Page 21




or the past eighteen months I have been exploring women’s blood mysteries; the interconnectedness of the seasonal, lunar, life and menstrual cycles, and the importance of rites of passage. Our first rite of passage is our own birth, the second is our menarche, or onset of menstruation. What we know about rites of passage is that how our culture responds to them, or not, conveys messages about the life phase we are about to move into. In relation to our menarche, for example, if our family, friends and culture failed to truly acknowledge and celebrate this transition from maidenhood to womanhood, we may have learnt that womanhood, and the next phase of life which is motherhood, is not truly valued in our culture. We may also have taken on some disempowered beliefs, and even shame, about what it means to bleed each month, and thus failed to embrace our immense power and innate feminine wisdom! Basically we may have failed to recognise the blessings that our monthly blood can bring us. Thankfully, during a shamanic drum journey, I received a bit of a download about how I could help women heal, or reclaim, their menarche. Since that time, I have run workshops with women from all walks of life, and have had the pleasure of witnessing them revisit their menarche, and re-write their script about what it means to be a woman. The process has been so profound that some of the women described it as “life changing”, and one women said she “pulled back the curtain to the shameful thirteen year old”. The reclamations ranged from “I am a full power, anything’s possible woman!” to “Your body, Your mind, Your rules, Your choice to always be respected.”

As a shamanic midwife and mother, I cannot help but imagine the amazing changes that could occur if all women reclaimed this important rite of passage in this way. The impact on our ability to birth our babies from an empowered place, mother our children, honour ourselves and the sisterhood would be immense. With this intent I continue to bring my Menarche Reclamation work to our community, with the offering, Blessed is the Blood. Gypsy Artemis is a Central Coast based shamanic midwife, artist and end of life worker.




Natural Living on the NSW Central Coast