I was at Dubai Mall on a January afternoon, sipping a steaming cup of hot coffee when I discovered the very intriguing ‘Lilith’. After digging deep into the subject I realized that this should have been my first write up on women and periods. In my journey of 2 years where I was busy finding solutions for period problems, I assumed that periods are natural and they just happen. Little did I know that there are more magical facts and intimidating stories around periods that must find its place in every women’s library. Most enticing discovery for me is Lilith, "The Menstruating Goddess".
Often the degree to which a woman suffers during menstruation is a strong indication of how empowered her inner Lilith (the Wild Woman archetype) is. For example, just before we bleed & during menstruation we are at our most psychic & intuitively sensitive self. This is the time when our Lilith (read more about Lilith here) energy is the most pronounced. So what is commonly referred to as PMT (pre-menstrual tension) is the time in our lunar cycle when unresolved matters from the previous lunar month will come to the forefront of our mind & eat away at us until we deal with it.
During this time we are influenced by both, our shadow traits & the shadow traits of others, as well as any area where we have imbalances, inequality or suppressed anger in our life. We must honor our inner truth at this time by speaking out our innermost thoughts & feelings as much as possible. The more we're able to do this, the less we run the risk of hissing at others like a pressure cooker or boiling over in a fit of rage.
Subconsciously, many of us have stored within our physical, emotional & energetic bodies collective rage at the suppression & persecution of everything feminine over the last 2000 years. This, along with the unspoken shame & lack of sacred power connected with our blood cycles & an implied expectation that women should above all else nurture others before themselves, manifests itself in our bodies in conditions ranging from pelvic inflammation, fibroids, endometriosis, irregular cycles, excessive bleeding, fainting, vomiting, diarrhea & painful cramps. So if you suffer from any of the above, chances are your inner Lilith is not too happy & would greatly benefit from acknowledging your issues and pampering yourself in time.
Similarly, questioning the attitudes towards menstruation is another healthy place to start. For example, returning the rich nutrients in your blood to Mother Earth is a great way of honoring the magical life-giving blood that cycles within our bodies rather than using non-biodegradable pads that do not find their reunion with nature.
It has been said that when a woman is bleeding, she is more likely to rebel & question those in a position of authority. It is for this reason that menstruation has become such a "taboo" within our society because where there’s fear, there’s power. Women who are connected with their sacred blood cycles & their Lilith archetype will not lie down & allow others to dictate how to behave.
Merlin Stone, author of ‘When God Was a Woman’, makes the observation after detailed research of ancient matrilineal & matriarchal cultures, that historically the societies that didn’t honor the sacredness of menstrual blood have been the most bloodthirsty. Similarly, Judy Grahn, in her wonderful book, ‘Blood, Bread & Roses’ makes an interesting point that just as tribal men’s rituals imitate menstruation as a rite of passage, our modern equivalent is ritualized warfare, a form of male blood power that seeks political & cultural renewal thorough destruction & bloodshed.
Women, when bloodletting feels our darkest, most destructive self, and often resort to setting ourselves apart to still our sensitivities & attune ourselves to our inner needs. If we keep away from artificial lighting & rest with warm herbal teas, such as ginger or cinnamon instead of expecting ourselves to frolic in the surf we probably wouldn’t feel half as tetchy.
Honoring Your Wild Woman
Lilith is the part of us that cannot & will not hold our tongue to ‘keep the peace’ if we disagree with someone or with the status quo. Our inner Lilith will boldly stand up to external authority for a cause or ideal, even though that may result in being scapegoated by the establishment, the media or our immediate social circle. Although this may result in uncomfortable consequences in the short-term, to go against our inner truth & not stand up for our principles is to evoke Lilith’s inner torment, so we feel we have no choice but to ultimately speak. Lilith will risk rejection to follow her inner truth & obtain true selfhood.
Lilith represents the wild, untamable aspects of the feminine psyche that have been culturally shamed as ‘unfeminine’ & are therefore suppressed. For instance, a woman giving birth is similar to a primal animal in that she loses control over all bodily functions, grunting & screaming with abandon until the act of creation is complete. This is an image of womanhood that is largely hidden behind a medical veneer that appropriates the credit & respect to the physician rather than the birthing woman. And so she is viewed more as a victim in need of assistance than a powerful shaman journeying through the realms of death & rebirth.
The wild feminine is as powerful as a woman can be, giving rise to all her natural sounds, movements & feelings without a single condemning thought entering her consciousness. Most women hide this side of themselves due to the fear of looking ridiculous, alienating those around them or being abandoned. And yet, choosing not to have safe times & places where we can let loose of every shade of our inner self results in induced isolation & neurosis despite how we decide to present ourselves and pretend.
It is interesting to note that the word, ‘sanitary’ means hygienic or clean, insinuating that menstruation is in fact dirty. This is further impressed upon our psyches with the young girls ‘cleansing’ themselves in the ocean whilst wearing the color white for purity, the color of the maiden phase, rather than the color red, the color of the fertile mother who bleeds.
Lilith speaks of your mind, mood and physical well being at all times. Let Lilith, your inner menstruation Goddess make an appearance every once in a while by letting your body hair grow, not wearing a mask of cosmetics every day. Dare to be loud, outspoken & forthright in your views & behavior. Not for shock, proving a point or to be ‘politically correct’ but to simply be human, not a human acting in a way that you're expected to or you’ve been conditioned to in order to get approval from those still sleepwalking within the social agenda.