LESSONS FROM OUR WOMB: Menstruation, Menopause and Magick

Bath

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“Something inside her was made of moonflowers.”

Rune Lazuli

Women are amazing creatures (all people are but this is for my ladies).

Our bodies can bring life into being—that’s beyond profound.

Our lips cast spells of honey, healing words and hexes when you threaten what is ours; our hips are built to birth babies; our breasts are meant to feed our young and a comforting landing zone for their tired, sad heads when the world tries to tear them down; we are everything nature is.

Creative. Destructive. Powerful. Weak. Compassionate. Cruel. Beautiful. Ugly. Forgiving. Merciless.

We are a mix of wonderful paradoxes and Divine chaos.

For me, Witches epitomize what it means to be a Woman; in our society being a Woman automatically makes you inferior in many people’s eyes but when you are a Witch, you take back a lot of your power without even knowing it.

You see, the world hates strong Women.

So, yeah, we are more likely to be targeted by the weak and ignorant minded on a smaller scale but in the grand scheme we are generally left alone because there is no force as strong as a Woman who has stepped into her power. Many will choose to avoid us altogether rather than face us head on.

Of course, I am not suggesting that the *only* strong Women to exist are Witches, but I am saying that Women who are Witches are the strongest I know.

Women and the Moon have been connected since the beginning of time; it was the Moon who helped the first Women map their menses, and their Magick.

We are created to be cyclical; just like the ocean has an ebb and flow, so do we and just like the ocean, it is the Moon who rules ours.

Blood Moon

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When I first started on the path I kind of just jumped right in and for me the Feminine aspect of myself, my Magick, and my Craft was not of huge importance; I just wanted knowledge.

When I began to evolve on my path I reached a point where I had to open the door to my Femininity, my Womanly essence; I had to find the root of my pain, and the root of my power so that I could tap into both; use one to heal the other.

So, I went searching.

If you have ever looked-for articles, books, or blogs written about Witches, the Moon and Menses, you will see that the search results are endless; literally, it’s an endless list of search results.

Sounds great, right?

Well, not really.

All these articles talked about us connecting to our Wombs, how important our menstrual blood is, and how we should map our PMS with our Magick, and emotions, which is all true.

But, what about those of us Women who are Witches that don’t have a womb?

The ones who don’t bleed?

Where are we represented, not even that but where are we to look for answers about our bodies and how they relate to and reflect Mother back upon us when everything we read is telling us we are not fully a Woman because we have a womb space, instead of an actual womb?

I had a full hysterectomy as many of you know—I write about it all the time because I want people to understand my story.

There are Sisters who are Transgender, and thus biologically they cannot bleed. I believe that Transgender Women have a womb space that is like a collective consciousness; I have a womb space that is a void of sorts, a place where my womb once stood, residual power that can still be tapped into; then there are Women fully in-tact with their womb in place.

Womb or not, we are all powerful creatures.

We are all deserving of our Magick.

We are all beautiful definitions of the Divine Feminine.

There are Women who are post-menopausal, which usually happens in our Crone years but can in a lot of cases happen sooner—known as Early Onset, or Premature Menopause.

Drawing from Crone power and wisdom, along with feeling a disconnect from my womb were huge hurdles for me to overcome.

I eventually accepted that my Magick took a turn towards the Crone’s wisdom and grayness once I hit menopause because that is what I needed at that time, which helps validate my “we are cyclical” theory.

It also led me to the lesson that I believe we can tap into Maiden, Mother and Crone energy throughout our entire lives; for me they are not just age ranges, they are feelings, thoughts, emotions, learning experiences, etc.

What life requires from us is what energy we will and should draw from.

Menstruation has long been thought of as gross, taboo and something that shouldn’t be discussed; as a Women’s Rights Activist, Feminist and someone who promotes Wild Woman Spirituality, it makes my heart sing that we are beginning to break down the barriers of misunderstanding and blood that have divided us for too long.

Our bleeding is necessary for life.

That is the furthest from “gross” I can think of.

Red Rose

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But, while we are breaking down barriers and progressively moving forward it’s important to understand that our community is not one size fits all; we do not all fit into one box and there should be representations, and voices that everyone can relate to.

I know what it means to bleed, have it taken away, not bleed, and then be thrust into menopause, at 27 mind you.

The entire experience has made me a stronger person, a better Witch and a more compassionate Woman.

We are amazing, cyclical creatures that are guided by the Moon; our menses and madness follow it’s phases.

Blessed Are the Witches.

Sacred Blood

Larissa Morais

Image: Larissa Morais

“When she bleeds the smells I know change color. There is iron in her soul on those days. She smells like a gun.”

Jeanette Winterson

I promised myself that I would leave this subject alone, and that I would not add my two cents in, but as usual, I have broken that promise to myself. If you have been on social media the last few days then I am sure you have heard of Rupi Kaur, if you do not know her name, then you surely know her picture. She is the woman who posted a picture of herself in bed with a menstrual leak in her pants, and on her sheets. If you are a woman who has had her period, or a woman who is still active in her cycle, then I am sure this is not a new sight to your eyes. If you are unfamiliar with the story, Rupi is working on a photo project, a series of what it is to be a woman in this patriarchal society, she posted this candid image of herself in a vulnerable moment, and posted it to Instagram, and it was removed. This picture has caused a revolution of sorts, and an uproar on all social media platforms. It appears that we are very much split down the middle, and the two groups are those in support of, and those who think it is disgusting. You know what I think is disgusting? That women are the main culprit of this lack of understanding, and I have read thousands of comments over the last two days of Women saying that Miss Kaur should, “show some class”, “keep things private”, “we don’t have to share everything”, and my favorite, “is nothing sacred anymore?” As I rip my hair from my head, I want to scream, “MENSTRUAL BLOOD IS SACRED!!! YOU FUCKING FOOLS!”

I know at this point you are probably wondering why I am writing about this. My answer to that is that I write about injustices that I see, and I stick to no specific topic. I am going to give some Occult history, and actual historical information regarding menstrual blood and the Sacred spot it has held in every civilization. It seems that just like everything else that empowers the Woman, this too, has been swept under the rug. I find it funny that society objectifies the Woman every single day but the very thing that makes us Woman is to be hidden, frowned upon. This used to be a time that the Woman was celebrated.  I think it is time that the Divine Feminine states her claim; They must hear us roar. This was at no time supposed to be a patriarchal society, and I think it is time for a refresher course.

I was 27 when I had my hysterectomy, as I sit here at the young age of 30, I struggle with my “womanliness” almost every day. I see so many Women who have chosen not to have children and jokingly (some seriously) say that they want sterilization, or a hysterectomy; While I understand the thought process behind this, I mean who wants their period if they do not want children, I think this is a rash decision; But, I judge none, and to each their own. I think if a woman chooses that she wants to have these elective surgeries that is her right, but do you know how hard it is to find a doctor who will perform the procedure, if there is no health issue? I mean, do doctors give single men, with no children the same hassle that they give to single women with no children, when the male goes in for a vasectomy? If it were not for my underlying health issues, and I really only had heavy, heavy periods, would I have been denied the hysterectomy? My periods were so bad that I would have to stay in bed for days, I couldn’t work during it, and the flow was so heavy that I ruined more underwear, sheets, and pants than I could ever think to count.

Why am I being so honest you wonder? Because I think that having a period is a beautiful experience, and one that the Goddess herself has blessed humanity with. If it weren’t for our monthly bleeding, humans wouldn’t be able to create. Or does everyone forget about that? We can only love the Woman when she is submissive, and objectified? We cannot love the Woman if her belly is swollen from her period, and there is sacred blood seeping from her vagina? She isn’t sexy then? We can’t talk about those moments? Why? I say fuck it, and embrace who you are. Embrace those cramps, and that blood that stained your favorite pair of underwear, embrace your ability to create IF YOU CHOOSE TO DO SO. Embrace your inner Woman and everything that comes with Her. Embrace the chocolate cravings, mood swings, the late night trips to get tampons, and pads that are the size of your arm, the salt cravings to counteract the sweets, a good cry with a movie, and you guessed it, your Divine Blood.

Do not be ashamed of who you are, especially not on the account of someone else, and their level of comfort on the subject. I am going to give some history on menstrual blood, I will also give a link to an article talking about Rupi and her photo. I hope, if nothing else, this post brings you out of your comfort zone, only then can we see things for how they truly are.

“Women have been associated with the moon for longer than the human being has been human. Unlike early man, Woman could bleed in harmony with the cycles of the Moon, and not be harmed. When Women live together in close proximity, their cycles become coordinated; in natural light they tend to ovulate on or around the full Moon, and bleed on or around the waning or dark Moon. Furthermore, menstrual blood has very Magickal qualities: it attracts some animals and repels others; and it is an excellent fertilizer. Imagine the effect this had upon early man, who bled only with great danger or harm; and who survived on hunting and agriculture.”

“Menstruation is the most regular thing to happen to human beings. Herein lies the genuine power of menstruation, and what it has meant to human history. Menstruation and its connection to the regular movements of the moon, gave us time in large exact measurements and proportion. Without menstruation and the sciences of measurement Women developed from watching first the moon and then the stars, there would be no clocks or watches, no astronomers, no mathematicians or physicists, no astronauts, none of the architecture and engineering which have been born from exact measurement and proportion. We could build a nest, like a bird; but not a pyramid or rectangle or any other regular, geometric shape. Geometry was a gift of menstruation.”

“The oldest word for menstruation means “woman’s friend”. In some cultures, menstruation was originally called “tupua”, a Polynesian word meaning valuable, sacred, wonderful, Magickal; the word/concept “taboo” developed from it.”

“The days of menstruation were set apart from other days. In Babylonia, they were called “sabbatu” from which we get “Sabbat / Sabbath”. Repeated practices that Women developed in order to teach, confirm, and make social the powers of menstruation were called by words derived from “ritu” — at base, rituals and rites mean public menstrual practices.”

“The female genital, source of blood for the Magick of hunting and agriculture, source of keeping track of time, source of counting and measuring, source of geometry and babies and umbilical cords and the knowledge of tying, of connections; of flowering and fruiting and desiring — the female genital was worth-shipped, the female body was held valuable as a source and as a force; held valuable because of the sciences its mind produced and the wealth of culture that followed after.”

“So HOW did we get from “worshiping” and “the Woman’s friend” to “icky curse”? The answer is a long story of power, authority, their abuse, and public relations. One of the most important and astonishing stories on earth concerns the jealousy many men feel toward women — their Magickal menstrual and birthing powers, and the solutions they have developed to deal with this.”

“In cultures throughout the world, there are male practices that involve some kind of genital cuts to imitate a bleeding vagina. For example, even when a male Jew is born circumcised, he must endure a cut because it is necessary that blood actually flow from the genitals. In many aboriginal tribes this involves more severe practices — even the cutting of the underside of the penis — called “subcision”. In some tribes, the older women tell the young girls, “Don’t laugh at the menstruating men.” They know what is going on — and now so do we. In Greek myth, the Greek hero (originally one who was dedicated to the service of the Goddess, “Hera”) Herakles (later Hercules) goes on a journey to steal the Shamaness belt of the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta.”

We are Woman, our blood is Divine.

Read more about Rupi, here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/27/rupi-kaur-period-instagram_n_6954898.html

Read more about menstrual Magick, here:

http://mirrorofisis.freeyellow.com/id51.html