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Rituals for Our Sons, Half 2, by Molly Remer

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Rituals for Our Sons, Half 2, by Molly Remer

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5 years in the past, I wrote an essay for Feminism and Faith musing about rituals for our sons. I puzzled aloud how we welcome sons in manhood, how we create rituals of celebrations and rites of passages for our boys in addition to our daughters. I’ve been steeped in ladies’s ceremony and ritual since I used to be a woman myself, watching the ladies wash my mom’s ft and crown her with flowers at her mom blessing ceremony as she ready to present delivery to my little brother once I was 9 years previous. Her circle of mates honored us too, crowning their daughters with flowers and loosely binding their wrists with ribbon to their moms as they crossed the brink into first menstruation.

At 24, I then helped plan the ceremony of passage for my youngest sister, then 13, as she and her mates gathered into a large lounge, flowers on their heads and anticipation of their eyes as we spoke to them of ladies’s knowledge and the energy of, and celebration of, being maiden ladies on their option to maturity. I knew then that I might have a ritual for my very own daughter, but unconceived, in the future. I birthed two sons and misplaced one other son in my second trimester. I led a circle of moms and daughters by way of a collection of 9 courses culminating in a flower-becked coming of age ceremony whereas newly pregnant with the rainbow child who would develop into my very own daughter.

In the meantime, my sons grew and I gave delivery to at least one extra son. I held household rituals for each season, watching these boys of mine anoint each other’s heads with oil and sing below the moon hand in hand. After holding seasonal ladies’s retreats for seven years, I moved into facilitating Pink Tents for the native ladies each month. My mates’ daughters started to cross their very own thresholds and I stood in circle with them, their heads topped with flowers, to welcome them into the circle of ladies with drumbeat, ceremony, and music.

In my prior essay, I wrote about how I used to be then requested to carry a ritual for a good friend’s teenage son and balked on the process, unsure of my very own function, duty, or qualification for welcoming a boy into manhood. After feeling unhealthy for a number of years about what felt like a damaged promise to this boy, we then did maintain the ritual for him on his 18th birthday, the ritual that had been simply the seed of an thought once I wrote my prior essay for FAR, however that had crystalizing into an understanding: rituals of celebration for our youngsters needn’t be gendered or reserved just for daughters; ceremonies honoring the numerous life moments of these we love are produced from the very stuff of relationship and love. After studying many pagan rituals within the format of, “boy is faux-kidnapped from mom and left alone to fend for himself,” I rejected any system that to my eyes reinforces patriarchy and diminishes or “others” the female.

As I wrote then:

Once I was studying books, in search of concepts for my good friend’s son, I observed that almost all pagan rituals described for boys embody the aspect of the son being “kidnapped” from the mom, ladies, and ladies and being taken away by the lads and left alone. I hate these rituals. Each time I learn one prefer it, my coronary heart screams, “NO, we would like extra than that for our sons.” Regardless of being promoted as a part of an alternate religious framework, how does this sort of ceremony help and honor the kind of world we want our youngsters to develop up in? Why do boys must be kidnapped from their moms and left alone with a purpose to be males? Isn’t that the very root of patriarchy on this earth? No thanks.

I lastly determined I might create a ceremony for this boy to talk to every little thing I do know to be true about what people want: the heat of connection, the energy of neighborhood, eyes of understanding, phrases of affirmation, palms to achieve out to them in the event that they fall. As we gathered in circle on a late summer time afternoon, I informed my good friend’s son the story concerning the ritual we’re not doing as we speak. The ritual by which we throw our stones of knowledge into the darkness and inform him to go discover them for himself.  I informed him what I feel all individuals want to listen to: You might be sturdy. You might be courageous. You might be succesful. You might be cherished. You are able to do something! And, we’ve received your again. We’re your neighborhood. We’re individuals who will construct homes with you and share tales with you and eat dinner with you and sing by the river with you.

I might not be a person, however I do know some issues about life, and I do know that individuals who will lend you hammers and discuss various kinds of wooden grain with you and who will allow you to to determine vegetation and mushrooms, are significantly better individuals to hang around with than those that would throw rocks into the woods and make you crawl after them. You should not have crawl within the darkness alone in search of knowledge, as a result of we’re right here. You might be not alone.

And now, within the blink of an eye fixed, my very own oldest son is eighteen. I virtually requested him first if he would love a ceremony for his birthday, just like the one I’d held for my good friend’s son, however then I made a decision to have one with out asking first. If I might create one for my good friend’s son, why not for my very own.

And so, on his eighteenth birthday, on the autumn equinox, we gathered as soon as extra, hand in hand. I learn a poem aloud to him and described  how within the early morning hours with him nestled in my arms as a new child, I might lay my hand on the again of his comfortable head and cry the quiet, sizzling tears of early motherhood as my thoughts drifted into the longer term worrying that this tiny, comfortable particular person would sometime develop into a “unhealthy teenager.” Now we’re right here, in some way, the years unspooled as years do, on time’s ribbon, and there’s no unhealthy teenager, solely this boy develop into man, the one I held so near my coronary heart, type and inventive, easygoing and smiling. I requested him if I might put my hand on the again of his head like I used to do when he was a child. I reached my palms as much as him, now six ft tall as a substitute of 21 inches, and laid my hand on the again of his tough hair. And this time I cried as a result of we’re right here and life holds so very a lot we will’t count on and it has been so good to be part of his world. With my hand on his head, I informed him how a lot all of us love him, we’re right here, you’re not alone.

After talking to him in circle on by one, he then stood within the middle and we learn aloud a neighborhood blessing with alternating voices. I had requested every particular person to write down an affirmation for him and we shaped a human tunnel with our upraised palms and invited him to stroll by way of the tunnel as all of us repeated our affirmations to him. He emerged from our upraised palms smiling and as soon as extra joined his palms with ours, a ritual of passage full, and a spot within the circle held, all the time, for him.

That evening earlier than we went to mattress, he got here to kiss my brow and inform me goodnight. Thanks for my ritual mother, he mentioned, it was actually particular.

Could you stroll by way of
your life with coronary heart
realizing that
you might be cherished,
you might be succesful,
you might be wanted,
and you might be sturdy.

Molly Remer, MSW, D.Min, is a priestess facilitating ladies’s circles, seasonal rituals, and household ceremonies in central Missouri. Molly and her husband Mark co-create Story Goddesses at Brigid’s Grove. Molly is the writer of 9 books, together with Strolling with Persephone, Entire and HolyWomanrunes, and the Goddess Devotional. She is the creator of the devotional expertise #30DaysofGoddess and he or she loves savoring small magic and on a regular basis enchantment.

Classes: Kids, Household, Feminism and Faith, Goddess feminism, Goddess Spirituality, Goddess Spirituality, Goddess Spirituality, Motherhood, Narrative Essay, parenting, Priestessing, Relationships, Spirituality, Girls and Group

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