Finding the best way to connect to your feminine essence
is a process as individual as we all are, but for myself
personally, overcoming the menstrual taboos and attitudes
of my culture , reclaiming pride in and knowledge of my
womanspirit and learning to integrate the magical and spiritual
aspects of my feminine experience in this lifetime was a
major turning point.
Historically, women have not menstruated as often as they
do currently in western society. There are various reasons
cited for this such as the fact that we are now better nourished,
have fewer children and breastfeed less.
This is seen as a problem. New developments in the medical
sphere allow a woman to reduce the amount of time she menstruates
to four times a year.
This is hailed as a wonderful breakthrough- and for many
women who suffer greatly with their menstrual cycle it may
However in the bigger picture I feel that reducing or getting
rid of menstruation won't address the issues associated
with our female lunar cycle such as self respect, re-integration
of the goddess or feminine divine and the attributes she
symbolises into our cultural psyche, and our connection
or disconnection with the natural world.
At a more individual level, in many cases a lot of the
negative symptoms women have experienced during their cycle
have been able to be controlled or even removed by taking
an alternative approach to the 'norm'. I feel that the 'Women's
Rites' of and surrounding menarche, menstruation, giving
birth, breastfeeding and menopause can be opportunities
for personal development and spiritual expression that we
haven't really explored fully yet.
For example, I have found a great deal of satisfaction
in breaking the cycle of throwing away my moonflow. To me
it is just another part of my society's way of ignoring
this most magical and wonderful time. It is like throwing
away part of myself, the part that contains all my unfulfilled
desires, untapped potential, and unclaimed power, the part
which is not acknowledged by society, since it is for myself
and myself alone.
Since I wrote the extract in my journal twelve years ago
a 'Feeding The Tree' ritual has become a part of my life.
I take pride in my ability to produce not only the blood,
but to claim the visions, dreams and power that go along
with it, and to create, if not new life within the womb,
then within my own life and from the earth.
When I become a Crone I will still perform this ritual,
since at that time my visions dreams and power will become
even more my own. In her article "A Kind Of Blessing"
( see www.wildgenie.com website ) Alexandra Pope remarks
" A Native American saying states that at menarche
a woman enters her power, through her menstruating years
she practices it and at menopause she becomes it."
So although it's not for everybody, I'd like to share this
particular ritual with other women as an example of what
we can do within our own lives to begin to change our attitudes
about our bodies and ourselves. I know of many women who
do it regularly, but if you had never considered this possibility,
once a year at Imbolc for example, to mark this time of
new beginnings, to give something of yourself back to the
earth may be appropriate.
In these days of high rise living and blood transmitted
diseases it is unfortunately not always possible or advisable
to return all our flow to the earth. Done responsibly however,
and within the scope of our living conditions, this ritual
can make a profound difference in the way we look at our
moonflow, and hence our lives and ourselves.
FEED THE TREE RITUAL
You will need:
A bowl or cup containing some of the water from your pads
or sponges (it's best to rinse one out and use it immediately,
for obvious reasons. If you don't use cloth pads, you can
soak a tampon in some water. ) A safe place where you can
pour this fluid out (eg.Public parks are not the best choice.
A pot plant in your living room would be better. Your own
garden is fantastic, especially if you are planning to live
there for a while.)
Note; According to your conditions, you can add such elements
as brown candles and benzoin incense (for earth) but it's
not absolutely necessary, and please be aware of any use
of fire outdoors.
Prepare your Sacred Space according to your custom or tradition.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply. (You should be menstruating
at the time of this rite if possible.) See and feel a warm
red light pulsing in your belly. Feel it radiate out through
the rivers and oceans of your body. Feel it flow deep into
the ground under your feet and return to your belly, flowing
from one to another, returning from the earth to you to
Open your eyes. Try to see this pulsing, deep, red energy
spiralling through your body down into the earth and back
again. When you are ready, repeat:
" I am the bleeding woman.
I am made of the Earth.
The earth is manifestation, growth, sustenance, creativity.
To her dark womb all things return and are transformed.
I give my blood back to the Earth.
As you feed me, now I feed you, on my dreams, visions,
hurts, and triumphs.
All these things are in my blood.
As you give to me, now I give to you, for your healing
and growth, with a grateful heart.
I am the bleeding woman.
I remain in my centre.
I am proud to be part of the Earth."
Pour your offering onto the ground or whatever 'earth'
you have. Watch it soak in.
Touch the earth or lie on it and allow your red spiral
to move into it, grounding your energy.
If you can't or don't want to do this rite but do want
to dispose of your soak water thoughtfully, a simple 'thank
you' is perfectly acceptable as you pour your water onto
whatever you want (I put mine in the compost heap). It is
a fantastic fertiliser for almost anything but beware of
using too much on pot plants as it can cause a bit of an
odour if not diluted well. If you don't like this idea,
see if you can give some thought to creating something relevant
to your own life.
If you are a Wisewoman or Crone, that is, a post menopausal
woman, you can still perform a variation of this rite. You
just need to use some of your saliva in the ritual vessel
mixed with water, and instead of saying 'I am the bleeding
woman', say 'I am the Wisewoman' and instead of saying 'I
give my blood' say 'I give of my body'.
Ritual in general fulfils many functions. One of them is
that it allows us to experience. From this experience comes
first hand or 'self' knowledge. Women's Rites allow us to
discover our female selves, our feminine personal power,
our individual and sacred connection to the Universal Womanspirit.
From this inner journey then comes self esteem, confidence,
wisdom and the ability to make the kinds of choices that
create a world worth living in. That's the kind of world
I want for my children (and everyone else's!) Just imagine,
many women performing their own rites, telling their own
stories and claiming their own power to make choices that
reflect our authentic needs, desires and expectations. It
could do more than just make us happy- it could heal the
If this has inspired you to begin looking at your moontime
in a different way, and perhaps to think about ways to return
your blood to the earth (if you don't already!) here are
a few guidelines.
While menstrual blood is a wonderful fertiliser and will
not harm your garden, bear in mind if you live somewhere
with a very small garden, if you have lots of pets and/or
children, if you live in a place that has no garden at all
but want to return some of your blood to the earth at the
beach or in a public park that there are responsible ways
to go about it.
I contacted various health officials with regards to this
issue and they were more than happy to talk about it, particularly
with reference to those who may be carrying a blood borne
virus or may be at risk of contracting one. Most of the
health officers I spoke to agreed that risk of infection
or contamination of soil was minimal, as the viruses don't
live very long in the soil and everything breaks down quite
quickly and is taken up and recycled by plant life. However
minimal doesn't mean non-existent, and therefore the recommendations
were as follows:
Use an out of the way place to return your blood. For example,
if you live in the country, you have heaps of space! Also
if you have a special spot fenced off from the rest of the
yard you would be safe to use it regularly.
However, if as aforementioned you don't have much space
the best and safest way to return your blood is to dig a
hole, pour it in, and cover it. This actually works in quite
well with a rite of returning, since once the hole is filled
in it's good to place your hands over it and visualise the
energy moving out into the earth and up through your hands.
Moon Rites a feminine path to personal power is designed
to be used as a tool to enhance your self-knowledge, acceptance,
and personal power. It is divided into three sections. The
following is a rundown on what's in it and how you can use
Rites you will:
Rediscover connections between your body & soul
Unleash your inner power, intuitive ability, creative drive
Reclaim the wisdom and magic of the lunar cycle
Renew your female body, mind and spirit
Empower yourself to make positive life choices.