Non-Traditional Experience with Moon Lodge
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
A Blended-Tradition Woman and Moontime Isolation:
I have walked a blended-tradition Spirit Path all my life, even before I knew what that meant. Although raised in a fundamental Christian atmosphere, I always knew God could be found in any Spirit Path of the heart. Within the Native American teachings, I learned about a valuable spiritual tool for empowerment, acceleration and visioning. It is called Sacred Moon Lodge.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Please note that the information here is the result of my own dedicated practice of Moon Lodge and not at all representative of the traditional teachings of any particular group of people.
I am in my croning years now but, for many years, I practiced retreat and spiritual prayer during my menstrual cycle. I consider moontime isolation to be one of the strongest catalysts in my own spiritual development and awareness during that time in my awakening.
Retreating for the purpose of prayer, renewal and visioning (what I have heard called Moon Lodge by Lakota Relatives) is one of the most powerful tools spiritual women have for enhancing intuition, dreamtime work, healing energies and spiritual connection to source.
In addition to spiritual benefits, one physical benefit I experienced in Sacred Lodge was that I had a marked reduction in PMS symptoms. Another unexpected and joyful result of starting moontime isolation was that my creativity soared. In retrospect, this makes sense on a very practical level because most of us never take time out from the daily grind for long enough to let our Divine Creative Juices get stimulated. Also, my
This information is included on the site for spiritual women who may not be familar with Moon Lodge as a spiritual tool. I offer the following information on how I have conducted my own Sacred Retreats in the past, for those who might wish to introduce moontime isolation into their lives. You are free to copy it and send it to friends but this is part of a copywritten book which I offer free of charge and cannot be sold without my express permission. Thank you for respecting my rights in this regard. I further ask that the information not be edited. If you wish to add your own comments, that is fine but leave the rest in tact. The following information is my give-away to you:
One way to practice Moontime Isolation
Please note: As has been said before, and for complete clarity, please note that my experiences with moontime isolation and Sacred Retreat is my own. It has been an intensely personal journey for me and I share it, not to say this is the way to do it, but this is one way it was done successfully.
You may want to read Buffalo Woman Comes Singing by Brooke Medicine Eagle, or other resources on the subject. Please disregard any suggestions that do not feel appropriate for you. I do not, as yet, have an actual Moon Lodge. I simply use the healing sanctuary in my home.
TIPS FOR MOONTIME ISOLATION:
1. Take care in choosing your Sacred Retreat Location. Consider noise levels and house traffic, when choosing a room in the home for retreat. If you have more than one bathroom, ask everyone to use one while the other is reserved for your use only. Avoid contact with others as much as possible, whenever you must exit the room for any reason. Another option would be to locate an organization that offers Moon Lodge Space or just any retreat space where you could go and be left alone.
2. Commit to the silence. When I am in Moontime Isolation, I do not speak with anyone or answer the phone. The only exception I make to that rule is if a Sister needs healing or other help, while I am in Lodge. Females may usually enter my Lodge and receive healing work, with speaking held to the absolute minimum. Contact with the outside world distracts and diffuses focus, so I avoid it. If I am led to sing or pray aloud, I do. Otherwise, I maintain silence. Speak with your family/roommates beforehand, explaining the need for and importance of silence. This means no knocking at the door with “just one question”. If matters arise that demand immediate response, a note can be slipped under the door. In particular, avoid contact with anyone who is male. Strong yang energies are contra-indicated during Moon Lodge.
3. Eat if you feel this is correct for you. Moon Lodge, for me, was a time of renewal, not fasting so I did not fast during Moontime Isolation. I always took food into Lodge with me and I chose foods that I liked, foods that were nourishing as well as comforting and enjoyable.
If you are lucky enough to have a mate who respects this time of Sacred Retreat, you can ask to have meals left at the door, with a single rap on the door to let you know, or take all the food you will need in beforehand. A Moon Lodge is a time of renewal. Fasting is neither required or recommended. There are other times for suffering and sacrifice, but this time is for nurturing.
4. Spiritually connect with others. Ask your family and others of your spiritual circle to pray with you, and connect with you while in Lodge. You will feel their support and the prayerful attitude will automatically keep noise to a minimum in the house.
5. Focus on Renewal, Prayer and Visioning, Not Work. I may do creative things, such as painting or reading, but I do no work in Lodge that is not renewing and enjoyable. The channeling of the energies will be quite demanding enough, without adding other chores to your time in Lodge.
6. Trust Non-Linear Time. I have learned that whatever amount of time I have for each Lodge, if I am willing to completely submit to it, is sufficient. If it is three days, then that is what is needed. If it is three hours, the work still gets done. Spirit has no problem compressing a great deal of Spirit work into a tiny smidgen of Earth time. Time is our creation, not Spirit’s, and only restricts the work possible in Lodge if we expect it to, worry about it, push for results, or resent not having more time to isolate. Give yourself over to whatever is possible each month, commit to the process, and you will have the time you need. Be gentle with yourself–you are probably not used to living this way, and a period of adjustment is normal. Great Spirit understands that most of us do not have the luxury of a community that supports our retreat time, and we must work within the structures of our jobs, family commitments, etc. Just begin. It will be enough.
7. Utilize the Potent Prayer Potential during Moontime Isolation. Prayers in Lodge are tremendously powerful and are always to include all others. A Lodge spent only praying for yourself is not only counter-productive but might actually be impossible. The nature of the Moon Lodge energies–the feminine, receptive energies of the Divine Mother–automatically seems to pull the focus outward from selfish concerns. I speak as one who is not above selfish prayer. I can be as self-centered and operate as stubbornly from ego-based needs as anyone I know. Yet, in Lodge, I find that I rarely pray a prayer that is strictly for myself. Some Lodges, I am so consistently praying for others that I have little awareness of self at all.
A Potent Moontime Ritual
Gifting the Earth
One of the moontime rituals I read about, I think in Brooke Medicine Eagle’s book, is the gifting of menstrual fluid to Mother Earth.
I had a very strong vision when meditating in moontime isolation and in that vision, I was shown the Subterraniums beneath the Earth. They were extremely busy, collecting menstrual gifts and taking them to under-nourished points on the Earth surface.
Then, I was above the Earth, looking down and I witnessed flowing streams of women’s issue crossing the surface of the Earth, coming from four directions and meeting at the top. As it traveled, the blood burned the surface like molten lead. As the parched and scorched “skin” of Earth peeled back, I could see the New Earth underneath.
In honor of that vision, I used to make a blood offering (as a closing ritual) at the end of each Moon Lodge. It is a knowing in me that a blood offering is not just a symbolic gesture but a powerful practice that creates actual, physical Earth changes each time I (or other women) do it. The giving of the blood in this way is a genuine catalyst for healing the planet.