Indigenous cultures are commonly matriarchal, or at least
matrifocal. A woman was honored during her menstrual flow, or moon time. This was considered the blood of creation and was both revered and believed to be powerful in both positive and negative ways. There was a separate lodge where women went when they were on their "moon" in order to cleanse, similar to the "Red Tent" in the Hebrew tradition.
While a woman was in the Moon Lodge, a Wise Blood Woman, an elder who served as a mentor, would take care of her needs and responsibilities. This Wise Blood Woman, or surrogate grandmother, cared for the children, did household chores and also brought food, water and fresh moss (used as feminine pads). She would nurture the woman, doing massage and administering appropriate herbs to aid in her comfort. During her moon time a woman was considered to be most open or receptive to Spirit and to vision, so she was given the time and space to be inward and reflective. When she left the lodge she would share any insights, visions or messages with the medicine women. In the modern world it is difficult to set aside the entire moon time for quiet contemplation, but there are things we can do to provide a respite for our sisters. A grandmother might do a little baby sitting, provide a meal, or take her moon time friend out for lunch. Anything that seems to fit their personal relationship. If they share an interest or skill, they may spend some time together quilting, painting or developing business proposals.
is a Gratitude Blessing?)
The moon ceremonies are designed to help a person come into balance with the natural rhythms established by the cycles of the moon. Because 75% of our bodies are made up of water, we, like the tides, are affected by the moon at deep levels of
emotion and psychic energy. This undercurrent can aid us in surrendering to the flow of divine consciousness.
The phases of the moon are used as calendars for action and inaction. We can be guided to wiser decisions when we
allow the phases of the moon to slow us down and provide time for reflection. Disciplining ourselves to pause and ponder before doing or saying anything helps us to step into our power and allow ourselves to be guided.