Sacred menstruation is a powerful time of connection with our bodies, our ancestors, and the natural world around us. For centuries, people have recognized the connection between menstrual cycles and the moon phases, honoring the powerful and transformative energy that arises during these times. While, in today's day and age, our periods seem more like a curse than a blessing, our past can help remind us of why this time was seen as sacred and ritualistic. Throughout history, different cultures have recognized the importance of this cycle and have developed their own unique rituals and practices to honor it. From ancient times to the present day, women have found ways to connect with themselves and their bodies during this time, using practices that range from meditation to herbal remedies; we'll be going over several so keep reading. In many cultures, the menstrual cycle is seen as a time of heightened intuition and spiritual connection.
It is believed that during this time, women are particularly in tune with the rhythms of the natural world, and that they have the ability to tap into the spiritual realm with greater ease. Some historic cultures believed that women on their periods were revered and possessed supernatural abilities. Which is far more acceptable to the current trait of calling women dramatic or overly emotional during these sacred menustration's. While our ancestors praised us in the past, our fellow man dismiss and shame the significance of this powerful time. When most of us think back on our periods, its moments of isolation, fear and pain but it doesn't have too, it wasn't meant to be that way! Sacred menstruation is about creating a connection to your body, mind, and spirit during this special time. It is a way to honor the life-giving energy that resides within us and create space for self-reflection and healing.
The Cherokee believed that menstrual blood represented feminine power and could be used to defeat enemies. In ancient Egypt, yoni steaming also known as "sweating the womb," was often performed by women as a way to purify themselves after childbirth or during menstruation. The practice was believed to be beneficial for women who were struggling with fertility, as it was thought to promote the flow of blood and energy to the reproductive organs. Ayurvedic medicine from India has a long tradition of using herbs and other natural remedies to support women during menstruation. One popular remedy is drinking warm cacao mixed with spices like cinnamon and ginger, which are believed to help regulate hormones and reduce menstrual cramps. The Native American tradition includes the Moon Lodge, a ceremonial space where women would gather during their menstrual cycle to connect with each other and with the cycles of the moon. The Moon Lodge was a place of rest and rejuvenation, where women would spend time in meditation, prayer, and reflection.
Ambubachi Mela is a four-day celebration that takes place in the Kamakhya temple in Assam, India. The festival celebrates the menstruation cycle of the goddess Kamakhya. According to legend, the goddess menstruates during this time, and the temple is closed for three days. On the fourth day, the temple is opened, and devotees take a dip in the holy waters of the Brahmaputra River to wash away their sins. In the Philippines, there is a superstition that wiping menstrual blood on your face can prevent breakouts. While there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, the practice has been passed down for generations and is still practiced by many Filipinas today. In Japan, women traditionally eat a special diet called "chisanbop" during their menstrual cycle. This diet includes foods like seaweed, fish, and soy products, which are rich in nutrients and believed to help balance hormones and reduce menstrual cramps. In many African cultures, women engage in a practice called "sitting in the womb." This involves sitting with the legs spread apart and a pot of hot water infused with herbs placed between them. The steam from the pot is believed to help cleanse the reproductive system and alleviate menstrual cramps.
These ancient practices offer us a glimpse into the diverse and rich traditions that women have used for centuries to support their reproductive health and spiritual well-being. While these practices may seem foreign or strange to some, they can be adapted to modern life and integrated into a contemporary self-care routine. By exploring and honoring these ancient practices, women can connect with their bodies and their spiritual selves in new and meaningful ways. Other cultures have developed practices around menstrual blood itself. For example, in some African cultures, menstrual blood is viewed as a potent source of power and is used in healing rituals and ceremonies. In some Native American cultures, menstrual blood is considered sacred and is used in ritual offerings to the Earth. While many of these traditional practices and beliefs have been lost or forgotten over time, there is a growing movement to reclaim and honor the sacredness of menstruation in modern culture. Many women are turning to practices such as menstrual cycle tracking, moon phase ceremonies, and womb healing practices as a way to connect with the natural rhythms of their bodies and the earth.
For as long as humans have existed, so has our tie to the moon as well. From Moon madness all over the globe during Full Moons and Lunar eclipses, to the effects of the Moon on Earth's tides and weather patterns, our connection with this mysterious object in the night sky has been growing more powerful as time goes on. Astronomers have long studied the moon and its relationship to our planet, discovering things such as how its gravitational pull affects ocean tides and how our day-night cycle is dictated by its orbit. The moon has been a source of inspiration for centuries, providing us with an ever-changing landscape of beauty and mystery. However, for the sake and length of this blog, we'll be focusing on the effect of the moon on our menustrations. It's been known for centuries that our menstrual cycle is naturally linked to the phases of the moon. The link between the two goes deep; while it has yet to be proven scientifically, many cultures have associated the moon's phases with fertility cycles for thousands of years. For example, Inuit women would wait until the new moon to begin their cycle because they believed that it was a sign of renewal and a time to "cleanse". This belief has been echoed throughout various ancient cultures in Africa, Asia, and even in parts of Europe.
It's believed that our hormones are what respond to the moon's influence, as well as the other planets in our system, hence why we feel certain Astrological events so strongly. This is because the moon affects Earth's gravitational pull which can have an effect on the body's natural rhythms. The amount of light we receive from the moon can also affect our hormones, which can lead to changes in our menstrual cycles. Many cultures consider menstruation as a sacred and powerful event that is connected to the moon's cycle, not something to be ashamed or disgusted by. Over time, various cultures have established distinct practices and rituals focused on menstruation to pay homage to and acknowledge the strength and importance of this natural process. In many indigenous cultures, there is a close connection between menstruation and the phases of the moon. Women often refer to their menstrual cycle as the "moon cycle" and believe it allows them to connect with the cycles of nature and the divine feminine.
Traditional cultures have customs and ceremonies centered around menstruation to respect its significance. An instance of this is the Native American practice of women congregating in a "moon lodge" while menstruating to converse, rest, and receive advice from seniors. Let's explore the aspects of menstruation in Hindu culture, where the first day of a woman's cycle is called "Shakti." Shakti is celebrated as a time of power and renewal. In ancient times, people recognized the connection between the menstrual cycle, the moon, and nature, and honored it accordingly. The rituals incorporated during this time of the year are meant for purification, rest, inspiration, and renewal. Regardless of where you or your culture come from, the following practices are to help you along your healing journey between you, the Moon and your period. To begin practicing this section of self-care magic, it's important to identify your current moon cycle. This will help in understanding your current situation and access your inner magic.
WHITE MOON CYCLE:
- Spend time alone in meditation or introspection (Recharge your energy since you share so much of it)
- Take a relaxing cleansing bath with Salts and Oils (Let go of any excess energy from others)
- Practice Forest bathing, a Japanese practice of relaxation; also known as shinrin yoku. Spending time among trees, staying quiet, and taking deep breaths while observing nature can be a natural way to reduce stress and improve overall health and wellbeing. (Ground yourselves)
- Crystals: Moonstone and selenite. Moonstone is known for its connection to feminine energy, intuition, and inner strength. It helps with hormonal balance and emotional stability. Selenite helps with mental clarity, deep peace, and spiritual connection.
- Herbs: Raspberry leaf and chamomile. Raspberry leaf is great for balancing hormones, supporting the reproductive system, and easing cramps. Chamomile is a calming herb that helps with relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety.
If you have a White Moon cycle, you usually have your period during the New Moon. This cycle is commonly associated with fertility and motherhood since studies have shown that the earth is most fertile during full moons, which is when you ovulate. When you're on your period, you may experience heightened intuition and a desire to take time for yourself to rest and renew. This is an important time to prioritize self-care and recharge your own energy, since you typically expend your magic outwardly to help and support others.
RED MOON CYCLE:
- Modern Moon Lodge: Connect with other women in your community or online to share your experiences and support each other in your spiritual self-care journey's
- Stretch your spiritual or metaphysical abilities with creativity through meditation or energy work like Automatic Journaling or Blood Painting.
- Use your menstrual cycle as a time to give back to others through volunteer work or acts of service, give back to mother nature by feeding your menstruation to the Earth.
- Crystals: Red jasper and carnelian. Red jasper is a grounding stone that helps with physical strength, stamina, and stability. Carnelian is known for its connection to the sacral chakra, which governs emotions, creativity, and sexuality. It helps with motivation, courage, and passion.
- Herbs: Ginger and cinnamon. Ginger is a warming herb that helps with digestion, inflammation, and nausea. Cinnamon is great for balancing blood sugar, reducing menstrual cramps, and enhancing circulation.
If you follow a Red Moon cycle, your body bleeds during the Full Moon and is most fertile during the New Moon. Despite the outgoing, vibrant, and creative energies of the Full Moon phase, this cycle is associated with shamanism, high priestesses, and healers in ancient times. Women who have this cycle usually channel their creative and intense energies during menstruation towards helping and guiding others through their own experiences. Although they typically concentrate on their own spiritual development and growth, during menstruation they become more externally focused and dedicated to mentoring and creating. It is an opportunity for them to share their knowledge and assist others.
PINK MOON CYCLE:
- Vision Board: Use this time of transition to set new goals and intentions you want to manifest, use your period blood to write or draw these manifestations into existence.
- Incorporate movement and exercise into your routine to feel empowered and energized
- Connect with your inner strength through Affirmations or Mantras
- Use Tarot cards or Runes for guidance and reflection during this phase
- Crystals: Rose quartz and clear quartz. Rose quartz is known as the stone of love and promotes self-love, compassion, and emotional healing. Clear quartz is a powerful amplifying crystal that enhances clarity, focus, and spiritual growth.
- Herbs: Damiana and hibiscus. Damiana is a mood-enhancing herb that helps with relaxation, stress relief, and libido. Hibiscus is a refreshing herb that supports the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and reduces menstrual cramps.
If you follow the Pink Moon cycle, you will menstruate during the Waxing phase, which occurs when the moon is transitioning from a new moon to a full moon. This cycle represents a period of transition in your life where you are moving from rest to strength and power. You are growing, similar to how the moon is transitioning from darkness to light. Pink Moon Cycles are associated with creative energy and the courage to step into new beginnings. During this cycle, it is important to honor your inner power and trust the intuitive guidance that comes from understanding the cycles of nature. Take care of yourself and your body during this time and honor the sanctity of menstruation.
PURPLE MOON CYCLE:
- Practice gentle Yoga, Reflexology or stretching to release tension in the body
- Use aromatherapy with calming scents like lavender or chamomile to promote relaxation
- Connect with your inner wisdom through Lucid dreaming and Meditation to
- Create a sacred altar to help you stay connected to your intuition and healing cycle
- Crystals: Amethyst and labradorite. Amethyst is a calming and purifying crystal that helps with relaxation, intuition, and spiritual growth. Labradorite is known for its connection to the third eye chakra, which governs intuition, insight, and psychic abilities. It helps with mental clarity, emotional balance, and creativity.
- Herbs: Lavender and valerian root. Lavender is a calming herb that helps with relaxation, sleep, and reducing anxiety. Valerian root is great for promoting deep sleep, reducing stress, and easing menstrual cramps.
During the purple moon cycle, it's a good time for spiritual self-care and inner reflection. You might feel more in touch with your emotions at this time, so it's a chance to let go of any negative thoughts or energy that's holding you back. Take this time to recharge and focus on yourself, while having faith in the natural course of life. To have a better experience during a purple moon cycle, it could be helpful to practice spiritual self-care methods such as lucid dreaming, using herbs and crystals for strength and protection, and performing cleansing and healing rituals. Additionally, you can try relaxing activities like taking a warm bath, drinking herbal tea, or getting a massage. It's important to slow down and acknowledge your body's natural rhythm during this time, giving yourself the chance to rest and revitalize.