I want to explore the taboo of woman’s blood, unleash the sacred flow of our blood.
“Forbidden to profane use or contact because of what are held to be dangerous supernatural powers.” ~ Miriam-Webster
“The prohibition of an action based on the belief that such behavior is either too sacred and consecrated or
too dangerous and accursed for ordinary individuals to undertake.” ~ Britannica Online Encyclopedia
We don’t talk about taboos because they inspire fear and awe. We exclude them from our conversation and they become hidden sore spots. Disguised. Distorted. Disfigured. Mistrusted mysteries of life. The true meaning of taboo connotes sacredness. Most taboos are left untouched, a reservoir of power, untapped.
Unfurling this blood taboo.
I realize that woman’s blood is taboo: uncomfortable to many, including women. I encourage you to read through these words, follow their flow and let the discomfort melt away. Underneath the color of our skin, all women bleed the same, red, deep, ancient flow of life force. It is this power what makes the blood that naturally flows through a woman during her cycle seem taboo.
There is still a lot of stigma around woman’s blood, menstruation, menses, moon. The lingering feeling that our periods are the punishment for being women. The notion that we stain the world with our blood. I remember my first period was not celebrated, in fact, quite the opposite; it caused sadness, a child no more, I had lost my innocence. But can innocence ever be lost? Can you be innocent while acquiring experience?
Menarche, our first blood is an initiation into womanhood, a rite of passage lost to modern culture. Ah the beautiful Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake. I can understand the sadness of my mother, a period ended and another one started. Transitions can be difficult. Imagine a ceremony to acknowledge some of the mother’s pain but also the excitement of her little girl becoming woman.
We have disengaged from the beauty of our bodies and the processes that run through us.
What was once powerful is now seen as a source of shame. We hide, ignore, obstruct and diminish our own blood, we think it is dirty, but it is sacred. It is sacred flow. I recently listened to these woman’s words about her own blood:
“It grosses me out.” She said about her menstrual blood.
What grosses your out about it? I asked.
“Don’t know. Associate it with pain. Injuries.” She stated.
This blood comes from the life giving space of our womb. It saddens me to hear a woman speak of her own blood in this way. And yet, I understand the pain and its emotional source. When the blood that could have nurtured a life is lost as this flow that comes through us, we may experience pain as a primal feeling of loss for the life that didn’t become. This may sound irrational but since when is pain rational? Nothing is lost, this blood wants to flow back into the earth, not the landfills. May we offer the earth our precious blood in sustainable ways, ways that keep the integrity of the earth intact.
Feeling our shame. Healing our pain.
This pain can stem from the ways in which we dishonor our center. The shaming of this sacred power makes us:
~ Block our emotions
~ Obstruct the flow of our blood
~ Keep quiet when we know in our belly that there is energy rising seeking expression
~ Give up on our dreams to make a man, a system, or society ‘happy’
~ Forget ourselves to sustain others
~ Conform to draining schedules
~ Push ourselves when our cycles call for rest
~ Feel fed up in a system that fails to satisfy your deepest cravings, and yet stay
~ Silence our truth because we do not want to upset others
You don’t have to continue to participate in this self deprecating system..
Celebrating our ancient wisdom.
Our sacred center longs to be experienced as it is, divine and in harmony with the earth. Our healing process inspires us to:
~ See our own innate beauty emanating from within
~ Spend time in nature
~ Honor our feelings and our body’s wisdom
~ Liberate our emotions
~ Express ourselves
~ Slow down to listen and trust our intuition
~ Rest when our cycles call for it
~ Live according to a rhythm that sustains us
~ Awaken to our true desires
~ Gather in circles of women
~ Reclaim our own space
~ Help reveal new healing ways of living that bring peace
Accepting our power.
We experience cycles. We are not machines, we are organic beings with sleeping cycles, menstrual cycles, life cycles. Cycles. Women are naturally more in tune with the rhythms of nature since our bodies sexual system works in cycles. Once a month we bleed, sometimes in unison with other women when we commune together, a lost art that is being revived today.
Our blood cycles can be messy, bloody, but also life giving and cosmic. We bleed to the rhythm of the moon. There is great power in our blood. Since ancient times, women’s ability to bleed from their womb was considered sacred, powerful, magical; that is, until the wisdom and power of body, woman, nature was desacralized.
Bleeding involves a sort of depletion essential for regeneration. It is a process of self renewal. Bleeding time used to be honored in ancient culture and still is in some tribal communities where women gather to nurture themselves during this part of their cycle. In our fast pace western culture women have to work to the same speed of men who do not have this organic life regenerating mechanism. The fact that women need to rest during their cycle implies no weakness, it speaks of wisdom. Too much speed without pauses of rest can lead to shallow life experiences and burnout.
We need rituals, ceremonies, rites of passage that honor our life transitions and life processes as we grow and expand.
It is time to honor and celebrate our womb, our beautiful shakti (feminine) power. There are traditions that revere feminine power. We have much to learn, to remember from them for our own healing process. In order to reconnect with our blood power, we need to reframe the way we think about our blood.
Forget about women having penis envy. It is the other way around. Sigmund Freud got it wrong! In Metaformic theory, in Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World, Judy Grahn attributes the development of culture to women. Men were originally fearful of women’s power to produce blood once a month. It is a mystery to be able to offer blood to the earth. Men had to inflict injuries to touch blood with their hands. This is how the bellicose nature of man got started, with his thirst for woman’s blood, woman’s power.
When I am on my moon, I feel a special power. I know this power will also cycle and show up differently at various times of my life. For now, while I can bleed, I marvel at my body opening to spirit flowing through me in this visceral, ancestral way. If you are a bleeding woman, know that life’s mystery is revealing itself through you. Slowly befriend, honor, bless, and trust your flow, your life force. Your cycle is sacred and so are you.