For many women, their period is a time of pain, discomfort, annoyance, and even embarrassment.

But is this negative attitude a sign that we’ve got it all wrong? What if all those uncomfortable symptoms and emotional resistance arise because we simply don’t understand the spiritual dimension of our menstruation cycle?

Maybe this sounds a little far-fetched.

If you’re feeling sceptical, I invite you to keep an open mind for the next 10 minutes. Let’s explore some spiritual practices that you can do, to honour your menstrual cycle. Who knows, they might even help alleviate some of the physical and emotional discomfort that makes this time of the month challenging.

woman on her period dancing in a red dress

Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle

Your menstrual cycle is a natural process your body goes through every month and a sign that your reproductive system is working properly.

The menstrual cycle typically lasts between 28 and 32 days, but can vary from person to person. It can be separated into 4 phases, which look like this:

  • menstruation
  • pre-ovulation / follicular phase
  • ovulation
  • Pre-menstrual / luteal phase

Menstruation

Menstruation refers to the phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle when she is bleeding. It typically lasts around 3-7 days and is characterized by lower levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, in the body compared to other phases of the cycle. This causes the uterine lining to shed.

Follicular phase/ pre-ovulation

The follicular phase officially begins with menstruation, yet is often considered the second phase in a woman’s menstrual cycle. In this phase, follicle-stimulating hormone causes a follicle to mature in the ovaries, which will mature into an egg.

Ovulation

Ovulation is the phase in a woman’s menstrual cycle where a mature egg is released from one of the ovaries. It typically occurs around day 14 of a 28-day cycle. At this time, a surge of luteinizing hormone causes the follicle containing the egg to rupture and release the egg, which then travels toward the uterus in hopes of fertilization.

Luteal phase/ pre-menstruation

The luteal phase occurs after ovulation and before menstruation. The ruptured follicle transforms into a corpus luteum which produces progesterone and estrogen. If fertilization does not occur, progesterone levels fall and menstruation begins, ending the luteal phase and marking the start of a new cycle.

How to track your menstrual cycle

You can keep track of your menstrual cycle using an app or a calendar and good old-fashioned pen and paper.

Here’s a list of the best menstrual cycle-tracking apps.

This is a great article on how to track your period on paper.

menstrual cup with rose

What’s the spiritual meaning of your period?

On the surface, your menstrual period is just a normal biological process, yet spiritually your period is connected to the cycles of creation, destruction, and new life. It’s a time when the womb – the feminine centre of creation – regenerates, in preparation for the potential of new life. (And this doesn’t mean babies. New life is anything you are birthing into the world).

Spiritually, your period represents release, cleansing, the shedding of old skins and metaphorical death. Much like the new Moon phase, your period offers the opportunity for rebirth to begin anew, at the start of each cycle.

A few more spiritual meanings associated with menstruation include:

A list of 33 spiritual things to do on your period

It’s one thing to read menstrual cycle spiritual associations. But to understand, integrate, and embody them is another thing entirely. So here’s a list of 33 – yes, 33! – spiritual things you can do on your period, to start exploring the sacred aspect of your menstrual flow…

1. Rest

Honour your body, mind and spirit by resting. Make the effort to consciously slow down and take it easy on your period. This won’t only alleviate many common premenstrual syndrome symptoms, but it’s an act of resistance in society that was never made for women.

2. Stretch and move

Gentle stretching will not only relieve period cramps and other bodily pain and PMS symptoms but will connect you to the nuances of your body. Movement will more easily tap you into the messages she’s trying to communicate with you through sensation.

3. Spend time in nature

Whether you go out walking in a park, or sit beside a peaceful body of water, get outside! YES, it can feel like snuggling up indoors is all you want to do. But spending quality time communing with the great Mother will rejuvenate your spirit.

4. Walk barefoot

Walking barefoot allows the transfer of electrons from the earth into the body and the health benefits are especially potent when you have your period. It has anti-inflammatory effects, can reduce water retention and encourages better spinal alignment, which can reduce pain. And that’s just for starters…

5. Practice deep breathing

Lengthen your breath. Breathe more deeply into your abdomen, and as you exhale, really allow yourself to relax. Engage with your breath as a sacred tide and connection to the world of Spirit.

6. Ponder your connection to the Earth’s cycles and seasons

Your period is a mirror of the sacred cycles of the Goddess. you are an embodiment of her seasons. Ponder that. Take it in, and acknowledge the absolute magic of it.

7. Read spiritual or inspirational books

Uplift and inspire yourself during your period. Feed your soul by receiving wisdom from your favourite authors and spiritual teachers (books are best – avoid screens if you can. See next point).

8. Listen to spiritual podcasts

If you find that too much visual stimulation is making you feel worse on your period (yes, cybersickness is a real thing) then close your eyes and listen to your favourite podcast instead.

9. Pray

For many women, when they bleed, the veils are thinner and they have much closer contact to the subtle realms. This makes menstruation a potent time for prayer – to the Goddess, or to whatever divine spiritual power you believe holds you close.

Also read: 13 Formidable Examples of the Dark Goddess

10. Connect with the dark feminine

Use this time of quiet retreat to connect with dark feminine energy.

11. Let go

It’s simple. As your body is letting go of the blood, matter, emotion, and spiritual debris of her last cycle, you’re also invited to consciously let go of whatever is no longer serving you.

Also read: 5 Rituals for Letting Go

lit red candle as a spiritual thing for period

12. Light a red candle

One of the simplest rituals to mark your period is to light a red candle. As you do, take a moment to acknowledge the sacred connection you have down the red thread, to all the other women who have come before you, and all those who will come after you.

13. Create a sacred space at home

Moon lodge, red tent, womb cocoon… all are names for a sacred space where you can go and be held in the arms of the Goddess while you bleed.

It can be as simple as a pile of cushions and a duvet on the sofa. Yet to add ritual intent, here are a few more suggestions for creating your own personal “womb cocoon”:

  • Turn down the electric lights, and light a candle
  • Light some incense
  • Use red fabrics/ drapes/ rugs/ cushions
  • Wear red

14. Create a sacred space to gather with sisters

Similar to creating a personal space, you could invite a handful of bleeding sisters to gather with you. Connecting with a supportive community or spiritual group to hare food, tea, stories and crafts is a HUGELY empowering spiritual practice and also helps put a stop to period stigma.

15. Perform menstrual rituals

Honour your sacred blood with a menstrual ritual. From blood magic to anointing yourself, there are many to choose from depending on your intention.

Read more here: A Guide to Menstrual Rituals, 13 Ways to Honour Your Sacred Blood

16. Prepare a meal with intention

Wouldn’t it be great not to have to cook, clean or tend to others as a bleeding woman (I’m talking to you mothers out there!)

In the spirit of slowing down, practice being mindful of each ingredient and each part of the cooking process. Offer gratitude for the nourishment you’re receiving when you SO need it.

17. Choose food wisely

Eat foods that nourish your body and honour the Earth (remember, you are an extension of her). Some examples of foods to eat are:

  • high-quality protein, such as red meat
  • leafy veggies
  • probiotic-rich food
  • juicy fruit
  • foods high in vitamin c
  • foods high in vitamin d
  • omega 3 fatty acids

You may want to avoid spicy foods or certain foods that aggravate digestive issues or lead to stomach pain. You could reduce your coffee intake too. Or not!

18. Enjoy comfort foods …. guilt-free!

On the flip side, if the idea of leafy green vegetables makes you wince, and your sweet tooth means you want to eat a big iced bun, then do it without the guilt!

19. Stock up on the best snacks for your period

When it comes to the best snacks to eat during your period, the key is to choose options that are high in protein, healthy fats, and the essential nutrients your body needs to replenish. Fueling yourself properly is a sacred act of self-care.

Dark chocolate snack for period

20. Eat dark chocolate!

Dark chocolate is a popular choice during menstruation because the natural sugars in cocoa can help satisfy your sugar cravings without the harmful effects of too much sugar. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium, which can help reduce cramps and improve your mood. Just be sure to choose a dark chocolate variety with at least 70% cocoa solids to get the most benefits.

21. Eat slowly

If certain foods cause digestive issues flare up for you during menstruation, take this as your reminder to eat more slowly and mindfully.

22. Make menstrual tea or broth

Make a special blend or infusion to soothe menstrual cramps, reduce nausea and settle any frayed nerves. As you drink, tune into the spiritual dimension of the plants you are infusing, and ask these plant allies to support you on all levels.

Some of the best teas for relieving menstrual pain are:

  • Raspberry leaf tea
  • Ginger tea
  • Peppermint tea
  • Chamomile tea
  • Cinnamon tea

23. Bake

Baked goods are the perfect alchemical symbols of transformation, rebirth and renewal, which is what your body is doing through the blood loss of menstruation. Baking combines the four elements of water, air, fire, and earth – also spiritual aspects of your menstrual cycle.

Use the ancient art of kitchen witchery to summon the Goddess, as you mix and stir, knead, and bake, know that you are creating a powerful potion of intention.

AND… you get to sit down and nourish your body with something heavenly at the end!

24. Drop into your womb

As the seat of feminine power, your womb is a powerhouse of creation, wisdom and destruction. Consciously move your attention from your head (which is where most women reside!) down into your womb. Practice this, and simply be there, perceiving the world from this place.

25. Wear a red dress

As a secret sign to the world (and a not-so-secret sign to other menstruating women who are also tuned in) wear a special red that you reserve for your bleeding times.

26. Journal

Journaling is a gateway. It can reveal a lot about your thoughts and feelings, and is a great way to connect with your spirituality during menstruation. There are myriad ways to use journaling on your period. Here are a few ideas:

27. Do shadow work

Shadow work is the practice of exploring the unconscious and hidden aspects of the psyche. It’s potent work, and menstruation provides the ideal time to dive into the inner darkness because physically we are already in descent.

Here are a few resources to support your shadow work journey:

28. Take a sacred bath

Some women wonder if it’s even okay to take a bath when you’re on your period… and the answer is YES! Sovereignty people, you can do what you like!

Create a ritual from your bathing experience, by lighting candles and adding essential oils and herbs to your bath water.

Read more: Sacred Art of the Moon Bath

29. Work with crystals

Create a crystal grid, wear crystal jewellery or use crystal healing to alleviate the period pains and improve overall health around menstruation. Here are some crystals to try:

  • Rose quartz
  • Clear quartz
  • Carnelian
  • Bloodstone
  • Moonstone

30. Keep your body hydrated

Not only are you going through pretty major blood loss, but many women also experience water retention during their periods. Surprisingly, this can exacerbate dehydration, as water can’t flow freely and efficiently through the body. So be sure to drink enough fluids.

Spiritually, drinking water aids the flow of emotions. So staying hydrated will help to reduce symptoms relating to difficult moods, frustration, anxiety and sadness.

31. Free bleed

Free bleeding is when a woman chooses not to use any menstrual products, and instead allows her menstrual blood to flow freely and uncontained. It’s controversial. But advocates of free bleeding argue that it’s a natural and empowering way to connect with the body and blood, and challenges societal taboos around menstruation.

Many also claim free bleeding can relieve menstrual cramps, reduce menstrual pain, and helos regulate their menstrual flow.

32. Connect to the divine feminine

It can be very easy to get lost in the physical discomfort of having your period and still having to function in the rigidity of society, regardless. Counter this by connecting with the divine feminine, the Goddess, the great Mother, whatever you call the sacred feminine principle.

Remember, you are held and guided. Ask for this to be known more cleary.

33. Be kind to yourself

Maybe this should be number 1.

In a world where women are constantly told they need to be beautiful, sexy, modest, financially free, perfect wives, perfect mothers, young enough, wise enough, and basically whatever else they are not in this very moment… Let your period offer you a monthly opportunity to put down all the “shoulds”.

Let yourself be.

You are doing amazingly.

Woman with PMS symptoms curling up with hot water bottle in bed

Managing really bad PMS

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a common condition that affects many women during the menstrual cycle, typically one to two weeks before the period starts. PMS symptoms can vary from person to person, but some of the most common symptoms include mood swings, irritability, bloating, headaches, and fatigue.

Some women get really, really bad PMS symptoms. We’re talking about premenstrual syndrome which is completely debilitating.

YES to doing spiritual things on your period, but if you are massively struggling, go and get some professional help too. 

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