Enlivening the Sacred Feminine through Education,
Service and
spring nest
APRIL MONTHLY for Friends and Members of WWRL
Issue #41 - 2009
up closeInner View From the East Gathering

"Fascinating. . .informative. . .illuminating!" Ask anyone who was at the East Gathering Wisdom Council.  Friends and members of WWRL had fun interviewing each other up close!  As we pool our perspectives, new directions for Red Lodge will come into focus. We look forward to sharing the emerging themes from our Action Research interview project, when we meet  at the South Gathering, June 20 on Vashon.
You may receive a confidential phone call in the coming months from a volunteer interviewer, interested in listening, close-up, to your perceptions about Red Lodge. Or, you may open a survey from WWRL that arrives via e-mail.  Thanks for taking time to reflect as you answer eight questions that will help us see, up close, what the essence of Red Lodge really is!

Your thoughts and feelings about our organization are full of nourishing potential, waiting to hatch.  We wish we had the time to interview everyone close-up!  Maybe we do, if you help.  Would like to volunteer to conduct one or more interviews on the phone? If you haven't yet been contacted, would you like to be interviewed or fill out a survey? Contact actionresearch@wwrl.org.

poetry moonPoetry! Music of Words

Creative workshop with Anne Lohr
10 AM - 3 PM, Potluck Lunch
Catherine Place,923 S 8th St

Tacoma, WA
Cost: $25 

Come everyone and celebrate Our Mother Earth through the music of words: Poetry!  Together we will explore different elements and styles of poetry with an emphasis on our connection to Earth.  Gather your pens, paper, drums and rattles for this expressive workshop!

Questions? Contact: tcrowstudio@wwrl.org
Click here to register
International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers Sixth Gathering of International Council of 13 Grandmothers:

One Life - One Tribe - One Chance

August 3-9, Lincoln City, Oregon
For more information and to register visit: www.grandmotherscouncil.com
In This Issue
Inner View From the East
Poetry! Music of Words
Grandmother Council
Rawhide and Rhythm
Ancestral Teachings
Always in Service
A Chorus of Thanks
Rawhide & Rhythm

Only a couple of spaces left
in this fun workshop!
Join Willow to create your own hand-stitched rawhide rattle and amulet.
rattle and amulet by willow
at Willow's in Buckley, WA
10 AM - til the time is right
Cost: $25
  Limited to 10 people. 
Sign up by April 19.
To register, contact: willow@wwrl.org
Red Lodge Links:

Grandmother Links
join our mailing list

grandmothers hands Welcome Grandmothers!
Ancestral Teachings for Times of Unprecedented Change

May 2-8
Evergreen College
Olympia and Tacoma Campuses

We are blessed that grandmothers Rita Pitka Blumenstein, Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance, Agnes Baker Pilgrim, and Mona Polacca are coming to the Spring Colloquium at Evergreen College (both the Olympia and Tacoma campuses) to teach and share their wisdom. The elders are here representing the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, which formed out of concern for the destruction of Mother Earth, indigenous ways of life, and the wellbeing of humanity. They will share their knowledge and experience of indigenous science, spiritual healing and ceremony, peace and prayer to light the way through an uncertain future.

Many events during the week are free and open to the general public, including:
SATURDAY, MAY 2, 1-5 PM - Traditional Salish Welcome Ceremony,
Evergreen Olympia Campus, 2nd Floor Library Lobby

TUESDAY, May 5, 11AM - 1 PM - "Ancestral Teachings for Times of Unprecedented Change", Mona Polacca (Hopi/Havasupai/Tewa) and Rita Pitka Blumenstein (Yup'ik), Evergreen Tacoma Campus Lecture Hall 1 (live), Olympia Campus Lecture Hall 1 (via video teleconference)

TUESDAY, May 5, 7PM - 9 PM - "Ancestral Teachings for Times of Unprecedented Change", Agnes Baker Pulgrim (Takelma Siletz) and Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance (Oglala Lakota), Evergreen Olympia Campus Lecture Hall 1 (live) Tacoma Campus (via video teleconference). 
THURSDAY, May 7, 2PM -3:30 PM - Synergy Conference with Mona Polacca, time and location TBA

FRIDAY, May 8, 5PM - 7 PM, Closing Ceremony and Reception

Schedules are subject to change up until April 11.  Click here to learn more.  Groups of 6 or more are encouraged to register using the Public Event Registration Form
Always in Service
by Drai Bearwomyn

It was breathtaking the day I fell in love with my hands. 

During a Reiki session I fell into a vision. It was a dreamy sequence about my amazing hands. I was asked to recognize their serving glory. I SAW my hands for the first time as a gift. The vision showed me how my hands are always, always, always in service. They never stop and do everything asked of them.

They carve and sew, knit, pick my nose, wipe, tear, cut food, cut coupons, hold, carry, gesticulate and scratch all the itches of a lifetime.  They type 85 words a minute, backspace over mistakes, peel bananas, unwrap candy bars, fill my water cup, run my bath, hold my books, pet my cat.  They drive my car, unlock my doors, wash my face, and admittedly on rare occasions flip the bird.  They paint and cook, smooth and soothe, mouse and write.They erase. My hands dye fabric, hair and eggs. They greet people hello and goodbye with shakes and hugs. They slap the alarm clock, brush my teeth, untangle necklaces, untangle hair. They pray and dance when I sing. They touch and love. They knead bread and bodies and situations. They pluck and dig, plant and harvest. They carry food to my mouth. They bead, stitch and drum. They arrange stained glass bits and flower friends. They dress me and undress me, wash my hair, shave my legs, pluck my brows and my dang premenopausal beard. They lotion my tattoos and pet my lovely daughter's lovely hair. . . these are just a few dozen feats my hands perform on any given day.

They are the hardest working beings I know. Even when I sleep they are active on my behalf, pulling covers, shifting pillows, rubbing sleep from my eyes and slapping at the frickin' spider that snuck into bed with me.  Yes, they are always, always, always in service.

The vision asked me to do a ceremony for my hands.  I was to dye my hands either sacred red or purple and then bind them together with soft cloth as though they were holding one another. In this way I was asked to spend one day in honoring gratitude. Of course this meant arrangements would have to be made for assistance, as clearly I would be completely dysfunctional without my hands. . .guess that was the point, in part. Never again would I take them for granted.

My hands would remain dyed for days, perhaps weeks after the ceremony until the dye washed itself away. A visual reminder of sacred blessings that are always, always, always in service.

dancin' in the eastA Chorus of Thanks You's!

A chorus of thank you's to everyone who created the East Gathering in Enumclaw! Thank you for a whole day dedicated to beginning a new cycle.  An almost indescribable day of ceremony, nurture and celebration.  Imagine offering prayers to new beginnings, listening and sharing from the core, flute tooting and clay play, the joy of meeting new people, bringing home our sister's beautiful creations--colorful hats, feather smudge fans, animal ally rattles, goddess medicine art.  And more after dinner! An entrancing storyteller, the delight of a Vivaldi encore on the violin, seeing belly dancers balance swords on their heads, rockin' to the rhythms of our Plateau drummers beat. Our mothers, mothers, mothers they are with us. Listen, listen, listen to the rhythm. Thank you, thank you, thank you all.

Upcoming Events

The Vagina Monologues

V Day 2009SATURDAY, APRIL 11 at 7 PM
Pantages Theatre, Tacoma WA
$15-45, $5 discount for Students, Seniors (62+) and Military
For tickets contact: www.broadwaycenter.org

FRIDAY APRIL 10 at 7 PM, Dress Rehearsal
Carwein Auditorium, UWT Campus
Pay What You Can

Two Red Lodge Board Members are among the wild and wonderful women of Pierce County staging Eve Ensler's play The Vagina Monologues for it's fifth year in Tacoma - this year with an African twist. Cathie Stone co-directs and Mariah Hoyt - well, we won't give it away.  This year's  consciousness-and-fund-raising production highlights the violence against women and girls in the Congo.  Proceeds benefit The Coordinated Community Response Against Domestic Violence,  the Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County, and Catherine Place. For more information visit: www.vday.org

South Sound Women's Drum Circle

otter woman2nd Fridays, 7 PM
Cedar Center, 906 Webb St. SE, Lacey, WA.
$5 suggested for facility rental + Hearth Fund donation encouraged
Open to all women
Contact Barbara at southsounddrum@wwrl.org

Join an intimate circle of women to drum, sing, and share ceremony, prayer, and wisdom teachings in an informal, friendly monthly gathering. Experience the healing power of working with a women's Mother Drum, hoop drums, rattles, and more and have fun connecting with other women through drumming. Bring your own drums and rattles if you have them. No experience necessary.

Visit our Online Calendar to browse or submit more Events of Interest

Red Lodge South Medicine Wheel Gathering

sunflower radianceSave the Date!

Friday, June 19, 7 PM - Sunday June 21, 6 AM
Burton Hill, Vashon Island

Children, women and men gather
to drum for peace and earth healing
and honor Solstice in alliance
with prayer ceremonies around the world

Come gather with us at the sun's zenith--a potent time to energize what's growing and flowering in our hearts, minds and lives.  Deepen into our Mother Drum's heartbeat as 24-hour drumming begins 6 AM Saturday and concludes 6 AM Sunday.  Seedlings in the garden of our vision for this event include: Friday evening: Prayers for 7 Generations/Connecting with the Future, Saturday morning: Red Lodge Community Conversation (open to all) to introduce and hone our Action Research themes, Community Potluck, making Sacred Mandala Prayers, Hold The River Song Cycle, and a Pipe Ceremony Saturday evening.  Come and go as you desire. Camping is available in the meadow. Family and friends are welcome! $15 - 35 Hearth Jar Donation suggested.

Watch for info in the May Hearth Letter!  Volunteers to come early and prepare the land for our sacred time together are needed--contact southgathering@wwrl.org.

Readers Write for Us (and send photos!)

Submissions to The Monthly are welcomed from WWRL Members.  Send photos or brief articles (100-400 words) with news of Red Lodge events, programs or human interest stories. Deadline is the 20th of the month preceding JAN, MAR, APRIL, JUNE, JULY, SEP, OCT and DEC. Send to: monthlyenews@wwrl.org

Contact Us

Woman's Way Red Lodge is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization

We are grateful that contributions and co-creative members support our programs and ongoing services in many Northwest communities.  We are excited that several Lodge Sister Members are percolating visions to bring WWRL to more states.
Click here to join us or make a donation.