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It’s November- The nights are long, the days are chilly, the veil between the worlds still feels thin, and we are continuing our descent into the Underworld. This sacred journey inward and downward into the core of our being, to the dark center of the cauldron of the Dark Mother who holds us in our dreamtime, and whispers to us, softly, harshly.. to slow down, let go, drop the masks, dig deeper. The answers we seek lie in waiting, and only those who are willing to dive into the depths, brave and naked, will uncover the secret gifts waiting to be found. It’s a dark time, a beautiful time, a dynamic transitional time of facing our truth, our weaknesses, grief, and healing.
Where is Aphrodite in all this? Isn’t she a goddess of Beltane sensual bliss, enjoyment and sexual union? She can’t possibly help me in such dark times. Oh, but she so very well can! Aphrodite’s energy can heal us any time of the year, and especially now. Aphrodite’s essence is that of Self-love, which is vital to our healing and our ability to process change and transition. She lovingly appreciates her body, no matter what- she cares for and nurtures it, adorns it and inhabits it- fully, unabashedly, in complete acceptance and joy.
Think of all we put our body through- we push it past its limits of energy exertion, don’t get enough sleep, eat food quickly or food that doesn’t nourish us, we don’t have enough sex or solo play time, or simply time by ourselves to relax, dream, dance, or move in our own rhythm . We often put physical pleasures at the bottom of our list- especially when we are stressed or busy.. when it is at these time we must make it a priority! Our body processes everything our mind and heart do, but it takes longer and requires maintenance.
Aphrodite is often depicted as a beautiful, golden-haired, curvacious woman- however this Goddess truly takes on many forms and appearances, for She is simply pure Self-loving energy. She lives within each of us, no matter what we feel like or look like on the outside. She is the potential within us to fully love, accept and embrace our body, our appearance, our senses and our capacity to feel and joy in our physical existence- no matter what. She lives solely in the present, and is tapped into the constant flowing undercurrent of Divine Bliss that resides in each moment. I believe it is our birthright as Spiritual Beings incarnated into this world of form to embrace the bliss available to us while living in this body-form, for the union of spirit and matter creates magic, art and beauty. Aphrodite is a master of the art of love- foremost loving oneself, and allowing that love to spread to others and to all she touches.
So when you are feeling down, depressed, tired, lonely, burdened, stressed, out of touch with your body, self-critical, shaming, insecure, angry at your mate or having trouble in your relationships, take an Aphrodite break!
She lives in you, and you can invoke her anytime you need some self-love and care thorough some simple methods:
My favourite ways of getting in touch with Aphrodite are:
1) Take a quick self-massage break. I keep massage oil in most rooms of the house, and in my purse. I make my own with my fave essential oils, and I suggest you find a scent or two that you really like, that make you feel sensuous. (You can also purchase my Aphrodite Oil, which I have no photo of at the moment, but it is a sensuous blend you can contact me for). Rub it into your hands and massage any areas that feel tense or numb or ‘blah’, and continue massaging your body until you feel better.
2) Movement & Dance. This is my most trusty resource! Dance is powerful medicine for our emotions, mental state, creativity and of course, our body. It releases endorphins, improves circulation, balances hormones, uplifts the spirit and transmutes negative emotions. I recommend finding music that you resonate with in the moment, something that enlivens you somehow. I have found that if I am in a very negative state that putting on super cheerful happy music does not help. I like to find something that touches me in the moment, and perhaps expresses some of the pain I feel. I move however I authentically want to move in that moment- it may be rolling around, groaning, sighing, yelling, jumping in frustration, rocking and crying, whatever. The point is to be in the body and feelings, allow your impulses to move you. Let yourself be a child again. As your mood improves, you can play music that reflects your changing emotions, and move differently according how you feel. Continue to move until you feel better, dance until you feel the negativity leaving and joy bubbling up inside of you. My favourite dance forms are bellydance and ecstatic dance to get the joy flowing.
3) Breathing and visualisation: Let’s say you are at work, on the bus or waiting in line and cannot put on music or move around freely or emote… this is where breathing and visualisation come in handy: Inhale white light, let it fill up your body, and exhale tension and imagine it leaving you as black smoke or any color you’d imagine it to be. You can also imagine a beautiful rainbow in front of you. Choose the color you find most appealing in the moment and inhale that color into your body. Exhale the tension and stress as black smoke or however you wish to see it, until you feel better.
Another visualisation I like for Aphrodite is a flower blossom. First, I notice in my body where I am feeling tense, or a toxic emotion. Then I imagine a beautiful, sensuous flower blossom there. As I breathe I imagine the inhales nurturing and growing the flower blossom slowly bigger and brighter with each breath, and each exhale removes negative energy from the area, clearing it out until it is only filled with flower blossom energy. There are countless other variations on this theme. Some people resonate better with words, for example on the inhale, breathing in ‘peace’ and exhaling ‘stress’ or inhaling ‘I am breathing in acceptance of myself’ and ‘I exhale all shame and guilt’, or whichever words you wish.
4) Wearing clothing, jewelry or perfume that makes you feel beautiful and attractive. This is such an underrated action! Self-adornment is not to be scoffed at as vain or superficial. There is also a difference between dressing or looking a certain way to please others versus pleasing oneself. Aphrodite appears to me almost always naked, with a few peices of jewelry or draped in thin silk veil. She is completely confident in herself, and yet, she knows of the importance of using peices of beauty that enhance and express her natural charisma. We can use jewelry, clothing and accessories that we love that connect us with our ‘inner Aphrodite’ to uplift our spirit and remind us of the beauty that always resides within us. I like to douse myself in my homemade ‘Love Goddess Perfume’ spray or a spritz of Rose water to bring her essence out in me.
5) More miscellaneous actions: Warm baths, candles, eating or cooking a delicious meal, sleeping in, masturbation, affection or sex with a lover or mate, a hug from a friend, a cuddle with your child or pet, getting your hair done, listening to music, wrapping up in sensuous fabric, walking out in nature, allowing rain or snowflakes to fall on your skin: All these things are ways to remember the pleasure that our bodies can experience from simple things. The point is to be present with the experience of being in your body, feeling through your senses and taking joy in being alive.
I notice Aphrodite is most active within me during my Mother (ovulation) and Enchantress (PMS) phase of my cycle. At ovulation my Aphrodite energy is more radiant and exuberant- I feel full of creative energy and wish to express and share it readily, easily. I desire social interaction, connection and sex. During PMS phase however, Aphrodite takes on a more raw and honest quality. Her gifts of getting to the heart of desire, longing, and raw emotion are more prominent. She comes forth sometimes as ravenous and tumultuous, dynamic and self-assertive. She is a woman unto herself, and whilst she loves to play and interact, she is a woman of her own desires and does not wish to be chained down. In this phase she teaches us to love ourselves no matter what, even the ‘ugly’ bits because they too, are divine and beautiful and part of who we are. She teaches us to free ourselves of weights we don’t need to carry. In full acceptance of herself she transmutes all pain into love, joy and bliss.
Below is a clip of me the other day… I was feeling bloated with PMS, kinda blah, down and mentally burdened until I put on a song that awakened some love in me (‘Cavern of Stars’ by Wahkeena Sitka). I realised all I needed was a bit of freedom to move as I pleased that day. This is a sneak peek of me with no-makeup, messy hair, real-life, inprov, playing in my creative sanctuary. I recorded my dancing for movement ideas for my upcoming playshop on Dec 6th: Awakening Aphrodite- Sacred Pleasure Playshop, and realised that what inspired me was the naturalness and realness of it, and that is what I want to emphasize in the playshop.. Aphrodite is about being natural and finding pleasure in our raw and real moments. I hope it will inspire you to move if you are feeling down- just put on some music and dance like nobody is watching! Aphrodite is within you waiting to be awakened through simple acts of self-love… xo Serena
Mermaid photo of me by Stacie Noel
Our bodies and the Earth itself are comprised mainly of water. We are born into it, birthed from it, and rely on it for survival. Water can smooth rough edges, slip through the cracks, cleanse while moving, grow life while stagnant. It can heal and purify or it can engulf and destroy. Water is hard to grasp, contain, analyse, hold onto, or control. It is equally loved and feared, respected and abused. It is the blood that flows through our veins and from our uterus, the sweat of our work and our lovemaking, the tears of our joys and sorrows. It is always there to help us cleanse, process, let go, renew, revitalise, nourish. Its power is great.
I have been on a watery journey for the past several years, my whole life in hindsight, but especially since giving birth to my daughter. The process of pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding and mothering is an especially watery ride. We can lose our sense of self to such a degree that we feel we may disappear. Bodily fluids are at their most abundant. Emotions are heightened to such a degree it can be crushing. There’s a preciousness, fragility and depth to small every day tasks that is mind boggling. The things that used to be small and insignificant become heavy with feeling, and the things that were important before are small and superfluous. Time feels different. Life becomes more of an flow, with a palpable undercurrent of awareness of life and death. It is challenging, beautiful, and alive. (Just now, my daughter’s school’s Safe Arrival Program just called saying she wasn’t there. I said she should be…while they put me on hold to check I vascillated between a calmness of knowing she was there intuitively and a mother bear anxiety attack. She was there. Whew).
Water is the element of our emotions. Society doesn’t really value sensitivity or emotionality in people- men or women. It is seen as unproductive, self-indulgent, ‘crazy’, irrational. Water brings the urge to merge- emotionally, sexually, physically. It reminds us of our origins in Oneness, the womb, love and connection. Water is our collective unconscious, the world of dreams, and visions. Passion, love, desire and fear, are all under its rule. It threatens order in a one way, but restores it in another with its healing abilities.
Our society prefers that we all stay separate in little compartments, contained and in control. This creates a thirst and longing for love and connection, or a subdued resignation touted as safety. Emotions, merging, intimacy, feeling, and connecting on a deep level with people and living a passionate life is deemed destructive and dangerous. So we think, rationalise, protect and guard our heart and impulses until we don’t even know what’s in there anymore, we fear unlocking a floodgate to such a degree that we become paralysed and not even know it, because in our regular mundane world we appear normal, rational and in control, and so we think we are. But really, we are just walking dead, and we wonder why we are uninspired, miserable, and unable to sustain relationships.
Some of us can go through life like this without much consequence. Others, like myself are here to live the fluid, passionate life because our body and mind get very ill if we don’t. Our feelings speak loudly and we have to listen.
I have had all kinds of signs that water holds the key not only to my personal healing but in the reclaiming of the power of the Sacred Feminine that this planet so desperately needs. The Sacred Feminine to me, is mainly about water wisdom. The ‘Holy Grail’ itself is a water symbol. The womb is our personal chalice of emotions that fills and empties itself each month. It is where life begins, just like the ocean. Each month we have the opportunity to dive into our emotional depths, retrieve inspiration and bring them out the light. We dive down, and come up, dive down, and come up again. Women are all naturally keepers of water medicine.
Some pieces of my watery journey over the last several months…
Last spring, I was at the Native Canadian Center for a Full Moon Ceremony. I was in the gift shop, and this large white shell drew me. I picked it up and just brushed it against my cheek, breathed it in, stroked it, and felt a feeling of coming home, and a longing to return to the ocean. I have never actually physically been to the ocean. But I know it, somehow. The elder holding the ceremony explained that women are the stewardesses of water, it is our responsibility to care for it. Water blessing is always a part of these ceremonies. This resonated with me deeply, and with several of the other women there. We sang an ojibwe water song, and honored the water spirits. I took home my shell and made it the centrepeice of my main altar. Now it sits on my Water altar. A place where I honor specifically the water element, send prayers for Her and for healing.
Around the same time, I was going through emotional turmoil and change in my relationships, health and sexual life. I was lucky to be studying shamanic healing with Daniel Leonard, a talented shamanic healer and water-wise man. He did a soul retrieval (A shamanic healing technique to bring back a person’s power that was previously lost through trauma) that brought back a load of feminine power and lost gifts from the watery realms back to me that I had lost in other lifetimes and in childhood. I felt so alive with a newfound energy.
Soon after, a fellow shamanic student Karen did another soul retrieval on me as practice, which also involved much water imagery and reclaiming my gifts as a water spirit. These healings were only a week apart and neither of the practitioners knew what the other had seen but their visions were strikingly similar. I was advised to swim some laps at the pool, do cleansing baths and buy myself a mermaid doll as ways to integrate this healing. So I did. And things shifted inside me.
Suddenly the most important relationship to me was the one I had with myself. All else was completely secondary. The swimming helped me feel strong enough to navigate my powerful feelings, so they did not overwhelm me. The mermaid doll revived a childlike innocence and power of sensitivity I had rejected and needed to accept as a strength if I was to truly connect with people from the heart. The baths helped me let go of old wounds and fears that kept me bound to situations and people who stole my power. I vowed to live true to my deep feeling, intuitive, empathic self from now on and stop doubting and giving my power away to others, or putting expectations on them to fulfill my needs for emotional intimacy. The love, depth and acceptance I seek is within me.
Over the summer, I spent a lot of time in healing, sacred bodies of water up on Manitoulin Island, gave offerings and sent prayers for peace and healing. I received a lot from those waters, and any time I did a shamanic journey I was taken to the realms of water spirits and creatures. They helped melt some of my protective walls that were not serving me and reminded me of the power of just letting tears flow and letting go of fixed ideas about how things should be, and surrender to what is.
Now this fall, I am seeking to reclaim my watery gifts as an empath and intuitive who holds a wealth emotional wisdom, even if that wisdom is often misunderstood. I always thought of my extreme empathy, sensuality and depth of feeling as a weakness- a painful liability. It only seemed to get me hurt, make me feel isolated or like I do not belong here in this world. In order to survive, I developed tactics of detachment and defense. But I am in a life where I can no longer do this. Through shamanic healing I am reclaiming my wounds and sensitivity as my source of power, and am finding the hidden gems of abilities, to be gently held, coaxed, nourished, embraced, developed- not pushed aside, rejected, rationalised, glossed over, or ignored.
I can’t tell you how often I have asked women ‘What does your intuition say?’ and they reply ‘Oh, my intuition is never right’ grimly.
I empathise. I know the feeling. But it’s a trap. Its easier to belittle ourselves than believe in our intuitive power. What if this time you were right? What if you always were, you just didn’t see the full picture? What is ‘right’ anyway?
What about all those times you listened to someone else, or did the acceptable thing and then regretted it and wished you had listened to that little internal nudge, voice, feeling inside your gut that said otherwise?
Sometimes it takes practice to catch it, to respond to it, but its there, and its right, and valid. All our feelings are valid. We may react to things, say things we don’t mean, hurt people we love by following our feelings, but those interactions will teach us the noble art of forgiveness, letting go, and compassion.
Those times where you made a mistake, guessed wrong, or went on a tangent from your straight and narrow path- did it not teach you a valuable lesson? Are you not wiser now? Did you not glean a gift from that experience? If it led to a situation of loss, disempowerment and pain- we must remember that is a fertile place of growth, of opportunity and compassion- for ourselves and others. If you are feeling broken, trapped, like there’s no way out, don’t be afraid seek out support for your healing. Others have tread in those dark places too and are willing to help you, empathise, hold your hand. You are not alone.
One thing I am discovering is that I am never being led the wrong way by my feelings. I am simply being led down a path of wisdom from experience that makes me a deeper human being. And along the way I often bump into magic, love and joy I never thought possible.
I find I just have to shift my perception to a place of honouring myself as the authority in my life, from there I liberate my feelings, dreams and sensitivities trusting them as wise messengers of my Soul- powerful allies that are steering me ON course. The oceanic path may appear tumultuous, chaotic, mysterious, sometimes unworthy or unproductive, but I believe it is completely WISE beyond belief and my higher self is the spiritual captain taking me exactly where I need to be.
This is an invitation to honour, sit with or express your feelings- without rationalising, analysing, withholding, rejecting or denying. Some feelings are more comfortable for us than others. Sometimes we can only open the door to our heart just a little bit- and that’s okay. Being gentle yields more results than being tough. Like any other muscle, the heart cannot be forced to relax. Then you can open just a little more until it feels uncomfortable, a place where you can unleash a tear or two, or even a whole flood and just ride the wave and see where it takes you.
What does your heart say? What does your womb say? I often place my hands on each of these areas to access my deepest truths. Keep checking in, notice your breath, your thoughts, your impulses, and TRUST that its messages will steer you in the right direction.
I married a strong, Earthy man who is a source of stability and warmth for me. His love reminds me that I am ok, that I am not crazy. He allows me my tides, even if he doesn’t understand them himself. He looks on patiently and adoringly at this creature from the watery depths. Holds my hand in case I drift too far from shore. Through my many transitions, fits and tears, he is always there, stable as a rock. I am incredibly lucky to have him- he balances me , while helping me to develop my inner strength and independence. We teach each other.
But there are times when I need to relate with others of my own kind… Merpeople, I shall call them- Women and men who understand and work with water wisdom. The path of surrender, chaos, change, healing, transformation, depth, pain, love, gentleness and boundlessness. People who choose the life of tumult over safety, feeling over intellect, turn wounds into art, dive for treasures and relate from a place of compassion, gentleness, empathy and heart- who know and feel that being sensitive is not a weakness, but a strength, and aren’t afraid to be vulnerable.
Mermaid photo of me by Stacie Noel
Thankyou to my ‘merpeople’ friends and warriors of water who are helping heal the waters in us and the planet. I have had the pleasure of dancing with Roula Said, creatrix of Seven Waves Bellydance method, and Ioana Timaru, founder of Undine Dance Company- you ladies keep my waves flowing when I need it, mermaid priestess Kia of Ravenheart Healing Arts, and Stacie Noel of Mermaid in Canada who are inspiring me to embrace the mermaid power in daily life. Alex Collas of PeruFlow, a good friend and oceanic woman of many talents; My long time watery friends who always hold compassionate space and love without judgement, no matter what mess I have gotten into over the years- Rose and Amanda; Fellow witches; Erica Ross and Nan Keyser, founders of Dance our Way Home, a sanctuary of dance medicine for sensitive women, Daniel Leonard of The Medicine Circle- a brave man who is an example of the immense healing power of vulnerability and my fellow Medicine Circle ladies; my family, who all carry water medicine to varying degress, my sweet daughter Zara who keeps me in my heart every day and all you other sensitives that have touched me through the years, thank-you. And thank-you to the waters of life itself- the lakes, rivers, creeks and streams that feed me, nourish me, cleanse me and its creatures that visit me in my dreams and journeys. Blessed be the water and may She flow through us into new ways of being, accepting, and relating to each other, in heartfelt ways. I am still learning so much from the water element, and look forward to the experiences to come.
How can you reclaim the power of your feelings today? What role does water hold in your life? How can you honor it in yourself or your environment? Do you feel there is a connection between water and the Sacred Feminine? Is there an area in your life in need of healing or transformation?
A chant for you:
Once the coolness of fall sets in, and we get into our busy work and school groove, it can be hard to remember to enjoy the natural beauty and energy of the Earth as we did in the summer. We begin to draw inward, and stay indoors more. I have been less tempted to sit outside with a cup of tea or walk barefoot on the grass. I miss the beach and the sensuality of swimming, sunbathing. But “Its too cold now” I say…”the air is full of pollution and pollen…and I have too much work to do”. So I retreat to my office, or my couch or run errands. But then, my womb reminds me, loudly, honestly, she says…
“Let’s dance! Lets sit under the trees! Let’s sing and create and make love! Let’s look up at the stars and the moon and breathe the magic of the night air!’ (No matter how polluted). Sometimes my womb just wants me to sleep. Dream. Do nothing. Sometimes she wants to connect, play and socialise with others. Other times she just wants to swat people with her paws to go away. Its easy to put off the call of our wildish womb instincts in this busy urban setting. So many structured demands on our time and energy. So much of the wrong kind of stimulation. Expectations to be productive all the time. Light and happy all the time. Nice all the time. Strong all the time. Busy allllll the time.It can feel lonely. But I know I am not alone. Men and women both feel these pressures that inhibit our wild, intuitive, sensual nature.
So my womb reminds me, in her sweet voice…
“Remember dearest woman, that you are never alone. You are part of a far reaching lineage of strong women and sisters all over the world- keepers of the blood mysteries- reminding you that birth, life, death and rebirth are your sacred rites of renewal and growth. Celebrate the beauty of your natural rhythms- ovulation and menstruation, birthing and shedding, beginnings and endings, lightness and darkness, giving and receiving. All part of your sacred unfolding: the continuous re-birthing of yourself and deepening wisdom on this journey of life.
In this age of ignorance, oppression and over-use of technology, you are a guiding light reminding us that we are not only beings of the civilised world but creatures of the wild- dancing in harmony with the patterns of nature in a sacred spiral of becoming.
When we shed our layers of armor, shame and self-doubt, a beautifully wild self emerges and its power becomes palpable. Here we can discover a deep self-love and connection to the greater whole.
Place your hands upon me and feel the energy stirring within…the heartbeat of the earth, the soothing ocean waves, the luminous moon. I am the seat of creation. I am the wild goddess within you- ready to be danced, howled, laughed, loved, silently embraced or simply dropped into. I await patiently, lovingly, for your return to me.”
So I am now going to get outside and enjoy the beautiful autumn day, follow my wildish instincts and move toward what feels good, inspiring and nourishing… and later perhaps I will howl at the new moon. You are invited to do the same 🙂 Happy Equinox and New moon!
There’s something about bellydance that draws me in and keeps me entranced, obsessed, intoxicated… like a lover who just won’t let up! I know I am not alone in this… I have seen it happen to many women. You know who you are 🙂
Maybe because unlike any other dance form, bellydance draws heavily on my passionate, sensual, sexual self. Maybe its the beautiful costumes, the glitter, the drum beat, the sultry vocals, being barefoot…or because it just feels so good.
Maybe I love belly dance because of the comraderie – While bellydance has been subjected to the same fate as most dance forms- the fourth wall- it still tries to hold onto its integrity as a community celebration. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy stage performance. But I feel bellydance is special in its accessibility and community spirit.
Maybe I love bellydance so much because it connects me to my roots.. Whether I have ‘roots’ meaning a genetic lineage to the Middle East, Egypt, or Africa I am not sure… but I have a past life memory of this, a sense of the connection to my ancient fore-mothers, strong female ancestors who moved their bodies in powerful ways- uninhibited, untamed, in celebration of life, death, and birth.
The movement of my hips, chest and belly- body parts that for so long were riddled with shame and self-consciousness, became free and filled with self-acceptance and joy. Bellydance helped me to remember that my womb and belly are the center of my life force.
Probably the main reason I love bellydance so much is because of how much it has helped me to love myself and my body.
It has become an indispensable practice of physical grounding, mental & emotional support for over 8 years.. through body-hate, eating issues, pelvic pain, pregnancy, post partum, depression, anxiety, relationships come and gone, many life transitions and changes, it has kept me sane and balanced…
I am very hard on myself. A recovering perfectionist. Its easy for me to take any physical discipline, or fun activity and make it hard. Impossible to reach standards propel me forward. I thrive on challenge but exhaust myself in criticism and obsess over details. Bellydance is a discipline and an art. It is a mind-body- soul practice. But it doesn’t have to be hard. Its takes some work, patience and love to improve and while the essence of the movements are natural, (most women already have a foundation whether they know it or not), it is a skill that takes practice. But in learning how to move my clumsy muscles and bones it has transformed and liberated me in ways nothing else has…
As I practiced my body waves I transmuted starvation and longing, and was able to welcome in nourishment and goodness
As I strengthened my ab muscles I suddenly felt strong in myself and able to say ‘no’ to people that drain my energy
As I shimmied my chest, I released the cages around my heart and allowed it to open to love again.
As I undulated my belly I became a peaceful waterfall amidst a stressful time.
As I snaked my arms around my body and in the space around me, I felt empowered to shed my skin, heal the past and renew myself.
As I tossed my hair I caught a glimpse of the spiritual nature of my sexuality.
As I framed my face, it helped me to see my face as a work of art worth framing.
As I bumped and shimmied my hips, I was shocked to discover a strong, grounded woman who kicks ass
As I whirled and twirled with my veil, I was free to be a whimsical child again who felt she could fly
As I practiced my floor-work I reclaimed the power of my primitive instincts as sensuous earth dweller, snake priestess, mermaid
As I labored through the birth of my daughter, it kept me connected to the strength in my womb and belly to give birth smoothly and powerfully
As I danced with my fellow dancers, I felt I belonged to a community, a sisterhood, even if we didn’t know each other that well
Every time I dance I discover new levels of myself and this passion propels me to continue. What is the essence of Bellydance? Why do I do it? For all the reasons above and so many more…
Even if in the mirror, to this day, I still see my elbows are too pointy, my hand placements need work, I’m poker faced, my shimmy sucks or I just can’t seem to coordinate my brain to my muscles. Its the practice of saying ‘It’s ok.’ to myself that helps me grow as a dancer. I study with teachers to master technique, but to me, what makes me a bellydancer is my ability to hold the spirit of the ancestors, the women who danced before- and heed their whisperings- “You are beautiful. You are enough. You are The Goddess.”
And that is why I bellydance. 🙂
*Seconds after posting this blog, my friend Kaleena Lawless posted this interesting article about bellydancers and body image– take a read!
We have amazing power at our disposal. But this power doesn’t come from conforming to just one part of us. Like the moon and the turning of the seasons, our feminine energy is cyclical and ever-changing. Our power stems from claiming the Goddess’ many aspects flowing through us.
Our feminine energy can be fiery and aggressive, soft and nurturing, spiritual and wise, analytical and adventurous, and so on. There are four main expressions of Feminine energy categorized as the Maiden, Mother, Enchantress and Crone. These four energies have distinct qualities and appear each in their turn, flowing from one to the next through the phases of our lives as time passes. They are also reflected in the phases of the moon, the turning seasons and during the approximate 28 days of our menstrual cycle. When we understand and harness these energies, we become empowered.
We have ALL these archetypes within each one of us, and can experience more than one at a time. But most of us have a tendency to express one archetype over another, or feel more comfortable in one aspect than another. Sometimes our current phase of life demands we express one energy more heavily.
For example between the approx age of 30-45 we are in the ‘Mother’ phase of life- and therefore busy nurturing our creative projects, business, home and/or family. If we naturally favor the Mother energy within our personality, we may feel right at home in this nurturing time of life, but there is a greater chance for imbalance. We may be more challenged when our children leave home or we enter the Crone phase of life and have to let go of our role in nurturing. If we have neglected to develop our Maiden, Enchantress or Crone energies, we may have no idea what our inner needs are, and how to express them. We may fear independence, and not have the courage or inner strength to do the things we want to do to make ourselves happy and fulfilled.
If we have overdeveloped our Maiden qualities of independence and ambition, and underdeveloped our Mother qualities, we may have a hard time feeling emotionally ‘rooted’, or close off from intimate relationships. If the Enchantress is lacking, we may feel afraid of our sexuality, creativity or change itself, and cling to familiar patterns of behavior.
This quiz will help you to identify and honor your natural strengths and identify your underdeveloped qualities, so you can strive for balance and feel the fullness of your feminine power.
- What is your age?
a) under 30
d) 61 +
- What season were you born in?
- What’s your favorite season?
- Pick the animal you resonate with most
- What is most important to you?
b) Family & Friends
- What are you most likely to do at a party?
a) Confidently meet new people
b) Help the hostess take care of guests
c) Have an interaction with someone that somehow transforms them or you
d) Sit quietly observing until someone comes to share their secrets with you
- Pick the color you resonate with most:
- What style of clothing do you feel most ‘yourself’ in?
a) Youthful/stylish/flirty or sporty- ready to go
b) Flowing, sensual, natural fabric- warm and approachable
c) Eye-catching, unique, mysterious- seductive and creative
d) Dark colors, black, comfortable – Deep and wise
- Your biggest pitfall is:
a) I get so involved with my outer life, I forget to sit still and reflect on my inner life
b) I tend to take care of others’ needs at the expense of my own
c) I can be over-dramatic and swing between extremes
d) I get so introspective and reflective that I don’t involve myself in life with others enough
- What’s your favourite time of day?
- How do you usually deal with a conflict with a friend?
a) Use logic to argue my point and try to come to a logical agreement
b) I hate conflict. I sometimes forgo my desires in order to be agreeable and preserve the relationship.
c) I get very emotional, and often say things I regret. I see it as a test of this person’s friendship and/or cut ties with them.
d) I look at the big picture as to whether it is worth arguing about. I let go of anything or anyone that is not worth it and feel maintain peace within myself.
12. Which element do you resonate with most?
Your answers for ‘a’ are Maiden, ‘b’ is Mother, ‘c’ is Enchantress and ‘d’ is Crone. Please add them up and see what your dominant and least dominant archetype(s) are.
*To delve more deeply into understanding these 4 main Goddess archetypes, and how to live in harmony with the moon and your menstrual cycle, please sign up for my Moon Goddess Wisdom Workshop!
a) The Maiden:
Your youthful exuberance and zest for life are inspiring and productive. You aren’t afraid to go after what you want and get things done. Analytical, adventurous, confident and energetic, you are capable of standing up for yourself, meeting new people, initiating projects and taking up a challenge. You cherish your freedom and independence, and your ambition is strong. The Maiden corresponds with springtime and the energy of new beginnings. Use this phase of life (youth) and your cycle to initiate new projects, go on an adventure, try something new, embark on a new health routine, get out with friends and meet new people, organize your life to meet new goals, do physical activities or anything requiring courage, energy, logic, or emotional detachment. If this archetype is dominant in your personality, you may have a hard time with intimate relationships, be insensitive to others’ feelings and lack a fulfilling inner life. Take time out from the bustle to reflect, imagine, and feel the depths of your heart and soul. Practice compassion and empathy. Remember there is a need for darkness to balance the light. If this archetype is lacking, try to find things that inspire you, spend more time with young people and remember that the spirit of adventure and innocence can give you fresh perspective. Find a cause to fight for. Be more independent. Stand up for what you believe in. Dare to take action on your dreams! The Maiden phase of the menstrual cycle is approx day 7-14. (Right after your bleeding has ended). The Maiden’s gifts will be at your disposal during this time. Where does this archetype find expression in your life?
b) The Mother:
You are sensitive, nurturing, empathic and giving. You are tuned into your environment and family, friends and loved ones are of utmost importance to you. You need to take care of something (a pet, plants, or person) to feel complete. The Mother is also a very creative, fertile and productive archetype. She nurtures and maintains her creations- whether it be her children, business, creative project or home. She gives birth to her passions and sustains life. You enjoy life’s sensual pleasures, and sharing your bounty with the world around you. The Mother phase corresponds to the full moon, ovulation, and summertime. It is a time for connecting with the community, sharing your abilities, nurturing a cause or project and building relationships. Did you leave on bad terms with someone? Use the ovulation phase of your cycle to re-connect and smooth things over. You are attractive and approachable now and can use this to heal rifts. If this archetype is dominant in your personality, you may find you live for your relationships and cannot detach to tune into your own needs and wants. You may find it difficult to stand up for yourself or have the courage to ‘be different’ and go your own way. You may resist cutting ties from unhealthy people or situations that drain your energy. You may become a ‘smother mother’ and damage the lives of those you care so much about by not letting them be free. If you are lacking in the Mother energy, find something that you care about and wish to nurture. Reflect on your relationship with your own mother, and heal those wounds. Practice listening from your heart and empathizing with others’ feelings. Share your abundance with others. See the child in someone. The Mother phase of life is approx age 30-45, and corresponds to approx day 14-21 of your cycle. How does this archetype express itself in your life?
c) The Enchantress
You are aware of the undercurrents of life and can read between the lines of what people say and do. Sensitive and emotional, you react to your environment strongly and are not afraid to express what you really feel even if it will make you unpopular. You dance on the dynamic play between light and dark, and thrive on change and transformation. Creative and expressive, you require outlets for your bursts of creative energy, and need time alone to process your experience and care for your inner needs. Like the snake, you continuously shed your skin and are aware of the potency of sexual energy for personal growth and change. The Enchantress corresponds to the fall season, a time of transition and letting go of anything we no longer need to take with us into the winter. Her wisdom is in understanding that clearing, cleansing and change are necessary to align her outer life with the needs of her inner life, for the good of her soul and emotional balance. The Enchantress phase of life corresponds to the ‘Mid life crisis’, and menopause (anytime around age 45-60) a time of evaluating if the life we have built is in line with our authentic self, and we make the necessary, often difficult adjustments. It also corresponds to the PMS phase of our menstrual cycle where we have the opportunity to do the same. It requires patience with ourselves and time alone to get in touch with our inner needs. The pitfalls of an over-developed Enchantress personality is over-reacting, cutting ties with people unnecessarily and changing things just for the sake of it or out of frustration. You may swing between emotional extremes and have a difficult time maintaining harmonious relationships. Discernment, patience and self-care can help the process of change. Having safe outlets for your powerful feelings is a must. If you are lacking in this archetype, experiment with reflecting on your life and what it is that is no longer working for you that you wish to change. Deep clean a messy area of your home. Take up a creative hobby. Explore your sexual desires. The Enchantress corresponds to day 21-28 of your cycle. Do you experience PMS symptoms? How does this archetype express itself in your life?
d) The Crone:
The Crone’s signature is wisdom. You are introspective, reflective, very ‘yin’, and spiritually attuned. As a Crone you have much faith and awareness of the big picture, so can easily assess what is essential and what is not. You trust your experience and have gleaned the pearls of wisdom in your lessons, mistakes and choices. Taking pleasure in the ‘little things’, and simple pleasure of life, you appreciate the value of being alive and feel grateful. Like the owl, you notice and observe your environment with keen awareness, stillness, and patience, and carry an aura of inner peace and depth. You thrive at nighttime, when everything is quiet, and enjoy the darkness. Others often come to you with their problems seeking advice and counsel. You can be a bit of a homebody and enjoy spending time alone, sometimes finding it hard to get out and socialise. Psychically sensitive, you feel connected to the ancient ones, ancestors and unseen spirits. Oftentimes the pull of the Spirit world makes you forget to keep your mind on the present mundane matters of the world. However you are also able to be spiritually grounded, in touch with the divine flowing through the physical plane. You have prophetic and intuitive gifts. A woman with dominant Crone personality may isolate herself too much, or become disconnected from reality. She may rely on her own experience too much rather than having a balanced view that can only be gleaned from connection with others and the outside world. She may have a tendency to get stuck in her ways, and need to branch out of her comfort zone and engage with the moving flow of the times through social interaction and adventure. Spend more time with youth, boldly venture out to a social gathering and meet new people, get excited about something and plan a course of action. If the Crone is an underdeveloped archetype for you, set aside more quiet alone time. Sit in nature and allow your energy to slow down and harmonise with the earth. Reflect on your spiritual beliefs and cultivate a daily practice for inner peace. The Crone corresponds to our Bleeding time- Approx. Days 1-7 in our cycle. This is the time for ‘Being’ rather than ‘Doing’. Reflect on your life and notice what’s most important to you. Slow down, dream, rest, renew. Out of the stillness and darkness of the Crone, we are renewed and re-birthed into the Maiden phase of light. How does this archetype manifest in your life?
May you be blessed with the balanced power of the Goddess in all her faces!
To delve more deeply into understanding these 4 main Goddess archetypes and tips for living in harmony with the moon and your menstrual cycle, please read Miranda Gray’s book ‘Red Moon’ or ‘The Optimised Woman’. Or join me for my Moon Goddess Wisdom Workshop!
Women hold the power of the Moon inside them, in their wombs. Like the moon, our energy and emotions wax and wane through a monthly cycle, reminding us that life’s natural course is a fluid and cyclical affair, not a linear one, as we may be conditioned to believe.
To truly feel empowered as a woman, and make our mark on the world, we need to operate from a strong foundation. We need to know how to come home to ourselves and nourish our instinctive needs, in order to hear the whisperings of our intuition. The only way to truly succeed- as mother, employee, boss, partner, leader, role-model, etc is to heed the call of our homing device- our Womb Wisdom. Womb Wisdom reminds us to ‘come home’ by nurturing our emotional, cyclical, creative, intuitive, sensual and instinctive self. Then we can find creative, healthy ways to live in alignment with all aspects of our being and carry out our duties without feeling drained of energy.
Each of us has a unique style in which our Womb Wisdom communicates and unique needs that must be in place for us to hear the promptings of our intuition and creative impulses. The Womb is the seat of our desires, emotions, ‘gut instincts’, and nurturing. In astrology, it corresponds to our astrological moon sign, phase and placement, and can give us clues to the unique style in which our feminine wisdom expresses itself. The moon changes signs about every 2 ½ days. Where it was at the moment of your birth, and its relationship to the other bodies in the sky strongly influences who you are and how you operate.
The moon influences our emotional nature, how we handle cycles, how we experience ‘the feminine’, our relationship with our mother, our health, instincts, how we feel nourished, childhood experiences, past-life experiences and basically what ‘home’ feels like for us. It’s a powerful influence on our personality, and for women, an indicator of her overall Womb Wisdom style, feminine gifts, emotional roadblocks and emotional growth path. The Maiden, Mother and Crone archetypes (another subject for my next blog!) live within all women, and manifest through all the signs. But our moon sign is personal to each individual woman, and influences us for life. It is our Goddess-given gift and path of emotional karma.
You can find out your moon sign by visiting this site and plugging in your birth data. It is important to know your birth time as accurately as possible. The moon sign is very important but still only a portion of the full picture of your moon wisdom found in the birthchart. The moon phase, house and aspects to the other planets also must be considered
I have been observing and working with the moon and her cycles for over 15 years. I have also spent those years studying astrology in depth and have certified in levels 1 & 2 with CAAE.
Here is a taste of Womb Wisdom through the moon signs:
Moon in Aries- The Warrior Woman:
Your home element is Fire. Like fire, your creative instincts are warm, hot, direct, active, dynamic and bold. You feel nourished by challenges and situations that call for quick, decisive action and physical prowess. Your womb wisdom has a Zen-like nature. She thrives on stimulation but despises melodrama. You nurture in a pioneering, independent way, inspiring strength and confidence in your colleagues, family and friends. When not heeding your Womb Wisdom, emotions of frustration, irritability, anger and impatience may call you to recognise your need to spend some time by yourself, release pent-up energy into a physical activity, tackle a new challenge, forge a new path, or fight for a cause. Nurture your fiery soul with candlelight, warm colors and sunshine. Your gift is your ability to be true to yourself and self-reliance. Nourish the Warrior Woman within by reclaiming your feminine power as She Who Honours Herself
Moon in Taurus- The Earth Mother
Your home element is Earth. Like earth, you possess the ability to sustain and nurture life through patience, constancy, and physical pleasure. Your instincts are sensual, slow, and steady. You feel at home in familiar surroundings, with a certain amount of predictability and routine. You feel nourished by singing, music, physical touch and food. You help others feel safe, secure and physically comforted. Your womb wisdom has a particular rhythm, and that rhythm must be followed. Changes in life must be made slowly, one step at a time. Otherwise, emotions of fear, stubborn resistance, tenacious clinging mundane patterns or emotional eating can result. You enjoy the outdoors have a gift for cooking, growing things, and working with your hands. Nurture your earthy soul with plants, herbs, flowers and crystals. Nourish The Earth Mother within by reclaiming your feminine power as She Who Honours Her Rhythms.
Moon in Gemini- The Butterfly Maiden
Your home element is Air. Like air, you crave movement, change and interaction. Your instincts are curious, witty, and expressive. You feel nourished by learning new things, absorbing new facts and experiences and sharing what you know with others. You nurture the curious child in your family, friends and colleagues, bringing lightness, flexibility and new ideas to others. Your womb wisdom craves communication. Any form of self-expression such as writing, dance, art, teaching, speaking or conversation with a friend is a great way to bring Her into balance. Take time to read, listen and receive new input. When out of balance the reactions that arise may be anxiety, nervousness, impatience, incessant talking or over-rationalising. Your gift is communication. Nurture your airy soul with deep breaths of fresh air, natural incense, or collecting bird feathers. Nourish the Butterfly Maiden within by reclaiming your feminine power as She Who Honours Her Voice.
Moon in Cancer- The Moon Goddess
Your home element is Water. Like the water, your feelings ebb and flow, and you crave a sacred space of your own in which you can retreat when the outer world becomes too much for you. Your feminine instincts are maternal, empathic, compassionate and fluid. You feel nourished by a serene and secure home base, family, and nostalgic reminders of your past. You help your loved ones and colleagues feel genuinely cared for and emotionally comforted. Your womb is sensitive to the emotions of others and the cycles of the Moon. Investigate your past lives and heal your childhood wounds, for you carry many gifts from your emotional experiences. When not heeding your womb needs, you will over-react to everything, turn to emotional eating for comfort or manipulate others through childish tactics. Nurture your watery soul with frequent baths and spending time in or near water. Nourish the Moon Goddess within by reclaiming your feminine power as She Who Honours Her Feelings.
Moon in Leo- The Queen
Your home element is Fire. Like fire, your instincts are bright, warm, playful, and dynamic. Your womb has a flair for drama and you add color and vibrancy to everything and everyone you touch, putting your unique stamp on things. You nurture others by radiating warmth and confidence, inspiring the playful child in your friends, family and colleagues. You feel nourished by stories, art, drama and beauty. Your womb is highly creative- you need to express yourself and the freedom to play. As a Royal Lioness, you must have your own ‘domain’ to nurture and be in charge of for you gifted as a natural leader. When not heeding your womb needs, you can become dominating, attention-seeking, insecure and melodramatic. Nurture your fiery soul with candlelight, warm colors and sunshine. Nourish The Queen within by reclaiming your feminine power as She Who Honours Her Heart.
Moon in Virgo – The Medicine Woman
Your home element is Earth. Like earth, your instincts are receptive, methodical, health-conscious, and sensual. You nurture those around you by patiently caring for the ‘little things’ that make a big difference. A dependable problem-solver, others often seek you out for help. Your womb wisdom has an intuitive understanding of the mechanics and functioning of things. You are blessed with natural healing abilities and adept skilfulness in everything you attempt to do. You are nourished by learning new skills, being of service, working on an ‘improvement’ project, healthy food, spending time with animals and taking care of your body. When not heeding your Womb needs, you can become myopic with details, fretful, nervous, and perfectionistic. Nurture your earthy soul with plants, herbs, flowers and crystals. Nourish the Medicine Woman within by reclaiming your feminine power as She Who Honours Her Growth.
Moon in Libra- The Love Goddess
Your home element is Air. Like the air, you crave flow, movement, lightness and interaction.Your instincts are relationship-oriented, craving balance and harmony with your surroundings. You are nourished and deeply touched by beauty, art, music, romance and love stories. You have artistic gifts and a natural ability to bring people together. Your loved ones are nourished by your openness, kindness and sensitivity to what they need and when. Your womb is acutely aware of her surroundings and tuned to a frequency of harmony that you strive to recreate around you. You need to stay surrounded by positive people and calming environments to feel balanced. When not heeding your womb needs, you may fluctuate between emotional extremes, live vicariously through others, or repress your true feelings in order to not ‘rock the boat’. Nurture your airy soul with deep breaths of fresh air, natural incense, or collecting bird feathers. Nourish the Love Goddess within by reclaiming your feminine power as She Who Honours Her Inner Balance.
Moon in Scorpio- The Shaman
Your home element is Water. Like the water, your feelings run deep and intense in order to cleanse and renew you. Cycles of death and rebirth feature prominently in your life, for your womb desires cathartic emotional experiences that transform you completely. You are nourished by uncovering mysteries, challenges and surrendering to a power greater than your own. You help others feel at ease in crisis situations with your quiet strength, and ‘I’ve been there’ empathy. You are gifted with healing abilities, passion and magnetism. Your sexuality is often a path of emotional growth and spirituality. You need to forge intimate bonds, uncover secrets, continually transform and have a creative outlet for your feelings. When not heeding your womb needs you may find yourself creating unnecessary drama, becoming obsessive, controlling or self-sabotaging. Nurture your watery soul with frequent baths and spending time in or near water. Nourish The Shaman within by reclaiming your feminine power as She Who Honours Her Passion.
Moon in Sagittarius- The Priestess
Your home element is Fire. Like fire your instincts are warm, enthousiastic, explorative, and playful. You crave freedom and an expansive awareness of the world. Drawn to the exotic and foreign, your womb thirsts for new perspectives and experiences that glean a ‘teaching’ or new pearls of wisdom for living. You are nourished by travel, foreign studies, being out in the wild, myths and philosophy. You nurture others with your generosity of spirit, joviality and sense of humour. You carry the gift of teaching and need to satisfy your desires for adventure and learning. Oddly, you feel most at home when you are on your way somewhere else. Home is in the journey itself. When not heeding your womb needs, you may become restless, pompous, tactless and irresponsible. Nurture your fiery soul with candlelight, warm colors and sunshine. Nourish The Priestess within by reclaiming your feminine power as She Who Honours Her Wisdom.
Moon in Capricorn- The Wise Woman
Your home element is Earth. Like the earth you are a stable, grounding, solid presence. Your instincts are to build and create supportive structures that nourish yourself and others. You crave making your mark on this world- for you hold the gift of Manifestation. Unafraid of hard work, you manifest your visions resourcefully and patiently. You nurture others in practical ways, helping them to feel secure and loved for the long term. Aware of the darker aspects of human nature, you use sarcastic wit and realism to rise above it. You feel nourished by knowing your limitations, knowing what’s expected of you, accomplishment and purposeful work. You are deeply sensitive and sensual but only show your soft side to those who really matter to you. When not heeding your womb needs you may become controlling, depressed, fearful or insecure. Nurture your earthy soul with plants, herbs, flowers and crystals. Nurture The Wise Woman within by reclaiming your feminine power as She Who Honours Her Strength.
Moon in Aquarius- The Future Woman
Your home element is Air. Like air, you crave freedom, movement, communication and change. Your instincts are progressive, inventive and community-oriented. You carry the dreams of the future in your womb and must manifest your visions for humanity. Your offbeat nature requires some alone time for reflection and inspiration. Then you can come back to nurture the community with your new ideas and plans for making a better future for everyone. You attract many friends with your sisterly warmth, tolerance and unique individuality. Your womb needs to nurture a cause, be in community, learn new things and be stimulated with change. Movement and exercise are helpful. If you do not heed your womb needs you may become restless, over-idealistic, lonely, or emotionally detached. Nurture your airy spirit with deep breaths of fresh air, natural incense, and bird feathers. Nourish The Future Woman within by reclaiming your feminine power as She Who Honours Her Dreams.
Moon in Pisces- The Mystic
Your home element is Water. Like water, you are affected by the ripples of emotions around you and easily ‘go with the flow’. Your instincts are empathic, dreamy, gentle and compassionate. You easily pick up on the feelings of others and my not be able to separate them from your own. You carry a blissful memory of Oneness that exists between mother and child in the womb, and in Spirit. You strive to transcend the boundaries and limitations of the material world. A natural shapeshifter, you are able to blend in with your surroundings or take on a different personality as the situation requires. You nurture others with your devoted, compassionate energy and by being a soft shoulder to cry on. You carry artistic and musical gifts which also nurture the spirits of those around you. You need to nourish yourself with peaceful, calm environments, music, spiritual practice, and time to daydream. If you do not heed your womb needs you may feel overwhelmed, melancholy, escapist or manipulative. Nurture your watery spirit with frequent baths and spending time in or near water. Nourish The Mystic within by reclaiming your feminine power as She Who Honours Her Spirit.
You may find more than one description resonates with you. Keep in mind the moon sign is specific to your sense of feeling ‘at home’, your instinctive needs that help your intuition become stronger. Also, keep in mind that the astrological house and planetary aspects will influence the moon as well, which may share some things in common with other signs.
May you nurture the Goddess within and may Her gifts and beauty grow with you for lifetimes to come. xo Serena
You hold a direct connection to all the wisdom held in the memory of humanity. You hold a power greater than any force outside of yourself- a power beyond experts, authorities, gurus, science, scriptures or patriarchal ego. When you are seeking answers, seeking truth, seeking enlightenment, as a woman, you don’t need to look far.
The ‘key’ and doorway into the secrets and mysteries of the universe, lies within you.
It lies within your womb.
Your womb is sacred. She is the seat of your Soul.
Your womb holds the power of birth, life, death. Creation and destruction. She holds every feeling you experience, losses and triumphs, bonds made and broken, dreams unmanifested, traumas and memories passed down to you from your ancestors. She has a special resonance with the Moon, the Oceans and rivers, the Willow Tree, and many animals- such as snake, rabbit, cow, owl, spider and more.
Your womb senses what your next step is, long before your mind realises it, and nudges you towards growth with its impulses. She lives for change, unafraid of it, because She knows that change happens in a cyclical pattern- all deaths ultimately birth new life, and there is a time for growing, sustaining, nurturing, a time for destruction and release, and a time for stillness and waiting.
As a woman, you are a Receiver of the Goddess. Your womb is your gift for receiving, nourishing and birthing your dreams, and the dreams of all of humanity.
Your womb is the keeper of your deepest desires, unborn talents, sexual power, healing power, a constant reminder that you are never alone and you are a part of everything. She warns you of danger and protects you from harm. She knows exactly how to comfort you and make you happy, as long as you tune in, and listen.
Being a woman is an incredible gift!
But how do we honor this gift? And how does it benefit us in our daily lives?
*Even if you are a woman who no longer has a uterus or you identify as a woman and don’t have a uterus, you still have an energetic womb in your pelvic area that carries Womb Wisdom.
5 Ways of Reclaiming your Womb Wisdom:
1. Honoring your womb is a matter of first throwing out all your social conditioning around what a woman is and isn’t, whats acceptable and whats not. The womb is connected to your Wildish instincts. She loves to walk barefoot in the forest, swim naked under the moon and dance whenever she feels like it. She doesn’t act polite, nor fit into a neat and tidy pattern. She needs space and time to roam, explore, feel and sense her way through things.
Give yourself permission to be ‘wild’. Give yourself some unstructured time and space to get ‘out of the box’ of your usual routine. Go outdoors and spend some time breathing in the fresh air, feeling the ground beneath your feet, plugging into Mother Nature and Her rhythm. Follow our impulses, without censoring them. Move, howl, scream, laugh, roll in the dirt!
2. The Womb and the Moon have an intrinsic connection. Since ancient times, women’s menstrual cycles have reflected the same approximate 28 day pattern that the Moon’s cycle does. The new moon is a low-energy time when there is no light, and therefore is a time of introspection, receiving and stillness. This reflects the essence of a menstruating woman. As the moon waxes and reaches full, energy increases and begins to move outwards, in a manifesting and illuminating way- reflecting a woman’s ovulation time, when she is most fertile and focused outward on relating to another and manifesting on the physical plane.
Get a calendar that illustrates the moon cycle, and notice how you feel as the moon shifts through its cycle. Spend some time outdoors communing with the Moon. A common practice of witches is ‘Drawing Down the Moon’ which is invoking the moon’s power into one’s body. As women, this is an excellent practice to truly feel the essence of womanly power. Under the light of a full or nearly full moon, stretch your arms up to the moon and let her light fill you up. Speak to her from your heart, and thank her for her gifts. Make a wish, a prayer, or simply ask for healing. She is our Grandmother, who watches over us. She is the source of our power and healing energy. Our cyclical wisdom is reflected in Her. Breathe Her light into your womb. She will thank you.
Find out what your moon sign is astrologically. You need to know your birth time. Your moon sign and placement in your chart say a lot about your particular style of womb-wisdom, and the obstacles and gifts you carry. (If you are curious about this one,read this blog post about your moon sign).
3. Get in touch with your menstrual cycle (if you have one). This is much easier to do if you are not on the Pill. With a steady stream of synthetic hormones of the same amount each day makes it nearly impossible to notice the nuances of change that happens between each week on a natural hormonal cycle.
If you are on the Pill and don’t feel ready or able to go off of it, you can still get in touch with your cycle by honoring your bleeding time. When you are bleeding you are naturally in a slower rhythm, closer to the rhythm of the earth. Your brainwaves take on a meditative quality, and you may naturally find yourself in a more reflective, introspective state, with a feeling of being more in touch with nature.
Take some time-out during your moon-time from your daily activities to ‘just be’. This is your most fertile time to receive spiritual insight and inspiration. You may feel the urge to be creative at this time, or you may simply want to rest and do nothing. Take notice of your emotions, for they are most telling of your deepest Truth. Be open to receiving- let go of doing and pushing energy out… this is your time for taking in. You are most psychic and able to see the big picture right now.
There is a movement of reclaiming The Red Tent, or Moon Lodge. Women are going back to the ancient practice of seclusion and self-nurturing during menstruation that our ancestors did. Make your own ‘Red Tent’ or Moon Lodge, by creating your own sacred space for this time of the month. You can be by yourself or join with some female friends to share and have some girl time. Or feel free to book a Moon Lodge time for yourself here at the studio!
Great books to read: Red Moon and The Optimised Woman by Miranda Gray
4. Embrace your sexuality & creativity. Our sexual energy is our creative energy. It’s the act of sex that creates a baby, and likewise the act of union with our desire that manifests a new product or creation in our lives. The womb is the center of desire. She is the container of our deepest cravings, dreams and wishes. Its important for us to listen to those desires, no matter how irrational; acknowledge them and find them an avenue of expression. We must be responsible and non-harming in our expressions of course. Usually, our desires only manifest into negative ways when we have been repressing them for too long. If we get in the habit of acknowledging them in the beginning, its easier to let them flow. A daily habit of creative release is a wonderful practice.
Take up a creative hobby such as writing, dancing, painting, singing, gardening, cooking, etc. Something that you can do for enjoyment but that you can also ‘put your feelings into’ no matter if those feelings are pleasant or difficult. Make it a habit to do this activity at least once a week, daily is even better. Let this be an avenue of creative expression for you. The more often you do it, the more easily things will flow in your life.
Check in with your sex life. Is it fulfilling? What do you feel you lack? Are you speaking with your partner(s) about your needs? Are you able to receive pleasure? How can you take responsibility for your own pleasure needs? Do you have healthy sexual boundaries?
Create pleasure time for yourself. Whether its with a partner or on your own. We must acknowledge that our sexual urges are a physical manifestation of our spiritual urge to unite, merge with All That Is. Denying one is denying the other. The sexual and the spiritual are different octaves of the same thing- both equally valid and important for balance.
5. Womb Wisdom thrives on sisterhood. Perhaps the greatest teaching our womb gives us is that we are not alone. We are connected to everything through the energy cycle of life, death and rebirth. No creature is superior to another. Each living thing has its own gifts and purpose. Our womb is sensitive to relationship bonds. The womb recognizes whether our bonds with others are nourishing us or not. For centuries women have been gathering in circles, instinctively, intuitively, knowing this is a nourishing act. Women celebrate together, share each others’ woes and worries, support each other, laugh, co-create, nurture, raise children and simply make life more bearable together. There is great power in a circle of women. Even women living together start to coincide their cycles with each other. We are made to be in community.
Check in with your female relationships- How are your relationships with other women in your life? Girlfriend, lover, sister, daughter, mother, grandmother? Do you have a regular ‘girls night out’?
Do you have a trusted female friend you can tell your secrets to?
Ever think of joining or starting your own women’s circle?
Every month I hold a women’s full moon circle called Red Moon Circles. We celebrate the season, the Goddess, perform ritual, laugh, play and support each other’s healing. Join us if you are in the Toronto area, or see whats happening around you. If there isn’t one, start a women’s gathering of your own!
These are just a few ways of reclaiming your Womb Wisdom. There are many more ways I am happy to share with you along my path..Please share with me your stories of womb love, womb healing, womb nourishing that other women would find helpful as well.
In womb-love & warmth,