Words by Roxanna Minnona
A ‘Sacred Rite of Passage’ is an ancient ceremony that dissolves the negative impact generated through societal and inherited conditioning, traumas and destructive behaviour patterns. At the same time, the ceremony creates an opening for the woman to give birth to her self, her true nature and the reclamation of her authentic feminine identity.
What are Rites of Passage and what are the benefits?
‘Rites of Passage’ are the sacred ceremonies and rituals of initiation (e.g. into womanhood, manhood, tribal customs etc.) specifically tailored to the intention or needs of a particular culture. Since ancient times, traditional cultures around the world that have a close affinity to the earth and the natural forces around us have practiced variations of these ceremonies..
These ‘rites of passage’ ceremonies (otherwise referred to as ‘initiation rituals’) are valuable tools for anyone who wants to consciously move into the beginning of a new phase of their life, and hence, mark the end of the previous chapter. The deliberate and intentional manner that this ceremony is performed in has a profound impact on the subconscious – sending a clear message to the individual to prepare for a transition. This process prepares the individual to move through changes in their life with more awareness and the resources to handle the changes gracefully. It also aids the collective (community) in embracing the changes taking place for the person that they are connected to because when something within that which we are a part of changes, it affects every other part. For example, when a child comes into adolescence initiation is a process whereby they must relinquish their childhood and all the associated childish ways if living – including their childish attitudes, behaviors and thought patterns – in order to prepare them for their transition into young adulthood and taking their place within the community in a more vital capacity. This process also aids those who are intimately connected to the individual, (e.g. the mother and father), so they can let go without being disruptive or obstructive to the change that is also occurring within them. This is especially for the mother who must let go of her role as the caretaker. Without this appropriate transition, the mother’s nurturing and protection can suffocate the child as he/she attempts to evolve naturally.
These ceremonies are an instrumental component of every earth-based culture that honours the sacredness of life and choses to live in harmony with the universal laws that govern everything. They have been an intrinsic part of living a more connected and conscious life, and yet interestingly, are almost entirely absent in our modern society where coming of age ceremonies have mostly been replaced by alcohol abuse and other destructive activities These modern ‘drinking rituals’ replace the essential tools that equip the child to grow into their adult hood and live a mature, intelligent life. Instead, they instill destructive habits to cope with the lack of internal readiness for what the world now demands of them simply due to their age. Sadly, this lack of sacred and rightful initiation is attributed as one of the most common causes of adolescent drug abuse, increased suicide rates and mental disturbances.
Why do women need rites of passage?
For many years, I’ve incorporated ‘Rites of Passage’ ceremonies into the Sacred Sexual Awakening Retreats that I hold for women all over the world. Through this experience I have come to realise that the majority of women I have come into contact with are over-identified with their masculine energy and live in a mode that is primarily devoid of true feminine identity and expression. There are many devastating side effects of this – the most significant being a sense of inferiority and lack of self worth. More specifically, it is a lack of understanding of their true feminine nature and its inherent value. This is something most women struggle with and it affects every area of their life – from the career paths they choose, to their relationships and the quality of sexual fulfillment, (or lack thereof) they experience. It also contributes to the degree of inequality between the sexes, in particular the discrimination experienced by women in the workplace, home and society in general.
The United Nations Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against women states that:
the degree that peace, international security, disarmament, and mutual co-operation among nations are strengthened, equality between men and women will be achieved.
However, I believe that this statement must be reversed for it’s intentions to be realised – i.e. that only when real equality exists between the sexes is achieved, will peace be possible.
Women have been greatly affected by our modern masculinised world where so much value is placed on the external experience – achievements, the opinions of others, financial success, popularity, body image and so on. Being fixated with the external creates a certain type of complex in the unconscious mind of a little girl. She is so open and absorbing of the conditions around her that she begins to see her gender as “lacking something”.This sense of “lack” is emphasised by neglecting to acknowledge the value of the feminine, its vast infinite potential to create, its wide spacious bliss and its fundamental role in life.
Ultimately, what develops is an inferiority complex where women begin to adopt and imitate masculine qualities and role models. When women divorce themselves from their natural feminine nature and developed an identity that is pieced together from masculine principals and qualities, the tendency is to compete with men for power, or seek to catch men for security and compete with other women, initially represented by the mother. Creating laws for protection against discrimination only seeks to reinforce their inferiority, for the inferior must be protected. It’s a mistake to try and change the external conditions in the hope of solving problems that belong to the inner world of humans because the work that needs to be done is an ‘inside job’.
The first requirement for one’s transformation is to understand one’s mechanical and repetitive behaviour and how such behaviour halts the evolution of a woman. There is a tremendous amount of social pressure directed at women suggesting that motherhood will fulfill her destiny. However, motherhood in and of itself does not automatically bestow divine enlightened qualities upon a woman.
What is essential in the process of women’s self-realisation and spiritual pursuits is to rectify the imbalance of feminine energy within their being by restoring their femininity through reconnecting to their true nature. How can motherhood or adopted masculine identities be the only options for women to fulfill themselves in this life? There is a third option – the choice of free and conscious individual development. Through my work I have discovered that thee rites of passage ceremony is a powerful approach because it deals directly with the inner realms of the mysterious.
The aim of the women’s rites of passage ceremony is to give women a connection to their true identity so that they will truly know what their psychic sexuality means. As most spiritual practices are created by men for men, women need spiritual practices that speak directly to the womb of women. Rites of passage offer a pathway for a woman to make contact with the psychic power of her womb and familiarise herself with the alchemical nature of her inner world. Becoming a real woman has nothing to do with age, hormones, passion or physical appearance. It is about an individual realisation based on the cultivation and development of inner values. We must cultivate the ability to self reflect, project inside (rather than externally), transform, develop and materialise.
HOW DOES THE CEREMONY WORK?
As we step out of the ordinary everyday and into the EXTRA–ordinary reality (which is really where the woman’s being resides) the process of initiation is quite miraculous. When we step into this zone, we meet ourself and become reacquainted with our true feminine nature.
When this ceremony is approached in the context of becoming more self-aware and accountable, it can generate a lot of the power required to dismantle and dissolve a woman’s external egoic fixations and false attachments. The logic behind the ceremony is that by utilising the energy field of the group the vibratration of the women partaking in the ritual is increased. This serves to transform lower base energies (of fear, guilt and shame) into higher frequency energies (of love, compassion, insight and connection to the divine). In this higher vibrational state a charge of energy is accessible that can transform many aspects of a woman’s life by dislodging some of the most stubborn emotional, psychological and sexual blocks she may have been attempting to resolve for many years.
As each woman steps into her rite of passage, the other women consciously and lovingly witness her. This gives her the added insight to deeply view into the nature of all things, of herself and the inherited conditions that have got in the way of her natural connection to the feminine. In this way she finds a harmonious unity by bridging her inner and out worlds.
THE METAPHYSICS BEHIND THE RITUAL
Cleaning the container – the vessel that holds the womb of all creation
What is most important for women to appreciate about their spiritual work is that it is first and foremost for their own wellbeing. Secondly, it is fundamental to the evolution of humanity.
All men and women come into this world through the womb of women and are in their duty of care during infancy. The mother is their first contact with the world and first exposure to learning. So by nature, women are the teachers of the world and by this natural role they have a responsibility to humanity to evolve themselves. If a person does not fulfill their personal inner work first, then it is impossible to give anything to other people as logically, no-one can give something one has never had.
Aside from birthing human beings, the woman’s womb is capable of birthing all creation. This is a fundamental role of all evolved women to recognise and to embody this higher spiritual aspiration, a woman also must recognise and tend to the essential ‘house keeping’ that is required to keep the womb of creation clarified and in higher order.
The decision to become authentic is to first sublimate the part of the personality that is selfish, greedy, savage, irresponsible and unaccountable. A woman’s emotional sensibility is where she has a direct connection with nature.This is a very powerful force! So depending on her emotional states, she herself directs the force either constructively or destructively.
Therefore it is of utmost importance that the woman dedicates herself to ‘cleaning’ her container to purify feelings and clear herself of unresolved hurts, resentment, hatred, jealousy, greed, envy, aggression and other destructive feelings. This cleansing may be of old residual traumas from early childhood or inherited through the genetic linage. The cleansing process may also be required periodically as on-going maintenance, just as you would clean your house. Cleaning the inner temple is crucial for women’s wellbeing as they carry the womb of creation from which all is made manifest. If her container is uncared for or neglected, the contaminants will greatly affect the quality of her life and all those around her including the community that she is part of.
Returning to the Source of Innocence
The rite of passage invites the woman to let go of everything, especially all that she thinks she knows or has done in her life, (especially in her so called ‘spiritual aspirations’), so that she can begin to discover firsthand the ‘Genetic Feminine’ – meaning the place where the memory of nature lives within her.
Because our society has become so masculine-orientated, we have failed to place importance on the feminine principal. This failure to recognise and value the feminine qualities that women represent, has had a devastating impact on women, especially on women’s sense of identify, and connection to her true feminine nature and purpose. An over-emphasis on ‘what you do’ rather than ‘who you are’ and the habitual ways of approaching life are counter to the natural flow of life. So for many women, accessing their true identity has become so convoluted.
As the woman steps into the Ritual, she steps off the platform of all that she thinks she knows, that has been secure and familiar (even if it works against her), and steps into mystery, uncertainty and all the associated fears and unresolved emotions that comes with that. The alchemical element of this ritual will bring the woman face-to-face with her false identity. That takes tremendous courage. It also drops her deeply into the truth of her being, so that all that she has attached to that is false will start to dissolve in the light of the truth. All that remains is her authentic feminine being.
Rebirthing a woman’s true nature and purpose
Fundamental to the realisation of a woman’s true nature and purpose is the act of witnessing and being witnessed. The ceremony takes the group beyond social constructs and niceties to drop the woman into the vast ravine of her own inner knowing. As the woman returns to her feminine nature she realises that as a woman, her nature is so intimately connected to all aspects of life. Her individuality is like a drop of water that is part of the whole ocean. This realisation begins to evoke a higher consciousness in her where her concerns begin to expand beyond the realms of personal security and into the wellbeing of all humanity.
As the ceremony unfolds, it takes on a cosmic quality as the woman realise that what is within is reflected all around us and the line between being witnessed or witnessing begins to blur. The women witness and begin to realise that all women are struggling with the same thing and that we can come together as allies to assist each other in dislodging and breaking down the programing that has positioned us as rivals, divided and isolated from the essential support we require to remain sane and satisfied.
The ceremony becomes a firsthand experience of genuinely being there for each other as we face our deepest fears. As each woman touches into her deepest truth she uncovers her unique destiny. And through the process of witnessing she discovers something unique to herself and yet common to the story of woman.
Healing the collective Feminine
It is necessary to perform this ceremony in a group of women for the following important reasons:
- The container for the ceremony is created by the participants –The rite of passage ceremony requires a preparation process within the group to build trust, connection and most importantly, to raise the energy field so that the collective energy available is required for the ritual itself; and
- Secondly, because a woman’s nature is so closely linked to all women, her ability to witness and be witnessed in the absence of judgment and criticism is an essential ingredient in weaving the fibers of the community with integrity.
We are all masters of deception and our ego is an escape artist! There are many aspects of self – especially our gifts, our beauty and our light that we keep hidden, even from our own eyes. When partaking in this ceremony as a group, each woman faces her deepest wounding, (the mother wound), and has the opportunity to step through the doorway of transformation to reclaim her self.
It is unavoidable to attend this ceremony without feeling the edge of our limiting self. In the presence of potent transformational energy our fears and insecurities naturally arise. This creates a tremendous vulnerability and sensitivity within each woman participating, which in itself creates a safe container to reveal and explore ourselves.
Like all deaths and births, the Rites of Passage elicits the presence of the profound where sensory awareness is heighted and psychic antennas are finely attuned to navigating the mysterious void with acute precision. Participants complete the process feeling renewed, stripped of limitations and unnecessary preoccupations, and leave with a refreshed outlook on life and a restored faith in the vast power of the feminine creative spirit.
© Roxanna Minnona 2016. All rights reserved.