A Rite of Motherhood
This is my story a rite of motherhood I had underestimated, and not prepared for, that crippled me with an unexpected grief for days. So I did what I do best... a ceremony for myself.
Nineteen years ago at the summer solstice I came to Avebury for the first time, with my daughter, I was also three moons pregnant with my son. While we were there we found a crop circle on the hill in the shape of a sun, and spent time exploring it.
Then this year a week before Lughnasadh I was in Avebury again. While I was there I heard of a local crop circle. So I went to seek it out, this time I was alone.
In my pocket was a woven belt with many markers of my life sewn and woven into it. It is belt I made at a druid beltane ritual camp. One of the weaves and beads represents my daughter and motherhood. I had brought the belt with me to incorporate it within a mothering ceremony I wanted and needed to gift for myself. I knew this weekend that I wanted to do a ritual for myself following my eldest moving out. I had assumed I would do it by the stones whilst I was in Avebury. However when I saw the crop circle I was quite overcome with emotion, I knew my ritual to move into my next mothering phase should be there within the crop circle.
I walked down the embankment towards it, climbed over the fence. I walked around the crop circle, and through it, when i got to the centre a beautiful pregnant mum was sat with her daughter meditating. She said it was her first crop circle.
She was at the stage of parenting I was at when I saw my first crop circle in Avebury. It felt like another sign that this ritual was right and I had found the right place.
I found a place to sit, the awen shone down from the sky, my camera doesnt show it in the photographs, but every so often the circle was blessed with three strong rays of sun.
Lughnasadh felt the right time for this ceremony too, being the first harvest, cutting of the grains, as my first daughter moves out.
I did a private ritual, for myself and my daughter, I cried out the strange emptiness I felt from the space at home. I unwove unseen threads that werent needed between us anymore and spoke prayers aloud.
After my ritual I left a gift from my own person for the space, and as i picked up my belt I received a beautiful gift from the space to weave back into my belt.
So many coincidences occured that fell into the experience, coincidences I hadnt pre conceived at all. All I did was open to the ideas of holding a ceremony for myself around the rite of my daughter leaving home, yet it was as if the earth heard me and opened to it too.
Motherhood brings so many teachings, so many rites, and so many rewards. I walked away feeling the growth from this new phase, a sense of a new path ahead of me, and feeling a love for the beautiful family I met there who were in the same stage of parenting I was during my first crop circle and Avebury encounter. I felt the meaning of the celtic symbol the triple spiral within me for the first time, depicting the three stages of a womans life, my mum, my daughter and myself.
I was actually in Avebury doing a book signing at the Henge Shop this weekend so this was another reason I found myself in Avebury. Someone suggested while I was on the book stall that my book was a birth, birthing my new layers of creativity. Becoming an Enchantress in life, a third stage of maiden, mother, crone. Enchantress coming just before crone, the time of creating from the wisdom collected so far. I love that thought.
I also recalled two of my teachers Renata and Steven Ash calling Avebury the place of the mother energy when looking at ley lines. The lady running the shop gifted me a beautiful artwork of Avebury as a uterus too.
So, I also reflected on these incredible feelings of having my book in my favourite shop, the shop I've loved since my first time there all that time ago, the mother energy being to fully present for my first ceremony of this nature as a mother.
I can say that this truly is hardest part of motherhood ive experienced, perhaps because I birthed Jade and became a mum at sixteen, so shes been with me my whole adult life as I'vegrown up too. Yet it feels the most rewarding in many ways too because shes flewn my nest. I can proudly say too that she is such a beautiful woman inside and out. Which is the best achievement we can wish for isnt it as parents.
As a celebrant it never ceases to amaze me just how incredible ritual and ceremony is in helping us understand, acknowledge, and grow through our rites of passage, by creating a sacred space for trust, openness, connection to our inner selves, the source and to allow inner prayers to flow.