So I went to that Goddess/Tarot party a while ago, as part of my 40% happiness project that includes playing with friends and trying new things, and so you and I would have things to talk about.
Soon after my first glass of wine, I made sure to let everyone there know that I was a writer and I was going to write about this and that I make fun of all of the things, all of the time and that there will be no hurt feelings when I don't believe one ounce of this bullshit. Everyone was in agreement -- this was for fun and it was funny.
A tarot reader and a -- what? I don't actually know. Belly dancer/spiritual person/someone exotic and interesting -- were present, but elsewhere in the house when I made this announcement.
About two glasses in, they came in to ask how we wanted to do the rite of the womb.
I was certain I had misheard. There was general confusion and I assumed she had said "rite of the ROOM" and I thought they'd be lighting some candles or whatever. Yes, do that, sounds great.
Then we got clear that it was the rite of the womb, and did we want to do it together or separately?
I demanded more info before making any such decision and after some vague, roundabout discussion, we decided we weren't doing whatever it was alone and maybe not at all.
At this point in the night, I'm feeling curious but uneasy. I don't know that trying new things is a good idea anymore, especially if it involves my womb.
She takes us into a small candlelit room (we were at my friend's mom's house, who was supposed to be out of town but unexpectedly found herself in the middle of the rite of our wombs instead) and explained the process.
First, we were going to meditate.
*Awesome, I'm kicking meditation's ass lately, sounds good.
Second, we were going to stand at the entrance of the room and drape a veil over our eyes and take 13 steps to her where we would remove the veil and repeat a mantra.
*At this point, I'm craning my neck to make eye contact with the friend who organized this, and she won't look at me.
We would be quiet and hold the space for our sisters as she led us through the ritual.
*I'm the type of person who laughs at funerals. Once I laughed my way out of a sexual assault involving a stranger in a bathroom stall. My panic is at an all-time high at this exact moment and I start forcing myself to think of the saddest things ever so I don't laugh, and the tension in the room is unbearable.
She gives a whole speech about the moon and blood keepers and blood givers and blood -- God, what? Havers? She also thinks all women should get a week off each month to honor this process.
*I don't know because at this point I am aching with silent, painful sobs of laughter. I again try to look at the organizer who won't look at me before staring at the ceiling and biting the inside of my cheek as hard as I can, wondering if I should just excuse myself now or if that would be even more disruptive.
My heart was pounding and I started to think I might cry because I was confused and uncomfortable and felt trapped in the corner of the couch and had just been thinking about my dead cat. I was so mad I didn't bring my wine into the room. I was also starting to fear no one would believe this story and was upset I couldn't take notes. Why wasn't I live tweeting this? Full on freaking out about everything. Then it was time to begin.
We all meditated together...and it was beautiful. I know it would be funnier to make fun of it but being with such a small group of wonderful women, in that cozy room, just breathing together was beyond what I could call lovely. She asked us to connect with our time in the womb and our connection to our mothers and grandmothers and it was fine. It was a nice meditation. Perfect timing too because I was about to break a rib trying not to laugh but I had sufficiently calmed down during meditation and just tried not to look at anyone because I can't behave if I have an audience.
Then one by one we went to the entrance, double doors with a light on beyond them so there was this dramatic silhouette effect, and we would place the scarf over our heads like a veil and take the 13 steps. But the room was too small for 13 steps so everyone always overstepped it, and ended up right in the spiritual lady's face and had to make their last 2-3 little steps backwards and in place so they weren't nose to nose.
I didn't know what to do with my hands.
She unveiled me and I was screaming at myself to just keep my shit together and I looked into her large, soft eyes and felt almost a little in a trance. I wasn't going to laugh. She took my hands in hers and said (something like): "The womb is not a place for pain and fear. The womb is a place to create and give life." She said it twice and then I had to repeat it. I couldn't remember it though because she put her hands on my belly and I am not a huge fan of that, but still, okay.
And I want to make fun of it and say it was silly and that we all died of laughter afterwards, finally purging ourselves of those pent up giggles we were all fighting. But I can't.
Although so far out of my comfort zone I couldn't remember the zip code, it felt sacred and special and like a little bit of ancient feminine magic. I feel like I have a lifelong connection with these women now, and I barely knew some of them walking into that room. It meant different things to each of us, and some had a connection with the process that I didn't have, but my connection with them because of it was significant.
We did laugh about it later but I think everyone had that same reluctant, freaked out sense of awe even if we won't repeat our mantra on each new moon as instructed. It was cheesy and weird and still somehow lovely.
Then it was time for belly dancing. Trying new things or not, I was not doing it and made this clear at each and every possible opportunity from the initial invitation to meeting the spiritual lady. But then I had just cleansed my womb with a bunch of people I hardly knew and the scarves with the bells looked like so much fun, so we belly danced. We loved it. Everyone danced and drank while we went and had our tarot cards read one by one.
My tarot reading seemed spot on. I thought I knew exactly what it meant and the tarot reader seemed uncertain about my interpretation. It was fairly broad but oddly appropriate and I had fun.
And the universe has been fucking with me ever since.
It turns out my 40% project wasn't some sign of my enlightenment -- it was the equivalent of the cosmos sticking water wings on me before sending a tsunami my way.
Very soon afterwards, some truths about my life were basically packaged up and presented with a shiny bow on top and that's another story for a different time. And once those pieces of the puzzle fell into place, my reading made perfect, specific sense, whether or not I believe in any of it.
The next morning I went to walk on the beach (because I am mastering that part of the 40% project) and I was thinking about the newest turn of events and I stopped to look out at the horizon. I started to feel a little bit sorry for myself and then thought of this crazy-ass book I've been reading and how it had a passage that pointed out that just being here to have a bad day is an incredible miracle, that everything from your parents meeting to the skill of the people who delivered you to the fact you didn't get hit by a car in the parking lot means things are going really right for you, that the universe is conspiring on your behalf.
And I was thinking of that and wondered, "What if the universe is conspiring to bring me good things?" and at that exact second, my phone started playing "Sunshine" by Matt Costa from my back pocket and although I know it was a coincidence involving Spotify and my butt, I do think the universe has an amazing sense of humor.
I laughed then, by myself at the water's edge, like seriously cracked up laughing because I thought it was hilarious (and maybe I was still a little buzzed from the night before?) and realized that as long as I keep laughing, do my 40% and trust that the universe and the people it has placed in my path have my back, things should be mostly okay and that's really all you can hope for on our journey around the sun.
Being open to new things is scary and uncomfortable and unpleasant and life can suck and people are weird and sometimes the very worst things can be the very best things all at the same time, and it's so confusing that I'm just going to stop trying to figure it out and enjoy the journey where, how, when and with whoever I can.
Also, I might start taking belly dancing lessons.