The Forgotten Season of Womanhood.
My empire has been lost and my existence forgotten. I have lived for a long time without recognition. I am The Empress. I am the forgotten season of womanhood.
In the spring The Maiden emerges from the earth, wearing her raw gown of green, her soft limbs are swift, her fingers inquisitive and her fresh face is turned with hope toward the year to come. She is artless as she first explores the world. She unfurls slowly and stands tall, taking her first tentative steps. She is hesitant and uncertain as her bare feet tiptoe on sun-kissed soil but the shaky steps of progress soon became her sensual dance. Her long fingers caress her world and everything she touches explodes into life, bursting into a world of tender verdancy. She is naivety, she is fertility and she is conception. She ignites the creative spark.
We celebrate The Maiden’s season – her youthfulness, her innocence and her unblemished beauty.
In the summer The Maiden matures. The sweet budding flowers of youth flourish and then fall away to carpet the feet of The Mother. Her role is to nurture the life that The Maiden has planted. As she walks over the sun-drenched lands her fingers are busy and her eyes are ever watchful. She toils day and night, coaxing life onward. Her encouraging fingertips lift the head of the crops and she pours her life-giving tears onto the lands. As the glorious summer burgeons we celebrate the season of The Mother. She is creation, she is exertion and she is cultivation. She births the flame at the heart of the fire.
We delight in The Mother’s ripe and fruitful beauty. We venerate her ability to nurture life and coax it into fullness.
In the winter The Crone takes her place. The white frosts of winter crown her gossamer hair and her fading eyes are tender are as they look toward a welcome slumber. Her steps toward her demise are slow and yet temperate; her ancient song is a sharp lullaby of knowledge and experience. It is a weapon and a gift. Etched upon her world weary face is the map of discernment and within her curled fingers is the stave of insight. Cold stars pierce her flesh as she readies herself for death because she knows that without death there can be no resurrection.
She accepts that there must first be an end if there is to be a beginning.
The Crone is sage and astute. She is wise and shrewd. She is perceptive and discerning. She stands astride two worlds a foot planted firmly in each. As the year ends we celebrate her season. We extol her fragile beauty and the light we find beneath the darkness of her mantle. We pay reverence to her deep understanding and the fathomless knowledge she holds cupped within her ancient hands.
But what of me? I am so often forgotten. I have been The Maiden in her sanguine naivety. I have been The Mother – inspiring and sustaining. However, I am not yet The Crone. But as the auspicious summer fades and mellows, as the resplendent days soften to a rich and fruitious close, I step confidently into my sovereignty. This is when my reign begins
I am The Empress. I am the sensuous and forgotten season of womanhood.
The first frosts glimmer in the strands of my hair. The passage of time has gifted me with my allure. Traced around my eyes and lips are the deep sketches of laughter and upon my brow is ploughed the furrow of pain. My body is punctuated with the scars of struggle and maturity, it is no longer flawless and unblemished but it is dignified, strong and unbent.
Upon my shoulders I wear a cloak of responsibility that weighs heavily. It is ladened with burdens, as well as joys and yet I wear it with ease. On my illustrious head I wear my crown. It is a golden wreath of ripe fruits and golden sunbursts woven with brambles and thorns. I know of life’s perfect pleasures but how they also come with great sorrows. I know the serenity of patience has only been gained through raging battles.
You can hear my voice within the leaves that cling in their russet and golden splendour to the limbs of my sister trees. Self-assured it rustles through them as the wind rises. My song of secrets I will reveal to you, if you will but listen. Yet the song will soon change, my dear. These words will be harvested, gathered by the wind herself as the leaves are plucked from the branches. I will make way for The Crone, the leaves a carpet to her curled toes. My words will be stripped bare and become her lullaby.
I have journeyed through the year and settled with ferocious grace into my role. I am a trailblazer. I am a protector. I am a story gatherer. I am a tale-whisperer and a song-singer. I am a harvester who uses my scythe to reap all that has been sown. I am the hearth upon which the flame burns.
I am all this and more!
And so now it is time to also recognise me. See me for what I am and receive me. It is time to embrace and celebrate my beauty and power. I may not be the twinkle of fresh dew on new grass. I may not be the full, soft ripeness of fruition nor the fine and feathered grace of hoarfrost. No! But my beauty is the fierce, blazing fire of early sunset. It is the raging storm whipping up frenzied horsetails upon the ocean. It is the stalwart, quiet strength found in maturity and acceptance. It is the sensual beauty of confidence.
It is time for me to take step back into my sovereignty. I am The Empress. I am the forgotten season of womanhood.