Now though, as I am learning to embrace my womanhood and my cycle I have begun to think of how my life would now be different and how much pain I would have been spared had I been taught the wonders and blessings of womanhood as a girl -- Had I been taught to appreciate my body and it's abilities rather than see it, and it's workings, as "the curse." Clearly I am unable to somehow go back in time and teach myself all these things. But it has inspired a new need in me to ensure that my daughter doesn't have the same struggles and issues that I had.
I've been thinking a lot lately of all the things I wish I could have experienced, all the knowledge I wish I could have been given... And all the things I hope I can do for and give to my own daughter, in hopes that she will grow to love and respect her body, her cycle and herself fully.
Truth be told, my daughter is just over 3. I have quite some time before I have to focus on planning a menarche celebration. But whenever I sit quietly, I find my mind wondering to that day in the not so distant future... So clearly, I'm being called to focus on this now for some reason... Whatever that reason is, I know enough to listen to the spirit when I feel it guide me.
I don't know all of what I hope to do for my daughter, but I do know that I hope to present her with a "Red Box" (also called a Moonbox) when she reaches her moontime. A part of my own growth in this matter has included the creation of my own "Red Box" (which by the way isn't actually red.) If I had such a box years ago, even without any rite or celebration, I feel things could have been different for me.
So what's in a "Red Box?" And why is it so important?
All in all a "Red Box" is just a box - any shape, any color, and just about any size - which a woman uses to keep all of her "feminine needs" safe. Prior to menarche it is also a box in which to keep any gifts or items which will be gifted to a young woman upon her first blood. This box not only keeps everything safe, but ensures that these items are only handled and used by the woman in conjunction with her cycle.
Some may see this like a "hiding spot" for things, but it's not. While part of it's job is to keep womanly supplies away from others, it's not out of a need to hide them - which is why such boxes are often decorative - but to keep them away from prying eyes and curious hands. A woman's supplies should be something which honor a woman's cycle and body, and they aren't something which every person in the home should be running their hands over or tossing around. Their energy should be kept positive and clear, and leaving them for others to handle will only ensure that isn't the case for long.
But what goes in a Red Box? What exactly are "womanly" or "feminine needs?" I suppose for each woman it will differ. If a woman is already deep in to her cycling years, chances are she already knows what she needs. But if she is working on expanding her understanding of or embracing her own cycles she may wish to add or change some items as needed. If however, you're building one for a young woman who has recently, or who has yet to begin her moon cycles - or if you're considering some items which you may wish to add to your own - here are a few suggestions on items to include:
- Sanitary Pads (Cloth are best of course)
- Menstrual Cup, Sponge or Tampons (ideally organic)
- Special "Moon Blood Undies" (dark colored and super comfy)
- Lunar Calendar/Planner or Journal (for tracking and making notes on cycle symptoms)
- Red Towels & Washcloths (for use only when bleeding)
- Herbal Teas, Tinctures or other Remedies (to sooth symptoms and relax the body/mind)
- Incense and Candles (to help aid relaxation, meditation
- Heating Pad or Hot Water Bottle
- A Special Piece of Jewelry, Nail Polish or Lipstick (meant to be worn only at moontime)
- MoonCycle Beads (to help track cycle)
- Moon Cycle & Womanhood Based Books (educational & inspirational)
- Loose fitting & comfy PJs
There are probably a million different items that COULD be put in the box. It all depends on the woman. For young women who are new to their cycles, it's about more than just caring for her physical needs, but about teaching them to relax and enjoy their cycle - plus it's about teaching her why her cycle is such a blessing!
It may seem like such a little thing in a woman's life. But the fact is, a woman's cycle is what makes her a woman. It's what gives her the power to create life. It's what separates her from men. A woman's cycle is what allows her to better connect with her sacred, spiritual self...
There is a saying that "There is a little witch in every women." Fact is, it's the moon cycle which aids to a woman in her connection to that inner witch! So, it's worth embracing...