Menstruation As Ceremony

Divine Feminine Hygiene

It was the middle of a hot summer in New York City, I was home uptown in the Bronx, running around the apartment, playing with my nephew. I can remember this day vividly— as it was the start of a new stage in my life. I was using the bathroom when I saw light blood on my underwear. I was 11 years young and prior to this, my mom had never educated me on the blood cleanse that women experience every month for a large portion of their life. Imagine being a young girl, seeing blood on your underwear and not having a clue what it could be. I was startled and confused, I thought, “maybe I cut myself unknowingly”.

Perhaps my mother kept this information from me because she thought it would strip my innocence away? Maybe she thought it would make me grow up too fast? Till this day, I can’t understand why she hid it from me and why I was blindly initiated into womanhood. I say hid simply because I remember a time as a young girl, maybe the age of 9, when I walked in on my older sister using the bathroom. In the midst of being in the bathroom with her, I saw her bloody pad and freaked out! She laughed and said that she cut herself. I quickly ran into my mom’s room to let her know what was happening, little did I know this was going to get me in trouble. Why did it upset my mom that I had witnessed something so natural and feminine? I was confused and had questions but no one to talk to. Fast forward to sitting on the toilet trying to figure out what was happening to me, I started to call out for my mom but she was busy in that moment so my sister came to the bathroom door. I said nothing, just looked at her and showed her my underwear. She laughed and said “You got your period!”

I suppose this was the start of my womanhood, lost + confused, having to navigate this new reality of what it means to have a womb.

As a menstruating 27 year old women, I still have questions. Why is a women’s monthly cycle so taboo? Why are women taught to dislike their blood shedding, self cleansing wombs? When did the disconnect take place and why? Who told us it was okay to not love and cherish our natural feminine ways? I will start by saying that patriarchy has slipped us away from our truth. Our bloody and beautiful truth. In stripping us of our instinctual womb wisdom, most women have stopped tending to their monthly cycles. They don’t treat their cycles with love and nourishment but with disgust and annoyance.

The Womb is the most sacred place on earth.

This article is for the women that need a gentle reminder on how to love and nurture themselves, throughout all phases of the month but most importantly the least favored phase, menstruation. Women experience over 400 menses in their lifetime so its time we start showing up for our bodies as an act of self love, as an offering to our ancestors and our future legacy. The wise women who have bled before us and the generations of daughters that will bleed after us.

There are four phases the womb goes through every month: menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase. Each one of these are essential when it comes to womb health but today I will focus on menstruation and tips to support a healthy cleanse every month.

Divine feminine hygiene is a Goddess frequency – one that maintains optimal health and well-being physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It’s making the conscious effort everyday to treat ourselves with the utmost respect.

Taking proper care of your body during menstruation is essential and can prevent many womb issues. Symptoms such as cramps, mood swings, acne and PMS can be a result of not nourishing your body properly during your monthly cleanse. We live in a world where women have normalized irregular/painful menses, assuming it’s just part of being a women. This is not true. A healthy menses requires intention and attention, as does everything else in life. It’s time to stop normalizing pain. It’s time to reclaim our innate womb wisdom. Your monthly cycle is a great place to begin practicing self-love + care. Supporting and nourishing your womb is vital for you and the generations you will bring to life.

Menstruation is the oldest religion on earth.

The word “period” to define our cleanse, comes from anthropologist and men that once claimed women go through a “periodic illness” – Ladies, it is time to decolonize our wombs. Menstruation is not an illness nor does it have to feel like one. In ancient cultures, a women’s blood shed was seen as sacred and spiritual. Menstrual blood is a rich, highly nutrient and magical substance.

Menstruating women were considered to have intuitive gifts and the ability to channel wisdom from the divine.

I invite you now to step back into this energy, step back into your instinctual womb wisdom. Your menstrual flow is a magical time of shedding, birthing and releasing. This is your time to go within and receive the clarity you need.

7 simple tips for the divine feminine during menstruation:

Nourishment • Vitamin K, Iron and Folic Acid:

During your cleanse you naturally lose a lot of blood. It’s very important to stay nourished throughout this time by consuming fresh juices and nutritive meals. Be sure to consume things that help replenish your blood and give you energy so that you feel well supported during your cycle. Dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables (flax seeds, almonds, beets, avocados, kale + spinach etc). Avoid dairy products, caffeine and alcohol. Herbs such as nettles, red raspberry leaf, dandelion leaf and turmeric are amazing at replenishing blood loss and supporting you during your cleanse.

Hydration • water, herbal teas and soups:

Tea + Water. The dynamic duo during your menses. There’s nothing your body enjoys more than easy, fluid circulation so that everything flows as it should. Water is absolutely key during any cleanse. The water element is known for renewing and washing away the old. Menstrual pain can many times be a result of dehydration. This is because the blood becomes less fluid and has a harder time flowing which causes stagnation. Herbal teas provide the body with support by offering nutrients, vitamins and minerals during your cycle.

Recommended Herbs: Red Raspberry Leaf, Wild Yam, Nettles, Dandelion Leaf, Chamomile + Dong Quai

Rest • sleep, surrender and unwind:

Sleep and relaxation is one of the best ways to renew and replenish your body. During every menstrual cycle, your body is working harder to discard what it no longer needs. This consumes more of your energy, making you feel extra fatigued. If you can, squeeze in a good 2-3 hour nap the first two days of your menstrual flow. Getting sleep and overall rest is a great way to love and support your womb during this time.

*light yoga stretches a few minutes a day is safe and also supports a healthy menses*

Meditation • reflection, journaling, silence and solitude:

Menstruation is a sacred, intuitive and spiritually heightened time of the month. This is an essential time to commune with God and receive the messages you’ve been needing. Regardless of what you believe in – create a sacred space, burn a candle and go within. Submerge into your thoughts and emotions. Repeat loving affirmations and hold space for yourself.

Warmth • blankets, hot pads and warm cuddles:

The body naturally functions better in warmth. It best supports all of your organs due to more relaxation and circulation. Cold temperatures usually make fluids turn solid, now imagine how this can work against your cleanse. Warmth allows your blood to flow down more fluidly, preventing painful cramps. If your blood is thicker due to colder temps, it can make the body work even harder to release. Using a hot pad is both comforting and supporting for your body during this time.

Unplugging • reducing the use of tampons:

Tampons really are problematic. The real issue is how regularly we depend on them. Every once in a while, fine – but too many women are using multiple tampons everyday during their cycle. The issue with this is that tampons are simply plugs, they do not fully absorb blood and they block the cervix from releasing blood clots. If your drain was clogged, would you stuff a sock in it? How will everything exit properly? It’s important to normalize using pads again or alternatives such as diva cups. We shouldn’t plug ourselves up but rather create a comfortable environment for our uterus to properly discard what it no longer needs.

Tracking • fertility and body awareness:

Tracking your cycle is one of the best ways of really tuning into your body. It allows you to have a full understanding of your cleanse + how often you get your cycle and when you’re most fertile throughout the month. Take note of when your menses begins and when it ends. Track your basal temperature throughout the month and pay attention to your cervical fluid. All of these help track where you are and if your menstrual cycle is in harmony. This also works as a great birth control method since you will always know your fertile window. You can track the symptoms you experience every month and see how your body is constantly evolving. This will allow you to feel more in tune with your body and have a more heightened awareness when it comes to each phase of your cycle. You can use a journal to track your menstrual cycle or an app on your phone.

These are some simple practices you can welcome into your life to begin honoring your womb. Whether you do some of these practices already or none at all, I hope they activate something in you so that you dive deeper into your ancestral womb wisdom.

The blood of our womb is a divine blessing. It is a portal of renewal and our connection to Source.

menstrual blood represents the essence of femininity.

Simone De Beauvoir

once a month emails for those seeking to re-member

the stars have successfully aligned

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