We’Moon: Gaia Rhythms for Womyn is more than an appointment book, it’s a way of life! We’Moon is a lunar calendar and a handbook in natural rhythm, and born of international womyn’s culture. Art and writing by we’moon from many lands give a glimpse of the great diversity and uniqueness of a world we create in our own image. We’Moon is about womyn’s spirituality (spirit’ reality). We share how we live our truth, what inspires us, how we envision our reality in connection with the whole earth and all our relations.
We’moon means “women.” Instead of defining ourselves in relation to men (as in woman or female), we use the word we’moon to define ourselves by our primary relation to the natural sources of cosmic flow. We’moon means “we of the moon.” The Moon, whose cycles run in our blood, is the original womyn’s calendar. Like the Moon, we’moon circle the Earth. We are drawn to one another. We come in different shapes, colors and sizes. We are continually transforming. With all our different hues and points of view, we are one.
We’moon culture exists in the diversity and the oneness of our experience as we’moon. We honor both. We come from many different ways of life. At the same time, as we’moon, we share a common mother root. We are glad when we’moon from varied backgrounds contribute art and writing. When material is borrowed from cultures other than your own, we ask that it be acknowledged and something given in return. Being conscious of our sources keeps us from engaging in the divisiveness of either cultural appropriation (taking what belongs to others) or cultural fascism (controlling creative expression). We invite you to share how the “Mother Tongue” speaks to you, with respect for both cultural integrity and individual freedom.
Lunar Rhythms: Everything that flows moves in rhythm with the Moon. She rules the water element on Earth. She pulls on the ocean’s tides, the weather, female reproductive cycles and the life fluids in plants, animals and people. She influences the underground currents in earth energy, the mood swings of mind, body, behavior and emotion. The Moon’s phases reflect her dance with Sun and Earth, her closest relatives in the sky. Together, these three heavenly bodies weave the web of light and dark into our lives.
Gaia Rhythms: We show the natural cycles of the Moon, Sun, planets and stars as they relate to Earth. By recording our own activities side by side with those of other heavenly bodies, we may notice what connection, if any, there is for us. The Earth revolves around her axis in one day; the Moon orbits around the Earth in one month (291/2 days); the Earth orbits around the Sun in one year. We experience each of these cycles in the alternating rhythms of day and night, waxing and waning, summer and winter. The Earth/Moon/Sun are our inner circle of kin in the universe. We know where we are in relation to them at all times by the dance of light and shadow as they circle around one another.
The Eyes of Heaven: As seen from Earth, the Moon and the Sun are equal in size: “the left and right eye of heaven,” according to Hindu (Eastern) astrology. Unlike the solar-dominated calendars of Christian (Western) patriarchy, the We’Moon looks at our experience through both eyes at once. The lunar eye of heaven is seen each day in the phases of the Moon as she is both reflector and shadow, traveling her 291/2-day path through the zodiac. The solar eye of heaven is apparent at the turning points in the Sun’s cycle. The year begins with Winter Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere), the dark renewal time, and journeys through the full cycle of seasons and balance points (solstices, equinoxes and the cross-quarter days in between). The third eye of heaven may be seen in the stars. Astrology measures the cycles by relating the Sun, Moon and all other planets in our universe through the backdrop of star signs (the zodiac), helping us to tell time in the larger cycles of the universe.
Measuring Time and Space: Imagine a clock with many hands. The Earth is the center from which we view our universe. The Sun, Moon and planets are like the hands of the clock. Each one has its own rate of movement through the cycle. The ecliptic, a 17° band of sky around the earth within which all planets have their orbits, is the outer band of the clock where the numbers are. Stars along the ecliptic are grouped into constellations forming the signs of the zodiac—the twelve star signs are like the twelve numbers of the clock. They mark the movements of the planets through the 360˚ circle of the sky, the clock of time and space.
Whole Earth Perspective: It is important to note that all natural cycles have a mirror image from a whole earth perspective—seasons occur at opposite times in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and day and night are at opposite times on opposite sides of the Earth as well. Even the Moon plays this game—a waxing crescent moon in Australia faces right (e.g. ), while in North America it faces left (e.g.?). We’Moon uses a Northern Hemisphere perspective regarding times, holy days, seasons and lunar phases. We’moon who live in the Southern hemisphere may want to transpose descriptions of the holy days to match seasons in their area. We honor a whole earth cultural perspective by including, among the four rotating languarges for the days of the week, two from the Southern Hemisphere: Swahili (a pan-African language spoken primarily in East Africa) and Quechua (the most common Amerindian language, spoken primarily in the Andes).
Whole Sky Perspective: It is also important to note that all over the Earth, in varied cultures and times, the dome of the sky has been interacted with in countless ways. The zodiac we speak of is just one of many ways that hu-moons have pictured and related to the stars. In this calendar, we use the tropical zodiac.
Musawa © Mother Tongue Ink 2008
To learn more about We’Moon readers, we have, twice in 30 years, initiated a survey: once in 1999 (when 260 responded to a mailing enclosed with the Call for Contributions), and then recently in 2009 (when over 800 participated in a survey on our web page). Thank you all for taking the time to respond! To view the results of this survey you may download more information.