Our culture is filled with people and organisations telling us how we should live our lives, how we should feel and behave, what is socially acceptable and what is not. As we strive to control our emotions, thoughts, desires and even bodily cycles, we distance ourselves further and further away from the source of our cycles – that of the land and the universe. Finally we reach a point where instead of flowing with these cyclic energy patterns, we are actually going against them – like trying to paddle upstream or against the current. It is little wonder that the number of us feeling totally disconnected and isolate is increasing.
While I do not completely embrace my bleeding, I have come to accept it and at times even find myself celebrating the onset of stomach cramps – knowing that deep within my body and primal instinct, the hormonal changes are taking place which have been the same changes that every woman before me going back to the dawn of time have gone through. Here I begin to feel connected with every woman on the planet.
Women’s "hygiene" industry is big business however all the products seem to carry the same message of hiding from the general population the simple fact that as women, we bleed. While we may mask this fact for it is perceived as a sign of instability and weakness, this was not always the case. Such a view and opinion is relatively modern.
I don’t deny that for some women the monthly bleeding is an immensely difficult and painful time however I cna't help but wonder whether one reason behind this "pain" is the very fact that we have distaned ourselves from our connection with nature and more importantly, nature's natural cycles. Instead of vieing our monthly bleeding (or more beautifully described as our "Moon blood"), as an inconvenience, we should in fact view it as a time of celebration and an acknowledgement of who we are - women.
In ancient times and even still today in some isolated cultures, the time of a women’s Moon bleeding was considered to be a very powerful time. In close knit communities, women would often bleed around the same time. These times were celebrated and honoured as a time when the power of the feminine was at its peak. Often women removed themselves from the community in general to special huts to allow the more psychic energies to flow along with their bleeding. While we cannot necessarily do this in modern society, the need is still there, rooted deep within our subconscious. I often find the need or have the desire to withdraw, in particularly during the first couple of days of my bleeding cyclic. I am fortunate that for the most time I am able to do it and spent time by myself relaxing.
Accepting the simple fact that as women we do bleed, that this bleeding is natural and important can help how we deal with each month. Keeping a Moon Diary is one way of noting our subtle changes as well as exposing a lot of hidden information about ourselves that we may not realise. Keep an eye on the different phases of the moon and record your changing emotions. I believe this can be done even if a woman regulates her bleeding by being on the pill, for example.
There are numerous books available on this subject and the following are just a small selection:
- "The Wise Wound: Menstruation and Everywoman" by Penelope Shuttle and Peter Redgrove
- "Blessings of the Blood: A Book of Menstrual Rituals for Women" by Celu Amberston
- "Sister Moon Lodge: The Power & Mystery of Menstruation" by Kisma K Stephanich
- "Her Blood is Gold" by Lara Owen
- "Blood Relations: Menstruation and the Origins of Culture" by Chris Knight
- "Red Moon Understanding and Using the Gifts of the Menstrual Cycle" by Miranda Gray