I feel honored to bring to talk about my connection with Earth Mother. It is the direction North on the Medicine Wheel, the place of the elders, the time of contemplation where we ground our spirits and souls. It is the earth women are connected to most when we are either menstruating or in menarche.
I know some of you might be uncomfortable talking about menstruation, I know I was growing up. I didn't have that elder or grandmother to teach me about my connection to the earth and how to honor her or myself. Perhaps if more women were taught to pay homage to themselves and to be surrounded by men loving and supporting them, Earth Mother might not be as desacrated as she has been. Some of us have been blessed to have view menstruation as the holy time that it is. Both men and women.
I have a twenty-two year old son who I raised myself and I swore when he was a baby that he would be comfortable with women, their bodies and to respect all the processes we women go through no matter how messy, uncomfortable or foreign it would be to him. I put myself down all the time for not doing this right or that right for him when he was growing up. But one thing I can claim with pride is that he truly feels and treats women with an empathy and a comfort that I am so proud of. His current girl-friend is always telling me how Alex is more at ease buying her sanitary napkins (think of the name even, "sanitary", what does that say about our culture?) than she is.
I've been really lucky to have spend some time around many Native Americans living both on reservations, in pueblos and our local Natives who taught me the most about how to appreciate Earth Mother's bounty of gifts. One grandmother told me, that "when women bleed, they move with the moon. And when stop bleeding they become the Moon." I thought that was one of the most beautiful thoughts and sayings I have ever heard. She told me that some tribes had a special place just for women when they are on their "Moontime". It's appropriately called a Moon Lodge or Moon hut. A place where women who were on their Moontime seperated themselves from the men of the tribe and gathered with other women for prayer, dreaming, and giving thanks to Earth Mother.
This same grandmother told me, that no, women went to the moon lodge to not only dream and rest but to offer their Moontime blood back to Earth Mother which would nurture and make the Earth more fertile for the tribes well-being.
I know some of you are either grossing out or are really squeamish about this whole post and hearing what I do, and that's o.k., really it is. It's not your fault you didn't have women in your life, no matter your gender, who taught you about women representing the Earth Mother in human form. It's never too late though. And there are still moon-lodges around. If you can't find one, make one! Build an altar with Earth Mother represented, gather with other women whom you're close too and listen to their experiences of their first Moontime and how it has effected their whole lives. Find older women who can guide you and mentor you on your process. Or simply walk bare foot on the earth and remembering your true spirit and soul and how you are connected to Earth Mother. It is only by loving ourselves that we can heal Earth Mother. You might discover something about yourself that has laid buried like a treasure just waiting for you to discover it.
Mitakuye Oyasin (Lakota Sioux prayer of blessing "All my Relations or " We are all connected).
From the book, "A Circle of Stones; a Woman's Journey to Herself" by Judith Duerk.
How might your life have been different if there had been a place for you...a place of women, where you were received and affirmed? A place where other women, perhaps somewhat older, had been affirmed before you, each in her own time, affirmed, as she struggled to become more truly herself. A place where, after the fires were lighted, and the drumming, and the silence, there would be a hush of expectancy filling the entire chamber...a knowing that each woman there was leaving old conformity to find her self...a sense that all of womanhood stood on a threshold. And if during the hush, the other women, slightly older, had helped you to trust your own becoming...to trust it quietly and prayerfully to nurture it..how might your life be different?