Cutting Through to Freedom: A Women's Rite of Passage - Michelle Benzamin Masuda - "Women usually only see parts of themselves, this event was about creating the whole."

"To survive we cut away parts of ourselves
I remember cutting away my honesty
to be nice
I remember cutting away my confidence
to be desired
I remember cutting away my intelligence
to be placed on the altar of social acceptance
And later Society takes up the blade for me
and begins to cut off my body
It cuts off my legs, my arms, my breasts,
my sexual parts, my head
pasting me up on the billboards,
along the highways and streets
I become divided, separated from my body
Sold to the highest bidder
on our social battlefields,
on our spiritual battlefields
Loved and revered as the Virgin
and stoned and despised as the Whore
To save my life I run to my Brothers
and we both fall into a deep sleep
Woman cut off from her body
and Man cut off from his feelings
We awake in these times and
we pick up the pieces of our broken selves
and we are made whole again
We pick up the pieces of this broken earth
cut and ravaged
and we are made whole again
I pick up the soft blade of my breasts
and I cut myself back to the Source"

- Michelle Benzamin Masuda

One of the most ancient symbols of the feminine, of sexuality and of transformation, the serpent with its undulating motion, represents the energetic movement of the universe in all its expressions - of light and sound and ocean waves.   The Serpent Dance is less about dancing than "being danced" by this primal power which is also encoded in us, and is understood to be healing for its ability to attune all the systems of the body - the brain, the heart, the whole.   The women who dance the Serpent Dance explain that the unfounded fear often associated with the serpent stems from denial of the feminine power of creation and sacred nature of our sexuality.

Vajra Ma Web Site

Serpent Dance - Vajra Ma and Xia

I am your Soul - Suzanne Sterling, Suzanne Teng and musicians

"There is a place you've been longing to find.
There is a light you've been searching for
Lay down right here
And open the door
    I am your cup of Love
    I am your Sorrow
    I am your Soul
    I am the Dream you Dream
    I am the World unseen
    I am your Soul
An I am calling you to Rise up
And I am calling you to Dream through
And I will sing through your voice if you listen
If you listen to me I will carry you
    I am your Whispering One
    I am your Freedom
    I am your Soul
    I am your midnight sun
    I am your wisdom
    I am your Soul
And it is only Love
    I come to tell you of
And it is only Love that you need
And I am calling you
To Wake yourself up
Won't you come home to me?
    I am your Hidden Face
    I am your Son of Place
    I am your Soul."

- Suzanne Sterling

In the nine weeks it took us to create "We Are the Weavers" from inception to the event, artist E-ssa, one of a number of "men who love women" who showed up in support, sculpted the seven-foot winged goddess to represent the comet-like energy that moved us to breath new life into Women's Day - "not just for women, but for opening up of the subconscious and the manifestation of creativity in this world."

Jo Cobbet's Web Site

Bringing the Feminine into Balance Dance - Jo Cobbett with goddess Sculture by E-ssa

Frankie Lee and Erin Murphy with teen volunteers Becki Hively and Brittani Yerbe

The comments made by teenagers who contributed to our "We Are the Weavers" event, emphasize how valuable it is to have Women's Day as a mainstay in a young woman's life, "It opens people's eyes to the whole idea of being a woman, it makes you want to find out about yourself." and "It was so great to see such diversity, women and men and people of many different walks of life.  It gives you other perspectives and reminds us there's really just one strong bond that brings us all together."