MYSTERY TEACHINGS OF THE SACRED MOON LODGE
By Nancy Oakes
Women Hold Within Their Bodies The Secrets Of Creation
Initially the Cherokee lived all over the eastern coast including Tennessee. My grandmother and my mother were born in the Great Smokey Mountains. My grandmother told me that before colonization each village had a building that was specifically dedicated to the women during their moon cycle where the “Mystery Teachings” were taught. The women of the village also assisted each other during childbirth, performing soothing massages, combing each other’s hair, and singing as they delivered babies. The new mothers stayed in the moon lodge while being attended to by the other young and old women, while healing and regaining strength after the birth. Menstruating women came to the moon lodge each month to celebrate with the other women and to rest. The older wiser women in moon pause elevated to the position of elder and grandmother within the circle. The women in moon pause spent more time in the moon lodge instructing, and teaching, the old ways of the “Mystery Teachings.” The children of the village received nurturing and care from many mothers and grandmothers as all the women shared responsibilities of the young, therefore no child was left orphaned. Ceremonies were held for young girls who were beginning their menstrual cycles announcing their journey into womanhood. The men, the medicine people, and the “Two Spirits” (third gender’s recognized as a sacred being within the village) also took part in the ceremonies. It was not an embarrassment for the young girl but was seen as a great honor.
EarthKeeper Shares the Mystery Teachings
Brooke Medicine Eagle, a teacher and Native American EarthKeeper states that the time the women spent in the Moon Lodge provided an opportunity for prayers, visions, was uplifting and served a higher purpose, something that is missing in todays society. Further she says, women connecting to each other naturally in the time of the moon cycle, and birth of their children make happier, more vital, less stressed women.
Grandmother The Matriarch Of Our Family
Even though my father moved the family from the Great Smokey Mountains my mother, her sisters, my beloved grandmother and all the female children continued with the moon lodge practices at my grandmothers house in Pennsylvania. I was raised within a beautiful culture, practicing ceremonies regarding the Cherokee moon lodge and the “Mystery Teachings” by my grandmother. Within that circle of women I also learned about gardening, and my oneness with nature. I was taught to love and respect all creatures including those with feathers, skin and wings. One of my favorite stories from my grandmother is one that expresses her reverence for the bees. I learned that water is the first element of creation however soon after the creation of the plants the bee was created specifically for the plants and gardens of earth. There is a sacred story told about the queen bee that explains why all the other bees guard and protect her. They know that within her is the secret of life. She is the center of their universe. Without the bees our squash and corn will not grow. Grandmother said, “You must invite the bees to your gardens, as a welcomed guest for without them there will be no food.” I was taught to never harm a wing creator, or for that matter any creator for each has a purpose in the harmony of life. The four-legged creators were a gift of food for the people and as grandmother said they are willing to give up their life. The kill of an animal was appropriate only for food, accompanied with prayers and thanksgivings offered for its life back to the Great Spirit.
I remember many times as young as four years old walking with my three sisters following our mother to my grandmothers house. We walked to her house when my mother was pregnant, and during her moon cycle. It was not always about mother that we made the walk to grandmothers, for sometimes we went to attend to her sisters and my grandmother. Upon arrival I witnessed the pampering from the circle of women. Sometimes my grandmother would offer my mother a rest in her bed, while my aunts told stories about living in the Great Smokey’s. The stories always ended with the fact that they all were determined to return someday to the Great Smokey Mountains. I grew up feeling the love from my aunts, and my grandmother. When my own moon cycle began we walked to grandmothers and shared with her and my relatives my journey into womanhood. I have memories of my mother and my aunts combing my grandmother’s hair, which had never been cut. More memories come to mind of my grandmother’s smile as she greeted and welcomed us to her table where she had prepared food for everyone. She was the matriarch of our family, and led her daughters and grandchildren with her love and wisdom.
Many Cultures Have Mystery Teachings
This is just my story, one culture where you will find the moon lodge, Mystery Teachings. I grew up within this circle of powerful women learning to reconnect to the Goddess within. But even more importantly, to disconnect from the wrong information that was being forced on women regarding the menstrual cycle, so labeled the curse, and unclean by a patriarchal society. My grandmother said she felt sadness for the other women in the neighborhood and surrounding communities who had lost the connection to the secrets of the sacred womb.
ESTABLISH A MOON LODGE
With the new era, the arrival of the feminine energy, we are witnessing a revival all over the planet re-establishing women’s rightful place in the creation story. Women are beginning to understand what has been missing and oppressed in our societies regarding the sacredness of the womb. It is time to education our young girls, daughters, mothers, and grandmothers into the roles they play in the sacred circle of women for the future generations.
Half way across the world DeAnna L’am is referred to as the “womb visionary” describing the moon lodge as the “Red Tent”. DeAnna teaches seminars on how to establish a Red Tent, in your neighborhood.
Do you wonder how different your life would be today if you had been raised with a moon lodge, a Red Tent, or within a loving sacred feminine support group? Would you like to connect with other women who recognize the benefits of such a sacred alignment? Why not establish a moon lodge, Red Tent in your community, or within your own traditions?
The Red Tent World Summit is connected to women establishing women’s circles and gatherings, responding to women’s health issues. You will also find within her network indigenous teachers, menstrual cycle educators, practicing childbirth educators, and menopausal educators.
Nancy is the CEO of the “Spiritual Life Style Center.” She is a member of the Free Cherokee, and an adopted member of the United Lenape Band. Nancy is currently involved in the study of psychology, and cultural anthropology. Her first book will be available on Amazon. com March 2014, The Return of Sophia, Mother of the Universe. You can contact her at her email address of firstname.lastname@example.org, about.me.com http://www.medicineeagle.com/, http://www.deannalam.com/,chickamaugacherokee.org/beginning/