Once in a Blue Moon…

Clare Warren, from Clarity Vibration, is a qualified Homoeopath and Vibrational Essence Practitioner who specialises in womens health.  She is also a certified Moon Mother Healer, Menstrual Health and Cycle Awareness Facilitator and works from a clinic in Windmill Hill, Bristol.  Clare shares her journey about the creation of her beautuiful new project…

The Blue Moon Blessing Essence is finally out in the world.  It feels so good to be able to promote it and shout about it.  This essence has been cooking inside me for such a long time.   I chose not to speak of it or its manifestation until I knew clearly that there was no going back, and that it was almost imminent.

The inception was in April when I attended the first Moon Mother training with Miranda Gray for working directly with the Womb Blessing energy.   When I left for the weekend to go to London I had the compulsion to take a beautiful piece of terminated quartz from my altar especially for the training, I cleansed it with Sage and Palo Santo, both are sacred herbs used traditionally for cleansing and I asked for the quartz to hold all the loving, healing and transformative energy from the weekend. Once the crystal was programmed to retain the energy, it was wrapped carefully in red silk until I arrived at the venue.   I set the quartz up on a small little altar in the room over the weekend to do its job.  At the time I was just reacting on impulse, trusting my inner guidance, I knew that I needed to programme the crystal and work with it.

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Each Womb Blessing, either a worldwide Blessing or working directly with clients, the quartz took centre stage on the altar to help hold the energy, afterwards I carefully and lovingly wrapped it back up in the silk to protect it. I was internally visioning into how the crystal could be used for an essence.  I had a sense that it wanted to be made for others to use, not just for my personal use within my practice, as all my other essences that I have made over the last twelve years have been.

Miranda came and stayed with me in Bristol in August for the Moon Mother training which I had organised for the weekend.  The sureness came about me making the essence through a conversation I had with Miranda, she voiced that I should make an essence for the Womb Blessing work.  What she saw in me spurred me on passionately, knowing that I had already laid the warp of the Blue Moon Blessing Essence on the loom for it to manifest.  I knew this would be my first commercial essence, and that I had to get the energy out to share with anyone wishing to experience it.

Feeling into how this needed to be born was very exciting, especially as it was a complete secret and I could feel the holding within me build.  The Womb Blessing Quartz meanwhile sat on my altar in the lap of my large beautiful silver statue of Tara, whilst the rest of the threads came together for the whole essence.  I knew it needed to be a lunar charged essence, as the Womb Blessing work is directly calling the purity and grace of the moon down, working with the beautiful energising silver light.

What came to me through my meditation practice each day were the makings and ingredients of the Blue Moon Blessing Essence, initially manifesting as an atomiser.  I knew I had to work fast as the coming full moon was the August full moon which was the Blue Moon.  Some argue that the blue moon is something of a fallacy, due to the change in yearly calendar.  When the Roman calendar came about, it changed from 13 lunar months to 12 months.  The Romans decided they would no longer follow the rhythm of the moon as guidance for the months and that they would mathematically work it out, adding odd days here and there.  Some would argue that we should be working with the lunar calendar rather than the system currently in use.  In the current system the Blue Moon is seen as the odd one out, the thirteenth moon which has its own connotations, which I won’t address here.

However the essence was made on this thirteenth full moon, in Pisces. This meant the energy of the moon would influence the making of my essence.  Pisces energy is one of a deep watery nature, intuitive, feminine and sensitive.  The moon was conjunct Chiron, a planet which is known as the wounded healer.  Conjunct means that the astrological planetary influence is an aspect that emphasizes and brings together the energies of the planets involved; therefore the energy of the wounded healer was aligning with the deep emotional waters of the intuitive Pisces.  Some believe this aspect had an ability to enable and support people in facing the core issue they were born to resolve and offer them the opportunity to release them.DSC04180

The essence was coming together beautifully.  I was inspired to source traditional moonstone and rainbow moonstone, four rounds in differing sizes, used to symbolically represent each aspect of the moon.  The added Silver Goddess and Silver Hare make this essence truly magical.  For me this essence really plugged into what it means to embrace our true femininity, and claim the missing aspects back into the self.  Calling the shadow aspects back to balance the distorted image and constancy of light that all women try to fit themselves into, the darkness that slips through when we are tired, premenstrual/menstrual or deny our needs in place of another’s.  The message of embracing these missing pieces are key to our healing as women, for our own wellbeing, but also for the balance of our communities and as a legacy for the coming generations.

The final ingredient in the blend of vibrational essences for the Blue Moon Blessing was the String of Hearts Rosary Vine which was so delicate, yet strong and courageous.  It brought the sense of protection and comfort in the dark void of creation, honouring the void within all of us as the birth place of the self.  Listening and holding in the stillness to witness the birth of our creative babies, be those real children or our heartfelt projects, which we invest our dreams, visions and energy into.Lantern flower5

The essences were set out to charge under the beautiful moon, where I played the MP3 of Miranda reading the Womb Tree meditation.  Afterwards I actively called the loving healing energy down and channelled it into these essences. They were then collected before dawn the following morning.  I felt so charged from doing this work and immediately made the blend I was guided to make so that I could begin to use it and connect with the energy.

I have found the Blue Moon Blessing Essence to be hugely stabilising and supportive.  It is grounding and soothing and has many times given me the sense of being held in the arms of the Divine Mother, the warm embrace where you sense all is well, that things will unfold in their right time and in the correct order, just as they are supposed to.

I feel honoured and blessed to be able to offer this blend out into the world and I welcome any feedback about experiences of using the essence.  I am eager to hear how it feels for others to use it personally for support, with healing work, with Womb Blessing work or space clearing.  Making this essence and responding to the calling to make it available for anyone to use, has prompted me to make all of the essences I have previously made available. It feels so incredible to share all of this wondrous healing energy with everyone.  May it soothe and ease, enlighten and hold you in treading your unique paths.

Bright Blessings to you all  xxx

Thank you Clare for sharing your work with WomanWise Herbal and being the beauty that you love….also find Clarity Vibration on Facebook – go like her page, lovelies…!

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December Giveaway: WomanWise Wellbeing Bag

Here is a Great December Giveaway!!  To mark the re-launch of the WomanWise Herbal website, but mostly I want to share in Celebration of all that it is to be a Woman.   This bag is so full of awesome juiciness…these gifts have been contributed by some fine companies and rather wonderful women who work in women’s empowerment, health and spirituality. For including your work in my work, big love and blessings to…

Zoe at Earthlight Collective; Lucy at The Happy Womb; Alexandra and Sjanie at the The Women’s Quest; Pukka Herbs; Vicky at Honour Your Flow; Clare at Clarity Vibration; Rachael at Moontimes; Mara at New Moon Visions; Diva Cup; Alison at Feby; Bush Flower Remedies; Yogi Teas; Floradix UK; Linwoods; and Cat at Natural Shaman Blog

And you know what the most delicious part of this project was for me?…making connections with these amazing ladies has affirmed my work and given me a profound sense of belonging to a collective of strong and inspiring women.  And this serves to remind me of the circle of beautiful and loving goddesses who surround me (at varying distances!) in my life.

So: here’s how you can be in the draw to receive this blooming, shiny bag of abundance and goodies…share, share, share!!!

Visit our FB page and share that post with as many ladies as you can.  Every time you share you will be entered into the draw, more shares = more chances!!! Then a number will be randomly generated and the wonderful winner announced on the Winter Solstice, 21st December.

Good luck, and wishing you all a wonderful day xxx

Embracing your Moon Time

Rachael Hertogs from Moon Times reflects on positive menstruation (originally published in Juno Magazine Autumn 2011

Imagine living in a culture that honoured women’s bleeding time (moon time) as sacred. There used to be a time when women’s sexuality was not separated from spirituality. These cultures understood that a woman’s bleeding time was a sacred time, a time of deep introspection, a time for her to shed her outward responsibilities, to retreat to the moon lodge where women would reflect and reconnect with themselves. Their resulting dreams and visions would be shared for the benefit of the whole tribe.

This withdrawal into the moon lodge has been misinterpreted as a time when women were ‘dirty’ and might ‘contaminate’ anything they come into contact with – therefore they were not ‘allowed’ to perform their usual household chores. In fact it was a choice. I think this misunderstanding has been the source of a lot of misinformation. Interestingly, the original meaning of the word Sabbat was a day of rest while the Goddess was menstruating! But for most western women of today’s modern society, just to consider honouring our menstrual blood might seem outrageous. We have travelled so far from the time of honouring our female bodies.

So how do we embrace our moon time? Let’s begin by looking back at our lives and the messages we received as young women. Maybe you were lucky and you were honoured and embraced. But many women were not. Many were given messages of shame, disgust, and disappointment, often by other women. We still perpetuate these messages today. How differently would we feel about our bodies, our bleeding, and our sexuality if we had been given positive messages of love, beauty, and acceptance? Would we still hide our bleeding-time in shame?

Today’s menstrual woman in the western world lives in a male oriented society which influences her perception of the world and herself. This society offers no guidance, no structures for the feelings and experiences of the menstrual cycle, nor any recognition of it. So how do we begin to go about filling this gap and reconnecting to our cycle?

Healthy cycles

My first step was attending a “Healthy Cycles” course. This was a weekly gathering of women sharing their experiences of their menarche (first period). We explored herbs that eased PMT and cramps, and that encouraged or decreased flow. We sang and chanted, meditated, drew and made moon necklaces. We learned how to chart our cycle, about its connection to the moon, about natural fertility and contraception. At the end of the course we organised a ritual – similar to what a menarche ceremony may have been like. It was beautiful; we sang and blessed each other. For me this was a life changing moment: I experienced a huge healing shift in my consciousness and my body.

I had been brought up to believe that menstruation was a biological disadvantage, making women emotional, unreasonable and unreliable workers. I went through my teens and into my twenties hating myself, feeling guilty for being depressed, irritable, bloated and clumsy at certain times of the month. My first period was not celebrated – it was shamed. I had no rites of passage, no guidance, it was hidden away. As I got older my sexual energy was feared and called ‘dirty’ and my curvy figure was called ‘fat’.

Attending these weekly gatherings helped me to move away from the negative messages I had been given as a child and young woman and enabled me to see myself in a different light. It also set off a spark in me to want to help other women change their attitudes around their cycle. Many women feel that they missed out on celebrating their menarche. They have a deep sense of loss that their transition in to womanhood wasn’t honoured or recognised. I encourage women to create a ceremony for themselves and reclaim their menarche.

Many tribal traditions celebrate a young woman’s menarche with ceremony to recognise and honour her first blood. Here in the West it is no longer customary to celebrate menarche in such a way. Mothers will sometimes honour their daughter with a gift, or allow their daughter to have her ears pieced as a marking of her steps in to womanhood. But there is no gathering of wise elders, no coming together of the community as there used to be. How a young woman is guided through this experience will affect her for the rest of her life.

I believe that we desperately need to expand and build on these positive, illuminating rituals and celebrations in the lives of adolescent girls and wounded women. It is my hope that when a man or woman shares in these rites that they will be able to take away a little ancient magic for themselves.

Reconnecting to our natural cycles

After the first year or so of bleeding our menstruation should have taken on its own pattern of cycling. Women’s cycles can vary but most of us will bleed every 28 days or so. Prior to the actual bleeding we may have what is medically termed as ‘PMT’ or ‘PMS’ (Pre-Menstrual Tension or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome). I used to suffer from PMT two weeks out of four, from ovulation to my time of bleeding. Since becoming more in tune with my cycle my PMT has lessened. Now I have one day of feeling crabby and out of sorts, my skin usually has a break out but that’s as bad as it gets!

I believe PMT is our body’s way of telling us to go within, reconnect and spend time with ourselves. We are so busy ignoring our periods and ‘doing’ life we have forgotten how to just ‘be’. PMT is telling us to ‘be’.

If we are experiencing awful PMT we can tune in to our inner wisdom to try to connect to what this imbalance is about. What else are we preparing to gestate in our life? What other seeds are awaiting fertilisation and implantation? Creative projects, big ideas, decisions? Not all our dreams and desires can be fulfilled in one short menstrual cycle but are we working towards those goals, are we acknowledging our needs, are we making some progress in life’s plan?

To help ease PMT I recommend plenty of rest and relaxation – make some time for yourself, time to just ‘be’. Create your own ‘moon lodge’, a quiet space to meditate, do yoga, write, dream, draw or sew. Eating a healthy balanced diet is important, food that allows your body to detoxify for a while. By giving our body the nutrients it needs, our PMT becomes more manageable. As our body is supported and nurtured, it will support us on other levels – mental, emotional and spiritual. As you heal and address your relationship with your cycle, your PMT will decrease.

Charting your cycle

Some women struggle to recognise their PMT time – this is where charting your cycle can help. Knowing that our mood swings or food cravings are just a symptom of our cycle can empower us to overcome them or allow us to surrender to them.

Charting your cycle can be done in many ways. One is to note the position of your cervix. You can also chart your cervical mucus and your body temperature. Some women use charting as a tool for awareness of fertile times – a natural contraceptive or useful if they are trying to become pregnant. Others use it as a means of being conscious of their connection to the moon’s cycle or just so they have an idea of when they will bleed.Whatever your reasons it is a wonderful way to reconnect to your cycle.

The most basic way to chart your cycle is to keep a diary- noting in it when you bleed. With this you can go in to as much or as little detail as you like. Some women like to write things like – how heavy their loss is, how they feel, physical symptoms; cramps, back ache etc. You may want to prompt yourself with some questions. With relation to your inner life, ask yourself:Do I take time alone?What do I dream?What are my feelings?What do I need to say- and to whom? And your outer life: What am I eating?When do I play?When do I exercise?How does my body feel? What am I wearing – do I feel attractive?

Sanitary protection

Of course, along with bleeding comes sanitary protection. We use approximately 15,000 disposable sanitary items in our lifetime – to hide our bleeding. We shove a non-sterile wad of cotton wool up our tender, sensitive vaginas so that no one knows we are bleeding. There are now alternatives – washable pads, sponges and mooncups. You may wonder how using these alternatives can help us? I believe that the physical act of washing our pads, cups or sponges connects us to our blood and our cycle. Washing your blood out can be a mini ceremony each month – taking the time to nurture, reflect on and respect the rhythms of your body as you wash.

Embrace your Moontime

Our daughters, nieces, cousins and god daughters, all need to be guided through the transition into womanhood with as much awareness and sensitivity as possible. We have to be there for them, to guide them through the emotional waters of their menarche, share our wisdom with them and be a living example that our menstruation doesn’t have to be a curse. It can be a wonderful time of renewal and powerful magic.

Embracing our moon time is about taking every opportunity to listen, nurture and embrace our cycle. It’s about sharing and supporting our sisters, educating our sons and our brothers, connecting to our inner magic and reclaiming our natural birthright.

Article adapted from Healing the Wounds of the Womb by Rachael Hertogs © 2009 Rachael Hertogs, All Rights Reserved

Thank you to Rachael for this guest post, and also for her very generous support and donations to the WomanWise Wellbeing bag giveaway in November – keep your eyes open ladies! Connect with Rachael and Moontimes at www.moontimes.co.uk, http://facebook.com/AuntFlo.MoonTimes and http://twitter.com/moontimes