RAMONA WORKSHOPS: PERIOD WITCHES

Period Witches: A Celebration of Body, Blood, Girlhood And Community

Review by Zadie McCracken // Photographs by Hannah Forsdike // Art by Freya Bennett

Ramona Magazine’s pilot workshop, Period Witches, was nothing sort of a gorgeous triumph.

I arrived at Period Witches at 10:30am and was told by Ramona’s endlessly kind and brilliant Director, Freya, to ‘follow the music!’ I laughed, and did, entering a room where time seemed to stand still, warm sunshine lighting the space, set up with yoga mats, craft tables, and the most comfortable – and, I must say, appropriate – red couch of all time.

It started with an analogy: your menstrual cycle is like the seasons; your body is like the earth. As someone with the most irregular and difficult cycle of all time, it actually really helped to learn how I, and my cycle, is linked to the outside world.

To feel a connection to the world, and to feel less alone, is so important for young girls – and Period Witches helped cultivate that feeling. As the day went on with pilates, bullet journaling, typography, goal setting, vision boards and creative writing, that feeling persisted.

I think, for me, the strongest part of the experience was the chance to hang out with other women in a space that was completely ours, and to feel so welcome there. Every part of the day taught me practical skills — I now know how to set goals without feeling like a failure, how to track my cycle and harness the energy of my differing hormones, how to bullet journal, and how to stretch my back (to name a few new skills) — but the most essential and gratifying part of the day wasn’t about the knowledge gained, but the feeling created, and held.

Unfortunately, there are still few places in the world where girls and women can just go to talk about their bodies, cycles, and lives. As someone who struggles with the entire concept of femininity and greatly feels the lack of feminine influence in my life, Period Witches was hugely comforting in its ability to cocoon me in a safe, warm, fun space with other women, where we could discuss our individual experiences, share stories, and just be. Many workshops fail in making their participants feel comfortable or part of the conversation, but here Period Witches succeeded. For the time I got to spend in the company of other women, and in that sweet, soft, feminine space, I am grateful. The simple yet thoughtful structure and the calm yet endlessly fascinating content separated itself from more commercial workshops. It was comfortable, it was safe, it was beautiful. That can’t be said of all workshops or all spaces. In fact, it is quite unique.

Walking away from Period Witches, I felt a sense of joy and renewal. The day had passed quickly, but without rush. I had a bag full of sweet treats, a head full of new knowledge, and a sweet feeling settled in my chest. Though changes could, as with anything, be made in order to improve the workshop, I felt that the day had given more than I could have ever expected.

I encourage everyone to check out the work that Ramona is doing, and look out for more workshops in the future! I know I will be.

 

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Hannah Forsdike

Hannah is a writer currently living in Melbourne. She enjoys art, reading, feminism, red wine and aesthetic instagram feeds (@hannahtf_).

Zadie McCracken

Zadie McCracken is a sixteen-year-old Melbourne-based writer, fond of cats, books, TV, film, fashion, and art.

Freya Bennett

Freya Bennett is the Co-Founder and Director of Ramona Magazine for Girls. She is a writer and illustrator from Melbourne, Australia who has a passion for youth rights and mental health. To combat her own battle with anxiety and hypochondria, you can find Freya boxing, practicing yoga, taking sertraline and swimming in the ocean. She believes in opening up about her mental health struggles and shining a light on what is not spoken about. Freya welcomed her first daughter, Aurora into the world on the 21st of November, 2017 and spends her days building blocks, reading stories and completely exhausted. With a passion for grassroots activism and creative community, Freya began Ramona Magazine as an alternative to boring, image-obsessed teen media. The magazine is founded upon Freya’s core values of creative expression, equality and kindness. You can follow her on Instagram @thecinnamonsociety

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