It was an honour to assist my niece ‘C’ with the celebration and blessing for her first menses. We were able to do the ritual during the night of the Winter Solstice, it was the perfect way to mark the end of the deep sleep and the beginning of the sun’s return, and a new phase of life.
I did much research in the development of this ritual, and found great inspiration from Ksenija Soster-Olmer and my own intuition and experience. The ritual is broken down into 4 parts:
- Invite the Initiate to cross the threshold from girl to maiden.
- Introduction to the elements &request their blessing/guidance in her life.
- Provide your own blessings to the maiden.
- Provide a gift marking this new phase of her journey.
Our evening was quite and intimate consisting of myself (her Auntie) and her Maternal Grandmother (my mother). I place this under Moon Rites for obvious reasons 🙂 …. Blessed be. PS: I do not take photos during a ritual, but I will ‘reproduce’ the ritual above and others within this site to assist as time permits.
THE MAKING OF A MENARCHE RITUAL
THE THRESHOLD CEREMONY:
first question: “Who approaches this threshold?”
Second question: “Are you ready to leave behind your childhood, as you become a Maiden?”
Third question: (hand her a framed photo of both of you together when she was a little girl and ask her),
“Do you sacrifice the girl you were for the maiden you are to be as you enter this new phase of your life?”
Once the questions are answered, embrace the maiden and welcome her to her new journey:
“Welcome, Maiden, on the path to Womanhood,”
Place rose garland on her head.
THE ELEMENTAL BLESSING:
From the elements all things on earth are formed, grow and to the elements they return.
May they bless you on this passage with their strength and gifts:
Place hands over each item as you recite elemental blessing: I give thanks…..
Explain to maiden that we must honour the elements first before seeking blessings.
Lightly brush the feather over her, and then touch it to her forehead say this or similar:
“Air is wisdom and common-sense. May your actions always be guided by these. Do not follow, lead on your own path.”
Circling her head with the candle, I said,
“Fire is willpower and protection. May you always believe in yourself, and be true to that person. Have the conviction/strength to know your worth, and not bend to another’s will.
Use shell to sprinkle water on her, and say,
“Water is intuition and emotions – trust yourself and know that you never have to prove your love to anyone in anyway.
Place the crystal in her hand and say:
“ Earth Is prosperity and family. May you know the different ways life can make you rich, and remember always that family is the greatest of these.
May the Goddess protected you and guide you in all phases of your life. Look to her, know her, for she is you.
(light the candle in the triple holder with the maiden)
YOUR BLESSINGS FOR THE INITIATE:
IN small cups/offering vessels have honey, salt, a red or black juice, and 4 pieces of strawberry.
Use one piece of the strawberry dip it in the honey and place it on her tongue saying:
“To taste the sweetness of life.”
use a second strawberry and dip it in the salt, place it on her tongue saying:
“To remember the sorrows it can bring.”
Use a third strawberry and dip it in both, place it on her tongue saying:
“May you always find the balance.”
Offer her the last strawberry saying:
“May you never hunger,”
Offer her a drink of black currant (or other dark red/black) juice,
“May you never thirst.”
Return the photo of both of you together saying:
“May the Maiden you are now, and the future woman you will become,
never forget, nor lose the precious little girl inside you.
Keep this as a symbol of your childhood and my love for you.”
Navajo puberty poem:
Watch over me. Hold your hand before me in protection. Stand guard for me, speak in defense of me. As I speak for you, so do ye. As you speak for me, thus shall I do. May it be beautiful before me. May it be beautiful behind me. May it be beautiful below me. May it be beautiful above me. May it be beautiful around me.
Inside, wrapped in many layers of red tissue paper, lay a smaller box which represents the womb Within are two gifts: A triple-phase moonstone pendant, and a Triple Goddess ‘candle holder’ statue. The candleholder is her life path and will be used to give ritual to the 3 main phases of her life.
- Maiden: Beginning of Menses
- Mother: Birth, of child/ren or conception of an important job, venture.
- Crone: Start of Menopause
When you need us, the mothers and crone are always beside you, in spirit, and during your earth walk. And when the time comes to announce you have conceived, be it a child or a ‘calling’ like mine, and then the final passage of a woman into menopause (many moons from now), these gifts of ritual will be called upon again. For now, keep them safe within this ‘womb’ of the earth. (Pass the statue to each woman in their various stages of the Goddess on earth, and allow them to share their wisdom with the initiate.)
Ask the Maiden (Christian by birth): “Do you have room for both your God and me and my Goddess within your life?”
In response to a yes, place pendant on maiden and say: “May you always find the balance.”
Inspired by Cassidy and the webstory by Ksenija Soster-Olmer
– edited for intent by Shakti Shaman (Auntie Kayla) for Cassidy –