Nine Passages


BIRTH Sloan at birth PASSAGE

Speaking symbolically, we are born in the East on the Life Spiral, like a newborn sun where day begins. At the moment of birth, a baby comes through the womb portal and greets her soul just arriving from the stars. What a Passage, perhaps the most dramatic of all. Welcome, welcome, baby has been through a tremendous ordeal. Mother has too, what a holy moment for celebration, this time shortly after birth. Watch for her second birth when this baby reaches nine months old, mythology calls this the second birth because new levels of awareness appear every day and baby becomes wholly a member of the Earth family. Then, her 3000 days of early childhood ~snapshot~  so much happens in these first 8 years—she crawls, talks, walks, teeth grow in, teeth fall out, first bike, first school—then one day a ceremony transforms your little girl to her big girl stage. Most important are the foundation stones of these years.


snakeOn many days, a girl’s genius will peek out from your protective shields and she begins to discover a depth of passion for her natural gifts. At the crucial moment when she seems different and asks for more responsibility, wrap her up in a community Rites of Passage ceremony. Read more about this Passage here, Middle Child Rites or in the Kindle book: Girls Ceremonies of Nine Passages.

These are the best years! Do you remember being 8 or 9, 10 or 11? An emergence stage, body-mind-soul enter a synchronization and big girls feel magical, mystical, and filled with fantasy. Allow her to express everything, this is so important; take care not to hush her, the culture will do that. Her relationship with all of Nature and with her core identity deepens, so the world becomes hers alone. The treasure of these years will forever support the woman she will become. She will want more freedoms so negotiate using your own memory of your adventurous, expansive spirit.


All too soon, puberty begins to show. The hormones that entered her blood stream at age 8, kick-in fully at age 12 or 13. I still hope for age 13 before her blood arrives. Her breasts emerge and she’s alarmed about little hairs on her pubic bone. Quiet her fears with information and ritual instruction. Teach her to watch the moon, make a big deal out of her menses, her Moontime, first, second, third, every time.

Training about ritual and ceremony begins before, during, and after her first Moontime. She gets three days every month to be quiet. If she is bleeding with you, Mother, model this quiet, holy time for Women’s Ways. Practice letting go, become more of her confidant than her protector. Teen years provide opportunities to unify her masculine with her feminine. We live in a blended and harmonious world. She wants to know everything so she can pretend to know everything and she wants to know all about you. This seems to last only a moment; then she she will almost wink at you while she chooses opposite to be different as she individuates. This Passage is detailed in the First Blood—Coming of Age, here or in the forthcoming Kindle book: Girls Ceremonies of Nine Passages.


What does she need from you and from mentors, aunties and grandmas before she leaves home? I fill in the blanks on what I wish I had received, but what is true for her? Rigorous trainings provide the discipline to give her inner core confidence a fiery passion. She learns that Mastery needs 10,000 hours to fully develop one of her major gifts. By your side, she discovers generosity in her spirit and how to use her gifts to enrich the cultural layers of  her family and community. Because she gains this practice while you supply the safety of her home nest, that experience and her hard won inner discipline will take her far. Surround her with a ritual weekend or a week; invite all the women who held her for these years of early development. Surrounding her with those in relationship who help you teach her about Women’s Ways, this Passage ceremony serves as a Lightning Rod that will continue to inspire and ground her on her own. Trust that she will blossom under the tutelage of new mentors, then let go—entirely—or as much as you can. First Flight Passage is in development, look for it in the new year.


On a date near ages 28 to 30 the Saturn Return in her astrological birth chart causes a shift because Saturn acts like a cosmic threshold whose influence is powerfully felt. A woman exhales all of the lessons of her first decade out of the home nest. Sometimes a ritual of extended length will coalesce this shift, especially if she feels any psychic woundings need more personal attention. I will always recommend the forthcoming Fieldguide to Passages to women in their Bloom who feel stirred to explore their soul’s purpose, of course with an Elder woman along as a Grounding Force. This ritual will bundle the first third of a woman’s life and realign SELF with her inner genius and natural gifts. A thorough review of the Child and Adolescent years of one’s Life Spiral will reveal great and forgotten riches. The culmination of this review, will correct the course for adult adventures ahead leading to the Middle Adulthood deepening. Women friends need to be alerted to this journey so at the end and beyond, she will find support needed as her second pair of wings emerge. Mother, because your daughter is all dialed into her life, living her purpose, clear and powerful, you can smile, please do. This Passage ritual will be elegant and full. Look forward to my writings about this stage.


Has the Dream of your life been knocking on inner doorways, seeking a way out or a renewal? We each have a Destiny that arrived at Birth in the form of this Dream. Perhaps you’ve perfected a stride or a groove through healthy choices so your inner assessment easily creates a conscious DEEPENING. In Angeles Arrien’s The Second Half of Life I learned much more about this stage after I had already moved through it. If you have worn through your groove, close attention to this Passage for Deepening Womanhood may avert a CRISIS which may be guided by your agreement with suffering. You choose. We are going to live long. Give yourself a spiritual boost if your nest is empty: allow wonderment to reappear. Spend as much time as you need to remember and sit with the Dream of your life, then gather sisters and relations and honor yourself in ceremony. There is much good to do—together and one through the other—bringing Women’s Ways to all your relationships. Around our women’s circles we see only teachers, teach one another! Utilize expertise close to home, at this age, we are so abundant. In this River of Life, we have so many more seasons to enrich ourselves and those we love.

ELDER: ENCOREelder encore

The heart of the Elder, born in puberty, finally blossoms. Although all the Boomers are now Elders, few completely embrace this stage. There is an Encore waiting in each one of us. What will yours be? Every Elder woman is so very beautiful and young at heart, but the wrinkles and the sagging breasts might bother her confidence. It’s time for the ceremonial ritual that will invite this Encore. Look inside to the fire in your core, you may need to fan the flames. What must you do before you die? Must, must! Consider the mentor’s mantle created so long ago, bring that into the circle to support all the younger women helping the girls. Dears, this is where I find my comfort now and I feel life source enough to move through this one and the two stages still ahead. As with other pieces of writing in the works, look forward to this new year when I publish my personal journey from midlife to the true elder emergence.


If you look back to my symbols, you will see that this Spiritual Elder rebundles her life as mind-body-spirit into three piles. Only when she feels good and ready, absorbing all of the riches of a life well lived, well loved and spiritually guided, she begins to let go of the things she loves. One by one, the inclination or the capacity leaves as she discovers how truly shiny her facets were. All that multitasking complete now, the final releasing devoted to loved ones. We hope these two steps, the bundling and the letting go are filled with grace and ease.

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I have embraced and carefully, lovingly watched Elders during their days leading up to the next great journey and held them while they crossed. Great stories move across this last threshold taking a whole life along. Nelson Mandela’s people showed us chanting, dancing and gathering in throngs. I pray for such a celebration of every great life. Death happens on a timing not of our choosing; we all hope this last event happens with a great crescendo! Find Death in the center following all though one’s life!


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