Daughters of Ishtar
Celebrating Rites of Passage for Contemporary Women & Girls

Passage to womanhood

We don't have many road maps for growing ourselves up gracefully in our contemporary western culture. And so we are often left on our own to struggle with questions such as 'What does it mean that I'm becoming a woman?' and 'How will I know I've arrived?'   The ceremonies outlined below are designed to fill some of this gap.

Budding ceremony (for girls ~12-14)

A private ceremony for the girl starting her passage to womanhood. Often celebrated with her mother and one or two mature women from her intimate circle.

This ceremony honours the awesome maturation process at work in the girl's being as she ripens towards full womanhood - body, mind and soul. A budding ceremony can be performed to honour the onset of menstruation (menarche) and/or as a celebration of reaching the 'teen' years.

The ceremony inspires with

  • life-affirming messages about what it means to be becoming a woman
  • support and encouragement to cultivate a positive relationship with her own bodily & instinctual nature
  • gifts to feed her growing sense of herself as a unique feminine being filled with creative potential

Blossoming ceremony (for girls ~16-18)

A joyful celebration of blossoming womanhood, for the young woman and her chosen guests.

How often in our lives do we get to be the centre of positive attention and admiration? This ceremony is an opportunity for the young woman to get dressed up in all her finery and be made a fuss of as she is ritually blessed and welcomed into the circle of women.

This 'coming of age' ceremony acknowledges a growing freedom - the freedom to make our own choices and decisions about we want for ourselves, about how we share the gift that we are with intimate others and the wider world - and the corresponding responsibilities that we as women hold, for our own wellbeing and that of the world around us.

As she stands on the threshold from girlhood to womanhood, the young woman is given the opportunity to recognise and value the gifts and challenges of her past as she says a final farewell to childhood, and to say thank you to the special people who have nurtured her unfolding body and spirit to this point.

Once she has symbolically stepped over the threshold into womanhood, the young woman is blessed with good wishes for her onward journey and given symbolic gifts to represent some of the qualities that may help her to find her own way forward into the unknown future that lies before her.

The ceremony generally concludes with dancing, feasting and general merriment!

Gift Ideas for Buds & Blossoms

For Buds

  • A handy purse or bag for those womanly essentials - make one, or buy one and add your own decorative touches
  • Brightly coloured cloth menstrual pads - shop around on the internet or make your own
  • Wheat pack - to soothe away any aches and pains
  • Fresh flowers & fruits - to feed her senses - some people like to include a small block of organic choclate..
  • Herbal potions and lotions, eg. rose hand cream, herbal deodorant, a gentle facial scrub & moisturiser, etc
  • A beautiful fairy/goddess doll, all dressed in red, to be a watchful friend and guardian as she grows into full womanhood
  • Handmade red bead bracelet to wear during her bleeding time or whenever she wants to feel connected to the circle of women
  • Gift voucher for ear piercing - if she hasn't already had them done - and a pair of gold sleepers
  • Creative media - paints & brushes or soft rainbow crayons & sketchblock - to feed her budding creative woman-self
  • A decorated blank book to use as a journal or dream-diary and some coloured pens - to support her awakening inner life
  • Books by or about women who have lived inspirational lives
  • Tarot cards, runes, angel cards or the like - to support her in tapping into her own inner wisdom

For Blossoms

  • Pampering pack of herbal potions and lotions, eg. rose hand cream, peppermint foot rub, body scrub, moisturiser, scented oils, etc
  • Henna tattoo set with henna & stencils - to embellish her beautiful body
  • A special item of jewellery eg. a goddess pendant, a garnet ring - as a memento of the occasion & a connection to the sacred women's circle
  • Gift voucher for ear piercing - if she hasn't already had them done
  • A dressy handbag or clutch purse - for evening wear
  • Creative media eg. paints & brushes, pastel crayons & sketchblock, coloured pens & journal - to feed & support her ongoing journey of unfoldment as a woman
  • Tools of her chosen trade or profession - for the student / apprentice with clear aspirations
  • A basic tool set and/or cordless drill
  • Books by or about women who have lived inspirational lives
  • Tarot cards, runes, angel cards or the like - to support her in tapping into her own inner wisdom