SPIRITUAL EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
Excerpted from the book, ďAn Old Woman SpeaksĒ © 2009
By Stephanie M. Schwartz
Member, Native American Journalists Association (NAJA)
Published at www.SilvrDrach.homestead.com/Schwartz_2009_Jun_22.html
Today we are facing a new Era. The ancient Mayan culture
speaks of this change, the ending of their old calendar in 2012,
and the beginning of a new age. They, along with many other
indigenous cultures, also speak that this coming time will be
one of a more feminine nature, based in the heart.
But women in our modern world have a problem. Thus far, they
have begun to become financially empowered and professionally
empowered. Yet the most important need, for spiritual
empowerment, has often been neglected or ignored.
Our world is already in the time of transition and it will be
a difficult time until the new era blossoms into an age of peace
and understanding. If our world is to survive, spiritually
empowered women must take their place in helping. Itís time for
them to step up and step out. The time of hiding is over.
Most ďawareĒ people know that it is necessary to heal our
Grandmother Earth if we are to survive. However, it is equally
as imperative to also heal each other through love, compassion,
respect and, most of all, prayer. Prayers of the heart are one
of the most powerful influences in the universe. Moreover,
women also need to help men develop their own feminine aspects
of gentleness and sensitivity, compassion, nurturing, and
kindness. They need to help men learn to work from the heart.
If we donít do all of this, we canít help our planet and
humanity risks extinction.
Women are powerful, truly powerful, with unique gifts that
are far-reaching. That is why they have been considered a
threat by so many male-dominated modern cultures and religious
hierarchy. Women are especially tuned to walk in both the
spiritual world and the mundane world. They are particularly
adept at creating energy and change. Their great capacity for
bonding has made them especially empathic and gifted at seeing
and understanding past surface levels. Ultimately, their roles
as caretakers and nurturers have opened their hearts and
awareness to many levels of the universe. Their spiritual gifts
can be profound.
Unfortunately, women have begun to lose that understanding of
their gifts as they have grappled to survive in the callous
societies of today. Many live tentative, cold, and fragmented
lives as victims of violence, victims of unspeakable offenses
against honor. Too often, their hearts and spirit have become
uncertain and lost, awash in grief and fear. They have
forgotten who they are. They have forgotten their original
instructions as human beings and as women.
Yet, most indigenous cultures recognized the unique and
powerful qualities of women. In many cultures they were revered
and respected. In some, the entire societal structure was
Matriarchal. In others, the special spiritual gifts of women
were recognized and they were considered to be the nurturing
connection to the Divine. Throughout the indigenous world,
women often held the honored roles of leaders, advisors, or
wisdom-keepers. Many times, they were also found as the
community healer and seer, although in some cultures that was
reserved for women in their post-menopausal years.
It was also fully recognized that a womanís moon-time, her
period of menstruation, was her most powerful, albeit her most
uncontrolled, time. More importantly, however, her moon-time
was considered her own personal sacred ceremony, a time where
she is quite literally shedding her blood for humanity, purging
and purifying herself to make room for the creative energies and
life to arrive.
Due to the sacredness of this, some indigenous cultures
sequestered their women away from the village during their
moon-time. This wasnít a banning or shunning as is popularly
assumed today. This was a period of protection and rest from
the duties of their very hard lives, a few days off each month.
It was where they were waited upon by other women and served
food they didnít have to cook themselves. It was also a time
for reflection or sharing and bonding with other women. In
short, it was a time of respect and honor and rest.
During this time, they also did not participate or go near
any ceremony being conducted outside their seclusion. There was
good reason for this. The main reason, very logical, is that it
is never a good idea to cross ceremonies (start a ceremony while
another one is in process). At best, it just all blows up and
becomes so diluted into confusion that nothing happens for
anyone. At worst, you can get some very crossed energies going
with highly negative and chaotic results. Therefore, since the
women were already in their own ceremony, it was highly
unadvisable for them to go near anyone elseís ceremony.
A secondary reason was simply the powerful but raw,
uncontrolled energies that sometimes occur when a woman is on
her moon-time. Few women know how to control it and that kind
of energy is quite literally capable of blasting anyone and
anything, intentionally or unintentionally. If you donít know
what I mean then simply think of the last time you crossed a
woman who was on her moon-time. Itís not a pretty sight.
The ancient cultures all knew and understood these things.
Unfortunately, the truth has often been lost along the way to
modern times or misconstrued and twisted into untruth. Women
have nearly forgotten their place in the Universe.
So itís time that women start looking at their power, their
bodies, and their cycles with respect instead of as a ďcurse.Ē
Itís vitally important that women choose to heal themselves and
regain the understanding of their own unique gifts; to re-claim
their own power and themselves. Then it will be up to each
woman, her beliefs, and her Divine as how to best walk with it
It is said we are the sacred 7th generation. For our
children and grandchildren, for the next 7 generations, for
ourselves, itís time for women to harness their power and get to
work helping to save our world. Women can do it; they are
particularly suited for this need. But itís a choice.
To quote an ancient indigenous song, ďWomen of the earth,
take courage. You carry the teaching of a people who look to
you for guidance. Be mindful of your walk.Ē
We are the ones we have been waiting for. Itís time to step
up. And yes, Iím speaking to you.
This article may be reprinted, reproduced, and/or
re-distributed unedited with proper attribution and sourcing for
non-profit, educational, news, or archival purposes.
Stephanie M. Schwartz walked on to the Spirit World in 2009.
View other publications of Stephanie M. Schwartz at <www.SilvrDrach.homestead.com>