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How Ancient Cultures Celebrated Menstruation

Updated: Jun 28

Let go of the shame you feel towards menstruation, and let the female cycle empower you. Ancient cultures celebrated the moon cycle, and you should too.


Ancient Cultures Celebrated Menstruation


In ancient Native American cultures, when a girl bled for the first time the tribe celebrated.Menstruation marks wisdom and the power of womanhood. 


In Bolivia, women are reclaiming their ancient traditions and honoring their monthly cycles as a time for women to speak between women. By listening to and supporting each other, they collectively heal.Menstruation is a time for introspection and emotional connection. 


In certain parts of Ghana, when a young woman menstruates she is treated like a queen. Families give her gifts and pay her homage.Menstruation is magical and should be honored.


There was a time when the women of ancient tribes bled together, like women under the same roof still do, with their cycles synced. The women would use this time together to go away, recharge, and empower one another. They would share their feelings, reflect on their lives, and discuss the politics of the tribe. Then they would return together, and share their views, ideas, and suggestions with their male counterparts. 


“This is what needs to change,”the women of the tribe would say. And the men would listen to their insights and act accordingly.Women, especially menstruating women, are powerful and intuitive. 


Ancient cultures understood menstruation’s power, and marked it as a holy phenomenon. It was a time when women could tap into their natural connection with the earth. Through their bodies, women replicate the way nature sheds and grows with the seasons.


So why then, in today’s culture, do certain religions and cultures tell women they are“unclean”when they bleed? And why in Western society is it okay to condescendingly ask“are you on your period?”when we are moody, in a tone seems to imply that we are brainless because we are bleeding.“A woman can’t be president because she bleeds every month, and who knows what she would do,”educated American men have said. 


Yes, menstruation makes us more aware and more sensitive, but that increased awareness and sensitivity makes us more powerful. 


Today’s society is afraid of menstruating women, because when we are bleeding we speak our mind, we don’t put up with being mistreated, we stop ignoring the emotions we have pushed down. Today’s society never wanted a woman who showed her power, it wanted a woman it could control.“Shove a tampon in there, or put a pad on, and shut up,”today’s cultures essentially say,“we don’t want to hear what you have to say, you are dirty and moody and disgusting.”And this is where the subconscious shame we feel towards menstruationcomes from. 


Menstruation is our power. Without our monthly cycle, life could not exist, so let’s let go of the taboo. 


Step one: Stop asking for pads and tampons in a hushed voice like it's some kind of a drug deal. Next time you are out of necessary supplies and in need of something other than the folded toilet paper trick, try asking for a tampon or a pad at a normal speaking volume so others can hear you (gasp!).


Step two: Tell people when you are menstruating so it's not such a taboo topic for others to bring up. I'll start—I'm menstruating. 


Step three: Celebrate every time you bleed!(Remember, in Ghana they’d treat you like a queen).


Step four: Send this to a friend to empower them to break free from any shame associated with menstruation.


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