The depth and quality of time a woman gives herself during her period has a direct influence on the ease and grace of her upcoming month.
Imagine a world where women look forward to having their periods. As the cramps begin to activate in their wombs, they know they are a day or a few hours from luxuriating in their femininity. During their week of bleeding, they are granted days of having nothing to do except nurture and care for their bodies, their souls. Nurturance might look like going for walks in nature, candle-lit baths, and blank canvases transforming into colorful, divine messes.
In this world, women know their week of bleeding is a sacred time. They understand their bodies are releasing, shedding the way snakes shed their own skins. This week is related to as one to be honored, for the sensitivity of women's bodies absorb the energies around them. Their own emotions as well as the emotions of those in their community and the planet move through them. This week is her time to release it all. The depth and quality of time a woman gives herself during her period has a direct influence on the ease and grace of her upcoming month.
Imagine if in this world where women look forward to having their periods, they aren't the only ones. In this world, culture and society look forward to these weeks as well. A woman who goes into her mystery during her blood time will come back with visions and messages for those in her community. In this world, culture and society understand women to be the visionaries, the priestesses, the ones who discern and travel the worlds. Both the seen, the unseen, and the realms of the in-between are in her domain.
Just like the greek myth of Persephone, so too do women traverse the underworlds - and not just for extended sequences of the year - as the myth reads - but every month. While Persephone emerges from the underworld as the earth heats, beckoning the blooms of flowers of spring, women emerge after their journey into the depths and darkness of the death time- the blood time. Myths offer poetic understanding upon the intricacies of reality. Reality becomes richer when lenses of perception are able to contextualize immortal stories over them.
While Persephone percolates as voluptuous fruit and aromatic flowers, so too do women as they come back from their journeys bearing blooms. The nutrition of their blooms is largely correlated with how willing they were to honor this time as sacred. Their willingness determines the depths they dive, and the lucidity of the visions which arrive.
This world may sound absurd to some, especially western culturalists in the US. US was predicated on the Calvinistic work ethic, and no nation holds the individualism mindset quite like the soil of this land. For many, work is their religion. It's important to note that while this concept may sound ludicrous to some individuals who are not women, or some who have never journeyed out from the beautiful bubble of the US, the concept is not foreign to a plethora of nations. Spain for example, offers two days of paid menstrual leave a month for women. Several countries in Asia have similar policies. And, it was not too long ago when native women on this exact soil gathered monthly to bleed together into the earth.
Today in the US, women are expected to work as though they had the bodies of men. While men may operate just fine with a typical work week of Monday-Friday and 9-5, women's bodies operate on a less linear timeline. Rather, theirs is a circular one, a spiral. They sync with the moon. Just as the moon has four sequences: new moon, waxing moon, full moon, and waning, so too do women - every single month.
Getting back into rhythm with one's own body, with nature, may inevitably lead to humanity arriving back home with the sacred. The devastation of the natural world offers a reflection on the ailments within the collective psyche. While the rising of the divine feminine may be a cliche, perhaps it is a cliche worthy of anchoring into the wombs of women. Could it be that this "rising" is also a call for an embodied descending?
Alïta Alison Laurén is the founder of Eternally Mused Media and author of Cultural Psychology of Women's Sexuality: The Priestess, Patriarchy, & The Prostitute