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Why are you so interested in the moon? Take a moment, and try to answer this question in detail. I'll bet that you cannot. I imagine that what comes up for you when you try to answer this is a feeling about your connection to the moon, something that you cannot put into words. Perhaps this feeling can be defined as a knowing, a certainty and a desire for something wild, something mysterious, something unknown...and something that you know without ever having learned it. Your interest in the moon is part of the mystery of being female. It is inherent to your woman's soul, your goddess nature and your feminine essence. To be female is to be lunar.
Long ago, women studied and lived by the moon, and also by the 'Blood Mysteries', which are the ancient and mysterious teachings of our moontime blood, and the seasons of our lives as women.
We are incredibly, energetically and femininely powerful during our bleeding time, and the blood that is called forth from our womb is magical, it is an elixir, a sacred fluid that nourishes new life. It is the harbinger of our womanhood, our motherhood and our cronehood. It is so special, this blood, that I like to muse that every single drop collectively carries within it the feminine essence and power of every women who has ever walked the earth.
Women's lunar blood has caused wars, toppled queens, betrayed kings, elevated priestesses and brought fear into the hearts of many a man...and woman. It has been considered unclean, pristine, sacred, sacrilegious, holy and demonic. How do you feel about your own lunar blood? It took me many years to even consider my blood as something to pay attention to. But the deeper my study of the moon went, the closer I came to dealing with my lunar blood. And, it was not until my flow ceased that I realized how deeply precious it was, and how beautiful the process of bleeding with the moon was.
Today begins the dark moon and the waxing phases that will lead us to the full moon - what a perfect time to explore the darkness of our womb, and shine some light upon the mystery of our moonblood. I'd like to depart from our usual almanac format, and share with you the magnificence of your lunar-ness, by offering you a sneak peek into my book, You Are Woman, You Are Divine. I wrote this book as a way of sharing my life-long journey with The Goddess - and the moon. It is my loving tribute to what being female is, and my way of offering inspiration to begin your own journey back to Her, and to knowing of your sacredness, your specialness and your own inner goddess-ness.
I have chosen a very special excerpt on The Blood Mysteries, complete with lunar blood rituals for you to deepen your relationship with the moon, and your body:
RITUALS FOR THE FEMININE BLOOD MYSTERIES
The Feminine Mysteries are eventually revealed to all women. If you seek them, they will not be kept from you. As a birthright you are entitled to know them. Your incarnation as a woman draws you towards these teachings. The learning begins with embarking upon the study of the moon and its connection to your body, and recognizing the sacredness and power of your blood. These mysteries refer directly to the menstrual rites of passage that a woman goes through in her lifetime; menarche (the onset of her menses), conception/childbirth, and menopause.
Unlike the seasons of The Triple Goddess, these times do not overlap or repeat, as their portals are clearly marked. Each mystery leads a woman to the next, until they have all been revealed. A woman can, however, revisit these times symbolically and tap into their essence and power to honor and celebrate them at any time. Central to the blood mysteries is your lunar blood, which is like a trail, ultimately leading you to The Red Goddess. It flows downward into the lower world of the psyche, where the deepest wisdoms are found.
Ritual is a powerful, magical, and ceremonial way of connecting yourself, your lunar blood and your body to The Red Goddess, and to the moon. It also helps to create sacredness all around you and within you, which helps you to see yourself as sacred, special and magical.
There are many rituals that women have performed throughout their lives, helping them to worship the moon and bringing in the sacredness of their moonflow. For each of the Blood Mysteries below, I will share some of my most favorite, personal rituals with you.
The First Mystery: Young Blood
The very first drop of blood that falls from your womb, initiates you to My ways. It calls you to stand at the gates of the temple. In this temple you will learn that your blood is rich and filled with My Living Essence. And that from the dark space of your womb flows the elixir of all human life. The first blood mystery is that of innocence and the young woman who does not yet know herself.
There is a purity and inexperience associated with the time before a girl’s sexual awakening and her first bleeding. This time of life does not yet know of the pain that her lunar blood will bring, nor the pain of childbirth, nor the bittersweet pain of being in love. She does not yet feel the pull of the moon nor hear the call of The Red Goddess. She is a child of the earth, who is about to become a woman of the moon.
The young girl will soon be initiated into the wonders of her body, leaving behind her innocence and experiencing the rise of her power. She will see for the first time how the moon pulls and tugs at her womb, and draws down her blood. This is a time of emerging.
A woman’s passage from girlhood into womanhood is heralded by her menarche, formed from two Greek words, men (month) and arkhe (beginning). This is when her first lunar blood appears. As with any threshold, we come to this time with many different emotions. How we come to the experience of our first blood sets the tone for our feelings about our womanliness throughout our lifetime.
How a young woman feels about her body, her femininity, and the kind of connection she begins to make with her budding feminine power are all deeply essential to her future well-being. This time of her life is fragile and precious emotionally, but her blood flow is strong and vital energetically. In fact, it is the strongest potency that it will ever be during her lifetime. At this time, our blood collects power, just as the new moon gathers light.
Remember back to your own time of first blood. What were your experiences? What were your thoughts, hopes, and expectations? How were you told of your approaching lunar flow? Were you celebrated?
Ritual to Celebrate Young Blood: Anointing Yourself
This ritual can be performed for a young girl experiencing her first blood or for a woman at any age who would like to revisit this time in her life to celebrate the passage from girlhood into womanhood. It can be experienced with a group or alone.
What you will need:
❖ 2 or 3 tablespoons of sweet red liquid (pomegranate or cranberry juice, red or port wine)
❖ sea salt
❖ silver or glass goblet
❖ white robe or gown
❖ red and white candle
What to do:
In your goblet, mix the liquid of choice with honey to thicken it. It should be the consistency of blood.
❖ Bathe with sea salt to purify your body.
❖ Then dress in the white robe.
❖ Light the candles, and place the goblet near them, creating an altar
❖ You may choose to adorn the altar with flowers, shells, or other favorite
❖ Anoint yourself from the blood in the goblet; put a drop upon your
womb, one upon your heart and another upon your lips. Hold the gob- let high and say these words:
O, Great Mother Goddess, you have called my blood down to the earth, Now I release it as you have asked me to. I speak Your name and You are here, in my womb. My heart knows the stirrings of my soul to become,
to learn and to know all that there is of You, all that I am to be. O, Great Mother Moon, I thank you for my blood and for the power of Your light.
Celebrate this occasion with good food, joyful feelings. Treat yourself to a special gift—a piece of jewelry that will always remind you of this time, artwork that symbolizes the essence of your first moonflow, or whatever feels right for you.
The Second Mystery: Woman’s Blood
The gift of My blood is that of creation; allowing you to bring forth a life through your body, as I bring all life through Mine. No longer the novice waiting at the gates, you stand now inside the temple, as one who is discovering the pleasures and power of your body and the ways of The Red Goddess.
The second blood mystery is that of creation and the woman who is fulfilling herself. Once awakened by her first blood, she becomes more aware of her womanhood, experiencing herself as a sexual being that has power. Her body has been changing, but now it positively transforms as her maturity and experience develop in equal measure. Slowly, the girl has disappeared and the woman has emerged.
The principal mysteries of our blood are that of sex and conception. This blood calls us to explore our sexuality and relationships. And unlike young blood—which lasts only for a brief time—woman’s blood may last many years as we quest further and further into the mysteries of sexual union, pleasure, and intimacy.
For some women, this blood leads them into motherhood. This is when we learn about love, companionship, and sexual connection for reproduction but also for plea- sure. This Mother Goddess aspect visits all women, even those who do not have children who will recognize this time as one of self-love, creativity, healing, and self-parenting.
Ritual to Celebrate Woman’s Blood: Earth Offering
Ancient people recognized that the earth was fertile, nourishing, and life sustaining. They honored the earth as a feminine, mother goddess. They made sacrifices and blood offerings to her to express their gratitude but also to contribute to her fertility and abundance.
While it may not be practical for a woman today to squat down for several hours returning her blood to Mother Earth—and there are public health codes that prevent this—it is possible to collect and release your blood into the earth of a potted plant that you have chosen for this very special purpose.
What you will need:
❖ a plant
❖ Diva Cup® (can be purchase at divacup.com) or diaphragm
What to do:
You may choose to light candles, take a purification bath, or another ritual that sets the mood and transforms the mundane into the sacred. Collect your moonflow in the Diva Cup or diaphragm, then pour it into the plant you have chosen while saying this:
Earth Mother, Goddess Soil
Accept my blood as a gift,
as an offering and in gratitude for all that you provide.
The Third Mystery: Wise Blood
Rest, still and cease, daughter of the moon. You have attended me well, living out the mysteries as a faithful priestess. You have gained so much knowledge, all of it stored in the temple of your womb. Now it is time to receive the essence of blood for yourself and become the wise woman who knows.
The third mystery is that of transformation, and the woman who knows herself fully. For many years The Red Goddess has called the blood down from your body, and out into the world. Now she asks you to keep the essence of it for yourself, to nourish you spiritually and to seal the mysteries within.
The transformation aspect of this mystery is that of death and rebirth—the death of the old self (the mother and the creatress) and the rebirth of the free and wild woman that you were in the beginning. The wise blood calls you to go within. There you will strengthen, reinforce, and even reinvent yourself if you desire. This blood activates the deepest mystery of all, that of the woman who is the wisdom keeper, the seer, and the healer/teacher. You have accumulated much skill and experience over the years and now it is time to share all that you learned with others. This blood is about loss, strength, courage, and wisdom.
Ritual to Celebrate Wise Blood: Blood Scroll
I did not conceive of this lovely ritual until I was well into my peri- menopause. I was beginning to notice the slowing down of my monthly bleeding, so I began to miss my intimate connection to the moon and The Goddess. This is when I created the idea of collecting my wise blood and saving it on a scroll to use in the future.
This ritual helps me know that The Goddess is with me as my bloodflow turns inward just as much as She was with me when it flowed out into the world. My lunar blood is very powerful—so is yours. So by saving it onto a scroll, you can still use your blood in ritual and meditation long after your last moonflow has ceased, tapping into its potent essence. Even if you save only a few drops of blood onto the scroll, it is enough to capture its essence forever.
What you will need:
❖ handmade paper, or any absorbent, decorative paper
What to do:
Either at the beginning, middle or end of your moonflow, use your fin- ger to smudge a drop of your lunar blood onto the paper. Let this dry and then roll the scroll, tying it with the ribbon. Repeat for several months if you want. Keep the scroll(s) in a private place and place on your altar or use it in rituals. You can write this on the scroll if you choose:
Upon this parchment,
I place my blood.
From moon to moon The Goddess flows. My body Her body.
My blood Her blood.
From moon to moon The Goddess Flows
I hope that you enjoyed this excerpt, and have been inspired to know more about your beautiful, divine, goddess self and all of the mysterious wisdom that awaits you. If so, I invite you to read more from the book. You can click on the link below to order.
I also invite you to sign up for the 9 Moons Lunar Priestess course, which delves even deeper into many of the topics in the book. You can read more about the course here, and use the promo code below to receive a special discount until October 16th.
And, please share with me your own journey back to The Goddess...I am always interested in hearing from you!
As promised, here is your sneak peak of the forthcoming Lunar Dream Journal. Please use the link below to download and print your sample pages.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, CLASSES & EVENTS
READ THE BOOK, JOIN THE MOVEMENT, BE A GODDESS ON EARTH
COMPANION JOURNAL NOW AVAILABLE
ONLINE BOOK CLUB FOR READERS OF YOU ARE WOMAN, YOU ARE DIVINE
HEAR ME LIVE ON INNER JOURNEY RADIO SHOW OCTOBER 18: 7-9:00
9 MOONS PRIESTESS SCHOOL $20 OFF UNTIL OCTOBER 16TH! USE CODE: 20.4.U
As always, I am wishing you Goddess blessings and lunar light!
Moonologist Renée Starr spends most of her time researching, writing and teaching ancient Goddess and lunar wisdom. Read her full bio here.