The Red Dress by Vibha Shetiya

VibhaIt was my twelfth birthday and I was in New York vacationing with my parents and brother. New York was a world away from the sleepy town of Luanshya, Zambia where I was from (and which I loved).  The noise, the lights, the gigantic stores, and oh, the people. So many of them! My heart could barely contain the excitement.

It was one of these stores that had coaxed out my blossoming womanhood. I had spotted the perfect outfit at Macy’s. It was a red dress that fell slightly below my knees, delicate flower patterns adding that extra touch to the femininity I was ready to embrace. Although Luanshya couldn’t compete with the thrill of the Big Apple, I was now ready to embark upon my own exciting journey towards womanhood. And, I would take a little bit of New York back with me. Continue reading “The Red Dress by Vibha Shetiya”

Honoring Our Mothers, Honoring Our Selves by Safa Plenty




“The moon has always been the primary symbol for female energy; its cycle around the earth takes approximately twenty-nine days, the same amount of time as the average woman’s menstrual cycle. It is often felt that as the pull of the moon affects the waters of the world, so does its motion affect the body of woman.” —Women’s Medicine Ways’ Cross-Cultural Rites of Passage by Marcia Starck 

Her full moon arose today,
sprinkling liquid stardust
onto her bathroom floor,
decorating her mattress
with vibrant hues of deep red,
staining her pajama pants
with artistic, circular symmetry.

For days, she had waited
for the completion of her moon,
while the sun shun
its luminous rays upon her,
the fall equinox bringing that
massive star into greater centrality.

And on a night, her moon had not set,
she sang to the four directions,
shattering myths of tainted womanhood,
tales of storks placing fragile care packages,
under willow trees.

Sang to Grandmother Moon,
Honoring the feminine Divine,
Celebrating her Sacred Waters,
Occupying her sanctified space
for the rejuvenation of Mother Earth,
honoring our Mothers,
honoring our selves.


Safa N. Plenty is currently pursing her Ph.D at Claremont Lincoln School of Theology in the area of Practical Theology, Spiritual Formation and Education. She holds a Masters of Social Work from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in Africana Studies. For the past three years, she has worked as a K-12 education contractor and assistant counselor at a community college. Her research interests include Sufism, Attachment to God, indigenous cosmology, particularly Native American and Australian spirituality and somatic psychology. She is also interested in religious mysticism, mindfulness practice in Buddhism and the role of feminism and religion in cultivating a peacemaking capacity among young Muslim women. She is currently working to develop a faith based healthy relationships program for Mothers and Daughters. She enjoys writing poetry, research, and contemplative practice and tuning in with nature.

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