When I was interviewing women about their Third-Life Alignment experiences, one of them said something that gave me full-body chills:
She said that this process of alignment – which, for her, and for so many others, entailed doing brave things like quitting her job, following her intuition, speaking up for herself and just learning to like herself again, as she was, without the approval or influence of others’ opinions and beliefs – felt like becoming a woman.
Yeah, chills, right?
She and I went on to talk about how men and boys seem to have more occasions, events and circumstances that society deems make them “a man.” For women, it’s not quite the same. We get our periods. But getting a period is something that happens to us, and doesn’t necessarily involve our own personal grit, determination, bravery or any other character-building feat (unless, of course, you count the process of navigating the world of feminine hygiene products, which does undeniably require some measure of bravery….).
A later conversation with my deeply spiritual friend triggered the thought that the Third-Life Alignment might in fact be modern-day terminology for an age-old, mythic process of transformation from maiden to mother.
The concept of the triple goddess – maiden, mother, crone – is indeed an ancient one. It refers to the three stages of a woman’s life – metaphoric or otherwise. As a maiden, a woman is all about exploration, making mistakes and realizing the error of her ways; the big big world is bright and new and a little bit wild. As she transforms into “mother,” a woman begins to understand herself more, realize her own strengths, and she becomes a creatrix and nurturer.
The mother archetype isn’t necessarily associated with the actual bearing of a child – although it can be – but rather the cultivating and nurturing of your sense of self, the life you really want, your community, your concept of femininity in the world you occupy and the women you surround yourself with. It is, indeed, learning how to listen to your intuition, take big leaps of faith, find your voice and use it, create what you want.
It is the process of finding your north star, your authentic self, of aligning yourself as the woman you want to be.
A Third-Life Alignment, in its truest sense. A metamorphosis as old as time, as ancient as the mythological mother archetype herself.
What aspects of the archetypical mother are showing up in your life? What are your nurturing, creating, curating, caring for?