The Rites of Passage

by Darshna Parmar

The-Three-Ages-Of-Woman

This picture was painted by Gustav Klimt named ‘The three ages of a woman’ . It reminded me of the Shamanic description of the rites of passage a woman has in her life, her beauty, essence and wisdom she portrays through her sexuality and fertility.

Maiden-birth to childhood

Mother- childbirth to menopause

Maga- menopause to retirement

Crone- retirement to death

In Klimts painting the Crone on the left represents the passage of time…his works were very symbolic of universal energy, barely understood during those times, but appreciated now for the symbolism with a spiritual tone.

Like the seasons come and go, as do we, in this human form. We evolve to fulfill our life purpose and the role we have carved for ourselves from birth. A woman’s birth is reflective of her mothers soul and the imprint marked for the beginnings of her journey till menarche when puberty arises and she becomes a woman through her pubescent innocence, she becomes fertile like season of spring and menstruation commences. She is transformed from girl to woman. Cultural and religious beliefs have a huge impact on a girls reference to her body and bleeding at this time. Most eastern traditions celebrate this wonderful transition. However these same cultures can also see this as derogatory, making it shameful leaving embedded marks on her consciousness.

From this her idea of her sexuality is formed an expression of her essence as a woman. carrying herself forward into the world marking her territory. The element which resides within her is Pitta, the fire of ambition, expression. Wanting to know herself and being accepted for who she is. This is rarely embraced in our cultures as it is seen as negative to be powerful, otherwise you wont find a husband! We are Doomed!!!

If only it was to be recognised as the fire of Shakti within to be transmuted to empower herself and others. For a woman is a  nurturer…she gives eternally, it is her nature.

She becomes a mother when inspired by the universe to emulate her self with her partner. A human reflection she can see, hold and nourish. She becomes more powerful as giving birth is the most powerful experience she will ever have. Another trans formative phase. Her creativity in full swing she may not have a child, but births in other ways to give universally and not just within the confines of a family unit.

The maga phase and cessation of menstruation shines a light, to gather all she has learnt and gather the wisdom to pass on to community through her teaching. Not the negative connotations of menopause. A woman seen to be dead, not valued as she is no longer fertile within the family and society. Its almost like there is nothing else to live for!

The crone then becomes the observer and smiles at all she has achieved and happy to retire and see’s the fruits of her wisdom and labour, like the winter phase of habitation.

If we embraced these phases in celebration of our lives as a woman. A true happiness with fulfillment would reign. Cultural diversity and joy.

Society needs to change its views so healthy consciousness can be birthed into our children! 

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