Menopause - Crone rituals? Herbs?

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elementalheart
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Menopause - Crone rituals? Herbs?

Postby elementalheart » 24 Jun 2014, 15:51

Wasn't sure if this was the right place, so broadened the question to make it fit!

After over a year of GPs denying I have the right blood test results, a consultant gynae has agreed that part of my symptoms are indeed early menopause. The rest (currently about 6-8 apparently separate chronic conditions) is under debate and various stages of diagnostic processes, and on top of that there are long term emotional and spiritual issues affecting energy, trauma history etc. But apparently some of the menopausal stuff may be complicating the symptoms of the other physical things, overlapping, hiding, making worse.. how delightful but at least I have acknowledgement that I started at 47 and am now 49 and I suppose that has to be enough for now!

Anyway, pain and chronic condition management and challenging diagnoses or lack thereof aside, I am without female family to get a sense of what menopause looks like in our bit of gene pool. Both my late mother and remaining sibling had radical hysterectomies in their early/mid 40s and that was that. The massive growths they had may be one thing I also have, but I'm trying not to get ahead of the NHS, it just makes life more frustrating while they do the order they have to.

So, as I am at an important point in my spiritual life approaching the end of the Ovate grade, I am looking to find new ways to connect to what I will term crone energy, tho I haven't had a great fondness for specific deities in general and particularly gender separated ones. I couldn't manage an Oh Great Goddess approach to prayer and can't dance around clothed let alone naked and/or drumming, nor sit for a long period or get up/down easily - as one of the chronic conditions is osteoarthritis which is particularly affecting hands and feet, probably due to overuse in those dancing and drumming activities among other things! BUT I do want to find a way to that essence of the 'mature' female in myself and if doing so through externalising it works then I haven't found the right ritual yet. Possibly because I didn't become a mother in physical terms, and lost the early naive female essence a long time prematurely. I've always had problems being non-typical in most female only groups I have come across, being neither wife/mother nor manhating nor lesbian nor feminist nor into the whole girlie hair and makeup and boyfriends thing either. I don't know if I can give up young woman/mother to be old woman because I've never really felt anything else and yet here I am in transition of some kind that suggests otherwise.

Any thoughts, ritual practices, rites of passage welcome. And maybe herbs or such I could look into as I'm not going the HRT route but need to relate any herbal options to pain meds etc obviously.

I think I've been back over all the gwersi but if there are things I might have missed that are specific to Bardic or Ovate gwersi, please pm me rather than not post an idea in case of spoilers. Thanks.

PS due to the spiritual trauma mentioned, I am not looking for spiritual healing options, hands on or distant - though I am grateful for any heart that is moved to offer, it wouldn't currently be something I could take on. I'm also a solo worker so group ritual isn't feasible. It has to be between me and nature, I have a lot of that available and my timing of this week is to work with the waning and dark moon for obvious reasons :)
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Brân Gannaid
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Re: Menopause - Crone rituals? Herbs?

Postby Brân Gannaid » 25 Jun 2014, 04:46

Anyway, pain and chronic condition management and challenging diagnoses or lack thereof aside, I am without female family to get a sense of what menopause looks like in our bit of gene pool. ...
...I am looking to find new ways to connect to what I will term crone energy...I do want to find a way to that essence of the 'mature' female in myself and if doing so through externalising it works then I haven't found the right ritual yet. ...
...Any thoughts, ritual practices, rites of passage welcome. And maybe herbs or such I could look into as I'm not going the HRT route but need to relate any herbal options to pain meds etc obviously.
elementalheart,

I spent a lot of time on a menopause support group (alt.support.menopause) that is now stored elsewhere, such as Land O' Links http://menopause.tripod.com/ and another was Menopause and Beyond, but years later that title was coopted by Christiane Northrup, who wrote a useful book on the topic. Those two sources really were an eye opener for me, and the support group was great for just talking to others in the same boat. I don't know how active it is these days, but there was some very good information on herbs.

For most women, "PMS" seems to peak at about 35, according to studies I've read, and then around 38, many women may have occasional early menopause symptoms, such as rare night sweats, food sensitivities, slight mood changes, etc. Around 47 to 49, I had the most extreme symptoms (hot flushes, for example), and I found that a lot of other women do, too.

Our bodies are so different that people found different things worked for them, although that group was one that raised awareness of over-prescribing replacement hormones and rushing to hysterectomy due to fibroids and extreme clotting, which turn out to be statistically normal. Of course, the extreme clotting is a lot like when many girls first reached menarche, with discomfort, etc. Some women do have serious issues with such symptoms, so we encouraged each other not to take them lightly.

I tried a lot of herbs people recommended, and there are now OTC formulations that didn't exist then. We had to experiment for ourselves! Most women in the group were in the U.S. or U.K. at the time. I never found any herbs did much, except I found some calming herbal teas (Celestial Seasonings used to make some I preferred that were discontinued), and just symptomatically dealt with most of it. In fact, Celestial Seasonings now has many new varieties that are based on recent studies conducted on herbs. I like plain old Sleepytime, myself! And I found that simple rituals, like speaking gentle affirmations while just having a favorite spot with a candle and a certain throw in the winter, or with a favorite pet any time, were soothing.

I reached menopause (where one has been without menses for a full year) at age 53 and 4 months. A lot of it has just been awareness. If I woke up hot, I'd just take a lukewarm shower and put on a new nightie. If I got hot at work, I'd stop by the restroom and put cold water on my wrists, inside of elbows, and face, neck, and chest. If I started feeling anxious or blue, I'd notice it so I could observe it instead of just feeling it. Like OBOD, for me it's another example of using awareness to guide oneself through the journey.

I never had any crone ritual, although now I'm really thinking I'll do one, with or without other crones! See the crone ritual that was posted earlier. I don't remember who, and I'm not on the computer or in the town where I put my notes, but there isn't a lot posted in this particular section! I think it's a lovely idea, and I think ritual is so important to humans that it would be a wonderful milestone to acknowlege. Since so many of us are solo, I think many of us prefer rituals we can do individually.
Soaring high on a wind current, I gaze down at the rugged shapes of the mountains and the shimmering water of the lakes, and thank the Goddess that I am Crow.
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