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Archive for September, 2007

A Dark moon circle is an emotional sustaining practice. This is the time once a month when you sit with your women, openly, honestly. Its as much about being there for them as it is about being there for yourself. Without comparison or competition, women supporting women.

Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist Anna Quindlen once said, “I only really understand myself, what I’m really thinking and feeling, when I’ve talked it over with my circle of female friends. When days go by without that connection, I feel like a radio playing in an empty room.”

Quindlen also recalled meeting the First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, for the first time: “She showed me a bracelet she had just been given for her birthday. Her nine closest (female) friends had bought it for her, and the initials of each were engraved on the links.”

Late in President Bill Clinton’s first term, Quindlen met the First Lady again. “ I asked how she managed to survive the maelstrom and continual scrutiny in the White House, and she showed me the bracelet once again. It was her circle of friends that kept her equilibrium constant.”

From Popcorn, Faith. EVEolution: the eight truths of marketing to women/ Faith Popcorn and Lys Marigold.

We all have those few close women in our lives that are our mirrors, our measurement of self, as we see ourselves through their eyes. A Dark Moon circle gives that relationship a deeper dimension. By making the time every month, not letting work or other parts of the very busy schedule that most women lead, interfere, we are making a commitment to our cyclical nature.

We are women, we ebb and flow. We have an intrinsic part of us that can be utilised for greater emotional and mental health. Choosing to be a part of a dark moon circle honours the natural force within us.

The ways and means of creating, maintaining and deepening the way we relate to each other are as varied as the women in your circle. You may wish to build a combined scent, each bringing a beloved essential oil that you all place into a carrier oil. This oil can then be used for foot massaging circle one night when you all need a little pampering. There could be a creation from each of you upon your altar, which is just a lovely way of creating a special space for yourselves.

One of the first things you can do as a group of women that are intending to meet each dark moon is to set your intent. What do you collectively believe should be the boundaries of your circle? Will there be a vow of privacy that you all make? Perhaps intent that each woman is of equal value within the circle; there is no one person in charge? Perhaps define for yourselves what is “inside the circle” and what is “outside the circle”. This is about allowing for all the chit chat to be when you are having a cuppa tea, leaving the “circle time” for when you really open up in the safety of each others undivided attention.

That brings me to what do you actually “do” in a Dark Moon Circle? Well, almost anything really, but what can be a really effective thing to do at the start or finish or even the entire circle when you begin, is to allow for each woman to state where she is at. How’s her moon been for her? What’s been going on? This is when she is HEARD, and this can be hard just to allow her to speak her part, not interjecting but just bearing witness to her life, formally. You will be amazed at how similar and yet totally different your group of women’s lives are. There is another part to this movement around the circle, and that is the statement of intent. In a way, you first tell it like it is, and then you vision it how you want it to be! The letting go of the moon past is important to make room for the moon to come.

As you can possibly already see over time this can be incredibly empowering. Can you imagine the growth of self as you offer up the intent for each moon, experience it, share it with your women and then offer up the next moon’s intentions? These kinds of circles are wonderful for building community. If there are a number of children and menfolk in relation to your particular group of women then maybe you can organise it so that some of them get together in support of each other, while you women tend to yourselves and one another. Making the Dark Moon Circle a time of celebration of tending to the self, so that, as you will, you have more to give during the rest of the moon.

Offering up love and support to the self, and the women in your life, assists you to give more unconditionally. As you give from a fuller cup, when you look to the self first. As women we tend to put our selves last, even considered selfish if we ‘take’ time to tend to our inner worlds. This has left most women feeling guilty to stop, breathe, take a long deep look at ourselves and know that we are living the wonder-filled lives of our choice.

Attending a Dark Moon Circle is self sustaining practice that will in turn give you all you need to sustain your world. All it takes is commitment to self, imagination and giving yourself permission to have at least one night a moon/ month, that is for you!

ENJOY!

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Think Global, Act local and Commit Personally! How many moments in your life can you truly change so as to make a difference in the world? Well here’s one way that is going to make a fundamental difference in your world and to the world. It all begins with an inspirational quote from a wonderfully anarchic book: “Taking responsibility for one’s bleeding ways is part of the reality-based revolution founded between the soft luscious thighs of every woman on this planet”. Inga Musico from Cunt: A declaration of Independence.

Being responsible for all those choices that we could make, if only we knew. Ok, here’s a tool that many women have never even heard of, and if you’re a man reading this, perhaps you could pass this on to the women in your world. A menstrual cup is an internal device that sits in the same place that a tampon does, but rather than the absorbing and single use that defines a tampon, this tool is to be emptied and re-used, one cup lasting ten years. So, that’s one cup for ten years, or single use disposable products that have been bleached to give the impression of sterility, lets say 130 boxes of tampons, complete with packaging, for ten years use.

For those that aren’t the internal kind of woman, there are the re-useable pads, WeMoon, designed to imitate the thin and waterproof nature of their disposable counterparts. The WeMoon pads and the menstrual cups are both tools that ask us to recognise that our menstrual flow, typical of a woman’s life from the age of 12 – 45 years, is not necessarily needed to be responded to by maintaining large corporations profit margin. The history of the disposable product has run along side all those ‘conveniences’ of life, which now as we face the real costs of land fill and limited resources we are truly questioning.

The menstrual cup was created and available at the same time as the tampon, but as one can imagine, a company with a product that is re-useable lasting ten years over a company that builds products that are disposable, the difference of growth in these two company’s / industries is predictable. The menstrual cup never got a look in, as western women the globe over took to the ‘freedom’ to ride a horse in white jeans along a beach during their menstrual flow. Now, you can do this with a menstrual cup too, but their advertising budget was a little different.

These large organisations are still maintaining their fundamental service, “sanitary protection” being their industry, they offer a woman a sense of freedom from the fear that someone may ‘know’ they are menstruating. Now, a cup or a WeMoon pad will do the same, but they are both more interested in doing so without the cost to the earth, the woman or the wallet. Perhaps though we are so trained to ‘throw away’ our menstrual flow that the idea of being in more intimate relation with this part of being a woman seems more trouble than it’s worth. Until we truly look to the cost. As Dumbledore says this is the time where we make the decision between what is right and what is easy.

How do you go about changing your habits, for that’s all they are, to ones that will support the earth rather than deplete? Well, firstly you choose… are you an internal or external girl? Once that is defined give the appropriate option a go! The Keeper (www.thekeeper.com.au) and The Mooncup (www.mooncup.co.uk), are offered with %100 money back guarantee’s for the purpose of facilitating you giving the option a go. Getting your head around it is probably one of the first things you will need to do, for if you can’t imagine it, it wont happen. The menstrual cup fits in the same place as a tampon does, folding and inserting getting an air tight seal can be tricky to start with, but with practice, they become second nature.

Now you can just empty the contents of a menstrual cup straight into the toilet. Dump the water you soak your WeMoon (www.wemoon.com.au) pads in down the sink. OR, maybe you could give back to an Earth that gives you so much of what you need, air, water, food, maybe this would be the biggest change that any of us could make. Taking our menstrual flow, adding it to water and feeding it to the earth, with love, this is the stuff of real change. Knowing and feeling how connected to the earth we all are, and with a new found respect for our selves, our menstrual flow, perhaps this can flow on to the earth and we could find the same respect for the planet we live on!

This is the kind of change that sustains itself, deepening and strengthening your ability to make a difference!

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