~Hello, Sasha of The Alps~
*Thank goodness for wheelbarrows- clothes are heavy!*
~Scenes from the meadow we camped in, taken as we readied ourselves for the evening's ritual~
~The heart of Sunday's ritual honors the girls who have begun bleeding in the last year, the Maidens becoming Mothers, a coming of age ceremony. The women who have stopped bleeding, the Crones, are honored as well. Everyone saves their best dresses and clothes for this event, and we saw at least 5 ladies wearing our dresses! Including one of the girls who was being honored for beginning her moontime. She was wearing one of my favorite yellow sundresses from my own collection, and I teared up watching her. In fact, the whole ritual was incredibly touching, such a far cry from my own experience with menarche. As Judith Duerk says, "How might it have been different for you if, on your first menstrual day..."
So here is Sash and I getting ready, donning our best garments, and getting every hair in place~
*Anyone recognize this dress? Sometimes when an item sits around the shop for a little while, I realize that I secretly covet it! I knew this would be perfect for Sunday night's ceremony, so I decided to hang onto it... and yes, I am doing my hair in a shadow instead of a mirror!*
~A dress my lovely mama bought for me, I was soooooo happy to have a reason to wear it!~
*Thanks to Automne who gave me her grandmother's necklace, which I am wearing as a head piece! And thanks to Ams for my new favorite necklace.*
~The Maidens awaiting their cue to begin marching to the huge circle of women and children who are waiting to welcome them to womanhood~
~There were over 400 folks at the event this weekend, with more expected for the next weekend!~
~After the ritual we all did a wee Celtic fairy dance and shook off the energy before the sun descended. I had brought this poncho for Marketplace. It didn't sell there, just like it hasn't sold in the shop for the last 6 months. And the more I wore it to keep warm that night, the more I realized that it's destiny is... me. Especially after watching Max's Woman as Shaman slideshow, this garment reminds me of the power inherent in being a human, being a woman, and working to recover the wisdom of our ancestors. I bonded deeply with this poncho back in my tent that night, and had lots of significant revelations while wrapped in its warmth. The peacock feather barrett I'm wearing was bought at Marketplace, I love how it follows the curves of my hair in this shot. And the movement around me is so cool~
~Drum circle goddesses dressed in their best "Festival Chic"~
*Ha ha ha! I love how "Festival Chic" is the fashion now... as if it's new. Supposedly it started with a pic of Kate Moss in muddy rain boots at a concert in England. If the mainstream is now accepting that Utilitarian is Beautiful, more power to them! Personally, I think we all look cooler than Kate Moss by far... she's great, but she hasn't got much on the pure imagination of these Mendocino Goddesses. Sheeeeet, we saw a gal who tanned an animal hide HERSELF and made a dress out of it ~the amazing Tamara Wilder, a primitive technologist (is there a cooler phrase?)~. And a soft and thoroughly hip dress it was too! Take that, mall rats!*
~This land is used in the summertime for Wavy Gravy's Camp Winnerainbow, a circus and performance camp which I so think my little Leo will enjoy attending in a few years!~
*A beautiful Tent Silhouette- dew on the grassblades in the clear Mendocino morning...*
~We are so going again next year (and every year after that! I can't wait till Mycie is a bit older and can enjoy and benefit from it, I'm so glad I have a daughter! I'm so grateful to be a woman!)~
*Ain't that the truth. I returned home so inspired-- it was like the windshield over my third eye got scrubbed clean of all the bugs and dirt that had built up all winter (unlike my actual windshield, poor thing). I have noticed since returning that I am sensitive to the women in my daily life in a whole new way, and I feel the strength of my community and connections so much more strongly.
Many thanks to Terry and Karen, the two women who literally devote their lives to organizing and facilitating this event. I don't think there are too many like it in the world, mixing up such a potent brew of Knowledge with Magic and Community. I have been a devotee since my first time at Herb Camp, and I am so glad that I am converting all my friends!
Hooray too for the support of our wonderful customers, who made this experience possible for us. You were all there in spirit!*