The Women and the Moon

Full Moon Gathering gives women the space to renew themselves

PHOEBE ELLIS | THE SPECTRUM Oils and crystals can be an easy option to re-center one’s self.

Walking into the Full Moon Gathering event, participants were greeted with a circle of candles in the center of a room with hardwood floors and brick walls.

In the middle of the circle there were cards with an image of a stone on one side and a message of affirmation on the other. Also provided was a “peace blend” of essential oils for those who wanted it.

The event, which took place Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Fargo’s Downtown Yoga, had the goal of renewing participants with the new moon. The event occurs every time there is a full moon, or once a month.

The Full Moon Gatherings are only offered for women, and that means anybody who identifies as a woman, and is a transgender friendly environment, according to program leader and coordinator Kelly Zimmer.

Each participant received a small gift bag that contained a small vial with 10 drops of a “passion” oil blend and a citrine crystal. The intention behind this was to ignite fire in the core of each participant’s being and to motivate creativity going into the new moon cycle.

Zimmer, who also owns Wild Root Wellness, led the session. She began by explaining the significance of this moon.

She chose the crystal citrine due to its fiery properties, and she said she believes in the use of crystals in the context of health because she believes it helps people reconnect with nature.

The oil used was intended for a similar purpose, and Zimmer uses oils in her practices due to their emotional and physical benefits. However, she warns about synthetic oils and advocates for the use of only pure oils.

The crystal and oil used were intended to ignite passion, motivation and other positive emotions within the women present.

According to Zimmer, this was the second in a series of three supermoons and the most powerful of the three. This particular moon was closer to earth than the moon normally is, making it appear larger to those on earth’s surface.

Due to the time of year, this moon is often called the “snow moon,” though it has also been known as the “hunger moon” or “bone moon,” according to Zimmer, as historically food would be running out this time of year, leaving people with only bones to gnaw on.

Zimmer also talked about how this moon is in Virgo, meaning that it is a time to put energy into work within oneself.

Emotionally, this moon is known for self-healing and making “hard-earned manifestations come to life,” though it has been known to cause some stress in the love life department, according to Zimmer. Despite this, Zimmer encouraged the women in attendance to “fan your own flames.”

Historically, gatherings such as these go back generations to a time each month for women to connect with each other, according to Zimmer.

Though the gatherings have since modernized, some of their history can be traced back to menstrual huts in the times of believing that a woman getting her period made her unclean. This resulted in women having a safe space to talk about things going on in their lives.

“This circle put us on equal terms,” Zimmer said, going on to say that it was a way for women to affirm their spirituality and sexuality and to get away from the patriarchy.

As these circles have largely disappeared, women have adopted other women-only spaces like sewing circles, Tupperware parties or other female dominated activities.

For Zimmer, her goal is to ensure that women are “empowered to live life authentically.”

As part of the circle, Zimmer led those present through a guided meditation that asked them to imagine a flame floating around their body, beginning with the space occupied by a woman’s diaphragm and ending in whatever part of the body they envisioned.

This guided meditation was followed by a time to journal about whatever the women wanted, although the idea of writing about what ignites their passion was the suggested option.

Following the journaling time, the women shared what they wrote about. These topics varied from merely handling the emotions a person feels about their work ethic, to choosing a family style that works for them, dealing with aging and reconnecting with friends. All parties at the event, however, have chosen to remain anonymous.

One thing that all those present seemed to have in common was the desire to work on themselves and how hard that was for them. Some even said they felt guilty taking time for themselves, as they felt they were unfairly prioritizing themselves.

Some intentions the women put forth for the coming lunar cycle were treating themselves to some relaxation time, like getting a manicure, or simply leaving space to be creative and not overwork themselves.

The one-hour session ended after the last woman shared what she had written and what her intentions were going into the next month. Following the session some women approached each other with words of kindness or encouragement.

Though Zimmer has a medical background, and one day hopes to become a nurse practitioner, right now she truly believes the holistic health path is the one for her.

For Zimmer, the holistic approach is about whole-body health, health in spirit, health in emotion and physical health.

She got into holistic medicine in nursing school, when one of her instructors introduced her to a biofeedback machine.

A biofeedback machine is a machine designed to pinpoint where a person is holding emotions in their body, similar to how physical therapists can find where someone carries their stress.

The machine “reads the body’s cellular energy,” according to Zimmer, similar to muscle testing, where a question is asked and based on the body’s response, the answer is deduced.

Once a stuck emotion is detected, Zimmer can work with her clients to find a way for them to best release that emotion. This can sometimes involve working with counselors to address emotional baggage or shamans to work on spiritual health aspects.

Though Zimmer is passionate about holistic healing and a focus on every aspect of health, she said this is “not a substitution for western medicine,” continuing to say that she’s a big believer in both.

Zimmer said she encouraged students and everyone from the Fargo-Moorhead community to participate in events outside their comfort zone, like her Full Moon Gatherings. She hopes to build the F-M community more and more through her practice.

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