The information I'm sharing has been taken from knowledge gathered through years of practical experience, oral teachings that have come my way, along with years of study notes that unfortunately were not accredited to their appropriate authors. I've found much of this information collaborated and expanded upon in Jamie Sams' book: "The 13 Original Clan Mothers," which I'm including as further reference here. There is the Celtic insight shared from my friend DragonHawk through his research into Celtic lore based on the writings of: Alexei Kondratiev in the book "Celtic Rituals: A Guide to Ancient Celtic Spirituality," thank you DragonHawk. The material is as accurate as possible under these circumstances. I have found solid insight as well as rewarding experiences working with this knowledge base and trust those of you who choose to explore them will find the same results.
While the Moon Lore teachings present what I would call specific perspectives to work with, what insights we gain in that process apply across the board with Nature too. The aspects of the elemental forces are at play, and we begin as we follow the Moon teachings to see that flow of nature, the cycles and patterns that are constantly at play throughout the year. When you overlay the Moons with the Seven Sacred Directions for instance, you get the breakdown of each element in motion as the cycle of the year unfolds. The energy flow, the rhythm and Dance begin to make sense to you.
Each year these lessons come forward in a timely way. We explore through the Moon Cycles a step at a time to understand and take in the teachings that allow us to share with others. We, as women, feel the ebb and flow of the Moon's energy through our bodies during menses which can make it a bit easier for us to relate to those aspects as we merge with them and unify through the Oneness of that energy. This is where we come to know the fertile energy of the Self. The teachings apply to everyone, not just women, but for the most part we don't pay attention to the Moon to the depth that our ancestors did and that leaves many people lacking this extremely helpful perception in their day to day lives. Clients and seekers alike call asking me "What's happening in my life?" month after month and the sorting as well as explaining process ensues. Think about this pattern of unfolding monthly cycles as you look forward and back over the year that has just passed. See how it has applied in your life…altering your perspectives, your experiences, relationships, and your spiritual journey.
For those individuals who intend to follow the guidance of these particular teachings a light begins to shine ahead on the path they're walking…while those who are learning by experience will find the light shines on the path behind them…they can see what they've been through but are in the dark as to what remains before them.
In Nature-based teachings, the spiritual essence of all forces at play are recognized as sentient and therefore they are personified. When explored seriously we discover there is a relationship to humans and a direct channel will open to the essence creating an avenue for communication to be established. When someone says that the Earth Mother came and spoke words to them they are talking about literally hearing her voice. It is a woman's voice that contains the unconditional loving essence of all motherhood. When she speaks to me that love permeates every inch of my being and the unconditional love radiates its warmth through me. I feel her presence whether she is physically or spiritually showing herself or not. In hearing the tone of address she uses her essence carries forward with each word spoken. This voice impresses us as the external permeates our being. Grandmother Moon is a bit more subtle, she whispers to us through our hearts and minds and we come to learn to communicate with her that way. Grandmother Moon escorts us through our deep inner journeys and sheds her soft light into the darkness of the shadows there. She sheds her light into our lives this way to help us discover the truths we seek.
OPENING TO GRANDMOTHER MOON'S LORE:
By opening ourselves to the teachings of the Moons we become willing to raise our conscious awareness so that the path and experiences before us are easier to see. We gain that foresight and therefore the understanding of what to anticipate and how to react to events as they unfold. Practical application of her lore serves us as we strive to grow spiritually in our daily lives. In the indigenous teachings the Moons are called 'Grandmother's' because all of life is seen from the perspective of the cosmic family. Following the Grandmothers' ways you will come to know what to expect…at the very least in a rudimentary manner at first. Later, after having passed through some experiences and placed your foundations, you are able to focus deeper as the lesson re-present themselves down the road. Remember, these lessons recycle through our lives each year. It's like going to college where English 101 is presented the first year, English 201 is presented the second year…foundations building upon each other expand our understanding. So by looking ahead at the month's lessons and knowing you have a month with each aspect to learn about yourself you'll see you're also learning about others and the world around you. Your powers of observation will grow strong this way.
The Grandmothers take turns as our teachers, they are always present, always expanding on the gains we have from recent events and those from the year before too. In this manner we grow in knowledge, understanding to gather our wisdom as we evolve. Each year is an unfolding cycle, a process that spirals outward expanding on the truths we're shown. Choosing to walk with these Medicine teachings takes you beyond simply grasping the theory to really knowing them for yourself. Taking them into practice I find them assisting me in preparing for what lies ahead and stumble on my path a lot less. Grandmother's lessons are always about truth and one thing I can tell you is that in finding that truth within myself I'm able to embrace it and easily walk in that awareness. I may not like having to address it sometimes, but when I can be true to myself I know I can be true to others. You'll find it's the same for you. No one wants to live a lie, that's not really living, it's only an illusion being cast and that creates a path of shadows. The truth makes us stronger, our path takes on conviction and walking it is an honor.
It's all One. We hear that over and over again and within the patterns of Nature we see the teachings presented repeatedly from different perspectives. Balance is one of the consistent factors. As we lay our foundations the teachings of the Moon break them down further expanding the understanding through focus on specific details. That creates a flow as one aspect moves toward the other letting us feel the rhythm of the Dance, the steps that we take. There is a sway to the rhythm, just as the Moon influences the rhythm and sway of the sea, we know wave after wave comes to shore as the tide fluctuates and creates that rhythm. As we study Grandmother's lore we catch the waves, let them wash over and through us with their energy and knowledge. Through those experiences we gain our understanding of those rhythms, their cadence and their energy. We understand the different melodies of the different Songs and we learn to Dance each Moon. In that process we learn to Dance the Wheel and all its other mysteries.
While the Moon lore teachings present specific perspectives to work from, what insights we gain in that process apply across the board with Nature. That expands into the big picture as well as focuses in on our respective individual issues. We learn how the rhythms create cosmic Songs and Dances that apply to us in our unique fashions. The aspects of the elemental forces are at play, they are always present in one form or another and with each season there is a dominant element leading that dance. As we follow Grandmother's teachings that flow of Nature allows the cycles and patterns that are constantly at play throughout the year to become familiar to us on spiritual levels.
We know them well on physical levels because we live them, but all too often we stop there and don't see the deeper implications. It's through those implications that we build upon and expand our understanding as we gather knowledge adding it to our foundations. Since I work from indigenous perspectives with the diversity of an eclectic cultural and traditional background, my ability to share with you comes through this layer of insights. It allows me to explain the teachings in this way. Now, it is possible you're coming from another perspective which may take a different approach but either way the end result is the same regardless of how differently the definitions may be presented. Over the years I've found those variances only amplify and enhance the understandings we gather to ourselves. Therefore the impact is no greater or less either way. As we bring the eclectic aspect of various cultural beliefs into play we simply begin adding more pieces of insight and things validate themselves to us as we go by enriching our understanding. It is a process that just keeps going outward from there.
Because we all have issues on a personal level…those unique lessons that are custom designed for us specifically…they may or may not resemble the issues of others. If they do come to parallel in certain cases then those individuals will be compatible to walk with as we learn and they will bless us with someone we can share our experiences with…someone who can grasp that insight along with us and help us sort through things. If they don't match up in some fashion then we aren't going to be in harmony with that individual at that time. Hence, we may feel it is best to keep a measured distance or part ways with regard to what we're embracing and experiencing. They won't 'get it' and we'd be wasting our time and effort as well as theirs trying to explain. So sometimes we're going to be attracted to others (like attracting like) and sometimes we'll feel the need to pull away, in either case our sensations tell us what to do and that should be honored. There is nothing wrong with that when you see it from a neutral point of view that does not emotionally attach to the situation. It's the emotional attachment that causes our confusion and leads to problems. If we disengage emotionally and look at things through logic we can see why the decision needs to be made and understand why it's happening the way it is. This allows us to act with grace rather than friction.
In the natural cycle if one takes an element from the perspective of the Seven Sacred Directions it's attributes teach us about the different stages present in the cycle of Nature throughout the year. We come to understand and experience these attributes whether that element is in the lead or not and what lesson or lessons they bring to us through our conscious experiences is powerful insight. By focusing on the spiritual contexts brought into play we come to see deeper into the physical aspects too. Each element teaches us through this same pattern. As we flow with them, we're able to raise our conscious awareness to align with the seasons, with the elements at play, with Grandmother's teachings. This lends us the understand of how that affects not only our personal interests and the world around us, but also the individuals we know because we can see how they're responding and if they are consciously aware or not.
We see how to work with that energy, how it weaves and how to direct it through our will as it is responsive to us. Remember, these are sentient energies. Just as a river has banks that run along its course, we're like the jutting bank that pushes the energy outward or the cove that draws it inward. We can break away like a chunk of land and fall into the water or spiritual perspective to become one with it. We can sink into the depths to explore it or we can float along the top and allow it to show us things as we go. We can resist by kicking and screaming thrashing in a chaotic manner getting nothing but fear out of the experience. How we respond determines what we will gain and how difficult or graceful our Dance will be.
It's through Nature-based perception our insights allow us to recognize that half the year is dominated by masculine forces and half by feminine…that's the balance and they each have their turn in bringing forth their fullness through the "Light of understanding" or "enlightenment". As we understand that we can work with the elemental forces through the seasons while we learn from Grandmother Moon at the same time. Those seasons each hold three Moon cycles and we sues those to resolve our issues, to manifest, to weave energy, to heal, to spiritually evolve year after year as we have need to do. We can also go through it by ignoring these things but they will still take place. Nature is Universal Law in action and we are not immune to it. It's just that when we are unaware of the spiritual implications when the law goes into effect we're taken by surprise as events unfold instead of being prepared for them. Prepared in our perspectives we hold the understanding of the patterns at play through the theoretical foundations. Those patterns expand our perspectives as we follow along them rather than limiting ourselves unnecessarily. The more willing we are the more graceful our Dance becomes.
Each Moon enlightens us by shedding its light upon its lessons assisting us to raise our consciousness…it doesn't matter what tradition we explore, the universals are going to be present in some form. The issue of enlightenment that aids us in raising our awareness is not going to happen with only one Moon. It will happen a little at a time with each successive Moon, just as it happens that the year turns with the seasons, and the years turn the decades in their fullness. Each Moon cycle enlightens us through our ability to embrace its reflective efforts as it grows Full. That lets us digest and cast off what we no longer need as it moves toward decrease taking what's no longer needed from us as it wanes. The rhythm of each Moon's respective cycle teaches us how to move with each melody they play in regard to the attributes we're to focus on as their lessons are presented. Those lessons will directly relate to our personal issues in life that need resolution and they will help us get to know each Grandmother intimately. It doesn't matter if the issues we're dealing with are internal or external initially because they must all be internalized first before we can act on them and initiate the changes that will lead to our growth successfully.
DANCING WITH THE MOON:
If you are Dancing and flowing in the rhythm of the Song each Grandmother is singing to you then you literally feel the melody behind it. Your senses respond and your spirit moves you to work with the pattern as you take your steps. Your actions will follow the rhythm synchronistically whether your steps are the same as another's doesn't matter, both of you would appear to be choosing to 'Dance this way or that way' but you'd both be Dancing in your own style to the same beat all the same.
Now the indigenous myths tell their story their way but the stories are basically the same in any tradition…they just have different ways of presentation. Taking that concept a step further to exemplify things if we look at Christianity and it's means of teaching about the things Jesus shared we're exploring those same teachings along with the 'how to' aspect through the 13 Grandmothers. In Christianity the pretext of Jesus' teachings was presented through the 12 Apostles, he was the 13th factor…the unification factor or Universal Truth as the Creator in human form. It was through the physical form that God incarnated in Jesus. Each of the 12 Apostles told of his teachings through their own eyes and understandings. Their perspectives or their take on what Jesus had shared with him created the New Testament or teachings that followers of that religious path adhere to today…a culmination through various perspectives of all that Jesus taught….that's the same factor that the 13th Moon holds.
Keep in mind that each element is a vessel that contains its own form of that Higher Intellect. For instance, taking Water as an example and observing through its various stages of form, we can see what it is showing us at any given time. Flowing freely the insights are going to come easily to us, if it is clear they are easily understood, but if it becomes muddied our understanding is going to be confusing to us or disjointed. If it's frozen we aren't going to 'get it' until the spring thaw comes and we begin to grasp the trickle of its knowledge and start to grasp what it is about and where it's taking us. As we come to see the relevance in our lives we also begin to see the relevance in the lives of others and the world around us. When this correlates to the lessons of the Moons as they come into play we have a deeper perspective and understanding of the patterns we need to work with. The Moons teach us about the patterns just add the elemental forces do.
WHAT THE PATTERN SHOWS US:
Initially we begin by observing the energy signature of the lessons and what's happening around us as well as within us. In seeing similar lessons at play with those we interact with we can see where we've already passed through those lessons as they weave their paths, or Dance their Dance, we can see where they're going. It may validate for us that we don't need to re-walk those paths but the pattern is still in motion as we walk on in our own direction. Well, the Moons teach us about the pattern just as the elemental forces do and sometimes we're asked to observe as a reminder to ourselves to keep the insight we've gained in our awareness as we move forward…this happens generally when we're going to need to apply that awareness soon. It's like sitting in on a lecture to refresh our own memories. Each year as we pass through the Moon cycles we're initially refreshing ourselves before we take it deeper and to get more out of it.
As we go deeper we learn that sometimes the new ways being shown will in effect highlight the old ways that are no longer able to serve us and we release the old for the new. There's always a process of discarding something that is no longer applicable to make room for what is applicable…be that a perspective we held to get us where we're going today, a relationship that we held for a time of companionship, a situation or circumstance, a boundary or territory, a comfort zone we grew overly accustomed to…if it no longer fits where we're at it must be discarded. Now that discarding can be a graceful parting through understanding or a conflicting experience challenging us with the difficulty to get through it. It depends on how we Dance it and each Moon cycle gives us the opportunity to discard as it hits the midpoint of Fullness and moves into decrease. As it decreases we let go, as it grows Full we gain or receive our enlightenments which are always gifts. Each season and each Moon cycle it contains has its own maximum energy peak at the midpoint of its fullness and then begins to wane allowing the next Moon or season or year to come forward and carry the melody along…and us with it.
THE 13 GRANDMOTHERS:
The truths each of the 13 Grandmothers share will fall together in a specific order and I'd like to share a quick overview of that before we step into the details of each. In introducing them to you we are exploring the meanings behind those names in accordance with the Seneca tradition but I will also give examples of other names they go by to demonstrate the variety of presentations and attributes they hold. Each of their lessons teach us how to recognize truth and embrace it in a right manner as we reflect on it inwardly for balance and then project it through our actions back out into the world around us.
In January the first Grandmother we meet is Talks With Relations; she teaches us the lessons we need about learning the truth. In February Wisdom Keeper steps forward to teach us about honoring the truth. In March Weighs The Truth brings us lessons in accepting truth. April introduces us to Looks Far Woman who shows us how to see the truth. May is the time for Listening Woman to come forward and she brings us lessons on hearing truth. In June it's Storyteller who steps into the picture to help us learn to speak the truth. July brings us to meet with Loves All Things who teaches us the lessons about loving the truth. In August She Who Heals teaches us about serving truth. Autumn arrives in September as Setting Sun Woman brings lessons on living the truth. In October we meet Weaves the Web who teaches us to work with the truth. Then in November Walks Tall Woman is the teacher that brings lessons about walking the truth. December's Grandmother is Gives Praise and she teaches us lessons about BE-ing the truth. Finally, the year concludes with the 13th Grandmother who is a culmination of all these truths in union…truths about life, ourselves and others…about All Our Relations and her name is Becomes The Vision. She teaches us how to BE the truth.
We all want to know the truth of things, don't we? It is during the 13th Moon that we arrive at a time when, through our natural abilities and the knowledge we've gained, that we come to understand the process of conscious change or transformation. When you put these lessons together and see how they function the process of working with them becomes quite intriguing. Truth strengthens us, changes us, tempers us, and it makes the road ahead easier to navigate. It is often said that 'Truth is a mighty sword' and it is one that can pierce through matter to inform it. At the same time it is a double-edged sword, on side that protects and defends while the other destroys and makes way…and on the whole it protects us from the illusions it destroys. You have to be willing to see it, to take it up and accept it, to work with it for the tool that it is. That means learning how to wield that sword and hone your skills in the process…you are the Sword of Truth, we all are.
The essences of the feminine teachings are deeply imbedded within the Moon Lore of the Grandmothers. They hold a body of lore that reflects light into the darkness within us as we search spiritual and sensory pathways within ourselves. While the essences of the masculine teachings are just as deeply imbedded within this same body of lore as it pertains to the searching and sensory perceptions of our pathway within our daily lives. In the Men's teachings the names often refer to Nature and the animal essences so those Medicines will also be active in some capacity during the cycle. For example, January's Wolf Moon is a time of year when winter's harsh conditions force the Wolf to enter into populated areas, encampments, villages, towns or farmsteads in search of food. March's Worm Moon is a time of year when the rains begin and Worms come up out of the ground. April's Crow Moon will find the Crows out and about gathering for their stockpiles all that they can steal for themselves. These two energetic genders combine to show us our inner and outer place in the world.
Our inner reflection has many layers, so the lore opens our eyes gradually as just the light of the Moon gradually increases through its different phases. These lessons come as they come, often through many different experiences. With these teachings and the outline of understanding they all bring us to, we are able to allow a process of experience to continue year after year after year. We expand our knowledge and the understanding therefore moving gradually into our wisdom over time. Greater skills develop to serve us as we deal with life and our process of growth. As the patterns form they teach us things about ourselves and like a mathematical matrix, they teach us how to solve any equation we place into them. There is value to the Grandmother's matrix.
Women's Medicine is a matrix, Men's Medicine is a matrix, the Seven Sacred Directions are a matrix, and the Medicine Wheel is a matrix. So in understanding the Moon matrix it allows us to understand those aspects of shamanic teachings. The teachings are something we're all exposed to, men and women alike…whether aware of that or not, we each experience it personally and socially as a whole. If we are aware the lessons begin to show us our evolutionary process and we find our bearings with far more clarity.
Each Moon represents the influence for the month in which it resides. That's pertinent to the aspect of truth it represents. The names, as I've mentioned, will vary culturally and traditionally depending on the teachings we're exploring so keep in mind these are Seneca names. You may find it helpful to take each Grandmother and the lessons she brings noting that at the top of each month's calendar page as a reminder. Many people like to do this and find it helps them hold that focus when things unfold.
Naturally with 13 Moons to discuss we need to be aware of the push and pull of activities we want to undertake. As the Moon is waxing Full it produces an energy force supporting increase, and as it wanes to grow dark it draws with a force bringing decrease. Seems simple enough, doesn't it? Well, it is simple, our bodies react to this push-pull feature of cyclic energy just as the oceans react and plant growth reacts, all that lives and breathes reacts to it…and so does our energy work.
The Moon holds sway over emotions, our imaginations, and our behavior. At its increase or fullness, it heightens things (think full light); at its decrease it diminishes things (think fading to darkness). How can we use this to our best advantage as we seek truth and weave our DreamWeaves? Well, we can literally ride that energy, work with it, and adjust our work through perspectives that compliment the nature of the cycle at the time. For instance, if you wanted to work to lose weight the natural inclination would be to begin a diet as the Moon begins to grow thin. But what if you don't want to wait another two weeks? What if you want to start when the New Moon is growing full? How do you turn the situation into a positive force? You begin your diet and ask Grandmother Moon to draw her fullness from you. As you lose weight the Moon gains and it's just a slight shift in perspective or weaving but it works. Learning to work with the Moon's cycles will help avoid frustrations and wasted efforts. Because the Moon represents the more passive feminine energies as opposed to the aggressive masculine energy of the Sun its influence is considered to be receptive. Like the ocean's tide it pushes and pulls at us and because it influences the tides of energy the work we are doing is influenced as well. Being receptive it will influence the delving into our inner realms, dreams, journeys, and states of mind.
Each Moon contains four cycles or periods of approximately 7 days for each circlet of phases it holds. Twenty-eight days with each phase having an influence that is changeable. Therefore, these changing phases allow us to work in receptive and adaptable fashion to any circumstance you can imagine. The New Moon is considered the Child, it sprouts and grows as an inspirational quarter develops. This indicates a time of deep inner reflection where listening to your inner voice will bring forth your more spiritual abilities and their growth through the truths you uncover. The Moon is associated with fertility, ruling the tides, the germination of seeds, menstrual cycles and conception. Thus the waxing crescent is the first phase of growing Full and symbolizes new beginnings and growth. This is an excellent time for beginning projects and dealing with plants; it is a time for all growing thins. After the New Moon haircuts grow out more quickly; in fact everything seems to flow more quickly as a general rule of thumb. This is where we begin to introduce ourselves to new Totems or to renew relationships with old ones, it awakens the spirits of the Totems and is a time of instruction and listening so we can learn to better communicate.
The first quarter is the Maiden, a time of flowering and pollination as we cultivate our lessons. The waxing Moon is the growing period as the Moon grows Full; a time to deepen spiritual and emotional connections. Here we need to allow the lessons to unfold as they work to teach and continue to energize us. The Full Moon is the Mother stage. A Full Moon represents the Mother, her wholeness and creative as well as intuitive foundations indicating maturity, especially of a more maternal nurturing disposition. Here the Moon bears fruit in the harvest as manifestation comes into being. It's also an emotional time (lunacy, loony, lunatic, etc. are often terms we hear during this phase). It's a time when feelings seem more intense, a time to drive carefully and to watch your emotional reactions. Also the Full Moon does affect others around you who may not be as aware of these implications and it's to your advantage to keep that in mind as you interact with people. It's a nurturing time to celebrate the connections between self and other life forms drawing that energy into ourselves.
The third quarter initiates the waning Moon and begins the cycle of decrease. This is a time to turn inward, make plans, and allow things to germinate. During the Waning Moon things may grow more slowly and energy may be low. Haircuts at this time, for example, will take longer to grow out. Some people feel depressed or physically and energetically depleted with the Moon that has waned to its lowest point and then it's time for the New Moon to begin to show herself again. Take time to rest during the waning Moon, be good to yourself and release any negative residue from work you've done or experiences you've encountered and certainly from outworn ideas or concepts. During the Dark Moon, the final phase before the New Moon arrives, we continue with the discarding. This is the Old Moon or Crone who brings a deeper decline and is symbolic of old age. In this fourth and final quarter we cultivate the seeds that will be transforming with the next New Moon. It is here we do our deepest cleansings or purging. The wisdom of this phase is that of experiencing all others and coming to a full understanding of how these phases support our efforts, how to weave in a right manner and make the fullest use of that knowledge as we possibly can. Each Grandmother passes through the Child, Maiden, Mother, and Crone stage.
An example of working magically with the Moon is found in the old ritual of Drawing Down the Moon. In essence it is found in many different traditions as the act of calling into yourself or invoking the energy so that you can wield it. Invoking is calling something to you, evoking is calling something up from within yourself. By placing your wrists together and cupping the hands it lets you create a visual cradle or vessel to receive. With arms extended toward the Moon you are essentially holding it in the cup of your hands. This allows you to maintain your focus intently on the Moon and if you squint your eyes the light is reflected in rays that go out in each of the four cardinal directions. There will be one ray coming straight toward you from the center of the Moon and it is along this ray that you draw the energy to yourself. You can then trace that energy back to the Moon and journey to it or you can call it to you.
As an aside, ritual candles, incenses, and images are only props. They serve to help strengthen your focus but the magic is the art of using them to aid you in employing your psychic talents in an effective manner. It is the science of control of the secret forces in Nature. Causing change via your Will or intent, through concentration and attention using the power of the mind itself. At that point your 6th sense comes into harmony with your other 5 senses. It's there that you tap into the ability to reach beyond the present. Then just as we can feel changes in barometric pressure and sense a storm coming, our psychic energies react in the same manner. Change is produced by the cause we set into motion as we release the energy along with our Will.
Keeping in mind the Moon phases, the cycles and how the energy flows our work in action is aligned to them. Our work through our lessons aligns to them as well. And as we complete our yearly cycle we come to the wisdom that the 13th Grandmother brings into play knowing how to weave and why, how to weave with right action for the higher good realizing what affect that will have on not only our desires but on others. We see the big picture through her eyes. In her wisdom she reminds us that the first Full Moon of the year in January begins the Grandmother's teachings. Each monthly cycle encompasses the focus of those respective lessons. As the years turn the ways of the Grandmothers become deeper through imbedded experiences as we build upon the previous year's teachings. The foundation builds upon itself in this way from the time we are young until we begin our rite of passage into the different phases of growth.
Part of the Moon's magic is found in the growth cycle of Women's Medicine and the rite of passage into the menstrual mysteries as she comes to understand what it means to become a woman. Women's Medicine holds the life force in that menstrual blood and this will overpower the Medicine of Men. All things are born of Woman and therefore the predominance of Moon Lore is a feminine focus whether we are of a male or female body ourselves. As each year concludes the teachings of the 12 Moons are encapsulated, assimilated and unified through the 13th Grandmother. She also helps teach us that the Moon Lodge itself is the time of menses in women; a time when a woman would isolate herself and not influence the Medicine of others drawing from them as her power is peaking. During this time her focus is on these teachings and setting her frame of mind through understanding in relation to the lessons of the month. It is during this time that she receives enlightenment, assimilates and then embraces this wisdom.
In Native teachings the Moon Lodge is one of the ways a woman vision quests, and it is far different from the physical sacrifices of the Men's ways. Women's questing is gentler because her body sacrifices itself with the cycle of menses and in childbirth. It is said that Spirit said Women sacrifice enough therefore they do not need to do more. However some women choose to expand their questing and sacrificing into more assertive ways. Some will do skin cuttings giving of their flesh for ritual tools or other needs; others will do piercings of the flesh; and still others will Dance or fully undertake the vision quest as a man would do…however these are elective choices and are not required. The Moon Lodge provides the 3 days of focus to walk through that Moon cycle focused on these teachings and exploring them deeper.
EXPLORING THE GRANDMOTHERS:
And so we scoot back to the beginning where in our exploration and the sharing of these teachings I mentioned they are based on my own eclectic studies and personal experiences as well as the oral teachings I've received. I have also drawn from the resources provided in Jamie Sams' book: "The 13 Original Clan Mothers" as I believe this and her book "Dancing The Dream" are her masterpieces. They are the most comprehensive written presentations of Women's Medicine perspectives I've come across so far. That's something rare as most of these teachings are handed down through the oral tradition. I feel both books are a solid asset to anyone beginning to explore this body of knowledge and a necessity in their reference library. Timing is everything and there's time for you to absorb some of this insight before you begin working with the teachings themselves.
I'm going to keep this thread locked asking members to start their own discussions separately to maintain cohesiveness of the material I'll be presenting. That way I can add to it as time allows. I'll be adding each Grandmother separately so their Medicine stands alone at first and then unites with the 13th Grandmother's teachings…Becomes Her Vision. *Soft smile*