Moon Lesson • Purity and Freedom

This month’s full moon name, Pink Moon, was drawn from the presence of herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring across much of North America. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

It might seem harsh but, Spring, to me, represents the culmination of a season of struggle. Mother Earth and all her creatures struggle and press toward the warming light while fighting off the press of winter. Spring is the remarkable reminder of how under great pressure the rough stone becomes the gem. It’s a reminder of exactly how newborns of every organism and every species work to unfurl, sprout, break through, stretch, reach, and open to the next best step in their journey. And we, in our human experience, are no exception.


With this in mind, the Full Pink Moon opens the gateway to the element of Earth which will be the framework for the next three lessons carrying us through the spring into summer. Along the way we will turn over the soil, see what we discover, polish it off and place it front and center of our altar to honor our next chapters of self discovery and reclamation.

This month, specifically, we’ll harness the Pink Moon energy to mend our relationship with our Maiden/Priestess archetype as well as learn how to tap into great Mother Earth to better see our own beauty reflected back at us. In Yoga, we recognize our body is a reflection of this earth we walk on, if we take care of it, beautiful things happen and the reverse is also true. In Shamanism, the element of Earth is the source of all creation, it’s the foundation for all life, it’s the backbone of our existence. You see where I’m going here.

Your body is a temple. As cliche as that may be, Goddess, it’s true. So whether your temple is 27 years or 72 years in the making doesn’t matter. You’d never desecrate a temple. In fact, the older, the more sacred, right?

So let’s unearth a few more truths.

*   *   *

The archetype of the Maiden/Daughter stands on the threshold of womanhood. She recognized her transformation the moment she began to bleed, in that she is no longer a small child, but rather a woman capable of getting pregnant and giving birth. The archetype of the Maiden/ Daughter shows us a woman still living in her parents home, relying on them for her food and shelter, as well as emotional stability, and slowly learning to find her own way, separating until she no longer needs them. A daughter who has a healthy relationship with her parents will have a deep understanding that she is safe in her parents home, and that once she leaves home, she can go back if she has need. It is this “knowing” that allows her to eventually separate and experience the initiations of life.

However, not all of us were fortunate enough to have this kind of healthy experience, and so that tender, slow, learning time of trials, can become mists which can rise up to create shadows within us later in life if we do not face them, grieve them and then grow up and out of that wounding shadowy place.

In her book, The Pregnant Virgin, Jungian psychologist Marianne Woodman speaks about a German word that first appeared in English in 1963, that seemed to be so profound that it was eventually incorporated into the English Oxford Dictionary.

This is what she says of the word: “It is torschlusspanik {pronounced tor-shulss-panic}, defined as “Panic at the thought that a door between oneself and life’s opportunities has shut”. The doors that were once opened through initiation rites are still crucial thresholds in the human psyche, and when these doors do not open, or when they are not recognized for what they are, life shrinks into a series of rejections fraught with torschlusspanik: like the graduation formal to which a girl was not invited; the marriage that did not take place; the baby that was never born; the job that never materialized.

Looking back we recognize that it was often not our choice that determined which door opened and which door shut. We are chosen for this, rejected for that.”

This is why regardless of our age, regardless of how long it has been since we were youthful maidens, we have the opportunity to look back and to see where we missed out on important initiations, or perhaps where we lived through exceedingly hard times. To see that we not only survived, but thrived, and never once paused to see those hard times for what they were - powerful life initiations.

The shadow side of losing our childhood too early or leaving it too late is that as we grow up there can be certain areas where, although we are fully grown adults, our reaction to things is that of a young child, and in these cases it is our responsibility to grow ourselves up.

If we find ourselves having to do this as adults, the patterns can run deep, and the process can be hard; however, moving through this process is a powerful initiation in and of itself, and this, dear sisters, is where each of us has the opportunity to grab the torschlusspanik by the handle and open up our own damn doors. This is the mystery into ourselves and the ride is always wild!


The shadow of the wounded child: Adults who react from the place of a wounded child most often have no idea that their feelings and sensitivities are coming from a place of old wounding, which is why it is really hard to spot, not just for themselves but for those in their lives.

The Wounded Child is easily caught up with the fact that they see themselves as the victim, and thus they easily get stuck in their story of suffering. Adults caught in the snare of their wounded childhood can feel abandoned, misunderstood, unloved, and uncared for, even by themselves. They are often very sensitive to the pain and emotions of others often to the point of confusing other people’s emotions with their own.

The Wounded Child archetype has experienced some kind of initiatory wound in their early life, and this experience creates a lens through which they see their circumstances and the motives or actions of others.

The Wounded Child may have been bullied, or injured in a car accident, or suffered many medical problems in childhood; they may have lost a parent or sibling early in life, suffered sexual abuse or rape, or it may be that they were simply neglected or witnessed a traumatic event. There is no end to how a child may have been wounded, but the problem that happens within the archetype of the “wounded child” is that, unless tended to, the trauma will continue to replay the event over and over in their adult lives.

This constant replaying out of old woundings is subtle and hard to spot, as we grow up and into our complex lives as adults. For example, if we are bullied as children and the wounding from that time has not healed properly, we may continue to see our lives or certain aspects of it through the lens of a bullied child. Co-workers, store clerks, our husbands, friends or parents will all seem like bullies to us and our relationships with them will feel unbalanced all the time, as we will feel powerless and shamed during what would normally be natural confrontations in the process of life. These confrontations will feel exaggerated and we will instantly be taken back to that time when we were bullied, and in that trigger-second moment we react, not once realizing that our reaction is actually coming from an old wound.

It is said that we will continue to recreate the dynamics experienced in our childhood with us as the victim if we do not take the time required to go in and re-visit old wounds. What I personally found interesting was that after what feels like decades of self work I was still able to find blind spots where I was reacting to things, not from my adult self, but from an old wounding that I never even realized bothered me, until I started following the breadcrumbs behind my reactions to all sorts of things.

A helpful thing to is to pay attention to those “this always happens to me” moment or feelings, as this can be an effective tool for recognizing the Shadow of our Wounded Child. Another helpful tip is when we feel strong emotions rising up within ourselves, take a moment — more often than not this happens after we calm down, or even a day later— and ask ourselves how old we feel.

If in that moment you feel like a 12 year old, or a 6 year old, and not the age that you are, chances are you are behaving like a 12 year old because of an old wound that was never properly tended to.

The Healed Wounded Child: Discovers that by diving into their pain they can find a way out of it, and that their suffering is actually “optional”. If we figure out that something is no longer working for us, we can change it; this is the power we have over ourselves as grown adults and it is often some of the most meaningful, empowering work we will do in our lifetimes.

Healing our wounded child requires a massive amount of letting go, and this can be hard, especially if what we want to let go of is a deeply rooted pattern we have been carrying around with us for a long time. However, by letting go and embracing the intense emotions that come with healing, we can actually become a beacon of light and, in turn, we can help others — this is the path of the priestess.

While working with the Maiden archetype, I would like you to journal on these questions:

Are there parts of me that carry aspects of the wounded child? Am I ready to go into the those dark places and heal that child within me, so that I can create my life from a more grown up place?

What aspect of my childhood or maidenhood (from the time you can remember and have memories, until your first moon time/period) do you remember most? What was great and what was not so great about it?

What is your current relationship to your parent(s)? Is there any healing work that needs to be done here? Healing work does not always need to involve the other person, it can be done within ourselves.

Do you have a daughter, step-daughter or young woman in your life? If you do, can you think of some ways that you can you offer them some support as they move from maidenhood into puberty and their first moon?

Do you feel called to do more of this kind of work? If yes why? If no why?

There are no wrong answers here, this is just to get you thinking about your role as a healer/priestess.

branch stone.jpg

Before you begin the work of journeying to gather this piece of your soul, your Maiden, I must introduce you to your anchors for this month:

Apple tree and Garnet


Apple {Quert} is actually the second tree in the classic Celtic Tree Ogham - which is pronounced {Ow-wen} - and if you were to pull the apple ogham, it would represent a time of healing and regeneration.

The apple tree also represents abundance, openhearted generosity and gratitude.

In Greek mythology apple orchards were guarded by and tended by maidens who were representatives of Hera, goddess of love and prosperity. These maidens symbolically joined hands around the sacred tree of life and became its outer protection with a serpent coiled around its roots. This symbolism would later become distorted and placed within the garden of Eden.

Then there is the goddess of apples, Pomona, who is the guardian goddess of fruit trees, orchards, and agriculture, much like her sister counterpart Demeter, who she is commonly associated with. Pomona is said to watch over and protect fruit trees as well as care for their cultivation.

Pomona’s name comes from the french word “Pomme” which means “apple”. Another interesting thing about Pomona, is that she was considered to be among the Numina, or guardian spirits, of Roman mythology, who watched over people, places, or homes. The Numina are from whom the word “numinous” derives, meaning spirits of a place. I have to say there is nothing more magical then walking through an apple orchard in the spring time as each of the pink blossoms is filled with the buzzing of sweet bees going about their business of pollinating. One can almost see tiny fairies flying about, or perhaps they are bees, who can say?

The sweet apple itself, when sliced in half, reveals the sacred symbol of the pentagram, or five pointed star. The pentagram has many associations - one is the elements of earth, air, fire, water, and in the centre, ether. The pentagram was originally a symbol of the goddess Kore, who was worshiped thousands of years ago, and whose sacred fruit was the apple. The Roma gypsies of Romania still cut open apples and refer to them as stars of knowledge, with folk traditions saying that couples should cut apples in half on their wedding night to share so that they will be fertile. Likewise, the five pointed star within a circle was the Egyptian hieroglyph for the underworld womb, where rebirth is said to occur. Evidence shows that the belief that apples help to carry souls from one incarnation to the next exists in many cultures from the Scandinavians to the Romans, Egyptians and even the Chinese.

The apple tree offers us a time of reprieve, a time to rejuvenate ourselves and understand the blessings we have in our lives. The apple tree is said to support us in times of lack to trust that there will be abundance once again.


The distinctive title Garnet is derived from the Latin name Granatum, a pomegranate, because of the resemblance the granular varieties of Garnet bears to the seeds of that fruit. Garnets vary in size from a grain of sand to the size of an apple. Perfect for our sacred tree, right?

Legends and folklore place garnet among the most ancient of talismans. Not only was it prized as an ornamental jewel, but its strong curative powers and protective energies made it invaluable. Garnet is also known for its utilization of creative energy. It grounds spirit forces within the body and helps in the ability to work lovingly on the physical plane. Yet Garnet is a sensual stone. It represents primordial fire, the creation of the world out of chaos, purification and love. It is a stone of strong, intense feelings.

In Europe during the Middle Ages, Garnet was used to enhance truth, faith and constancy, and to dispel melancholy. As a Warrior's Stone, Garnet served as a talisman in the Crusades for both the Christians and their Muslim enemies.

Garnet is thought to house a ‘flash of lightening within’. As such it is said to have been one of the twelve stones in the Breastplate of the High Priest and has been used as a sacred stone by the Native American Indians, the South American Indians, the Aztecs, the African tribal elders, and the Mayans. It acts with speed to expand one's awareness and enhances one's internal fire to bring creative powers to implementation. [source: crystal vaults]

Herbal Exploration

herbal tonic.jpg

I chose to introduce herbal crafting here with our Maiden time work. For many of us, this will be a new practice and many of us are looking for ways to balance our Maiden memories with who we are today. Crafting your own medicine is an effective and tangible way to take your healing by the reigns and remind yourself of your skills and power today. Things like chicken noodle soup and a cup of tea truly do soothe the soul and heal the body.

* * *

Of the many ways herbs have supported me and my family, from herbal body oils to aromatherapy, tonics have been the most productive. For each person in my home, I have crafted an herbal tonic that speaks to where their body is right now. The one that has the most notable impact is the Moon Time Tonic I crafted for my oldest daughter when her bleeding time began. She experiences her cramping through her low back and down her legs, so her tonic includes Cramp Bark. Yep…it’s a real herb. And it’s particularly great for relieving cramps that run from the low back down the legs! She starts drinking this particular blend about 3 days before her bleeding time is due to begin and drinks it every day until her bleeding ends. No more cramps. Mother Nature provides again =)

* * *

I like to work with a 5 ingredient blend. My base generally includes Nettle, Raspberry, Milky Oat Tops, and the last two are specific to the person I’m crafting for. Admittedly, sometimes, I’ll swap the Raspberry for Holy Basil (Tulsi)…but recognizing when to make this change comes with study and time. For our purposes, I’m only inviting you to craft a 5 ingredient tonic for yourself as we are not going in-depth into herbalism studies. But I do feel confident we can craft a simple potion without a full herbalism degree =)

The difference between a tonic and a tea is huge! A tonic must steep for no less than 30 mins (overnight is preferred) and a tonic often uses quite a bit more herb. These two differences insure that your brew has as much nutritive value as possible. A tea is brewed for 3 - 7 minutes…so it tastes wonderful but doesn’t pack quite the nutrient punch. Lastly, you need to drink your tonic every day. I recommend every day for a minimum of 30 days to notice its impact.

There are wonderful herbs for managing inflammation, nourishing skin, improving hair and nails, elevating mood, increasing/decreasing blood circulation, helping with sleep, soothing digestion, etc. Pick an aspect you’d like to support. Simply google “herbs for inflammation” or “herbs for good sleep”. See what comes up.

You are looking for just two herbs to add to this foundation blend of nettle, raspberry leaf, and milky oat tops. Feel free to email me with your findings and we can tweak your tonic together from there.

So this leaves three questions:

1) How do I actually make this once I have my herbs? Click here for the How To.

2) Where do I buy my herbs? I purchase mine locally at a little shop called Farmacy Herbs in Providence or at Seven Arrows Farm in Seekonk, MA. I have also ordered comfortably online from www.mountainroseherbs.com as well as from www.zackwoodsherbs.com.

3) How much do I buy to prepare 30 days of tonic? If I’m in a shop, I purchase about a 1 cup scoop of most of my ingredients. If I am ordering online select a range between 2oz-4oz depending on the herb. This is wild crafting — it’s art first, then science. But know that these ranges will give you enough to play with.

With each sip of tonic, allow it to work on your body. It invite it to soothe and nourish your inner Child and your Maiden.

invert triskel.jpg

Connect with Branch & Stone

Gather your garnet stone, if you have one, place it in your right hand (or place in just inside your bra cup near your heart if you’re doing your own drumming), get comfortable and close your eyes.

Connect with your power animal and ask them to take you to cross the river and then into the opening of the sacred grove. Once you enter the grove find the apple tree and walk towards it, looking for entrance into it. You may want to ask for permission to enter. The tree will either open for you or you will see an opening that is clearly for you to enter.

Slide down through the apple tree and sit below its sacred roots. These roots carry and hold the spirit of the tree, so in essence you are still very close to and working with the apple tree.

If the spirit of the tree comes to you make note of how she appears to you. If not, no worries. Just relax and offer your intention.

TO DO: Once you have deeply connected with the tree, ask the apple tree to show you the youthful spirit of your soul, your Maiden, and how you can manifest her energies more over the next year. Keeping your heart open to whatever will come to you, ask the tree: What aspect of my maiden time is asking for healing at this time?

Make sure you notice everything you “see”, “feel”, “hear”, “smell”, just about anything you notice whether it’s in your head or coming from your environment, as it is all important. Take note and then give yourself a few days to process. Please journal or muse on your feeling of what this message you received means to you. Remember—the message may not necessarily be words, she may show you images or sing a song, she may also give you a gift, or remind you of a story. The possibilities are endless, so keep an open mind. No two journeys are ever alike.


Sacred Reflection

Regards of age, recognize your Maiden aspects are not “gone”. She doesn’t simply shrivel up and disappear, she is the epitome of transformation and rebirth. Her aim is to blossom into the ‘old wise one’, the Crone.

Just as honey is in your tea — you might not see it, but you can taste it and it’s powerful effects still have a very real impact on your mind, body, spirit, and perception. This month notice how often you worry over the glittering silver in your hair or your hands which have held hearts, mended spirits, and nurtured love…they should be worn and weathered. And how about the faithful patterning in your face proof that you have smiled, laughed, cried, worried and seen so much…and are still here and ready to witness what is yet to come. From your Maiden self, see the beauty of how your physical body is blossoming. Take notes in your journal. How can you better (poetically, maybe) describe the pieces of yourself that have already transformed?

The Maiden is always inventing and presenting new ways to explore and engage with the world around her. She is open with her gifts and willing to take the risk that comes from sharing and exposing her vulnerabilities with another. She taps into this level of freedom from a space of innocence. You can reclaim this level of freedom at any time. As we age, we gain wisdom and we eventually gain a certain level of “I don’t give a [insert your four letter word of choice here lol]” and once again find ourselves in a mindset that allows us to share our truths. You don’t need to wait to mature into a full Crone for this to be true…your Maiden is with you at all times.

Connect with her and write down your reflections, share them with our group whether through me via an email or on our FB page.

invert triskel.jpg

Journey for your Sacred Object

Begin by journeying into the sacred grove with your power animal. Take your time to cross the river that runs in front of the grove, and allow the river to take away all of your cares and worries, so that you can journey into the grove unencumbered. You may choose to do this each time you journey if you wish.

Once you enter the grove sit close to the apple tree or even lean up against it, but do not enter into it, for this journey you will be in the grove working with your animal guide and they will show you the answers to your questions.

If it helps, you may also choose not to enter the grove, but instead simply ask your guide to take you to your power object and this can happen anywhere in your lower earth. In this journey you are looking for information about your medicine object as it relates to you as Maiden.

Your journey intent is: to seek a sacred object that will represent you as Maiden for your medicine bundle.

TO DO: Once you have your object in hand, ask your object ‘what ceremony can I do to consecrate you before you go into the bundle?’ Maybe a soak in water under moon light, maybe smudging with sage, or simply blow three clearing breathes over the object to clear it and bind it to you.

Continue to journey with your object as much as you feel called to this month. Remember that you have the whole month to make a sacred bond with your object before it goes into your medicine bundle, so take that time and sit with it as much as possible.

Blessed be.