First of a 3-part series about why trees don’t drink lattes, the hidden wisdom within our painful periods and the ‘me-time’ revolution
Women! Your cycle is the heartbeat of life!
Fall is upon us bringing with it the promise of darkness to come. This time of the year is an occasion, a challenging one albeit, when we can exercise a very powerful spiritual practice, the practice of relaxing and letting go. I am so excited to be connecting with you all, especially this time of the year as we prepare to go into the rich, and a bit scary, underworld of winter.
As Iʼm sitting here writing, my eyes are drawn to a big beautiful tree outside my window. Her leaves have turned bright yellow and fiery red in preparation for winter. She seems to fully lean into fall, showing off her gorgeous leaves, happily following the natural cycle of life. Every day, all year round she is simply focused on pushing her roots deep into the earth and stretching her branches up into the light. I admire how she not trying to defy nature and I canʼt help but think, if I were that tree, I could be tempted to find something, anything to stretch that energy high of summer… whatever the equivalent would be of a late afternoon Latte Caramel Macchiato for trees!!
This tree knows what I feel we’ve forgotten. She knows that there is a cycle for everything, that fall and winter are as innate and as important as spring and summer. She knows that this time of the year belongs to the Dark Goddess, that being deep-rooted to the Earth provides for her the time to rest and transform so that she is ready to birth once more when spring comes. Dʼyou see where Iʼm going with this?!!
This cyclical rhythm is the heartbeat of life. Itʼs the finite balance between the Darkness and the Light, the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine, which creates and sustains all life on Mother Earth.
Modern society tends to greatly value summer, fire, daytime, action, structure, control, independence and linear thinking; all qualities generally attributed to the masculine energy.
The feminine counterpart to the masculine energy is a water energy which flows in a cyclical way. It is governed by winter, nighttime, darkness, stillness, chaos, dependence, coolness, intuition, receptivity, dreams and emotion. It’s a necessary counterbalance to the masculine. In our more ʻjust do it” and ego driven society, and selves, these qualities tend to be more subtle and certainly less valued.
We are of course all made up of masculine and feminine energy, regardless of gender. There is no better. The two energies are equally important. However, our choice as a society to value our inner masculine strengths over our feminine is starting to deeply affect our health and lives, especially the lives of women, impacting our wombs, menstrual cycle and our fertility. When we operate primarily from our masculine side, we pressure our digestive system, nervous system, immune system and reproductive system causing a plethora of problems, from adrenal fatigue, thyroid problems, inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, to PMS, PCOS, irregular periods, painful periods, endometriosis, and strong symptoms during menopause.
When we allow the masculine to overwhelm our feminine side, we can feel stressed, tired, overworked, in pain and unloved. You know that feeling of moving through life on autopilot, or being too much in our heads and not enough in our bodies, and/or when weʼre experiencing a lack of intimacy with our spouse or ourselves, or a disconnect from the community. Itʼs likely that a healthy dose of the feminine energy is in order.
So why I am so passionate about this subject, and writing to you all about it today?
Because I keep discovering to what extent I had been living a life, so to speak, that wasn’t really suited to who I really am, or of what Iʼm really made of. For the longest time, I was living deep in my masculine energy, mistaking it as my feminine energy, and in actuality, causing such an imbalance that would badly affect me physically and emotionally.
I was in my thirties before I knew some of the most basic knowledge about my menstrual cycle and my womb. I was so excited and in awe of my body when I realized that my menstruation cycle follows the cycle of the moon! That was such a cool insight.
Having been greatly influenced by a strong, independent, always on the go, hard-working mother offered me even more understanding. Maybe some of you can relate. I could always count on my ability to push forward when I came up against a wall; needing to accomplish more, to be better and faster, keeping myself and my needs under control at all times. It wasnʼt until I was diagnosed with endometriosis, bent over in pain for two weeks of every month, tired the rest of the month, and struggling to get pregnant, that I began allowing myself to finally slow down and actually listen to my body and the wisdom of my feminine energy. Today looking back I see how my period pains taught me the value of caring for myself, to put myself first (something I still have to work at) and the “action in the inaction”.
I became fascinated by the myths and secrets of the Goddess and womenʼs menstrual blood and womb wisdom. From the earliest civilizations, the mysterious magic of creation was always thought to reside in the moon time blood. Men regarded this blood with holy dread, as the essence of life. Most significantly, many words for ʻmenstruationʼ were the same words used for ʻsupernaturalʼ, ʻsacredʼ, ʻspiritʼ or ʻdeityʼ.
Itʼs interesting and even liberating to follow the historic shift in influence between the feminine moon energy and the masculine sun energy.
It’s clearly illustrated by the two conflicting calendars which were used through most of the Christian era in Europe: the churchʼs official solar Judaic calendar, and the peasantsʼ unofficial luna Goddess-given menstrual calendar. Calendar consciousness first developed in women simply by following their natural menstrual rhythm, correlated with the moonʼs phases. The Romans called the calculation of time ʻmenstruationʼ and the Gaelic words for menstruation and calendar are the same: ʻmiosachʼ and ʻmiosachanʼ. The idea that all mankind was made of “moon blood” was widespread throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and America and was taught in European medical schools right up to the 18th century.
Then there’s the Bible’s revision of the story of Adam. This is amazing!! Adam comes from the Hebrew, meaning “a creature made of blood”, formed by the Mother or Womb, Goddess of Earth, from her own clay, given life by her blood (adamah=bloddy clay or Earth).
Throughout mythology, be it Greek, Indian, Egyptian, Celtic, Norse and indigenous ones, the gods often depended on the miraculous power of menstrual blood.
The Norse God Thor (I’m Danish after all!!) reached the magical land of enlightenment and eternal life was by bathing in a river filled with the menstrual blood of “Giantess”, that is, of the Primal Matriarchs or “Powerful Ones” who governed the elder gods before Odin. Odin acquired supremacy by stealing and drinking this “wise blood” from the womb of Mother Earth.” So there you have it!
Because the menstrual blood occupied such a central place in the early matriarchal societies and was seen as sacred, holy and therefore also dreadful and scary, it makes sense that the patriarchal thinkers feared it. Laws were made to protect men from the power of bleeding women, and thus, taboos would be deeply put into place, taboos that are very much with us today.
Back to my healing journey with Endometriosis and infertility.
I tried to make the right lifestyle choices by eating healthy, managing my stress and doing Hatha Yoga. I often fell off the wagon, because I ultimately did not value myself enough to put my wellbeing on the top of my to-do list. I kept believing that the only way to make it in this world was by using my good ol’ masculine powers. I didnʼt trust my feminine strengths. I, for sure didnʼt consider to look for my wisdom and my way back home to myself, within my painful periods!
The real shift happened when I got a grasp of the knowledge and value of the Divine Feminine. Once I realized how the Goddess was worshiped in the past and then forcefully pushed aside, I couldnʼt help but associate my own value vis-à-vis how the feminine in society was valued. Once I began to know the strengths of the Goddess and honour her, I could value her within myself. That gave me the foundation and the balance in my life to allow myself to slow down, sit with my darkness and slowly understand the value and action in inaction. My body, my moon-blood, my womb and my inner voice, which are linked to my menstrual cycle, became equal partners in my daily life and my business.