I've never really felt any shame around my period.
Not really anyways.
There were some behaviors like hiding my tampon in the presence of people (namely men) that I have become more aware of but not any deep-rooted trauma and shame. That's the thing about me, I've always been relatively shameless when it comes to matters of the human body. I recall wearing pads around the house well before I began my period, excited for the possibilities. I don't mind the mess of period blood, now I'm not going to go smearing it on my face but really I have more of a visceral reaction to loose hair than I do to menstrual blood.
However, I did grow to feel some disappointment and resentment towards moon day because it has come to feel like an inconvenience. Which at times, it is a challenging experience but it's also a beautiful one. And this is what I'm coming to realize! For so many years, my period was just something that had to happen to me. I disassociated from the experience, outside of the pain of PMS. I could never tell the doctor if my period was coming or going. I knew the bare minimum when it came to my period. But, no shame.
I say all of this to say that when I saw and heard of blood tea for the first time -- a moon blood, water mixture -- I didn't cringe so much as my curiosity was piqued. Curious because, well, what is life if we're not always searching and exploring the roots of ourselves and those who came before us? Especially sans colonization! I understand this cocktail to be an offering to Mother Nature. A celebration of feminine energy--of Earth.
If we are Queens and our bodies are as sacred as our ancestors believed -- throwing that energy down drains and into landfills is ungodly and wasteful.
Feng shui principles similarly believe that you shouldn't leave your toilet seat up because it is a portal where energy can flow into, so imagine thinking it's the rightful place for something as sacred as menstrual blood. There is life, love, and energy in that blood. Per ancestral guidelines, you're better off giving your blood back to nature. Traditionally, in some cultures, it is given back to the oldest tree in your yard. But, recycling your blood back into your garden is also sufficient. There's a quote, "When the women give their blood back to the earth, men will come home from war and earth shall find peace." And as I read it, I'm reminded of how our periods were once held to the highest esteem.
Interested in shifting the way I experience menstruation, I began returning my blood to the earth via my houseplants.
Plus, like so many others I had become more invested in gardening as a hobby back in March, as we slowly came to realize 1) the summer would be spent in the house and 2) the possibility of living through a global food shortage was real. My thumb is not the most pigmented shade of green, so I had a few plants that I was willing to test this knowledge out on. I bottom watered them by using menstrual blood easily from my menstrual cup and pouring it into a bottle filled with water. Watering it from the bottom leaves less room to attract gnats since the top of the soil doesn't stay wet. If and when I can, I use rain water to water the plants in an attempt to give and take from nature as much as possible. And very quickly, I was able to see my plants perk up, then within 24 hours, new blooms had come through.
Although I was less interested in the journey it would take me on when I began doing this, I have come to realize the plant and I am sharing a journey that is one and the same. We are both life forces.
Here are the lessons that came from fertilizing my plants with moon blood -- for myself and my green thumb.
1. Life Force
Blood in general is rich in phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. These are the major minerals needed for plants to thrive!
Our blood has the ability to give life to all things great, all life forms including babies and nature alike.
And sure there's blood meal, but therein lies the problem -- we're already too far removed from what is natural and wholesome. Plants shouldn't nourish from unknown/unnatural sources anymore than we should.
I became more connected as the ritual intends. Like I said before I had no clue of when to expect my period. Now I'm far more observant of what's to come, by either looking to the moon or looking at the condition my plants are in. I have Pothos plants that get watered on the same cycle of my menstrual cycle, when they start to wither I know they're in need of sustenance. In turn, I've become more in sync with my needs and when I can anticipate them.
I feel more whole in the act of seeing the life my menses brings to my plants; the capabilities of my body helps me to feel a bit more firm in my purpose here on this earth.
Our duty to put back into nature rather than take from it. We are natural nurturers and in addition to standing in that role,
I've come to understand there are many things in our environment that require nurturing--human babies are not the only things we're supposed to give life to.
As I continue gardening, I'll be looking to the gradual changes and observations that manifest on behalf of this ritual.
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