Today my heart feels full. Last week was a week of ritual and ceremony and journeys to the underworld. The final culmination of a week of going deep was a workshop and ritual on Abortions, Miscarriages and Gatekeepers. The day I received the email invite, I knew I had to go. Despite that knowing, there was some resistance that arose as I read the words and pondered whether I ‘should’ go. Familiar questions arose. “Haven’t I worked enough on my feelings around those experiences?” “Should I spend money on another workshop & ritual when I could just do that work alone?” And so forth. I got quieter and listened, and I knew that yes, I had to go.
It was a stretch for me physically, as I was tired from the week of Samhain, Hallowmas and Day of the Dead festivities, but I have immense gratitude to myself for listening, and to all the beautiful, brave women who attended. Devorah, founder of Honeyroot, was our wise and loving guide and she led us gently into that deep, rich place we find ourselves in, when women gather and authentically share hearts, lives and souls.
Surprisingly, a sense of eager anticipation arose in me as we broke into small groups to arrive more fully into the space and then share our stories. I realized I’d never shared my whole, complicated story of love, pregnancy, miscarriage and abortion with a group of women before. It felt so good to allow myself to share it all as it came, to remind myself that it didn’t need to make sense, I didn’t need to use perfect grammar and tone. I could just express from my womb, my heart and my head, all the things I didn’t even know I needed to share as much as I did until that moment. And it was all met with love and openness. No judgement. The judgement, was what I realized I feared so deeply, because I was still judging myself. In their witnessing, I dropped the residual threads of shame around my abortions. I spoke my pain around my miscarriages and how that pain, over time, has shifted into a feeling of being blessed that I was chosen to experience a connection with those souls, even for a short time. My sisters witnessed me in my desire to experience Motherhood still. Their loving gazes met mine as I prayed it would still happen for me, two years into my forth decade. I was held and witnessed in radical compassion.
The night continued with a beautiful ritual in which we named the souls we had been blessed to know. Again, I was surprised at how powerfully reverent it felt to name my children to the group. I felt the presence of their precious souls around our circle, hand in hand with all the other light beings that had graced my sisters’ wombs for a time. We spoke to them and listened as they spoke through us. Hand to heart and hand to womb we sat, circled together weaving loving prayers into each other and receiving this deep nourishment into our beings.
I find myself humbled again by the power of coming together to be with our losses, our grief and our sadness. As a guide for the sacred transition of grief, I’m constantly nourished by my own deep diving into my losses, as much as I am by the brave souls drawn towards me to witness them through their grief. It’s not easy work by any means. There were many other lovely ways my sisters and I could have spent five hours on a Friday evening, but we chose to be witnessed. We chose to reclaim all the parts of ourselves that were stuck in shame, buried by rage or compressed by unexpressed grief. We chose to come together on that night, when the veils between the worlds were thin and our ancestors were close, and we honored them all with our presence and nourished them with our tears. When we left with eyes soft and hearts full, we seemed lighter yet more whole than we had a few hours previous. Hugs were exchanged before we transitioned into the night as the sacred souls and gatekeepers we were.