*From the Archives* Moon Over Nuit Moore
Moon Over Nuit Moore
It is with great pleasure and much respect that I get to post the interview questions for my next “Moon Over” Sister. I met this power house of a human being over 5 years ago working alongside of her at Blue Ridge Beltane, as she was the Lilith to my Inanna in ritual. But with all honesty, it could go the other way around, anytime. Nuit, to me, is a strong warrior womyn being the change in the world, living by her beliefs and following her intuitions with such conviction, strength and elegance, that many stagger mesmerized in her wake. She is my go to gal when all else fails, and the patriarchy has tongue tied me to curses, this womyn always has my back. I have never felt such synergy with someone I have spent so little time with and I have much gratitude for our long distance bond and hopes for more collaboration with this amazing, most awesome, most powerful High Priestess. With that said here is Nuit Moore, The Scarlet Shakti, in her own words…
What is the work you do?
The forms my work takes are varied, but at the core my work is the empowerment of women, to inform on and assist with the destruction of the patriarchal structure which has resulted in so much misogyny, societal disease and division, eco-destruction, and to serve as one of the midwives of the planetary paradigm shift to return humanity to a state of sacred Gaian consciousness. To be more specific, I work directly in various healing modalities such as ceremony and sacred space, holistic health empowerment, in serving as a channel for liminal expression via trance arts, and I write, create art, and teach classes on related topics to my work. I am also an eco-feminist activist.
How did the manifestations of The Scarlet Shakti come to be?
It has actually been a process that has been in formation since I as long as I can remember in regards to my path- but the seed burst on this vision in the early 90’s, sending out shoots, and really began to gather strength hardcore around 1997, which was the year I transitioned from one heartbreak into the relationship that would take me literally into the Underworld. In the hinge time of Winter/Spring that year, I painted my first Kali, Medusa, and Lilith paintings- all as a channeling of the grief and trauma I was dealing with, yes- but more importantly as a calling of my power to survive and stand in my truth. I had written material on these Goddess archetypes that resonate with my path as the Scarlet Shakti before this, but this is when I became intimate with them as their mythos came deeply into form in my personal life. An initiate into their mysteries on the intensely intimate level, and at this point, whatever doesn’t kill me, had best start running- seriously. Oy. This is also around the same time period that I started calling my moon lodges Scarlet Temples, coinciding with that intense initiation as a Priestess of Lilith. I started wearing red veils in my ceremonial work and in my tribal dance pieces, and wrote about the red veil in my booklet ‘The Scarlet Lotus’. Veils, serpents, shakti, all flowing and rushing through me scarlet red. For a while, I taught a class about my path called ‘The Scarlet Priestess’, but as that term has been used in various other ways that do not apply, I felt called to invoke a more specific name for my work, for my path, for myself. Shakti is the active principle of female energy, the power of the Divine Goddess that is both destruction/creation. I am the Scarlet Shakti because the medicine of my journey, of my work, is red- scarlet crimson blood red, of the life giving blood, of the lunar blood of women- connected to my lifelong work as a menstrual activist and ceremonialist, to the healing of the root chakra, the holy yoni, the womb, the blood, connected to my own sangraal, connected to the vision of the Scarlet Woman- the woman demonized and punished by the patriarchal structure I have fought against the whole of my adult life. The Magdalene, Jezebel, the Qadishtu, Sacred Harlot, the Serpent Goddesses, the liberated Lilith, Ishtar, Inanna, the Pythia, Rakta Kali Maa, the Red Dakini…the Scarlet Woman as Babalon, which is, in essence, just the return of the Goddess to our collective consciousness. The Empress, the Priestess, the Witch, the Shakti.
*Can you explain your involvement and approach to the Red Tent collective?
My involvement with the Red Tent collective has been an interesting one because my work as a menstrual activist and ceremonialist precedes the Red Tent Temple movement by a good 15 years, and my own work was inspired by the work of the foremothers preceding my own involvement by 20 years. What a lot of women do not realize, I think, is that the movement of reclaiming menstruation, the blood mysteries, and creating sacred ceremonial space for these mysteries is actually over 40 years old, with roots in the late 60’s and 70’s. My work was part of the second wave of this movement in the 80’s-90’s, and the Red Tent Temple movement, inspired by the book ‘The Red Tent’ by Anita Diamant, actually marks the start of the third wave, which is a strong one, thanks in large part to the power of the Internet in terms of information and connection potential. When I first started teaching my classes on sacred menstruation and creating red moon circles and scarlet temples, it was still very much a radical teaching at that point- only a very small few were doing similar work, and really only in places that had a solid women’s spirituality community like in California, Massachusetts, and Canada and Australia. In my first classes on the Blood Mysteries, the common experience was that every woman attending pretty much had their minds blown by being introduced to the idea of sacred, power-positive, and eco-friendly menstruation, which was a beautiful and powerful thing. I am now finding 15-20 years later, that women have often had some prelude or prior introduction to the topic or have even been practicing this path already, which is an even more beautiful thing! To have been a part of this movement for over 20 years has given me the special lens of seeing the seeds that were planted decades and decades ago just bursting into bloom all over the place! Like scarlet wildflowers! It’s thrilling, and lets me know that we can INDEED change the world. The Internet and the acceleration of the collective female consciousness definitely plays a large part of that, and I am also grateful to the Red Tent Temple movement for really creating a solid framework in which women have been able to network and connect on a much larger level as we heal, reclaim, and actively transform the paradigm of shame and negation around menstruation. My approach to the Red Tent Temple movement is I suppose that of a semi-elder of this path (because so many of the foremothers, the truest elders, are blessedly still with us), serving as a reference point for many women new to the path, and also as support. My approach also includes making sure this healing and information is available to ALL women, in all populations- no matter what their socio-economic status may be. I have always been an active advocate for making sure this information has the ability to reach and to heal all women. My views in this regard were fertilized by my early work in DIY women’s health care collectives, in making feminist punk menstrual zines, in making my first set of reusable cotton menstrual pads in 1990 and never using mainstream menstrual products since (my booklet ‘Ragtime Revolution’ is one of my zines that goes in depth on the ecological effects of menstrual garbage), and in being both a member of the socio-economic “lower class” and rather an outlaw within a consumerist, capitalist society. Empowerment is not something that should ever have a price tag on it that could disqualify access to anyone who needs it.
I know that your worshipping divine feminine is at the center of much of the work you do, how to you describe your spiritual beliefs, practices??
My core belief is that we are each a spark of the Divine, and that within us is the union of the principles aligned with feminine and masculine, Yin and Yang. I think one of the biggest issues with the evolution of humanity is that the majority don’t understand this, and that this lack of understanding is the basis for the imbalance we have right now and in much of our history. I think both the Divine Feminine and the Sacred Masculine are in dire need of healing and equilibrium, but the reason I focus so much on the Divine Feminine is because of the severe deficit and damage incurred to this energetic principle as embodied by women, and because of my own incredibly intimate nature with this truth, having experienced yet another incarnation as a woman. And as a priestess of the Goddess, my practice is to serve in restoring the holy nature of the Divine Feminine, because it is what I truly believe will save humanity, and give us any kind of chance at a sustainable eco-system in regards to our survival. Ecology and feminism are inseparable, in my opinion. Feminism is not only a core principle in what is termed Green Spirituality, but is also a path that leads us healing, full circle to humanism. As to my personal practice, I am a bit of a lone wolf. In my earlier days as a priestess, I led several circles and covens, but found about 15 years ago that I much prefer to work as a solo agent. I do much work in my temple, and open my temple up to others when I do home-based events, as well as go on the road offering temple at festivals and events. I am not into hierarchy or much into rigid structure, so I do best when practicing my path in a fluid form, without boundaries in a group sense. A wandering mystic, akin to my great-great-great grandfather, Robert Sayers Sheffey. Although I do maintain students, the structure is very organic and fluid, and not one of power-over. I don’t much buy into the whole guru thing, and prefer that anyone who learns from me understand that I am merely a guide, an illuminator, initiator, activator, and yes, priestess- but that their path and their truth lies within, and must be determined through their own journey and experience. Teachers are but mirrors and bridges- we are not absolutes. My personal practice includes deep integration of my rhythms with the cycles of the moon, the planet and the universe, working with breath and movement, the transmutation and transformation of energy. I make sacred offerings to Source. I create ceremony and ritual as offering to my community, and serve as a channel for group experience within those offerings. I employ the vibrational allies of herbals and crystals and sound and art, etc. I often look into my own abyss, without fear. I give serious respect to dreams and intuition, and the employment of seeing with other avenues of vision. I live my truth, and stay true to my heart. I remember and honor those who came before me and did the work, paying honor to the web. I practice compassion as best as I can when dealing with humanity. I consider orgasms to be sacrament, as well as tears. I love with a heart filled with holy fire. These are only a few ways in which I practice my spiritual path on a personal level.
*What does it mean to you to be a feminist? If so, how does that integrate into your work?
To be a feminist to me means a taking an active stand against every contributing factor to female inequality, female-directed violence, and the like. This does include ecological violence, because the Earth is our Mother, and degradation of the female is directly connected to degradation of the Earth. To be a feminist means that I refuse and reject patriarchy, in a very active manner. In every way this infuses my work. There is absolutely no division.
*As a feminist how do you feel about the current political environment we exist in as women (feel free to chat about reproductive health, republicans, trans agenda, the environment, whatever you need or want to rant on, get on that soap box girl)
I feel these are very interesting times, indeed. I mean, obviously the current political environment for women sucks. Not just here in America, but all over the world. But conversely I am seeing the turning tides of the decline of the old system, the good ol’ boy system here in America, hell bent on oppressing and controlling anyone that doesn’t fit in their box of white, rich, fundamentalist Christian, conservative. I am seeing the change, slow though it feels at times. And as a result of that shift, I am seeing the backlash death throes from the oppressors. The onslaught of relentless attacks on women’s reproductive rights the past few years, for example, exemplifies this backlash. Yes, the War on Women is real. Incredibly real. To deny it is the same as denying women’s anger when they very justifiably feel it. The agenda seems to be directed to do all the damage possible, to eradicate all the resources and strongholds for these rights, and as sick as it is to say- they have been pretty successful at this. I have seen just in my own state of residence, North Carolina, the eradication of many resources for women. This has been a rather wild ride for me because when I first became politically active, the good ol’ boy system was completely unchallenged in any kind of serious capacity. I’m from Virginia Beach, and not only was I the first woman to stand accused of witchcraft in relation to my politics (at the threat of losing my child) in the Princess Anne County court system since the trial of Grace Sherwood, the Witch of Pungo -and for a hexing ritual I did on the Supreme Court confirmation proceedings of Clarence Thomas, no less- but I and other members of my women’s circle at the time were actually harassed at our places of work by emissaries of Pat Robertson’s fundamentalist misogyny. I’ve been spit in the face and screamed at by pro-lifers as I’ve served as an abortion doula. I’ve been called a “Liberal whore” when trying to explain my stance on reproductive rights and support of access to birth control. These are only a few examples. So I am not speaking from an experience limited by what I see in the news- I speak from a fairly frontline experience that span over two decades, and it is deeply important to me that we continue to progress on women’s rights. Right now, we see that issues of racism are dominating the news- and this is an issue that of course needs attention and addressing, as a serious form of oppression in its own specific right. But I also consistently feel that the issues related to feminism gets constantly pushed to the side by everything else. We get distracted from women’s rights, from the fight for equality- as well as in addressing the rampant violence against women. These issues also remain on the fringe in many ways as handled by the media. Dismissed in dangerous and disturbing ways. And that bothers me greatly. But I also continue to have faith that we can keep turning the tides.
*As warrior woman what advice would you give to women to make change in the world?
First off, to really truly find your voice. And to speak with that voice as best you can with authority to your truth. Women have been so conditioned to be silent, to be acquiescent, to think of our anger as “bad”, to withhold our truth in order to not be “problematic”, all of this bullshit that it is the metaphorical equivalent of Perseus cutting off the head of Medusa, silenced as she was through the severing of our power (I talk about this in depth in my workshop ‘The Medicine of Medusa: Healing the Split’, which is also a chapter in the book I am writing). So we have to remember, we have to really become aware of situations where we see this conflict with or negation of our power, especially with how incredibly insidious it is in its many forms-and to just refuse to acquiesce to it. To become familiar with the sources of women’s power that are hidden or denigrated by the system. To know that our rage at the way our world is is not only valid, but fucking HOLY. Complacency and apathy are symptoms of buying into the system, creating the illusion of denial and acceptance of the belief that we cannot change anything. Well, apathy is the enemy of change. And complacency is passive complicity of oppression. Really, patriarchy is very much like being in an abusive domestic situation, where we carry the consequences silently, and begin to believe that the consistent cyclic nature of the monster is normal, is just how things are, and as such-is tolerated and endured. Well, it sure as hell should NOT be tolerated or endured, and it’s time to break the cycle for all oppressed by this bullshit. And each woman (and man) that can stand up strong and say “I’ve had enough of this shit- NO MORE.”…not just for herself, but for all women…those are the warriors that can change this world.
*Can you elaborate on some of the workshops you currently teach? Why are they important to you?
I have found that my most requested work currently has to do with the core medicine of my path, which is the core medicine of really reclaiming the Divine Feminine in Her forms as Sacred Harlot, Initiator/Activator, Destroyer/Creator. This is because we are in the time of the return of Shakti to our collective consciousness. She will not be denied, and many are hearing Her call, Her message, and it has a serious reverb and people are starving for healing and transformation and understanding, especially as we stand witness in the time of Kali shaking the Towers to the ground. My ‘Fires of Shakti’ which talks about how we can employ our passions, our rage, our fires in our activism, and to burn away the bindings of shame, of disempowerment, of oppression, while at the same time healing at the deepest level both consciously and subconsciously not only ourselves, but humanity in turn. ‘The Liberation of Lilith’ is one of my classes that has a particularly powerful effect on women, serving as a catalyst for deep healing- especially in terms of our emotional and sexual traumas. And my class ‘The Medicine of Medusa: Healing the Split’ is also one that vibrates with very potent medicine for women- especially in terms of power within relationships, both with women and men. I love my lighter offerings too- of course, balance is a very important concept in my work, so I also have been doing a lot with more luscious subject matter- women have really been responding to my classes on succulent sexuality, which not only celebrates the yoni, but offers many wonderful tools in which to explore sacred pleasure, healing, self-love and self-care- which is expanded through my business which offers yoni eggs, steams, balms, and other tools for yoni loving. And my workshop ‘Hathor’s Holy Honey Hafla’ really focuses on sacred play, and honoring all of the luscious things that make life and love worth fighting for. Plus, who doesn’t love a room full of dancing, laughing women celebrating their radiance? When women gather joyously together in this capacity, immense healing commences. We envision what it is to be part of a sisterhood of priestesses, and to celebrate ourselves and each other. It’s just incredibly empowering for women, to get off the bullshit ladders, so to speak, and be in sweet circle space with each other.
*Can you elaborate on your artistic projects and creations?
Currently I am working on a book of my work, which I hope to have complete by 2017, as well as writing more spoken word. I am also working on new ceremonial performance pieces, that I am rather excited about. I’m a Libra Moon and Rising, with a cardinal Cancerian Sun, so I always have a billion creative projects swirling in my head. Trust me when I say there are too many to elaborate on and remain succinct in answer lol!
*Who are the heroines in your life and why?
The heroines in my life have been the women who were considered outsiders in some way, shape, or form, and who were trailblazers, visionaries, artists, and activists who transmuted their pain and oppression into healing and liberation. Women who sacrificed much personally and stood strong against societal judgment and defamation to stay true to their heart and spirit, and who in doing so, really blasted doors open for other women to follow. Shameless women. Wild lovers. Women on some kind of holy fire. Women who basically say to their would-be oppressors and judges: “Fuck you, you can’t silence me, nor can you stop me. I live and love as I please.” Also, this may be unorthodox- but as I’ve never been particularly orthodox lol- I am going to say myself. I look back on my life and I am rather in fucking awe of all of the things I’ve survived, and the way I have not only survived, but risen up in phoenix fire and thrived. My whole damn life. I have been through the levels, down and back up- let me tell you. And during all of it, have raised two awesome, conscious, amazing children that respect and adore and honor their mama. And after all of it, my heart still radiates like a supernova. So, yes- I am a badass heroine, and I say that without shame. Because I too have always said to my would-be oppressors and judges: “Fuck you, you can’t silence me, nor can you stop me. I live and love as I please.” And I hope more women do the same, and celebrate themselves as heroines of their life- because that’s another thing we are conditioned not to do- value or celebrate ourselves.
*What are your plans for this upcoming year? What is brewing in the pot?
Two words: Ecstatic expansion. My plans are to expand my connections and my travels widely in regards to my work. I also have some events in the works that I am laying the foundation for at this exact moment that I am really excited about. Personally, to dance and laugh under the stars with friends, music, and opportunities for passionate joy that curls my toes in delight. To attain a deeper level of happiness. It’s been a hell of a year. I cut ties with a lover that meant the world to me. And I suffered the sudden loss of my Osiris, my Hades…the love of my life, the father of my daughter, and the man who took me into the Underworld- I lost him to suicide. It’s been a difficult grieving process, to put it mildly. My lovers, so many sacrificial gods. There’s been unimaginable grief…. yet also grace. It’s taking me some time to recover, but I am getting there. And I look forward, fully. I’ve got a hell of a delicious pot brewing. And I have an amazing support system of other badass sistars, such as yourself! I have a heart full of gratitude, and take not one bit of my blessings for granted.
☽ Nuit Moore is a Shakti priestess and yogini whose temple and work serves the Goddess and the union of Shiva-Shakti in ecstatic devotion. She created the term Scarlet Shakti to describe her particular shamanic path and medicine teachings.
Nuit has offered classes and ceremony on sacred sexuality, ecological spirituality, the Dark Goddess, the trance arts, women's healing arts, serpent shakti power, crystals and crystal grids, and the medicine of her path for over 20 years.
She has been a strong voice and teacher of the menstrual reclaiming movement since 1991, as one of the visionaries that helped to lay the spiritual groundwork preceding the Red Tent Temple movement. In addition, much of her work as an eco-feminist activist is in connection with her teachings of holistic menstruation and women's sexual health empowerment, as well as her work as a doula. Her two booklets, “Ragtime Revolution” and “The Ruby in the Lotus” have a publication history into the hundreds, and are some of the earliest comprehensive works on the ecological and spiritual aspects of menstruation.
Nuit is also a ritual performance artist, temple tribal dancer, and founder of Ishtar Noir Ritual Theater, a sacred movement theater collective, specializing in transcendent expression and ecstatic ceremony, serving as a channel of the Divine, and which serves as part of her service to her path.
She also owns Shakti Goddess Arts, which carries her ceremonial offerings, herbals, menstrual sea sponges, yoni eggs and steams, crystals, art and jewelry pieces, and her written work.
Links to any of your websites or other online projects: www.scarletshakti.com , www.shaktistudios.etsy.com and Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nuit-Moore-The-Scarlet-Shakti , https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ragtime-Revolution-The-Ruby-in-the-Lotus