You probably don't remember me from Jill and Richard's sweat lodge weekend last October, but I was there with my boyfriend Dewi, who I know has been in touch with you. He forwarded to me an e-mailed article you wrote regarding women and why they should or should not sweat while on their moon. I love the idea of moon lodges. There is a similar, but much older, lost theory in British mythology likening the moon-time women to dragons in caves, collecting treasure in the form of wisdom, to bring it back to the tribe after those days apart. I've thought a lot about the things you said regarding moon-time, the fact that modern life does not allow a woman to step back for those special days, and I feel this is something that can be changed. I have an idea to start a kind of moon circle of friends, really a women's circle I suppose, but a supportive group that could meet monthly and develop meditations, etc, to help with using moon-time as sacred time while still carrying on with our daily demands. If you have any advice or suggestions, they would be gratefully received. Anyway, I hope to hear from you soon.
As a man, I always feel that I am out on the edge when I speak about moon-time to women. With men, it is ok, but with you womenwell, I just don't know enough. Therefore, while the following shares a little of my input, I have referred you to Brooke Medicine Eagle (see below). So, here we go:
I very much like the allegory with the dragon. I like it a lot and see the sameness at that level between history here and that story. It was women in the lodge who first foretold the wires and roads crossing the countryside. Of course, they didn't know what they were describing--just what they saw.
I have known several women's circles over the years. Follows are some notes that come to my mind:
Clearly define the purpose of the group: "To support women" may be too vague. "To honor our moon-times" would be better. "To learn more about what it means to be powerful women so that we may teach that to our daughters" just might be awesome. Whatever it is, it needs to be clear and written down such that you can always tell whether the group is staying on purpose.
Don't ever let it be a "bitch about men" circle. The women you really want won't be part of that.
Honor women who come to meetings who happen to be in their moon-time by getting them their food, drinks, etc.
Honor women who don't come to meetings when they are in their moon-time.
Give the women assignments by the next meeting. For example, when next in their moon-time, sleep one night by themselves (if they have a companion) and report back on how it felt.
Have all women keep moon-time journals that they can share from at meetings.
Get a copy of Brooke Medicine Eagle's tape moon-time and listen to it as a group. Try her suggestions and share the results next meeting. You can find it at www.medicine-eagle.com/bme5.html#mysteries Note, I cannot speak specifically about her other women's tapes as I have not heard them. I do expect they will offer value also, though.
Note that Brooke (who is a friend of mine) will be in England in June. Her schedule is at www.medicine-eagle.com/bme9.html. Of course, I think that the Earth Renewal, if it does come off, will be of more valueat least to the Earth Mother :)
Do not hold your meetings on the full moon. Hold them whenever and honor all phases of Grandmother Moon.
Go to the ocean sometimes. Grandmother Ocean is sister to Grandmother Moon. Both can teach you much.
Set your group up to have a grand goal: to be able to support the next generation.
Ask each woman that is involved with a man to discuss the group with their man and request his support. For some men it will be easier to accept then others. The women should do what they can to gain sincere support from their companion. Hopefully the men will understand the value they will receive. Unfortunately, some won't.
I wish you much success in your journey. Keep us informed and feel free to consult as you desire.
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