But today, many of our female population suffer from Premenstrual Syndrome. Symptoms ranging from headaches and irritability to acts of violence. Science tells us energy continually repressed, suppressed, or depressed tends to become volatile. Unfortunately, medical science doesn't view PMS as "unexpressed energy." The cause of PMS is still "undetermined" and labeled "hormonal imbalance."
Tribal traditions believed this time opens the intuitive self to vision, wisdom and insight. During a woman's "moon" or menstrual period, hormonal changes bring about a time of heightened sensitivity, vulnerability and a dream-like awareness.
Women are believed to be instruments of transformation. Our basic biology embodies a sacred ritual of change. Like the earth and moon, women have visible seasons and cycles...a time of building and gathering, a time of holding and nurturing, a time of fruitfulness and anticipation, a time of letting go and beginning anew. Native traditions view the biological changes of the "moontime" as a powerful and positive pathway to inner growth and change.
In our high tech world, we have lost touch with the cycles of nature and our own creative and emotional cycles. We have forgotten how to tune into and use our individual shifts in energy to empower our lives--so busy with the "doingness" in living--that we have forgotten the "beingness" of life.
"Doing" generally comes from the left side of the brain--the masculine, goal oriented, analytical, part of ourselves. "Being" comes from the right side of the brain--the feminine, allowing, creative, nurturing part of ourselves. Many women today have forgotten to simply "be." Moontime gives us a monthly reminder to take some time out and nurture ourselves.
What does this mean in practical terms? For Debbie, a Texas teacher, honoring her moontime means taking a "well day" each month, staying home, reading, daydreaming. The results? An innovative classroom curriculum that has her nominated for teacher of the year.
For Linda, a photographer, moontime means walking through the Arboretum, communing with Nature. The results? An award winning photographic series on the geometric patterns in flowers. For Carol it means her husband cooks dinner, bathes the kids and cleans up, while she reads or soaks in the tub. Results? Mom's not so grumpy. Many women are redefining PMS to honor our normal and natural psycho-biological energy shifts. PMS can be "attitudinal shift" ...from "woman's curse" to "woman's cure." As we observe and honor the sacred and powerful energies of our "moontime" we will begin to rebirth the wisdom of the feminine and thus "cure" our personal and planetary problems.
SHINAN NAOM BARCLAY, M.A. is writer, poet, teacher, and Counselor. She co-authored FLOWERING WOMAN--MOONTIME FOR KORY, w/Mary Dillon. The story of a girl's rites of passage into womanhood and, the first book to celebrate menstruation. Shinan orchestrates group rites on menarche and menopause as well as grief, creative purpose, and reclaiming our authentic voice. For more info email: .firstname.lastname@example.org • www.edgecity.com/shinanagans ©1990 Shinan Naom Barclay