chapter 15 -dreaming in the woods with sam zipporah and friends

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Life flowing through Portland is a beautiful dream. The silence here is punctuated only by bird-song on this wooden porch. I sit still, surrounded by forest; a banana and kale smoothie in my hand, the warm morning breeze enlivening my body, and I know my spirit has landed somewhere very special.

My few days here, in a house with wonderful super-chilled kind and open-hearted room-mates Elizabeth Dusty and Patrick are perfect. I am being charged back up again. Here I am restoring something that I know in my bones has been missing from this cycle so far because of overdoing it while bleeding. The ability to receive. And so it is here I can fill back up, relax, doze, dream, read and rest.

Last night we had a shared meal and I was reminded once more of the ease and flow when people come together working peacefully and with a focus. While Elizabeth cooked, Sam chopped, I picked and prepared freshly grown chard from the garden, and Patrick set up the table. Very soon we had an outdoor meal that was both beautiful and seemingly effortless! Simplicity. I invite more of this way of living into my life.

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I’m at Tikkum Olam Sanctuary, the home of beautiful Sam Zipporah; a genuine soulful visionary woman who lifts my spirits, and who’s work excites me. The work that heals the world; I encourage you to take a look. As well as her magnificent contribution to womankind around fertility and her many years of being a doula educator and supportive carer (that started when Sam was 16!), Sam has been recently called to work with women around holistic healing for abortion. Women spontaneously started coming to her about this and she knew she had to fill this very deep societal wound with her gentle care and knowledge.

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Sam is supporting and educating women with her sovereignty sessions around the whole ‘womb continuum’ menstruation, sex, orgasms, ovulation, abortions, birth, and is inclusive of all, no separation between them; they all deserve respect and reverence, they are all sacred.

Sam’s vision is to build a school for women to come to, unwind and learn; a sacred sanctuary around womb consciousness, and somewhere, some day, I know it will happen for her. I would love it if you wonder-readers could please send love to this vision that Sam holds so dear:

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I have learned loads of things while I have been here. From Sam’s cool housemate Patrick who is currently drying out an ‘artist’s conk’ medicinal mushroom he harvested from a nearby tree (a great big woody beast of a shroom about the size of a melon, great for boosting the immune system, dealing with viruses, cancer and calming the spirit). He is also an acupuncturist, super-knowledgeable about herbs and an expert in Chinese Medicine. From him I learned that the liver energy is fundamental in menstrual health as the liver is in charge of detoxifying the blood at night when we rest, and so supporting the liver through detoxification, rest, expressing or transforming anger, or by herbs we can help cut down on menstrual pain (dandelion, milk thistle, burdock. Lets support our liver, folks.

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Sam’s studies with Cultural Anthropologist Cynthia Ingar revealed a fascinating menstrual fact indigenous tribal women of Peru gave her an unique insight into the power of menstruation; something I have not yet heard before but something that has affected me deeply with regards the spiritual aspect of menstruation.

Indigenous tribal men, at their coming of age ceremonies, would take ritualistically take Ayahuasca to connect them with the sacred pachamama energy… whereas women? They would not take this plant medicine. Instead they would connect to the Mother Earth through ceremony during menstruation. YES!!!! Altered states of consciousness achieved during ritualistic menstruation ceremony is an EQUIVALENT experience to taking ceremonial Ayahuasca in these cultures… Not just historically, but in present day practices.

The act of ceremonial bleeding and the creation of quiet space to connect and listen to the divine wisdom of the Earth Mother is somewhat lacking from our culture. The lack of support we are often able to give ourselves at menstruation, and the lack of support we receive from society at this time has often led women to experiment with Ayahuasca to explore consciousness… But what if we were able to tap in to this deep connection within ourselves? By creating space, time, and a sanctuary at menstruation. The idea and the exploration around that depth of connection with pachamama through my bleeding as  blown me away and opened me up to infinite possibility.

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It is with great privilege that I come in to contact again and again with wise and knowledgable doulas midwives and healers on this journey. I am learning over and over afresh and new of women’s blood mysteries, and it is here in Sam’s woods that, filled up again, I am really ready to let rip with my writing flow and spill everything out. Its like menstrual flow only with words and it feels so timely and so right. I have been overwhelmed with so much happening, so much abundance yet no access to a computer or space to write about it. This is my thinking time and it has been special. I thank you infinitely wonder-people of this house and wish you dream-fulfilling blessings Xx

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