The word liminal comes from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold – any point or place of entering or beginning.A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing. Liminal space is where all transformation takes place, if we learn to wait and let it form us. ( Liminal Space | website by Three Levers, 2016)
The significant events of life contains danger and threat, uncertainty,
as the person enters the land of unknown, the land never before visited.
To make it successful the different societies used many restrictions, rituals and laws around how the individual person has to act, to live, to what to comply.
Our days, in the hyper individualized western society you are left mostly on your own, to make decisions to make choices and it is sow much more dangerous. Person is left with endless choices and has to make up his own mind. How to deal with death, with love, with birth and their meaning. How hard is to accept dying, how not straightforward is to accept new person coming to earth via you. How complicated is for the teenager to deal with his sexuality all vivid and with no clear boundaries, with the amount of freedom suddenly gained. How strenuous is to accept that your youth is ending and you are now not the maiden but a mother for example. Cult of youth and industry of beauty products is thriving on this vulnerability of aging . And the world is not ending.
All those events and may smaller ones are transformations. Birth, Maturity (marriage, motherhood), Death. There is vivid similarity of rituals used in the old Baltic culture during periods of each transformation. Such as using white linen sheet to wrap newborn, to cover bride, to hide hair of a married woman, to wrap the body of the dead . And that must mean something important. The guarding powers, the clear boundaries where in place to help.
People easily get stuck in the uncertain state of the transformation. The 'stuck' used to have special spiritual names - 'kaukai','laumes', 'baubai' (witch, ghost, mermaid, troll). Half here half there unable to lead fulfilling life or travel further. 'Tibetian book of death' were the rituals to help the person to accept the transformation happening, guide him.
Say the dying person, who gets trapped in the transformation of dying gets stuck in between here and the other side, therefore all the ghost stories... Therefore shamans, spiritual healers etc. It takes then lots of time and effort to move further. Life circle only goes one way, and if you try to stop, or even turn back you are going against the laws of universe.
Life circle is cruel, therefore beautiful. And you are not allowed to stop or turn back.
Many fairy tales and legends teach you about it. The worst you can do is tu turn back.
Most texts in this page are inspired or referring to the lectures of Algirdas Patackas and Aleksandras Žarskus