Findhorn Community resident, Jane Rasbash, shares her reflection on the Gender Ritual offered by Namibian wise woman, Visolela Namises. Visolela invited Jane to share the messages that came through her during the summit to heal the feminine and masculine aspects of ourselves. The New Story Summit: Inspiring Pathways for our Planetary Future was held at the Findhorn Foundation and Community 27 September – 3 October 2014.
Kenya, South Africa, Canada – one by one the place names came through Visolela and people stood up vocally honouring their roots, their ancestors. The indigenous peoples uplifted others who were unsure as recognition, fear, confusion and old wounds rose up. The different energies danced and gradually Visolela over-rode the resistance and continued her task. There was a palpable shift in vortex, the hairs on the back of my neck tingling. Later I understood from Visolela that a space of multi-level connection had opened, seemingly channeling voices of African Spirituality that have been marginalised and sometimes demonised since colonial and missionary times.
I had met Visolela, her name means ‘I love the World’, at the GEN Africa conference in December 2013 where she shared deep concerns about widespread violence against women in some African countries and harmful rites of passage in Namibia from where she hails. She spoke with deep longing to reduce the harm and reclaim the wisdom in healthy rites of passage and positive and empowering cultural practices that will strengthen women and girls. She told me,‘‘Most younger African women missed initiation and their mothers were not given the ritual tools of power in the correct form created way back by the ancestors – rites of passage with deep connection and intimate relationship. Missing initiation is like cutting the umbilical cord of truth.”
The day after the voices emerged, Visolela told me she had been up all night and words had come through her to hold a ritual for love and healing. This became the ‘Pine Cone’ ritual many of us attended. On the last day of the summit, Visolela told me a final ritual was required to close the space of multi-level connection. An invitation went out for a final fire ritual on the dunes. Visolela held the space late into the night. The summit closed. We move on to a New Story.
Words recited by Visolela with the support of summiteers at the Pine Cone Ritual….
I have unconditional love for you. I am committed to support and serve you.
I need to be. You cannot wish me away. I am willing to step back and let you be you.
I can learn to be with my sexual urges, my anger, my pain, my love.
I am willing to be in harmony with my femininity.
Woman around 35 years old
Be balanced. Be feminine and masculine. Be gentle, but firm, and let the feminine and masculine in.
Engage and honour the need for initiation.
Do the initiation. Raise the voice. Sing, Celebrate, Inform.
Let there be expression of the body, in all its fullness, in its soul, to its depth and the spirit free to dwell.
Young boy 9 years old
Listen to my need for guidance and initiation.
Evoke the sensuality and stay in respect, in adoration of the shyness of the innocent boy.
Girl 6 years old
Lack of initiation is tearing us apart. Therefore build my confidence. Trust me.
Be in full awareness of my steps of growth and initiate me.
For me not to miss my moment with Mother Earth.
Boy 2 years old
In unison with all races I don’t belong to the Europeans, to the Asians, to the Africans, to the Americans, to all races. I am the one who is one within you. Open your arms wide for my welcome. Let’s be human.
Reclaiming healthy rituals is a strand of the emerging ‘River of Life’ project and Visolela a key inspiration to this initiative. If you are interested in knowing more about Visolela and the River of Life Project, please click here.