Moon Bleeds: Celebration or Curse?

Every twenty eight days, the Moon replenishes itself.

Every twenty eight days, a woman’s womb replenishes itself.

Wow!  Someone please let me know why they are connected, but until then, I can understand why a woman’s menstruation in primitive days was feared.  Did those early humans think the Moon was so powerful that it somehow mysteriously controlled a woman’s reproductive cycle?   I would think that would be more than any man can handle, and when they can’t handle something, they fear it and must have control over it.   We have seen examples of that in history over and over.

Have women ever taken back control?  Or are they still buying into the brainwashing that menstruation is a curse?

Most women if you ask them where they left their keys, they may struggle to remember, but if you ask them when they started to menstruate, they have no problem recounting the day, sometimes the actual minute.

There is so much power in that moment. It is when a girl leaps into womanhood.   It is an event that EVERY WOMAN ON THIS EARTH SHARES.  Imagine that, EVERY woman!!   Not all women can share the other biggies, like getting married, or childbirth, BUT they can share that same First Moon Bleed.

So why do women let this event just slip by with nothing more than a ceremonious trip to the grocery store to buy your daughter’s first tampon or sanitary napkin?  Why is it left up to the schools to teach our young women what menstruation is?  Why have we made it so…sanitized???  This is a celebration!  It is something only women do, and possess.  Why not flaunt the mystery and the beauty of it?

Do you recall this moment in your life being heralded by your mother or your family as a celebration?  Until a girl experienced it, the process was either unknown, or possibly feared.  I heard as a kid you bled to death.  Of course I never tied that crazy thought to the fact that every teenaged girl and woman I knew was still alive each month.

I can only recall when I was young of one instance when the event was connected with something special.  I knew a girl who showed me THE BOX that belonged to her older sister.   It was a small wooden chest that her father had made.   My friend caressed it and told me she could not wait until she got hers.   I asked her what it was for.   With reverence she opened it and showed me the sanitary napkins inside.   The only thing I remember about this Dad, was he worked with his hands and had a gruff manner.    I avoided getting under his feet.    Yet here was a gift he spent hours on making, and gave it to his daughter to celebrate her new womanhood.  And here was my friend hoping beyond hope that her Daddy would make her feel special, too.  There was a warm magic in that moment.   My friend was aglow, anticipating her womanhood. It was going to hold gifts for her and a new status in the family.

Why don’t our young blossoming women feel this way now?  There are examples of Female Puberty Rites in Native American history.  These girls felt the way my friend did.  All of those rituals had these major themes; There was public declaration of the girls new womanhood and it would give her a certain level of mystical power.  How cool is that?

Can we revive ancient Puberty Rites for girls?  Can we some how bring back the dancing and singing and mentoring?  I hope we can.

Why not have a special time when you tell your daughter or niece how wonderful it is she is becoming a woman, and then teach her what to expect?   We have to do this.  We have to make them feel special so they do not fall prey to what men want of them or that they measure their worth by which guy they are seen with.  Usually the wrong guy!

But don’t scare her away from the important men in her life.  We can not discount the importance of men in a young woman’s maturation.  A kind and protective father figure can teach her about love and commitment.  He can also be her barometer to what a good man is like and how a good man treats a woman and makes a good father.  The women in her life should carefully choose these men.  Statistics show that a good father/daughter relationship is important to her self confidence.

So, how do we plan the girl’s celebration?   How about a special weekend get-a-way with Mom, Grandmother, Aunts, or sisters?   Surround her with love and make her feel special.  Help her usher in her womanhood so she can go out in the world feeling good about herself, and that she would celebrate the magic of her inner being every twenty eight days.  She would feel empowered not cursed.   And we can hope this internal glow would radiate out and it would touch all those who were blessed to cross her path.   Now that is a much nicer memory she will have of her first Moon Bleed.

On YOUR next Moon Bleed, look up to the Moon and be reminded how powerful, mystical and special you are.  And the next time you feel alone, remember you are linked to all the other women of the world.  Pretty neat, huh?

Atwood

 

 

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