There's a disturbing practice in my Instagram feed and within the plethora of books I have on my Kindle about Women's Womb and Lunar Wisdom:
Offering One's menstrual blood to the Earth.
The premise is romantic: The Earth needs our blood for nourishment. One story floating around says that is has been prophesied (but it doesn't say by whom) that once enough women give their menstrual blood to the Earth, violence and war will stop.
So now it's on women to stop all violence and war, one cup full of our own blood at a time? How many gallons of women's blood is shed every day IN violence and war? But somehow our menstrual blood, which is not really much of a "sacrifice" to pour out (since it happens naturally without our will or intention) is magically the answer?
I call bullshit.
You can watch this short video below to hear my impassioned rant or keep reading:
Five Reasons You Need To Stop Giving Your Menstrual Blood To The Earth:
1. The Earth doesn't need anything from us to be nourished.
This is a human-centric and, frankly, immature view of our relationship with the Earth. We all know the Earth would do just fine, and would in fact flourish, with the absence of humans. So what makes you think She needs your menstrual blood? And furthermore, have you asked Her if She even wants it? This is a symptom of projecting our humans wants and needs for the Earth onto the Earth instead of creating a dialogue with Her to see what she wants and needs. Human blood is shed everyday: accidentally, violently, naturally, in death and in birth. The Earth is over-populated at the moment. Does she really need more blood? The only way to find out is to ask. Her.
2. Menstrual blood is chaotic and not energetically nourishing.
When we bleed, we are bleeding out emotions, energies, thought forms and wounds for ourselves, our families, our communities and even the world. These are discarded energies. And while the Earth does a lovely job of mulching energies and other things that are no longer needed, menstrual blood is chaotic in nature and not energetically nourishing. It's important to understand that and to also think twice about ingesting or anointing sacred objects with your menstrual blood for the same reason.
3. Does the Ancestral Guardian of the land want your blood?
If you've asked the Earth if she wants your blood and you get a yes, if you're aware that menstrual blood is chaotic and you still feel called to give your menstrual blood, you need to sit or journey to the Ancestral Guardian of the land (they are often very snippity and impatient/cold) and ask that Guardian if you can give your menstrual blood on this particular piece of land and also, when and how.
4. You could accidentally be making a blood oath with dangerous Earth Beings.
The Earth is actually death-centered. That's what she does best-- she recycles death to give life and once that life is born (whether human, animal, plant, etc.) it starts to die. There are dangerous and dark Earth Beings as well as Earth Currents that you do not want to invite into your energetic space by making a bridge with your blood. You do not want to start feeding and nourishing these beings and you certainly don't want to find yourself engaged in an accidental blood oath with these things. We all know that blood is our life force (well, one of them) and that it carries the imprint of of DNA and who we are on an ancestral, energetic and cellular level. WHY WOULD YOU GIVE THAT AWAY? Especially without being spiritually responsible and ensuring that you were doing it in a safe, welcomed and hygienic manner.
5. It's not up to women to stop violent bloodshed with menstrual bloodshed.
There's a story going around the internet that goes something like this: When enough women give their menstrual blood to the Earth, the Earth will stop taking men's blood in war.
This story actually makes me very angry. It places women in a position of bearing the weight and responsibility of the world's woes on our shoulders-- you know, just like the patriarchy has done to us for thousands of years (see: Adam and Eve). It also removes the collective responsibility we humans have for our acts of violence and aggression: the story implies that the Earth is causing war and violence in an effort to quench Her bloodthirst.
Come. Fucking. On.
Adding insult to injury, this story also enables women to feel like we're doing something to work towards a better future (offering our menstrual blood to the Earth) WITHOUT US ACTUALLY DOING ANYTHING.
Donate blood from your veins to a blood bank. Get over your fear of death and spirits and learn how to help spirits move on who are hanging around because of violent and sudden deaths (love and light isn't enough. You need to learn to work with Death and make Death a spiritual ally). Moving these spirits over helps clean up the Earth's energetic field and lessens the human chaos and emotions that are informing everything from the weather to the collective consciousness. Donate money. Raise children with consciousness. Adopt a child. Hold prayer circles. March in protest. Vote with your money. These small, everyday actions will actually do something to help create equality and world peace. Pouring your menstrual blood out will not.
So What To Do With Your Menstrual Blood Instead?
Just. Flush. It. Down. The. Toilet. Septic systems are already in place to hold human waste. Menstrual blood qualifies and human waste (gasp! Sacrilege!) so just utilize the systems already in place. No, that septic system was probably not put into place with the Earth or the land's permission. You can make an offering (of anything but your bodily fluids) in gratitude for the septic system and to apologize for the human-centric way it was probably installed.
Go through the steps listed above: ask the Earth. Ask the Ancestral Guardian of the land. Ask the spirit of the plant or tree you want to leave you offering with. If you get yes's from all of these beings, and if you're certain there are no other beings living at that spot, that could take your blood, go ahead and offer your blood to the Earth! I totally understand why you would want to honor your body and the Earth in that way. I just also want you to think critically and realize that it's a two-way street and you should ask for permission from the other parties involved first.
What about The Red Tent Movement?
While I admire The Red Tent Movement and modern "Moon lodges" I question their story of origin. I cannot find any evidence that our ancestors ever gathered together to bleed under the New Moon and to share stories. First of all, ancient women didn't bleed as often as we modern women do. We are better nourished and have less children, giving us more time and energy to bleed.
Second of all, as most camp/house labor was the realm of women, and most ancient women supposedly bled simultaneously, that would have left the majority of the women's work to be done by children, women who were pregnant or recently gave birth, women too malnourished to menstruate, older women who had gone through menopause, or, most likely, by slaves-- slaves that were probably denied a red tent experience of their own. That doesn't sound right or kind. This doesn't mean we shouldn't have Red Tent Ceremonies today but it does mean we should think critically and avoid romanticizing the past (something uniquely afforded to those with racial, economic and class priveleage, by the way).
Thirdly, even if they did gather together to bleed, we need to be asking ourselves the following questions: How did they energetically prepare the space for bleeding? How did they energetically clear the space after each bleed? How did they ask for permission from the land? What did they give the land in return (besides their blood). How did they close this space when it was time to pack their tents or teepees and move on?
One Final Thing
I think this conversation also applies to burying placentas after birth (see what I did there). First, ask the Earth if you can bury the placenta. Second, ask the ancestral guardian of that particular chunk of land. Third, make sure there are no Earth Beings receiving the placenta.
Ok, but I still want to connect to the Earth as a woman.
Wonderful. You can do this by taking long meditative walks in nature. You can do this by grounding yourself with your bare feet on the Earth everyday. You can do this by not wasting Earth energy. Or. You can lay down on the Earth, your belly pressed against Hers, and just breathe. Whether you're bleeding or not. Put your womb to Her womb. Breathe and, more importantly, shut up and listen.
If you like my particular flavor of approaching the menstrual mysteries you might like my course: Womb and Lunar Wisdom
In love and darkness,