I have been thinking recently about how we look upon this beautiful and sacred time in a woman’s life … her Moon Time.
I can remember when I was a young girl just starting my Moon Time, my mother saying to me, “Oh, you have the curse!” “What!?”, I thought! “A curse? How long will this curse last?” My mother, shaking her head replied, “For the rest of your life.” That was a sad, sad day in my life. I had no idea about the ‘curse’, or that women everywhere had to live with such a horrible, disgusting ‘curse’ throughout almost their entire life!! Why, oh why had I been born a girl? It was a dismal day indeed. That day, my mother proceeded to show and tell me about all the things this ‘curse’ would come to mean to me … painful cramps, mood swings, embarrassing moments, no swimming, no playing, no fun.
I prayed the ‘curse’ would go away and I would not have to live with such a horrible thing for the rest of my life. I prayed that once I had my children the ‘curse’ would be removed from me and I would never have to wear ‘it’ again! There would be no pain, no mood swings, no PMS, no reason to worry about those potential embarrassing moments!
Then one day … when I was much older … I heard a different story about the ‘curse’. I learned it wasn’t a curse after all! I learned how maligned this beautiful, sacred moment in a women’s life had become … and it saddened my heart, and angered my mind. I wanted to go to schools and other institutions and begin teaching this story to every girl and boy, so they could see the beauty and grace of this time in a woman’s life … this time we call Moon Time. And so I share the following in hopes of dispelling some of the ugly, dark ideas that have captured so many and continue to be handed down generation after generation.
During the time that women were being created, the Creator bathed her in the Light of Love, infusing her with the power to bear and give life, to grow and teach her family, to hold her family together, and to hold her family’s happiness and joy, as well as their sorrow and misfortune.
After some time, this burden became too great, and the women had no outlet, no way to relieve their heavy burdens. Hearing their cries for help, Grandmother Ocean talked to her sister, Grandmother Moon, and together they came up with a solution. Each month, Grandmother Moon sends into women (her sisters), the waters of Grandmother Ocean to wash away the pain, purify, and bring to the women the power of Grandmother Moon. So each month, on their own special time of the moon, women hold the power of the moon and the purification of the Ocean’s waters.
Moon Time is a sacred time in a woman’s life. It is the time for rest and relaxation … of introspection and communion with one’s Soul. It is a time of purification … when the body releases all it has been carrying, and begins to prepare itself once again for the creation, holding and giving of life. It is a time when the Creator prepares the fertile ground for new life.
Back ‘in the day’, Native American women on their Moon Time would leave their village and go to a Lodge or tipi located just outside their village. This Lodge was their Moon Time Lodge. There they would rest, reflect, and be cared for by the women who no longer had their Moon Time. For 3, 5, or 7 days (depending upon how long a woman’s Moon Time would last) the women would be steamed, bathed in oil, cooked for, and encouraged to enter into a dream state. The older women would interpret their dreams and help them understand the messages received during this time. But it was understood that this was a sacred time … a time to be quiet, still, in communion with the Creator or your Soul. It is in the stillness of being that one can hear the messages being whispered.
Today, we rush around, continuing our lives as though nothing is happening to us … as though the sacredness of this time does not exist, but is in fact an inconvenience to our existing, everyday world.
It is said that the Sweat Lodge was brought to the men so they could go through purification. But Moon Time is more than just purification, or a time of life-giving preparation. It is also a very powerful time. All of the power and energy of Grandmother Moon is embodied in a woman at this time.
So, you might ask … what about PMS? When a woman carries that much power or energy within her, lesser more negative types of power or energies will be drawn to her. It is important during this time for women to keep their distances from negative energies … people, places, foods, events, etc. If we allowed our women their time of sacredness … of relaxing, dreaming, cleansing … would they experience PMS? If we treated women with the respect the Creator has imbued upon them … by giving them the power of creating life, holding life, and giving life … would Moon Time seem so awful? Or, would we begin to view all of life in a much more sacred and reverent way?