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Women's Council
by Diane Warren
We came away from our Women's Council meeting this month with thoughts of gratitude for our ancestors and appreciation of ourselves and our families as women. We realized that we had accomplished many things and we decided to begin to list the accomplishments of women on these pages beginning next issue. We welcome you, the reader, to send in your accomplishments so that we can share them with all of you. We think that it is time now for us, as women, to begin to accept ourselves and our achievements in order to have the gratitude for who we are and also in order to inspire others to achieve. It is easier to know that we do not go forward alone, but hand in hand with others like ourselves.

The other thing that we discussed that caused us great concern was the pain and hopelessness that some of the children are experiencing, which was made known by the behavior in Little Springs, Colorado. We all felt that we wanted to do something, but did not know what to do. At our next meeting we will be discussing this at greater length.

We welcome any ideas that any of you have. Please send your ideas and suggestions, both tangible and intangible, so that we can gather wisdom and share this wealth. We think it is time now for us, as women, to begin to accept ourselves and our achievements in order to appreciate who we are and what we are capable of. Remaining conscious of this bolsters us, as women, and may be a sign of encouragement for others who may read this page. Send to Community Connexions, Women's Council, P.O. Box 2343, Lake Oswego, OR 97035, or you can e-mail us at and it will be forwarded to us, or you can call at (810-8382).

I am listening for the voices of women who can help us re-member our dis-membered society. (Starhawk wove this language: we are re-membering our dis-membered world.) One of the things that has been dis-membered is family. Often our families were not safe, they were harmful to so many of us. We need to re-create families that are safe, sane and consensual! All over the world many people are searching for their ancestors, re-connecting family ties through the web. This is part of the re-membering process. I need to re-member who I am. Who are the people of my mother's father, lost to her at an early age? I will be meeting some of these possible cousins at our Napier clan tent at the Highland Games. Who are my Lenape ancestors, the only roots on this North American soil? Especially for those of us who are not creating children, the re-linking process is part of our gift to the next generations. Chosen family and community are two more links in this re-membering.

Another need is to re-create rites of passage. It is not surprising when young people lose the way: there are few road maps for coming-of-age in this society. This image is not accidental: perhaps the only nearly universal rite-of-passage for teens in our society is learning to drive! At a recent SisterSpirit Wiccan Discussion our topic was Menarche. One of the things we discovered during this discussion was the younger we were, the better our experience with this most important event in our coming-of-age as women. For the woman in her fifties, it was the onset of "the curse" and not a good experience. This improved with each generation, until the teens among us told their very positive menarche stories! They had parental support, and perhaps most importantly, peer support as they discussed this among their friends!
For those of us coming to our first menstruation, and for those of us who had a bad experience that needs re-membering, here is the outline of a Menarch Rite:

The Circle is cast. We invoke the energies we call forth in each direction: Transformation in the East, Courage from the South, in the West the ability to Flow, and Stability in the North.

The Goddess is invoked as Kore, the Maiden, and Demeter, the Mother, as we prepare to pass from Kore's realm to Demeter's.

We sing: "She reminds me of who I am, she reminds me of who I am..." "She reminds me I am a Goddess of the Earth; She reminds me of the sea that gave me birth; She reminds me I am the Mother's child; She reminds me of my freedom, deep and wild...She reminds me of who I am..."

We prepare to cross the veil in deep meditation, looking down the passage... we face our fear... we go on in the face of fear... we approach the veil... we pass the veil into womanhood.

The drums begin, and we rise and dance: "There is power in the blood of women: There is power in the blood that transforms us! There is power in the song of our blood!"

The energy rises into a cone, a peak, a bolt of earthfire: we send it for the transformation of us all!

Then we touch the earth, ground, and share food together...

The Goddess is thanked, the directional energies devoked. "It's the blood of the ancients, that flows through our veins: The forms pass, but the circle of life remains," we sing Charlie Murphy's words as we join hands again, forming the circle without end, and then devoke the circle once more: "Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again."

-- Frodo Okulam.


Ritual based on SisterSpirit circles in April 1993 and 1994. We'll celebrate Menarch as part of our upcoming circle July 31: "Lammastide: The Fullness of Summer."

Women's Voices contributors are solely female offering articles business and resources geared for women.

Articles are appreciated. Sept./Oct/ Themes: (submit by Aug. 1/99) Harvest, Education/Life Long Learning, Honoring Our Ancestors. Women's Voices reserves the right to shorten/edit selected pieces. Send to Women's Voices, c/o P.O. Box 2343, Lake Oswego, OR 97035.