Once upon a time a woman’s blood wisdom and blood mysteries were respected. In the ancient worlds women were not just respected but also revered for their capacity to vision, to cleanse, to initiate. Menstruation was seen as an intuitive and insightful time and was offered the sacred space and deep reverence it deserves by both the women and their communities.
‘The emotional messiness of menstruation is the antidote to too much order and predictability. It brings colour, makes us tender. It stops us from being an endless ‘doing machine’ reminding us of our inner life and of the softer, more subtle qualities of life. It brings us down to earth, strongly connecting us with our bodies through the flow of the blood, leading us to the earth.’
~ Alexandra Pope, The Wild Genie
Ancient yogic texts saw women raised up; in these texts menstruating women are held up as gurus, known to have innate access to the siddhis (magical yogic powers) that others had to work so hard to obtain. Tantrik lineages venerate women; the carvings on the walls of the ancient yogini temples depict rituals involving the collection and consumption of menstrual blood as a means of worshipping the yoginis. These rituals involved veneration of the vulva and all of her fluids including menstrual blood. The Sakta Tantra and the faith of Shaktism pay respectful honour to women as earthly representatives of the Great Mother. The Sakta Tantra explicitly encourages the honouring, cherishing, education and advancement of women.
'These rituals involved veneration of the vulva and all of her fluids including menstrual blood.'
At some point, as laws became more restrictive, women’s ritual roles and social status began to be downgraded and soon there was a deep cultural phobia around women, a phobia and fear of pollution by their sensuality, their desires and their menstrual blood. Moving from being anointed by women’s fluids to being polluted by them. At some point menstruation became a taboo. The word taboo even comes from the Polynesian tapua, meaning both sacred and menstruation. Taking the sacred and making it into that which must not be spoken.
'Moving from being anointed by women’s fluids to being polluted by them'
It is here that the pain and the rage and the frustration began… it is here that women began to bubble and boil and undergo a quiet, internal process of preparing for the perfect moment to take back their wild power, their birth rite.
Menstruation is intended to be a renewal for our whole being but the constant overriding of this call to rest leaves us exhausted and depleted. Menstruation was once the Sabbath of women! The practice of Sabbath was originally connected with the ancient Babylonian Sabbatu, which comes from Sabbat, meaning heart-rest. In Babylon it was a day of rest, occurring once a month at full moon [information from Yoni Shakti, Uma Dinsmore Tuli].
Moon Forest Flow invites you to reclaim your Sabbath, your red tent, your moon lodge through the simple practice of menstrual cycle awareness.
‘Our wild power is the feminine waiting to be known through our individual experience. It’s our personal service to the revolution. Not a revolution imposed on us but an organic evolution that works through our bodies.’ ~ Wild Power, Alexandra Pope