A PAGE FROM MY JOURNAL: As I travel through menopause, it strikes me again and again how hot it is. The element of fire has risen and remained, scorching the ground of my body, making way for a new and different yield that is hard to envision.
It feels as though I have become a greenhouse, gestating in my heat the roots of a new stage of being. Sometimes, I feel as ill-prepared for it as the child I once was coming up hard on the field of womanhood.
What does it look like, this new horizon? How am I to climb these steps to that not yet seen temple, the coronation place of my Wisewoman self? How do I embrace together the Maiden I once was, the Mother I am, and the Crone I am becoming?
Fondly, I remember the child with a blend of admiration and pity. Sometimes with consternation, but often with humor and honor, I look back at my young womanhood. As the ripe and realized middle woman, I have put on my mantle of strength, become bold and beautiful and created with broad strokes across the canvas of the world.
As the becoming Wisewoman that I am, I want to be beautiful, too. I want always to create, remain relevant, dream and manifest, and live with both arms wrapped around the moving and untidy bundle of life on Earth.
So then, this is the task, to nurture in my greenhouse womb the vision and the heart and the soul of who I Am, will be, and have always been. It is to be true to my soul in every form and stage.
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For a long age, the life passages of women have been quiet, shadowed, hushed. Our shifting stages of life have been hidden, our stories not in keeping with the youth-obsessed popular culture and superficial patriarchal views about women. If pregnancy and childbirth were “confinement,” then menopause was invisibility.
It’s time we sing out, get bold and bright, and put our physical and emotional journeys vividly into the art and spirit of society. We may not have all the words and music quite together, but our songs are worth hearing.
So who are we, these smart and savvy women being baptized in fire? We are much in synch with Hestia now, the fiery goddess of the hearth. The hearth was the domestic altar, and the women who tended its flames were keepers of the physical and esoteric care of the family.
Hestia was among the most widely respected and honored goddesses in the Greek pantheon. Also a goddess of architecture, she dictated that her flame should be the central heart of dwelling places. Her flames were said to be a part of the Earth’s molten core, and her symbol of the circle represents her completeness in her own right, planetary wholeness, and the unbreakable bonds forged within the fire of family and community.
MESSAGE FROM HESTIA: Mature women are anchors of family, repositories of the wisdom of compassion. The iron anchor of the third phase woman is strong but fluid, in constant contact with the molten energies of the Earth. She is therefore a light in dark places, a continually remolded being whom the fires of life have shaped but not withered away.
The hearth is a sacred dwelling place, home of growth, and chamber of making – a place of rest, wisdom-gathering, and the seat of the kiln or oven in which we create with fire. Who but the Wisewoman, who has borne in her body the coals of Mother Earth and the stars of Father Sky, could be its guardian?”
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Wisdom gathering and growing venerable in compassion takes time and experience. What we do with our strengthened resolve, deepened character, and vault of life lessons is our choice.
The legendary Phoenix was a bird said to arise from the immolation of its aged self on the sacred altar of Heliopolis, Egypt’s City of the Sun. The image of fresh, young plumage emerging from the ashes of the dead ancient one led the Egyptians to associate the Phoenix with immortality and rebirth as well as solar worship.
A bird with wings of fire streaking through the dawn is not a gentle sight, met with hushed tones. It’s a supercharged supernova, a glorious burning with a fire that does not consume, and it brings forth cries of wonder and admiration. In our fiery stage, menopause’s doorway to Wisewoman status, we too can experience this kind of brilliant rebirth.
As we usher in the Age of Aquarius, strong female voices are leading the chant. Respect for the Earth – Mother Gaia, the terrestrial womb – is a sacredly feminine endeavor. So is the elevation of women and children around the globe. It is divinely feminine to speak out for the voiceless and raise the alarm for the defenseless – like animals in peril.
Abolishing the obscene cruelty of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, supporting UNICEF, joining Doctors Without Borders or medical mission trips are projects tailor made for the Wisewoman. So is becoming a victims’ rights advocate, running for political office, and teaching adult education classes.
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A key to abundantly thriving and enjoying the advent of our wisdom years is newness, creativity, free-spirited hiking over the edge of the known horizon.
Many Wisewomen discover deep wells of creative talent that were dormant during the hectic days of the twenty-something. Renowned American artist Anna Mary Robertson (“Grandma”) Moses began a painting career at age 78, producing over 1500 paintings. Her work Fourth of July is on display at The White House and is featured on a commemorative postage stamp issued in her honor. Beloved author Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her first book when she was over 60. Scottish singer Susan Boyle was 47 when she was discovered on Britain’s Got Talent and became a global superstar.
I love to say that, for me, life began at 35. The smoldering coals within me finally opened to the breath of life and rose into flames. Proudly, boldly, and sometimes clumsily, I began doing everything I’d ever wanted to do. It was in my solidifying maturity that I found the self-aware courage to toss out the excuses and trample the fears that had held me back.
After the age of 40, I turned my back on over two decades of corporate jobs to start my own company. In my fourth decade, I wrote and published two books, became a successful entrepreneur, and took up with reverence and joy the higher purpose work for which my soul incarnated. The first 30-odd years were formative, educational, and richly experiential, stoking the embers in my womanly hearth, making them ready for the age of action and impact.
A magical thing about Wisewomen – as we stretch ourselves, the whole world grows with us. Embracing a mane of silver moon-goddess hair is living proof that real beauty continues to exist and emerge beyond age 40. A confident woman who has found her authentic voice is a teacher, inspiration, leader, and healer for society.
So sing out, fully fledged Wisewomen and silver goddesses-to-be! The modern Wisewoman wants to be more than revered – she wants to be relevant. We are the architects of the new world. What could be more relevant, or more beautiful, than that?
Dr. Elizabeth Eiler is an Usui Reiki Master, Certified Angel Card Reader, published author, spiritual teacher, and metaphysical practitioner with Seven Stars Healing Arts, LLC. She is an Ordained Minister of Wisdom of the Heart Church. Visit her website: Seven Stars Healing Arts
For more channeled messages from the Sacred Feminine, explore Dr. Eiler’s new book, Swift and Brave: Sacred Souls of Animals. Discover the depth and missions of animals, how to live in right relationship with our planet and other creatures, and our sacred spiritual connections. View it here: Swift and Brave: Sacred Souls of Animals