About a month ago, I decided I wanted to have some sort of ceremony with my soul sisters and friends far and wide and from all paths and walks of life to commemorate and celebrate my passage in to motherhood. Throughout this entire pregnancy I've been craving sisterhood and feminine bonding; real, deep feminine bonding not the shallow sort where people just pat you on the back, say you'll be a great mommy, and focus on the baby. In an act some would call selfish, I decided to celebrate myself and invite others to celebrate me as well.
All I asked of these sisters was to simply send me a bead. If they wanted to send a note or something else, that was fine, but the bead was the token requested. I collected all of the beads together and put them on my altar to wait for June's Full Moon when I would string them all together on to a necklace under Momma Moon's watchful gaze and create a string of prayer beads to hold or wear when I give birth or need to feel especially loved or empowered. I invited the other women to sit under the moon with me, wherever they happened to be and to send up some energy, a prayer, a wish in whatever fashion they chose to celebrate the bonds of sisterhood, myself and this transition of mine.
When the Full Moon came, it fell on Friday the 13th, typically a lucky day for me. When I picked the June Full Moon, it was because it gave my necklace a full cycle to sit in the moon's light before baby's estimated arrival. I didn't even notice the date. A little bit of universal serendipity.
That evening, I was feeling exhausted and worn out both emotionally and physically. I had planned this day of exquisite self care, where in I'd soak in the tub, sip raspberry iced tea, paint my nails, lay outside on the blanket in the grass with Luna and paint or read. None of that went to plan. I ventured out to the store in the morning for a few things, came home and felt queasy and tired. I spent almost the entire day on the couch with Luna. No painting, no reading, no afternoon nap in the shade. I was incredibly bummed out. I did however manage to take a nice long warm shower, not the bath I had planned on but the warm water and lavender soap melted away a lot of tension and unhappiness and relaxed me just the same.
When night fell and the time came for me to sit before my altar, the moon was hidden behind storm clouds and it was raining. But I could still feel her there. I called on my Gods and spirits and momma moon to join me and held my usual Full Moon ritual, as well as blessing the amber necklaces I got for both baby and I along with the beads. I pulled my guiding card for the cycle, The Green Woman, and then moved to my bed to lay out and string the beads.
This is something I actually did twice, as I decided to add stops every so often to keep the more delicate beads from being crushed or cracked by heavier ones. My own contributions to the necklace are the sculpted Gaia, the evil eye bead and 3 blue goldstones - the same stones I used to create my wedding jewelry 5 years ago. As I strung the beads, I thought of each woman who sent them to me, about our relationship, about the prayers, wishes or secrets they sent along with their beads and sent some love out to each of them individually. There was a warm vibration in each of the beads, which was magnified tenfold when they were all gathered together on the beading cord. I'm awaiting some late arrivals, so the ends aren't finished off yet but I did drape it around my neck to feel the weight of it and aside from being long and hefty (it hangs nearly to my naval), there is something so empowering, so primal and so divine in the donning of it.
This token of sisterhood without borders, this tangible celebration of me, will serve not only as a powerful talisman during my birthing time but also as a treasure to remind me for the rest of my life of the power inherent in female bonds that aren't tainted by social, religious, physical or other stigma or competition.
P.S. If you weren't invited please don't be offended, it wasn't from a lack of love, but from a lack of knowing how to contact you outside of blog comments. If you'd like to send me a bead, I won't be closing off the necklace for a few weeks still. Please email me at artful.danni at Gmail and we'll get things sorted out. :)