Menstruation – Honouring the blood
Looking at the taboo surrounding menstrual blood in Western societies, I feel the need for a shift to pay honour to and celebrate our cycle more.
What do you associate with the menstrual flow? Oftentimes for us bleeding beings it is related to discomfort and pain, or even shame. It is seen as dirty, smelly, and unclean. The bleeding should not be visible or noticeable. Secretly we hide a tampon in our hands when going to the toilet. There are even special waste bins in public toilets for discreet disposal. Instead of honouring the most natural thing since the evolution of humankind, we treat the blood as hazardous waste!
The opposite is true, this blood is full of nutrients, offering the most luscious cushioning as a home for a potential baby, containing everything that would have been needed for the beginning of a new human life.
Brooke Medicine Eagle, a wise woman of Native American descent, suggests in her book “Buffalo Woman comes singing” that we change this view of our blood as hazardous waste and use the blood to give back to the earth which is in need of nourishment. In line with ancient traditions, a woman could squat on the ground and give the “Moon blood directly back to the Earth” in a quiet place on the land when she has the possibility to do so. (Eagle, 1991, p. 332).
Some scholars even suggested that in former times, when the Divine Feminine was honoured, before the emergence of patriarchal societies, women’s blood was put on an altar representing the power of renewal and the mystery of creating new life. With the advent of masculine gods, this practice was stopped and converted to using the blood of sacrificed animals (or even human beings). It makes you wonder about the blood of Christ that is shared during Holy Communion!
If you haven’t done so yet, I would suggest you just walk out to a quiet spot in nature during your bleeding time and return your blood to the soil to nourish the planet. If you feel empowered by the re-emerging wisdom about the Divine Feminine, reconnect with this spirit.
If this sounds too esoteric to you, that is fine, but do it anyway. Spiritual connection or not, at least this small part of your blood that you leave in nature will not end up as hazardous waste.
“…our blood will feed the depleted soils.
Our blood will water the dry, tired surface of the earth.
We will bleed. We will bleed. We will
bleed until we bathe her in our blood and she turns
slippery new like a baby birthing.”
from “Tampons” in Our stunning harvest
Ladies, empower yourselves and give back to Mother Nature!
Brooke Medicine Eagle (1991). Buffalo Woman comes singing. New York: Ballantine Books.