Mystery … Magic … Nature …. Seasons … Tides … Moon … Earth … Ebb … Flow … Cycles … Dancing … Snake … Heritage … Healing … Sacred … Wisdom … Tenderness … Blood … Power … Honour … Sensitivity … Celebration … Gratitude … Pleasure … Beauty … Creation … Life … Spirit . . .
“Many menstrual taboos, rather than protecting society from a universally ascribed feminine evil, explicitly protect the perceived creative spirituality of menstruous women from the influence of others in a more neutral state, as well as protecting the latter in turn from the potent, positive spiritual force ascribed to such women. In other cultures menstrual customs, rather than subordinating women to men fearful of them, provide women with means of ensuring their own autonomy, influence and social control” (1988, p. 7).
This cross-cultural perception of the spiritual power of menstruation inverts commonly held assumptions that menstrual taboos are simply forms of female subordination. It is much more likely that menstrual taboos originated from women’s appreciation that something powerful was happening to them that necessitated being set apart. As Penelope Washbourn notes: “Menstruation symbolizes the advent of a new power that is “mana” or “sacred”. A sacred power has life-giving and life-destroying possibilities and in no case is mana to be taken lightly. A “taboo” expresses this feeling that something special, some holy power, is involved, and our response to it must be very careful” (1979, p. 34).
“It’s the special blood in which all our lives started” - Margaret Sheffield