by Susun S. Weed
The post-menopausal years
symbolically begin on the fourteenth new moon after your final menstruation.
(And continue, of course, for the rest of your life.) Hot flashes, aching
joints, heart disease, incontinence, vaginal atrophy, and broken hips may
diminish the quality and quantity of these years. Use of Wise Woman ways
in the post-menopausal years can halt and reverse osteoporosis (the bones
accept calcium once again), keep estrogen- and progesterone-sensitive tissues
in the vagina and bladder from weakening and drying out, and maintain a healthy,
vigorous heart and circulatory system.
vegetables, fruits, and grains instead of meat. Eating meat and meat
fat weakens your bones as well as your heart, promotes cancer, and may
contribute to post-menopausal hot flashes.
dance, walk, stretch, go, inquire, keep active. The essence
of vitality is change. Now that you've been through the Change,
don't stop, keep changing. Break the rules and the taboos.
Become an expert on pelvic floor exercises. Take up belly dancing.
Pump iron. Wear purple.
a legal will. And revise it every ten years. Face your own
death. Plan for your own death. This completes the second stage
of your initiation.
yourself with every bite. Aging increases our needs for many
nutrients while reducing our digestive ability. Make every
bite count toward optimum vitality and step up digestive efficiency
by using dandelion root tincture before meals. Discover new
ways to serve yourself calcium-rich foods at every meal. Use
herbal vinegars regularly. Gradually replace bone-depleting
white flour products (bread, pasta, pretzels) with fiber-rich
whole grains and whole grain products. Drink vitamin- and mineral-rich
herbal infusions instead of mineral-depleting coffee, tea,
and soft drinks. Try yogurt and fresh fruit instead of ice
cream for stronger bones and fewer vaginal infections.
your Crone's Ceremony of Commitment to Her Community. Anytime
after your second Saturn return (age 57-61), you are ready
for the third stage of your menopausal initiation: rebirth.
You are She-Who-Holds-the-Wise-Blood-Inside. You are newly
crowned, newly born, baby Crone. After isolation, after death,
you rejoin the community. In your isolation, you revisioned
yourself. By giving death to yourself as Mother, you claimed
all of yourself. It is time to share that vision, to name yourself
publicly, Crone, woman of wholeness.
"I am the Crone. I feel my way along paths following the energy and warmth
that others have placed here. Trusting the dark, I am guided not by light, but
by the flowing movements I sense. I am like the water that follows, without sight
or foreknowledge, the ancient river's channel."
My Native American teachers tell me that we are in the midst of earth changes
that will culminate around the year 2013. They say the earth changes will
bring heat, and floods, and upheaval on an enormous scale. I am struck by
the fact that 50 million women will have achieved menopause by 2013. Since
we, as women, are one with the earth, is our massive, collective Change Her
Change as well? Can we moderate her hot flashes? Give her ease from flooding?
Soothe her emotional uproar? Emerge transformed together after our changes?
How will we do it? With drugs, against the problems? With nature, blessed
by all we are given? Will it matter to the Earth, Gaia, what choices I make
in my menopause? What stories I tell myself? What I tell other women?
copyright © Susun