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Moon Rites ........... Introduction

This introduction is taken from the front pages of the Moon Rites book.

This book is for you, Moon Goddess

Are you living alone, with a partner or family, in a commune or an urban apartment? Then this book is for you. Are you a lover, thinker, warrior, healer, creator? This book is for you! Are you a daughter, mother, grandmother, or all three? Then you are female, you are a Moon Goddess and this book was written for you.          

          

Moon Rites  is about feminine energy and personal power — the power to be, to create and perhaps most important of all, the power to make choices which reflect our true needs, desires and goals in life. Although many of us feel the faint echo of this great inner power, our society influences us to behave in certain ways as women. We are taught to fit in with prescribed social codes and to raise our children to do the same. But sometimes we sense that there is, or once was, another way, a way that embraced our differences and honoured our life experiences and wisdom. These are the whispers of the Goddess within, your individual, feminine, personal power. In fact, there are as many different ways to be a woman as there are different women!

Moon  Rites invites you to look at some of these different options, and to learn to listen to your inner voice and decide for yourself who and what you want to be and how you will make your feminine journey in a way that fulfils your dreams and empowers your life.

          

It is time for all women to be able to take a good look at a part of our lives which our culture has all but ignored for many centuries. As a woman you have experienced, or will experience, menstruation. Many of you will become mothers, and most will face some form of menopausal transition. The fact that our bodies bleed each month is important.

At school we are taught that our bodies bleed because we have become fertile and able to conceive. If there is no fertilised egg, the uterine lining that has built up over about twenty-eight days in order to nourish a potential foetus breaks down and leaves our body through the vagina. This is a very simple and clinical explanation.

          

For generations we have also been taught by our society and our peers that this situation is nothing more than a primitive, unpleasant and inconvenient side-effect of the way our species reproduces itself which should not in any way affect or interfere with our ‘real’ lives. Any symptoms we experience as a result of menstruation, such as pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) or anaemia, are treated as ‘ailments’ and we are given drugs or told to ‘put up with it’. A current method for solving the ‘menstrual problem’ is to use birth control pills to decrease the number of times a woman menstruates to four times a year! We are encouraged to ignore, suppress and sanitise any emotions, discomfort or evidence of menstruation. This attitude is also applied to such aspects of motherhood as breastfeeding, and later still, to menopause. Any woman who does not conform to this conspiracy of secrecy and shame is considered ‘difficult’, ‘out of control’, ‘unreliable’.

          

This situation is disturbing and demeaning to say the least. It denies the importance and value of an event which most of us will experience around 500 times in our lives, and the wisdom and power that eventually comes with our menopausal transition. It encourages women to be isolated from each other, from our daughters and even from our own bodies.

It erodes our self-esteem, leading us to believe that to be a woman is to be the victim of a cruel fate. It also denies a significant part of our inner lives, the part that has nothing to do with obligation or nurturing others but is for ourselves alone — the secret, magical, feminine wellspring of wisdom and power we all possess.

          

That is why this book is for you. It’s for you, your daughter, your niece, your sister, your auntie, your grandmother, your girlfriend and even, perhaps, for your brother, son, father, husband or lover. This book was written so that anyone who reads it can rediscover the mysteries, magic, dreams and visions associated with being a woman who bleeds or once bled. It celebrates the healing wisdom, stories, jokes, ceremonies, connection and love that thousands of generations of women have shared and understood. It is about learning to nourish yourself in body, mind and spirit, making time for yourself and getting to know yourself in all the

different stages of your life.

          

It has never been more important for us as women to take a closer look at our own bodies, minds and spirits, and at how deeply the connection between them affects our lives. In earlier times women menstruated less frequently due to such influences as poor nourishment, lack of contraceptives, shorter life spans and more pregnancies. Cultural factors over the last 400 years or so have contributed to the loss of feminine wisdom and menstrual lore, severing the threads of spirit, creativity, intuition and joy in the body that added magic to our lives by weaving a tapestry of beauty and meaning that was part of feminine heritage. We now have the chance to rediscover ancient ways, renew them in a modern context, and reintegrate them into our reality, resulting in healthy, loving, powerful women who are living joyful, fulfilling and meaningful lives.

          

That is why this book is for you. It contains many of those lost ancient threads, and weaves them together with ideas and information for women today. Whether or not you choose to act on all, some, or none what you discover, you will have made the choice. Re-awakening to the Moon Goddess within is a personal and individual journey. Once experienced, it is a gift to be treasured as the birthright of all women and their daughters.

          

I invite you to read, write in the journal spaces provided and enjoy. It may change the way you feel about being a woman. It may even change your life!

Bright Blessings, Moon Goddess.

 Moon Rites

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