Once upon a time a woman’s cyclical nature's and autonomy were respected. In some ancient cultures 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. In pre-plough times (read more about this in Wednesday Martin's INCREDIBLE book Untrue) women also shared the workload (WHILST bearing and raising the children) and had as much sexual autonomy as our male counterparts.
‘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 these powerful women. These rituals involved veneration of the vulva and all of her fluids including menstrual blood. The Sakta Tantra explicitly encourages the honouring, cherishing, education and advancement of women. What the hell happened there then?!
At some point, laws became more restrictive, the possession of land and in turn women became highly prized and we lost our autonomy. We became objects to possess, use, monitor and control.
'These rituals involved veneration of the vulva and all of her fluids including menstrual blood.'
Our 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'
And so the pain and the rage and the frustration began. Women began to bubble and boil and undergo a quiet, internal process of preparing for the perfect moment to turn things around, reclaim their autonomy and celebrate their cycles.
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