[Reviewed by Kyrsten Bean]
“In The Spirit of We’Moon – Celebrating 30 Years – An Anthology of We’Moon Art and Writing” is an anthology documenting thirty years of We’Moon calendars and is filled to the brim with women’s art and poetry.
The idea for the original We’Moon calendar originated out of the women’s liberation movement of the 60’s and 70’s. It germinated at Kvindelandet in Denmark, amongst a group of women who were teaching themselves to live on the land in harmony with the earth’s seasons and the planetary cycles of the universe. The idea started to spread to women from all over the world who had an interest in the earth, the planets and the female plight.
The publishers of We’Moon (meaning women in the collective dialect of the calendar) have gathered poetry and art from the thirty years of the publications history to produce this labor of love. The publication has always been centered on women specifically, and celebrates wholeness, struggle and different voices from across the earth.
I remember vividly traveling as a teenager and stopping at one particular gas station in the Midwest. Driving along the freeway that day had been nuts. The gas station was filled with crazy energy. I looked up and it was a full moon. My fellow travelers and I lamented that the moon cycles seemed to cause such a stir in energy on the planet. That was my first recollection of the moon affecting the earth on any grand scale.
Lunar cycles affect everything: From the tides, to women’s monthly cycles. We’Moon celebrates the alignment of the planets and stars in relation to earth’s female energy and has documented the changes over the last thirty years through the collective unconscious of women everywhere.
Kyrsten Bean is a Staff Writer for Synchronized Chaos. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The anthology contains a poignant selection of poetry from women who have sought enlightenment through the self in spite of great opposition, oppression, betrayal and rejection. The art work is effulgent and varied, ranging from a colorful painting of a blackbird carrying a medicine bag to a picture of a woman kneeling in a dilapidated room praying with a blindfold over her eyes. The art work pairs well with the poetry included. Both are based on the themes of different We’Moon calendar issues throughout the last three decades. Themes include topics including Gaia, death, birth, life, animal wisdom, earth matters, evil, women in the community and many more.
Wisdom can be gained from this anthology. For example, there is a story about the shaman Chiron and the power being wounded has in furthering you on life’s journey: teaching you your own unique calling that can be used to help others in their journeys. A poem written by a woman to a friend who had been arrested during a demonstration reminding her that the real prison exists in the mind; that many people around us are living a lifestyle that claims to be free, yet is not.
In this collection, wounds are turned into jewels through creative expression. The earth is given its dues. Women’s voices are angry, accepting, embracing and life-giving. They are voiced through circle-of-life artwork and reflective poetry. Tribal culture, communal culture, and community cultures amongst women are recognized. Women who don’t even speak the same language say similar universal things.
It is overwhelming to think of only female energy and the female race alone as entitled to lead the human movement. Sometimes, in these pages, you see a simple plea for men and women to unite. Other times, memories of life without men abound as the publishers recount their various experience in contributing to the calendars history over the years. Through their memories, the reader is taken on a trip through different narratives, most speaking to an inner need to be free of the confines of 20th century society, pleading for us to find ways of healing the earth and to live in harmony with nature, and professing an appreciation for the cycles of the planets and all that they bring.
Here, in these pages, women have a voice. One that can grate, soothe, lull or ignite. This is the voice of We’Moon.