~ Thoughts and observations on the early stages of perimenopause ~
I’ve confronted something this year. It came as quite a shock.
I’d preferred to think that the reason my once-regular menstrual cycle had become erratic was something to do with the moon and synchronising with the Full Moon again.
But a few months ago I got out my menstrual cycle charting diary and did a tally. Around 50% of my menstrual cycles in the last 18 months had been erratic, which for me means that they were outside my once-regular 28-30 day range.
And this year, 9 out of 10 of them have been irregular, ranging from 20 to 51 days.
I have many grey hairs (and, btw, this feminist refuses to obliterate them with toxic hair dye.)
I’ve had a few night sweats.
And I’ve been feeling the need to tear up everything and start again, and have indeed made some major life changes this last year.
Queen and Crone
Woah, acknowledging that to myself earlier this year felt huge.
I felt a curious mix of a wave of empowerment and dread sweep over me as I lay in bed one morning and named this to myself. “Stella, you’re no longer a girl, you’re a woman, and Elderhood is beckoning. Stand in your wisdom and power my love.” But this came with a confused sense of “Oh, perimenopausal? That sounds really old… Oh my life is over and what have I done with it?!”.
I’ve spent a few months sitting with this before sharing about it. I’ve been reading some books and blogs … and finding that many books that are recommended are over 20 years old or out of print. What’s that about?
As I enter the early stages of perimenopause and step into my Queenhood, I can also feel the fiercely loving wisdom of the Crone awakening within me. And they’re both very ready to speak!
So I will, intermittently, share my experience of moving through the sacred rite of passage that is perimenopause (which means “around menopause” – technically menopause is a year after your last bleed).
This is still a time in a woman’s life that is too often shamed and hidden away. So I wish to contribute to the body of voices that are speaking up about this journey to empower and inspire others who are going through the same process. For all people who menstruate go through it. Let us talk about it with gladness and gratitude for the sacred initiation that it is. Let us be honest about the challenges and the gifts and embrace it all.
I would love for menopausal and post-menopausal women to be valued and consulted for the wisdom keepers that they can be.
So I am stepping through the perimenopausal gateway with a sense of pride with the hope I will become one of the wise, empowered and empowering Elders our society so sorely needs.
So, my experience so far? Blood, rage and fire!
I’d come to love tracking my menstrual cycle and was deeply connected to it as a spiritual inner guidance system.
So I’m finding the irregularity of my menstrual blood a little bit challenging and discombobulating.
But I’m leaning into the saving grace of connecting to the regular ebb and flow of the lunar cycle to anchor myself to nature. Thank you Lady Luna!
Oh-my-goddess I have so much rage and anger flowing through me!
And, my-Goddess, there’s a LOT to be angry about isn’t there? I’m feeling a kind of existential rage. Trump. Johnson. The total mismanagement of dealing with Covid-19 by these self-anointed strong-men and their race to the bottom in their deadly exhibition of toxic masculinity,
We’re living under a capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy. We’re trapped in a collective nightmare that keeps us locked into being disengaged, inward-focused, self-serving, docile consumers.
And it’s turned us into consumers who are in constant competition with each other while oppressing, harming even killing anything which does not look like it: white, heterosexual, privileged and male. All for the sake of its own profit.
What’s more, it views nature as a resource to be plundered and is unceasing in its greed for more.
It’s destroying the planet and crushing the human soul.
And I am FEELING it!
Apparently this rage is a to-be-expected, ahem, gift of perimenopause…
I have a fire in my soul that hitherto I have perhaps masked with calm, having swallowed the tranquilizing pill of being taught to be a “nice girl”.
Yes I have a grounded presence within me. But I also have a crackling, dancing, radiant, transformative fire burning in the centre of my being and igniting my soul. It wants to call out bullshit, it has no tolerance for people hiding behind their unseen privileges, and it wants to light a fire under New Age spiritual bypassing.
Fuck right off with that “love and light, positive vibes, choose love” bullshit, I feel passion and darkness and alchemical transformation burning in every cell of my being and I love it!
And do you know what?
I’m rather liking this fiery Stella.
(And perhaps it’s no surprise that she has risen within me – I am a Priestess of Brighid after all, She who is Goddess of the perpetual flame…)
So there are a few personal observations on my experience of entering the perimenopausal years.
Does it resonate? I’d love to hear. Drop me a line and get in touch via social media.
A few books & resources
Passage to Power by Lesley Kenton
The New Menopausal Years by Susun Weed
Rachael Crow blogs about peri/menopause
Red School Online have a mini-menopause course
Woman Kind have courses and resources on perimenopause
Menopause as in initiatory rite of passage – interview between Daring to Rest founder Karen Brody, and Red School co-founder Alexandra Pope, on the Daring to Rest podcast
If you know any more do get in touch!
Hi, I’m Stella and I’m an author, poet and Priestess.
If this article helped or inspired you then please consider gifting me a donation to support my work and my business here: paypal.me/stellatomlinson
I guide women to celebrate their cyclic wisdom, nature’s magic and the call of your wise & wild soul to inspire you to craft a life of meaning & creativity.