Once upon a time, in a land far, far away there were sisters. These sisters had grandmothers and their mothers had grandchildren. Once a month, under the dim sky of the new moon these sisters, grandmothers, mothers and daughters would gather in a red tent for three days. In this red tent, wise stories were passed down, feet were massaged, nutritious food was communal and women were held. Men were forbidden to enter, their support was shown by providing food for the duration, leaving it at the entrance and letting the women Be.
Although this may sound mythical, it was very real.
Before patriarchy, our Moontime was honored, respected and recognized. We had support, herbs, rituals, traditions passed down from mother to daughter, aunt to niece and so on. Fast forward to our present year 2015 and our orientation has shifted a great deal.
Many women were taught to be ashamed of their periods or their mothers neglected to even talk about it leaving a young girl to wonder why she’s suddenly bleeding ‘down there’. It’s still normal to stare at and judge a woman for bleeding through hers pants, skirt, dress, shorts, bathing suit. Even as women, our empathy and compassion can be absent when a sister is on her Moontime and in pain because it’s such a common occurrence, ‘get on with it, we all experience this!’.
More and more I have open conversations about our cycles, food and ritual around this time.
Gradually, we’re making this shift back to connecting with our bodies rhythm to the moon. There is so much beauty and insight to be gained whilst menstruating, even when the pain is unbearable, trust me, I know. Eckhart Tolle speaks about the heightened potential of enlightenment for women during this time in his book, The Power of Now (highly recommend it).
We will be using this page to lend rituals, recipes, herbal teas and comfort around our Moontime.
This sacred gift allows us to flow with life.
The WAW Pack
Sunday January 24, 2016
To Do or Not To Do
Hello Sisters and Happy post Full Moon!
For those of you that didn’t see our lovely post from yesterday, check it out here after you’ve read this. Amy delivers yet another juicy post about the Wolf Full Moon.
Now let’s get into the goods. I’m currently in my yearly transition of syncing from new moon to full moon and therefore am experiencing my luteal phase now. Because of this, I don’t have much to give but I thought I’d commit to writing this for both myself and you to read!
Our Menstrual cycle consists of 4 definitive phases:
1) Menstruation: bleeding, moontime, aunt Flo, shedding the uterine lining (lasts 3-6 days)
2) Follicular: thickening of uterine lining, maturation of follicle in your ovaries (lasts 1-14 days)
3) Ovulation: egg is released from its follicle in your ovary (lasts 1-2 days)
4) Luteal: death of the corpus luteum (lasts 12-14 days)
So, what does it feel like when we’re in our Luteal phase and our egg has not been fertilized?
*low energy *moody *emotional *cravings *depressed *loss *unmotivated *overwhelmed *sensitive *misunderstood *insecure *introverted *annoyed
This morning I woke up after a rough nights sleep (my cat is my baby). It was 30 minutes after my alarm had sound and I was officially late. My plan was to head to the farm and volunteer for 5 hours (yes, on my day off) and enjoy the conversations of the lovely people that I’d meet there. It was 35* outside and we’d be working outdoors packing refrigerated vegetable. I was ready to put myself through this, for a couple of reasons… FIRSTLY, I wanted to feel productive. Secondly, I felt like I NEEDED the social interaction and thirdly, you get a giant box of local, organic produce in exchange.
Needless to say, no matter how fast I moved, in the end, I had missed my opportunity in arriving even on time-ish. I felt like a failure and completely disappointed in myself.
“I should have gotten up earlier!” “Now, I’ve missed my chance to experience the day!” “I can’t follow through!”
I pitied myself for about 20 minutes, then remembered that I work at a yoga studio and have access to free yoga everyday. I decided I’d go to a Hatha class instead.
Herein lies the lesson…
We spent the majority of the class performing self care exercises. I had such a resistance to the lack of ‘movement’ that was happening, I felt like saying, “when can we get on with this class already?!?” The irony was that, this was the class. She was teaching us how to feel and therefore listen to the feedback our bodies were giving us. That intelligence we all know about but tend to somehow ALWAYS forget. Especially during our Luteal phase. We’re going 100 miles an hour during the month, working under deadlines, pushing ourselves to check things off of our lists and embody this very Yang energy then BAM! our Luteal phase comes in and says,
“You better slow down sister, otherwise you’re gonna cause some damage!”
It’s the last thing we want to hear because as modern day humans, we perpetually feel ‘behind’ schedule. Who’s F-ing schedule is this anyway?
As if the Divine would hold us to a schedule?? How naive of us, right?
Being in action mode for the entirety of the month is not productive, it is actually disadvantageous. It leaves us without anytime to stand back and reevaluate our lives. Having an opportunity to do this leads us into our next phase (menstrual), when we can ask questions like:
“Am I feeding my passions?” “Am I in alignment with my authentic self?” “What can I let go of to experience more joy in my life?”
Our cycle works for us, not against us. It is an intelligence that we do not need to be in control of, we need only to listen. I was forced to remember that this morning, even as my mind resisted.
So find a calendar and start tracking your phases. When you notice you’re in the last week of your Luteal phase approaching your moontime, make an effort(less) to do less and slooooow down. And if you forget to make a conscious effort to slow down (whistles and looks around), you may be forced to.
May the force be within you.
Woman As Wolf
Sunday November 29, 2015
Healing Our Womb
Our womb is a sacred vessel. She is inviting, warm and has the potential to create, heal and shed the past. I will be speaking mostly of the energetic orientation of our wombs, leaving the more physiological aspect for another musing.
In matriarchal societies, women recognized their sacred relationship to their wombs. They honored this space within them through ceremonies, including the celebration of a maidens first moon. They also had an affinity towards the Moon that was simply second nature. Ceremonies were held under the glimmer of moonlight only. These women had a knowing that transcends our intellectual minds.
Over time and with the rise of a more masculine society, we lost some of these traditions. We no longer spoke of our moontime, our wombs or held ceremonies that were moonlit. The Sun would now reign and the Moon would carry a negative association to all things scary and violent, including wolves.
Just as we are fed by the energy of father sun, mother moon has energy to feed us. The sun is the masculine, yang, action oriented, heating, movement and big. As to where the moon is feminine, yin, resting, cooling, stillness and subtle. Receiving the energies of the father or the mother alone will cause an imbalance and for centuries we have been closed off to the mother. This denial has led us to neglect our wombs and in effect we have more women suffering from reproductive health related issues than in recorded history. This is also an accumulation of shared suffering by all women that we carry in our wombs.
Our womb has the ability to take in a great deal of energy and she does not discriminate. She is like the alchemist taking energy in, cleansing, then dissolving it. Like the mother, she wants to protect, nurture and provide space for growth. Also, like the mother, she can be forgotten, taken for granted and neglected.
At some point or another, our wombs have been sacrificed, whether for something sacred and beautiful like childbirth or something devastating.
We have lost our way; the way of moontime ceremonies and connecting with the divine feminine. As a result, our wombs have not had the opportunity to regain their strength, on an individual or collective level. Over time, her ability to alchemize and shed the energy that she takes in has weakened, lacking the space to clear out old remanence of wounds taken in.
I offer you these simple ways to reconnect with your womb.
There are plenty of rituals and ceremonies (including Yoni steams) that I can offer you and I urge you do some research on your own. One simple yet profound way to immediately reconnect and let your womb know that she is being acknowledged is by reigniting your connection with the moon.
Find Her | Search for her in the night’s sky, sometimes she out during the day.
Bask | Spend time under her glow and allow yourself to bathe in her light.
Moon Womb Meditation | Set yourself up in a comfy space under the moonlight, close your eyes, still your mind and place you hands on your womb. Envision the moonlight is pouring into the crown of your head, through your heart and all the way into your hands. Allow this light that is pulsating in your hands to permeate into your womb space. Imagine the light is being soaked up by every inch of your womb and feel it cleanse your space. Sit in this space for as long as you need. Once you sense you are complete, bring your awareness back to the Moon and bow to her in gratitude for her healing light. Make this a monthly ritual, preferably on the Full Moon when she has more light to provide to you.
These subtle shifts in our awareness are invaluable. They bring us back to a place of honoring and remembering this very sacred vessel within us, that is us. Next time you see her in the night’s sky, smile and remember your womb.
In Glittering Moonlight,
Sunday October 25, 2015
3 Ways to Get Turned On
How do we find the time to get ‘turned on’ in our day to day lives? Between full-time jobs/careers, the pursuit of our passions and possibly raising children, it can be a delicate design to find the time for intimacy with our partners or ourselves.
But what happens when you’ve carved the time out, declared to have a sacred/naughty night only to find out that you aren’t aroused as easily as you used to be? This can be a difficult truth to embrace. Although this is completely rational and acceptable due to the circumstances of our very existence, it may not be a reality we want to welcome. The multi layered cause of this is a discussion that can land on many platforms. The one that I would like to shed light on is our hormones.
The naked truth is that a symptom of our ‘successful’ lives (aka being busy) is that there’s a high risk of skipping a meal or eating too late. The word ‘hangry’ has a lot to say. If we’ve gotten to this point, then chances are, our blood sugar has plummeted and our remedy will be sugar STAT! Then you have a huge spike in your blood sugar and thus a pattern begins. Here is a little description on how our blood sugar levels affect our hormones.
I will be providing some scrumptious plant-based, gluten free recipes that are supportive to our hormones here in the near future, but until then…
Here are 3 super easy foods to add to your daily rituals!
1. Raspberry leaf tea. A cup. Every morning. Red raspberry leaves contain tannins, vitamin c, iron, b-vitamins, potassium and magnesium. The unique combination of nutrients in this tea make it exceptionally beneficial for the female reproductive system.
2. Add healthy fats into your smoothies. Coconut oil, coconut butter, avocado, hemp seeds. Healthy fats, such as these, regulate the production of sex hormones.
3. Brazil nuts! Contain the mineral; selenium. Critical in the regulation of thyroid hormonal levels.
The underlying theme here is: Balanced hormones = Sex drive
I invite you to add these to your lovely breakfast ritual, because being ‘turned on’ means living our lives passionately.
Please share your experiences here, I’d love to hear about what you are doing to turn yourself on!
The WAW Pack
Sunday October 11, 2015
The full moon in Fall always seem to be that much more mystical and this past BloodMoon was quite heavy, bringing up a lot for everyone.
It seemed to shine a focused light on issues that we may have been storing by the wayside, really forcing us to feel it all and work through it until there is resolution. Sometimes resolution can be equated with completion and often times completion is painful. Either way, nothing can hide in the shadows when a BloodMoon is the star.
At times, my Taurus moon will sway me in a ‘rational’ direction and I’ll lose sight of the Moon’s potency, of her powers toheal us. I’ll feel lost, confused or aimless. However, soon enough I am reminded that as a woman, there is no escaping her influence. She has the potential to be our greatest teacher, if we can slow down just enough to listen to her sensual whispers.
Creating space for the Moon in our lives can bring about many changes, including syncing your personal cycle with hers. For many moons, it has been said that women should bleed with the new moon. This also follows bio-dynamic farming practices, plant seeds on the full moon as that is the time when the Earth is most fertile. I always found this tricky as my cycle fluctuates between bleeding on the new moon for part of the year to bleeding on the full moon for another part. Recently, I found some enlightening information in regards to the difference between these two patterns.
There are two patterns that women’s cycles can follow, the Red Moon Cycle and the White Moon Cycle.
The Red Moon cycle falls on the full moon and is the pattern that is alignment with women that are not intending to have children (yet). Their work in the world is in dedication to healing women, its sensual, sexual and is not concerned with populating the next generation.
Women following the pattern of the New Moon or the White Moon cycle are those who desire to bare children. This means that she is ovulating during the Full Moon which aligns her perfectly with the fertility of mama Earth.
Depending on where we are in our lives, we can bounce back and forth between Red & White or stick to one consistently. The moon has a more in depth understanding of us than we think and it can be valuable for us to pay attention to her.
Keeping track of our menstrual cycle is essential and adding the cycle of the moon is even more meaningful. This allows us to dig a bit deeper into our experiences and where we are in our life’s work.
I invite you to track your cycle with the moon for 3 months and take notice of what she has to offer.
Here’s to howling under the Full Moon!
The WAW Pack
Sunday September 27, 2015
Nine days ago my moon came; 5 days early. I’ve been tracking my cycle for years and it fluctuates between 26-28 days, it hadn’t come that early in years. I started taking inventory of everything I had done leading up to it to try and solve the riddle. In the end, it dawned on me during a casual conversation with a friend. It had been the new moon/solar eclipse and that was the day I had started bleeding. Turns out it wasn’t a riddle at all, just an alignment shift, my body was finally back on track with the moon after about 5 months of weaning off track.
Since my plans were off kilter I decided to take a Vinyasa class (challenging yoga) the day before it came. This small decision completed impacted my moon, it was that much more painful and took me down. My body was like, “What were you thinking?”.
It shined a light on the delicate balance of making the right choices before I start bleeding.
Luckily, I was able to work from home and take time to rest. I didn’t get out of bed unless I needed to, every candle was lit and I had incense burning (the good kind)! I asked my husband to make soup and I just took care of me. While not feeling well and bound to my bed, I realized the vital importance of sacred space. When I’m going about my day I don’t necessarily see these things as I’m so used to my space.
I mean mini alters and the ways my home is set up to reflect self care back to me.
Within sacred space there is also an energetic layer to acknowledge. Do I really need to respond to this text, email, twitter comment, phone call? No, I don’t need to. This act of creating a safe place to Be while on my moon is a lovely way to honour my cycle and therefor the Divine Feminine or Shakti that lives through me.
I welcome you to find the sacred in your space, it can be as simple as wrapping yourself in a pink shawl or lighting a candle.
Allow for the loving embrace of your true nature.
So much Love,
The WAW Pack
Sunday August 30, 2015
I was quite stumped on what to muse about for this Sunday’s MM. Sometimes I’ll find that I’m living an answer but keep asking the questions. I sat here (in my office) with my eyes closed, in silence waiting for that ‘inspiring’ topic to arise, when suddenly I could hear one of our Yoga teachers playing her harmonium in the room next to me. She chanted along, a slow yet glorious chant in a low pitch. I’m not going to lie, I got seriously lost and fell deeply in gratitude of baring witness to her service.
Rewind to Friday night, I had the privilege to sit with another graceful teacher; Raghunath. It was a 2 hour lecture entitled, ‘Not the Body, Not the Mind; a Spiritual Practice’. It was heart lifting and I left there in love with every being I could think of. One of his teachings seemed to resonate with me especially. It was that of service. He spoke of service in ways I had never realized and maybe had heard but wasn’t fully ready to embody (you know what I’m talking about!). One thing he said that I want to share with you is this:
“Everything in the material word can either serve spirit or serve matter, like an instrument for instance.”
Raghunath is an ex-punk turned monk, now Yogi. He was a huge part of the NYC punk scene in the 80’s and was lead singer in the band ‘Youth of Today’. He spoke about preforming for the ego vs. service. Now he leads Kirtan and is very aware of his ego when it creeps in… he sings in service and let me tell you, it is a brilliant sight to witness!
In my mind, I started to translate his statement about service to all facets of my life, including my own physical practice. When I upped my Yoga game in the past few months, my primary motivation was that I wanted to be stronger, I wanted to be able to float through the asanas and eventually into head stand; for myself.
On Saturday morning I practiced in my living room, I held the orientation of service in my heart and you know what? My practice was the strongest it has been yet! I felt like I had more purpose; that being stronger in my physical body meant that I could be more of service. For me, the big goal is growing food and preparing it for others, surely I need to be in excellent physical condition for this dream to be sustainable in the long run, no?
All this has come in during the Follicular phase, which I have mentioned before and will most likely come back to. It’s one of my favorite places to be in the cycle. It is in your Follicular phase when an egg is being chosen to grow. The energy to expand and create and gift is so ripe and potent. In 15 days or so, I may not be able to be of service to anyone outside of myself, so I will practice this now, when my body is rich and ready.
Service is not a bind. On the contrary, it is a freedom.
Seeing Your Light xoxox,
The WAW Pack
Sunday August 23, 2015
5 Ways to Sink In
I find that my biggest challenge when I’m on my moon is that I have to do anything outside of laying in bed and being cared for. That may sound lavish and needy but a lady needs her rest yo!
5 Sinking In Rituals
1) CRYSTALS; if you don’t own any, find your local crystal shop and get the essentials- Clear quartz, Rose Quartz and something that calls to you. Just having these in your space raises the vibration, make sure to soak them in water and sea salt to cleanse after bringing them home.
2) READING; having something yummy to read is essential when on your moon, instead of tuning out in front of your computer or TV, read a story… The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is always a good choice.
3) A CUPPA; the English way to simply say a cup of tea. This may be my favorite ritual. Red raspberry leaf, Dandelion, Nettle Leaf, Tulsi & Chasteberry all support your blood and hormonal functions, great to drink throughout your cycle. I love Traditional Medicinals teas! The warmth of a ‘cuppa’ always seems to alleviate my cramps and give me the support that I’m craving.
4) NAP TIME; our bodies are doing a lot of work while we’re on our moon, this is a time when it is ok to just lay in bed and honor that our bodies are not up for a run, flow class or cycling to work. Grab a body pillow and get your nap on!
5) SUSHI; because why not? I don’t eat seafood but I love sushi, I’ve only ever had the veggie variety so I don’t even know what I’m missing out on and I crave it during this phase. What my body is really asking for is iron rich foods. I can eat 7 thousand seaweed snacks, the Gimme brand is my favorite. I like making a yummy avocado salad and making mini hand rolls.
If we can take time to honor our beautifully bodies even just a tiny bit during this phase, then we are making a huge shift for ourselves. Don’t be fooled, these rituals may seem small but they speak to us on a DNA level. The act of self-care is fundamental for our well-being and when we allow ourselves these tiny practices, we open up a lovely door to healing, gratitude and ultimately magic.
Luna Love to You!
The WAW Pack
Sunday August 9, 2015
Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that we are balanced between Yin & Yang energies. For instance, the force that wakes us up in the morning and gets us going for our day is where we experience the Yang in our day. By the time afternoon rolls around it begins to shift into Yin and from there, the rest of the evening is dominated by Yin. This is true whether you’re female or male. This observation is on a micro level and if we look at the macro level of the cycle we learn that as women we go through the flow of Yin to Yang and back again within our Moon cycles.
Once our menstruation or shedding period is over we segue into our Follicular phase, which is mainly ruled by Yin energy.
This energy deals with our flesh, fluid and tissue.
While our uterus is growing a thick and rich endometrium lining we find ourselves full of possibility. Perhaps we experience this because our bodies are actually preparing to conceive.
Personally, I know my most inspired conversations and brainstorming sessions are done while in this Yin phase of the cycle. I tend to get very excited about all the infinite possibilities and the prospect of conception rocks my world! What I’ve learned is that if I don’t write everything down and keep the momentum going, then come ovulation or the beginning of my Yang phase, I let the longing, craving and desire fall away. Soon enough, the inspiration is shed along with the lining of my uterus.
The intention is to bring these ideas into actualization, to birth them if you will. I see it as a spiritual birthing process. We can hold the yearning throughout our cycle, whether we’re shedding or pregnant, we can carry this thirst to see our dreams come to fruition, to a visceral embodiment. We are able to birth beings as well as marvelous ideas.
Let’s keep our conceptions flowing and most definitely share them with our sisters as the act of collaborating brings us that much closer to our stunning dreams!
Love and Light Bulbs,
The WAW Pack
Sunday August 2, 2015
Allowing for Support
On the tail end of my last moon (menstruation), I found myself in a deep stretch surrounded by women in a Yin Yoga class. At the beginning of the class the instructor went around the room checking in with each woman’s body. I sat heavy in mine and wanted so badly to say, “I’m having serious self-worth issues today,” but I didn’t. Although I felt safe in this intimate room with women, it wouldn’t have been ‘appropriate.’ I witness women do it in every class, “Hi, I’m Kate and I’m fine.” It’s such a shame to waste the potential of a room filled with women. The value of these supportive containers is immeasurable and we can’t afford to waste these opportunities on “I’m fine.”
In my yearning to be heard and held by these women I realized that what I was longing for was genuine and loving support. This realization brought me to another realization; I don’t truly know how to accept support. Suddenly, I had scenarios flashing through my mind of not accepting support and not asking for help. They were hand in hand those two. If I couldn’t ask for help how could I expect to know how to receive support? I felt more natural being in an uncomfortable position on my yoga mat than asking for an extra blanket or block.
How could I truly accept support?
I called a sister after class and cried to her; I cried to her about loneliness and shared with her my yearning for love and support. I felt like I was failing as a strong woman and told her, “I should have it together by now; I’ve done so much work. How is this coming up for me?”
The simple act of calling my friend, my Sister and asking for “help” and “support” healed a part of my wound, the wound that we, as Women, all carry with us. Our yearning is real; it runs deep and needs to be fed.
I invite you to gather your sisters, share your pain, joy, struggles, love, sadness and dreams. Let them hold you, except their support and allow yourself the
pleasure of receiving.
The WAW Pack
Sunday July 26, 2015