Moon Days… Moon Power

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chaliceoftheredmoon

“Chalice of the Red Moon” – 11″x14″ pastel on velour paper

I once picked up a book to read entitled Red Man’s Religion. After I read a few pages, it hit me that I should have realized from the prejudicial title that I would get only a distorted view of Native American beliefs. As an example, the author, R. M. Underhill relates, “Fear of the menstruating woman is widespread throughout the world. Female catamenia, related to childbearing, indicated a power impossible to males. In time, there grew up a feeling that it was harmful to all male activity, including ceremony.” What the author fails to understand is that in many nature religions menstruation is considered a hugely powerful time for women.  The Native Americans refer to it as a woman’s “moon time” since just like the moon influences the tides, it tends to influence a woman’s period.

When the perspective is looked at by a Shaman trained in the native ways, such as Nicholas Noble Wolf it is recorded very differently. “We traditional people do not see it this way [harmful], as moon-time is a place of honor and beauty.” He goes on to explain, “… when a woman is embodying the moon, she is embodying a huge reservoir of power—all that is contained within her sister, Grandmother Moon. This means that lesser amounts of power around her will inherently flow into her. That would include power charged with negative emotion. This can make a woman sick… Those cramps are but the negative emotions that surround a woman through whomever she comes in contact with.” During her moon time a woman is prevented from touching sacred objects; not because she will “contaminate” the item, but because these medicine objects are seen are living, empowered beings and the woman holding so much energy could draw the life-force out of them. What a different perspective!

  • Patricia Robin Woodruff

Bringing the Infinite into Finite Form; or more musings on creating

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I was reading some writing advice from Stephen King and some of his words really struck me.  He said,

“The magic is in you.”

I think I’m going to hang this one on my wall above my writing space.  We get distracted with the mundane life and somehow this gets forgotten in the hustle and bustle.  

In the book, “The Mission of Art”, Alex Grey goes on to say that “the artist brings the infinite into finite form…”“An artist’s divine imagination, their soul, links the infinite presence of God with the finite physical world where the artist brings spirit to form.” This understanding of my art merges with my current understanding of my spiritual beliefs. As Inigo Montoya says in the movie, The Princess Bride, “Let me explain…no, there is too much. Let me sum up…” 

Imagine the beginnings of the Universe… Everything condensed into one single point, which exploded outward filling the emptiness with matter. All the matter/energy of the Universe, forming and coalescing into suns and planets. Our tiny planet spinning and transforming. The energy solidifying into matter becoming water and land and living things. Single-celled creatures mutating and transforming into more and more complex forms. Complex living things in the ocean, moving onto land, transforming and changing. Such a wonder of variety… fish, insects, birds, mammals and people. Green things transforming the energy of the sun into itself. Animals eating the plants/sun-energy and transforming it into itself. We are all made of “star stuff.” We are matter. We are energy. Other names that have been used to identify this energy can be Spirit, Magic or God. We have that God-force within us and are continuing the process of creation. We imagine things and then we turn that energy solid; into art, relationships, writing or inventions. 

Science tells us that very element heavier than hydrogen has been forged in the heart of a star. In the television show, Babylon-5, J. Michael Straczynski stated through the wise character of Delenn the perspective that all living beings are created from the same elements that make up the Babylon-5 space station and the stars (ie. nitrogen, iron, hydrogen, etc). Delenn states, “We are star stuff. We are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out.”

Different thinkers have come to the same conclusion and have been able to verbalize it in different ways… Ann Kent Rush stated, “Creativity is really the structuring of magic.” Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali mystic stated “ The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day, runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass, and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.” Stephen Nachmanovitch, a musician, author and computer artist said, “The imagination is our true self, and is in fact the living creating God within us.”

That wonderful energy fills me up and flows out of my fingers in my artwork. I feel like the 13th century poet, Rumi, was talking directly to me when he wrote, 

“Hundreds of thousands of impressions from the invisible world are eagerly wanting to come through you. I get dizzy with the abundance.”

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“All of Creation” by Patricia Robin Woodruff 11″x14″ mixed media (ink and watercolor)