When my friend Jolie Dawn posted “A Message About The Female Cycle and Vastly Different Opinions,” I knew I needed to write this post.
I’ve been sitting on it for over a week after our Facilitator Tribe’s Wild Woman Ritual Call and still feel my stomach churning thinking about posting it.
I wanted to do something edgy for my own growth and expansion and thought I’d include our facilitators in playing that edge with me …
So I had invited the women to bring their menstrual blood to the call.
In preparation earlier that month, I used a Diva Cup to save my own blood. I told my husband not to freak out when he saw tupperware under the toilet with my blood.
“Why are you doing that, Tanya?” He asked sternly, in a tone that meant “I know you are up to something wild and outrageous and I want to make sure you don’t do something stupid.”
“Don’t worry about it,” I told him and never answered his question.
When I got that tupperware out of the fridge (hidden waaaay in the back so my husband again didn’t freak out) and took it into the bathroom, my heart rate increased. I opened the container and smelled it, hoping it didn’t go bad.
Then I dipped my fingers in my blood and painted my face, my arms and my chest with it.
It was both the grossest and most liberating feeling at the same time.
I honestly couldn’t believe I was doing it.
When I came on the call, I was the only one who did it.
Everyone else used mud, paint, or lipstick.
And one woman wrote in the Facebook group that she was not attending because she was so turned off by her own blood.
What did I expect?
Our menstrual blood has been such a source of shame, discomfort, fear, disgust and pain for the female collective.
We’ve been taught to plug it up with a tampon, regulate (or avoid it altogether) with The Pill, dread it and push through it.
My First Period
I can distinctly remember the very first time I got my period on New Year’s Day when I was 11 years old.
“Why are my panties dirty?” I asked my mom.
She responded with: “Congratulations! You are now a woman!”
While I appreciate her trying to put a positive twist on it (unlike so many other mothers who didn’t talk to their daughters about their menstrual cycles), there really was no context for me to feel proud or even understand what it all meant.
There was no rite of passage ceremony.
I never saw my mom’s dirty underwear.
And just the word “dirty” is so telling of how our culture depicts this time of the month.
Why on earth would any modern day woman respect, honor or have a positive relationship with her menstrual blood?
Not when we’ve associated it with so much pain, suffering, frustration and inconvenience.
And yet, with the rise of the divine feminine, we are seeing that in order to set ourselves free and reclaim our feminine power, we MUST reclaim our blood, our cycles and our pussies in general. There is no separation.
And there are more and more women leaders coming forward to teach us how to sync up with our cycles, honor our blood and not be so scared or grossed out by it. A few who have influenced me are Mama Gena, Alisa Vitti, and Suzanne McQueen.
Honoring Our Blood
Our blood is one of the most sacred parts of being a woman.
Our blood symbolizes our CREATION years. Our power to create life itself. Even if we choose not to give physical birth to a baby, we have that power within us.
Suzanne McQueen calls it “The Female Recycling System which is actually about building and purging, gaining and letting go.”
When “we learn to identify and manage our many cycles within this rhythm, it includes a mental rejuvenation cycle, a physical energy cycle, and a sexual cycle.”
It’s through honoring and understanding the sacred nature of our blood that we are able to achieve optimal health and live in the state of harmony that we are all searching for.
It’s through the honoring of our blood that we stop the cycle of burn out.
It’s through the honoring of our blood that we feel more alive and free to be ourselves.
After the call, I took the container of blood out to my yard and ceremonially gave it back to mother earth. This symbolic gesture of honoring the place that I came from, left me feeling empowered, connected, alive and free.
I took this picture of myself, and then said to myself “I’ll post this later” as I went back into my world of motherhood.
The moment lost, I didn’t end up posting it. I shrunk back, getting into my head about how controversial it would be, and not wanting to go there.
But as I write this now, reconnecting with that sense of empowerment, I know that this is one of the most important conversations we need to have as women.
Reframing our blood from gross to life-force.
Reframing our period from an inconvenience to a time to rest.
Reframing our bodies from a source of pain to a source of pleasure.
Let’s teach the next generation of girls to love, listen and honor their bodies and their cycles. Let’s teach them to feel empowered the first time they shed their blood as a rite of passage into the next exciting time of their life.
It starts by talking about this subject that we’ve kept under wraps for so long. This is the pathway to reclamation of our divine feminine power.
Over To You …
What’s your relationship with your blood and the menstrual cycle? What happened when you got your first period?