To say I have struggled with symptoms of menopause over the past 2-1/2 years is an understatement. I have even called one friend in tears and used the word suffering. I am not a sufferer by nature so this was a big deal for me to admit how hard of a time I was having.
I had experienced peri-menopause for the past 10 years so I wasn’t surprised when the symptoms of menopause hit one cold January day with warm flushes that started slowly, an increasing warmth as it traveled up my body. I had a sense of excitement as I was proud to begin my journey into cronehood. I have always resonated with the image of Crone. Not the old, dried up version but the empowered, magical Crone. A wise woman who knows herself.
It was easy for me to be in that space as it was January and warmth in January is a good thing. As the weeks and months wore on my symptoms increased. I no longer felt a sense of pride in becoming a crone I just wanted the ordeal to be over. When menopause started that January day I thought this would be a few months journey, maybe a year of symptoms and then my periods would stop and I would have ascended into my Wise Self into Crone Woman. Nope.
I’m still struggling, crying, cursing and gnashing my teeth that my periods haven’t stopped yet. I don’t think I would mind so much if they were on their once regular 28 day cycle. Now my periods can be days and weeks over due. That too would be alright but that often means that PMS will hang on until I bleed. I have been known to beg my body to bleed so the PMS would end.
I know this seems dramatic and it is. They don’t call it The Change for nothin’! In the past 2-1/2 years I’ve ended a long term romantic relationship and found a new love. I’ve moved, changed jobs, let go of friendships that were no longer working and found my voice. I am discovering a new me by letting go of that which no longer serves who I really am. I don’t let go easily. There is usually kicking and screaming and often times blood is drawn along the way.
As, once again, I await on Woman Who Bleeds to show herself the symptoms of PMS keep me company. I am at a place in my journey that when Crazy Woman arrives I surrender to myself. I go deep within and I ask for help. Being closely connected to nature that help will often show up in the form of symbolism. This time it is Snake Medicine. In the past week I have dreamed of snakes, taken a Facebook quiz where snake showed up as my animal helper and had a vision of snakes filling my body while working with a healer.
Snake is a the perfect helper for women going through The Change. Snakes shed their skin and we as women shed our old selves during this time in our lives. This shedding prepares us for our wisdom days so that we can show up as leaders, healers and role models for our families, friends, and communities. During my vision I knew I was to find a piece of jewelry to wear that was to remind me of my sacred journey. Menopause is a sacred journey and thinking of it as such seems to ease my PMS symptoms. The snake vision gave me a sense of peace that I was doing something of importance and a knowing that this journey isn’t in vain.
While attending the Minnesota Renaissance Festival I found my ring. I’ve been wearing my snake ring every day since I found her. Snake helps me to stay strong when Crazy Woman is present. I know this woman intimately. I no longer see her as a destroyer but as a builder. I need her help to find the strength within me to be my wise self. She does not suffer fools, has very little patience and is not apologetic. She fights fiercely on my behalf. She has always been there since I became Woman Who Bleeds. I have tried to hide her all these years. She will no longer be pushed down under the programming of female passivity. I welcome her as she is my teacher and my guide until I fully become Crone Woman.Della is a healer, teacher, artist and writer. You can find out more about her here.