The first time I read about Feminine Wisdom was well over a decade ago. At the time I just transferred from a clinical resident job to a research position in psychiatry. It was a very hierarchic and linear environment, which I didn't notice because I was so used to it. My background - my parents were elementary school teachers - had been infused with linearity. Work hard, study, achieve goals and you will gradually grow and climb the social ladder.
Anyway, there I was, 26 years old, a young doctor, trying to do the best I could for my patients. What I didn't notice was that I totally forgot to care for myself. I was dedicated and meticulous, and I would never fail anyone, although sometimes, I was exhausted. That's why I got a research job, to take a break from the never-ending responsibility and pressure, the night shifts and the ongoing administrative burden of the hospital.
A few months in, I was invited to go on an educational retreat program in epidemiology with my research mentor. She was a very ambitious woman and I looked up to her, although I could also feel her pain because she missed out on motherhood because of her demanding job. She always seemed to hide behind a mask of performing and being 'equal' to her male colleagues.
I traveled abroad for the program where we stayed for a week to dive into the subject of clinical research and study design with a promising group of researchers. I had some spare time in a railway station where I had to wait to change trains. I came across a bookshop. I wasn't really looking for something to read because I figured that it would be a busy week anyway. But there she was. This small book with a black cover and small calligraphed letters in burgundy... Although the cover could be easily overlooked, this book seemed to call me. I couldn't see anything else and I was so drawn to it that I bought it without reading the back cover.
This book, 'Book of Shadows' by Phyllis Currott, took me on a journey that forever changed my life. This autobiography described the discovery and initiation into the Divine Feminine of the author, an NYC lawyer, her initial hesitation and skepticism, and the wisdom and connections she found through ritual and women's circles.
For me, it uncovered a world that I didn't know existed. With every word I read, I felt like I was coming home to myself. I was completely captivated by it and I used every break during the week-long program that I was attending, to go to my hotel room and read.
I remember feeling torn between this totally new magical world of the Divine Feminine and the masculinity of the statistical theories and assignments I had to go over.
I have felt torn between those energies many times after that, but I never had the courage to dive right into what felt more aligned, so I tried to mix some of the practices I learned from the book into my busy life. I read many more books on this subject; women's circles, the elements, energy, rituals, mystical practices, meditation, esoterics, the Moon and the cosmos, herbalism and so on. I performed small rituals in my bedroom, I drew oracle cards to gain more insight, I watched the Moon and recorded my own cycle for years. I began to feel that attuning to the Cycles was nurturing me. But I also felt that every piece of wisdom I gathered created a bigger schism in my Soul.
Over the next 10 years, life happened. I changed careers trying to find a solution away from the overachieving, overpressuring world of hospitals and research. I became a mother and my time and energy were flowing towards my children and my job solely. I went through a divorce and became a single mom. There was no time to follow my own cycle, the Moon or the seasons. Life was overwhelming and everything I had worked so hard for, came crashing down on me.
I was so exhausted, navigating burnout and depletion that I decided to quit my job as an MD, not knowing what would be next. One night, when I couldn't sleep, I scanned my books to see what I medical books I could let go of. Suddenly my eyes came across the 'Book of Shadows' again.
It was like a flash lightning struck me. I immediately realized that life would continue to happen to me in this devastating way if I didn't embrace the Divine Feminine. The only thing that I felt certain about on that night, was the presence of the Moon, the Sun, the Universe. I knew that They were my medicine. And indeed, over time, I healed by following the Moon, and my own Moon cycle. I started to connect with nature again, walking outside, feeling the breeze, touching the trees and the leaves, digging into the garden, smelling the flowers, looking at the sunset and listening to the birds. My Soul was so tired of living in a linear, masculine way. She yearned to be balanced with the Sacred Feminine energy of receiving, nurturing, loving, connecting to my body and the body of Earth.
Finally, I began to heal.
Today, I am so acutely aware of the importance of our natural Cycles and how we can learn about ourselves through these cyclical motions. Our lives are seasonal, women cycle with the Moon, all hormonal processes in our bodies are flowing in a circular way. Like ebb and flow, rising, expanding, falling and diminishing. From Dark to Light to Dark. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. Death and Rebirth.
We go through an array of cycles in so many ways. Personally, collectively, on a small level and on a cosmic scale.
My mission now is to make people aware of these cycles, of the importance of cyclical living in order for them to feel supported and connected to Nature and to their own nature.