Dear Sisters of the Wheel - It is time to prepare for moon ceremonies coming up next week. Please take the time to cleanse your items and yourself prior to ceremonies. Gather your sacred items and prepare the place you will be holding ceremonies. Moon Ceremonies will begin the 24th and end on the 28th. For anyone seeking prayer, we ask that you send us a prayer request at this LINK.
The Elder was asked to share teachings about the traditional views womanhood, specifically about ‘Moon-time’. She began her talk by thanking the people of the land and those who invited her. Next, she said a prayer mixed in both English and her traditional language. She finished by thanking everyone who came to hear her speak. She began, ‘speaking about womanhood and Moon-time is an important topic. It is important for both men and women to learn about our traditional teachings on women and I am grateful to see both, present in the audience today. For some, this topic will be new information; for others, it will be a review. In any case, my hope is to inspire you to get curious. My hope is that, after listening to what I have to share, you want to learn more about your nation’s specific teachings on womanhood. What you will discover is that your ancestral teachings on the celebration of women are simply beautiful. In the meantime, I humbly share just a few teachings with you and thank you for having an open heart and mind as I do.
Our ancestral ceremonies included pre-teen girls going through rites of passage; where they were given teachings on womanhood. For example, there would be a great celebration in the community when a girl was nearing her Moon-time or menses, or what some might call, ‘having a period’. The reason it is called Moon-time is that a woman’s body is connected to Grandmother Moon. As much as the moon is connected to Mother Earth’s ocean tides, it is also connected to a monthly cycle of a woman. There are teachings about the 13 Sacred Moons, and they are simply beautiful; I absolutely encourage you to learn about this teaching. For now, the important thing to understand is this is why we call it Moon-time. During life-giving years, Moon-time marks a miraculous monthly process occurs and this time is held in the highest regard. For us, Moon-time is a time of ceremony; and as such, there is absolutely no shame associated it. Sadly, views have changed so much that I’ve heard Moon-time being called ‘curse’ or other such derogatory slang words. It saddens me because nothing can be further from the truth. I believe truths are exposed as more information is obtained. For example, I heard that some people have been told that women do not take part in ceremonies when on their Moon-time, but only brief explanations are given. As a result, people fill in missing information with interpretations of the worldviews around them. Sadly, over time many have been taught that when a woman has her ‘period’, she unclean; thus, shame and secrecy have also become associated with this time of the month. I have been told that this is the assumption as to why a woman steps back during ceremonies. This is simply not the case. Our ancestral teachings tell us that Creator blessed women or ‘Lifegivers,’ with the sacred ability to give life. It is through a woman life-giving abilities that humankind prospers. For it is true, without women's ability to carry a child within her, no person on earth would exist today. Part of being a Lifegiver is undergoing a monthly personal ceremony, which we call Moon-time.
Moon-time is when a women’s body demonstrates its sacred ability to nurture life. This process includes the woman’s uterus walls thickening so it can prepare to carry a baby. However, as we know, a woman doesn’t become pregnant every month so her body found ways to naturally purifies itself. This means that on a monthly basis, a woman has a natural and spiritual purification ceremony. The lining that prepared for a baby becomes releases through blood, at the same time, the body mimics the process of giving birth; thus pain occurs. The body undergoes physical changes, essentially rebuilding its self. Additionally, for a short time, hormones that were preparing for the nurturing of a baby also become imbalanced. In a way, a woman’s hormones send her messages associated with feelings of loss. Though the woman may not be aware of it, in a sense, a woman is physically and emotionally connecting with the fact that she must ‘try again’ next month. The strength and endurance a woman goes monthly, really tells us how truly powerful women are. Women possess the natural ability to rebalance their entire being through a powerful internal purification ceremony. In other words, a woman can internally cleanse away emotions and thoughts that detract her from walking in balance, because she possesses the sacred ability to realign her energies. When you really think about it, what a women’s body goes through during her Moon-time is a profound and utter demonstration of the love of humankind because she is truly honouring her life-giving qualities. A man does not have the ability of internal cleaning because he does not possess the ability to carry a child within him. Therefore, in ceremonies when men are present, a woman demonstrates great compassion for men by stepping back. A woman also steps back in high regard and great respect for her time of personal power. She is undergoing a powerfully spiritual external personal purification ceremony. She is so powerful during this time of the month that the medicines are naturally drawn to her. For it is true, Mother Earth is also a Lifegiver; and the connection between her and women is so powerful that they are naturally drawn to one another. For Mother Earth understands a natural cleansing period as well; she demonstrates through the change of seasons. As the sacred medicines are naturally drawn to the woman, the purification properties are not as strong as a man might need to be able to purify their energies. As I said, a woman’s compassion for men is so great that they step back from participating in a ceremony during their Moon-time.
Still, this not to say that a woman does not participate in ceremonies during her Moon-time; no, quite the opposite is actually is true. In traditional times, during a woman’s Moon-time, the respect for women was so great that there was no other burden was placed upon her at that time. During monthly moon-lodges, women were encouraged to nurture themselves holistically. Women ceremonies honoured the cleansing time of the body, and also assisted to balance hormones. For example, our Ancestors knew that during Moon-time, the mind (brain) becomes influenced by a sense of ‘loss’. As a result, both serotonin (‘feel-good’ chemical in a person’s brain) and sugar (insulin) levels were being impacted. Our Ancestors knew the power of intermitting fasting for rebalancing thoughts and emotions. They also knew that breaking fasts with fruit naturally restore a body’s sugar levels; thus, today, we see sweet berries associated with women ceremonies. We also break our fast with buffalo broth because of the deficiency of certain alkaline levels in our bodies. Our Ancestors were naturally gifted with knowledge of the body’s chemistry, and a person’s emotional and mental states. Thus, daily lifestyles were based on holistic principles and spirituality was a simply a way of life. Therefore, we lived a balanced lifestyle where we were nurtured physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Today, we can learn more these holistic life views through the Medicine Wheel teachings. I encourage you to learn more about that the teaching of the Medicine Wheel; they have the potential to profoundly impact your life. For now, my hope was to provide you with enough teachings to make you curious about learning more about Moon-time ceremonies. Most of all I hope that I encourage you to learn about the traditional views of women. We must return to our traditional views in order that our culture endures. Our teachings were oral; and to a large extent, still are; however, if there is one thing about our people is that we are resilient because we adapt. We are sharing information with today’s technology and I am so happy for that. Still, there is nothing like learning traditional teachings from your nation’s healthy Elders - most especially the ones that follow our traditional ways. The Elder’s are waiting for you; they know it is time to hand the torch over to the next generation. They want to teach you about ceremonies, and they want to tell you about our ancestral teachings. They want our culture to thrive. I encourage you to go and learn. In the meantime, I thank you for your kind attention.
Kākithaw niwākomākanak (All My Relations),
Kihci Têpakohp Iskotêw Iskwêw (Emily Jane Henry)
Original Home Territory: Ochapowace Cree First Nation
April 4 - 10: Last Quarter - Time to be rid of things.
During this time of the month, it is the last quarter of our grandmother's moon phase. It is a time set aside for us to be rid of things that are not serving us well. The old saying "practice makes perfect" comes to mind during these 7 days. Everyday, practice removing the thing(s) you wish to be out of your life. Some things might be how you speak. Do you have a bad habit of negative speaking or using swear words? Well during this moon phase, practice daily to not do these things. You will be surprised how easier it is to be rid of during this time. So pick something you wish to leave behind or get rid of in your life and practice. You will make a difference in your life.
Moon Ceremonies are coming up March 26 - 30rd. If you or someone you know is in need of prayer, please submit your prayer request HERE. We will offer your name to the fire for our ancestors to hear. Be well.
As Spring approaches we are reminded that our earth mother renews herself after the slumber of winter. As women we can take a look at ourselves to see how we might renew ourselves. It has been a difficult journey for many during this pandemic. We all struggle for some type of normalcy. Depression is at an all time high across our world. As the temperatures begin to rise to warm the earth, allow the anxiety, depression, hurt feelings, etc. find a way to release from your spirit. Find ways to renew yourself. A simple walk in the sun, to share in the goodness of our earth mother will help with how you might be feeling. Our world is changing and so must we to adapt to the unsteady changes we see surrounding us. But just as our ancestors managed to survive, so must we. We must adapt and find a way to move forward. It is in all of us to become anew. We all have the ability to change for the better. What will you do? Will you adapt for something better? Will you move in a positive direction? Let's do it. Let's be the best women we can be for this time period and help each other move forward. We can do this!!!
This time of the pandemic has been difficult on all of us. I am sure we all can feel its wear and tear on our spirits. We as women are connected to our mother earth and therefore, we can feel her pain and anguish. We can feel the rhythm of our earth mother. We can sense her sounds and vibrations. She is striving to heal herself during this troublesome time. Many of us are facing the same situations at home, work and in our communities. There is so much anger around us. It is sad to see women trying to hurt women. It is sad to see the vileness of their spirits. They are so unhappy. But we must be empathetic to their suffering. We all know what it feels like to hurt. Most of us find ways to deal with our pain, our emotions. Unfortunately, there are women out there, who know nothing but sadness and fear being happy and in a healthy way of life. You see, dear sisters, to understand why certain women lash out, gossip, and hurt others is because they are full of self hate, fear, and unhappiness. We must continue to walk in a good way. We must continue to be an example to others. We must avoid gossip, hate and lashing out at others. We must be different. We must show love.
We wish everyone a very Happy New Year!!! This is a brand new year to do things differently. We encourage you to learn new things, experience new things but do it safely. Please remember we are responsible for each other and we need to take care of ourselves. We will be updating the Grandmother Moon Calendar shortly. We continue to hold our private ceremonies at home during this pandemic time. If you or someone you know is in need of prayer, please feel free to send us the prayer request by clicking here.
We continue to hold our moon ceremonies individually in our homes. If you have a prayer request, feel free to click on the W.O.W. tab and submit a request. Our world is in definite of healing as our her people. We ask that you remember to continue to do random acts of kindness for others. We ask that you lend a helping hand where you can. We all need to do our part to make our Earth a better place to dwell.
We have closed all our meetings in person. We have reached out remotely but have not done so with great effort. At this time, things are slowly moving along as what is expected with our current COVID - 19 situation. We hope that today you are all doing well and taking great care of yourselves. Keep strong and diligent in caring for yourself and your family. If you have a prayer request, please reach out to Weeya as she continues moon ceremonies at her home. We ask all sisters, who practice moon ceremonies, to reach out to those in need and offer prayers for them during this time. Be well. Prayer Request Here
Since the beginning of time, we have been taught The Medicine Way to walk. Some teachings varied from tribe to tribe amongst people. As far as I can find and have been taught by my elders, this is the closest version of how to walk The Medicine Way. Ponder the teachings and make them your own. Apply them to your life and you will begin to see a great awakening of your spirit and a peace into your life. Even if its just one thing, apply it to your life. – A-gi-ya
The Medicine Way of Walking (Author Unknown) Print Version Here
1. When you first arise in the morning, give thanks to the Creator (Great Spirit), to the Four Directions, to Mother Earth, to Father Sky, and to all of our relations, for the life within you, and for all life around you.
2. Remember that all things are connected.
4. You are bound by your word, which cannot be broken except by permission of the other party.
5. Seek harmony and balance in all things.
7. Be aware of what is around you, what is inside of you, and always show respect.
9. Listen with your heart.
10. Learn from your experiences, and always be open to new ones.
11. Always remember that a smile is something sacred, to be shared.
12. Live each day as it comes.
Moon Calendar for April