I used to spend a lot of time researching spirituality, particularly Celtic-based traditions. In many revival traditions there is a strong emphasis on the feminine divine, and the three phases of women’s lives as they correspond to the phases of the moon. As the moon waxes, becomes full, and wanes, women pass through their own lunar phases. As young women, we are maidens, still growing towards our potential. As mothers, we reach the peak of our feminine power. And when our cycles stop, we become crones, our womanhood waning. Maiden, mother and crone, waxing and waning.
I read an interesting post on the website “Shape of a Mother” the other day, about the emphasis our society places on maidenhood. It is the young, firm body that is celebrated, perky breasts and flat stomachs. When women become mothers we begin covering their bodies, buy push-up bras to lift our heavy breasts, and support hose to compress our bellies. It occurred to me this morning just how wrong that is. When we look at women’s lives like the phases of the moon, as maidens we are waxing, but as mothers we are full. Only when our bellies are as full as the moon and our hearts filled with love have we really become women.
I’m tired of covering my belly and its stretch marks, and feeling bad about my soft round body. I have nourished a son within me and he is still nourished from my breasts, heavy and large as they are. I’m a full moon, shining and bright, and I’m not hiding that light anymore.