A Moon Lodge Blessing
In May 2006 my beautiful 16ft tipi was transformed in to a Moon Lodge at Sacred Arts Camp. Women came to help put it up and we decorated it with hangings- one of Tara, another which was an amazing hand sewn ‘birth rug’, we hung red fabrics, saris, old curtains. We had lush velvety cushions, duvets, blankets, ornate rugs, a camping stove, kettle, mugs, assortment of ‘women’s’ teas, tins of biscuits, cake and chocolates! There were moon books galore, samples of washable pads, moon cups and sponges, arty items- clay, pens, paper, glitter, paints, fabrics, sewing materials and of course a beautiful altar blessed with goddess statues, candles, sage and incense, precious pictures, feathers, flowers, necklaces…
The Tipi Blessing Ceremony began with the women gathering inside the tipi, waiting for everyone to arrive and chanting the Grandmother Song – a song one woman learned on a workshop with Jennifer Berezan: “Grandmother I see you sitting in the East, You are Sacred, and you are looking at me. I pray to you pray to you, you are Sacred and you are looking at me.”
By the time we know the song well everyone has arrived and we move outside to begin the ceremony!
We gather in a circle- including the edges of the tipi in the circle and we welcome everyone and talk a little about the importance of Moon Lodge communities.
We then turn to honour each of the directions; singing the grandmother song, welcoming in the elements, the goddess’ and any animal spirits women feel drawn to call in.
We welcome in the air – one woman sings and another lights sage and walks around the circle and into the Moon Lodge to place the sage on the altar and then rejoins the circle.
We welcome fire – this is my part! A friend sings with me and I welcome in fire and struggle to light the candle in the breeze, I call in the Goddess Pele and then walk around the circle and into the Moon Lodge to put the candle on the altar and the come outside again to rejoin the circle.
We welcome in water – someone sings while a woman welcomes in water, holding a beautiful blue glass bowl of Chalice Well water from Glastonbury she walks around the circle blessing us with the water and goes into Moon Lodge, places water on the altar and rejoins the circle.
Welcome in Earth –women sing and another welcomes in earth; skipping around the circle with a clod of earth and some beautiful oak leaves, she skips into the tipi to place it on the altar and rejoins the circle!
We welcome in the Goddess Brigid and blesses the land.
Then it’s me again! I lead the women in singing the Carolyn Hillyer song: ‘Blessed be the blood’ – “Blessed be the blood on my thigh, Blessed be the blood on my skirt, Blessed be the blood.”
As we all are singing this I lead the women in to a spiral and then out again heading into the Moon Lodge- the plan was that we would circle inside the lodge and then head out- but we hadn’t quite thought it through! The doorway is only big enough for one woman at a time- so to my discomfort I stood by the door waiting to lead the women out again with no avail!!
So we stood still inside the lodge until all the women had entered- 25 of us!
We circled around and sat in a spiral to say a few words- honouring our ancestors, goddesses, relatives and friends before feasting on honey biscuits, cake and chocolate and sharing some fresh orange juice. Women began to discuss bleeding issues- from sanitary protection to contraception, child birth and healing.
We also learned the “Walk in Beauty” song with movements and discussed having a women’s ceremony to honour ourselves, since the young girls have a wonderful menarche ceremony at this camp and many of us have never had any thing like that! We concluded that a women’s meet during the week would be a good start.
I felt so blessed and excited to have been a part in the first steps of our moon lodge community at camp and honoured to have my tipi soaked in such wonderful energies.