“The revolution must have dancing; women know this. The music will light our hearts with fire,
The stories will bathe our dreams in honey and fill our bellies with stars…”
–Nina Simons in We’Moon 2012
“A woman’s best medicine is quite simply herself, the powerful resources of her own deep consciousness, giving her deep awareness of her own physiology as it changes from day to day.”
–Veronica Butler and Melanie Brown
While lots of TV ads would have you assume that it is physical symptoms that “interfere” with a woman’s life during menstruation (i.e. cramps, bloating, whatever), I find it is the reverse—that normal life interferes with my body’s call. As I’ve tuned in more fully to my body’s moontime rhythms this year, I’ve realized that aside from the killer headache that heralds moontime’s approach about two days prior, I don’t really feel bad, sick, or particularly uck, during menstruation. It isn’t at all that I don’t feel well, it is that I feel like being alone, turning inward and away, withdrawing, and being creative. I feel like cocooning and feel easily disturbed/disrupted from that needed cocoon. It reminds me of postpartum and I’ve tried to explain to my husband that taking some time off from my regular roles to rest and be during moontime, truly makes as much sense as doing so during postpartum. I’ve also noticed emotional vulnerability to any criticism, increased irritability and impatience, and usually a monthly “breakdown” of some kind in which I generally decree that something MUST change ™, usually precipitating big life-revisions plans (maybe including charts/diagrams), long discussions, flawed self-analysis, harsh assessments, and endless ruminating along with self-recrimination. This is usually followed with an invigorating surge of energy, enthusiasm, and creativity on the actual first day of bleeding.
“When a woman begins her monthly bleeding, she has a very special vibration. The blood flow is cleansing as the old uterine lining is sloughed off, one monthly reproductive cycle ended. At menstruation, women have the chance to rid themselves of all old thoughts, habits, and desires, and be receptive to new visions and inspirations for the next cycle…
If a woman continues her normal routine at menstruation, then she loses a uniquely female opportunity for introspection. She also finds she gets more tired, irritable, and upset because her physical rhythm has slowed down. She needs rest, more time for meditation, and less time doing housework, cooking, working in the outside world, and taking care of children.” –Marcia Starck, Women’s Medicine Ways
After thinking these thoughts and reading the above paragraph, my attention was caught by all this totally relevant and interesting stuff on Facebook:
“…Could it be that women who get wild with rage do so because they are deeply deprived of quiet and alone time, in which to recharge and renew themselves?
Isn’t PMS a wise mechanism designed to remind us of the deep need to withdraw from everyday demands to the serenity of our inner wilderness? Wouldn’t it follow, then, that in the absence of quiet, sacred spaces to withdraw to while we bleed — women express their deprivation with wild or raging behaviors?…” —DeAnna L’am via Occupy Menstruation
There is magic inherent in the menstrual cycle. Each cycle provides a woman with the opportunity to understand and read the messages her body gives her for any specific healing she needs. Each cycle creates the opportunity for as much spiritual growth and personal development that she could want. All a woman has to do to connect with that potential is simply to be with what is, her cycle, happening over and over.
~ Jane Hardwicke Collings, “The Spiritual Practice of Menstruation” Check out her fabulous work at MoonSong and at htttp://www.moonsong.com.au
And, then this great idea. I’m working on this one! I really think for me it is also actually in the two days prior to bleeding that I really need to most withdraw and be alone…
HONORING OUR MOONTIME WITH EASE
You have to remove yourselves from duties! In our modern age, much of the honor for the female and her cycles has been lost… and it won’t be retrieved by members of the opposite sex!
We cannot rely on others to begin respecting us and our cycles, we must learn to respect ourselves enough to set our boundaries and realize our limitations AND our power!
DON’T work when you’re on your menses! Even if you still go to work, treat yourself with the care of one carrying a child. YOU are carrying yourself during this time!
Be your own mother and know when enough is enough.
CREATE your PERFECT existence.
~ Renæ Sunspirit, commenting on an earlier Moon Lodge post via Occupy Menstruation
More about solitude:
“The psyches and souls of women have their own cycles and seasons of doing and solitude, running and staying, being involved and being removed, questing and resting, creating and incubating, being of the world and returning to the soul-place…”
“In order to converse with the wild feminine, a woman must temporarily leave the world and inhabit a state of aloneness in the oldest sense of the word. Long ago the word alone was treated as two words, all one. To be all one, meant to be wholly one, to be in oneness, either essentially or temporarily. That is precisely the goal of solitude, to be all one. It is the cure for the frazzled state so common to modern women…”
Clarissa Pinkola Estés via TheGypsyPriestess
More about Moon Lodges:
The Moon Lodge is the place of women, where women gather during their menstrual time to be at-one with each other and the changes occurring in their bodies. Long ago, during this special time of moon cycles, women were removed from duties of family and allowed to retreat to the Moon Lodge to enjoy the company of their Sisters.
Traditionally, the Moontime is the sacred time of woman when she is honored as a Mother of the Creative Force. During this time she is allowed to release the old energy her body has carried and prepare for reconnection to the Earth Mother’s fertility that she will carry in the next Moon or month. Our Ancestors understood the importance of allowing each woman to have her Sacred Space during this time of reconnection, because women were the carriers of abundance and fertility.
As Grandmother Moon is the weaver of tides (the water or blood of our Earth Mother) so a woman’s cycles follow the rhythm of that weaving. When women live together in a common space, their bodies begin to regulate their menses and all will eventually have their Moontime concurrently. This natural rhythm is one of the bonds of Sisterhood.
Women honor their sacred path when they acknowledge the intuitive knowing inherent in their receptive nature. In trusting the cycles of their bodies and allowing the feelings to emerge within them, women have been Seers and Oracles for their tribes for centuries.
via moonsurfing.com via Occupy Menstruation
Why pay attention to this stuff anyway? Because of this…
“A woman who becomes aware of her cycle and inherent connection to the whole, also learns to perceive a level of life that goes beyond the visible; she maintains an intuitive link with the energies of life, birth and death, and feels the divinity within the Earth and herself. From this recognition woman deals not only with the visible and the earthly but with the invisible and spiritual aspects of her existence. It was through this altered state of consciousness that was taking place every month than the shamans/healers and priestesses, contributed to the world and to their own community its power, clarity and connection with the divine.”
Miranda Gray via Mujer Arbol