Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Moon of Inter-Relations

I certainly don’t suggest that any of you attempt to write a blog entry on the Moon of Inter-Relations while the Bachelorette plays in the back ground. I’m telling you between the Bachelor Pad, the Bachelorette and Big Brother we certainly don’t have too many good examples on how to inter-relate in a functional way. What is sad about these reality shows is that they actually, accurately describes the way young people relate to each other. I’ve seen lots of the issues that are shown on TV in my own living room. Don’t forget I’m the mother of two young adults (19 and 20 years old) and they have lots of friends and / or acquaintances…

When we learn about the Moons on the Medicine Wheel, we learn about our ego development. For lots of people ego simply implies that part of us that is arrogant, selfish, ambitious and competitive. Yet, according to Carl Jung and many shamanic traditions ego is crucial to human survival and is one of three parts that constitutes the soul. It’s absurd to look at ego as if it’s useless and destructive. It’s also a waste a time to attempt to get rid of ego; to ignore it; and to simply bury it deep under every other quality out there that we judge is more appropriate or would be more appreciated. If we actually open ourselves to explore the notion of ego and to define it according to experience we may actually be surprised by it’s basic value. Learning about ego through journeying with the Moons on the Medicine Wheel certainly helped me understand that ego is actually the journey that leads to the Goddess within.

Now, before you frown and cringe at this last statement and decide you’ve had enough hear me out. When I speak of the Goddess /or God within I’m not coming from a New Age perspective. I’m actually talking about inner power. We all know that a part of us is bigger than life and better than anything and anyone. Nobody on this planet can say that they haven’t at some point or another touched that part of themselves that believes they are great, incredible, amazing, special, unique, fabulous and perfect for the job! Traditionally we refer to this power as medicine. Elders and teachers have told us for thousands of years that every thing on Earth possesses power / medicine and that this light and / or darkness has an impact to its surroundings. We are influenced by the people and creatures around us as well as the Moon. The relationship that exists between people, creatures and stars with medicine is what we call inter-relations.

About a day before the Full Moon of Inter-Relations, GP came to me with a question:
“Did the men of the 19th century take off their hats every time they stepped in a building?”
“A church, a bank, a home…” he gave as examples.
“Yes,” I replied wondering about his line of questioning.

When silence reigned for a while, I decided to share the thoughts his question brought to mind. I told him that I found it pretty sad that in less than 60 years we (as the human race) were able to destroy centuries of decorum traditions and symbols of intricate inter-relation. We went from rigid etiquette to no etiquette at all. I remember being told by the nuns when I was in school that “no man likes to be belittled by a woman; but every man will fall in love with a woman who knows how to empower with subtleties.” My husband once said: “Was there really something wrong with men giving their seat to women; or opening doors for women; or making sure when walking on the sidewalk that the women stood on the inside protected from the street, the cars and the filth?” Why is it that with the feminist movement came the total destruction of what some called “civilized behaviour?”

On the Medicine Wheel we look at 36+ perspectives. For every question, every issue, every topic we explore there are 36+ points of view and according to the Wheel we haven’t touched truth or reality until we’ve explored most of these perceptions. With each new insight we open up new understanding and we touch new awareness. The idea behind the Sacred Circle Tradition is that we realize that every story offers a multitude of teachings, lessons, healing, understanding etc… Judgment is part of the process but only to bring us to the bottom of a perception. Become rigid with your judgment and you’ve cheated yourself and others of consciousness. I often suggest to the people who come to me for answers or guidance to open themselves up to the unknown and new perspective. More often than not we find what is ours where we least expect it.

Yesterday, my daughter and I spent half an hour cutting sweet grass in the garden and then, once the mosquitoes came out we spent the remaining of the evening wetting and braiding the sweet grass that had dried up in the garage. I’ve been enjoying dusk these days because of health issues. It’s been interesting and most probably a whole other blog entry… All this to say that during our short time together last night, my daughter shared many of her personal stories, most of them relating to relationship issues. During our conversation I pointed out that her words were attached to the action of sweet grass harvesting and that the answers to her relationship questions were hiding there too.

For example, my daughter believes whole heartedly that if she cuts and braids sweet grass on a Full Moon she’ll be more connected to the Earth and hence, will be healthier as a woman. Her menstrual cycle, her ovaries, her uterus and her potential to be fertile will be assured. She learnt a long time ago that sweet grass is the hair of our Mother and that it’s also an old connection that us women have to our Grand-Mother (the Moon) and our Mother (the Earth). Grand-Mother, Mother and Daughter are the different parts of the soul like Moons, Totems and Ancestors that we also often talk about in Shamanism. It doesn’t matter which trio we decide to explore, it will always bring us back to a soul self-discovery. My daughter also believes that if she cares for the braids of Mother Earth, than in return her own braids will be cared for. Yes! She believes that her hair will grow healthy and long because of this ritual. She’s been confirmed year after year that this is true. Synchronically, just a few days before the Full Moon two of K’s friends said in front of a full room of witnesses: “My God your hair is long and beautiful. My hair has never been so long and my hair color has never been so beautiful. How do you do it?” Even after K admits that it’s all about how she inter-relates with the sweet grass she’s never convinced anyone to come and join her in the field.

“Why is it?” K has often asked “that people don’t believe in ritual, tradition and simple, beautiful gestures even -- to improve their life and the life of those they love?”

Through our evening discussion, K understood that lots of her issues with D were connected to the slow development of feminine and masculine power. She said: “We lack knowledge. It’s as if the good in us doesn’t know how to emerge or gets sabotaged by those parts of us who are immature and wounded. It’s a constant battle between the child and the adult in us. I find sometimes that we’ll never be able to relate to each other because nobody shows us what is right or wrong and we keep doing the wrong thing.” She pointed out that often her relationship works because she’s applied what we’ve (daughter/mom) talked about. “Your stories mom,” she admitted “are like a manual on relationships for me. Lots of what you say really works.” I couldn’t help but shrug as if to say: “It’s good to know that all that learning can be useful.”

Impressed with how much wisdom is concealed in our physical body and released through all kinds of unconscious movements and actions. K also voiced out at some point that “she wished to be more attentive and more fluent in her own body language as well as knowledgeable of what we call of ancestral, sacred hoop stories.”
“Why be filled with so much useless knowledge in college,” she asked “when what is absolutely important is never said?” Both my children have often voiced out that they know more than most when it comes to human behaviour and that they often feel like their relationships are about teaching and re-educating. They’ve often wished for me to write a book or give more lectures in schools on topics of sex, touch, and relationships – according to the Medicine Wheel. They seem to think that where I went wrong was when I taught them and nobody else…

Definitely this Moon of Inter-Relations is asking us to look at symbols of inter-relations. How do we express our feelings, our insecurities, our intolerance, our mistrust etc… through our words and actions? Do people still read these subtle messages and how do they react to them? Are the reactions conscious or unconscious? How can we improve our relationships by simply getting more fluent in body language? So far and it’s only been a few days – the Moon of Inter-Relations is asking us to look at the concept of symbols of inter-relations. When men tipped their hats or took their hats off for example, they showed that they respected women; respected the homes of the people they loved; showed presence to others; and open themselves to sharing and trusting. In one small gesture they spoke of profound values. Women kept their eyes averted to empower the men; to show humility and vulnerability; to gives a space for listening; and to show that they could be present and generous towards others. Simple symbols of inter-relations could trigger in people the power of their inner Goddess and God.
Do we still have such symbols of inter-relations still alive today? Could we re-imagine some? Do you think we could help the young people, the generation of tomorrow to be healthier in their relationships just by giving them stories that empower and that inspire? Where does it start? When? And most of all how?

This is the theme and the message of the Moon of Inter-Relations – Aug. 2010


Michelle said...

I read this post last night but I went to bed dreaming about how we use our bodies to communicate...I think in society today we are disconnected more and more teens are glued to a video machines or a cell phone and they do not interact even looking into someone's eyes. In my dream I was making people talk to each other and hold hands....I notice there is a comfort level with people its like we need to re program our minds to become attached to our bodies, I think we start to change things when we change ourselves, remind ourselves to work at being healthier. Great Post!

ChristyDeer said...

I grew up with a grandmother who had had extensive etiquette training as a teenager. As I greww up she shared a lot with me, and I still use a lot of it to this day.

A lot of people my age think I'm pretty serious and boring...often too straight-laced. Then I really surprise them with a swear word if I'm really angry.

To me it seems the vulgarity I use only every now and again holds more power coming from me. It strikes the people who hear it even though they use the same kind of vulgarity daily.

This post brought up a lot of thoughts for me.

Wapeyit Malsom said...


I do hope you share some of your thoughts with us as you continue to explore the topic all through this month.

Thank you for sharing about your grand-mother. I could feel her Spirit through your text. Sounds like she was one of the natural impacts in your life.


ChristyDeer said...

Yes she was! Actually all my grandparents were, they were quite young when I was born so were a big part of my life.

One story that I seem to be telling a lot during this moon is actually about my grandfather (husband to said grandmother). He was a microbiologist and worked on improving fertilizers and farming techniques. One thing I noticed as a child was that his gardens were always amazing! I noticed that nothing was ever planted in the same place each year. I later discovered that he was rotating his garden. He knew which plants took from the soil and which plants gave to the soil. The plants were interrelating in the soil thanks to what my grandfather knew!

I hope to use this same kind of knowledge of give and take as I work on my skills of organizing people and events at the Tai Chi Society, which is a whole new experience for me....

Thanks so much for your Blog Okwaho!

4cougar said...

Sometimes the simple act of asking a man to help me undo a clasp on my dress, I feel, wakes up this moment of vulnerability, inter-relation and value in the masculine-feminine relationship. Sometimes I make a point of asking for the help because I like this moment and it has an impact on the moments to follow. Thanks for discussing this topic. Hau