Beliefnet
Age is the acceptance of the term of years. But maturity is the glory of years.
-Martha Graham

From "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom," by Christiane Northrup, M.D.:

Many menopausal women have dreams of giving birth. These birth dreams are important-they signify that there is much within us that needs to come forth. In this culture, women who are about to go through menopause or who are already in it need more than ever to reach deep within themselves and give birth to what is waiting there to be expressed. We can no longer afford to let our culture silence the wisdom of the wise woman-the woman who contains her sacred blood.

Susun Weed writes, "The process of menopause-not the last menses, the last drop of blood, but the entire thirteen-year menopausal process-sets the stage for initiatory ritual the world `round, just as menstruating women's natural needs/abilities became the basis for all other initiations. During the process of menopause each woman finds herself immersed in and creating the three classic stages of initiation: isolation, death, and rebirth...Our female bodies insist on completeness, wholeness, truth, and change. Much as any woman would like to deny her shadow-self, her body will not let her. Menopause brings the individual woman and thus the entire community face to face with the dark, the unknown."

...As a culture, we've been too long without those powerful, honest, wise women of old-too long without the images of their beauty, power, and strength. Welcome them back. Whether or not you know any of them now, remember that they are inside each of us, waiting to be born through the initiation of menopause.

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