In ancient times, before writing was common, events were

recorded through songs. Sitting by the fires in the evenings, each

tribe or community remembered events that occurred through

singing the "chronicle on"." Births, deaths, marriages, seasonal

changes, celebrations and special hardships were the verses of the

community song. Each verse was like a chapter of a story, telling

of one activity in a series of events that affected the growth of the

tribe or community. These songs had many verses and could last

for hours or even days. 


There were also chronicle songs that told of the wisdom of the

Ancestors and preserved the sacred knowledge of healing as well

as rites of passage ceremonies. These songs were perhaps sung

during special ceremonies to initiate new keepers of wisdom and

were the vehicle trough which the sacred knowledge could be

remembered and passed own to future generations. 


When visitors arrived, or when tribes or communities gathered

together, the chronicle songs were the way that information was

shared. entire histories were sung by the people around the fires.

The songs of wisdom were continually changing, as new

experiences and knowledge became part of the verses. 


I have chosen to use the format of the chronicle to present this

Wisdom given to me by the Ancient Grandmothers. At this time,

our Mother Earth is in need of new keepers of women's wisdom

so that the Bleeding Lodges may again come together. The songs I

share here tell the story of Women's Wisdom that comes from our

wombs and the rites of passage that attune our lives with the larger

cycles of the Mother. I sing them through the pages of this

book so that the sacred knowledge can be remembered and given

to our daughters.


These songs, too, will change and grow, as the Bleeding Lodges

return to bring healing to our planet.





In ancient times, the women's Bleeding Lodge was a structure set

apart from the rest of the community where women would go to

dream and communicate with the Ancestors when they were

bleeding. Since life follows the cycles of the Earth and the Moon,

activities of our Ancient Ancestors also closely followed the cycles

of the Earth and Moon. The women all cycled together, ovulating

at the full Moon and bleeding at the new Moon. 


When women started to bleed, they left their homes and families

to go to the sacred introspective space of the Bleeding Lodge. The

Lodge was honored and respected by the entire community, for

the dreams and visions of the bleeding women brought vital

survival information such as planting and healing knowledge and

guidance on community relations. When there were questions that

needed to be answered, the women would go to the Lodge and ask

the Ancestors. All questions were always answered by the Ancient

Ancestors. The entire community benefited through the powerful

gifts of the women's bleeding cycle. 


Since our Ancient Grandmothers probably all bled together, many

women shared the Womb Lodge at one time. Ceremonies to honor

our womb cycles, celebrate the cycles of the Earth and Moon, and

rites of passage were developed by these women from visions and

dreams during their bleeding times in the Sacred Lodge. These

traditions were passed dow in the initiatory rites of the Blood

Lodge from mother to daughter. 


As our current culture has separated us so far from honoring the


cycles of the Earth and Moon, these ancient women's rites have

become almost forgotten. But, as we granddaughters of these

an cient women dream during our bleeding cycles, fragments of their

powerful honoring and healing ceremonies fill our spirits. We

know that there is a wisdom within our wombs that is our birthright.

The spirits of the Ancient Ones have returned to teach us ways

of honoring and healing the Earth. It is no coincidence that these

Grandmothers are feeding our dreams at this time when the Earth

is in dire need of the healing ceremonies of the Blood Lodges. We

must return to the old ceremonies of honoring if we want to heal

ourselves and our planet. The answers to our survival questions

will come through the Blood Lodges.


During our bleeding times, our Grandmothers can help us

remember ancient ceremonies, wisdom and rites of passage. We

must remember to ask, and they will teach us. The Ancient

Ancestors know all the answers and they will help us remember

everything we need to know, just as they helped our Ancestors.


Our Blood Lodges today are not usually a particular physical

place but more an attitude of community that occurs whenever

women come together in any Sacred Space to honor and celebrate

our bleeding cycle. So, we make our womb-space wherever we

meet . . a spare room in someone's house, in the basement of a local

church or YWCA, or any private outdoor place where women can

be safe and uninterrupted.


The Bleeding Lodge is when women come together to celebrate

the ancient ceremonies of honoring our bleeding cycles,

communicating with the ancestors, sharing our gifts and

passing the women's wisdom on to our daughters. The Lodge reminds

us that we live within the cycles of the Earth and Moon. When we honor

our wombs, we honor the Great Mother. Remembering and recreating

these ancient ceremonies will bring right relation to all children

of Earth. Perhaps, eventually, Bleeding Lodges will once again

become respected women's places in our communities.




My womb cycles are the cycles of my life. My womb teaches me

of my body and spirit and the connections I have with all of my

relations and our Mother, the Earth. My womb is the center of

my creativity and the place where my Guardian Spirit speaks. It is

here in my womb space, the core of my being, where I learn and



My womb awakens me in the night when I am ovulating or

bleeding these are the times when she has strong messages for me.

She must speak and I must listen, in order to maintain balance and

in my life.


It used to be, I accepted all those degrading attitudes that society

teaches us about a woman's body. You know, the "dirtiness" menstrual

blood, and the need for secretness about "that time of that we dare not

speak to others about, let alone give signs of bleeding. I strongly felt

the pressure to flaunt my woman's body, yet hide my woman's

gift. All the feelings of being different and somehow not "good

enough" during this time of natural bodily functioning made me dread

the coming of my blood each month. 


Even my trusted girlfriends reinforced this negative self-image.

We couldn't wait until we were old enough to bleed so that we

could experience this secret that the older girls talked about in the

gym locker room. But, as soon as we began our cycles, we lived

each month dreading this "curse." When we got a little older some

of us dreaded not getting this "curse" because that could mean we

were pregnant. The inconvenience of our cycles took over all of

our lives and all activities were cleverly planned to hide this



Sensing this special time of passage, I felt elated at finally starting

my bloodcycle. But, the lack of support and recognition I received

soon lead to feelings of shame. There were no joys in discovering

the flowering depths of my woman's body, no rites of passage;

only a few whispers and snickers from the few friends I dared tell

about this event, and a few hushed words from my mother about

how to use and secretly dispose of the sanitary pads. Now things

would be different between me and the boys, she told me. And

they were. The snide remarks in school, and later on the job about

particular women being "on the rag" if they were too

independent, moody or outspoken, became all too common. I

quickly began to regret growing up because it meant hiding who I



Now that I had become a woman, I found my cycles ridiculed, and

felt my body unclean, and my spirit pressured to perform each

day of the month as if nothing unusual were happening. When I

complained about this and demanded womb-time, I was told that

this was "all part of becoming a woman" and now it was time for

me to "act grown up." 


So, cycle after cycle, I recited to my womb these foreign ideals

until I finally had myself convinced that I was no different,

performed no less and did not require special attention during

those days. I must have thought that if I kept it up, my bleeding

would go away, or at least stop being such an inconvenience. But

underneath it all, my womb, like a needy child demanding

attention, got louder and louder until I was forced to spend the

better part of my bleeding days in pain and in bed. It wasn't until

then that I finally took the opportunity to listen to my cycle. 


We live in a society where our roots to the Earth Mother are

forgotten and we are not encouraged to honor and celebrate the

cycles of women. Yet, somewhere deep inside my womb, the

voices of the Grandmothers spoke and my womb has insisted that I remember

their ancient blood celebrations and the power of my special gift

of Womb Medicine.


Because we are the daughters of the Earth, women carry within

our wombs her rhythm. All of the answers to all of the questions

are within our wombs. The cycles of bleeding are indeed the keys to

me mysteries of life.


During those bleeding days spent in bed, my Grandmothers

came in dreams and shamanic journeys to teach me the old ways

of honoring women's bleeding cycles. Each Moon, they brought me

a new lesson and a new celebration. Through the teachings of my

Grandmothers, I reconnected with the cycles of the Earth and

Moon and the wisdom of my womb.


As my knowledge of Womb Medicine began to grow, I brought

healing and balance into my life. My womb taught me about the

herbs and foods that would nourish her. My Grandmother taught

me how to massage my womb and send her energy. I set aside a

special place where I could go to celebrate my bleeding. At first, I

would try to fit in time when I was bleeding to go there to meditate,

but now I eagerly look forward to canceling my plans at the first

drop of blood to spend as much healing time in my Sacred Space as

possible. I was also given symbols: a blood stone, a bleeding skirt

and a shell necklace to use to make this time special and sacred.

Each Moon brought the opportunity to give or make myself a

gift. I began to talk about my special time to others and some of my

family and friends began to acknowledge it. Everyone really

noticed a difference in me.


As I learned to heal my womb and live by her wisdom, my

self-image changed. I notice that if I look to my bleeding days

with anticipation, I use the intense pre-menstrual energy for positive

creation rather than developing "P.M.S. symptoms." I like feeling

my womb round as the Moon. I recognize that if I do feel uncomfortable,

it's my body expressing her special needs. So, I try to allow plenty

of space for me during this most personal holiday. My cramps,

pain, and excessive bleeding have become virtually nonexistent.

My Inner glow is reflected in my relationships and work every

day of the month.


The wisdom of my Grandmothers taught me to honor the Earth

Mother, my Ancestors, and all of my sisters and brothers. The

Earth gives so much to us . . . She gives us our very life. The

Grandmothers have taught me to show my appreciation of Earth

by giving back of my life . . . my blood. As our womb-blood

brings healing and wisdom to us, so it brings healing to our sick

Mother Earth and awakens our understanding of the Wheel of

Life. As the Earth heals, her abundance increases and our

environment becomes one that supports life. Peace will prevail

and respect for the wisdom and power of women's bleeding cycles

will return. The medicine of our womb-blood can heal the entire



The Grandmothers have directed me to share these teachings and

ceremonies so that other women will awaken to their own

womb-songs and men will awaken to honor women and Mother

Earth as creators of life. 


Although some of these ceremonies are similar to specific

traditions, the wisdom given by my Grandmothers comes from no

particular traditional source. The shamanic journeys, dreams and

ceremonies that I share here are all part of remembering the

wisdom that holds together the Hoop of Life. Perhaps they are

only fragments of that wisdom given back to us now to return a

spiritual focus in honoring the Earth and healing ourselves. I am

honored to share these teachings.







Through our wombs, we are connected to our mothers, their

mothers, their mothers before them and all of our Grandmothers

all the way back to the first woman, the Ancient Ancestors and the

original spirits of life, the Elementalsóall the way back to the

Earth Mother herself. Through our wombs, we daughters know

the story of the evolution of life. 


During our bleeding cycles, we are especially open to perceiving

this connection. When we begin to bleed each month, we step

outside the normal boundaries of physical reality. Transcending

the limitations of time and space, we are able to experience the

wisdom of the Ancient Ancestors and learn from their teachings.

Women are able to feel, through our womb-roots, the Web of

Life that connects all the children of Mother Earth. 


It is through these roots that the voices of our Grandmothers

speak, providing guidance and healing, and allowing us access to

the Ancient Sacred Wisdom of the mysteries of life. The

Grandmothers have all of the answers to all of our questions, and

they have the knowledge to help us survive all the difficult trials

of the Trickster.


The Grandmothers are keepers of the sacred baskets. These

baskets contain the original wisdom of the mysteries of life, the

spirit medicine of the Sacred Web, the knowledge of plant use and

of sacred healing energy. The four sacred foods are in the baskets and

all of the knowledge of the Medicine Wheel is kept within the care of these

Ancient Teachers. During the Bleeding Lodge ceremonies, the

Grandmothers give us gifts from the sacred baskets in the form of

teachings. The women then take this wisdom out to the community. As

women, our birthright is to learn the Grandmothers' teachings

through the Bleeding Lodge, so that we can bring this sacred wisdom back

to our relationships with all of our sisters and brothers.

In our blood dreams, we can speak directly with our

Grandmothers.We know that they are still with us. The bleeding women

are the connection that keeps alive the Ancient Wisdom to pass along to our

daughters. Because women bleed and create new life, we are the

keepers of wisdom of the Ancient Ancestors. All we have to do to receive

their guidance is ask.


All of us carry within our cells the memories of the lives of our

grandparents. In this way, all of our Ancestors are a part of our lives

every day. Through this memory link, they give us gifts and talents to

use as we walk our paths. Through this link, they speak to us,

reminding us where we came from. Certainly, each particular set of

grandparents contributes to how we individually look: our skin, hair

and eye colors, features, build, and many other characteristics. Every

time we look in the mirror, we are reminded of the gifts given to us by

our Ancestors. Do we remember to honor them when we see their smiling

faces in the glass in front of us? Honoring our bleeding wombs is one of

the ways that we can honor our Grandmothers. We welcome the bloodflow

that opens the doorway between the worlds, so that we can speak with them

and listen to their teachings. We burn candles at our Grandmothers'

altars and sing the honoring songs to remember their lives. We invite the

Grandmothers into the Blood Lodge to celebrate the bleeding ceremony by

bringing their pictures and memory boards to our circles. By honoring our

bleeding wombs and thanking the Grandmothers for enabling us to live

through the life they have given to our parents and grandparents,

we honor the Spiral of Life. The Grandmothers speak to us in our Lodge

and in our spirit journeys. They drift into our blood dreams at night

to sing to us. We can hear their voices and their guidance upon the

winds, in the running streams and in the songs of the birds.

The Grandmothers bring us presents and help create changes in our

lives whenever we ask them to. They give whatever is needed to

granddaughters who remember them and ask for their gifts. All we need

to do is listen to hear their advice. It may come in the most unexpected

way at the most unexpected time. And be patient. The Grandmothers

always hear us and act at the right time, although that may not always

be exactly when we want them to! Women can take personal, family

or community relationships and situations that are in need of healing

into the Bleeding Lodge and ask the Grandmothers for wisdom

and guidance to bring about fair, healing resolutions. We sing to

ask the Grandmothers to help us, we meditate on all the viewpoints

surrounding our concern, and we listen through the drum to feel

their wisdom in our hearts. Then, passing around the spirit feather,

each woman speaks her piece of the message that is our answer.

In that way, the wisdom of all the Grandmothers is heard. Putting

all the pieces together gives us a clear perspective on what is needed

to solve our problem. Depending on the message each woman has

received from her own Grandmother, we will all know the course

of action to take to make the necessary changes for the resolution

of our problem. The voice of each Grandmother is equally important

in the healing ceremonies of the Blood Lodge. At this time, the

Grandmothers are waiting for their granddaughters to remember

them and invite them once again into the Blood Lodges. The

Ancestors have never left us. They call to us every day. Our

Grandmothers are waiting for us to remember where we came from. 


When the Grandmothers speak through the bleeding women, they

bring the gifts of the sacred baskets to the people. Their messages

should never be doubted for they always speak with the best

interest of their children and grandchildren. When the people

again honor the bleeding women and the voices of the Ancestors,

a new harmony will be known for all will once again be in right