I just turned 52, which has been much bigger than I thought, though mostly because I’m experiencing my waning menstrual cycle.

I’m still bleeding. But it’s shifting and has been for a minute. My body feels and looks different and I’m processing things differently. Ultimately though, instead of feeling out of sync with my body, I feel more attuned than ever before. It makes sense that my word for the year would be Presence: I don’t want to miss any of it – or at least as little as I can possibly stand.

So much has happened to me {FOR ME} over the last few years as I’ve really dropped into the divine feminine and opened myself up to the goddess.

I’ve found my way back to me. I’ve remembered who I am. I’ve remembered where I came from – not just my parents or grandparents – but from way back, the ancestors that lived during the paleolithic and neolithic times, the ancestors who understood and deeply felt the lived rhythms of their bodies in connection to the goddess and to the moon.

I’ve explored through Red Tents what it is like to honor my blood. To remember how sacred it is. To reconnect to its life giving powers. To feel the potency of it.

I’ve remembered how special it was to be a woman who bled. I’ve remembered what it was like thousands of years ago when women gathered to bleed together, to journey together, to commune with the Cosmos and the Goddess, to heal one another and to prophesize with one another.

It’s been a potent process, one that has shown me the flip side of what has happened since the patriarchal religions rose to power.

I’ve seen the underbelly of Eve, Lilith, Inanna, Venus, Artemis…who they were prior to the perversion of their stories by men. They were so powerful, sensual, vibrant and whole.

And the women were too: powerful, sensual, vibrant and whole.

But this was dangerous to the rising narrative that patriarchy needed to create in order to gain name and hereditary property rights. In order to gather strength, the men needed to revile the women, make them dirty, curse them.

A woman’s ability to create life was what most threatened the rising power structure. And so they were also ultimately forsaken because men feared the power of their life-giving blood.

So it became a curse and to be born with “the Curse of god” led women to death for hundreds of years, accused of witchcraft and sedition.

Men turning on women and in turn, women turning on women…

…and why?

Because we have what man could never have: blood that is connected to the creation of life itself.

Blood that was known as “wise blood” because it conferred onto women the powers of healing, prophecy and channeling.

And so:

Man had to create a father god and a man who birthed a woman through his rib. I mean: wtf? It’s lunacy – but only in the current, patriarchal distorted meaning of that word.

All of that when the name Adam actually means, “a man made of blood” from the pre-biblical meaning of: “a creature formed by the Goddess of the Earth from her own clay (adamah), given life by her blood.” (From The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G. Walker)

I can get riled up on this topic.

But when I think about how many of us – me included – have lived with feelings of shame, dirtiness, and less-than-isms as a result of this propogandic gaslighting, my woman blood boils.

What used to be experienced as holy has become a mark of shame. Even though my conscious mind knows that is bullshit, there was still plenty of wounding taking up space within me.

And I didn’t want to let my menses pass me by without finding a way to honor them in a way I never had.

I know there are a lot of women who have been honoring their cycles through so many beautiful rituals and ceremonies and I’m deeply grateful to all who have been shifting this narrative before me. I also know that there are many more who still feel the shame or are ignorant to the power of their blood.

It’s been a few months now that I’ve been feeling a strong tug to capture my menses and do something with them. I didn’t know what – I just knew I had to do it.

And so this month, I finally purchased a menstrual cup (side note: why have I not done this yet??? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it) and I captured almost all of my blood from my last cycle. (Another side note: I was shocked at how little blood there was! I have a short cycle but I really thought there would be a lot more than that!)

It felt important that I wrapped up my cycle just before the full moon and I decided to do something during this time. I could sense that the energy of release was big with this, even though I still didn’t know how I was going to celebrate my blood!

As the fullness of the moon approached, I still didn’t know what the directive from Goddess/my higher self/my body would be, but I knew that I needed to be alone for it, so I opted to do it the morning after the moon reached its peak of fullness, as it dropped into its own waning and release.

From the Red Tents – in which we spent time in trance essentially tilling soil with our blood – I knew that Gaia would be present. As I tuned in more this morning, I discerned that my blood offering wouldn’t take place outside in the yard, but instead with a houseplant.

I happen to always have Pothos clippings around the house and even though I have several already, it felt right to plant some of those clippings in soil with my blood.

Taken care of {even minimally if you don’t have a green thumb}, a Pothos can live forever. I love the idea of this Pothos living beyond me, thriving with the energy of my blood offering long after I’m gone, and maybe even into the next generation of me and beyond…

Even clippings from it will have some of me infused in them and I will be a part of their life force energy. (And here come more tears as I really feel that and appreciate it.)

So, I gathered my supplies and I tilled the organic soil and blood with my hands and I rooted in my sweet clippings, some of which had been sitting on one of my altars, and I created my most beautiful Pothos, Eve.

Normally I create Full Moon Release statements and work with them, but I passed on words this time. I just created space for my body to release whatever needed to move. I didn’t label it or question it, I didn’t deconstruct or judge it. I didn’t even celebrate it.

I just let whatever energy within my body that needed to move → move.

And move it did. Big tears rolled through me and I surrendered to what my body desired.

I still don’t have words for it, and I don’t need them. It was a visceral experience that released beyond what words could ever capture.

Of course I named her Eve. This was a powerful reclamation for me. And perhaps her clippings will all be little Adams, at least energetically if not in name.

Eve sits now on the vanity in my bedroom, winking at me from the window, reminding me that I am more than me, that my blood rites are my woman rites and that this thing my body’s been doing for the past 41 years has been a blessing, even when I couldn’t see it, even when I cursed it, even when I wished it away.

This was a simple and profoundly moving ceremony. I wore joggers and an oversized thermal, my hair was messy and there was no altar setup. I just approached it with an open heart and a willingness to feel what wanted to be felt. Oh, and some organic soil, Pothos clippings and a pot.

I’ll treasure every bleed moving forward and might even plant some more plants, who knows?

What I do know is that this healing was needed and welcomed and something fundamental has shifted within me, in a really good and yummy way.

Have you honored your wise blood before?

Lots of love,

Janet