A Memory of Magas

Magas are stepping into their power. (1) This was so beautifully evident in my most recent MoonSong One Day Workshop. One of the joys of this work is meeting and connecting with so many beautiful women. Women who show up as vulnerable, open, nervous, tentative, strong, honest, humorous. Women who show up as themselves, and who through the day become more of themselves.

When we allow ourselves to be held in the safe container of the circle, we open.  We speak and are heard. We feel what is arising in us and allow ourselves to express these feelings. We listen with the ears of our heart, to our sisters speaking.

Our Altar- a central part of the magic of circle

We were so blessed to sit in the good ground of a memory of Magas.  This is my new collective term for Magas. I use it in recognition of the collective noun for elephants as elephants understand the wisdom of the Grandmothers. Elephants will follow the lead of their older, wiser females. Elephants have a long memory and use this to make tracks across vast country, navigating all that is before them with tenacity and courage, just as Magas navigate the country of menopause.  They are intelligent, cooperative and work for the betterment of their group.  Their group is led by the Grandmothers.

A family of African elephants. Photo by D. Kunert from Pixabay. sourced from The Grandparent Effect, Stories from a Quiet Revolution by Olivia Gentile

In my most recent MoonSong workshop, the joy and wisdom of the Magas was so evident and powerful.  Some of the words they used of this life season and of themselves within it were: freedom, courage, intimacy, reflection, power and authenticity. For the Maga woman, as one so beautifully articulated “gives no fucks,” about what others think. The time for being small, for limiting or containing oneself in restrictive ways is over.

A Maga woman follows her own powerful inner authority.   And it is an authority she wields for the betterment of all. These wise women will speak their truth and live their truth. They have been through the rigors and challenges of peri- menopause and menopause and come out wiser. They know what it is to set sail on uncharted waters, to look to the stars for navigation in the darkness of night.(2) They know themselves as part of something far larger than our culture conceives. They are Maga. They are Woman – part of Her archetypal power. And they draw on Her strength.

Just a few of our beautiful Memory of Maga’s

We celebrate this shared wisdom, the role model that they provide to us in these times of need.  I am delighted to consider myself as emerging into this growing tribe of women. For Maga’s may well be the largest demographic in the world, and are surely needed now.

And yet the wisdom and power of the Magas is untapped, because many women do not recognise their own power.  Not surprising in cultures which undervalue women, feminine knowledge, the menstrual cycle, menopause, descent, aging, darkness and regeneration.

When we teach the wisdom of the cycles and the wheel in the MoonSong Workshop, we position Maga with Autumn, with the disseminating moon, with the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. We position Maga in the descent phase. And this is the phase our cultures totally undervalue. We live in times of crisis- precisely because we fail to recognize the inherent necessity and power of the descent. And it is taboo, and undervalued precisely because it is such a powerful phase, a phase inherent in the feminine, in our cycling bodies and our menopausal Rite of Passage.

My Womb Altar Card with the MoonSong Altar Cards produced by Jane Hardwicke Collings.

This is the time of harvest and letting go. This is the time of regeneration and renewal. Without this phase there can be no new life. The capitalist growth model is ultimately a model of destruction, for it fails to take into account the necessity of loss, of aging, of compost, of release and decay. It fails to take into the account that death is a necessary part of life. They are part of the same continuum.

Through this work, and the work of the Mystery Teachers across the world, the sisterhood wound is healing. It is a wound embedded in cultures which teaches us to compete and to compare, rather than to cooperate and support each other. And yet in so many ways we are always cooperating. Our culture requires this of us, whilst often denying its essential role. Humans are social beings, always in process of becoming in relationship to each other and the world around us. 

So here we are, a Memory of Magas showing up in our power, in our inner authority. We are here celebrating the Rite of Passage of Menopause, celebrating the challenges of navigating this rebirth of self, and celebrating who we are becoming. We are fierce and we are loving. And we are descending and arising, descending and arising into our power as we celebrate the Memory of Magas growing across the world.

My Teacher, Jane Hardwicke Collings, founder of the School of Shamanic Womancraft

Acknowledgements

And there are so many powerful Maga’s in my life both near and far. I look to my mother, and her artistic, creative, powerful friends. I look to my Step Mother and her circle of women. I look to those very powerful Teachers of the Blood Mysteries, the Fierce Feminine Warriors shaping this world. In particular I look to Jane Hardwicke Collings, Alexandra Pope, Jane Bennett, Chameli Ardagh, Clare Du Bois, Amber Grey and Rebecca Lawson. Each of these women has been pivotal in my ability to step with great courage through the rite of passage that is surgical menopause. I celebrate these women and their way showing.

I hope that more people come to value the power of Menopause as a rebirth of self. A self woven into the fabric of this earth and cosmos. I hope some may find the collective noun for Maga’s, a Memory of Maga’s appropriate too. If you do please credit me, Sarah Miller and this article. It reflects my own work, and acknowledges the Teachers who have inspired me, and walk before me. And lastly I want to acknowledge the Bagurrk, the Women and the Gugungdjaleek, the Grandmothers of the Bonnwurrung peoples, of the Kulin nation on whose land I live and love.

References

  1. This article by Jane Hardwicke Collings explores how the term Maga came to be, and is a beautiful exploration of this life season. https://janehardwickecollings.com/autumn-woman-harvest-queen/
  2. This image was drawn from a discussion between Alexandra Pope and Chameli Ardagh on a Red School conversation https://www.facebook.com/redschoolonline/videos/997582880573142/

Sacred Sensuality Pathways to Presence and Pleasure

This post offers you some more information on our upcoming workshop, Sacred Sensuality Pathways to Presence and Pleasure. Both Grace and I are also free to answer any questions you have. Please read this first, and the FAQs at the bottom of this page!.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The Chambers Dictionary defines the word sensual as ‘of the senses, as distinct from the mind; not intellectual or spiritual.’ But actually, our embodied experience, as women, as humans, is a spiritual experience, and there is an deep intellect of the body that is wise and true! We are rewriting this old story, shedding this mis truth.

The sacred is not beyond us, but within us, and it is through our bodies, senses and intuition that we commune with divine Mystery.

We offer a shamanic perspective on sensuality, on the embodied experience of being a woman.

In our perspective, the body is the gateway to and the locus of our spirituality. In this earthly plane, Spirit is matter and matter is spirit.

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flowerinhands

We are all sexual beings. Sexuality is far vaster than limited commercialised/patriarchal versions of it.

Sexuality is the pulse of the universe flowing through each of us.

We are 100 percent sexually alive beings.

Sexuality is the eroticism for life, the source of our essential creativity.

Sexuality is a whole body/whole spirit way.

We always have a womb space – whether or not we still have a physical womb – and we can always attune to its wisdom.

* * *

Sexuality is integral to our rites of passage into the phases of woman.

“As a woman journeys through her life, during her incarnation on the earth plane this time around, she encounters many a shamanic journey. These are the opportunities for transformation and development of her being. Menstruation, pregnancy, birth, and menopause are shamanic journeys. A woman travels deeply during these times into her inner world, which reflects the landscape of the shamanic realms. She meets her fears, her obstacles and her deep inner knowing in her lower world, she plays out different scenarios in her middle world, connecting with what is and she meets her extraordinary strength, wisdom and available guidance in her upper world.” School of Shamanic Womancraft handbook

Our sensual experience of each rite of passage is that which helps us to transmute the experience from a mundane one to a shamanic one in which we are transformed.

Our calling to earth, the moment of our conception, is a sexual experience.

Birth is our ecstatic entry into the world via our mother’s vagina, or not.

Menarche is our opening to our fertility cycle, a journey in which we continually cycle through hormones, through desires, through sexual, creative energies, through the life/death/life cycle. We meet our womb blood for the first time. We meet our wombs and the stirrings of this energy.

Birth is a direct response to sexual activity, a fertilisation of our creative impulse. All our births are rites of passage, whether they come to full term or not, whether they are human babies or other significant creative acts.

Peri-menopause is the opportunity to rebirth ourselves as we respond to fluctuating hormones, triggered by our wombs, eggs and the spiritual and psychological opportunities rising through the journey towards cessation of our menstrual cycle.

Menopause is the gateway to a second Spring, to a sexuality in which pregnancy is no longer a possibility and a deeper spiritual sexuality can flourish.

Our sexuality is integral to who we are.

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The body is the gateway/is the portal/is the lived experience/is the temple.

We have to drop into the wisdom of the body to fully negotiate our experiences. It is by turning within, to the feelings, the energy, the cellular patterns and deep inner knowing that we can find and release the blockages that keep us trapped in old stories, and it is also the way we tap into the enormous potential of life, to the Shakti, the primordial feminine energy.

This energy/ this life force is available to us right now, it is us.

But we have become skilled adaptors and controllers. We repress this enormous energy. We resist it, we deny it because our culture tells us too. How obedient we have become.

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Shame is an enormously powerful way to control another. We are shamed by our bodies, we are shamed by our sensuality, we are shamed by our sexuality and our feminine power. We are shamed. And this shame is in our cells. It is intergenerational trauma, that we pass on and pass on and pass on until we heal.

And our healing is a reclamation of our bodies as creative, sensual, intelligent, imaginal, as the source of power. We are like the Goddess Druga, staying in our truth, no matter what. Being soft and yet deeply embodied, so that the demons (shame, fear, mistrust) no longer hold sway. We cut them down by being so fully in our bodies. In our bliss.

We can use the wisdom of the cycles to create conditions that are ripe for shedding that which no longer serves and for seeding that which does. We tend to that which we want to see growing in ourselves, and let go of that which we don’t.

As Shaman we learn to witness ourselves, to be with and honour our own unique flowering on the tree of life. We recognise that our wounds & our painful experiences are as much teacher as the blessings, and sometimes more.

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As shaman we know the power of the circle. We sit in sacred circle and the circle is teacher/is healer/is shaman. In this space magic arises. In this space we heal and flourish. All is sacred/all is safe/all is. We are the many faces of the Goddess, each of us mirroring the divine. We are our sisters. We are our selves.

The circle is integral to our work.

Bookings here:

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/sacred-sensuality-retreat-tickets-39999852636

FAQs

What are the principles that inform this work?

You can read more about our grounding principles at the end of these FAQs (see below).

What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Details coming soon.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Very happy to talk through any questions! Call Sarah on 0435 140 148 or Bec on 9478 239 400.

What’s the refund policy?

Refunds

If you cancel your participation before 1 January 2018 you will be refunded 50% of the deposit- ($50).

If you cancel after this time you will be refunded 50% of your full payment.

There will be no refunds 30 days prior to the event. In case of illness you can transfer the course fees to another event within the year minus the full deposit.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No, we will have your name on a list.

Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?

Yes, just let us know who’s coming instead!

Moonsong- Listening to the Feminine

So blessed to sit in circle today with 20 women at RAW Gardens, to celebrate International Red Tent Day. Such gratitude to feel the magic of the circle, the healing that comes with showing up, with sharing and with listening with the ears of our heart to our sisters speak… It is time to find our voices, our truths, and to listen willingly and openly…it is time for our families, communities and the world to hear the voices of women, to let the feminine speak in her myriad voices of her truth. Not the truth of a world/cultures which denigrates women, the body, the earth, life/death/life but the truth that comes from deep within, a truth that is rooted in the earth, in her and our bodies. Our lived experience.

The redtent3time is now, so find your way to love yourself enough, to honour yourself enough to reach out to support other women, and to hear their stories, their songs, their poems, their tongues, their carvings, engravings, weaving….find women, listen and be listened too. Such healing arises when we feel we can be really heard. When we listen to ourselves, and give ourselves the space to acknowledge, to heal, to be.

I am blessed to have such a group of dear women around me, my family, my friends, my mermaid sisters, my teachers…and all those who came today, and who come to the call of the feminine….If you feel a desire to go deeper in this work, then i encourage you to find a red tent near you. There is a revolution and they are springing up everywhere..You might also consider a year long dive into the feminine mysteries with the School of Shamanic Womancraft.This was and still is such a profound journey or healing for me, and those who i have journeyed with. It is MAGIC!!! And if you want a taster of this work, I am also hosting a day, to explore the treasure map of our blood mysteries, our feminine mysteries, with Moonsong.

In this workshop you will:

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  • learn about the wisdom of the cycles and our life seasons
    • the influence of the lunar cycle and the earth’s seasons
    • the spiritual practice of menstruation and the transformative power of our rites of passage
    • understand why you feel the way you do!
    Sunday 17 January 2016
    9.00- 5.00

    • Carnegie, Victoria  (address provided on booking)
      Morning and afternoon tea provided…$80
    • bookings essential

Many thanks again to all those who showed up today. Gratitude for the feminine flow!

Blessings sarah zxx