If women used to cycle with the moon, did we all used to be in sync carrying the world's rhythm inside ourselves? -Nikki Tajiri
By Aljolynn Sperber
Thank goodness science exists because perhaps without it, we would all still live in a world where periods are thought to be impure.
Primitive religions and cultures incorporated taboos around menstruation because without really studying it, it seems supernatural to have blood flow only from a menstruator's body every 28 days, give or take. And then the bleeding doesn't happen when someone is with child and has entered middle age - menopause. And because the negative sentiment has existed since the dawn of time, menstruators have felt isolation and shame.
Some religions and cultures still practice placing menstruators in huts away from the rest of the people to isolate the "impurities". And some menstruators are still not allowed to practice praying in their chosen place of worship during a time when they're already feeling isolated but need community even more during their period.
So how do we unlearn and shed the shame? How do we reconnect with our self when some of us have been trained to see our cycles as taboo? How do we create ritual and space to honor the "red river of consciousness"?
Though we may experience discomfort during our cycles whether they're physical, emotional, or mental, menstruation is not a curse. It can be a time of profound healing. It can be a time of harnessing our power.
"When a woman (menstruator) chooses to reclaim the holy nature of their menstruation, they heal not only for the self but for the ancestors, our collective, and future generations." -Camille Willeman-Green for Earth Daughters.
So what are the practices we can use to reclaim power and shed the shame? Something as simple as wearing red during your period or indulging in organic dark chocolate without guilt is a wonderful start to practicing and ritualizing your period.
Leveraging the tips from the Seasons of Your Cycle and Their Superpowers from the March issue of Lady Times is also helpful to make ritual of your cycle.
But let's explore a few more ways that we can harness the power of menstruation and empower ourselves.