Updated: Jan 21, 2020
I recently experienced the sting of extreme betrayal from a woman that I considered to be a sister. I consider my female friendships to be sacred; something to be guarded and nurtured at all costs. "How could this have happened," I thought. Although the experience was (and let's be honest...still is..) devastating, I realized that she is suffering from a systemic problem that keeps women from living happier, healthier and ultimately more successful lives. Toxic Femininity.
For millennia women have come together in places like the Red Tent to share stories, to heal, and to encourage one another. For a LONG time, our power primarily existed in the domestic sphere and,in stolen moments outside of the watchful masculine eye. Although glaring disparities still exist (such as equal pay for equal work), in the modern era we are able to occupy almost any area we choose. Whether you want to be astronaut, or a home maker is up to you. The possibilities seem endless.
However, the paradigm of power is still very much a masculine one. It seems that often women feel that they have to mimic the stereotype of toxic masculinity in order to "get ahead." Women may feel that they have to shun female friendships and align themselves with "the boys"in order to be successful. They may engage in micro (or macro) aggressions against other women "competitors" tearing down their work, their bodies, and their ideas. Maybe you have noticed women being hyper-critical of other women; holding them to higher standards than their male counterparts, unwittingly strengthening the patriarchy which suppresses them. However, there is a shift happening as we see the rise in women's circles, and women centered enterprises of all kinds and it can't come a moment too soon.
Enter.... the women's only plant medicine ceremony. First of all, let me begin by saying women's only spaces are not about hating men. We live in a universe of duality, light and dark, summer and winter, fire and water, female AND male. But dedicating time for bonding and nurturing without the pressure of accommodating the opposite sex is essential to healing the specific wounds of our gender. Women's ceremonies provide the opportunity to let down our guard, in fact, there is no more humbling or empowering experience. As your ceremonies leaders sing you songs of healing and of love, and the facilitators guide you to the bathroom and hold your hand as you cry......it's impossible to keep your mask on.
And aren't we tired of the masks? The mask that we put on to be a "good" girl, a "good" mother, a "sexy" woman. The "I'm fine" mask when everything is definitely not okay. And the biggest facade of all...the mask that we create for ourselves with social media because we aren't supposed to be emotional beings....that makes us weak! In the age of "the Secret," god forbid we express pain or disappointment. So we suffer in silence, grin and bear it, lie to ourselves, to our friends and family and quietly head to the doctor for anti-depressants to cure what essentially boils down to isolation. We are in a cage of our own making! We are communal animals and are NOT meant to be so disconnected and this is the root of much of our pain. It's time to remember who we are and go back to the old ways to heal, together, speaking our truth around the fire, and learning that we are infinitely more powerful when we are united by our commonalities than in highlighting our petty differences.
Plant medicines like psilocybin, ayahuasca, and huachuma open our hearts. They help us see that we are not only connected to each other and every living thing on this earth but that we also NEED each other. That we are a part of each other and to care for one another is to care for ourselves. They remind us of the essential beauty of the divine feminine energy that gives birth to the new, and nurtures the vulnerable until it is strong enough to stand on it's own. The energy of an exquisite mind that surpasses both brute strength and violence to find novel solutions to complicated problems.
Women's ceremonies remind us that we are more whole, happy and healthy when supporting each other, in all of our forms, with all of our curves, with all of our differences, and with all of our inherent flaws and strengths. I challenge us all to take a step forward as women. To re-draw the road map to success so that builds each other up, instead of tearing each other down. I invite you to join our mycelium network of women healing women. We are not a retreat "business" we are part of a movement to lift up and celebrate women healing ourselves and healing the planet.
Join our mailing list for more information or consider joining us in ceremony from October 27th - November 3rd in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. https://www.luzeternaretreats.com/oaxaca-dia-muertos-mushroom-retreat. Or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org