On a physical level, a period or menstruation is the bleeding that occurs vaginally in women as a result of their monthly fertility cycle. The average cycle for woman lasts between 23 and 35 days. There is a lot of variability in periods amongst women but for the sake of basic understanding, periods usually start between the ages of 11 and 14 and continue until menopause, which is around age 50. The average period lasts from 3 to 5 days and the severity of bleeding during that time varies from woman to women a lot. A woman’s monthly fertility cycle begins with a period. During a period, the lining of the uterus (which includes nutrients and blood) is shed as if it is being renewed. Then the follicles in the ovaries develop and usually one egg dominates. Meanwhile, the body builds up the lining of the uterus again with blood and nutrients. It prepares the body for fertilization and pregnancy. The mature egg is then released, which is called ovulation. This usually happen somewhere around the middle of a woman’s cycle. Once it is released from the ovaries, the egg travels down a woman’s fallopian tubes and is either fertilized by sperm or not. If it is, it will implant in the lining of the woman’s uterus and turn into a baby. If it isn’t, the egg will die within 2 days and without the hormone levels that are triggered by implantation, the decrease in hormones causes the lining of the uterus to break down and a woman starts shedding this lining. This is another period and it is considered the beginning of a new cycle.
As usual, there is so much more going on with most things than meets the eye. There is much more to become aware of relative to periods than the simple physical mechanics of a period. But to get into this part, I have to go on a tiny tangent. Thanks to the tyranny of patriarchal religion, which demonized all things woman and painted women as the original sinners so as to use shame as a tool of control, periods have been considered sinful and unclean. We have the same attitude in mainstream society towards periods that we have towards other forms of bodily waste. If we are going to really access the truth about periods, we are going to have to transcend this skewed way of thinking.
I’m also going to get really honest with you and say that from the perspective of a woman, when a man is squeamish or resistant to period blood, it is a serious turn off and it makes you feel like he isn’t man enough to hold and cherish the totality of you. To the opposite, when a man is not afraid of it at all and even more, when he appreciates it, it is such a turn on. It feels like he is able to hold and cherish the totality of you. And if you are resistant to your own period blood, it means you can’t hold the totality of yourself. It means you are approaching yourself and especially your own femininity with an attitude of shame. With that concept in mind, I highly suggest that you watch two of my videos on YouTube that very much relate to the topic of this video. The first is titled: Divine Feminine and the second is titled: Divine Masculine.
Some of you may have heard of the four cycles of a woman’s life. The first being maiden, mother, maga and crone. Interestingly enough, each of these cycles of a woman’s life correlates directly to the cycles of the seasons on earth. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. You can feel the energy of these seasons. The menstrual cycle is also divided into 4 phases. These 4 phases correspond to the earth’s seasons. So, a woman’s monthly cycle is a smaller cycle within a larger cycle. If a woman was in tune with her natural innate energy, she would be compelled during each phase of her cycle (each phase lasts about a week) to behave differently just like the seasons. Women all over the world argue about which phase of the menstrual cycle corresponds to which season. To be honest, I feel like your own body tells you. For example, in terms of energy cycles in my own body, I feel like spring in my body usually begins when I stop bleeding. Even though a doctor would say that the first day of my period is the start of a new cycle, it doesn’t feel like that to me. The cessation of bleeding feels like the beginning of spring in my body. The time around ovulation feels like summer to me. The time between ovulation and menstruation feels like fall to me and winter begins a few days before I bleed, when I start to feel the symptoms of decreasing hormones in my body.
If I am adhering to the natural cycles of my own body, during my spring phase, I notice myself having all kinds of new ideas and thoughts and projects. I usually feel compelled to clean house and organize things as if they are becoming renewed. During my summer phase, I feel full of energy. I feel ripe, I feel full of desire and super sexual. I feel like momentum is being added to all of the ideas and projects I began in the spring phase. I become intensely interested in other people and I become much more social. During my fall phase, I feel like things become more completed and settled. I feel inclined to tie up loose ends. I also feel like harvesting the fruits of the things I’ve started and put momentum into during my spring and summer phase. During my winter phase, I feel like everything is clearing. Space is being made for a new beginning. I feel intensely introverted and like resting. I want to avoid pressure and I do not want to make any decisions. I want to re evaluate my life. I feel like returning to the earth and I feel like I need more nourishment and quiet. I suggest that rather than letting someone outside of you tell you what you should be doing during each phase of your cycle, you can let your own intuition tell you based on how you feel, what your own cycle is calling you to do and when.
Between you and me, if you haven’t noticed, women are a bit ‘nuts’ now a days. And a big part of that is because women don’t follow their menstrual cycles anymore. They have to suppress, deny and disown those natural rhythms in their body for the sake of performing consistently within society. In fact so many of the negative symptoms of the menstrual cycle that women experience are the result of not following this inner rhythm and these inner messages that her body is sending her about her own condition and needs and truths. The attitude we need to adopt relative to our own symptoms is “If this were expressing an inner need that I wasn’t listening to by trying to get me to do something, what would it be telling me to do and to meet what need?” For example, I am having cramps. The cramps are forcing me to retreat from the world and stop moving and just be present with myself and nurture myself to really feel and hear and deal with what is going on with me. Maybe that is what I actually need but I’ve been so externally focused on achievement or on pleasing other people that I have been ignoring that need. All of us, male or female need to adopt the idea that our body is constantly talking to us. As women, our menstrual cycle is constantly talking to us about ourselves.
I have one word for you when it comes to a woman’s monthly cycle… Magic. Periods are highly esoteric. In fact before we fell out of touch with the cycles of nature by creating a life that did not revolve around them, such as creating electricity so our lives did not revolve around the cycle of the sun, women’s cycles were in sync with the cycle of the moon. Women, who were healthy, ovulated when the moon was full and bled on the new moon. Women were also synchronized with one another. They would bleed at the same time. In ancient cultures, this time was sacred and women would retreat to be together and to nourish themselves and each other as well as to respect the process of menstruation.
To put it mildly, our modern society has destroyed women on many levels. It has destroyed men too. But this episode is about women. Society has developed in such a way that women have no idea about their monthly cycles and about what their own cycle is telling them about themselves. We are raised in a society that values being able to maintain stasis. Meaning it is considered good if we are not at the mercy of any fluctuation and can instead feel the same way every day and perform the same every day, especially if that performance is productive. The worst manifestation of this by far is that we now have contraceptive pills that are about much more than just contraceptive. They are able to suppress periods for months at a time if not entirely so that women do not have cycles. I cannot emphasize with enough verve how damaging this is to a woman. A woman’s cycle is not just affecting her womb. It is effecting her entire body as well as her mind and emotions.
The moon becoming full is a time when the energy is expanding outward. It is externally focused and ripe for creation. The new moon is a time where the energy is retracting inward. It is internally focused and ripe for introspection. You can think of it also as an outbreath and an in breath. It works the same way for women’s cycles. It was and still is critical for women to adhere to these cycles of outward focus and inward focus. It is critical that the time of the period is devoted to introspection, reflecting and down time as much as you possibly can.
On an energetic level and even a physical level, period blood is designed to nourish and give life itself. It is not only sacred and therefore powerful when used in ceremonies; it is so vital that it has the capacity to heal. Ancient cultures that understood this were known to use menstrual blood as a drink for people who were ill and as a salve and as a way to revive people, animals and plants that were in a state of decline. The womb renews itself every month. The energetic properties of this blood are also that of renewal and rebirth and creation and life. In the future, science will prove that material such as stem cells contained in menstrual blood has these properties and those materials will be used in standard medical treatment.
To me it is sad that we have fallen so deeply into the indoctrination against our own sacred natures as women that we regard one of the most magic aspects of our embodiment as unwanted, unclean, and shameful. It is actually a tragic waste that every month we let this sacred life giving liquid flow out into tampons and pads that we throw away in the garbage like trash. Today’s modern world does not support cycles nor does it support our need to flow with these cycles. So I know that it will not be possible for everyone, but if at all possible, menstrual blood needs to be returned to the earth. This puts us back in touch with the earth as women, does honor to the blood of life and also restores life to the earth. There are many products available (even to the mainstream now) that allow women to collect their period blood and to do with it what they like… Such as pouring it out into plants that are not doing well or restoring areas that are drained of energy or polluted. Or using it in vegetable gardens. Or using it to symbolically release things in ceremonies. Or to offer it to the earth with a prayer of something she wishes to manifest.
It is important that we change our attitude towards period blood. Doing so greatly impacts the health and vitality and quality of the blood itself. We need to resurrect period blood from a state of shame. I would suggest that in order to get back in touch with the lifeblood of your divine femininity, you create something specifically with your own period blood. For example, many women who wish to embrace their periods are starting to do yoni paintings. A yoni painting is a painting that is done using the medium of menstrual blood instead of or in addition to another medium like paint. Perhaps the best way to start is to sit in front of a paper or canvass and allow the energy of your womb to take over your whole body almost like it was being possessed by your unique divine feminine energy. You then let that energy be the one to use your hand to draw whatever it feels inspired to draw but with the fresh period blood that you have collected.
When we bleed, we can consciously take that opportunity to focus on releasing and on letting go of anything we want to let go of. We can detox and cleanse on an emotional, physical and mental level. The energy within our own bodies is favorable for letting go of anything that does not serve us anymore so we can start anew. If you practice Tonglen or other compassion practices, you can also use this time to perform release ceremonies and meditations for other people or for humanity in general.
On a metaphysical level, period blood is imbued with all of your genetic information, which includes memory and strengths and knowledge. It also carries the entire ancestral lineage that created you. Utilizing this blood in ceremonies aimed at gaining knowledge about yourself and healing yourself as well as gaining ancient knowledge or healing ancestral wounds creates incredible results. In fact ancient cultures used to place this blood on the third eye and even chakras in order to open a person up to this multidimensional personal and ancestral information.
Because the time when a woman bleeds is such an intense time of introspection and reflection and because one of the core manifestations of divine feminine is wisdom, use the time that you are bleeding to retreat more and get in touch with that deep wisdom within you (a bit like a person would if they went on a meditative retreat) so that you can both share that with other people and use that wisdom for your creations in your next cycle.
Try during the bleeding phase of your cycle whenever you can to reduce your exposure to electronics and use candlelight when it gets dark. If you can expose yourself to moonlight each night for a certain amount of time, do this. This can greatly help to regulate your hormones and cycle as well.
Know that in the same way that the moon reflects the sun, your period is a direct reflection of your life leading up to your period. The way your period manifests is a direct reflection of things such as the food you ate, the thoughts you thought, the emotional conditions you experienced, how well you listened to and heeded your inner rhythms and inner wisdom and needs. So if you want to make a change to your period, make a change to these elements of your life.
If you feel called to do so, set a side a night during your period to do what so many women in the ancient world did which was to gather with other women. That state of connection can be very nourishing and you can share wisdom with one another. You can also do a collective ceremony geared towards something like releasing or the celebration of menstruation or femininity.
One of the easiest ways to honor this time of your cycle is to buy certain jewelry or gemstones or even pieces of clothing and to wear them, as if ceremonially for the length of the time that you bleed each month. You may choose things that are the color red for their symbolism. In my opinion, the stones that are the most conducive to this purpose are: Garnet, bloodstone, ruby, red jasper, red agate, rose quartz, red coral, malachite, moonstone, carnelian, amethyst and turquoise. Let your womb or unique divine feminine energy be the aspect of you to select the stone that resonates most closely to or is needed most to support the bleeding phase of your cycle.
The more that you embrace and become an embodiment of your own unique expression of divine feminine and the more you adhere to the natural cycles taking place within your body along with the messages they speak to you from within, the more pleasant your periods will be. It is understandable why women do not like periods and consider them a punishment when having one is not compatible to what is expected of us by the world. But we cannot live in resistance to a part of ourselves. We, as women will be bleeding for an average of 10 years of our lifetime. That means an average of 3,500 days of our life will be spent on our periods. Think of the pain that will cause us if we are resisting it instead of celebrating it.