Tag Archives: moon lodge

A Moon Lodge is…

Lakota moon lodges provided women with a respite from their daily work, a place to learn and create together while they bled. Today’s Red Tents owe much to this legacy.

Join us in the virtual “Red Tent” for today’s episode of Red Tent TV.

After you’ve watched the episode, I’d love to know…

What would you do if you were in a moon lodge?

I look forward to reading your comments below.

If you liked this video, subscribe to our channel & sign up for our free weekly episodes of Red Tent TV at http://www.redtent.tv/

Missed my most recent episodes? Watch them here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmZGBmANkmSBD1337JiQWbw

Enjoy the video and have a fantastic day! Thanks for watching!

My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmZGBmANkmSBD1337JiQWbw
Website: http://www.redtent.tv
Friendship on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/redtentfilm

Opening song “Red Tent Temple” by Mother Turtle. http://www.motherturtle.com/

 

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Filed under From the filmmaker, Moon Lodge, red tent, red tent film, red tent movie, Red Tent TV

An Invitation into the Red Tent (sound meditation mp3)

by Delphine Demore, PhD

It is dark inside the tent, with the light muted by the enclosure. At this late afternoon hour, the entire dwelling is tinted red and pink and orange. Soon the sun will set and the glow of the fire and burning coals will be the only light. You sit in the Elder’s chair, near the doorway. The fire is burning brightly and there is water in the clay jars at the other side of the room, to keep it cool. There is food, cooked ahead and preserved, with fruit and cheese. A week of freedom from preparations, child care, household chores, marital responsibilities, a time all the women come to treasure. Tonight, there are a few newly bleeding girls joining the Red Tent. They have not been to the Women’s tent before and they are curious, eager but worried too. Like all fledglings, they anticipate and fear what is unfamiliar. You smile, remembering your first time in the tent. The tenderness you feel for the newly fertile girls was shown to you then. The tradition of women handing down their wisdom and teaching their daughters is ancient and honored here.

11-minute Guided Sound Meditation. Featuring the song “Dream Wisdom” by David R. Maracle

You hear the approach of the first woman. She is a young matron with 2 small children. She smiles at you and you anoint her forehead with the blessing oil. You embrace, kissing each other on each cheek. She takes a seat in the circle around the stones. Soon others join her, standing in line for their anointing, embracing you and each other with warmth and welcome. The first timers come together, finding courage in numbers. They are welcomed in kind.

When all have arrived, you begin the Women’s Chant, calling on the protection of the Divine Mother. The women join hands and chant, filling the tent with their sweet voices. You pour the first cup of water on the stones in the center, sending up a burst of steam into the hole above the circle. Your chant begins to quiet and your prayers are sent out into the sky.

The youngest women rise and address the new arrivals. They tell of their first time in the tent and their first menses. They honor and bless the girls, welcoming them into the circle of women. They are each handed a branch of lavender and rosemary, as a symbol of love, peacefulness, protection and healing. The other women come forward, one at a time, in age order, to bless the girls and tell a short story of their own blood time. Finally, you are left to speak. Though you have not bled for a long time, you often volunteer to anchor the Blood Times Tent. All the women come if they can. Many are needed to care for children and do the women’s chores while the bleeding women are sequestered.

The women again join hands and hum softly as another cup of water is thrown on the hot stones. When the steam dies away, there is a collective sigh and everyone relaxes.

As the women begin to talk to each other, in pairs or small groups, enjoying the leisure that their nomadic life prohibits during the rest of the month, your attention drifts and you remember other Blood times, other days, women who were friends and who are gone now. You remember…

You see yourself pressing your lavender and rosemary between stones after your first time. Like the young girls here tonight, you stored them in your amulet. Reaching for the amulet that hangs from your neck, you know that you have them still. You remember bringing your first babe with you, nursing her in the steamy air, content to drift in and out of the conversations, absorbed in the love affair of motherhood. Your other babies were also brought here, but the memory of that one is still sharp in your heart. Your daughter goes to another tent somewhere else, in her husband’s family, taking your granddaughter with her. You wish you saw them more often.

You recall the first time your daughter came to the tent, brave and strong. She was not timid, but walked in with her head high, expecting to be accepted, expecting to belong. As a mother, you had taught her well to honor herself and the sacred mystery that is fertility. You are proud of her. That tradition goes on, wherever your daughter and granddaughter go.

Today, your other daughter is present here, following the Shaman Way rather than the motherhood path. You are proud of her too.

In the tent, friendships are forged and confidences shared. All seek understanding, celebration and solace from each other. You remember your mother, taking her turn as elder in the tent, looking at you with that proud, fierce mother look. Even now, after so long, you miss her. Soon, you will travel that ancient river and be reunited with her. The cycle of life, like the blood flowing here, will go on…

We honor that ancient tradition here today. Taking a deep breath, bring yourself back here to the circle. When you are ready, open your eyes.

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Filed under blood, coming of age, daughter, growing up, Guest Blogger, healing, meditation, memory, menstruation, moon, Moon Lodge, moontime, mother, motherhood, place, Post Menopausal, red tent, red tent experience, ritual, space, transition, Uncategorized, women's stories

A Snap, then a Cackle and a Pop!

By Sharon Nesbit-Davis

I celebrated my fifth decade by performing a one-woman show entitled “Mime in Mental Pause.” I wasn’t there yet. But I was ready. Unrelenting pain, blood clots, and ruined panties were not fun, no matter how I adjusted my attitude. Sometimes the universe hears and is kind. Soon after my 50th birthday my periods diminished with barely a moan. I think it was the soy.

I do not regret being past child bearing age. I’m content to view it from afar…or close up when my daughter pops the babies out. I thought it would bother me to see her in pain, but it doesn’t. I might be slightly sadistic. Or just gloriously happy to have grandchildren. But not once did I wish to trade places.

With the perspective of a few years free of “Auntie Flow” there is something I miss. I miss the power of “PMS” (Pre Menstrual Sinfulness) I did not need to announce I had it. My husband was on the watch for it. There were times I cried easy and long and hard. When asked what was wrong my tongue jumped out and slapped him upside the head. Never mind what happened when he didn’t ask.

After I said we would all be dead in three days because I detected a shift in the earth’s orbit, so we didn’t need to renew the life insurance policy, my husband asked if my period was coming. I chastised his sexist remark and he apologized. Two days later I hid the tampon dispensers at the bottom of the trash. He caught me with a heating pad under the blanket. He’s a good man and never said “I told you so”, but he isn’t perfect. He smiled too much.

A couple years ago my daughter-in-law invited me to a women’s gathering. I was the only post menopausal woman there. The topic was our periods. We shared how we learned about it, our first one and embarrassing moments. The stories were funny and sad and what I expected until a young woman said she loved her periods. Really. Just loved them. She felt a oneness with all women. She meditated on this life giving essence and was thankful for her role. She felt creative and spirit filled during this time. She did not mask the pain. She welcomed it. Other women nodded. I laughed. A lot. Then told my stories of fainting and trips to emergency rooms and my gratitude to be done with them. They politely listened and exchanged glances I recognized from my youth, when I respected elders but knew they didn’t understand. And never would.

They were wrong. I do understand. What this woman expressed is the way it once was. Thinking about it almost made me want a “do over”, but only if I could have my own moon lodge.

In Native American tradition there was a special lodge for women when it was their moon time. Other women cared for their children and cooked for their husbands. They brought her favorite food, then circled the lodge and prayed for her. She was free from work, could rest, talk with the spirits and create. She returned with new songs and geometric designs and renewed energy. Western observers surmise the women were involuntarily isolated and considered unclean. It was never that. When asked the medicine men explain women have a “built in” purification process. Men put themselves through sacred ceremonies to attain what women have naturally. Women in their moon cycles do not participate in sacred ceremonies. Their power is too strong. It’s been known to send spirits running and crashing into things.

Without periods my life is balanced and calm. Maybe a little too calm. I miss not knowing what thoughts may scream their way past polite filters. Sometimes the power of that made me feel beautiful. I knew I wasn’t. I had mirrors. When pimples erupt on a middle aged face you don’t claim outer beauty. But there were moments I felt like a warrior woman. And she was magnificent. I wish I had honored her more, instead of reaching for the Pamprin®.

Of course there is still time. My warrior woman didn’t die with PMS. She morphed into Big Fat Mama: Post Menopausal Juicy Crone. No one knows what that means, but with a perfectly executed head snap, and a cackle then a pop from any number of bodily regions, it’s scary enough to have some fun.

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Filed under Menopause, menstruation, PMS, Post Menopausal, Sharon Nesbit-Davis, story