August 26, 2008

Raising Adolescent Girls

It's never too early ~ or too late 
to prepare for your girl's adolescence! 

Raising Adolescent Girls ~ class starts Wednesday, Sept 17! 

We will meet: 
8 Wednesdays, 7:30 - 9:30 
(see all specifics below) 

* * * Bring a friend for 50% off your tuition fee! * * * 

This group is for: 
mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, aunts, and all women/mentors with a special girl in their life (age 7 and up). 

We will explore: 

- What makes for a prepared mother/mentor 
- Making peace with your own adolescence 
- Laying the foundation for a life-long friendship with your girl 

We'll use: 

- Creative group exercises 
- Arts and crafts 
- Role play, and more 

STARTS: Wednesday 9/17 

TIME: 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM 

DURATION: 8 weeks 

WHERE: Sebastopol Dance/Art Space (50 miles north of SF) 
172 North Main St, Sebastopol 
(behind Cookie Co. ~ Downtown Sebastopol) 

Facilitator: DeAnna L’am 
Author of Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls into Womanhood, 
founder of Red Moon - Cycles of Women's Wisdom™ (1994). 
DeAnna has been working in the US and internationally, since 1980, in the fields of conflict resolution, community building, peacemaking, women and girls' empowerment. 

$245 for 8 week class (payment plans are available upon request) 

Bring a friend for 50% off your tuition fee! 

Groups size is limited. Early registration is recommended! 

Please send $50.00 (non-refundable deposit) to: 
P.O. Box 1251, 
Sebastopol, CA 95473 

Checks payable to DeAnna L'am. 

Please forward this to women with girls in their lives, living in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

May 10, 2008

Menstrual Monday '08 ~ The Celebration!

Menstrual Monday 2008, Downtown Sebastopol, by DeAnna L'am ~
It was a windy, blustery Monday in Sebastopol, Northern California. A few women and girls gathered early at the Downtown Plaza to set up a Red Tent in honor of Menstrual Monday: the Monday before Mother's Day (since you start menstruating before becoming a mother... and usually long afterwards, too...) The thin, metal, "E-Z Up" structure was simple enough to set up, then came the fun part...

Red cloths of every imaginable shade were displayed on the grass for us to pick and choose: what goes with what? It turned out everything went with everything! When you lay reds, burgundies, rubies, and scarlets next to each other, the tapestry is stunning no matter which way you compose it.

Bejeweled clothe-pins held the lengths of fabric together. Ellah, my 7-year-old daughter, and I, spend many fun hours at home, carefully painting the wooden pins red, then adorning them with gold, silver and rainbow sparkles. She knew we were preparing for a Red Tent in honor of women's Moon Flow.
"Why is everything red?" she asked.
"Because the Moon Flow is red"
"Ohh", she said, with a big smile of recognition, "Of course!"
It struck me again how natural the idea of Moon Flow is to her; how strained it was for me, growing up...

The roof of the tent, clothed in red, was ready to be raised. As we pushed the structure up, the wind was playing with us, releasing a clothe-pin here, loosening a piece of fabric there...
We ran to patch the holes, pinning up a "wall" as another fell down. Eventually we stopped resisting the wind, accepted it as our guest, and enjoyed our newly opened "sky light" as well as the breeze ways in the walls.

The sweetness of altar-making came next. We each took out sacred objects that we brought from home, and placed them in the center of our tent: Goddess figurines from around the world, candles,
sea shells, feathers, crystals, flowers, jewelry, and offerings of cranberries. We each lit a candle while speaking our intentions, which encompassed blessings of our ancestors and of Mother Earth, acknowledging the miracle of our Moon Flow, and weaving the vision of all of our children, girls and boys, growing up honoring themselves, and their bodies.

"Honk If You Are On Your Period!" was the Tent's final touch. The wind didn't allow the sign to stay up for long, but
we heard honks as long as it was up, coming from cars circling the Downtown Plaza, where our tent stood. Women crossed the road and came to ask: "why should I honk if I am on my period?" This was why we were there, in the center of town: to answer this exact question. To speak about our own journeys from seeing our periods as a nuisance, to honoring them as the spiritual well springs that they are; To discuss the cultural taboos around menstruation and to question them; To make menstruation visible instead of hidden and shameful.It was exciting to know that women around the world were celebrating and honoring Menstrual Monday. We shared the information we had about big events in Brazil and the UK. Many more, probably, which we may not have known of.
In the tent, around the altar, we had heart-to-heart conversations with women who stopped by: about menopause; About using a Moon Cup to collect our menstrual blood; Or about feeding our house-plants water saturated with nutrients from our reusable menstrual cloth pads. A woman ran across the street to get food for her 5-year-old daughter who was part of our circle, and brought back a cranberry chocolate bar to share with us all; another brought some sweet, hot chai to drink. We not only shared our stories, but fed each other, physically, as well as emotionally, and spiritually. We all left knowing that we'll meet again, in a year's time, to celebrate Menstrual Monday '09.
Hope you can join us, or create your own celebration, wherever you are.

April 28, 2008

Menstrual blood source of stem cells

An amazing scientific discovery, shared by a friend today, is quoting recent research, which identified menstrual blood cells as possible source for stem cells!
I remember reading in Marlo Morgan's book: 'Mutant Message Down Under' of Australian Aboriginies' natural processing of menstrual blood into healing salve.
It is exciting to hear that current scientific research is catching up.
Below is an excerpt from the article and a link to it.
From article:
Menstrual blood tapped as source of stem cells.
Experiments in lab dishes showed that under the right conditions, the menstrual stem cells could turn into more different tissue types — including bone, blood vessel, fat, brain, lung, liver, pancreas and heart — than other adult stem cells. The new stem cells also grow readily and rapidly, which is an important advantage.

Scientists are pursuing a new type of stem cell found in menstrual blood:

March 24, 2008


Celebrate menstruation? Absolutely!

Because our menstrual blood is sacred. It is the lining of our wombs, which is designed to nourish new life when we conceive, and is shed when we don't... (much like a snake shades its skin to renew itself).

And because Sacredness and Celebration are not contradicting terms.
When that which is sacred is not also celebrated, with light-hearted joy, then it is in danger of becoming stifled.

Menstrual Monday
was started a few years back by a women called Geneva (I do not know her last name or her whereabouts)

Determined to help spread awareness of menstruation as a sacred journey, I joined this lighter-hearted cause, not as a main dish, but as an appetizer for women who may come to graze, and stay for dinner...


The Monday BEFORE Mother’s Day...because menstruation comes before motherhood...and usually long after it, too.

To create:

* A sense of fun around menstruation

* To encourage women to take charge of their menstrual and reproductive health

* To create greater visibility of menstruation, in film, print, music, and other media

* To enhance honesty about menstruation in our relationships


In your living room,

your dormitory,

classroom or apartment,

at a friend's house,

at a park or other open area,

the center of campus,


in a restaurant or cafe,

just about anywhere!


* Throw a Menstrual Monday party

* Wear Red

* Eat Red foods

* Share Red roses

* Tell the story of your first menstrual period, or your last

* Create Red art to express your relationship with your menstrual flow

* Organize a costume contest

* Hold a panel discussion on women's health issues

* Invite women for a messy spaghetti dinner


Mother's Day falls on different dates in different countries.

Once you figure out when Menstrual Monday is in your country (the Monday BEFORE Mother's Day) - spread the word and plan your gig.

If Mother's Day has already been celebrated in your country, please join the USA festivities day: 5/5


To make this an international day, I've started a group on Facebook called:

I Bet We Can Rally 1 Million Women To Celebrate Menstrual Monday 2008!
Please help spread the word!

You can join the group by joining (it's free and open to all).

Start making plans now with friends.

What are YOU doing on Menstrual Monday 2008???

Visit DeAnna's website at:

March 8, 2008

My first period ~ DeAnna's story

I was about 12 and and owned a book called "A Baby Comes into the World," which was given to me by my Mom a few years earlier. Even though we looked at the detailed drawings of Female and Male anatomy, and she read the book to me more than once, when the day arrived -- none of that, apparently, sank in.

I found a dark red stain on my undies when I went to the bathroom. I had no clue of what it could be, and decided to ignore it. I pulled my pants up thinking the stain would go away by the evening. A few hours later, when I found that it didn't, I told my Mom. She identified it as my period and we proceeded to go to the bathroom, where she strongly emphasized that I needed to wash often when my period came.

My Mom was scientific and cold about the information she gave, and cleanliness was her main point. She never mentioned the word "dirty," but her stress of the need to wash gave me a clear message: my blood was unclean. It followed that we both discard of our pads in the trash, where all dirt goes... After I was washed and "padded," she gave me one quick hug and said I was a woman now. It didn't mean much and there was no warmth in her hug. I went on to think of my period as "nuisance" for years afterwards, much as she did.

Most of my memories center around feeling mortified of the thought that the boys would find out... I remember a dream in which I was wearing white pants to school, and unbeknown to me had a huge red stain on my behind. The boys' laughter was humiliating, and I woke up feeling deep shame. I have a few memories of feeling camaraderie with girls who started bleeding, but we all thought of our periods as bothersome.

I discovered the sacredness of my Moon Blood, and the depth, beauty and insight that come with conscious flowing, only in my early thirties. It has been an empowering journey, and now, at the gateway of menopause, I cherish my flow even more, knowing it will not be with me forever.

Having sat in circles with women and girls around the world, I found that sharing our First Moon stories has a profound healing effect. Regardless of differences in detail, the stories resonate with women everywhere because of the feelings they evoke. I strongly believe that creating sacred spaces for our First Blood stories to be told and shared, is essential to our growth as women, individually and collectively. It is also a step in modeling strong, confident womanhood to the girls in our midst.

As an open invitation to sit in a virtual Red Tent, I created a discussion group on Facebook, called My Virtual Red Tent.

The group is a place to share our stories of First Blood, as well as Last; to convey revelations and insights from our cycling years; to ask questions and invite answers; to have open dialogues about the meaning of living life as Cyclical beings; and to explore the wisdom that comes with the end of cycling, as we enter the Crone phase of our life.

The address for 'My Virtual Red Tent' group is:

In order to join the group you would need to join Facebook first (it's free and open to all) by going to

I hope to meet you in an actual Red Tent, one of these days...
Until then, why don't you join the virtual one?
Welcome to the circle...

March 6, 2008

"My first period" ~ Rosie's story

How was your first period? Most women never told the story of their first blood... You are invited to share your stories here, as we create a virtual circle of women, giving voice to that which has been silent for so long...

Gianna Rose Williams
(Rosie to her family and friends) has just turned 16, and her first period story is one of the most uplifting ones I heard. Here it is in her own words:

"My first period was about as exciting an experience as it could have been!
I was always extremely anxious to start it because I felt it would make me more adult and womanly. Months before I started I was very emotional from all the crazy hormones. After a while both my mom and I just knew it needed to happen, that it was time for it to come out of me! That evening we squeezed in a bath tub of ours and just laughed and laughed with each other for many hours.

The next day I went to the bathroom after school and there it was, all over my undies! I was so excited! I ran inside and saw she was helping someone in the shop, so I just patiently stood over on the side, I'm sure with this huge grin on my face, until she came over and asked me what was up, and all I had to do was smile at her. Then I handed her my bloody undies and said "These are for YOU!" We both started giggling, jumping up and down, and hugging each other!!

At first I wasn't sure what kind of product I wanted to use (tampons, pads, moon cup.....etc) I wanted to experiment with tampons. They hadn't invented the natural ones with an applicator yet, so I waited until the natural version came out with applicators and used those for a very long time. Around the same time someone told my mom about the Keeper Cup and how they loved it and that it's so much better for you because it lets you flow and there is nothing blocking or stopping your natural flow. For a while I didnt want to use it because you have to rinse it out everytime you go to the bathroom.

Once I tried it, I loved it, and after consistently using it, I never got anymore cramps!! I think tampons may be one of the main reasons so many woman get intense cramps, but I definitely noticed/notice a huge difference in me.

I am very lucky to have had such a great experience around my period, and have it be something exciting and not have any shame or guilt around it. As I have found out, the majority of women don't really feel this way about getting their period. I thank my mom grandly for that! Hope more and more people are having wonderful new experiences around their moon and that this is inspiring to mothers and daughters everywhere!"

Rosie's story stands out because it is so rare.
Hearing it is inspiring, while sharing our own stories is healing. There is a bond that happens when we share our stories (all less than perfect) and hear how deeply they resonate in other women's experiences around the world. This is an invitation to share and heal...

March 3, 2008

Menstrual blood art (2)

Thanks to those who posted comments as well as the many who wrote to me privately. I always welcome feedback and dialogue, so keep writing!

For all of you women who are inspired to paint with your Moon Blood,
one technical point: your paintings need to be sealed once they are completed (regardless of your canvas material). Sealing will prevent cracking or fading, and will preserve your painting. What to use? Let me tell you how I found out...

I entered the local art store and my heart skipped a beat when I asked for a sealant (wondering what I would say if I had to describe what it was for).
- "I want to fully preserve the color of my painting" I said.
- "Are you using oil or water-based paint?" asked the woman behind the counter. I glanced around to see who else may be hearing me, took a deep breath, and semi-whispering I courageously announced: "My menstrual blood..."
The woman was un-fazed.
- "OK" she said.
Not a muscle moved in her face, as if people came in every day looking to seal their menstrual blood paintings (perhaps they do?)
- "Would you like it to have a matt or a glossy look?" she asked, business-like. I sighed and had to stop myself from bursting into a laughter of relief.
- "Matt" I smiled.

Given her total lack of surprise I was hoping for a conversation, half-expecting to hear the story of her journey with blood painting, but she disclosed nothing. If she was shocked, she certainly didn't show it, neither did she show solidarity. Utterly neutral she escorted me to the cash register where she reminded me to read the instructions on the sealant spray bottle, and to allow the painting to fully dry between applications.

It worked! A few coats did the job, the color remained as deep as my blood ever was, and the painted drum looks exactly as it did before I sealed it, which is how I wanted it to look.

Vanessa Tiegs is the only other artist I know who creates with her Moon Blood. You can view her powerful paintings at -

I was about to post this when an email arrived from a fellow Moon Blood devotee, responding warmly to the previous post, and adding: "Menstrual blood is also wonderful for a facial. Apply blood as-is, allow to dry, wash off and enjoy soft skin!" This is delightful news! I would certainly try it... and I thought there was nothing new I could learn about the subject...

February 24, 2008

Menstrual blood art

Drum and Art by DeAnna L'am © 2008 ~
Yes, this drum was painted with my Moon Blood.
Our moon blood is sacred substance. It starts as life-giving tissue that lines up our wombs monthly, in preparation for new life. If no life is conceived, the lining is shed as our menstrual flow. The tissue that would have nourished new life now flows from within us. We can choose to trash or honor it.

For many years I have been collecting my moon blood by soaking menstrual cloth pads in water, and feeding my plants with this rich, nourishing soup.
The house plants were ecstatic! They shot up as if fed by magic (which they were!) and looked happier than ever before (not to mention the environment, that is given a break each time a woman chooses to stop using disposable menstrual products). Recently, I have discovered the Moon Cup: a little goblet made of latex-free rubber. It is inserted like a diaphragm, and collects our Moon Flow at source.I was led to a new level of connection with my blood.Pouring the deep crimson liquid from the moon cup into a bowl allowed me to see my blood for the first time in its raw form. I have collected 4 days worth of flow into the bowl (no, it doesn't smell. The odor you may be familiar with comes from the interaction between your blood and the chemicals used in commercial "feminine hygiene" products.) Later that night I took my Moon Blood bowl and my drum, and went to sit by the fire place.
The long gaze into the flames moved me to an altered state, and I dipped my hands into the bowl.
With no fixed idea in my mind, I let my fingers chase each other in the rich broth, lifting them occasionally to see red ruby droplets fall back into the bowl. I was fascinated. My hands felt like fish gliding in smooth waters, and my eyes feasted on the beauty and depth of the burgundy blood. After a while I was ready to touch my hands to the drum.I reached one hand and let it play on the drum's surface. My other hand immediately wanted to follow. I watched as they chased each other in spiraling rounds, creating vortexes and whirlpools, letting them smear and allow fresh ones to emerge. I was in kindergarten once again. The pure joy of playing with color overcame me, and for a while I had no attachment to an end result.Then a pattern started to emerge. The spiral that sprang from the center felt like "the one." My left hand made a print below it. I liked the idea of it being an impression of my heart-hand, and proceeded to leave a left-hand imprint in each of the four directions. I stood up to look at it and my mind shifted to "art critic" mode. It took a minute to switch off, and to realize I was actually sorry to be done, since this meant the fun was over... Well, at least until my next cycle.I washed my hands and saw the blood interact with water. It thinned, turned pink, and disappeared down the drain. I was sad to let it go, and wondered what else could I create when my Moon Flow returns. The possibilities, of course, are endless...

Is this art? My Moon Time drum is sacred to me. It is not displayed as art, for it is meant to be used ceremonially. The power that emanates from it feels like it needs a container, and I keep the drum covered when it is not in use. I have since painted with my Moon Blood on paper and recycled it. That month I wanted to keep the experience of painting as the only essence, and let go of the end product.

I hope you are inspired to try...
Yes, years of societal taboos may spring to mind, disguised as resistance, aversion, or judgments. Listen to them. Then inquire within: whose voices are talking to you? Can you find your authentic voice among all others? If not, where is it? Relax into a comfortable position, dive deep into your wellspring, and let your deepest guidance speak. That is the most worthy voice...

February 23, 2008

Become a Red Moon Trainer

Menstruation as a spiritual journey is one of the last uncovered frontiers in personal growth and spirituality today.

Red Moon - Cycles of Women's Wisdom announces its first training for trainers, starting April 20, 2008!

Trained women will be able to facilitate Red Moon workshops and classes, plan and lead Coming of Age ceremonies, and lead Menstrual Empowerment activities.

Training includes:
  • Spiritual, emotional and physical aspects of menstruation
  • Healing the Maiden Within
  • Elements of ceremony
  • Planning and leading ceremonies
  • Shamanic work
  • Guiding women and girls
  • Group facilitation
  • Mentoring
Duration- 13 lunar cycles:
one Sunday a month, 10:00AM- 4:00 PM, for 13 months
starting Sunday, April 20.

Our meetings will take place in the Sebastopol (about 50 miles north of San Francisco).

Please spread the word to your women friends, as we still have a few spots available.

I am deeply excited about taking this voyage with a group of women who are dedicated to delving into themselves, embracing their cyclicity, growing together, and bringing their experience, insights, and gifts to the world around them.

If you are interested, or know a woman who is, please Email me for a registration packet, as
places are filling up quickly! .

I look forward to hearing from you, and embarking on a journey of discovery together.

February 19, 2008

In the flow

Only death is constant. Life keeps twirling, shifting, undulating, evolving... Our only choice is between Resistance and Flow. How mindfully do we choose, at any given moment?

As a teen girl in Israel, a tampon ad promised that using it will make "every day of the month be the same!" At the time I though it a good thing, to become linear. I don't anymore.

Having every day of my month be the same means resisting the flow, obstructing it until my body cries with PMS symptoms. I never used to have physical aches or pains, but I sure was irritable during my monthly bleedings. When I started reclaiming my Moon Time as the spiritual resource that it is, I began to take the first day of my period off, in order to hibernate, rest, delve-in, create, rejuvenate... To my astonishment all irritability disappeared . There was no one to be irritable with...

My Moon Time is sacred whether I take time to honor it or not.
Having discovered how deeply revered and celebrated menstruation was, in every indigenous culture around the world, I have been deepening my journey, finding insights, creativity, wisdom, and solace in it, for many years now. It has become such an integrated part of my life, that "moon flow" is part of my seven-year-old daughter's vocabulary. She is used to the fact that my flow returns,
like the seasons, in a familiar and predictable rhythm. I trust that as she grows up she will have no reason to resist the ebb and flow nature of being a women, nor her menstrual flow, because moving, shifting, and cycling have always been natural to her. They are life itself.