Menarche in Schools

RachadminMenstrual Health, Moon Lodge/Red Tent, Musings

Menarche Work in Primary Schools (written 2005)
Imagine a school that embraced Celebrating Menarche- a school that invited mothers of young girls to come and talk openly about the changes women face in puberty, to honour their daughters rite of passage and explore their own journey with their moon flow, a school that promoted eco sanitary wear and allowed their students to wear their moon necklaces with pride!
This has been a vision of mine for many years and the vision has begun to manifest!
In 2005 I was invited to run a Celebrating Menarche Workshop at a local primary school! Initially the idea was for me to come to school and talk to the young women about menstruation, sanitary wear and celebrating their menarche- but I had other ideas! I insisted that the mothers be involved- after all, what is the point of honouring a girl’s menstruation if she was going home to a family that held it as taboo? I knew that for girls to truly honour their cycle they need the support of their mothers, and of course many mothers don’t know the secrets our bleeding time holds- so I had to be able to address these issues; support the mothers to support their daughters!I discussed this with the school and they agreed, deciding it would be best to tie the workshop in with their sex education classes. So we planned to run the workshop one evening in November.
Five mothers and their daughters arrived at the school and were amazed at the transformation of one of the class rooms- we had moved back the tables and chairs, I cleared the energies of the room using Reiki symbols, scattered the floor with furry beanbags and soft red velvet cushions. I created an altar in the middle; spreading a red glittery cloth on the floor, lighting candles and incense, adding my goddess figures, some crystals, shells, precious beads and stones, flowers, pictures, water collected from all the ceremonies and altars I have made and lastly I sprinkled it with chocolate and glitter! The atmosphere was completely changed!Playing in the background was my “women’s workshops” CD- a mix of inspirational female musicians- from Peru to Sinead O’Connor, Madonna to Carolyn Hillyer, and so the evening began.

Initially I could sense the apprehension from both the girls and their mothers- for some of them they were stepping in to a mystery they had no comprehension of, but they were courageous and willing and I honoured them for that. We began with a reading of quotes I had gathered from books and women I have met- describing their menarche, we each took a turn to speak a little about ourselves (I learned that the ages ranged from 7-10 years old and one of the mothers shared that she was menstruating that evening!) and went over the ground rules for the group. The rest of the evening was spent sharing some chamomile and rose tea, listening to a menarche story, having hand massages, discussions, making moon necklaces (one to represent our bleeding time and one for ovulation), we looked at choices in sanitary products and had an opportunity to browse my collection of ‘Menstruation Literature’ that travels with me from women’s group to women’s group, moon lodge to moon lodge!
The evening flew by and everyone wished for more time, remarks from mums and daughters were “what gentleness”, “a great idea for girls and women!” “It was better that we expected- we really enjoyed it” “Reminded me my cycle is something to celebrate” “a wonderful chance to be close and focus on our relationship”, “my daughter was very apprehensive but soon relaxed”, “I liked the shrine, the sweets, tea, bead making, massage, being in a circle, the massage oil and the incense!” “Thank you very very much” “how do we get more women doing this?”
The evening felt like an enormous break through for my menarche work- and I trust that this ripple will spread … goddess knows where!

© 2005 Rachael Hertogs, All Rights Reserved

Celebrating your First Moon

RachadminMenarche, Menstrual Health, Moon Lodge/Red Tent, Musings

Celebrating your First Moon (an exerpt from Thirteen Moons and Menarche ‘a journey into womanhood’ – both available here )

The word ‘celebrate’ comes from an ancient Greek word ‘melpo’ which means to sing, dance and praise!

There are many ways to celebrate your first blood- here are a few suggestions-

• Have a RED PARTY! Invite your friends and all dress in red, decorate your home with red flowers, red cloths and eat red foods!
• Have a ‘pamper party’ with your girlfriends, give each other facials, paint your toe nails, braid one another’s hair- create a special girlie space to share your stories and perhaps read some of the ones in this book. Light a candle and share chocolate!
• Create a ceremony – ask your mum and friends to help.
• Talk to your mum about the steps to becoming a woman- is there something you’d like to help you to feel more grown up- to get your ears pierced, have your hair henna’d, or maybe redecorate your room? Chat some ideas over with your mum.
• Make yourself a moon necklace or moon belt that you only wear when you bleed.
• Create a special corner in your room for when you bleed- decorate it with pictures, crystals, stones, shells, goddess statues, candles, incense…
• Ask your mum to buy you some red bedding- soft red sheets to curl up in at your moon time!
• Write a letter to yourself- from your ‘young woman’ self to your ‘child girl’ self, honour her for being courageous to be taking these steps in to womanhood with you! Keep this letter safe and read it now and again.
• Start a women’s circle- gather your girlfriends together once a month- on the full moon or dark moon and have a pamper party, or watch a dvd, listen to music or together create items for your altars or make moon jewellery!

© 2006 Rachael Hertogs, All Rights Reserved


RachadminMenarche, Menstrual Health, Moon Lodge/Red Tent

The Power of Menstruation Course

A space for women to explore feelings about their cycle, to reconnect, share and heal. The course will run over 8 weeks and will cover;

* Charting your cycle
* Making a menstrual medicine belt
* Natural remedies
* Chanting
* Visualisations
* Journaling
* Body consciousness
* Healing
* Ceremony

This course is run on a request only basis. Contact us for further information The cost will be £150 for the weekly course (this includes materials, weekly room hire, information sheets and herbal remedy/teas)

Soon to be avaliable as a correspondance course! Contact me if you are interested

Celebrating Menarche- A Journey into Womanhood

A wonderful opportunity for mums and daughters (aged 8-13) to spend some special time together!

Every Woman is a Daughter

‘The mother-daughter relationship is at the headwaters of every woman’s health. Our bodies, our beliefs about them were formed in the soil of our mothers emotions, beliefs and behaviours’ Dr Christiane Northrup

Join us as we explore and honour our daughters rites of passage. Learn about embracing our moontime, share stories, play, create and celebrate together! Collectively we will discover what has affected our attitudes towards our moontime and our bodies and we will remember and recreate our own menarche celebration.

This is the perfect workshop to book for a group of friends and their mums!

Contact us for further information

Moon Times on Blogs and in the News!

RachadminGuest Writings, Musings

Read about Moon Times on peoples Blogs:
One Green Earth
Womens Quest
Viva City Radio
My Zero Waste
Les Furies
still raising the next generation
Recycle This
selfconscious posturing
Questing Girl
Self Sufficientish
Living Ethically
Dreaming Aloud

Moon Times in The News!

Award from Aspire magazine:

The Spark Magazine:

The Source Magazine:

Sugar Magazine:

Bristol Evening Post:

Women who Make a Difference Award:Organic Life Magazine:


Red Tent Day

RachadminMenstrual Health, Moon Lodge/Red Tent

Calling all women young and old!

Red Tent Day

Sunday 4th May 11-4pm drop in any time

Boiling Wells Project, St Werburghs







Why have a red tent day? To create a sense of fun around menstruation, to encourage women to take charge of their menstrual and reproductive health, to create greater visibility of menstruation, to enhance honesty about menstruation in our relationships…

Join us as we connect with women world wide who are putting up red tents and moon lodges to honour our womanhood and our cycles and access support in healthy choices around contraception, bleeding and birth.

Bring books, altar items, candles, herb teas, food to share, wear red! There will be a red tent/moon lodge space to sit, be, talk, ask questions, share stories….the day will end with a simple ceremony.

Some therapies will be happening in the barn (for a small donation) and we will be joined in the Red Tent by some Women’s Health Advocates; Nicho Wooding trainee midwife, Anita Bennet– intelligent contraception and infertility, Dominique Sakoilsky– menstruation and birth, Angela Bosanquet local herbalist


Celebrating as part of ‘Menstrual Monday’…an initiative started a few years ago in the US. Hosted by Rachael Hertogs, creator of Moon Times washable pads and facilitator of Wise Women’s Workshops.

for more information , to help out or offer therapies contact Rachael

For info on Moon Times Pads see

Red Tent Day Programme of events:

Sunday 4th May 11-4pm

11 am decorating the moon lodge


12pm joined by Nicho Woodingtrainee midwife  offering a space to share about choices about ante natal care in the NHS

12pm herb walk with Angela Bosanquet- local herbalist

1pm joined by Anita Bennet-offering a space to share about intelligent contraception and infertility

2pm joined by Dominique Sakoilsky offering a space to share about menstruation and birth

3pm quiet time in the Red Tent

3.45pm closing ceremony

Therapies will be happening throughout the day in the barn


Suggested donation of £5 for tasters and £10 for half hour treatments


Alexander Technique, Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Massage, Healthy Eating and more…