The Tides of the Feminine

20141201_tidesUntil a couple of years ago, I wasn’t particularly aware of, nor interested, in women’s workshops having to do with the cyclical nature of our lives, finding them – at best – irrelevant to my interests and pursuits, be they personal or professional.

Now I can only marvel at the depth of the teachings available when we reconnect with the Earth and the holographic dimension of our cyclical nature. It seems so obvious. And yet, writing about it feels radical.

With every breath we take, a tide rolls in and out of us, marking an ending and a new beginning. Every day, our bodies respond to the available light of a rising and setting sun. The moon waxes and wanes, pulling on the water in our cells. Seasons come and go. Life arises, blossoms and dies.

There is nothing static about Life. We are a pulse, an expansion and contraction, a tidal flow trying to fit into an illusion of linearity – symptom of a world in which the mind has severed itself from the body, and is floating aghast in its self-inflicted homelessness.

And for us women, there is nothing subtle nor hypothetical about these ebbs and flows. They are beautifully mirrored in our physiology. But speaking about them remains a dangerous taboo, relegated to a sphere of utmost privacy. Meanwhile, we comply with a linear illusion that is an outright affront to our inner natures and needs, gasping for air under the centuries-old cloak of our shame.

The shame of being a woman.

Fortunately, there are women who are bringing back the teachings of old. They speak the unspoken, and write the unwritten, to dissolve our collective shame by bringing it into the light. Among them, Samiel Carolina Rodriguez Barrios, whose Dare to Glow workshops courageously rebirth our connection to the wisdom alive in our bodies.

Samiel Carolina stumbled upon these teachings as she was going through an important shift in her life, seeking a more authentic way of being in the world, as a woman. One day, she met a Mayan teacher who offered her a profound insight. “The Feminine is not out there”, she said, “It is in here. It is the embodiment of the Goddess. The embodiment of consciousness, of the supreme intelligence that created life. We are the vessel of that intelligence, and we can connect to it through our body.”

That insight soon took on another dimension as she found herself in Honduras, before a massive hollowed out stone, which her teacher explained was a menstrual stone. It was the place where women came to bleed, offering their power back to the Earth to ensure the soil would remain fertile. She learned that the augmented capacity of women to step through into non-ordinary reality at the time of menstruation was deeply honored in ancient cultures.

Inspired by the profound body of knowledge that existed around our cycles, Samiel Carolina felt how relevant these teachings still were to our modern lives – teachings that could be transmitted in the form of four Archetypes cycling within to the rhythm of the moon.

Whole books have been written on this topic, and it is not my intention to cover it here. Suffice it to say that far from being prescriptive, these archetypes are an invitation to fine-tune our self-observation and welcome continuous transformation as an inherent part of the journey. They are an invitation to recognize that there is a time to enjoy a new start, and a time to slow down. A time to go out into the world, and a time to turn inwards. A time to be creative and a time to be still.

They are a reminder to embrace our cycles, not as a curse that needs to be medicated out of existence, but rather, as the source of our deepest gifts and potential. That we can give ourselves permission to heal generations of shame and abuse and re-connect to the source of our power.

They are an invitation to step out of linear time, listen to the wisdom of our bodies, and flow in harmony and synchronicity with the deeper rhythms of the Earth.

In short, they are a reminder that – whatever anyone else may think – we can give ourselves permission… to be a woman.


More resources on this topic:
- Dare to Glow
- Earthing the Moon: A 5-week online course with Jewels Wingfield
- Alexandra Pope's: The Women's Quest
- Women's Way Moon Cycles

  2 comments for “The Tides of the Feminine

  1. December 2, 2014 at 22:59

    Nicole. What a beautiful text. Since life in general is about rhythms, I was wondering how the masculine pole inhales and exhales as part of the other half.

    • Nicole Schwab
      December 3, 2014 at 16:39

      Thank you Sonja. When we talk about masculine there are always two ways of looking at it: internal, and external. On the internal, I would say that the masculine is that which is structuring, it is the awareness that contains and embraces life and its cycles. With respect to the external, however, given the obvious differences in physiology between men and women, the synchronicity between the body and the cycles of nature will be felt very differently when in a man’s body – and so will the corresponding teachings. But that is something I am not qualified to shed light on… would be interesting to hear men’s perspective on this.

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