Finding a book or newsletter that echoed back the bursting seeds and unfurling blossoms within myself were moments of absolute alchemical magick for me.
When I first created ceremonial sacred space for menstruation (my first one in 1991, the same year I had my first baby) , more commonly called moon lodges, moon huts or red moon circles then by women creating this sacred space early on, I envisioned that perhaps some day there would be a holy harvest of the fruits of all those scarlet seeds planted by the work of my foremamas before me, as well as the scarlet seeds I and my sisters planted in our own teachings, writings, and menstrual circles, and have them be big ripening and bursting pomegranates of fruits! At that time, I had no idea the harvest would be so abundant, and burst like it has- I could not anticipate the Internet in the early 90's. I bless the technology that is the Internet, for I know it has been this tool that has propagated consciousness, and helped to spread and grow these scarlet seeds.
But I have to admit, in the midst of this consciousness celebration, standing among these scarlet wildflowers spreading like poppies in a potent field- I am a little saddened that I am not seeing the foremothers/foresisters of this movement remembered more-
but it's important that we do.
I want you to become familiar with them. It is good to honor every seed that was- and is- planted, every bloom that bloomed as well as the blooms to come, to honor all the wise women, all the carriers of this wisdom and medicine- in the same manner that we honor our blood ancestors in sacred space. It is not only good to do this- it is imperative to our further healing and empowerment. So much taboo, so much punishment, so much vilification in relation to our bodies, our cycles, our sexuality. So much.
As one of my favorite foremother elders stated about the damage from this vilification:
"It tears our spirit away from our body, ripping our essence in two. It pits parts of us against other parts. When we are disgusted with our blood, we are also disgusted with our spirit. Without the power of our spirit, we are unable to challenge a system that sets us against ourselves, against our sisters. As we discover the beauty and power in our blood, we honor our bodies, we honor the Goddess, and we are more easily able to love our female selves."
- Antiga, 1988 from 'The Goddess Celebrates: An Anthology of Women's Rituals' by Diane Stein
So, remember the roots. Know and remember.
Women's herstory gets forgotten, buried- as a general rule.
The last place that should happen is within the sacred source of our herstory.
To start, here is a list of books by many of the foremothers of this particular movement- the menstrual reclaiming movement. If you are called to this path and are not familiar with some of them, please do seek these works out. I know whenever I found any work that pre-dated and echoed my own call, it filled me with a sense of belonging and power and wonder. I had that sense of sisterhood, not being alone in this, echoes upon marvelous echoes, a chorus of women's voices ancient and modern- and I fell in love all over again :
Hygieia- by Jeanine Parvati Baker
Blessings of the Blood- by Celu Amberston (aka Cornwoman)
Songs of Bleeding- by Spider
Sister Moon Lodge- by Kisma Stepanich
Dragontime- by Luisa Francia
Moon, Moon- by Anne Kent Rush
Her Blood is Gold- Lara Owen
Red Flower: Rethinking Menstruation- by Dena Taylor
New Moon Rising: Reclaiming the Sacred Rites of Menstruation- by Linda Heron Wind
Mysteries of the Dark Moon- by Demetria George
Red Moon- Miranda Gray
Shakti Woman- by Vicki Noble
Blood, Bread, and Roses- by Judy Grahn
and although it is probable that you’ ve heard of Susun,
I would be remiss to fail to mention the herbals of Susun Weed!
Plus there are countless articles and booklets and zines, periodicals and pieces, art and ceremony and music created by women like Brooke Medicine Eagle, Antiga,
Ruth Mountaingrove, Hallie Iglehart Austen, Night Moore (that's me, when I was using Night previously way back now), Blood Sisters, and certainly more that are just escaping me at the moment. Of course, there are many books that have come out in the past few years, and many women doing the work now-
scarlet wildflowers from those awesome scarlet seeds!
But I wanted to highlight some of the material out there available from 1970-1995, to honor the work that creates much of the fertile ground of this wonderful decades old movement.
Sacred resource of this sacred source, for the scarlet blooms of those scarlet seeds.
Nuit Moore, The Scarlet Shakti
Ragtime Revolution & The Ruby in the Lotus