Mommy Moontime Diaries: How I Learned To Honor My Blood (Or Why I’ve Been MIA Lately)

Warning: Straight-talk on women’s menses ahead. Read at your own risk of enlightenment. Oh, and welcome to Mommy Moontime Diaries. A new thing I maybe perhaps sorta want to continue every month here at the blog. Where I share about how I’m embracing my womanhood in all its blood and glory. :) 

“Traditionally, the Moontime is the sacred time of woman when she is honored as a Mother of the Creative Force. During this time she is allowed to release the old energy her body has carried and prepare for reconnection to the Earth Mother’s fertility that she will carry in the next Moon or month. Our Ancestors understood the importance of allowing each woman to have her Sacred Space during this time of reconnection, because women were the carriers of abundance and fertility…

As Grandmother Moon is the weaver of tides ( the water or blood of our Earth Mother) so a woman’s cycles follow the rhythm of that weaving. When women live together in a common space, their bodies begin to regulate their menses and all will eventually have their Moontime concurrently. This natural rhythm is one of the bonds of Sisterhood.

Women honor their sacred path when they acknowledge the intuitive knowing inherent in their receptive nature. In trusting the cycles of their bodies and allowing the feelings to emerge within them, women have been Seers and Oracles for their tribes for centuries.”   ~Jamie Sams, The Sacred Path Cards

So the other day, my period came. And for the first time ever in my life, I welcomed it. Instead of the usual sigh of resignation along with “oh-my-i-don’t-know-if-i-have-enough-pads” mini panic attack at the first sight of blood, I embraced its presence like a gift.

A gift to slow down, recalibrate and surrender. A gift to honor my feminine essence and tune into the wisdom it has to offer.

:: Pause ::

I don’t know about you but I’ve always resented having to bleed every month. It was kind of a nuisance, coming from the lack of confidence wearing white pants or the involuntary refrain from juicy sexual intercourse. And worse, it felt like a biological malfunction of some sort that every woman has to endure every freakin’ month, like a curse for those who were born with vaginas. The dreaded PMS cramps and bitchy attitudes never seemed to have any practical value whatsoever, except for finally getting yourself some kind of permission to retreat from the world (or in most cases, the world retreats from you and rightly so).

And if you are anything like me, those regular bouts of sour sassiness, the overall dys-functionality and the inability to pretty much be part of society do nothing for your already shot-down self-esteem. Unless of course you are good at masking all that by way of Midol overdose and just plain faking your way through it.

:: Pause ::

Fast forward to my present self, nearing 36 years of age and finally, slowly making way towards coming home….to me. To who I truly am, most especially as a woman. What I did not know about womanhood these past 3 decades have wounded my spirit deeply. I only know now how in my ignorance, I have repeatedly hurt my feminine essence…starting with the way I rejected and scorned this womanly body of mine.

Only in a patriarchal world do we force women to act and behave in ways so contrary to her feminine nature – to ignore her body’s need for rest when she is in a cycle of birthing that which is dying to be born. Women are cyclical by nature – we bleed out what did not come to be to make space for what is to come. We are always creating space so that we can…well…create some more. We truly are Creatix Goddesses of some sort. But when we don’t let go of what we need to let go? It’s going to be a struggle to bring forth what we need to birth. And when we don’t honor that design, guess what? We become bitches, if not outwardly towards others, then inwardly towards ourselves. We become estranged from our dark side and we miss out on the power it has to bring forth Light.

:: Pause ::

I never made sense of some seemingly quirky behaviors I have up until now. Like how once a month, I seem to have this need to reorganize space. As in, I move our furniture around the house. I’m talking big furniture: couches, TV, bookcases, beds and the like. It’s a compulsion I never understood until now. It’s usually right around when my period ends, when I’m done releasing what needs to go, at least biologically. I’ve done this for as long as I can remember and without fail, ever single month, I will feel restless until I rearrange some space in my life. Now I know why. And now I can consciously go through my quirky behavior as a ritual to surrender the Old to welcome the New. A reminder of the Creative Powers brewing and then bursting forth within me.

:: Pause ::

And perhaps more importantly, I’m making some margins in my life so I can flow (excuse the pun) with my monthly cycle with  more ease, peace and pleasure. I don’t want to miss out on the wisdom and growth to be had in carving out that sacred space. Back in the day, they had Red Tents and Moonlodges (oh I wish!) but since I don’t have that kind of privilege right now, here are some ideas I want to slowly incorporate in my monthly moontime ritual:

  • carving out a week during my period where I just chillax to the max. Last week, I sort of did that. Which is why I was MIA here on the blog.  I also asked hubby to buy take out without the guilt. And I kinda let the house get messier than usual for a few days. And I didn’t make any clever crafty plans with my daughter.  I did have some commitments I couldn’t stall but did the bare minimum I could.
  • nourish myself. Like eating lots of nourishing drinks (by way of herbal infusions, juices and smoothies) and oh-so-healing bone-broth stews, which I already do on a regular basis but so much more important during our moontime.
  • cut back on social time. I don’t need to plan this out. I just sort of actually disappear from earth during my period, but I’m more aware now why my need for solitude is much stronger.  And without the guilt (and the flakiness, if I plan it ahead instead of just canceling on people when I realize I just don’t really have energy and desire to.)
  • find help for my daughter. I actually had help lined up for one day last week but our sitter had to cancel last minute. I just explained to my daughter that mommy had to take it easy because of my period and she understood. I still was her playmate but she actually let me lie down on the couch periodically.
  • sleep a lot. we were actually out of town for the weekend, and twice in a row, I hit the sack at 9 pm and woke up at 7 am! It felt so good!
  • no work, if I can help it. I think in the future, I’m going to either write my blog posts ahead of time and do no work during the week of my period. i’m also going to work around some freelance projects and do more of that work in the beginning of month and try to finish up before my period so I can…well…chillax to the max.
  • reflect and tune in to what I need to release and make space for. so important. so instead of spending my free time at night working, i want to focus on this aspect instead. I didn’t do this exercise this last week, but I’m sort of finding my way towards it in bits and pieces.
  • ditching the pads and switching to cloth (Party in my Pants, anyone?) and practicing a ritual like giving back my blood to earth. hmmmm….
  • attending a Red Tent when I feel brave enough to do so! I haven’t given up on finding a sisterhood that fits me….

I am thankful that I am learning how to honor my moontime now, so I can empower my daughter to honor hers when the time comes so she can fully own her Creatix Goddess within growing up, instead of at mid-life like me. But then again, it’s never too late as long as there is Now.

So what about you? How do you honor your moontime? And as always, if you liked this article….sharing is the kind thing to do! And..one more request…? If this sorta changed the way you think and experience your moontime, please let me know! Thank you.

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Comments

  1. Christa says

    Great post! Something that I’ve come to think over the last few years is that PMS is actually a gift. When I look at myself and women around me, it seems as if we keep so much inside – not letting people know what we need or desire, or not even realizing what we need or desire because we’re so busy taking care of other people’s needs. PMS says, “NO! I will not be ignored any longer!!!” At least that’s what mine says :) I’m thankful that at least once a month I can see and feel what is truly underneath the surface. I like the idea of moon time too. Have you considered a Diva cup btw?

  2. Amanda Roggow says

    I love this post- thanks for sharing it, Vina! I actually made the switch to cloth pads and a diva cup a few years ago and wondered why it took me so long! I even commented to my husband how I love washing my pads by hand because something in the wringing out made me feel very connected to the earth and my feminine strength. Now I know why. :) I am going to read more.

  3. says

    You can basically assume that I read and love every single post you write. This one is no exception. I LOVE the idea of moontime, and thinking of menses as a time of releasing old energy to make space for the new. I love the idea of HONORING that phase of a woman’s cycle and celebrating feminine uniqueness rather than thinking of it as a curse. And I totally think women should be allowed to rest and be herself during that time.

    I’m currently still not menstruating since having Lydia (yay for lactational amenorrhia!), so I haven’t had my period in well over a year. It’s a weird place to be in. In some ways I feel more womanly than ever, having given birth, but at the same time I’m not participating in the monthly ritual of womanhood. It’ll be weird to adjust to it again when it comes.

    I’m with the commenters above in supporting use of the Diva cup. First, because of the eco-friendly factor; second, because of the health factor (no gross bleached cotton tampons); and third, for the way it reconnects me to my body. I have to actually empty out the blood every time. Other women find that off-putting, but like you I think it’s important to acknowledge every aspect of or bodies rather than try to hide any of it.
    Kathleen Quiring´s last blog post ..Confessions of a Struggling Parent

  4. Vina Barham says

    @Christa, Totally! PMS IS a gift, but a last-resort gift I think because it’s more like reactive…wouldn’t be awesome if nobody got PMS because well, women and moms most especially paid attention to their own needs as well as others? That IS my Big Vision and Dream!

  5. Vina Barham says

    @Amanda Roggow, Oh you are so welcome. I’m so glad that you did something that felt right to you, even if you didn’t know why exactly it made you feel more femininely strong. :) I can’t wait to try it out!

  6. Vina Barham says

    @Kathleen Quiring Yes, yes, yes to everything you said here. I also remember not having my period for a LOOONG time and I was like, wooohoo but I guess looking back, I totally get it now. Energy wise- breastfeeding and healing from birth is enough for my body I guess. :) What wisdom, huh?

    I’m excited to ditch my disposable pads. :)

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