I have never really considered myself to be very feminine. In fact, in college I went through a period of time where I was convinced I had an extra Y chromosome (which usually only occur in men) after hearing my roommate talk about a discussion she had had in her women’s studies class. I tended to hide my emotions well, I loved football, and praised my rational mind. When I was a ballet dancer, I loved to turn and jump with the men and disliked the slower adagio movements of traditional female parts. All of these things led me to believe I was indeed being influenced by some sort of “male” makeup, or that at least I had more of a masculine energy to me. I don’t mean to say I was having serious concerns or questions about my gender, but rather to say that I have always felt more on the masculine side of the energetic female spectrum. As such, I was not only a product of familial females of this nature, I also tended to attract female friends of the same constitution: driven, strong, and independent–qualities that masculine energy tends to highlight, or at least that we have come to believe.
Recently, I started to really dive into my own femininity and what that word meant for me. I had learned to own my femininity in whatever way it showed up, even if on the surface it seemed to be of a more masculine nature. This new adventure came at a time in my life when I was planning my wedding to my then fiancé. It was important to me to let my femininity shine, to let my softer side emerge as I began this new adventure with my partner. I wanted to feel feminine, feel my emotional side, and allow my partner to balance that with his masculine nature. Through the help of my dear friend Lizzie, each week I would spend time thinking and talking about my femininity through my participation in Moon Sisters- a support group for women by women that she had started. It was a wonderful way for me to dig deep and really start to love and accept myself just the way I was, just in time to make a lifelong commitment to love and accept someone else as well.
As a Capricorn marrying a Taurus, we took a more traditional route. We booked our venue in the mountains of Malibu, in a location that could only be described as a fairy tree house: a small space nestled outside amongst the trees. It was breathtaking and exactly what we were looking for. We kept the guest count low so that it would be intimate, and my friend Lizzie married us. We planned a very personal ceremony complete with rose quartz crystals, readings from family members sharing what family meant to them, and of course our selected wedding party. Just like the guest list, the bridal party was small and was comprised of family and the closest of friends, starting with my mother Donna and the groom’s mother Meredith. My bridesmaids were Lizzie, my friends Jenny and Erica, my now sister-in-law Melanie, and my Maid of Honor, my sister Alyssa. I knew I was lucky to have them in my life when I asked them all to be part of my wedding, but I didn’t know that they would prove just how lucky I was.
During the months leading up to the wedding, as I was working through my ideas of femininity in Moon Sisters, I was also working on going with the flow. As an A-type personality, who is a self-proclaimed energetically masculine female, it was important for me to learn and practice this skill so that I could really enjoy my special day. Even though my husband and I spent many many hours over the course of many months thinking of every tiny detail, I didn’t want my obsession over having things be right ruin the day. Knowing this about myself, I strove to harness this skill before the big day.
Fast forward to 4:35PM on Friday, June 23rd- the day of the wedding. The hair and make-up artists had left hours ago. The decorations had been picked up by the wedding coordinators. All of the girls were sitting in their robes ready to change into their dresses: the bridesmaids, maid of honor, my now mother-in-law, my flower girl (my now niece), and my mom. The ceremony started at 6PM. According to the VERY detailed timeline our wedding coordinator created (which I obviously loved) we were to leave our room at 5:15PM so that we could take some bridesmaids photos on site. My husband and I had decided we weren’t going to see each other before the ceremony started, so the photographer was going to snap photos of us getting ready, head over to the guys’ suite to shoot them while we changed, and then meet us on site (about a 5 min shuttle ride over) for photos in our dresses. We were to complete all of this before 6PM. According to the time line, we had just enough time to do it, as long as the photographer got started at 4PM. But it was 4:35PM, and they still weren’t there. Needless to say I was getting a bit antsy. Rather than freak out, I reached for the champagne- luckily I have a high tolerance.
That was just the beginning of the list of things that didn’t exactly go according to plan. Once the photographers got there, they couldn’t find the groom and his groomsmen, getting lost at every turn. By the time we arrived on site, because we were later than we anticipated, all of our guests were already there, so my ladies had to huddle around me secret service style to slip me past everyone without being seen. When we finally were getting ready to begin the ceremony, our ring boxes and flower girl pail were nowhere to be seen and the photographers had to run back to our suite because they had left some equipment there. We may have had a rough start, but, the most beautiful thing came out of all of these instances- I realized just how amazing all of the women surrounding me were. I already knew they were special, but wow did they blow me out of the water. They led the charge. They made the phone calls. They ironed out the kinks. They communicated the needs. And on top of it all, they made me laugh. They made me smile. They held my purse. They helped me walk in my dress. They didn’t show their sweat- not once. They held down the fort so that I didn’t have to. They took care of me in every sense of the word- from zipping up my dress and feeding me to caring for and nurturing my emotional and mental state. I didn’t have to freak out, because they took care of it all. It was a feeling that I can’t remember feeling since I was a little girl. And rather than fight it, I invited it. I embraced it fully, because they all made it so easy for me to. And the best part? I witnessed in all of their strength, drive, fight, and protection, their femininity. It roared with the sound of a hundred lionesses. These women were my warriors, but they were also kind and gentle when they needed to be. They did it all, all the while projecting their fierce femininity and never apologizing for it. I finally saw that my ambition and drive, my focus and rational mind, my directness and boldness were not things to be moved into the masculine column, but rather were very real and important facets of my own femininity.
I also felt my own femininity strengthen as I tried to go with the flow, to give the things happening around me space, without letting them interfere with my inner sanctuary. I gained that strength not only from the women surrounding me that day, but also from the souls of my female ancestors, especially my late grandmothers. The garnet necklace that hung around my neck fed my heart with the courageous fire of my Nana, my fraternal grandmother, and the ring that I wore on my right hand nurtured my spirit with the gentle support of my Nanny, my maternal grandmother. My mother’s diamond earrings I borrowed for the occasion were a constant reminder to listen to my grandmothers’ feminine wisdom. These two women were with me every minute of that day, even if I couldn’t see them. I could feel their presence as shields of armor, protecting me and guiding me through the whirlwind of it all, holding my heart, and holding my hand.
The day I joined my soul with the love of my life was also the day that I never felt more lucky to be surrounded by such amazing women. That experience held a mirror up to my life and allowed me to really see the blessings of being born to my mother and being joined to my sister, of having the love of two strong grandmothers, of attracting and maintaining the amazing friendships with my best friends, and of joining a new family with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and niece. I don’t know how I became so karmically lucky, but I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to see those blessings and understand the importance of those women in my life. Because of them, I was able to walk down the aisle with as much ease, grace, and joy as we had experienced minutes prior when, through cosmic coincidence, we finished our pre-wedding meditation just in time to enjoy the sound of the ring bearers’ and flower girl’s sweet laughter. In that moment, every female in my soul’s journey— past, present, and future—shared their love and strength with me. And as I took that special walk with my father towards my divine union to my husband and the masculine, seeing the faces of all the women who were there to support me, I had never felt more fiercely feminine.
Not only did my wedding day highlight the importance and sanctity of love and marriage, but it also highlighted the tremendous power of femininity, of female relationships, and of women. I was pretty proud to be a woman the day of the Women’s Pride March, but I had never been more proud to be a woman than the day of my wedding. Thank you to all of the fierce women in my life, and to all of the fierce women in the world. The world needs us to roar, and so we shall.