Menstruation is universal. Menstruation is magical. Universally, wherever there is feminine magic, there are taboos.
In many traditions around the world, bleeding women are not allowed to engage in sex, adorn ourselves with jewelry, cook food, and must even lodge in separate housing. Words like impurity and shame hang in the air.
Even in mainstream culture, periods are concealed. Any average tampon commercial will expect you to don a fake smile, nail a tango routine, or score the big gymnastics gold. All with a bleached cotton tampon that hides the whole business.
Whatever the context, we’ve been given the message that our natural flow is a “no.”
But when the ancient women of The Red Tent bled in unison – they were prescribed a total rest. Abstaining from cooking, sex, and society was not a punishment. It was more like a paid-time-off for all of our hard work as creators of humanity and keepers of the Earth. Women howled at the New Moon and bonded in sacred connection.
It was a reverence for the power of the Feminine.
The Divine Feminine principle honors shedding what no longer serves, creating anew, and surrendering it all to receive the beauty of life. This is our superpower.
What would happen if we harnessed this magic by taking the best care of ourselves? What if the amplification of sacred ritual supercharged our superpower?
Follow us on the journey of Moontime Magic to discover!
The Moon and You
From the egg release to the egg drop, the entire Menstrual Cycle is a divinely intelligent orchestration guided by FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), LH (luteal hormone), estrogen, and progesterone. They rise and fall in 4 phases over 28 days.
Menstruation is the first phase. The unfertilized egg leaves the body, along with the uterine lining and menstrual blood. This blood is no ordinary blood but carries an extraordinary density of stem cells, nutrients, and, well, magic.
To best care for the blood, we recommend using reusable pads/underwear or a menstrual cup. These eco-friendly options eliminate excessive waste and exposure to bleached GMO cotton. They also allow you to free-bleed or collect your blood (which you might even return to the Earth or give to your plants).
The Kogi people of Colombia believe that the blood flowing from the Divine Mother, creator of the Earth, became the threads of gold that run through the Earth. They also believed the 28-day synchronicity with the Lunar Cycle connects us to the Cosmos.
Indeed, the similarities between Feminine bodily wisdom and the cycles of nature are astounding! The waxing and waning of the moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, and the flux and fall of the seasons are all mirrored on a much smaller scale by our follicular fluctuations.
Our moods and emotions sync with this cycle as well. In the Full Moon-Ovulation phase, we’re full of energy and ripe like the Summer. In the New Moon-menstruation phase, we enter a darker “Winter” of emotion when everything slows down and we go inward.
Track your cycle with the Moon using our Moon Mapping Journal! You might even notice that your cycle can actually sync with the Moon’s position over time:
The tides of the Moon embody the waters of our emotions.
So why resist it? Why not instead embrace this transfiguration with Sacred Ritual?
***If you no longer have a uterus or you never did, you’re still connected to these natural cycles. Simply apply these rituals to your energetic Sacral Chakra.
The menstrual cycle is a ritual in and of itself. These ritual practices strengthen its potential for deeper connection. Sacred Ritual is one step beyond self-care…it is self-healing.
Self-care is an act of maintenance. Self-healing is an act of awakening. It means creating the space for a Sacred Pause, a conscious intention, and full presence in these acts of self-care.
This has the potential to rewire our brains and bodies into next-level self-love.
Here are a few of our favourite rituals here at Botanical Trader:
Honoring Emotions – Tides of a Woman
The radical act of self-love starts with accepting where you’re at. 5000 years of menstrual shame don’t vanish overnight. This takes time and patience. After years of a conscious relationship with my cycle, I’m still discovering new layers of healing.
Language is a powerful tool of acceptance. Why do we call it a period (which implies a full-stop)? We might refer to it as our moontime to honor our inherent connection to nature. Ever since I’ve started saying this, it’s caught on among most of the women in my life! If that’s a bit too woo-woo for you, my cycle gets the same message across. Try on different titles and see what feels right!
Let’s do some reframing!
- Ugh, my period sucks! → I invite in Love for myself and my cycle.
- I get really cranky during PMS → I’m highly intuitive and ultra-aware of my emotions.
- I’m so exhausted and crampy when I bleed → I listen to my body’s need for rest.
- I’m an irrational tear-jerker → I surrender to this natural grieving process.
- Nobody talk to me! → Yeah, actually, nobody talk to me.
All of these emotional tides are just the body’s divine moon mimicry. Listen to them!
Rest, cry, and rage when you need to. Cancel those plans, take the time to be fully present with your emotional flow. And remember, “No.” can be a complete sentence.
Be gentle. Warm thoughts send a direct signal to release resistance and embrace our nature.
A Warm Womb
A warm touch also goes a long way. Like the dark side of the Moon, a woman’s moontime follows the Yin principle, which tends toward cold stiffness. But, in order for blood to flow, we want to keep the womb warm and moving.
Any of these warming practices can be transformed into a Sacred Ritual. Light some candles, set a loving intention, and breath deeply as you:
- Prepare an Epsom salt bath with your favorite sacral Chakra essential oils (more on this soon!)
- Lovingly massage your womb, hands, and feet with your favourite massage oil or Organic Body Lotion
- Apply a hot water bottle to your belly as you sip your favorite moontime tea…
Moontime Tea and Herbs
What better way to connect to Nature’s cycle than through the power of plants? Plants carry the Earth’s wisdom in each cell.
Drinking tea adds warmth and hydration. Whether you use herbs as tea, capsules, in your bath, or aromatherapy, here is some of their wisdom:
- Rose ~ the highest vibration of self-love and Femininity; eases menstrual pain
- Rosemary ~ relieves cramps, reduces menstrual bleeding, grounding effect, promotes unconditional Love
- Peppermint ~ menthol alleviates muscle spasms, clears mental fog
- Ginger ~ warming effect, reduces inflammation, aids digestion
- Ylang ylang ~ opens the heart, soothes the nervous system, relieves anxiety
- Cinnamon, clove, chamomile, and lavender also aid in menstrual relief.
These are all empirical findings that could benefit from more scientific studies. However, we believe that the simple act of asking a plant for guidance fosters a profound connection.
For more debilitating dysmenorrhea, Chinese Medicine recommends Shi Xiao San (Sudden Smile). The Ayurvedic formulation Hinguwashtak Churna (a powder blend of 8 herbs) also works wonders. I’ve personally found both to be quite effective.
My acupuncturist also told me that “when the pain becomes more toxic than the painkiller, there’s no shame in going for an Ibuprofen.”
Union Through Yoga
Yogic tradition discourages a full asana practice on the New and Full Moons. This honors the deficient and overcharged energies of each event. The same goes for peak menstruation and ovulation.
Without the intense vinyasas or Sun Salutations, a light practice of a few gentle poses really helps the womb do her thing.
We recommend Yin Yoga. As the name suggests, it's designed to honor the Feminine in stillness. Check out Your Essential Evening for more about Yin Yoga.
Though, if you are just to do one or two stretches, these are the quintessential menstrual poses:
Menstrual Meditation – Heart-Womb Bridge Technique
Did you notice that the Heart keeps coming up in each practice?
That’s because Love is a key ingredient to holistic menstrual care. That can feel like sunshine and rainbows, creativity and flow. It can also feel like honoring our shadows, grief, and anger.
The Divine Feminine holds it all with the deepest reverence. The portal to this all-Loving essence is through the bridge that connects the Heart and the Womb.
Whether your womb is physically present or exists energetically, this Heart-Womb Bridge Meditation is a powerful self-love transmission.
- Sit in a cross-legged position or lie down in Shivasana.
- Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your womb/lower belly.
- Set an intention to be present and take 3 cleansing breaths.
- Inhale fully into your heart, filling your lungs with air.
- Pause to feel your heartbeat.
- Imagine white healing light as you exhale this breath down for your womb to receive.
- Inhale fully into your womb, filling our lower belly with air.
- Pause to feel whatever is present.
- Imagine white healing light as you exhale this breath up for your heart to receive.
- Repeat several times.
Once you get into a flow, this meditation takes on a life of its own. Practice for at least 20 minutes during menstruation or at any time of the month.
~ Open mind, open heart, open womb ~
- are powerful!
- nurture our natural beauty
- deepen our connection to ourselves and to our health
And though this connection is deeply personal, it's also profoundly universal. Moontime Magic doesn’t just create a new sense of self-love – it creates a new world.
A world that busts through taboos, that transforms shame into respect – respect for the blood of life and not the blood of violence.
Let’s create a world that honors the Feminine Principle, that honors female bodies, that honors life itself.
WRITTEN BY ELIZABETH GOODMAN