menses |ˈmenˌsēz|plural noun-blood and other matter discharged from the uterus at menstruation.• [treated as sing. ] the time of menstruation : a late menses.
Oh to the early days of breastfeeding when there was no “that time of the month”. With my twins I was lucky enough to not have a period for one full year. With my son it was nine months. Now it is back to the ebbs and flows. A cleansing time really. A time to reconnect to womanhood.
I’m no anthropologist and I do no research on such things, but I feel there’s a connection with it all. As we evolved, our most important biological function, reproduction, became enmeshed environmentally with our very world–lunar months, menses, and probably pineal activity. We are the way we are because we are of this world–a planet with a diurnal sequence and with a moon which makes one revolution around us once a month.-http://www.gynob.com/menses.htm
I could not have said it any better. When I start to really think about the delicate process of reproduction my mind spins. It just seems so alien to think of the technology involved in our nature. We women have the power to create more humans. All of the hormones involved and the way our pituitary gland keeps track of these levels. What an amazing system at work. Every month there is that chance to bring forth life. Wow.
My attention was drawn to a Grandmother with long white hair who was comfortably perched on a lawn chair talking to a group of young European women. They were discussing Moon Time (the menstrual cycle) and what they perceived as ‘restrictions’ of women during this time. What they were taught in Grandmother’s unique and open way, was that what they perceived as restrictions were in fact, freedoms and signs of respect and acknowledgement for the mystery and power of creation.
Most tribes had a Moon Lodge where the women could retire during these times. They were encouraged to dream, to contemplate and to pray. In some tribes, the dreams and visions of the women during this time (the Cherokee, for instance) was instrumental in guiding the decisions of the community at large. The dominant society perceives emotional instability during these times, the Native American woman learned from an early age, that it was a time when her spiritual/emotional abilities were at their most powerful and she was taught how to use these powers for the benefit of the community. She was provided a time and a place to go and just ‘be’. It also provided her a time to discuss with other women her thoughts and concerns and to sort out her feelings. Others saw to the feeding and care of her family. In a sense – in modern terminology – she was given a vacation once a month.
“It is well to be good to women in the strength of our manhood because we must sit under their hands at both ends of our lives.” He Dog /Oglala Sioux
I wish I could leave the village for a few days during my period. Time to reflect. Whatever happened to that idea. Let’s bring it back. Wishful thinking.