Are you looking for ways to honour and connect with your menstrual cycle on a deeper level?
You’re in the right place. Menstrual rituals are sacred practices that not only enable women to connect with their bodies and their natural rhythms, but actually tap into the deeper mysteries of the blood cycles.
One of the most common and simplest menstrual rituals is simply creating a sacred space for yourself during your period.
This can be as simple as pausing during your day, lighting a candle or burning incense, and turning your attention to your womb.
Yet the effects of even a simple ritual can be profound. By creating a peaceful environment, you’re giving yourself permission to rest during your period.
This can help reduce stress and tension, alleviate menstrual cramps and other symptoms, and also tune you into the sacredness of your Moon time.
How do different cultures perceive menstruation?
Menstruation is a totally natural process, but it’s viewed very differently, across different cultures.
In some cultures, menstruation is celebrated and seen as a source of power and fertility. For example, in Hindu culture, the onset of menstruation is celebrated with a ceremony called “Ritushuddhi,” which marks the girl’s transition to womanhood.
Similarly, in some Native American cultures, menstruation is seen as a time of purification and spiritual renewal.
However, in many cultures, menstruation is viewed with shame and stigma. In some parts of Africa, menstruation is seen as a curse and is associated with witchcraft.
In some Muslim cultures, menstruating women are considered impure and are excluded from certain religious practices.
Understanding the cultural perspectives on menstruation can help us appreciate the diversity of human experience and break down harmful stereotypes.
How do YOU Perceive menstruation?
The fact that you’re here means you’re likely curious to find out more about the sacredness, and spiritual aspects of your blood cycle, right?
Or are you interested in menstrual blood magic, or manifesting with your menstrual rhythm?
Well, whatever your reasons are, the first invitation is to take an honest look at your own thoughts, beliefs, conditioning, and preconceptions around menstruation, and your own period blood.
How does your period make you feel?
How do you greet your Moon blood when it flows?
What was your first bleed like (menarche), and how did the people around you react to it?
How do you feel when women talk about their monthly bleed (and do you talk openly about your own cycle with others)? Why? Why not?
Where do these responses come from? Consider your own upbringing, and the attitudes of your mother, and/or other prominent women in your life.
Take a moment to ponder, or write in response to these prompts.
This is your baseline, your starting point from which you’ll embark on this sacred journey of reclamation…
Let’s talk about menstruation stigma…
Even in the modern times we live in, the stigma surrounding menstruation is a global issue that affects millions of women and girls. Menstruation stigma can lead to discrimination, shame, and even violence.
In some cultures, menstruating women are not allowed to participate in social events or touch certain objects, such as food or water, which, of course, leads to isolation and exclusion.
Menstruation stigma can also have serious health consequences. In some cultures, menstruating women are not allowed to use sanitary products or are not taught about proper menstrual hygiene. This can lead to infections and other health problems.
It’s easy to think this stigma only applies beyond the Western World. However research done in the UK found that 64% of girls had missed school because of their period.
Plan International says: “Lack of proper education around periods, the stigma and shame around menstruation, and the cost of period products all form part of a ‘toxic trio’ of issues fueling period poverty in the UK”.
And while nobody can singlehandedly fix these problems, working to dismantle internalized shame and stigma around our periods is something we each can do.
5 Spiritual and symbolic aspects of menstruation
So let’s start the process of deconditioning here – by starting to rewrite the stories around this sacred time of the month, and what it really means.
Your menstrual period is SO much more than just a normal biological process! It’s even more than an indicator of a woman’s fertility. Here are a few starting points…
1. The spiritual power of menstruation
More than just a simple, normal biological process, the spiritual power of menstruation is a topic that continues to be explored in many cultures.
In some Native American cultures, menstruation is viewed as a time of heightened spiritual power and profound connection to the Earth.
Cherokee women who are menstruating are considered sacred and powerful, and these women may participate in rituals and ceremonies during their menstrual cycles, to honor this connection.
Some believe that a menstruating woman has a heightened connection to her intuition and spiritual gifts.
During their menstrual period, many women experience being wide open to receiving messages from Spirit, and the divine forces of the Universe.
In Ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder wrote that ‘a menstruating woman who uncovers her body can scare away hailstorms, whirlwinds, and lightning’.
In some cultures, women are encouraged to withdraw from the outside world during their menstrual cycle and focus on their spiritual practice. This time of rest and reflection allows women to connect with their inner selves and gain clarity on their life path.
2. The symbolic power of menstrual blood
Menstrual blood itself has been considered a powerful symbol in various cultures throughout history.
According to the Cherokee, menstrual blood was a source of feminine strength and had the power to destroy enemies.
In some cultures, it is seen as a symbol of fertility, creativity, and life-giving power. In others, it is associated with impurity, shame, and taboo. However, many people believe that menstrual blood is a sacred substance that holds spiritual significance.
3. The healing qualities of menstrual blood
In many cultures women’s blood is seen as a powerful substance that can be used for both physical and spiritual healing purposes.
Scientists now know that menstrual blood contains stem cells similar to those found in bone marrow or umbilical cord blood. Australian researchers discovered that menstrual blood brought 100% healing to damaged skin within 24 hours.
The modern world is waking up to the fact that the healing properties held by this sacred fluid aren’t simply old wives’ tales.
What is still regarded by most as a waste product in fact has exceptionally strong healing properties.
4. Blood sisterhoods
In some cultures, menstrual blood is seen as a symbol of sisterhood and the bond between women.
It is even believed that sharing menstrual blood with another woman can create a powerful spiritual connection. This practice is often done in a ritual context and is known as a “blood sisterhood.”
5. Moon blood
For many women, there is an unequivocal connection between the menstrual cycle and the phases of the moon.
It is believed that the menstrual cycle follows the same 28-day cycle as the Moon, with ovulation most commonly aligning with the Full Moon phase, and bleeding aligning with the New Moon. BUT this alignment isn’t true for all women, all of the time.
Intrigued? Check out this post about the Red Moon Cycles and White Moon Cycles.
Overall, the spiritual and symbolic aspects of menstruation are complex and multifaceted.
While some cultures view menstruation as a source of shame and taboo, others see it as a powerful symbol of feminine power and spiritual connection.
Regardless of cultural beliefs, it is clear that menstruation holds a deep spiritual significance for many people.
13 Powerful menstrual rituals
Menstrual rituals have been practiced for centuries all over the world.
Here in our modern society, it can feel edgy and unfamiliar to begin ritualising your period, or working with your menstrual blood.
But realize that these sacred rites are a window into a different kind of world.
A matriarchal, mother earth-honoring world that has SO much more to offer, this late patriarchal paradigm wants you to know…
You’ve been taught to be ashamed of your body and your blood. Yet once you begin to connect once more, on a spiritual level, you’ll experience the ancient power held in your cycle and your blood.
As ever, use your own sense of what feels right, and follow your intuitive hunches. Don’t try everything at once! These are suggestions, starting points for your own ritual practice
1. Create a menstrual altar
Set up a special space in your home where you can honor and celebrate your menstrual cycle. This can include candles, crystals, or other objects that hold personal significance.
Remember to awaken your altar, to “feed” it so it becomes a place of power for you. Do this by singing, drumming or rattling over it.
You could swap out certain objects depending on the phase of your cycle you’re in, and which of the four archetypes you feel moving through you.
2. Practice menstrual self-care
Self-care rituals tend to involve taking time to care for yourself during your period. This may look like taking a relaxing ritual bath with essential oils, practicing some gentle yin yoga or meditation, or simply taking some time to rest and reflect.
Alternatively, try menstrual massage – focusing on the abdomen, lower back, and hips to help relieve painful periods, and menstrual cramps and to promote relaxation.
It’s incredible how difficult it can be for some women to sit back, and rest. We are programmed to be productive ALL the time, making it virtually impossible for our nervous systems to settle if we aren’t on the go.
You can re-wire this!
It takes dedication to cultivate an ability to rest. So start here. Take at least a moment of along time, when your blood flows.
3. Free bleed
Free bleeding is a practice where a woman chooses not to use any menstrual products, and instead allows her menstrual blood to flow freely and uncontained.
Free bleeding can be a controversial practice. Some may perceive it as unsanitary or inappropriate in certain settings. But proponents of free bleeding argue that it is a natural and empowering way to connect with the body and blood, and as well as challenging societal taboos around menstruation.
If ithis is something you feel called to try, give it a go yourself, at home at first, where you can tune in closely to your womb and her muscular rhythms. Many women report that free bleeding has enabled them to actually control the flow of their period blood from their wombs.
In time, it may even eliminate the need for a menstrual cup or other sanitary products. You can be in complete control of the flow of your menstrual blood.
4 Give your blood back to the earth
There’s an ancient Hopi prophecy that goes: “When the women give their blood back to the earth, men will come home from war, and Earth shall find peace.”
Giving your blood back to the earth is a really profound way to offer your devotion to the Goddess.
She knows your blood isn’t a waste product, but an elixir of life! Its healing frequency is YOUR medicine, and offering it back to the earth with intention and love will create a ripple effect of healing and nurture.
5. Practice a menstrual ritual (aka blood magic)
Use your menstrual cycle as a time for manifestation and magic!
There are SO many ways to practice menstrual or blood magic, including creating a menstrual blood sigil, performing a menstrual blood ritual, or using menstrual blood in spellwork.
At its most basic level, a blood magic ritual involves using menstrual blood in a sacred and intentional way.
Begin by connecting to your intuition, to discover the purpose of your ritual. What do you want?
- To celebrate your blood or Moon cycle?
- To connect with sacred feminine energy?
- To break down a taboo?
- Release a habit or pattern that’s holding you back?
- Heal something?
- Create a boundary?
- Manifest something?
Next, collect some menstrual blood. The easiest way to do this is probably to use a Moon cup or other menstrual cup.
Create a sacred space, or work close to your menstrual altar. Call in any Spirit allies, elements, deities or ancestors that you work with. You can do this through prayer, meditation, or simply speaking aloud.
Remember to offer gratitude, to the menstrual cycle itself, and to your body for the gift of menstruation.
Next, use your menstrual blood in whatever way your intention calls for. This may include anointing objects, drawing sigils or symbols, or incorporating it into any spellwork related actions or offerings.
Be sure to close the ritual. After you have finished, take some time to ground yourself and close the ritual. Thank the elements, offer gratitude, and release any energy that was raised.
It’s important to note that working with menstrual blood magic and rituals can be very personal and individualized, and this is just a general outline. Remember too, to practice safe handling of menstrual blood, such as using clean containers and washing hands thoroughly before and after handling.
Make sure to dispose of your blood – it won’t stay fresh for long.
Alternatively, you can dry your blood so that it becomes an odorless powder, which can be kept for much longer.
And if you are no longer menstruating, but want to participate then substitute red wine for menstrual blood.
6. Connect with the Moon
It’s widely believed that the menstrual cycle is linked to the Moon cycles. Many women know it is. So it can be super powerful to spend time connecting with the Moon during menstruation.
First, simply track the Moon phase so you know which lunar energy is prevalent. Maybe the full Moon is rising? Or is la Luna waning towards her new Moon phase?
Do you bleed with the Full Moon?
Read this post next – Essential Tips for Working with Your Red Moon Cycle
Once you know where you sit in the greater lunar cycle, take some time to tune into how your personal menstrual magic is interacting with the energy of the Moon.
Journaling is a great way to help with this.
7. Make love
Many women wonder whether it’s even safe to have sex during their menstrual periods. The answer is yes, it is safe, and can even be beneficial as orgasms can help to relieve period pain.
Yet sexual intercourse at your Moon time is an intensely personal choice.
You may find the vulnerability levels called forth at this stage of your Moon cycle too much.
Or perhaps the wildness, and liberation of it feeds your soul, as sexual attraction reaches new highs, for you and your partner?!
The point is, if this is a ritual you want to try, be sure to communicate clearly with your partner and find what works best for you.
8. Anoint yourself
Take a little of your menstrual blood with a clean finger and anoint your third eye with it.
** And before you roll your eyes, try this practice! It’s deeply self-honouring, not to mention energetically empowering. Taking a few drops of the red nectar from between your legs, and applying it to your face, creates a kind of holy communion with the Goddess.
It’s a reclamation of true feminine power and a form of very simple menstrual blood magic that almost everyone can try.
9. Try menstrual movement
How does your body want to move during your period?
Initially, maybe you think you want stillness. But tune in closely, and you’ll likely find your body wants to move. It may be your whole body, or just your hips, or maybe only your wrists and ankles.
See if you can tune into the sensual nature of your body at this time.
Dancing and movement won’t only help release tension, but it can promote a new level of connection with the body during menstruation, by allowing your body to communicate with you.
Try dancing to music that feels empowering and celebratory. Or try slower, sensual tunes.
10. Practice divination
Many ancient cultures knew that women were more open to the divine forces of the Universe during their sacred Moon time.
When you’re bleeding, take the opportunity to use divination tools such as tarot cards, runes, pendulums or other forms of scrying to gain insight and clarity.
11. Honor your ancestors
All of the women in your female family line are connected through the red thread.
All have experienced the sacred Moon cycle of their own bodies, which has created new life with every generation.
Women are life, and we bleed the same blood.
Take time to honor the women who have come before you and the wisdom they have passed down. You may want to create a family tree starting with you and your mother, focusing on the women in your lineage, connect to your ancestors through offerings on your menstrual altar, or simply look through old photo albums.
Struggle with the maternal relationship?
Read this post next – Unlocking the Mother Wound
12. Re-imbibe your blood
Taking drops of your menstrual blood back into your body can be a potent medicine.
Menstrual blood is more than a symbol of fertility, creativity, and divine connection – it holds the energetic frequency of these things! So when you take even tiny amounts of your blood back into your own body, it’s a profound way to align yourself with the sacred feminine principles.
And yes, this practice is not for everyone. Do it only with careful consideration and reverence.
13. Try yoni steaming
Yoni steaming involves sitting over a pot of steaming herbs to help cleanse and nourish the vagina and uterus. Yoni steaming has been used for centuries in many cultures around the world and is believed to help regulate menstrual cycles, reduce menstrual cramps, and promote overall reproductive health.
This is a great practice to try, in the days before and the days after your monthly bleed.
How to start community and collective healing around menstruation
As a menstruating woman, connecting with other women can be a powerful way to honour your cycle, and heal your relationship with it.
In fact, if you are looking to reclaim the power and meaning of your cycle, bringing this into a community of other women is kind of unavoidable.
We can’t heal ourselves in isolation. This has to be collective work. Here are a few common ways to start…
Women’s circles are a safe and supportive space for women to come together and share their experiences. These circles can be led by an experienced facilitator or simply organized by a group of friends. The aim is to provide an opportunity for women to connect with each other, share their stories, and support each other through the ups and downs of womanhood.
A girl’s first period, also known as menarche, can be a significant moment in a her life. It marks the beginning of ythe menstrual cycle and symbolizes the transition from childhood to womanhood.
Some cultures celebrate this event with special rituals and ceremonies, in honour of the young girls who are just entering this new phase of life.
The women of a community will come together to welcome her into their fold, initiating her into the rites of womanhood.
Collective rituals are another way that women can come together to honor their menstrual cycle.
Rituals and ceremonies can be performed by a group of women or by an entire community. They can be simple or elaborate, and may involve music, dance, or other forms of creative expression. They should be guided by intention, and have a purpose, such as healing, community building, celebration or marking a rite of passage.
Collective rituals can be a really powerful way to celebrate the power and beauty of menstruation, rather than viewing it as a burden or inconvenience.
They can also be a way to connect with the cycles of nature and the rhythms of the Earth.
By coming together in a collective ritual – young people and old – women can create a sense of unity and connection that can be deeply healing in and of itself.
Are you inspired to reclaim the sacred power of your period?
Incorporating menstrual rituals into your life can help you find peace and connect with your body in a deeper way. By taking the time to honour your menstrual cycle, you can gain a more accurate understanding of your body’s natural rhythms and needs.
Whether you choose to perform a yoni steam, create a menstrual altar, or simply take a few moments each day to reflect on your cycle, the act of engaging in a ritual can be a powerful tool for self-care and self-discovery.
Curious to expand your self awareness?
Read this post next – Where to Start with Shadow Work: The Dark Side of Self-Discovery
Remember that there is no one “right” way to practice menstrual rituals. What works for one person may not work for another, and that’s okay.
The most important thing is to listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
If you’re new to menstrual ritual, don’t be afraid to experiment and try different practices until you find what resonates with you. And if you’re feeling unsure or overwhelmed, know that there are many resources available to help guide you on your journey.
Above all, remember that your menstrual cycle is a natural and beautiful part of your body’s wisdom. By embracing and honoring it, you can tap into a deeper sense of self-awareness and empowerment.