Miranda answered some questions posed by Moon Mother Mayella – we thought that many other women may have similar questions and would be interested in the answers.
Hello Miranda, thanks ever so much for this interview.
First, I would like to ask you why you think the topics of femininity, menstrual cycles and the divine feminine have become so popular. In that respect, did you see it coming or was it just a serendipitous coincidence that you started sharing the Womb Blessing as this worldwide interest started to grow and expand?
Miranda: I have been working to help women understand their female energies, their cyclic nature and feminine spirituality, for many years. My first book Red Moon was published in 1994, but by the end of the 1990s and through the 2000s the interest in female energies and spirituality had declined. It wasn’t until about eight years ago that there was a spark of interest again, and that spark has become a wildfire all around the world.
Much of my work is created before women are ready for it! For example, The Optimized Woman was first published in 2009, and only now are women discovering the book and the benefits of applying the concepts and information to their everyday life and work life. So over the years I have learned to be patient and to let things flow in their own time.
The delight and surprise for me when I first launched the Worldwide Womb Blessing in 2012 was that women were ready! However, I think that this readiness for the Womb Blessing came not from a conscious step into female awakening but from an awareness that something fundamental was missing from their lives, and that there was a feeling of incompleteness and lack of fulfilment. This feeling perhaps grew from the years when spiritual interest in female energies was low, or perhaps from the growing technology that was linking women around the world, enabling them to share their experiences but also creating more and more expectations for women to be the same as men.
I feel very strongly that women have reached a time when they feel that modern life is lacking something for them and that they are searching for fulfilment. In their search they are realising that in order to be fulfilled they need to love and live their cyclic nature.
You talk a lot about the importance of the menstrual cycle in women’s lives in your workshops and books. Some could say that by focusing so much on the impact of a biological function on women’s lives, you are privileging the biological inheritance of women and ignoring the cultural or societal influence on our lifestyles and choices. What would you say to that?
Miranda: A really interesting and thought-provoking question!
In my work I always start with a concept diagram based on the biological cycle of hormones – but I always say that my work does not focus on the biology but on the experience of women. It is the experience of who we are that is important, and for women with a menstrual cycle their experience of life is influenced by their cycle. You say that culture and society influence women, which it does, but the cyclic nature of women also affects culture and society even if we are not conscious of it. The menstrual cycle affects all aspects of a woman – her physical energies, her feelings, her creativity, her sexual energies. Most importantly it affects her perception from one phase to the next. How she perceives the world and herself in one phase changes with the next phase, and this is due to a change in her natural dominant level of thinking. Wherever there are women, there is the effect of the menstrual cycle – and so the cycle affects our culture and society whether we realise it or not.
The influence of society, however, has been masculine-dominant for thousands of years, and its approach has impacted on women lives and the way that they perceive their femininity. It has either denigrated the cyclic nature of women, or it has ignored it, or it has tried to repress it. Women feel and notice the changes in themselves, but if there is no positive validating societal explanation for what they are experiencing then the interpretation of their experiences is that something is wrong, and it needs to be fixed. However, the cause of the problem is society’s perception – and there is nothing wrong with the woman to fix.
So to answer your question! I would say that masculine-thinking dominated society has had a huge impact on our lifestyle and choices, and that it is time for women to recognise that this influence ignores or resists the amazing skills and abilities they have as cyclic beings, and that when they understand and accept their cyclic nature and express it into the world then they not only feel true to who they are but also offer the world the best of who they are. The situation is not exclusive – women’s cyclic nature has a role to play in the conscious development of society and culture.
You also use the phrase “authentic femininity” a lot. What do you mean by that? Can there be a global understanding or concept of what authentic femininity looks like for all women or can this be something personal and unique to each person?
Miranda: I use the term ‘authentic femininity’ to describe how women experience their femininity without the influence of a linear / masculine frame of reference.
Every woman has a unique experience of her menstrual cycle; however, there are things that women have in common regardless of the culture or society that they have been brought up in. These experiences come from awareness of our body, the way that we interact with the world, and the way we think and feel. This is our ‘authentic femininity’ – a direct experience of the world and expression into the world that derives from an awareness of who we are. So authentic femininity has a level which all women share, and this gives us the opportunity to create deeper empathy, communication and relationships between women from different backgrounds. But how we bring that authentic femininity into the world is shaped by our individuality, by our understanding, by our inner mythology that we create to understand ourselves, by our upbringing and by what our society allows us to do.
Some women’s collectives or movements are often blamed for being only for the elite, and particularly for white, middle-class women. Is there a country or countries where this work is more popular than in others? Would you say that the Womb Blessing community is reflected in this critique?
Miranda: The vision of the Womb Blessing is to share it with as many women as possible in the world.
The Worldwide Womb Blessing has women taking part in over 150 different countries. We have women taking part from countries ranging from Latin and North American to North Africa, from Europe to Asia and on small islands such as Easter Island, the Galapagos islands, Polynesia and La Reunion.
The Worldwide Womb Blessing is free to all women, and where women do not have internet access, we try to help make it available to them. We have had a village in Africa take part that has no written language so the women learned the meditations by heart to be able to take part.
Any ‘woman’ regardless of her background, religion, physical condition, education, language, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic circumstances, location and nationality is welcome to take part in the Worldwide Womb Blessing. And to help this goal we work with amazing volunteer translators to translate the Womb Blessing meditation into as many languages as possible – we cover 16 languages at the moment.
Countries where the Womb Blessing is currently more popular are Central and South America and European countries with a Latin-based language. Countries with less interest are generally English-speaking countries. However, this picture is changing as more and more women are exploring the Womb Blessing, so I would say ‘wait and see what happens next!’
Another common observation regarding self-development or spiritual trainings and workshops is that they are far too costly. Have you -as the Womb Blessing originator- taken any steps to make this work and that offered by Moon Mothers worldwide accessible?
Miranda: The Worldwide Womb Blessing is free to all women, so all women have access to it.
In response to the first Worldwide Womb Blessing I had lots of women asking to learn how to share the Blessing with women in person. Everything I do refers back to the vision of the Womb Blessing, and I felt that by creating Moon Mothers to give a Personal Womb Blessing that the Blessing would reach more women in the world.
My approach to the Moon Mother workshops is to make them financially accessible and reflect the economy of the individual country. However, there are always large amounts of expenses, especially for long distance travel, and sometimes low workshop prices mean we are unable to get enough students to pay for the expenses. It is important to me that abundance flows, and so it is unfair to ask a workshop organiser to run a workshop and not receive an income for her hard work. So we try to create a balance. I am very conscious of the difference in cultural expectations around the world and I always listen to the recommendations of my local organisers. It is not for me to dictate a price, but for me to listen to the experience, knowledge and suggestions of the organiser about what will work well in her country.
Also I offer reduced fee places in exchange for help, and two free Scholarship places for each workshop for women who may not have financial resources but who undertake a commitment to exchange work that will benefit the Womb Blessing and often take it into new areas.
The Moon Mother workshop is a ‘practitioner’ workshop and was deliberately designed to support women through the opportunity to receive income. It is not a self-development workshop, and so Moon Mothers are able not only to earn their training fees back but also to create a continuing income – very important for women living in countries with challenging economic environments.
And in relation to the previous question, you call yourself the Womb Blessing originator, rather than its creator. What is the difference?
Miranda: I think I feel more comfortable with the word ‘originator’ because I feel that the Womb Blessing and the Womb Blessing community is not something I ‘created’.
I certainly did not start out with the goal of creating the amazing international community we have today. The Womb Blessing came to me as small spark of an idea. I put that spark into the world and the women of the world responded and created a flame. More women put branches on the flame and build a bonfire. Then sparks flew up from the bonfire – and these sparks are the Moon Mothers, the Womb Blessing volunteers, translators, workshop organisers and Co-ordination Teams. And they go out into the world and create their own flames and fires. So, I see myself as a spark of inspiration, and it is the women who have responded who are the ‘creators’ of the Womb Blessing.
The Womb Blessing community is spreading across the globe very quickly, Miranda. Do you know how many Moon Mothers there are altogether? And as the community reaches farther, how do you make sure all cultures and spiritual/religious beliefs from each country you visit are respected and honoured?
Miranda: At the time of writing, we are 5,500 Moon Mothers in 61 countries.
For me one of the joys and creative challenges is learning about cultural differences and trying to find ways to meet them in a way that is inclusive and not isolating from the international aspect of the community. I think that in working with the Divine Feminine there is a heritage of understanding in which she expresses herself in many different forms and is known by many different names around the world. You just have to look at the objects women bring to my workshops from many different religions and spiritualities to see that even modern women honour the diversity of feminine spirituality. There is an inherent understanding that there is not just one path or one expression of divinity. So, we have women who follow the major religions, women who have other spiritual paths, and women who walk their own independent spirituality. It is an expression of women’s natural spirituality, and for this reason there is a genuine respect for each other’s beliefs and expression of belief within the community.
I am in a very privileged position to have a worldwide viewpoint, but this is not unique. One of the pleasures of the Womb Blessing is connecting with women from different cultures and countries. In most workshops we have students who come from several other countries, and this helps everyone to feel part of a global family. The internet is also bringing women together from different cultures, and there is a genuine curiosity and sharing of language, culture and spirituality. I love seeing the commitment of the women who travel long distances to attend my workshops, hearing three different languages used in the same discussion, and seeing the multiple backgrounds and beliefs expressed. I feel that as women awaken to their authentic femininity they are opening to the world and the women around them, and respecting each other’s diversity is a natural part of who we are as women.
Thank you very much, Miranda for your time and for all these insights. I look forward to seeing you in Ireland in the International Moon Mother Gathering.