Alpine Lady

Honoring the natural world through prose, poetry, music, sounds, photographs and musings.


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Changing Moon ~ A Woman’s Journey: Weaving a New Tapestry

Intuitive Sparkle Art

Intuitive Sparkle Art

After my last posting, I took to heart what I suggested for finding the threads of commonality in my life. When I sat back and really examined my past and what I wanted to focus on for the remainder of it, I began re-purposing some of the old threads and added others to form a new tapestry revealing a new  form and purpose. I began organizing my days so that I could devote more time to writing. Thus the written word became the warp upon which I placed a weft dedicated to an artistic expression of my life experiences, my philosophy and began reworking some old writings based upon this new vision.

I found that when I picked up and fingered some old threads, they were too frayed to use again. I could safely put those parts of my life to rest. Then I found a new stash of yarns in the form of new ideas, technologies, and a supportive network which gave me new inspiration and confidence. My tapestry became more freeform and artistic; synchronicities showed up more often; and embellishments became fun to incorporate into the weaving. I invited new friends to view my work and their comments and suggestions stayed to become weft yarns of special hue.

Then one day, someone noticed a few of my threads on an environmental FaceBook group page and I was asked to become a regular contributor and administrator for the page. I reached into my basket of yarns and found a few spools left over from my former tapestry and pulled out the threads of research and co-creation to incorporate into my new piece.

Someone suggested I become even more bold with my strokes and seek a publisher for my children’s books. I pulled out some shiny bells and whistles from the yarn basket and wove in learning to format for publication and make cover letters. Then I sent off a sampler to a publisher.

A few health concerns brought about by genetic factors and aging snarled the process for a few weeks while I sorted out the kinks and made the necessary adjustments to the loom’s support. No longer able to sit on a chair for extended periods, I found creatively healthy ways to continue writing by sitting on the floor and by using a stand-up desk. Taking periodic breaks, easing my stress load along with exercises and herbal support put me actually, in many ways, in healthier shape than when I started the new tapestry.

Now I have more compassion for myself and my journey. I do find I need to focus my efforts and power of my words so more is being said in less strokes which I find liberating. I rise each day with purpose and look forward to the situations and conditions which color the threads of my new work and help to shape its over-all pattern.

I still take time to wildcraft and process herbs, take walks and hike, visit friends and share in their lives, garden, take photographs, etc.; but I find my mind, while thus engaged, to be more relaxed yet gleaning snippets of experience that I can use in a story, reforming lines to make them flow, listening to sounds and viewing sights while finding vocabulary to shape a reader’s imagination.

What patterns are beginning to show up in your tapestries?

Until next time, happy weavings!

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Changing Moon ~ A Woman’s Journey, Part IV: Engaging our Energy for Creative Living

A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True

Let’s imagine you are that lovely butterfly just emerging from the chrysalis which housed you while you made the transformation from a gluttonous caterpillar munching on leaves into the now fluttering beauty getting ready to lightly land on lovely, fragrant blossoms and sip their sweet nectars.  You’re probably noticing that a few things have changed in your anatomy and physiology that will take some getting used to. For instance, instead of having strong mandibles, or mouth and jaws, for voraciously chomping on leaves of trees and plants, you now are equipped with a slender tube called a proboscis through which you will suck in the fluids necessary to keep you fed and hydrated. Because the butterfly’s owner’s manual was encoded in the DNA, instinct will probably kick in with your need for fuel and you’ll be off to the right flower, triggering your proboscis to unfurl and begin sucking up the sweet liquid. Oh, and of course, the wings! No longer needing to slowly move your bulky form from leaf to leaf,  you now have strong wings attached to your back which allow you to rise above and see the world from a different perspective.

Yes, much like the newly emergent butterfly, your postmenopausal status gives you a new perspective about your body and outlook on life. But unlike the butterfly, you can incorporate freewill into your flight pattern and visit worlds and realms that feel right for you.

I wrote earlier when I started my journey into the writing of this blog: Alpine Lady began many decades ago as ideas scribbled on bits and slips of paper or whatever could hold a few words that would eventually jar my memory to an event or an idea passing through my mind at the time. Some words and webbings were momentary impressions, others were more like journal accounts or diary entries. For some reason I kept them all secured in notebooks, file folders, boxes and art books that preserved those moments representing the evolution of my life’s journey. This journey encompasses a very eclectic life spent in the more natural environments of North Idaho, Alaska, New Mexico, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington State. From childhood poems, to what it’s like to live in a sod house on the tundra of Alaska, to operating alternative schools with curriculums based on the natural world, to learning how to process herbal medicines, to running youth library programs or presentations at Fairy Congress, the reader will find a treasure house of experience and I will be well-rewarded with witnessing a life of service.

Like any art form where the beginning strokes of learning to play an instrument or paint a scene  are clumsy and unmetered, more discord than harmony, my writing snippets didn’t strike a form until well after I took everything out of hiding and began seeing the connections. Piecing together all the entries, quotes, one-liners, philosophical meanderings, etc., I began to see threads of commonality weaving throughout the pages and if I began connecting and embellishing them, they would form a tapestry of recipes, prose, poetry, photographs, homeschooling ideas, faery lore, observations of the natural world, etc., that could be entertaining as well as a resource for the curious.

When I looked at this description after I’d posted it, I understood that my life encompassed not only the life cycle of a butterfly engaged in her journey, but also it followed the archetypical Sacred or Divine Feminine stages so eloquently written about by Jean Shinoda Bolen in her books about the goddess archetypes. I was not introduced to these books until I was a mature woman but realized the value immediately in visiting the forms in order to understand what other women around the world throughout history have experienced in their lives that reflected the same stages only with different personas and descriptions. It seems we all pass through them in our journey as the feminine form of the Divine, the Sacred. It’s a shared sisterhood of growth.

Perhaps now would be a good time to sit with a recapitulation of your life, reflecting again on what it took to get you to where you currently reside physically and emotionally. Perhaps the journals, bits and snippets of paper you’ve saved, collages, scrapbooks, photographs, collections, musical pages, memories, etc. can be incorporated into this deliberation on your life.  And once they’re actively before you and/or within you, see what the threads are that connect them all together. Begin thinking about them in more detail, savoring the ones you wish to keep, honoring and tossing the ones you no longer have a use for but recognize they have served a greater purpose, perhaps a glimpse into the more shadowed side of your life’s purpose.

Until next time, I’ll leave you with a few books and websites to consider which may illuminate your journey as you admire your collections and begin seeing your purpose in this lifetime.

A PDF: Sacred Wisdom: http://veronicagodeanu.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/archetypesfree.pdf

Books:

Crones Don’t Whine: Concentrated Wisdom for Juicy Women by Jean Shinoda Bolen (2003)

Goddesses in Everywoman: Powerful Archetypes in Women’s Lives by Jean Shinoda Bolen (March, 2, 2004)

Goddesses in Older Women: Archtypes in Women over Fifty by Jean Shinoda Bolen (2001)

Gods in Everyman by Jean Shinoda Bolen (March 5, 1990)

The Mothers of Change by Anastacia J. Nutt (2009)

A Fun Blog:

http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2010/09/10/relationshipstrategies/female-archetypes-and-the-men-who-love-them/


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Changing Moon ~ A Woman’s Journey, Part III: A Menopausal Journey Profile

Labyrinth to the Divine Feminine

Labyrinth into the Divine Feminine

We’ve now come to a moment to discuss the pause…menopause, quite frankly. Time to take that moment and assess our health and how we got here. I’ve included a PDF for you to download and examine. It’s lengthy and certainly will take you longer than a moment to read and digest. May I suggest you set some time for yourself to go through it at a leisurely pace. I know, if you’re already on the menopausal journey, the words leisurely pace may only seem a dream or ludicrous at best, depending where you are in the transition. Above everything else, don’t be discouraged by the questions/symptoms addressed in this profile. They are intended to give you an idea of some of the changes/symptoms you might address. You will not sense all of them as each of us has a unique journey.

This profile is designed to be a point of departure for our furthering journeys into the Divine Feminine and going through the miraculous transformations of aging. We’ll continue our journey deeper  in future posts of Changing Moon and creatively personalize our aging journey.

Click here for PDF:  Your Changing Moon ~ A Menopausal Journey Profile

 


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Changing Moon ~ A Woman’s Journey, Part II: What is the Changing Moon?

Winter sky

Winter sky

Observation of the natural world by early peoples was essential to their very existence. Their lives depended upon how they read the messages brought to them through their interpretation of natural phenomena. Such actions as observing the skies for signs of approaching storms could mean the difference between life or death to a migratory population. For sedentary peoples, the hunting of animals, planting of crops, gathering of food all depended on their relationship with the elements.

Early societies tracked the movements of the heavenly spheres and made accurate correlations and predictions based on them.  Imposing structures such as the Mayan Pyramids and Stonehenge have scientists shaking their heads in wonder that such so-called primitive peoples could build highly accurate astronomical observation posts.

It would also be of significant interest in the survival of the species to correlate what was happening externally to what was happening internally within the human body in relation to natural phenomena as well. Menstrual flows were observed to be cyclic like the lunar phases and over time a woman’s flow or “moon” was dedicated to this natural rhythm of our closest heavenly body. A young girl’s first flow or “First Moon” was often celebrated with feasting and ceremony marking this all important step into womanhood.

With societies living closely together, aware of each other’s rhythms and smells, it was not uncommon for women to cycle their menstrual flows close to the same time. This can be observed today among roommates in women’s dormitories in all quarters of the world.

Because it was believed that women were at the height of their spiritual power during menstruation, many early peoples among whose societies were dominated by males, demanded strict observation of taboos especially in relation to male hunters, warriors and shamans. These taboos were to guarantee no loss of power during hunts, wars or spiritual healings.  A woman does feel the powerful influences during her moontime and special structures called “Moon Lodges” were erected apart from the village or rooms were partitioned off in the homes so that women could stay separate from their families and their responsibilities during their periods. Some societies, however, viewed a menstruating woman’s time away as a means to acquire fresh spiritual power and others saw it as an opportunity to meditate on what it was to be a strong presence in her society.

Today, although many women view menstruation as more of an inconvenience and a sign of not being pregnant, our bodies show we are still under the same lunar influences as our early ancestors but hopefully open to more supportive and less prejudicial attitudes. Our lives are affected by the same natural cycles of weather and time. We are creatures affected by natural rhythms even unto death. It will be valuable to the reader to keep this in mind as she progresses through Changing Moon.

Dew drop on a rose petal

Dew drop on a rose petal

The last menses or “Changing Moon” as I prefer to call it, is akin to a maiden’s first flow as both menarche and menopause are unique hormonal events. The female body prepares itself by sending the appropriate signals and through hormonal responses, prepares the uterus to receive an egg or not. Although subject to natural rhythms, environmental or mental stress may affect the timing of the event. Due to the nature of this metamorphic journey, however, the last menses can be elusive ––  here one month, gone the next, only to reappear in a few months. It might create a heavy flow one month and be a mere spotting the next. Changing Moon represents this elusive, last flow of womanhood, the sign we are embarking on a deeper understanding of our archtypical relationship to the Sacred Feminine. (To be continued in Part III)


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Changing Moon ~ A Woman’s Journey, Part I:

 

Lunar Bound

Moon wears no makeup.

Her craters show the impact

of intimate liaisons

with heavenly bodies.

And her face shines bright to us

while the force she gently casts

sways the seas and tugs our hearts,

binding us together as one.

                 Michael DeMarco

Full Moon Hawaiian Skies

Full Moon Hawaiian Skies

The inspiration for the poem Lunar Bound came one evening after I commented to my husband on how beautiful the crater scars are that spread across the moon’s surface. When I look upon her bold face, I am struck by the fact that our closest companion in space is devoid of spreading seas, lush forests or cloudy skies that would soften the effect of meteoric collisions. In the glare of the sun’s intense rays, the moon shines back to us revealing furrows and ridges of impact, blemishes and fracture lines. Nothing is hidden.

Because I have chosen not to wear makeup to cover the effects of aging, my face is also showing the impact of life.  Laugh lines and brow wrinkles, squinty-eye creases, skin tags and minor discolorations are showing up. Perhaps if I subject myself to hormone-replacement therapy, I could soften the effects for a time, but I’m choosing to go a more natural route in support and celebration of the transition through menopause and the aging process. Therefore my interest in the moon is personal and I acknowledge her as “changing moon.”  Once a symbol of ripeness and fertility, she is now a symbol for my creative endeavors and impulses.

Humanity is intimately linked to our heavenly sister moon who some say because of her size, could be considered a sister planet; however, earth might be considered moon’s mother. With modern technology to accurately analyze and date rocks, it appears that billions of years ago while our planet was forming, a protoplanet the size of mars collided with earth and the spin-off of this collision was ejected  into space. This spewing of plume material then spiraled into current lunar orbit , coalescing into our moon with one side appearing to forever face us due to her unique length of planetoid rotation.

Before birth, even before conception, as we waited in the ovaries and testes of our ancestors, we experienced the waxing and waning of the moon’s daily rhythms just as we experienced the spiraling of our planet, our sun, and the solar system. Part of me quests to know the logistics of these ancient rhythms, yet a greater part accepts the rhythms and is content to acknowledge there are greater forces at play in the wondrous formation of space, time and being. (To be continued in Part II)