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Hi, pod fam!! 

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been asking all of my guests this season to share a lesson they learned from the madness that was 2020, and a big theme that keeps coming up is slowing down. My guests have been learning to trust and listen to their bodies and know when it’s time to take a break or pump the brakes. And this is something I’ve been working on, especially this month. My body has been telling me to slow down for a long time, and I’ve FINALLY been listening. The month of August, for me, has been all about nourishing myself, recharging, and meditating on what I want this next year to bring.

With that being said, this week, I’m excited to welcome someone who knows all about slowing down, listening to your body, and healing to the pod. This week’s guest is Raven Rose, founder of Moon Medicine. Identifying as a “medicine woman,” Raven is an herbalist and educator with a passion for helping women heal from physical and emotional ailments. We’re talking about reproductive health, menstrual cycles, listening to your body, ancestral trauma, and how emotions manifest themselves in the physical body. Let’s get juicy!

Let’s start with the name: what is Moon Medicine? 

“Moon Medicine is the remembrance of the sacredness of our cycles and bodies,” says Raven. “It’s ancestry, it’s dreamwork, it’s the menstrual cycle—all those things that we don’t talk about as much, and things that could also be considered esoteric or woowoo.” 

What sparked an interest in menstrual cycles?

Like many of us who practice alternative wellness modalities, Raven started digging into what our cycles have to teach us after a traumatic personal experience. She had been experiencing so much intense pain with her periods (which, BTW, is NOT normal and indicates something is off) and got placed on birth control from a fairly young age. And the birth control nearly caused kidney failure. 

That was the wakeup call for Raven to stop taking the pill and seek answers elsewhere. Her new doctor introduced her to the herb Vitex (AKA chaste tree berry; we love her for hormone & reproductive health) and acupuncture, which just opened up a whole world of possibilities for mind-body healing. Those two are super powerful on their own, but Raven was open and readyyyyy for all the universe had to offer. 

Around this time, she also started connecting via ancestral work for generational support with emotional trauma and how it presents in the physical body. And she’s got soooo much juicy wisdom to share with us, based on her own journey! 

First, what does it mean to be doing ancestral work, and how can it help us?

For Raven, doing ancestral work meant calling upon generations past—specifically, her grandmother at first—to offer guidance and answers. “It started with me just asking my ancestors before bed, what do I do next?” she says. “I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what steps to take. Show me a way forward.”

And her ancestors showed up! Raven started dreaming about Tulsi (AKA holy basil—a beautiful mood-supporting herb), which led her down a path of exploring how stress contributes to hormone imbalances. By tuning in to the wisdom of her ancestors and being open to the magic of plant medicine, Raven was able to explore different pathways to healing her mind and body.

And since stress was a big thing that came up for Raven—in relation to her painful menstrual cycles and in general—let’s expand on that.

So, tulsi is a GREAT herb for stress relief and mood balancing, but it’s not going to fix the root of the issue. And something Raven and I both know well is that herbs can help teach us lessons. For Raven, tulsi essentially said, you don’t actually need me. I’m here to tell you to lower your cortisol and stress by making changes. 

Some shifts and changes we can make in our day-to-day lives to lower stress… 

Because our bodies can hold onto stress, it’s no surprise that stress can be directly related to menstrual pain and other discomfort surrounding your cycle. Here’s what Raven recommends to help reduce stress and nurture yourself and your body:

  • Look at what patterns are coming up in your life and where you might be a barrier to yourself (therapy can be a great tool for this)
  • Pay attention to your dreams (they can provide insight into things to release)
  • Call in ancestral support and ask for help identifying generational patterns in your life
  • Choose things that make you feel nourished and vibrant 
  • Listen to your body (what is this pain telling me?)
  • Find ways to release stuck energy or emotion (change up your normal routine, incorporate flower essences into your life, practice womb massage, dance, do creative things, free up your time)

And some recommendations for while you’re bleeding/on your cycle…

During our time of the month, we need some extra nourishment and to be even more attuned to what our bodies might be telling us. I LOVE these tips from Raven:

  • Set boundaries and create space around your cycle 
  • Don’t be around people who violate your boundaries 
  • Have some alone time 
  • Release tension related to using your voice and advocating for yourself (sing/let sounds out of your throat/unclench your jaw)
  • Create a ceremony around your period (Raven loves taking a “spiritual bath”)
  • Treat yourself like that queen you are

Oh, and one last thing… “Don’t let pain always be the catalyst for you to enjoy yourself and experience life and experience more of yourself,” says Raven. 

We could ALL use more joy, more self-care, more creativity, and more nourishment in our lives. You don’t have to be in pain or stressed out to work some of these tips into your life!

As always, tune into the episode for allll the juicy goodness in this ep! We’re digging deeper into listening to our bodies during the phases of our cycle, communicating with plants, ancestral work, taking flower essences, and nurturing ourselves. And be sure to share your thoughts with me on our NEW IG, @shoporganicolivia

xoxo,

Olivia

Connect with Raven Rose:

Follow @moonmedicines on IG

Visit the Moon Medicine website

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