Herbal Medicine Ezine --  Wise Woman Wisdom
September 2005
Volume 5 Number 9
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What's Inside Weed Wanderings this Month...


Childbearing & Mothering ...
(part 2)
Reclaiming Your Feminine Power
by Michelle Royce
author of Moon Rites - a feminine path to personal power

Reclaiming Your Feminine Power
by Michelle Royce

continued from part1

Knowing when you are more likely to be feeling tired, miserable or weepy, or conversely, energetic, focused and creative allows for emotional understanding. Instead of feeling frustrated and angry because you are unable to concentrate on an important assignment or situation (how many times have you said or heard another woman say, frazzled and almost in tears “ I don’t know why I feel like this- everything’s fine!”) you may be able to try and schedule parts of your life when you know you will be at your best, and allow yourself more solitude and nurturing time when you need it.

Even if this is not possible, understanding the reasons for seemingly irrational feelings allows room for acceptance that things will soon change. It has been noted that when a woman menstruates in relation to what phase the moon is in at the time can have a profound affect on her energy levels. By this I mean whether you are menstruating closer to the full moon or the new moon. A woman’s cycle usually changes over the years, and I have noticed, in common with other women who work and write in this area that when I bleed at the full moon I feel full of creative energy, and am inspired to create ritual, write, work in the garden, cook and ‘make things’ for my home, whereas when bleeding at the new moon I am much more introspective, needing time alone to be in my inner world.

In ‘The Wise Wound’* Penelope Shuttle and Peter Redgrove suggest that menstruation at the new moon is more connected to a biological creative cycle and at the full moon to a creative cycle which manifests as something other than childbirth. Understanding that both these cycles are likely to present themselves in our lives at different times allows room for acceptance and the knowledge that everything has a time and place, and keeping track gives more idea of which cycle we are in at any given time.

At about this point in discussions with women on this topic I’m usually asked “Well that sounds all well and good, but how do I do it?” There are many ways to keep track of your cycle. At this moment in time, thankfully, there are even specific products designed to allow for quick and easy notation.

To follow your cycle you must do just that. At least for a few months, preferably a whole year or even for many years, once it becomes a habit. My book, "Moon Rites" for example, was designed to allow a woman the space to make notes each month for 12 months over a year, with a thirteenth lunar month added to note conclusions, or just more observations.

Art by Lyndia RadiceI designed it this way, in conjuction with monthly health information, Goddess lore and ideas for rituals so that for one whole lunar year any woman who reads "Moon Rites" has the opportunity to track not only her physical cycle but also her dreams, emotions and inner journey.

It's even better if you can do it with a group, use the book as a workbook and get together once a month to compare your insights with each other. Note such things as when you start to bleed each month, how you feel, what you dream, what you feel like eating, what phase the moon is in at the time when you dream certain things or feel a certain way, physical, emotional or spiritual, anything you like. Or use a normal calendar with the phases of the moon marked on it.

Susun Weed gave me a great suggestion when I spoke to her regarding this subject. She suggested placing a different coloured sticker to indicate different feelings on each day onto the calendar. This is a great ‘visual’ way to track your cycle, showing at a glance patterns that are not always obvious. Susun used it in conjuction with tracking her menopausal transition which raisies another little known and understood aspect of our cyclic nature- it doesn't end with menopause! We are subject to hormonal cycles throughout our whole lives, and learning to ride them well with wisdom and understanding and support our bodies minds and spirits throughout is the birthright of every woman.

“Moon Dials’* Or ‘Menstrual Mandalas’* are yet another way to make notes on your cycle. They are basically a circular diagram divided into sections corresponding to the lunar phases (dark moon, new moon, waxing, full and waning moon). You may like to divide it further into days of the month or leave it less complicated at first. Once the diagram is prepared you then note your emotions, dreams and physical feelings in the appropriate spot.

My own personal favourite way of keeping track these days (for the reasons that one- I’m really busy and have had the experience of using the aforementioned methods over the years, and two- I really like them and it gives me pleasure to own beautiful things created by ‘moonstruck women’ for other ‘moonstruck women’!) is to purchase one or another of the lovely lunar calendars that come out each year.

The ‘Moon Diary’ and ‘Moon Cycle Calendar’ created by Shekhinah Morgan and illustrated by Jude Baderle are my current preferred option as they are lovely to look at, contain masses of information apart from dates and lunar phases, and both of them allow for the colour coding method of noting your cycle.

I use mine as a combination work diary, garden planner (planting by the moon) and dream journal as well as a menstrual tracker, so the possibilities are endless! There are many styles and types of lunar calendars and diaries available these days according to your need, so there is plenty of choice. This way most of the work is done for you- all you have to do is pay attention!

So as you can see, keeping track is not as difficult as it may sound. Although it may at first seem a bit time consuming, the longer you do it the easier it becomes, and the treasure we discover along the way makes it all worthwhile- Our Feminine Personal Power, the Moon Goddess within.

Michelle Royce is the author of Moon Rites - a feminine path to personal power

Moon Rites a feminine path to personal power is designed to be used as a tool to enhance your self-knowledge, acceptance, and personal power. It is divided into three sections. The following is a rundown on what's in it and how you can use it.

With Moon Rites you will:
Rediscover connections between your body & soul
Unleash your inner power, intuitive ability, creative drive
Reclaim the wisdom and magic of the lunar cycle
Renew your female body, mind and spirit
Empower yourself to make positive life choices.

Learn more about Moon Rites by Michelle Royce

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year
by Susun S. Weed. Simple, safe remedies for pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, and newborns. Includes herbs for fertility and birth control. Foreword by Jeannine Parvati Baker. 196 pages, index, illustrations.

What a unique treasure this book is! I used this during my entire "childbearing year" and am so glad that it is still available so I can give it to my best friend's daughter as she prepares for her first child. I still use the Herbal Pharmacy section quite frequently so this book has a permanent place on my bookshelf.

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Weed Wanderings herbal ezine is sponsored by www.susunweed.com and www.wisewomanbookshop.com

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