‘This journey into the Cosmic Womb can be felt as an inner death; falling into the abyss, the Void, with no known way to come back out. Surrendering into this perceived individual death and trusting the process opens the heart and Womb back to the great web of life. The initiation comes from emerging at the otherside, forever changed, neither here nor there but fully present, able to enjoy and give the wisdom, gifts, and fruits of all worlds, while fully grounded and born back into this world, as an innocent, sensual, wise being.’ — Azra Bertrand
During Summer, I spent a couple of months and a half in Peru.
I am back in Spain and slowly returning to my work and routines.
It has been very challenging to land here, as it is very hot. I already miss the Andes and have a sense that my cycle in Andalusia is coming to an end. So, I am in that transition zone and navigating the sea of the unknown, as I genuinely don’t know what will come next.
It has been potent being in Peru. I worked with the land, met local elders, explored some deep parts of myself, did inner child work-play and deepened my relationship with the Andean culture.
While there, I had the opportunity to be initiated into the Womb Rite. It is a body of wisdom that comes from the High Andes and has been transmitted to Westerners. The Rite is part of the Munay-Ki Initiations, which invite us to connect more deeply with ourselves and the planet.
I am adapting it and combing it with my work and understanding of somatics, ritual, embodiment and trauma-informed practices.
This Rite is significant for women. It can also be offered to men, those who identify as women, as they may want to heal their feminine side and relationship with mothers and sisters and connect to their female lineage.
Generally speaking, we can say that often women hold in their wombs — physically, energetically and metaphorically — fear, pain, guilt and shame.
Furthermore, we know that nowadays, science explains that we carry in our bodies and DNA fears and traumas passed on to us from our ancestors.
It is also clear that we need to release stress, trauma, and anxiety from our physical bodies to avoid disease.
It is hard to process, heal or transform anything when there is disconnection. Hence, the invitation to reclaim the relationship with our womb consciously.
Our culture often offers quick fixes or encourages people to have ecstatic or blissful experiences. What we genuinely need is engagement. When there is tension, holding or gripping in the tissue, that may become habituated. And if that tissue tone is normalised, we don’t register it as such. The brain no longer goes, ‘hey, you are holding.’ It goes like, ‘hey, this is normal.’ One of the ways we can change something, let it go or even recognise it is to include simple conscious movement, nervous system exercises and being in connection with subtle inner sensations. These allow the brain to feel the difference and then release tension. The cortex can register other possibilities besides the habituated response.
The whole area around our womb is key to our well-being. The pelvic diaphragm, the respiratory diaphragm and the other diaphragms are the gatekeepers to how weight is transferred through our body. And so they often will hold more energy because they are the gatekeepers of how that energy is moved through our body. Most bodywork techniques, for a good reason, do not go and address the pelvic floor.
‘This is your body, your greatest gift, pregnant with wisdom you do not hear, grief you thought was forgotten, and joy you have never known.’
— Marion Woodman
By acknowledging the tension or contraction we may hold in our wombs, I don’t want to create drama or scare people. On the contrary, this is an invitation to welcome possibilities, creativity, empowerment and agency and to reclaim more life force.
We must learn to give ourselves permission to listen and respond to our whole body and wombs in an unfiltered way. It’s like dropping our brain into a spark of desire so that the whole of us welcomes what wants to emerge. It is about trusting our inner guidance and experience.
Especially if our impulses have been squished down in our life, we lose the vocabulary of what that inner spark is and wants to communicate with. The body speaks to us through images, micro-movements, colours, changes in temperature, pulsations etc.
If we are not here in response to something, we cannot process it; we can’t evolve with something or someone. In relationship, we can release, process and adapt.
The womb is the seat of our creativity and life force.
The more we expand the capacity to be in connection with our womb, the more we can grow our capacity to be with what’s here and to stay in a relationship with All Life.
It’s in relationship where we learn, grow, embody, and enhance our capacity to keep meeting what is here and be in the dance of life. It is where we deepen our ability to have agency, make decisions, and make different choices.
Systems, institutions and culture cut us off from our wombs and bodies and from being in a relationship with ourselves or the rest of the world. That is a form of oppression.
Strengthening our connection to our womb has something to do with harnessing resources to sustain well-being.
Moreover, traditionally, the Womb Rite is also an invitation to connect to the Earth, to one’s creative energy, strength and healing capacity and to a lineage of women who performed and received this initiation. It is a way to honour companionship and interdependence and co-create together a sacred space.
You are welcome to receive the ritual if you are still bleeding, are already in post-menopause, or have suffered from sexual abuse, a miscarriage, or a hysterectomy. The Rite will allow you to connect to your body, explore your inner sensations, and safely enhance your intuition, self-knowledge and self-trust. It is an invitation to create beauty and celebrate who you are. You will be able to develop a simple practice you can bring home in the following thirty days to nurture the Rite and restore your connection with your womb. This is all about trusting your experience and gut feeling. This way, you can safely explore your next steps in your transformation, healing journey, agency, self-care and responsibility.
Last but not least, the Womb Rite is an invitation to become a stewardess of the Earth. In this way, you can step up more consciously, if you wish, in doing your part on behalf of the generations who came before you and those who are not born yet.
I know that this conversation about the Munay-Ki opens other delicate questions about indigenous wisdom and cultural appropriation. Some ancient traditions perhaps are shared too quickly. In our industrialised countries, we are hungry for ancestral knowledge. We have gaps in our psyche as we lose references, maps and rituals.
We no longer have our connection with a body of wisdom rooted in Earth reverence, harmony with the dead and understanding of Cosmic Laws. Therefore, many searches for knowledge and spiritual connection with the invisible world elsewhere. There is something beautiful but also dangerous, as we may become part of forms of contemporary colonialism.
I don’t know what kind of permission the elders of the Andes granted foreigners to work with this material that it would have taken years to master in a tribal and community context.
Indeed, there is too much hype in our industrialised countries about practices that easily are labelled as shamanic or lead to enlightenment.
That is why I prefer to only share the Womb Rite at the moment, as I combine it with my studies in somatics, nervous system healing and stress release.
Feel free to click here below if you want to have a chat and know how the Womb Rite may support your growth and well-being.