No one fully understood the process of menstruation until the mid 1800’s. A doctor named Gendrin came up with the idea that menstruation controlled ovulation. By the late 19th century, it was concluded that a woman menstruated because she failed to conceive. Until then, physicians believed that menstruation released unneeded blood and it was necessary to cool down a highly emotional state. They thought that menstruation was a hysterical reaction.
Today, menstruation is still considered a taboo subject. Many view menstruation as a biological process that women have to learn to live with. We negate a vital part of our intelligence and power as women if we are unable to appreciate the menstrual cycle as a key dynamic in our spiritual evolution.
Some women might find it very difficult to value the magnificence of menstruation because they suffer from menstrual problems like PMS, endometriosis and period cramps during their cycles. The irony of it all is that we suffer because we lost the knowledge of the sacredness of the cycle. We heal when we reconnect to our innate wisdom by honouring this natural rhythm of life.
“For our ancestors the menstrual cycle was a source of wonderful creative, spiritual, sexual, emotional, mental and physical energies. It was a gift that empowered women to renew themselves each month, to manifest and create the world around them, to connect deeply with the land and their family, and to express deep wisdom and inspiration. This ancient female teaching is still available to us in our mythology and nursery tales,” explains Australian author Alexandra Pope.
The power of the menstrual cycle goes beyond its role of baby–making. Getting in touch with her cycle opens a woman to different levels of awareness:
• Self care - A woman grounded in the rhythm of her cycle is familiar with her signs of fertility. She is able to manage her energy levels wisely and ‘read’ her cycle for feedback on her health.
• Personal development – Every woman comes coded with an inner coach. Her monthly cycles give her a structure to live by and manifest her goals. The different stages of the cycle are optimal phases for creative manifestation. A woman connected to her inner rhythm of power is ‘in the flow’ and her creative output flourishes.
• Psychological and spiritual growth - The menstrual cycle provides a path to psychological and spiritual maturation. It is a doorway for a woman to open to the universal presence within. Potentially ecstatic, creative, restorative and full of love, women enter the depth of this space during menstruation.
The menstrual cycle is a cycle of different types of creative ability. We cannot expect to be like men, consistent throughout the month. We put ourselves through unnecessary stress when we try to force ourselves to fit into a masculine structure. As women, we go through four main phases of creative energy: pre-ovulation phase before we release an egg, ovulation when the egg is released, pre-menstruation and menstruation when we bleed. Every phase is represented by an archetype reflecting our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and sexual energies expressed at that time.
The pre-ovulation phase is represented by the Virgin. She is energetically reborn, expanding and extroverted. This is a time for clarity and focus, allowing us to plan for the future, learn new things and develop fresh ideas.
The middle of the cycle when we ovulate is the Mother phase. It is a time of openness, nurturing and surrender. Our creative energy moves from the mind to the emotions. Now, we have the ability to strengthen our relationships by empathising with others, supporting people we work with by listening to them and reaching out to people around us.
The pre-menstrual phase is represented by the Enchantress. It is an extremely creative and powerful time if you are in touch with your power. Many women who suppress their creativity and their sexuality have a terrible time during the pre-menstrual phase. Their overwhelmingly creative potential makes its presence felt by refusing to remain insignificant. The discomfort, frustration and irritation are just signs that point to their unacknowledged power. Maximise this wonderful phase by thinking out-of-the-box, bringing your ideas into life or simply by trying out a new recipe!
Menstruation, the time of both power and vulnerability is in tune with the elements of the Crone. The Hindu Kuala Tantra sees a menstruating woman as the living embodiment of the goddess Kali, the power of transcendence. Her menstrual blood is the flowery life essence of humankind and all creation, a potent rejuvenating and transforming force. This is the time to create a direct relationship with the Divine by quiet reflection. We can meditate or contemplate on the past month and check if we are still in alignment with the desires of our souls.
Understanding our individual cycles and expressing the creative/sexual/spiritual energies as they arise gives us the freedom to realise our full potential. Love your cycle as it is an everyday reminder of the impermanence of nature and the fragility of life.
By Chim Li Yen
We thank Li yen for allowing us to re-publish this article which was first posted on her website @ http://www.thevioletflame.com.my/ .