The best kept secret is this: Menopause is a natural phase in a woman's life, not something to be anticipated with foreboding. Rather, it is something to look forward to as a time when all kinds of new creativity can be born, bringing joy, satisfaction and meaning to our lives.
This book explores a shamanic approach, through connection to all the worlds we live with - the humans, the plants, the animals, spirit, and the minerals, to empower the later phase in a woman's life - menopause and beyond. By celebrating menopause as a rite of passage, we discover what is ours to do now.
What is a rite of passage? A moment when great change is afoot. The value of such a transformation is increased when it is acknowledged and celebrated as we move from one role or phase in our lives into the next. In many societies such "moments" are well-known and recognized in our various birthing, marriage, and death rites.
In this book, we approach menopause as a rite of passage - a transition from one stage of life to another. It can be an empowered phase in a woman's life, a part of our life development that deserves dignity and honor. We focus on the possibilities and fulfillment that can come with menopause.
We can all explore menopause as a time of great potential and power within ourselves. We become matriarchs and caretakers for the coming generations, bringing a different kind of joy, satisfaction, and meaning to our lives and the lives of those around us.
But it is also the case that many people still fear and resist menopause. It is not uncommon to encounter beliefs that menopause is the end of a woman's productive years, and that her fate now is to grow old, become increasingly unattractive, and no longer have value in her world.
A recent study found that less than 20 percent of premenopausal women have even moderate knowledge of the biological changes that may occur to them during menopause. It found that even fewer women carry a positive view of menopause - as a natural process that takes us to the next stage in our lives, granting us new opportunities to take our power and open to newfound joys. Most of the time menopause is still considered a decline that requires remedies to cure it. It is an unfortunate approach to a natural phase of life, which, as you will see, holds so many gifts for us.
We both learned about rites of passage through the teachings of the Deer Tribe Metis Medicine Society, or the Deer Tribe for short, an organization that supports a spiritual path that provides teachings, ceremonies and tools for our human quest for growth. We are both long-time students of this path, which combines traditional, spiritual, and modern knowledge about the human being. It carries a rich body of knowledge and ceremonies in rites of passage. Razel is a senior teacher on this path. Karin's focus is counseling and teaching about the rites of passage.
This book contains common sense and a shamanic approach to a wonderful, though little understood, phase in a woman's life. All over the world there are organizations and initiatives whose focus is to implement meaningful rites of passage back into our society. We encourage all of you to seek out the knowledge that speaks to you from any source that is valuable for you. We hope you also enjoy this book.