MONARCH CEREMONY: A rite of passage for girls beginning their periods.
The girl gets to choose who she would like to invite. (I have done them as slumber parties and I can do an invitation that has a brief explanation so the parents of the girls' invited understand.)
She gets to decide if it will be an all girl event or whether she wants the whole family to participate.
The mother suggests a few of her friends who serve as surrogate Aunties. (Womyn that you daughter knows and feels comfortable with.) These womyn become a support system for the girl being celebrated. They make a commitment to be there to listen to and share advice if your daughter wants to talk with someone "outside" the family as she matures and faces the choices of becoming a womyn. Most girls are very selective about who they want to have present and so she has the final say on the invitation list.
The girl chooses something symbolic of her childhood. Not something too sentimental, but something significant that represents what she loves about being a little girl. It might be a book, doll, arts and craft creation etc.... She will be giving this away so that should be taken into consideration.
She is given a seat in front of an arbor or a ring of sage that faces East and West. (I provide). She chooses an adult womyn who will be presenting her. This womyn sits on the other side of the arbor. The rest of the guests sit in a half circle facing them. The womyn presenting her talks about her gifts, talents and attributes as well as the promise that she sees in this girl as she becomes a womyn.
The girl being presented gets a chance to talk about her hopes and dreams and asks for support and encouragement from everyone present to help her achieve her potential. She also talks about what she likes best about childhood and her trepidations about becoming a womyn.
Then a talking stick is passed around and everyone present gets to share a little about what they love most about the girl being presented. They share funny, but supportive stories about what they have shared with her. They also state a commitment to honor her as a womyn and support her along her journey.
The womyn present share their favorite memories of being children and also what they were concerned about when they were passing into their womanhood. This sharing is designed to help the girls see that everyone has fears to face in passing from one stage of life to another.
I speak about the importance of honoring our bodies, our role as life givers and I reframe the negative thoughts about having a period and explain the importance of honoring our Moon Time. I speak about PMS and other symptoms and how to use herbs, meditations and ceremonies to ease any discomfort and embrace the power of this time for inward reflection. (There is a handout for all of the girls to reference later.)
The girl chooses a non-mooning girl, or her mother to gift her item to. Then I anoint the girl's forehead with Magnolia essential oil to honor her as Sacred. Her sponsor steps to the other side of the arbor. The girl steps inside the arbor or circle at the threshold. She is given time to pray silently and ask for help from God and her guardian angels, the natural world and the totem allies she relates to, or any other Spiritual association. The rest of the group holds her in prayer. Sometimes music she has selected can be played during this time or it can be held in silence.
When she is ready she passes through the threshold and her sponsor puts a beautiful crown on her head. All of the mooning womyn (who have periods) hug her and congratulate her. Then all of the womyn who are post menopausal greet her with a word of wisdom and a hug.
Then we begin the celebration! Music, her favorite foods and festivities/games that uplift and bring joy are shared. If you would like to offer gifts they can be shared at this time.