Women's Healing Space

Notes from our Autumn Red Tent at MotherRoots

     We gathered with other women for a restorative, relaxing evening where we could take off all the masks and "should's" and responsibilities of daily life and we allowed ourselves to simply BE...

     The Earth poured forth her blessings at harvest time and we had so much to be grateful for!

     One evening of deep peace in the Women's Red Tent can fill your well, nourish you, strengthen your soul and revitalize your body.

     In the Red Tent women are welcome to participate (or not) in many different activities. There are nourishing soups and teas, snacks and desserts brought by women volunteers. One can rest or nap, sing or chant, tell their story, write in ones journal. There is always an art table set up with lots of paper, colored markers, sparkles, glue and one or two special projects. On this evening women made labyrinths and other designs of great beauty.

     One of the favorite things of so many is the Divination Table. There are so many different kinds of divination cards to choose from including a special hand-made set I made that I call Wisdom From the Crone...it is a black velvet bag willed with magical trinkets...a skeleton key, a piece of lava, a medallion from Aruba, a Lion earring...There are tarot cards of every sort and animal totem cards and you-name-it!

     We always have a talking circle that includes sharing around the group by those who feel comfortable to do so and there is singing and chanting and drumming and rattling together.

     If you love to read, there are a million books to choose from! And some of us come to these gatherings to do nothing at all...We sit. We close our eyes. We listen to the sacred music surrounding us while we rest in the healing space of the Red Tent surrounded by pillows and fabric and the scent of white sage burning and the candles glowing and peaceful.

     One of my personal favorite things to do is to sit at the altar and do one of many small rituals that are offered and suggested by me for the women who visit. An altar is set up that honors the energies of the season as well as the phase and constellation of the moon on any particular evening. 

     On and around the altar are hand-written cards with several suggestions for rituals one might do while sitting at the altar. There are questions for reflection, special anointing oils, spiritual messages to choose from and often small symbolic things to walk away with.... "Hold onto this piece of corn, close your eyes, and begin to think of what you love in this world. Let this corn symbolize everything you are most grateful for in your life. Toss this into the wind on your ride home with a thousand blessings and thanks to the Universe for all the gifts you have received! And imagine that as it lands in the river you are driving over, or in the field beside you, it turn into a bright blessing for someone in need!"

For more information on our Red Tent, visit the Red Tent at MotherRoots link on the right-hand column of this page.

The Red Tent at MotherRoots

Women are meeting every month on or near the new moon, all over the country to honor the natural rhythms and cycles of women and to celebrate and bless our common bond as women.

Red Tents or Moon Lodges are offered so that we can collectively create spaces where women can heal, rest, renew themselves, connect with other women and enjoy that magic of being with other women. It is a time out of time; a sacred place where a woman can be herself without any demands on her at all.

Our Red Tent has simple but nurturing activities for women to choose from while they rest in the Red Tent; there is a prayer bowl, Goddess oracles and other divination tools, a Red Tent journal, art projects and stacks of great books.

Some women come to rest, to nap, to dance, to sing, to heal, to renew.

We have a storyteller's chair for those who would like to share their wisdom with us and a word-of-mouth table where you can spread the news about events or places that are important to you.

We will offer you home made soup, light snacks and hot herbal teas to nurture your belly and/or your womb.

Here are some of the things women bring with them: their journals, handcrafts or artwork, books, candles, sacred oils, snacks to nourish, songs or stories to share with others. It is also very freeing to come with nothing but your Goddess self!

Our Red Tent is non-denominational. If you have ever menstruated, you are welcome to come!

A talking circle will be held at about 8pm. If you arrive during this time, please join us in circle quietly. You will be welcomed! The rest of the time will be left unstructured to allow the evening to flow organically.

Bring your mothers, your sisters, your aunts, your daughters, your friends and co-workers. I would like to especially welcome our young, newly bleeding women and the women-elders in our community!

The Red Tent events are always free and open to all women regardless of ability to pay however we are suggesting a $5 donation for those that are able to give. Your loving donations will keep the Red Tent going!

Volunteers Needed

We are all volunteers here. Would you like to volunteer to bring home made soup or stew to the Red Tent this month? Do you have a delicious dessert you want to bless us with? Nourishing herbal teas to share?

We also welcome dancers, musicians, storytellers who might want to share for a few minutes with us during the Red Tent! Contact me if you can help us in this way.

Thank You!

Please email me, Melissa Potter, if you have any questions, at wyndinoak@aol.com and I will be happy to help in any way I can.

For the sake of privacy, directions will be given when you let me know that you are coming.

Red Blessings,


My Body is the Body of the Goddess

I was in circle once a long time ago and our leader was called out suddenly. One of the women among us, Rebekah, began a song. One by one myself and the women lying around me on the floor began to sing along with her. Soon we were humming, and harmonizing, singing and swaying as we allowed the words of this chant to infuse our very bodies with the truth of it's words. I sing this very often to myself to bless me when I most need it.

My body is the body of the Goddess
My body is the body of the Goddess
My body is a living temple of love
My body is a living temple fo love

This song is like the soothing waves of the sea to me. I sing it over and over again until I know I am this Goddess of love and holiness, until all shame and guilt wash away, until I know beyond knowing ~ in that deep river beneath the river of my soul ~ that I am bright, white, pure, holy, blessed, sacred, Woman.

May You Know This Feeling,


Your Body is The Body of the Goddess

"May your body be blessed.

May you realize that your body is a faithful and beautiful friend of
your soul.

May you recognize that your senses are sacred thresholds.

May you realize that Holiness is mindful gazing, mindful feeling,
mindful listening,
and mindful touching.

May your senses always enable you to celebrate the universe and the
and possibilities in your presence here.

May Eros bless you.

May your senses gather you and bring you home."

~Celtic Blessing

Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath and fire my spirit!

The body is a sacred garment. It is your first and last garment. It is what you enter life in, and what you depart with, and it should be treated with honor."
~~ Martha Graham

Quoted in 'Divining the Body' by Jan Phillips

Revealing Mystery ~ Pomegranate

In the ancient and medieval worlds, pomegranates symbolized birth and death, being itself capable of bleeding. It was frequently associated with maidens and maiden-goddesses, for its bloodiness was often identified with the menses of an underworld goddess. It had simultaneous positive and negative associations, as cthonic divinities, and in particular Earthmothers, were the sources of Life and of Death, of Health and of Illness, of Fertility and Infertility.

I have been traveling through my own underworld of late. Unearthing roots that have gripped the earth too tightly. Trying to dig out seeds that had been planted long ago, and continue to produce weeds that are choking the life out of what wants to be born now at this stage of my life.

The fruit of the shadow journey is juicy, beautiful, magical and so powerful. Many turn away from such a journey due to the ugliness and death that can be encounter. Its a journey that marks the transition of maiden into Mother, princess into Queen.

Quite a few of my fellow Sisters are in this journey now. I bow to you, your strength, your beauty, and your grace. May we come out on the other end having honed our skill, and mined the treasures of our inner workings.

Blessed Be.

~Above writing by Elena Rego ~ To see her art & photography, click on the Persephone picture in the right hand column of this page.

Susun Weed on The Blood Mysteries

"Tell me that you feel me reaching out to you from the deep core of your being, from time out of mind. Tell me that you feel me waking up inside you, waking you up to your beauty and your power. Tell me that you are reclaiming your truth and turning a deaf ear to the lies. Tell me that you remember that you are the Goddess. Tell me that you remember that you and I are One.

Blood Mysteries

In the beginning, according to the Wise Woman tradition, everything began, as everything does, at birth. The Great Mother of All gave birth and the earth appeared out of the void. Then the Great Mother of All gave birth again, and again, and again, and people, and animals, and plants appeared on the earth. They were all very hungry. "What shall we eat?" they asked the Great Mother. "Now you eat me," she said, smiling. Soon there were a very great many lives, but the Great Mother of All was enjoying creating and giving birth so much that she didn't want to stop. "Ah," she said smiling, "now I eat you." And so she still does.

We all come from the same mother. She is the wise woman. We all return to her embrace, her bloody-rich womb place, when we die. Every woman is a whole/holy form of her, able to be whole/holy mother of all life, able to be whole/holy destroyer of life. Her power is her blood that flows and flows, her blood which is life and gives life. Every woman's menstrual blood and birth-time blood is a holy mystery.

What are the blood mysteries? Why are they central to the understanding of the Wise Woman tradition.

Blood mysteries teach that menstrual blood and birthing blood are holy blood, power blood, healing blood. The blood mysteries teach us to remember that life and healing come from and return to woman, to the wise woman, to the woman who bleeds and bleeds. And does not die.

Blood mysteries reveal that menstrual (moontime) blood and birth blood are so holy, so full of potential, so full of the void, that they are to be used only to heal, to heal by nourishing. Holy woman-blood is nourishing blood, blood of love, blood of abundance, blood that heals the earth.

Blood mysteries recall the immense power of the bleeding woman. Power enough to share in great nourishing give-away from mother to matrix, give-away of nourisher to nourisher. When we bleed into the ground (in reality or fantasy) our power regrounds as our blood flows through the personal root chakra and into the earth.

Bleeding into the ground, bleeding freely, we know ourselves as women, as nourishers of life, as givers of nourishment to the plants, givers of holy nourishment: our moontime blood.

I am woman giving away nourishment to ensure this planet's life. With my moontime power, my blood, with my birthing power, my blood, I feed the earth who feeds us all. Every month I remember: I am woman. I am earth. I am life. I am nourishment. I am change.

I am woman, blatantly and repeatedly confronted with my changes: hormonal harmonics stirring moon time visions, ovulatory oracles, pre-menstrual crazies, orgasmic knowings, birth ecstasies, breast-feeding bliss, menopausal moods.

I am wholeness. I am woman. I know life, death, pain, and health in my marrow, in my womb. I know the bloody places: the narrow space between life and death, the bloody place of birth, the bloody mess of nourishing life, the bloody flow of letting life go. I am woman. My blood is power. Peaceful power. Peaceful blood.

My blood is holy nourishment. My blood nourishes the growing fetus. My blood becomes milk to nourish the young child. My blood flows into the ground as holy nourishment for the Great Mother, Gaia, Mother Earth.

Gaia, whose ways are bloody. Woman, whose ways are bloody. Blood of nourishment. But bloody. Bloody menstrual blood, bloody birth blood. Blood of peace, nourishing blood. Blood of health/wholeness/holiness, not of sacrifice. The Wise Woman tradition is a bloody-handed woman, a bloody-thighed woman, a woman who gives birth, a woman who sees to the other side of things.

Health/wholeness/holiness is always changing. Life is mysterious, moving in spirals of change. Spirals moving to, through, from the void. Change making the hole so we can see the holy healthy gift of our wholeness.

"Sit, sister, here on the soft green moss, and give your sacred moon blood to the earth, back again to the spiral of life. Let flow your womb's blood red to the green and brown of earth. Sit here. Relax and close your eyes and let the visions come. Rest now and give your moon blood to nourish the mother who nourishes us. Relax and let the visions come."

The time of menstrual bleeding, according to the Wise Woman tradition, is a time of visions. Any woman who pays attention to these visions will find the power of shamans, witch doctors, medicine wo/men.

"Add a bit of red leaf to your herbal mixtures, any red leaf except poison ivy. That will make the medicine strong," says a friend, apprentice to a Native American shaman. And the wise woman inside me whispers: "They do this to evoke the power of menstrual blood."

These are the natural powers of menstruating, menopausal, and post-menopausal women:

* Oneness with the earth as a responsive nurturing presence
* Communication with plants, animals, rocks
* Weather making
* Shape shifting
* Invisibility
* Communication with fairies, devas, elves, dragons, unicorns
* Foreknowledge
* Acutely sensitive senses of smell, taste, hearing, sight, touch
* Healing

The Wise Woman tradition understands healing/wholing as blood mysteries. The blood of birth and death, and the blood of nourishment, these are the natural knowledge of women, these are the things that make us wise.

For permission to reprint this article, contact susunweed@herbshealing.com
Susun Weed - PO Box 64, Woodstock, NY 12498 (fax) 1-845-246-8081
Visit Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com and www.ashtreepublishing.com
The Goddess is Alive in Every Woman
The True Story of How She Came to Be, How She Disappeared, and How She Returned
c. 1999, Susun S. Weed