Category Archives: camp

My Menarche by Freya

written by Freya age 14… (as published in She Who Knows Magazine)

In the summer of 2016 my mother and I went down from our town to Wales for a mother and daughter camp. I am a teenager who, like most others, doesn’t have a hugely close relationship with my mum and went for the three day camp to bond. At the time I didn’t release how much of an emotional journey it would be.

There were lots of other beautiful girls and there mums. It was amazing to see women together for a little while, enjoying their kids and loving everyone all the same. When we arrived I felt a little uncomfortable because I am so used to male company as most of my friends are boys as well as the fact that I’d never met any of the other women. I had just made the discussion that I wanted to change schools because I was being bullied and had completely shut myself away.

I felt as the days went past I could speak the women and I was able to play with the girls who were younger than me.

They had a yurt which was red, in the field and we’d go there each day for a ceremony. As I had already started to bleed, I was no longer one of the girls so they asked me to join the women. I then had a special ceremony of my own.

The other girls and I made masks, with the help of our mums, covering our eyes and we all decorated them with feathers to look like a cranes although mine looked slightly different as I was joining the women now. I was taken on a blind walk with my mask being guided by Rachael around to the red tent to meet all the women.

We then had some songs and after all the girls had returned and some wonderful stories were told, I sat in the middle and had henna tattooed on by everyone, which was very moving. There was drumming, tales of mothers and daughters in the past and the stages of womanhood.

We all ate our food together, shared experiences together and all slept on the same holy land. I completely forgot about being scared and cried a great deal like I should have expressed before. We were able to explore the land alone with our mums and have a real adventure.

Advertisements

Ponderings on our Mother and Daughter Camp….

DSC_0474

We put up the tipi in the sunshine and sang to the elements, praying for holding for the camp…and good weather!

Friday evening the mothers and daughters began to arrive….we had our meal and then the fire making started!

DSC_0481

DSC_0480

 

DSC_0476

DSC_0475

We had a sharing of the 9 passages of womanhood, made prayer bundles to lay on the altar. We prepared together for the  mid- girl ceremony which was to come , makimg masks, and sharing stories  and singing whilst and mothers and daughters painted each others faces!

DSC_0477

The evening was a time for the women to gather for a powerful sharing and healing of their mid -girls, while the girls shared about the feminine spirit and  Heron Medicine…All preparation to hold the coming  ‘Girl bloom’ ceremony the next day. For the older girl, her emerging ‘woman becoming’ was being prepared for ceremony.
DSC_0482

The next day the women gathered in the Red Tent and welcomed Freya as “woman becoming” into the lodge. We meditated on our maiden selves and stood at the truth cairn and declared our truths and authentic selves.

After a morning of games the girls were ready for their Girl Bloom Ceremony.

DSC_0488

The brave young girls were given a challenge to overcome, whilst finding their way to the house of the women. They were held with drumming,  river songs and  River’s medicine story : story of the girls ebb and flow.

For the full Girlbloom ceremony : https://talesfromtheeartheart.com/ceremonies/

 

Each girl was blessed with water by Rachael, Emma and Jenny and embraced by their mothers.DSC_0484

After her own challange , Freya was honoured by the women and girls as a bleeding woman (woman becoming). It was so important that the younger girls witnessed this celebration and honouring. We painted her in henna and sang from our souls.

DSC_0492

As always, we finished our ceremony with a delicious chocolate cake made by Jenny!

That evening we turned the Red tent into a temple of light, we gathered for a women’s wisdom story and made girl-women bundles.

How to make a Bundle – https://talesfromtheeartheart.com/ceremonies/

DSC_0499

The Camp ended with a beautiful gratitude sharing and honouring of the girls and their mothers.

DSC_0479

 

What a beautiful camp, it was immensely powerful and we are sure the mothers, daughters, and core group will be processing it for months to come.

Feedback from some of the mothers:

“What peacefulness, gentleness, acceptance and love from beautiful women and beautiful land. Having my daughter held, seen and initiated by other women was so special. The blend of ceremony, space, fire, song, nourishing food, crafts, circle and rest was so cleverly woven and sensitively birthed. The girls ceremonies and activities were prefect and beautiful”

“I loved the red tent yurt! Beautiful space. I felt held by this beautiful land and the weather held us too. Wonderful to have a variety of women holding space. I loved Emma’s stories, being in a circle of women, meeting new women/mothers. Seeing my daughter immersed in this environment. Seeing her being held, heard, seen, witnessed, honoured as herself. Being held, even in our shadow moments, that is true holding. Wonderful that this is being organised and held by English/Welsh women on UK soil!”

“I enjoyed the sacred space of the lodge, the stories, songs, ceremonies….the company of other women and the girls”

If you would like to come next year, see our info here…. https://daughtersoftheearthlodge.com/journey-into-womanhood-camp/