Since the age of fifteen years old when I started my first menses it was always irregular, skipping months and years with no bleeding. I went to Western Doctors and received test to find my hormones were all at the proper level. They told me I would have to be on birth control the rest of my life to regulate my cycles. I took the birth control for a few weeks and had so many side effects. This is when I chose to seek out alternative methods to nourish and transform the root of the problem. It was a twenty one year journey of looking at the physical, emotional and ancestral layers that were causing the imbalance, peeling away one layer at a time.
One and a half years ago I went to India, listening to my innate wisdom to bring my cycles into harmony with my higher wisdom. I embarked upon a thirty day Panchakarma, which is a series of therapies specific to your constitution that incorporate all aspects of healing spiritual, cellular, karmic, physical and strengthening the life force. The second day upon my arrival I started my moon cycle out of the blue, during this time we had to stop therapies until I was done bleeding. At this time my Ayurvedic Doctor informed me that for three days I was not allowed to do anything except just be in the beauty of my moon time. In parts of India the woman do not cook or work during the first three days of their moon time. I knew this would be my biggest challenge as I explained to him that "I usually feel so much energy when I start bleeding and tend to work harder during this time of the month. He looked at me with a grin and said "its good to look at how much of this story is in your mind?" I was quiet and reflected on his statement for three days. And he was correct! the conditioning and stories I created around my cycle were deeply embedded in how I perceived women and I was able to see how It was another way I repressed my femininity and by working harder I could mask my creative wisdom that would come through during this time, I always felt it was a sense of weakness in my body to not be able to show up and perform, so my masculine energy would be on overdrive creating a false energy so I could power through. This was creating a fierce, aggressive, masculine energy in my womb. There has been lifetimes of unraveling these stories but by sharing my story I hope to help and shed light to the process of birth we go through every month. Since I left India I have been having 25-28 day cycles every month and I love when the sacred window opens, the light becomes clear and the softness washes over me, but we must allow it.
I am living in Peru writing this three days into my moon cycle, writing from a inward space, writing to send light to those who are needing or wanting support during this sacred time we get to experience in a women's body. If we dont bleed each month then it means we are not healthy and this can lead to early stages of diabetes. PMS is not normal, pain is not normal, all the symptoms we have been told we get during our cycle is not normal. All imbalances can be reversed, it takes time and dedication. What is normal is to take the time to create your own red tent, cave or space to reflect. The two days before you bleed and first three days of bleeding are very sacred and crucial for women. When a women allows her life to flow around her cycles then the time and space will open like a beautiful flower blossom, the sacred window will start flourishing. When I left India I committed to the fire and myself to always take two-three days to rest, by doing this I was able to stop resisting the flow of life, then my schedule naturally became lighter around my moon time. It's a gift to go inward and not be out in the world using energy in a masculine way. This potent energy is needed to access our creativity, to listen to our dreams, sing, be playful, lay in the sun, take flower baths and journal. This creative energy can be the vessel to formulate and write down new ideas or projects. A time to envision what you want in your life. My life has completely changed once I softened into the process of resting and it never came easy, I resisted my inner rhythms for half my life and now I know how crucial the sacred window is for guiding my life and if I don't take the space to listen then the clarity usually does not arrive for me and I feel overwhelmed with simple task.
What a blessing it is to be given a time when the veils are thin, if we allow it then we can all access this potent power that resides in all of us. This is how we can reclaim our power as women to heal the shame, to heal the guilt, to stop apologizing for all the blood we offer every month.
Have you ever observed that your dreams are more vivid and clear before your moon time or during? listen deeply.
Do you feel more open and sensitive to other energies during this time?
This is your intuition giving you messages to listen deeper, your innate wisdom.
What can you shift in your life to allow time for the wisdom to be channeled?
Have you ever thought your sensitivity and wanting to be inward is a weakness? this is your intuition
Listen to the fire within.
Tierra mi cuerpo
Agua mi sangre
Aire mi aliento
Y fuego mi espiritu
I learned this song when the plants guided me to my first plant spirit training. We would sing the song during spiritual plant limpias (cleanings) and when we would harvest plants. It always spoke to me in a deep way. A prayer to the elements called out to my own inner elements, a yearning to deepen my relationship with Mother nature and all her fierce, yet gentle teachings. Over the years I noticed each soul journey I took was bringing up a element that wanted to be integrated. I started with air and ether, balancing the ungrounded winds that would sweep me away. The last element I am integrating is fire and its been the longest journey, that has given me the most potent and hardest challenges but well worth it!
I have always loved fire even at a young age, I remember staring into the camp fires and being sent into a deep trance, as if there was a void all around me, sounds would dissipate and I would become the fire. As I got older starting a fire became a challenge that brought up so much anger, rage, anxiety, nervous tension, a overwhelmed feeling or I would freeze. I was aware that the fire brought up so much for me and I didn't know how to work with the element in a healing way. When I was in Peru I was in charge of starting the fire every morning so I could cook breakfast. I would dread waking up to the tension that people were depending on me to start the flame, as soon as I would get the flame started it would go out and after numerous tries I would give up.
Four years ago I had a deep yearning to learn and understand temazcal ceremonies with a teacher in Mexico. This certainly was the hook to have me face the fire once again and connect to the fire element! When it came time for me to light the fire for the temazcal my teacher looked at me and said I was not ready "you still have too much anger to heal before working with the temazcal, you may be able to light the fire but the wind of anger comes behind and blows the fire out." Her words sat with me for a few more years, I kept attracting situations where I was asked to light the fire. I learned how to do agnihotra ceremonies at my yoga training and worked through alot of layers with the fire. I practiced every morning for a month to make a fire with cow dung and ghee in a copper pyramid. I still found my stomach turning at the thought of lighting a fire, to face what I wanted to transform. I started praying to the fire to help me, so I started rising early to practice making fires in my home, where I could go at my own pace, building trust and confidence with myself.
In November I had a friend who moved to Antigua, Guatemala, a place that has never been on my radar. But something deep within was calling me, so I went on another soul journey and bought a one way ticket to Guatemala. She was the hook to get me there. I was in search to meet Mayan elders who I could learn from and be involved in earth based ceremonies. I was led to the elders after a fall that resulted in breaking my right wrist. When I was treated by a Doctor in Antigua I knew I had to seek out a traditional bone setter to correct the malpractice. I was led to Nan Chila through a friend who was connected with a Mayan family that led me to the bone setter. It really was pure magic how it happened. The night I arrived to the bone setters house I immediately felt her fire energy and healing energy. She counted on her fingers to determine my Mayan sign and number, so that she could see my soul path and look at why the accident may of happened. I was immediately adopted by two separate families who carry the Mayan lineage of the Ancestors, they have been a stable rock as I continue to heal. They recommended I do a personal fire ceremony to clear any karmas from the past, so that I could move forward on my path and relieve me from any future accidents. This was the first fire ceremony I attended that was personalized and where I felt deeply connected to my ancestors and adopted ancestors. At this moment I knew my connection to my own fire element was being liberated. I stood at the fire and wept, all the anger left me; for the first time I received the fire as a potent ally, where I was ready to transmute all old believes from the past.
The fire was asking me to set down my baggage and be done carrying the heaviness. To be free and ask for strength to receive, a stern message that now is not the time to be giving. I celebrated my 37th year face to face with the fire element. A week later I found myself at my healers house while a fire ceremony was about to happen and then I kept getting invited to more. I showed up and faced every flame, resting on my knees, kissing the earth with so much gratitude. These potent experiences will continue to be a part of my life. I still cry for every flame, seeing all the woman healers who were burned for knowing the wisdom of nature. For all the ancestors that stepped into the fire, carving the path for many woman to bring forth the medicine. For now I lay the battle within to rest and ask for grace and determination to transmute the history of our woman. Yet this time we wont be burned at the stake for communing with mother nature nor the elements. I invite you to meditate on a vision you are trying to birth. Sit with it for 30 days and feed the intention into a candle or fire. See what is transmuted, you may be very surprised at the results. Call in your ancestors or adopted ancestors to stand around you in a circle and receive the gifts with your left hand.
A dove from my heart, Sondra
Art: The Three Sisters by Jackie Traverse
My travels to Peru have always left me with a deep yearning to share more of the Andean wisdom with others, connecting even deeper with all the elements. The seed of envisioning a intimate journey to Peru has been incubating for a while when I was first introduced to Q'ero Andean wisdom. I was drawn to the deep connection the Q'ero have with nature, how they maintain reciprocity and balanced relationships with the cosmic (mother) universe and all the elements. How the simple act of giving offerings to the earth can bring harmony to the mystical and spiritual body.
The 1st seed that awakened in me after my first visit to Peru over 7 years ago was the connection I felt with the medicinal plant world, how every plant was connected to the stones, to the earth, the cosmos and the living energy of the universe. The 2nd seed that awakened after I studied herbalism was 3 years ago when I found a Yoga and Ayurveda training where I lived and went through a very deep spiritual rewiring and shift in consciousness. I was led there at a time when I was abandoning my body and physically exhausted. The program was very much focused on getting in your body through yoga, breathwork and meditation. By using Ayurvedic principles I slowly was able to come into balance and become more earthed in the soil and centered in my spirit. The 3rd seed that awakened in me was when I went to India this summer in 2018. I immersed myself in a 26 day panchakarma in a Ayurvedic hospital away from chatter, internet, responsibilities etc. During this time it was the most nourished I had ever felt, allowing to receive was the hardest lesson. Everyday felt like a profound spiritual and physical ceremony. I could see and feel emotional toxins becoming dislodged from the darkest areas. As a result a force of will power arose from deep within, it took weeks for me to become accustomed to a strong force of creative energy that was flowing through me. It felt as if all the seeds were screaming to be watered and nourished.
I left India with a willpower that took over my whole being, I came back to the states and knew I had to really follow all the dreams I had shot down or told myself I could not do in previous times. Here I am sharing this dream with you and inviting you to sit in sacred space among the mountain spirits of Peru. A place where you can fully earth into the energies in a grounded and supported container, by remembering what seeds may be dormant inside you. Are you walking your soul purpose out? Are you yearning to develop the seeds of wisdom you have planted? Reawaken your seeds for embodiment in a 6 day culture immersion with Q'ero elders or choose to do the full 13 day journey where we will visit two sacred mountains that can create movement and alignment in your life.
Together we will birth a vision.
Birth a dream into fruition.
"Lets make the earth our church and protecting it our religion"
The more I dig deeper into Curanderismo I start to see so many parallels to Ayurveda. Any practice or lineage that is rooted in nature and the elements will contain similar alignments. It all comes down to the core essence within the teachings of nature. I first started learning about Curanderismo eight years ago, when I met Estela Roman who continues to teach me about spiritual immunity and the nature of the winds. Alongside that time I was just starting to become curious about the practices of Ayurveda. I recently got to spend time with Estela at a healers gathering with fifteen other woman to dig deeper into how we can create resources in movement, and the stages of our growth in the Aztec lineage. She explained the elements and emotional winds that are being cultivated at a specific age.
Age birth-13 is when we are in relationship with the earth element. Laughing, we cry more to build connection, learning to walk upright, we are softer in this phase of life. In Ayurveda birth-20 is the time of the water and earth element kapha dosha.
Age 14-26 is when we are building our connection with the water element. We look deeper into our life, produce more water, tears, develop intellect and heal the Mother relationship. In Ayurveda 20-50 is the pitta years the fire and water element when we transform and create what we desire to generate in or lives.
Age 27-39 is when we are in relationship with the wind element, the growth of who we are, inner voice, resolve repressed intellectual growth, emotional intelligence develops. When we are able to look at our emotional winds that reside in our thirteen joints and allow space for transformation.
Age 40-beyond is when we are in relationship with the ether element, our intuition, trusting our inner voice, following our heart. When the spiritual cosmic connection is made. In Ayurveda 50-beyond is the vata time of life, air and ether element, when we begin to have a deeper understanding of our spiritual path, our intuition is developed and we trust ourselves fully.
The thirteen emotions/aires that reside in the thirteen joints are: trauma, fright, fear, sadness, anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, envy, jealousy, selfishness, lost and resentment. The elements present in each age group are there to support the healing and transmutation of the aires. This is why emphasis is placed on the joints during body work to release emotional and physical pain in the body. In Ayurveda there is a focus on the joints and moving the lymph where old stagnant emotions reside. Massaging oil on the joints in a circular direction assist in secreting fluid from the lymph nodes by releasing emotional toxins and circulating blood flow.
By working with the joints energy can be moved and the client can begin to have a dialog with the winds/aires that are being released from the joints. A simple yet powerful massage technique can provide the client with more space and depth to continue the healing process and become the cosmic basket of their true nature.