New Moon Gathering
It’s 12:46am and I should be fast asleep, but I am up late working on a video for a doula client, and there is bread rising, so I thought I would stay up and write about the amazing New Moon Gathering I went to last weekend.
First, I’ll tell you this: I am a little nervous you are going to judge me when you read this post. Here are the things I am worried you will think:
“Kate’s a weirdo.”
“Kate moved to LA and became a feminist hippy.”
“Kate’s gone off the deep end.”
And mostly I am afraid you are going to roll your eyes.
Well, now that I’ve put it out there, I guess it’s not the worst thing in the world if those things happen. I AM weird sometimes, I have always been a feminist AND a bit of hippy, and, no, I haven’t gone off the deep end. Also, you are at your computer and I am at mine, so go ahead and roll those eyes if you wanna!
My history with female friends is a short one and a simple one: I have always had a very small group of them. I made friends in college, but still kept a close circle. In my adult life, those ladies that I was very close with in grade school, high school, college and post college, I am still close to many of them. Yes, of course I made more girl friends as I grew up, but I wasn’t always comfortable at all female gatherings. Bachelorette parties gave me anxiety. The Girls Night I had on a regular basis in Chicago contained four of us, and I liked it that way. I was mostly friends with boys because the aforementioned judgement seems to be more prevalent in groups of girls. And that makes me feel yucky.
So when my friend Monica suggested we go to a New Moon Gathering, I was interested because it’s the Taurus New Moon (and that’s me!), but a little nervous that we might have to dance around a fire and drink a strange Kool Aid. (Spoiler Alert: that’s not what happens)
The history of moon gatherings dates back to our Native American roots. They began in the “red tent” and were a time for women to gather and celebrate their power.
“When a woman is having her moon, her blood is flowing, and this blood is full of mysterious powers that are related to childbearing. At this time, she is particularly powerful…a woman’s power and a man’s are opposites, not in a necessarily bad way, but in a good way. Because of the power a woman has during this time, it is best that, out of respect for her men and for their medicinal trinkets and beliefs, she stay away from them. During this time, the men would often build a small lodge for the woman while other female relatives serve on her needs.”- The Spirit of the Indian Woman by Judith Fitzgerald
Over time, women were taught that their periods were dirty and encouraged to hide them away and not permitted to gather. From a young age many of us are given all sorts of products to hide our periods, keep it clean, and given methods to stop it all together. All of this is bothersome to me now because I have learned a heck of a lot since I got my first period at age 11 thankyouverymuch, but for most of my life I thought that was all normal.
A modern day New Moon Gathering is a time to be with women during the new moon, and to nurture our friendships and collective power.
When Monica discovered that she could not go with me to the moon gathering, I was nervous. I really wanted to go, but not sure I wanted to go by myself. I wouldn’t know anyone, and it was in Ojai (which is an hour and a half north), and I don’t usually go to things where I don’t know anyone. But I REALLY wanted to go…and so I did!
Here is the description about this new moon. I hope you enjoy it and take some time to honor yourself! I’ll write more about the actual gathering at another time.
Taurus New Moon~ Body (and Earth) as Temple
From the moment the full moon in Libra rose last week until the June 6th transit with the sun, Venus is holding the celestial spotlight.
The month of May, mid-spring, has always been center stage for the sensual Goddess, ruling her most comfortable sign, fixed earth Taurus. The sign of the bull maintains and venerates the physical. The body, the senses, the flowers, trees, animals, anything that is visceral and can be touched, smelled and tasted awakens the earth mother. This is the cycle of fertility for all living beings and fecundity has been celebrated by humans for millenia. Sadly, our current society (meaning the last few thousand years) has overall been more disconnected from the power of life and nature than any culture before; and that separation does not seem to be creating more love, joy and peace in the world, does it?
Venus is getting a lot of attention this year, not only with her usual April full moon cameo and regular season of worship in May, she is also next to go retrograde and is an integral part of both the Mayan and Cherokee prophecies for 2012, which includes her completing an eight year solar transit when she crosses the sun on June 6th.
If I were to say there is just one thing we could collectively do to bring more harmony and balance in such chaotic times, it would be to make a regular practice of honoring Venus.
The Taurus new moon is Saturday April 21st, and precedes another intense eclipse cycle over the summer. That feels to me like Venus giving us a chance to ground through sweet physical practices, surround ourselves with the people, places and things that bring beauty to our lives and sustain the mutable time ahead through gratitude, connection, community and love.
The concept that came to me as I admired Venus in the sky (as her planet self and as the energy behind the full moon) was the saying “my body is a temple.” I don’t know if that phrase came from the earth, sky or from within myself, but it could truly be said for all three, and that is my intention for this month and those that follow.
How would you treat yourself and the planet differently if you really believed they were temples? I mean, have you ever walked into a space and just wanted to fall to your knees and weep in reverence? That is my reaction to seeing a Red Wood or Sequoia, to standing at the ocean, climbing the red rocks of New Mexico or entering the cathedrals of Italy or Spain. I have always felt that “temples” can be made by hand or nature, as long as the intention upon entering is to worship. What temples have you honored in your time? How can you create that feeling in your own form and the places you call home?
Could you eat better? Maybe this month is the time to plant that garden of veggies and herbs, or find a farmer’s market. Have you been meaning to switch to natural in your cleaning, bathing, beauty or home products? Start researching your options. Have you wanted to find a more joyful community? Get into massage, or crafting? There are groups all over this city! What actions can you take to bring more beauty into your life, and into the world around you? I have friends working in community gardens, meeting monthly to align their chakras, doing book clubs, planting trees, hiking in groups, biking to work together, taking time for the spa, learning to cook, all of these and more are Taurus tasks!
Another simple way to connect with Venus is to paint, print or purchase an image of the love goddess in one of her many forms (Venus, Ishtar, Inanna, Astarte, Aphrodite, Hathor, Isis, Lakshmi) and either place it on your mirror, altar or even make an altar just for her. Offer her sweets and flowers and ask for her blessings through this time.
Venus will be retrograde for part of her reign, and that means cleaning up old wounds, particularly around relationships, body issues, environment and abundance. This is the time to put your focus on the temple around you and within you, tidy it up, decorate and celebrate!