Waning moon.

20 or so years ago, I was a total shithead. I'm not kidding. I was lost. I was a Fendi totin', Chanel doused, pushup bra sportin', stiletto wearing, acrylic nail nightmare of a mean girl. Not to say that's not right for someone because I'm sure it is but not. for. me. Never for me. Even though I donned that mask for quite a while. I drank my ass off... most of the time to be comfortable around others because I had no idea how to act in what I know now to be a very dogmatic, socially stunted, and suffocatingly patriarchal paradigm. And I was thoughtless. Painfully, so. And I was most certainly not the kind of woman I would want to be friends with.

At that time- about 18, 19, 20 years old- I felt I had lost all the innocence of my childhood. I was remembering this the other day when I was watching my daughter make beautiful rainbow colored cut outs from construction paper for her friends. I used to do that when I was little- gift my friends from the toys I had, or make them something from scratch from my big feeling heart with whatever I could get my hands on around the house. I gave regardless of the faces and the comments of "what is this?!" I was taught by my mom and dad that giving was from the heart; no matter what was given it was special. Eventually, I stopped because people never liked, wore, or loved what I gave. A little piece of me died when I stopped making and giving my unique, heart-filled gifts. So, I watched my daughter making gifts for all her school friends and I teared up. I quieted my cynical voice that was asking "I wonder when that will be over for her" and instead decided to focus on "I hope she does that forever." I wonder if that's why I've been singing this Coldplay song so much lately:

When she was just a girl She expected the world But it flew away from her reach So she ran away in her sleep

And dreamed of paradise Every time she closed her eyes

Life goes on, it gets so heavy The wheel breaks the butterfly Every tear a waterfall In the night, the stormy night She'd close her eyes In the night, the stormy night Away she'd fly

I have noticed something peculiar lately. I am one that tends to look to the past- mull over regrets, think about what if's and such- yet I've looked back at this past year and noticed my thoughts are more future oriented and even- gasp- in the present moment.

"The present moment"...

To me those were airy fairy words that floated above my head, just beyond my reach. Even when I uttered them over and over as I taught yoga classes and even as I read them from the mouth of Osho or Krishnamurti, it was never a lived concept for me. I'm only now really trying it on for size. And whoa... who would have known the transformational properties of being in the present were an actual thing! Lesson learned: never teach something you only know in theory.

One thing that has helped me to shift over to the present and future tenses is a connection to my period. I never paid attention to my cycle because no one ever told me I should and no one ever told me what I could find there. I suspect my Fendi toting friends of yore didn't sit there charting their cycles- along with moods, emotions, dreams, intuitions, and physical symptoms- so how would I have come into contact with this information? But here I am now, 38, and paying close attention to what my body does as it cycles monthly. And deeper than that, I want to know how my womb feels. I have come to know the womb as my second brain (I'd say the first actually) and trust what it speaks to me via feelings, physical clues, and intuitions.

One of the important things I have learned, besides shifting out of the past and the shouldacouldawouldas, is that the womb holds traumas- big and small. How do you get them out? Well, step into my office...

You can:

  • fiercely dance it out
  • shake it out
  • scream it out
  • cry it out
  • bleed it out
  • smoke it out (yoni steam or aromatic smoke)
  • yoga it out
  • talk it out
  • write it out
  • punch it out
  • kick it out
  • dark chocolate it out (my favorite way, besides dance)

Buuuuuuut, if you don't know it's there, how do you know there's something that needs exorcising? Chances are, in today's world, if you are a woman living and breathing, you have gathered some trauma in your womb. And it's probably looking for a way out.

So, this connection to the moon has also made me realize another ginormous truth about myself that I'd love to share and that is that I am not insane! Hooooooray! It's not as simple as "women are crazy", but again I didn't know that because all I heard was that we were. And without any explanation. We were just irrational, insane beings that were cursed with this process of bleeding. Learning about the hormones through the wisdom of Dr. Northrup and the phases of the moon in conjunction with the phases of my moon (see Lisa Lister's "Love Your Lady Landscape"), I know that our monthly cycle is a massive ebb and flow. Every month. We are confident and outgoing and social after we bleed and then we ovulate and become pregnant with ideas and creativity and possibility and then our moon begins to wane and we begin to become still, introverted, and observant. All the while, being these powerful fierce women standing in GRACE and LOVE through it all because we are the ones that were given the gift and the privilege to do the bleeding. Our hormones make us wackadoo and sometimes we don't know our elbows from our asses yet we show up and do the work and we are there to do it again, month after month after month for the span of our entire lives (because even if you don't bleed anymore or do not have a womb, you still cycle!) and how we do this again and again for all eternity when we embody the role of woman and not FRY ourselves is absolutely amazing and just. pure. magic.

So, tonight, as I sit here writing and listening to some soul soothing music, my moon is waning. I am getting ready to bleed. Day 21. Almost there. I'm entering my cave and purging whatever I don't need to take in there with me. Tonight I'm not in the present; I'm not looking towards the future. My womb is looking to the past and wanting to move and remove whatever pieces of anger, resentment, regret, and blame are left towards former lovers to further make space inside myself for more blissful creation and other spectacular goodies.

Time spent in the darkness is never wasted, just transformed into something lighter- with some patience and time . Where I am now in life is all proof of this. Do I still want to jerk up a middle finger at these guys? Maybe a little ;) But, I really do forgive all of these- all except the boyfriend that said the Foo Fighters were just a cheesy garage band. Excuse me??!? You don't mess with Dave Grohl. You just don't. In all seriousness, it's all good...  it's all in the name of a life well-lived, full of experiences and teachings.

And now, back to my cave.



The Empowered Masculine.


On Saturday, a powerful priestess friend that recently moved here from Colorado and I held a circle called "Healing the Motherwound and Releasing the Patriarchy." It was gooooood stuff.

During the circle, we spoke about the Motherwound (the body of pain and limitation that is activated in a woman due to the passing down of unconscious beliefs, emotions, memories established from patriarchal rules. It is remaining 'small' so that we do not risk losing the love of our mothers or others) and hand in hand with that came talk of empowering our wombs and about the empowered masculine. This has been a lot on my mind since Saturday.

The Empowered Masculine... what is that?

Let me start by explaining what it is NOT.

Somewhereabouts 2000 B.C, the penis became THE sacred object of worship. Then enter all the repercussions of penis worship and vagina subjugation. The problem here was that there was not a balance of power. Men and women did not take on their powerful roles to work together. What happened was that unconscious masculine forces overthrew and destroyed everything that was nurturing and had anything to do with softness and the womb and declared ownership and dominion of everything under the sun. Many women took to the underground to practice shamanism, herbalism, midwifery, divination, and other practices that had been revered and sacred until then.

What came of this swift and complete shift of power? War, pestilence, death, famine, things like the Inquisition, the witch hunts, and the massive, greedy usurping of our Earth Mother's vital resources. Why do we blame the unconscious masculine energy on this? Because this happened at the hands of unconscious males- religious leaders, politicians, businessmen- who mentally and physically raped and manipulated every system and institution until it was all under their control. Think about it... what does a forceful phallus do? It enters without invitation. Without a welcoming wetness and warmth, it takes without asking and leaves people and places in ruins.

At the present day, we live in an very comfortably established patriarchy. If you disagree with that statement, let me challenge you with a few things:

  • only this year is there even a possibility of the first woman president
  • the over-sexualization of women in the media
  • the realms of children and homemaking belong to women
  • women still make .75 to every dollar men make in the workplace
  • women are often told "you can't have your cake and eat it too" as far as families and careers and the world proves it by not offering support for women who strive for both yet men are told they can "have it all!"and are very supported in doing so.
  • shamanism, herbalism, and other healing arts are labeled "whackadoodle" (I literally JUST saw this on a mommy blog posted two days ago) and "fringe"
  • men who show sensitivity, emotional awareness, and a deep regard for women are labeled "weak" and "girly men"
  • men who are employed in any career that has been labeled "a woman's job" is seen as a "pansy" or weak
  • unspoken, established "rules" for what a woman is supposed to look like and how she is supposed to act

Still think the patriarchy doesn't exist?

Remember that line in "As Good As It Gets" where the airhead receptionist at the publishing house (a woman of course), asks Jack Nicholson how he writes women so well and he responds: "I think of a man, then I take away  reason and accountability."

And none of this is about feminism. I consider myself a feminist but only insofar as I define feminism: equality for everyone, male, female, and everyone in between and beyond. So, this isn't about wanting to bring men down or male-bashing. This is about simply bringing awareness to how women's gifts need to be resurrected and how unconscious men need to work their stuff out. This will create a balance that would change the face of the world.

Ever hear that saying about how fish don't know they're in water? This explains that the effect of something does not necessarily mean you have an awareness of its existence. Believe me, the patriarchy is affecting the entire world very much. The oceans, the environment, the world's banks, the housing market, health care systems, the price of your groceries, the way you cut your hair, the shade of your lipstick, your bad back. It has permeated all.

So, what does the empowered masculine look like?

An empowered man is not afraid to let women be powerful. They do things to empower women and their wombs. They support them so that their gifts may flourish. A great example of an empowered/awakened male action and thought is my beloved who has often made me Nettle tea when my period is kicking my butt. Why is this empowering and awakened? Because he knows that Nettle herb remineralizes women during their period because we lose lots of minerals in this time. And because he's not afraid to acknowledge my period and my emotions during that time. And because he's not afraid to say the word "period". And he doesn't whisper or laugh when he says it. He also knows my life is mine to live it as I see fit. He trusts my decisions. He looks to me for advice. Sometimes he draws on my strength when he is tired or low, as I do with him. We parent in equal amounts, as we do almost everything else. And he knows and is even friends with a few of my exes (whoa, right. the acknowledgement that I was not a chaste virgin before him is a big one, especially in males from the Latin culture). He knows God did not assign me to him. He does not in any way own me. And he knows that I am free. All of these things support women in their rise to reclaim their rightful place. May seem simple to some, but if you look at most of the world, it's damn near revolutionary.

An empowered male isn't afraid to see the world change because they know the Earth is bleeding. They are excited to share their power with women and know that together, amazing things can and do happen. They want to be in equal power with their consorts (male or female) and they want to see clean oceans, they want clean air and clean food, healthy Earthly inhabitants, freedom and respect for all living beings, to live by the constant guidance of integrity, to live their lives being fully masculine in whatever way they define that for themselves, and for Truth to always be spoken.

An empowered male is a HERO. Not a likely hero who beats villains and saves damsels in distress (for crying out loud). But a true hero, as the writer and mythologist Joseph Campbell defines a hero:

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”

And they don't need silly euphemisms like vag, vajayjay, bajingo, hooha, peepee, or downthere because they can say VAGINA.

Tell me... do you know anyone like this? Tell us about him!

And if you do know one or some, give them mad love and always, always keep them close!