Blood Moon and Rose Petals

My beautiful 13 year-old daughter has crossed the threshold and is walking the path to womanhood. Her womb has ripened and opened and her blood flowed unto the Earth. Such a tender welling of pride and joy and subtle grief, and such a poignant sense of something beginning that will carry her forward for so many years to come. Like a river of blood connecting her to her future and also to her past, the long ancestral line of women forbears who have bled before her.

We celebrate, a rose-petal bath, a foot-rub, juicy pomegranates and chocolate, reading Jane Hardwicke Collings “Becoming Woman” together, telling of the story of how in our ancestral lines Woman has been so persecuted for her embodied wisdom. I bring her hot-water bottles, and we share our slumber on that first night, nestled close like we did when she was a babe. There is much sharing, many questions of how it will be now, her precious and treasured and unexpected receptivity and capacity to share this with me. Such a fierce maternal pride and love stirring within, and an acute awareness of how blessed I am to know one so beautiful and fine and strong as she.

At the time of my own Menarche my own beautiful mother was not available to be present for me at this time due to a deeply traumatic event in her life, a time of great openness and deep vulnerability in which she was betrayed. And so it was that at the time of my own moon-time she felt a million miles away from me. The implications of this co-incidence have resonated deeply into my unfolding as woman, the implicit sense of how dangerous it is to be fully expressed as woman. 

This separation meant that at the time of my own first bleeding I was completely alone in my experience. Not feeling comfortable to share with my father or brothers it became something I stoically and silently endured, this rite of passage passed by with no one close to hold me or welcome me across this threshold. I feel like something deep and powerful shut down in me then, even before it had begun. In the years between I have done much work to retrieve this initiation for myself, with the amazing support of the many amazing blood mystery teachers and keepers we have in out midst, yet it is only now, as I am gifted this opportunity to whole-heartedly welcome my daughter into womanhood, that a deep, lonely, young part of myself is being so tenderly retrieved. As I fully honor the beauty and power of this maiden, born of my womb, I feel such a precious homecoming to this ancestral chain of initiation.

Like all things in life the two sides exist simultaneously, the
bursting pride and joy of what is becoming, this proud and fertile river of her womb-blood stretching into the future, carrying her through all that will be, with the cycles of the moon and the surrendering to the deep pull of the Mother Earth, and then also simultaneously a grief for what is passing, the freedom and spaciousness of childhood, for the knowing that with the Blood comes such profound responsibility, the weight of being a life-bearer, whatever that looks like for each of us, however it is that we birth ourselves into the world, we are held in Her palm until the crossing of Menopause.

Something deeply reverent and holy moved in me as I poured the blood water from my daughters cloth pads onto the Earth where I pour my own blood, onto the fig tree, the pomegranate tree, the sage, such ancient symbols of the sacred feminine, I felt through the tears, the tail end of a story arching up and over, connecting back in to it’s beginning. Like a serpent swallowing it’s own tail, the wheel turning, a completion, and a beginning.

For it was this daughter of mine who 13 years ago woke me up from my slumber. Her birthing being the first initiation in which I was so potently asked to bring myself to bear. For the first time in my life I could no longer hide from the fact of my awesome power, however latent and trapped it might have felt at the time. The deep knowing emerged that this power was seated in the very fact of my woman-hood, my body and this ordinary and absolutely miraculous Blood Mystery of Birth that my body housed, which gave me access to the power of woman as it stretches back through the ages, written in the blood, encoded in the womb and the heart of Woman.

It took me so many years to integrate this knowing, many very messy years where I had to completely lose myself before I would feel found again. I pulled everything apart in order to build a life that I felt could hold and honor the power that I knew myself to be capable of, including my relationship with my daughter’s father who I had been with for 11 years, since I was 17, where I had buried myself in escape of the fear I felt around claiming my own life. And to this day there are moments, quite often in fact, when the question burns within, is it safe for me to show life who I really am? Will I still be loved if I truly embody what these Blood Mysteries of Womanhood are asking me, ever so sweetly, ever so deeply and beguilingly to embody?

All too often in my journey of mothering my first daughter I have flailed in the experience of a lack of personal authority, a deeply painful sense of overwhelm, the impotency that has stemmed from my blind struggle to come home, in ways that I was not, to my body, to my heart, to my womb and my power as woman. Too often there has been a spilling over into frustration, anger, rage and a deep sense of helpless abandonment. As I struggle to stay with my task of coming home to myself, grappling with the themes of Shame and Betrayal as I have pulled our lives apart and begun the task of rebuilding a new one, excavating my power from the myth of my own subservience, sifting the seeds of my psyche, reclaiming my innocence and capacity to respond, I have been giving back the Shame and Fear beneath which my power has been buried. So it is that my daughter and I have had a long journey reconciling the separation that has dwelt within our family, but also within our hearts. Many tears and fierce words, much vulnerability and anger, and also a tenacious striving for truth have led us to this point where I am miraculously sharing the journey of her first moon.

A very strong memory I have of my own mothers precious trail of softness that she left for me on my journey of becoming woman was when, as a young girl I had slipped on the edge of a bathtub and cut my yoni so that it bled. My Father took me into the hospital where he worked to have my wound assessed. It was nighttime and so my Mother stayed at home to care for her other babies. Before I left she slipped some fresh red rose petals into the pocket of my dressing gown, so that as I lay on my back on a hard hospital bed, a single cold, bright light shining on me in an otherwise dark, clinical room, as two men, one my Father, peered between my legs at my most private place, my hand was in my pocket, feeling the soft, plump petals of the rose, my Mothers gift.

Now all these years later, I scoop up the rose petals from my daughters bath on the night of her first bleeding, I gather them in from the bunch I had picked from our garden and put beside her bed in the week before, and I boil them down to a deep pinky-brown paste and I make her a string of rosary beads in honor of the Blood and the Mystery. I polish them with rose oil. I celebrate the beauty and power of my daughter and I honor the pain of my own mother’s separation from me as I became woman and I long to gather her up into this experience of her granddaughters becoming.

The prayer in my heart for my daughters, for I now have two new children, the youngest a two year old girl, is that they come to deeply know their own power, that they can move more readily beyond the personal pain of our separation and ever more deeply into the mystery of what it is that they truly are. By power I mean the capacity to be exquisitely soft and gentle and the capacity to be fierce and wild in equal measure; the power to see in the darkness and to shine in the light; the power to source authority from deep within the body, from dream and vision; the power to be with the silence and the power to speak of the truth; the power to stand alone and the power to join with the other; the power to flow with the tides and the rhythms of the Earth; the power to fight for what is true and surrender to what is real; the power to be humble, caring, and to truly listen and the power to take from life what they need to care for themselves, to truly allow themselves to unapologetically shine, to suck the marrow of their lives.

Power is the water, trickling and dripping through the cracks and crevices in the bed-rock, relentlessly seeking a return to the greater source, the power of the ocean in a single drop encoded. Power is the longing to merge with the oracular wellspring of our own becoming, an intrinsic part of the whole. Power is following our longing until we are home.

About a month after my daughters first bleed we gathered to celebrate on a full moon in Sagittarius, a Lunar Eclipse. This was a great initiation for me to honor my daughters clear ownership of her right to be celebrated. I felt within the deep healing magic of creating a ritual space that would contain many luscious and dear aunties and sisters, and also the potent triad of my mother, my daughter and myself. On a deep cellular level I felt the magnitude of the healing inherent in us all just being there together in a celebration of womanhood, though it was not without it’s anxieties and fears for each of us. The ceremony was simple, my deepest voice calling me ever back from ellaborate plans and the call to keep it real.

It was a beautiful celebration, many beautiful gifts and wise offerings, we each offered a bead to thread in with the rosary beads I made at her bleeding time, beautiful food, songs, a footbath and a gifting of the spirit doll I had created in the month between her first bleed and her Menarche Blessing.
It was a magical reweaving of the web that binds woman to her birthright to be celebrated and honoured as woman, a healing over of past separations, a cauldron of potent and gentle and raw and still sometimes clumsy feminine power and such an honor to sit in circle with my wise and gracious mother and my deeply present and beautifully embodied daughter.

Swan Blessing Deepenings
Pivotal it seems to this sacred rite of passage for my daughter and I is that two weeks earlier I went to see Julia Inglis for a Swan Blessing. My heart had known Julia from the moment I had met her at the Red Tent Dreaming where we had shared a space selling our wares. Julia had opened the circle that day, calling in the elements, blessing the space and I had felt such a deep body pull to her gentle yet potent and profound energy. I was so moved by her granting of permission for us to show ourselves, “the gentle ones” she had said, “it is time now to let yourselves be seen”.

In April this year I journeyed with Julia in her workshops at the Seven Sisters Festival. Hearing her speak of Hireath, the longing for our ancestral homeland, or soul home, was like hearing tell of something I have dwelt within all my days. I felt a great deal of energy move and release from my body in the visions that I journeyed at these workshops, but the most potent feeling I was left with was a great and very familiar grief. What was revealed to me most strongly was the extent of my own self-doubt, how brutal I am in the questioning of my capacity to vision, and then how harsh the internal judgment of what has been received. The critic felt so alive in me but also a deeper understanding emerged that part of what was so deeply bound in me had to do with my own lack of permission to trust my vision. The pull to see Julia for a personal Swan blessing deepened.

Many things happened for me in the experience of this potent retrieval of past life vows, but the one that stands so deeply pertinent to my journey with my daughter is that I journeyed back into a life where I had been an artist, a weaver, my craft taught to me by my grandmother and in the designs that I wove were the ancient wisdoms of the old ways, the Earth based practices of the ancient people. As I wove on a wooden loom, seated upon the ground, my body strong and beautiful, there was a baby resting peacefully beside me, my daughter. What I saw in this life that I peered into with Julia’s help, her very tender and present reassurance at my faltering insecurities along the way, was that my baby had been brutally taken from me, violently torn from my arms and that I was bound and killed for my having lived by these old ways.

Through my Swan Blessing I was able to see mirrored and reclaim a little for myself the Artist who works with ancient knowing, to find a sense of what might lie beneath my inexplicable conflict of being a mother and an artist. I was able to understand more clearly why my soul might have felt the terrible anxieties I have experienced as Mother, the fear and the guilt and the unnamable conflict, for after each of the births of my babies, beautiful, strong empowering water births at home, I have grappled with sometimes overwhelming anxieties about the weight of my responsibility of care. As my heart has each time painfully cracked open ever-wider to receive the love these wise new beings were bringing to my life, the questions would flood me, interspersed with the joy, could I keep this divine being safe? How could their immaculate innocence withstand the cruelty of our world?

A few days after my experience with Julia I had a very clear voice within me declare that my relationship with my daughter need no longer be founded on the premise of separation and like a veil lifting on my life I knew this to now be true, thanks to the reclamation of my purpose and vision and the integration of motherhood that has unfolded for me in my Swan Blessing. This is something which is so intimately precious to me, like the undoing of a primal wound in the feminine, the way we are separated form our Mothers and our Sisters and our Daughters, the way we do this to ourselves, through our fear and our envy and our insecurity. I cannot say what it means to me to have felt so clear to meet my daughter in this crossing over into womanhood, for me in the context of our story it holds a value beyond words.

I know that in this moment, all that I can see is but a part of the whole, an ever unraveling thread in the vast tapestry of inter-woven threads that tell the story of our lives, but I have come to see how in truth I was creating this separation that existed in the relationship with my daughter. There was so much inexplicable guilt for me about all the ways I could not reach her, as she made decisions to want to spend more time with her father. I see now how I recreated this story from the Swan Blessing. That somehow for me to follow my own truth and to live from my own power meant that I must accept the premise that to do this was to somehow lose my daughter. I see now much more clearly that it is possible to follow my heart and my womb and to share the wisdom of the old ways through my art, and to remain powerfully connected to, bonded with and involved in the lives of my children. Although my daughter still spends a large portion of her time in her fathers care, I do not have to live from a place of separation from her, for she is always and forever in my heart, even in her absence. All that I am can coexist beautifully together, without conflict, for it is true that for me they have been so intricately entwined. I birthed myself as an artist when I birthed my first daughter. She gave me something worth expressing, something worth sharing; this ancient, deep, primal love, that a mother holds for her child. That the Mother holds for each one of us, as her daughters and her sons. I feel able to know myself more deeply as Love, as Mother and as Daughter to the Mystery of the Blood.

It is my deepest prayer that the journey of my Swan Blessing continues to unfold, breaking down the painful resistance I have always carried toward doing what it is that I know that I am here to do. What might life be without the dull drench of the lifeless undertow, pulling me back from the precipice of my own creation? Always for me there has been this deep anxiety and resistance to my most longed for experience of vision and creation. It is my prayer that my service as a Sacred Artist will continue to deepen and unfold and to find a true and courageous path out into the world. That it may gift something tender and real to those who may choose to drink there. I pray that I may find ever more easeful ways of integrating my life as Mother to my three beautiful children and that primal force, the Creatrix. I pray that the relationships in my life be strong enough to contain my emergence into my own power so that separation need no longer be a part of our story. That the sacred and the creative weave their ways more deeply into my own life, and that of my family, of our home and hearth, integrated, whole and deeply steeped in Love.


  1. I bumbled onto your amazing sight as I was scrolling on fb and then it drew me in closer as I looked deeper... Before I knew it I was reading a language that I understood with patience and confidence.. Thank you Rozalia

    1. Lovely to meet you here Rozalia, glad you enjoyed! Blessings to you, Lucy