"The Story of the Moon Goddess," ends the third section of
the book, a culmination of celebrations of positive visions of menstruation
for girls and women. In this story, young Helena is visited by a Moon
Goddess who teaches her to love herself, not only at puberty but all
through her life. The Moon Goddess gives Helena a great gift-a Moontime
Journal-to record not only her fears but also her hopes and dreams.
The story ends as Helena passes the Moon Goddess' gifts to her daughter,
Nacole, as she leaves her own cycles behind.
Once upon a time, there lived a young girl named Helena. Twelve years
old, she was eager to become a woman. Her mother had told her about
the beautiful Moon Goddess who would visit Helena soon to awaken in
her the seeds of life. Her mother spoke of the first time the goddess
had visited her, clad in a white robe, and with a voice as tender and
caressing as the light of the moon. She gave Helena a small glow-in-the-dark
star to place in the window to let the Moon Goddess know she was welcome.
Helena was nervous! She put the star in the corner of her window. There
it remained, night after night. Months passed. Helena waited.
One night it finally happened. She awoke from a dream and there, in
front of her bedroom window, in a pool of moonlight stood the Moon Goddess.
She was even more beautiful than Helena expected: tall, with a ruddy,
freckled face, and wearing a gleaming white robe that flowed from her
shoulders, over her bosom and curving body, and down her long, muscular
legs. The robe reached nearly to the floor.
Her sweet voice filled the room. "My dear Helena, the time has
come for our meeting. Your body is ready. Since even before your birth,
seeds of life have been waiting. Tonight I come to awaken them!"
Helena leaned against her pillow. She didn't know what to say yet she
felt great peace and happiness just in being in the presence of the
The shining goddess continued to speak. "Beginning now, the seeds
of life will start to flow in your body. Each cycle of the moon one
seed will ripen and flow forth. The door to motherhood has opened. Your
body has the power to grow a new human being!"
"But I'm not ready to grow a human being!" Helena felt a
little terrified. She looked pale in the moonlight.
"My darling girl, don't worry. It's a very slow becoming, very
slow," said the goddess. "Let me explain. I know you've heard
about the biological part: the ovaries, and fallopian tubes, and the
uterus. I'm her to tell you about the most important part-the magic
"The seeds of motherhood are only one part of your transformation.
The same power that releases them will cause your body to change: your
breasts will grow, your hips will curve and your body will begin to
become a woman's body. You will hurt sometimes, but that's part of the
"And your feelings will grow too! You will be able to love other
people in a way you never have before! Your understanding of the world
will deepen. Oh, Helena-this is the crossing over point for you! Your
power as a woman will be released."
"Gee willickers," said Helena. "I'm not sure I'm ready."
"You are ready to start. Remember, the becoming is slow."
The Moon Goddess leaned down and placed a rose on Helena's pillow. "I'll
come again to help you. And don't forget," the Goddess leaned down
and whispered in Helena's ear-"boys never get to meet me."
With that she disappeared.
The next morning when Helena awoke, she found the mark of blood, hidden
in the folds of her clothes. She knew from her mother's stories that
this was a reminder of the visit of the Moon Goddess. Her mother bought
her a big bouquet of roses, and they celebrated with a tea party, just
the two of them.
Before many months had passed, Helena awoke again in the night to find
the Moon Goddess standing at the foot of her bed. As before, she was
tall and ruddy, and strong, and her gown shone in the moonlight.
"Helena, my darling, I've come to give the help I promised."
"Oh, dear Moon Goddess, I'm so happy to see you. The changes you
spoke of have begun." This time Helena was no longer afraid. She
felt happy and excited in the presence of the goddess.
"For the next forty years I will come to visit you. Sometimes
you will wake and see me. Other times only the mark of blood will let
you know I've been here. When you see the red stain, remember the roses
your mother gave you-plump roses, crimson and bursting with life-roses
to remind you of the power of life inside you."
"It's such a big change for me," said Helena.
"Please listen closely, my darling. When you see my mark, it must
be a reminder to you to cherish your body and your soul. Every morning,
when you wake up, before you dress, I want you to stand naked before
your mirror and thank your body for the power of life it holds."
"That's so embarrassing!" giggled Helena.
"Stand alone in your room and look at each part, one by one. Thank
each part and rejoice in it. There may be seasons in your life when
others adore your body, and seasons when they make fun of it. Through
all the seasons, I want you to give thanks to this dear body."
"But it's so funny looking! My legs are bony. My breasts look
like mosquito bites!" giggled Helena.
"That's all the more reason to thank it. Your body is yours-it's
been given to serve you and to give you pleasure. But it has a life
of its own-and it may never look the way you think it should. Give your
body the respect and love that you would give any cherished friend.
When you respect her, other people will too."
"I'll try," Helena whispered. Again, the Moon Goddess placed
a rose on Helena's pillow and disappeared.
In the mornings that followed, Helena stood naked before the mirror
and gave thanks to each part of her body-her nose and her ears and her
freckles, her elbows and her privates and her legs. At first, she was
a little embarrassed but as time passed she liked the feeling of pride
that she felt.
A few more months went by and again the Moon Goddess appeared in Helena's
bedroom. By now she felt so comfortable with the goddess that she wasn't
even surprised when she opened her eyes to her shining white robes and
smiling face. This time, the Moon Goddess sat on the edge of Helena's
bed as she talked.
"Since you've done such a good job of thanking your body every
day, my darling, I've come to give you some more advice. Keep standing
before the mirror every morning. Here's something else that I'd like
you to try.
"Remember: the mark of blood is a sign you must cherish both your
body and your soul. Each moon-cycle, I want you take some time to hide
away alone to a secret place. Find a place where you can be alone to
think your own thoughts and dream your own dreams. Maybe it will be
an attic corner or a branch in a tree or a hide-away near a creek. Just
so it's secret and beautiful and safe. Tell only your mother. It will
be your special holy place. Then, look for other times to get away as
"I want you to protect your hide-way now as a maiden, and even
more when you are a grown woman. As you grow up, you'll understand why.
Then, I think you should go take yourself out to lunch regularly, and
maybe take some vacations all alone."
Now the Moon Goddess handed Helena a book, bound in fabric printed
with pink a red roses. When Helena opened it, she saw that its pages
were blank. The Goddess spoke again, "This is your Moontime Journal.
Write about your hopes and dreams in it. Write down any night time dreams
you have, too. It will help you to be true to your best self. And here
are some more ideas: some of my girls save their moontime blood in a
stone chalice. Others take the blood and pour it on their plants to
help them grow. Think about it. It's precious." With that, the
Years passed, and every month the Moon Goddess visited Helena, leaving
her red mark. Sometimes she caught a glimpse of the goddess, but more
often she didn't.
Often on a clear night, Helena gazed at the moon overhead and prayed
silently her thanks for the changes in her life.
As she got to know the goddess, Helena learned that she had many moods.
She could be unpredictable, sometimes slipping in early and unannounced.
Other times she held off her visit days or even weeks, leaving Helena
to wonder where she might be. Sometimes her visits were quiet, other
times stormy and overwhelming. Sometimes Helena hurt so much that she
wanted to holler at the goddess. Still, when she remembered to cherish
her body and soul, the visits left a sweet memory.
In time, Helena found a mate and gave birth to her first child-a daughter
she named Nacole. More children followed, and with each one Helena rejoiced
in the power of her body to grow and change and produce new life. She
rejoiced, too, in the power of her mind and heart to grow as her life
She still wrote in her Moontime Journal. One time she made a list of
some of the gifts the goddess had given her:
I am proud of my body, she wrote.
Nobody takes me for granted.
I know I have an important life to live.
I speak my mind.
Next year I will run in a marathon.
I never drink Slim-fast.
I buy myself silk underwear sometimes.
I take baths by candlelight while my husband watches the kids.
I never wear shoes that pinch.
I love all the roses she's left, and my plants are thriving.
The Moon Goddess continued her visits each moon cycle. Only when Helena
carried a child in her womb or at her breast did the goddess fail to
leave her mark of blood. Perhaps she knew that the child herself was
proof enough of her presence. Helena rejoiced in the milk that flowed
through her breasts-visible proof of the power of life in her.
More years passed and young Nacole was ready to meet the Moon Goddess.
Like her mother before her, Helena gave Nacole her little glow-in-the-dark
star and told her about the tall and beautiful goddess with the gleaming
white robe and the voice like music. One night when Nacole was twelve,
the Moon Goddess appeared in Helena's room. She was as beautiful as
"Helena, I have some more advice to you. Now that Nacole is a
maiden, promise me that you will pass on to her your pride in womanhood.
Let her find delight in her body, never shame. Help her cherish her
life. Help her eat healthy foods and maybe run track and speak up at
school and everywhere. Celebrate her intelligence and her talents.
"Let your daughter know that she has unique gifts for the world-ones
that no one else can give. Can you promise me this?"
"How could you ever doubt me?" said Helena. "I've already
bought her a Moontime Journal. We've made a womb-sculpture for our garden!"
"Well, here's a gift for you, my love." The Moon Goddess
handed Helena a pearl necklace that shone white in the moonlight.
The next month, the Moon Goddess visited young Nacole. Like her mother
before her, Helena celebrated the happy crossing over with a bunch of
roses and a tea party. In the years that followed, mother and daughter
often gave each other roses as a joyful reminder of the power they shared.
In time, the Moon Goddess's visits to Helena grew rare. She sensed
that she was about to enter a new stage of her life, and she remembered
again the excitement of being twelve years old and full of questions.
One night the Moon Goddess appeared again, filling her bedroom with
moonlight and her musical voice.
"My beloved Helena, after tonight, my visits will dwindle. It
has been forty years. Together we have been through so much-we have
become deep friends. I am proud of the life that has flowed from you.
Now you are ready for the next level. Soon my dear sister, the Wisdom
Goddess, will visit. Because you have become a wise woman, you will
need no mark to know her presence. She will come again and again for
the rest of your life, and through all that time life and wisdom will
flow through you.
And so it happened that both Helena and her daughter Nacole lived to
be beautiful, spirited, and happy old women. The goddesses stayed true
to their promises, filling their households with peace and pleasure.
Even in times of disappointment or sorrow-for they still had sorrows-both
mother and daughter knew that the goddesses would return and heal all
When Helena passed out of the earthly world, full of wisdom and years,
Nacole and her own daughter planted a rosebush on the grave.
and the beginning.
The Story of the Moon Goddess by Trudelle Thomas is excerpt from:
Moon Days - Creative
Writings About Menstruation
Creative Writings About Menstration
edited by Cassie Premo Steele, Ph.D
a great collection of women's writings on menstruation, edited by
Cassie Preemo Steele, twenty-six writers explore the "silent"
parts of women's lives; reawakening menstruation memories of embarrassment
and shame and transforming them to wonder, excitement, and laughter.
176 pages, illustrations. .
available through Ash
Order MOON DAYS in our Bookshop
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