with excessive busyness she may experience fear and distrust of her body’s knowing and its sensual calling into wisdom. This space is the infinite profundity of her womb-consciousness. It is symbolic of the earth’s moist richness. It is the depth of love and it is the darkness of the night. It is where she finds solace and peace. It is her true home.
It is important that she heeds the tender calling from this wise and powerful keeper of life’s mysteries. Through listening receptively to the profound changes of her inner rhythm, she will find harmony beneath the upheaval. The Goddess of wisdom resides eternally within every woman’s psyche, waiting to come forth and shine through her menopausal transition. She glows with a radiant inner beauty that is only ever borne upon the winds of change.
The original female sage was wise in the spiritual art of healing, midwifery and sexual love. She guided couples in the power of tantric lovemaking and initiated young women during their flowering of menarche.
In ancient Greece, this mature aspect of woman was known as Sophia, the wise spirit who represents God’s female soul. She was also known as Mother of All, the Dark Goddess of waning moon and night sky. Worshipped at midnight, the full title of this “Most Lovely One” and patroness of midwives was Hebe the Virgin, Hera the Mother and Hecate the Crone.
She was also named Maat, a word linked with the womb and the underworld, and Isis, the “Giver of Life” and “One Who is All”. Her mysterious underworld is her womb of wisdom, her Holy Grail of love, her wise heart of truth. And when her womb ceases bleeding with lunar cycles, her loving wisdom flows ever deeper with the feminine rhythm of the moon.
Unlike Western civilization, tribal cultures have no word for menopause. For the indigenous woman, this is a simple flowing process where she naturally and graciously becomes an elder. During the latter phase of her life she is revered for her knowledge, wisdom and experience.
She does not endure the disharmony of “civilized” menopausal women for she already knows who she is. She has not grown up in a society that fears femaleness, intimacy, honesty, sexuality, truth, love, aging and death. And she lives in a culture where all are one with the rhythms, the seasons and the wisdom of earth.
Emanating a serene inner dignity, she is treated by others with honor and respect. Her wise advice is always sought after for matters of importance. No request of the elder woman is ever refused by others in her tribe. In the Native American Indian tradition she is the Old Spider Woman who tends the fires of life and weaves the fabric of interconnection between all.
Many ancient civilizations contained a council of older woman who met beneath the glow of the moon. For the feminine psyche’s affinity with the sensitive power of lunar cycles was long regarded as an important facet of her mystical wisdom.
As a woman’s menopausal pilgrimage unfolds, her womb may release loss and grief, for the letting go runs deep at this time. Through this heightened phase of cellular memory, she may re-experience the same fears, doubts or joys that she knew upon the threshold of her first menstruation. The balancing movements of her body’s natural rhythms during menarche and menopause flow as one. For there is an intrinsic connection between these powerful transformations of beginning and ending, of ebbing and flowing, of awakening and deepening.
She is now completing a long cycle of having an intimate relationship with her body as a menstruating woman. Her body does not simply cease bleeding. This important climacteric deeply affects her on all levels. For menopause when lived consciously is a psycho-spiritual disintegration that creates profound spiritual and emotional change. She often feels very tired during the birthing of these changes as her body burns much physical energy in the wild fires of her inner transformation.
She will usually find that being released from the monthly ebbs and flows of her menstrual cycle eventually creates more energy. If her mother was not in touch with her own body and with her intuitive wisdom, she will also shed inhibitions and insecurities that she has absorbed from her and from other females in her family. She will often discover that her emotional attitudes, doubts and fears of her real female power have been absorbed from her parents, her grandparents, her great grandparents.
Menopause is a powerful time for shedding all she has imbibed that is not aligned with the depth of her female wisdom and the truth of her female essence. And menopause is an important time for uniting with the real and vital essence of her true beauty and the inherent purity of her wise instincts. The vast and integral wisdom of menopause spills forth from a creative wellspring of impersonal femaleness. And it bestows an abundant flowering of her uniqueness and her intrinsic purpose as a woman of this earth.
During her menopausal phase, a woman frequently experiences a profound death of the ways she has previously wholeheartedly embraced. There is a sudden knowing that she can never go back. An inner gathering and culmination takes place, where all her previous experiences are integrated within. The love, joy and suffering she has previously experienced merge with a deepening wisdom. An intimate evaluation of her former life takes place, creating much transformation and healing.
The potential to connect energetically with her body as a beautiful sacred temple can be very real for her at this time. Through giving birth to her uniqueness in a revolutionary new way, she now receives the opportunity to become free of society’s untruths about woman and its untruths about aging.
True wisdom is contained within the awareness that life and death walk together in perfect harmony. As her sacred inner knowing reveals to her the beginning of new life, she can truly use this gestation period as a preparation for birthing the new. Her body knows what it is doing, and developing loving communion with it will create true feminine empowerment and humility.
During menopause there is usually a phase with no sense of outer direction, while the source of her creative energy ignites her inner fires of change. From this place of deepening union, she can now move from the darkness into the light of new life.
Like her tribal sisters, the modern woman can learn to flow with the natural rhythm of her body and with the spiraling cycles of the earth. Through intuitive sensing and deepening stillness, she will unite with a calm and steady power. Menopause is traditionally a time of retreat, assimilation, solitude, contemplation, release and healing.
Through sensitively attuning her inner focus, she creates harmony. Her arising wisdom awakens from the intimate source of her inner being and from the infinite mystery of her womb consciousness. Menopause is not an illness. It is a profound transformation fueled by the inner fire of her passion and the deep wellspring of her feminine essence. Any disharmony that she may feel will potentially bring harmony.
Through truly honoring this rite of passage, she is honoring her life on earth as a woman. She is then able to unite with the stillness, detachment and gentle inner strength of true maturity. This is a sacred time of sensitivity, waiting, courage and patience, as she learns to drink deeply from her well of wisdom. Her inner life is worthy of her reverence and attention, for in this dark unfamiliar space of unknowing, she finds her love, truth and power.
The menopausal years have a way of ruthlessly revealing to a woman where she is not open to the awesome changes flowing through her body at this time. She will often experience overwhelming depression and an inexplicable sense of soul loss during this powerful transition. This occurs when she suddenly realizes that her outer circumstances do not support her creative talents or reflect her inner truth.
If she has suppressed her joy, her love, her creativity in favor of living through a false outer persona, her life will become disrupted until she is willing to embrace a deeper sense of purpose. If she is attached to rational ideas and intellectual pursuits, she will experience inner chaos until she surrenders to the rich abundance of her spiritual nature.
When a woman fully surrenders to her menopausal fires of change, her psyche becomes more expansive. She becomes inwardly stronger, infinitely more powerful and courageously more confident in the ways of the world. She emanates a deepening awareness and a more restful way of being. She moves and speaks with a sense of fluidity, with a sense of freedom, with a sense of grace. And she embodies the wealth of real wisdom and the richness of true power.
Menopause takes all force from her, creating an honored place for the calmness, serenity and profundity of her wise inner muse. She then emanates a delicious joy that is beyond age and beyond any false concepts she has absorbed that deny her the radiance and glory of her true nature.
After courageously moving through disequilibrium and chaos, she rests more contentedly in her being. Her psychological death potentially activates the impersonal power of the ancient priestess and the deep serenity of the wise sage. The sacredness of her inner knowing reveals the expansive freedom of a new phase of life. She has softened, opened, mellowed, ripened, deepened.
Enriched by the fire of her menopausal transformation, she now feels at ease with the tides of change. She can now live as Mother of All, as Mother of Earth, serving others from a place of impersonal love, renewed vitality and deepening power. After completing this profound transition, she will never be the same woman again. She has reached a place of inner harmony. She has changed.