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Southern Hemisphere Hallowe'en, Samhain: Northern Hemisphere Beltane 2015 Moonsong Newsletter
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I invite you to listen to some new interviews I've done recently:

Be Simply interview by Suzanne Toro, "Sharing wisdom and inspiration that can be celebrated in each phase of a Woman's life." 
Be Simply interview by Suzanne Toro, "Diving deeper into women's ability to reclaim their power and how to connect to their inner mystery and wisdom." 

Empowering Motherhood Radio interview by Tara Darlington, "The mystical and the magical of being a Woman."


Click HERE to listen to the above interviews 
Southern Hemisphere Hallowe'en, Samhain 

The Southern Hemispheric Hallowe’en, Samhain (Sow-en) is traditionally on April 30/May 1. However the actual celestial moment of Samhain is on May 6th.  The reason these dates are different is the first is the traditional day, the day decided long ago by our ancestors and the second date is the actual time when the Earth and Sun line up to create the moment within such sundials as Stone Henge, and its different because the earth and the sun and everything else in our galaxy hasn’t moved in a consistently predictable way. Surprise, surprise!

The moon on May 1st is in the Gibbous phase  and that brings feelings of increased and increasing creativity, and a building in intensity and excitement, headed toward the full, peak energy of the full moon.  The moon on May 5/6 is the day after the full moon and this brings feelings of peak energy with an urgency to share the creative process with others.

The lunar energy and the earth season energy for the southern hemisphere combine to perhaps bring an illumination of, and an intensity in, the experience of the final harvest, perhaps a feeling of intensity in one's move deeper inward . . .  

Don’t get confused with the Hallowe’en that’s celebrated on October 31st, that’s the Northern Hemisphere Hallowe’en when its Autumn there but Spring here and definitely not harvest time. The Northern Hallowe’en is the time of our Southern Beltane.

Samhain is the third of three harvest festivals, the final harvest festival. Pumpkin time! And the end of Autumn…

It’s the time in the cycle of the seasons that is equivalent to the energy of twilight, when the veils between the worlds are thin and we can even ‘see’ our dearly departed friends and family. This all got a bit distorted in our modern culture and turned into a fancy dress candy fuelled party with evil looking witches, scary dead people and super heros! …distraction….

 

Autumn
 

The final harvest at Samhain time is most evident in the pumpkin patch. And as Mother Earth teaches us, if you didn’t plant in Spring or if you didn’t care for the vulnerable sprouts or the growing vine (etc) during the growth cycle, then there will be no harvest, simple as that. 

Samhain is actually the beginning of winter and the descent into the ‘underworld’. We move now deep into the yin part of the circle in the cycle of the seasons. Depending on how you feel about the dark and endings, will influence how you experience the energy of this season. The bottom line is that the letting go and the descent in to the dark is inevitable, so we may as well ‘go with the flow’, if we don’t, some how or other, Nature and our nature will take us there anyway. This is an invitation from Mother Nature to be with one of the greatest opportunities and lessons in life, to be present with what is, and at this point in the cycle what is happening is the slowing down, going inward, letting go of all that no longer serves you and moving toward your still quiet centre. This time ahead invites inner reflection and contemplation.

 

Samhain Spiritual Practice

At Samhain time all the Earth’s living beings commence their preparation for the decent into the colder darker season of winter and we as the gardeners, the caretakers, are not excluded from this process. In our modern lives it is easy to miss this significant transition point, carrying on regardless. But do take the opportunity to connect deeply with the rhythm of our Earth and feel what is. Literally, its time to gather the firewood, harvest the last of the pumpkins from the vine, take stock and move our living and playing inside where its warmer. Seeing this metaphorically, its also time to move to a more reflective, contemplative space within ourselves, very different to the ‘out there-ness’ of summer. With reflection and contemplation comes a deeper sense of self awareness and ‘awareness is curative’ so this is a ‘health-ful’ place to come to consciously, and an important part of the cycle.

These final ‘fruits’ you are harvesting now, are what you have to sustain you through the winter months when there is no outward growth. ‘Find’ these ‘fruits’ when you look at your life both literally and metaphorically. Look at your health, your relationships, your work, your life situation, what looks like the fruits, the harvest?

Remember, the ‘fruits’ also hold the ‘seeds’ of what will grow in the next growth cycle, they hold the lessons available to be learned from all you’ve done this growth cycle so far, since the beginning back in Spring earlier in the year. And these seeds will gestate over the Winter, and be what will be reborn in the Spring. This happens literally in the garden and metaphorically in our lives, and often unconsciously, this is what’s going on when its ‘the same old same old’ things happening in your life. The idea is that you notice the patterns repeating and then bring your choice to it. For example on seeing the ‘seeds’ contained in the ‘fruits’ of this harvest, you might ‘learn the lessons’ from this ending growth cycle and change how you do things next growth cycle (Spring). This could be new ways you approach your work, relationships, health, where you put your energy etc.….you’ll know.

 

Make your life your spiritual practice. Notice how you feel the energy of this part of the Earth’s season affecting you. How does your body feel? Do you have a dominant emotion? And what are the messages from these? Notice what you need to notice, learn what you need to learn, change what you need to change and heal what you need to heal. That’s the opportunity, that’s the gift. Journal as you go.

 

Suggested Ceremony for Samhain, Hallowe’en 

Samhain is the final harvest festival marking the descent into winter. A time for us to carve pumpkins and hone our intuitive skills so we can discern the tricks from the treats! 

In ancient times Samhain was known as a dark time, honoured but not feared. It was said that on this night the veils between the worlds were at their most thin making it possible to communicate with the dead and that loving ancestor’s spirits would return to connect with the living on this night. The prejudices of our western patriarchal culture have, over the centuries, changed the messages of this powerful time from - respectful of the dark, the Crone and Wise Old Man and the death/rebirth part of the cycle - to fear, with the Crone represented as a scary witch and ancestor’s spirits as spooky ghosts.

 

At Samhain you can light a candle and call your dearly departed ones. Have a conversation, say what you wished you’d said, hear what they say to you. Perhaps create an altar in their honour and sit there in a meditative space and see what happens. You can do this with your children too, perhaps they wish to ‘speak’ to loved ones, pets included, that have passed away. Its important to include the reality of the ‘circle of life’ in children’s worlds.

With your community, gather the children and have fun dressing up and playing the traditional Hallowe’en games, and be sure to tell them the stories of the wisdom of the cycles that are playing out at the sabbats.

 

Northern Hemisphere Beltane

 

The traditional date for the Northern Hemispheric Beltane Eve is April 30th and 'May Day' is May 1st, this year astrologically it May 4th/5th. The climax of Spring!  The reason these dates are different is the first is the traditional day, the day decided long ago by our ancestors and the second date is the actual time when the Earth and Sun line up to create the moment within such sundials as Stone Henge, and its different because the earth and the sun and everything else in our galaxy hasn’t moved in a consistently predictable way. Surprise, surprise!

The moon on May 1st is in the Gibbous phase  and that brings feelings of increased and increasing creativity, and a building in intensity and excitement, headed toward the full, peak energy of the full moon.  The moon on May 5/6 is the day after the full moon and this brings feelings of peak energy with an urgency to share the creative process with others.  The lunar energy and the earth season energy for the northern hemisphere are in alignment and combine to perhaps bring a 'turbo' charged experience of intensity and building creativity and a desire to be out and about in the world. 

Beltane is the peak of Spring, a celebration of fertility. In ancient times it was the Beltane Rites that reconnected each year the King to the Goddess, the masculine to the feminine.  It is a time for us to give thanks for our fertile lives, our creativity and our gender specific gifts and roles. Its a time to notice and honour the difference in the masculine and feminine. It is a time of increasing growth, building to almost full potential, of beauty and heightened passion. 

 

Spring
 

The energy of Beltane, the peak of Spring, is so evident in our garden. Nature in her flowering form is so beautiful, so seductive, alluring, and juicy! being as attractive as possible to the birds and the bees to ensure pollination! 

The new growth of earlier Spring has well and truly taken hold, and now if the conditions support it, this growth will go to full bloom and then onto fruiting in the autumn. And of course, this being the wisdom of the cycles, it holds great teachings for us. The equivalent time in a woman’s and man’s life to Beltane energy is 25 years old or so, the time in our lives when we peak in our youthful allure before we shift into the next phase of our lives. 

We talk a lot about the Beltane equivalent life phase in my Moonsong workshops, its our modern cultures favourite version of the feminine and the aspect that our culture holds up as the judge for all else. Preteens are encouraged to grow up fast (with bras and provocative clothing available in most shops for this age group) and older women are encouraged to look as youthful as possible (with plastic surgery and botox injections being one of the fastest growing industries)! 

Our culture often encourages us to rush through things, however if we do that we may miss the moment, and Beltane is one of those moments not to miss!

 

Spring Spiritual Practice

Your being, as part of the Earth, part of the cycle of the seasons, will be influenced by this energy whether you’re paying attention to it or not. If you pay some attention, you will feel it, and you can be in flow with it. Think like the gardener, and align with the Earth energy of now, contemplate the growth that is peaking in your life, that is getting all the attention…if conditions support its final growth phase, this is what will eventually fruit. 

So, how can you best nurture what is blossoming in your life now so that it will bear fruit?

What do you know you must do? And if you are not doing it, why aren’t you?

Where is your desire leading you?

Sit in Nature, amongst the very essence of this, and ask this and the next questions that arise for you. Move, sing and flitter around as you feel too, answers come in all sorts of ways….Be sure to journal what comes.

 

Suggested Ceremony for Beltane

Our community gathers at Beltane to honour and celebrate the rites of passage of our young folk as they grow from children to fertile young adults and to express ceremonially the specific and very different roles of the masculine and the feminine. It’s a joyous time, much looked forward to. We camp for the weekend, sitting on the Earth. We live as a community together, all helping each other. We have separate women’s and men’s circles to conduct the rites of passage for the teenagers and then reunite as the sun sets dancing around a big fire, welcoming the new young adults back to the group in their new roles and status.

The next day, ‘May Day’, we have a May Pole ceremony. The May Pole is a beautiful ceremony for young and old and has deeper levels of significance the more you lend yourself to the symbology of all that it represents. For the children it is a fun and playful game with their parents, dancing and singing, for the adults it is a re-enactment of the union of the masculine and the feminine and a chance to weave magic and love into that aspect of yourself within and without.

 

Here’s a suggestion for a simple ceremony to honour the Beltane energy with your family or by yourself. 

Do what you do to make sacred space, call for protection, guidance and support and focus. Go around the circle and each person can give thanks for all that is growing in their life, if you are alone, take your time and really feel this giving thanks process. Choose one or two or three, you’ll know how many, specific things that are growing that you would like to focus on. You could put something on your altar that represents this/these and light a candle for it/them. Ask those there with you if they would be willing to support you in seeing this particular thing come to its fullness, and you could ask them for specific help if appropriate. If you are doing this with your children it would probably be a good time to offer suggestions to them for what could help them. 

 

And it is said that at Beltane, the veils between the worlds are thin and so you can see the fairies, so be sure to look out for them!

7 Sisters Festival, co-presenting with Nymh Fox Harper:
Woman as Wild Place
7 Sisters presenting:
Autumn Woman, Harvest Queen
Upcoming Events
 
Moonsong Workshop 
May 7
France

Connecting with the Shamanic Dimensions of Pregnancy workshop 
May 8
France

Australia Homebirth Conference 
May 30 
Melbourne 

Exploring the Sacred Feminine
June 20 - June 23
Peru Retreat with Cynthia Ingar at Exploring the Sacred Feminine

 
7 Sisters co-presenting with Kristan Lee Read
Eating Disorders Ritual, Project Pomegranate 
I had the utmost pleasure of experiencing my Welcome to Maga-hood Ceremony with my local community. Here is a picture of me and Sister Magas Sally Graf and Marilyn Gotlieb.

Im now in France giving the School of Shamanic Midwifery Northern Four Seasons Journey,
Full Moon Gathering.


Best wishes and love
Jane xxxx
Recommendations 
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"Bodies, Boundaries and Talking with Children about Sex" here: http://www.lovingfamilies.com.au/courses/bodies-boundaries-booklet/
From Sar Friedman . . . .

I am a big fan of the writings and philosophy of Joseph Campbell. He writes that in mystical and indigenous traditions all over the world, when a member of the community ventures into the unknown and then returns, they return with some wisdom or a gift to share for the benefit of their community. This concept really resonated with me through my recent experiences with surgical treatment for Cervical Dysplasia.

As a Shamanic Midwife, Bodyworker and Yoga Therapist - Integrating the medical, physical, emotional and spiritual/shamanic approaches to healing was a powerful opportunity for me to literally ‘walk my talk’ through exploring meaningful and holistic self-care practices.  The benefits and insights I have received and the experiences I have had (and continue to have everyday) are priceless!  I feel compelled to share what I have learned in order to be of support and service to others on their healing journey.

My journey started way back in 2005 when I was living in London, aged 23 - I had my first pap smear and it came back as 'abnormal'... Having no idea what a cervix actually was, the doctor pointed to the tv monitor above me during a colposcopy and said 'look, that's your cervix' - I was mesmerised yet still had no clue about what I was actually looking at! On reflection I am so grateful for that moment and the power of it is only just sinking in now, so many years later.

Over the last 10 years I have certainly journeyed from having little interest in my body to being completely devoted and in awe of it! My questions and curiosities have evolved along with my own sense of self.
My deepening connections towards an embodied femininity have enabled me to cultivate the highest respect for my body, my womb, my cervix, my vagina - my most sacred feminine ecology!

Over the weekend of August  8 & 9 I will be facilitating two workshops at Leela Studios in Paddington, Sydney. Please get in touch for more information.

August 8 Holistic Feminine Care
This workshop is for any woman who wants to learn more about her menstrual cycle and would like to explore some self-care tools that foster a deeper connection to our feminine rhythms. We will also explore practices to support PMT, Period Pain, Irregular periods.
We will cover::: Self-care Abdominal Massage, Guided Visualisations, Well-Woman Yoga, Cycle Charting

August 9 Holistic Cervical Care
This workshop is for any woman who wants to learn more about holistic approaches to gynaecological issues specifically related to the Cervix.  This workshop will focus on demystifying the Cervix, education and discussion around Pap smears, translating medical results into simple language, preventative and nutritional tips and an overview of different options for integrative treatment.
We will cover::: Female Anatomy,  Well-Woman Yoga, Immune Boosters, Guided Visualisations, Craft & Discussion

SAR FRIEDMAN
Massage & Bodywork, Yoga Therapy, Shamanic Midwife
CONTACT:
www.RedTent.com.au
Shop 2 / 66 Hall Street Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Ph:1800 RED TENT (1800 733 836)
M: 0404815689
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