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Full Moon News…

 Hello Dear Hearts  

Once again the moon passed before I sent this out to you! I seem to be full of energy but also of activity as I ride the the moon cycles…and its not
until the descent begins that I get to share my writings….So here we are
again meeting under a disseminating moon…

And the theme for this month is….drum roll please… Vulva’s and Vagina’s. How my family love it when I post on all things vaginal! Well things are
just going to keep on ramping up because as I said in my last newsletter,
it’s “About Bloody Time,” we changed the story of shame and disgust to
celebration and sacredness. We are reclaiming and re imagining She. We are celebrating Life. But before I launch into that here is an update on
Whats On.  I hope you can feel the revolutionary impulse and will join us for some of these She celebrations, activities and ways.  
What’s On
 Sacred Women’s Circle – September 19, Carnegie
Spring Equinox Dance  Sunday 22nd September, Carnegie
MoonSong – Menstrual & Cyclical Wisdom Workshop, 19 October
Sacred Women’s Circle – 24 October, Carnegie 
One Day Drum Making Workshop – Saturday 26th October, Carnegie
Two Day Drum Making Workshop – 9 & 10 November, Peace Farm, YJ
Sacred Women’s Circle – 21 November, Carnegie
Connecting with your Medicine Drum Circle, Friday 22 November,
Opening Gathering- 4 Seasons Journey Vic Otways, 6-8 December 
 (bookings and more information are embedded in the links. so click
Here’s me with a ceramic yoni gifted to me by Deborah Kantor
So I’ve launched my very own you tube channel…whoo ooo, where I will talk on many things relating to HER, to She, the the Feminine in all her
Diversity but I begin with the Vagina Talks! And as you will hear, I’m
particularly interested in the language we use for our sex, for our
reproductive organs and how this shapes our relationship to our bodies.  So go and have a listen! 

I want to reflect on the word vagina – and some other names we give our pussies! I like pussy. Why , because Its sounds soft and yet
undomesticated, a bit like the cat!

So let’s look at some of the names we give our vagina… fanny, front
bottom, noonie, vag, yah yah, la la, cunt, private parts, genitals, sex
organs, yoni, and my thing down there! Just to name a few. And some of
these may feel derogatory and/ or empowering depending upon whose
saying them. How do you feel about these words? What do you call your vulva? your vagina, your womb? Are you comfortable with your names, and your body?

For a long time cunt has been the worst possible swear word. Call
someone that and its seen to be about as low as you can go.  But I have
come to love this word. Cunt. Why? Partly because we are reclaiming it
from the derogatory swear bin, lifting it up to its rightful place as the
Sacred Source of Life. And I can do this because I have learnt a bit about where the word comes from…Uma Dinsmore Tulli shares her knowing
on cunt.  In this video, On the History of the Word Cunt, she shares a
couple of really important points about the word cunt.

Firstly unlike the word vagina, cunt refers to the whole genital region in women, it is our vulva, our vagina, our clitoris, our cervix, and our
womb….So it is one of the only words to actually be complete in that
sense. Secondly it comes from the root word of Ken, which is to know,
related to connen, or cunnen,  so a cunt is related to that deep bodily
wisdom….And it also has relationship to words like kindness. So lets start reclaiming this beautiful powerful word, and our beautiful powerful
cunts!  Check out the Video and let me know what you think. 

It’s hard to talk about the Vagina Talks without reference to Eve  Ensler’s amazing body of work, The Vagina Monologues. So here’s a snippet from her.
Sacred Sex

And it comes with a warning because you will cry, you will be triggered,
you will be remembering the countless ways in which women, our bodies and our vaginas are harmed & tortured on a daily basis. Let the tears
come, let the grief come, feel your feelings, so that the river of you can
continue to flow freely, so that the sacred source of life that is you, can
flow freely.

Our cultures are not kind to our cunts, our sacred sex. And yet as I share kindness is related to the root word Ken, also the root word for cunt….So I’m calling for Kindness, for Kindness to Cunts everyday in everyway….Here’s to celebrating our cunts….

And that requires each of us, to be gentle and compassionate to
ourselves, to rally against the dominant discourse, those voices that
would have us shame ourselves, those voices that we internalize….which keep us small, and stop us from stepping into our true power.

A beautiful recent film documents artist Laura Dodsworth as she
photographs and interviews  18 British women (across culture, age, and
gender identity) about their relationship to their cunts.  I was really
inspired  by this film.  It shows the complex, often joyful and painful
relationships we have with our bodies, It’s well worth a look.  Check it out on SBS on Demand.
A still from the movei, 100 Vagina’s available on SBS On Demand
Interestingly,the word Vagina is used in the title of the film, when really
the vagina is a specific part of the body…Vagina has become “synonymous with all things down there”. Its seems to be a bit more acceptable than
cunt! and even than vulva. But vulva rolls around in the mouth in a more sensuous way, and perhaps that its problem! And when you look at its
history, the word vulva actually refers to the womb (latin volva & maybe earlier volvere, to wrap, revolve) so there is even some confusion here. Which for writer and activist H Learner is problematic. She says,  The
persistent misuse of the word “vagina” for everything “down there”
impairs the girl’s capacity to develop an accurate and differentiated
representation or “map” of her internal and external genitals. The fact
that the girl’s own exploration of her genitals is not corroborated by
accurate language also creates body shame and anxiety about sexuality.”*

So another challenge is to be a bit more specific about the parts of our
bodies that we are referring too, whilst also looking for new words, words that are empowering. Cunt is a special word, because it is one of the few words that refers to all aspects of our reproductive/sexual anatomy
( i even find it hard to generalize the area in language that feels useful) .

So to go back to basics, the vulva is the outer part we can actually see,
with the labia majora, minora, clitoris, hair, pubic mound and the
entrance to the vagina. Whereas the vagina is that beautiful muscular
tubular organ that connects the vulva to the entrance of the womb. 
Vulvas, are the part we most often see…..Although having said that, many women have not seen their own vulvas. The authors of About Bloody
Time highly recommend that we all do,  they say

“We can’t overstate how important it is to do this if you can! Sit in front of a large mirror, or hold a small one, to get to know the important and
powerful part of your body, your sex life, your sexual health, your
childbirth experience, and es your menstruation and menopause could
all be seriously improved as a result.”


So go get those mirrors ladies.!  And while you do remember just how
different each woman’s vulva, vagina, cunt is! The film 100 vagina
depicts this, as does some of the amazing #vulvaart on instagram. Check out the hashtag and see some really beautiful  images.There are some
great sites celebrating the diversity and beauty of vulvas…

It is really important for us to recognise just how unique each vulva is. Too often women feel that their vulva is somehow wrong, doesn’t fit the
model…and while there is a general shaping they are vastly different, so please go and have a look at some of the amazing resources out there
remembering that diversity is key here…just as in nature, diversity rocks! There are so many varieties- they are all actually quite different, and so it is important as always to really recognize and celebrate this difference.  

Max Dashu- Sacred Vulva Poster
Numinous Females

And if you want to see difference you need look no further than the
sacred art of the ancients- those peoples across the globe who knew  the
vulva was a sacred portal. Max Dashu’s beautiful poster depicts sacred
ancient vulvas, across cultures and time. When we research these times, we find that not only we our bodies sacred, but sex was too.  Priestesses of the temples were involved in ritual sex, and it is really hard to fathom that in this culture, its hard to understand just how sacred sex was, but
its worth reconsidering, and reflecting on what has been lost with the
loss of sacred sexuality.

Not surprisingly the drum, and female drummers were an important
part of these sexual rites. But with the rise of the patriarchal religions
including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, women, and our bodies were
denigrated.  Our sacredness denied. We were silenced and shamed.
Layne Redmond’s book is an excellent resource for understanding the
ways in which the oppression came, and importantly what came before, When the Drummers Were Women.  She traces the history of the drum
its beginnings its flourishing and its demise, when women were banned from playing the drum. And with the loss of the drum , came a deeper
loss. Redmond says, 

“by banning the drum, the patriarchal religions that suppressed the
Goddess cut off our access to significant parts of our own psyche. They
destroyed psychological and spiritual techniques that had been used for many thousands of years.”

We are still reeling from this loss from our deep connection to sacred
rhythms. But we are remembering, and we are reclaiming these ancient techniques and tools. We are being moved by this deep swelling of
feminine energy. She is descending into Her power, and she is rising
anew. Do you feel her call, the thrumming and drumming of her rhythms in you?

Planetary Dance- Elwood 2018
Birthing A Drum and Her Ancient Rhythms
I feel the call. I feel and know the deep excitement of connecting with the earth, the feminine, and the more than human world each time i pick up and play my drum, or as s/he plays me!  Women are returning to the drum. This sacred instrument is calling to women all across the globe. Women are remembering their ancestral stories, the cosmic rhythms that were played in honour of the earth, and our sacred cycles.

If you are feeling the call please join us in one of our upcoming Drum Making Workshops, or the year long women’s mysteries Four Seasons Journey. Two spaces in the Two Day Workshop have recently become available,and there are a couple more places in our One Day Drum Making Workshop.  Birthing a drum is birthing another drummer- yourself back into the world, a world desperate for the renewal of sacred rhythms of She. 

One Day Drum Making Workshop with Priestess your Life & Embodiments Dance

A testimonial from a woman who birthed her drum with us at Peace

“My first drumming took place two weeks after the workshop.  I walked until I found the spot, kicked off my shoes and drummed. It was the most amazing and profound experience and yes, I had a primordial knowing which resonated back through time and space each time I struck my drum. The whole experience was not alien to me, in fact it made perfect sense.  Since, I have continued to understand why my birth story and its place in my continued journey of healing at this time.  Sara S

And from a woman at the One Day….

The day was beautifully guided and facilitated by Sarah and Viv, deeply wise and nurturing women . The creation of my medicine drum was intimate and powerful. I am in awe of this beautiful instrument and the tone.   Vicky K

Altar, Otways Four Seasons Journey Vic 2019
Shamanic Womancraft

And if you want to experience a drum journey, come along to a workshop by  Nymh Fox and me, Shamanic Womancraft: An Introduction. In this
two hour workshop we share some of the ways of Shamanic Womancraftwoman, of how we live as best as we can with the rhythms and cycles of
this blessed earth our home, of how we are drumming, and singing and
sistering ourselves back home to this world….This 2 hour workshop

*An introduction to the women’s mysteries, to cyclical living with the seasons, the moon and your own cycling body.

*The deep nourishment and magic of being part of a sacred women’s

*A drum journey to meet your power animal- the medicine you need

The session will be led by Nymh Fox and Sarah Bird Miller- (that’s me!)
Co teachers of the Vic Otways, Four Seasons Journey in 2020. This is a
year long earth based spiritual journey creating and maintaining deep
connection with our bodies, our sisters, the earth and the Divine
Reminder to contact Sequoia for more information on the Four Seasons
Beautiful image by Holly Sierra. I love this woman’s work and her Tarot Deck!
Dancing Ourselves Home
And when the drums play, the women begin to dance again.

 I am delighted to announce I will be holding another Dance. A Spring
Equinox Dance- a dance of restoration, or balance, with the re-emegence
of the Feminine from the depths of the darkness. 

In this dance we soften and open to what wants to arise in us.  We soften and open to what movements and expression is emerging in and
through us. There are no steps to follow, rather it is the wisdom of your
moving body, of your womb/heart, that leads us on and in the dance.

Through dance we can awaken the spirit, and connect to self. We can
honour the divine aspect of consciousness within us all.  Join us in  some
joyous heartfelt dance -the promise and potentiality of spring is all
around and within. 

Sunday 22 September
10.00 to 11.30 am
El Camino Wellness Centre
102 Grange Rd,
Carnegie 3163 

TreeSisters Image
A Poem For YouThis is a poem to listen to. Listen to Clare DuBois and her poem,
What if I said Yes to the Moon

Clare is the founder of TreeSisters…If you read my newsletter you will know about this organisation to reforest the world, and to help us become a restorer species. Blessings on this work and way.

To become a TreeSister, CLICK HERE.Register (FREE) for the TreeSisters Full Moon Online Retreats with Clare Dubois. Something becomes
possible when women gather consciously in deep presence with each
other. Our moon calls are an invitation to embody all that you are as a
woman of the Earth. Gather with our global circle of sisterhood each full moon to relax into nurturing Nature connection together. Journey to a
Billion Trees: that’s all for me for this month
Many Blessings on you!

Sarah  xxx

* Lerner, H. (Jul. 2, 2003) Practicing `psychic genital mutilation.’ Chicago Tribune, Sect., WomanNews, Chicago, Ill.
Pickering K & Bennet J, About Bloody Time, Vic Women’s Trust
Redmond, L, When The Drummers Were Women, 


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