Living the Sacred Feminine: Rebuilding the Earth Lodge
Earth Lodge Altar – August, 2018
When I was in my 20’s, I realized that I had come here this lifetime to explore one major question and that question was: What is it to be woman? And especially, what is it to be a woman at this time in history?
Being born female into a culture that valued and was largely a reflection of the gifts and principles of The Masculine was a strange and confusing experience to me, first as a young child and later as a young woman. The world that women were allowed to move in felt constrained and limited to territories (homemaker, nursing and teaching) that I wasn’t particularly interested in at that time of my life. To me, the worlds that were open to males felt way more interesting, exciting and “free”. I wondered…Where, in this culture, does someone like me fit? Or do I fit anyplace?
I was lucky in that I was born on a farm and allowed to be what is now called a “free range child.” Home was a safe place. I was free to wander the hundreds of acres on our farm, even as a young child. It’s not that my parents believed that was the best way to parent, it was simply how things were done on the farm. I was free to explore and be who I was – even as I wasn’t sure just who or what I was or where or how I fit in to the contemporary society of my childhood.
In 8thgrade, I went from being the only kid in my class at the one-room (K to 8thgrade) country school that I had attended, to being one of 60+ students in my class. It was there that I ran into the societal walls that prescribed the behavior that was appropriate (or inappropriate) for women, with the emphasis being largely on what was inappropriate which I interpreted to mean “If you wish to ‘fit in’, you must learn to contain and restrain yourself from fully expressing who you really are.” To not do so, was to be banished to the realm of those who “didn’t belong”.
The next 10 years of my life, were spent feeling one way on the inside and living differently on the outside in an attempt to “fit in” while feeling increasingly alienated from who I really was and the culture in which I lived.
Fast forward in time, through graduating from college, giving birth to my first daughter, joining the Peace Corps, marriage, moving to California, beginning an academic career at the University of California, Santa Cruz, traveling the world, having my second daughter, getting divorced, returning to my career at UC Santa Cruz, a second marriage, leaving UC Santa Cruz, commuting to NY to work, another child, another divorce, working with the International Center for Organization Design, meeting FireHawk and finally meeting The Origin Teachings of the Delicate Lodge and the two people who became my first teachers: WindEagle and RainbowHawk.
Ehama Institute in Germany – Circa 1998
Fundamental principles, natural laws grounded in thousands of years of observation and exploration became the ground through which I explored that original question of “What is it for me Pele, to be a woman.” Only this time, I lived into the questions in an experiential, everyday way of living through the lens of indigenous wisdom that I had previously only explored in an academic way at the University.
Fundamental principles became clear. For there to be peace within ourselves and on earth, the masculine and feminine aspects of who we each are must be in balance both within ourselves and in the larger cultures within which we live. The earth is a plane of duality and the gifts of difference, the gifts of all duality, including male and female, of the feminine and the masculine are the loom upon which we weave reality.
I came to understand my life
(and all human life)
as an Invitation from Life itself
Express your sacred essence as women and as men.
Weave an exquisite co-creative dance
A dance capable of embodying
the unique and limitless ways
in which the beauty and power
of the feminine and masculine aspects
in each of us
can come together
this life time.
My work with the medicine wheel teachings has always been both personal and transpersonal. My life long exploration of “What is it for me, Pele, to be a woman?” later became “Who are WE as women?” and what is the essence of what it is to be an earthly expression of the feminine face of The Divine, of Great Spirit, of Creator?
As I have watched my 3 daughters grow and make their way in the world, each one blazing different paths than the ones available to me at their age, I am struck by the grand opening now for the flowering of the Sacred Feminine (and the Sacred Masculine) and for deep and lasting intergenerational healing and growth.
My pledge to my daughters is to play my part by giving back the Teachings that I was given so that my grandchildren (now 9 young souls and counting) can each fulfill their destiny as sacred human beings.
I ask myself and others, how do we address the imbalance of the masculine and feminine energies in the world in ways that bring joy, harmony, hope and a new expression of a planetary culture in which men and women enjoy equal respect and there is a universal acceptance and understanding of the gifts each brings to life?
Ohki Simine Forest – http://www.ohkiforest.com
Enter the concept of Women as Stewards of the Earth Lodge and Men as Stewards of the Sky Lodge. This concept, first expressed to me in a talk and later in person by Ohki Siminé Forest, (a Canadian woman of Mohawk descent who works with The Maya in Chiapas, Mexico) took root in my heart and mind as a way to help create the world in which we all long to live – a world of peace, of wholeness and balance.
I began to imagine the Earth Lodge as a Sacred “Home”, an ongoing, alive, earthly container and expression of the sacred gifts of the Feminine and the Sky Lodge as a Sacred “Home”, an ongoing, earthly expression for the sacred gifts of the Masculine. And I also began to wonder what would an Earth Lodge and what would a Sky Lodge be like at this time on earth?
(Rather than speak more in depth about the Earth Lodge and Sky Lodge, you can download a pdf file here which contains key aspects of Ohki’s talk describing the Earth Lodge and Sky Lodge.)
Note: The essence of the importance of The Earth Lodge and the Sky Lodge to me is that it is one way to explore how we, as a culture, can build organizational structures that support The Two Sacred Laws: (All things are born of woman. And No law shall be passed that will harm the children.) while recognizing and respecting the sacred duality of Masculine and Feminine energies within each of us.
Earth Lodge – August, 2018
In August, we (Lana Holmes and I) held our first ceremony in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California for women interested in exploring Rebuilding the Earth Lodge for these times on earth. It was a profound and powerful ceremony.
The Earth Lodge and The Sky Lodge as an on-going, sacred, mystical , unfolding dance of co-creation. May it be so!
Pele Rouge has spent much of her life exploring the sacred inter-relatedness of all of Life. She fell In love with and became a carrier of an ancient body of Earth Wisdom Teachings after completing an eight-year formal apprenticeship with WindEagle and RainbowHawk, co-founders of Ehama Institute, based in New Mexico. These powerful Earth Wisdom Teachings are designed to foster wholeness and balance within the self and all aspects of life.
Working in tandem with her husband FireHawk, and her growing community of powerful women allies, she has brought these teachings into a wide variety of individual and organizational settings in the U.S. and Europe. At the heart of Pele’s passionate journey is her love of co-creating sacred ceremonial space in which people can gather to “do their work.”