*Disclaimer: this is about menstruation. I understand that it is a privilege to be comfortable and at home in my cis body, and that is not the reality for everyone. I am not essentializing bleeding with womanhood (not only women menstruate nor does it make you a woman) and I pray medicine finds a solution for those who are meant to, or wish to, bleed. This is a post for those who do bleed and are or hope to be comfortable with it. And those, of course, who are curious of what magic can be made with menstrual blood.*
For those of us who bleed,
Our menstrual blood is one of our greatest magical tools. It comes from deep within ourselves, it requires sacrifice from our bodies and our minds, and it reminds us of our connection to this planet and our bodies. It is messy, nurturing, and wholly personal while also representing the thread that connects us all. It is a holy experience, if we wish it and allow it to be. And it is an extremely magical tool, if you choose to use it.
For me, being a witch has a hell of a lot to do with being down and dirty with myself and the planet. For me, being a pagan witch means not aiming to transcend my body or my planet, but to feel my soul deep in my very bones, concentrated in my blood. It means I see and feel my soul in every part of this sacred earth, from pebble to mountain, from raindrops to the ocean, from spider to bear. It means getting comfortable and honoring my physical processes from bleeding to shitting. Seriously. For me, it’s about reveling in the clean, the dirty, and anything inbetween for the love of this planet, my soul and bodily connection to it.
So naturally, ritual with menstrual blood holds an immense amount of power and soul connection for me. And I’m definitely not the only one!
It isn’t as taboo as our modern culture would have us believe. Cultures have used and still use menstrual blood in ritual as an offering around the world and throughout time. It’s an intuitive way to use it. Why waste it or take it for granted? It has so many uses! For starters, menstrual blood is full of nitrates and nutrients that both plants and animals love. It is a fertilizing offering for the life you give it to. It’s true! Fish love it. Bugs love it. Animals love it. Plants love it. Soil loves it. It seems that humans are usually the only ones who reject its magic.
On a particularly messy camping trip years ago, I started my period on the drive into the mountains and didn’t have much to stop the blood from leaking all over my clothes. So I rationed my tampons and swam a lot in the lake. In one particular instance, my partner was fishing and having no luck. I was bleeding down my leg and desperate for the water to save me, so I plunged in and swam around. After I got out, my boyfriend started casting where I had been. A few minutes later, he started catching fish! You know they were coming for the blood.
This was before my spiritual reawakening, but even then, I marveled at the magic and reality of my body’s processes. It stuck with me too and when the diva cup was invented, my partner and I discussed using my menstrual blood to fertilize marijuana plants, to paint with, we even thought about using it for my halloween costume. Since I’ve opened back up to the universe and began to take ritual seriously, I’ve kept thinking and thinking about using it: how to use it, when to use it, saving it up for at least the plants... Yet, it wasn’t until last month that I finally saved my blood and performed ritual.
Timing is everything. It was actually through my reiki healer that I was given the courage and push from the spirits for this particular ritual. She received the vision of me using my blood during our conversation before I had lain down for energy work. While she worked her magic, my ritual unfolded in astonishing clarity in my mind. I knew exactly where to go. I knew exactly what to do. I knew exactly when to go. And get this, my period started that night. No joke.
The synchronicities grew from there. I knew I had to do it on the next full moon, which was exactly a week from the day I started to bleed. This full moon also happened to be in Cancer, where my chiron sits in my chart: the placement from which the wound I was enacting ritual for came from. This full moon also sat with Vesta: the goddess of hearth and home, the goddess of the internal flame and self-regeneration. She represented so much of what I was trying to heal, so that I could be free to be more of myself. This was a cord cutting ritual, to cut the ties that kept me feeling ashamed or fearful of being who I am. The energy, the timing, the spirits, and my body were all aligned.
While in ritual, I got a vision of a different version of me across the bank among the trees. She was much darker, more serious, and wild. The flash in her eyes said she was a force to be reckoned with, that she made no apologies for who she was, and she was willing to fight tooth and nail for what she believed in: “pure conviction from her very bones upward,” as Clarissa Pinkola Estés would say. I’m new to intentional witching friends - after 3 years of practicing, these kinds of visualizations were the first and clearest I have ever experienced (both during the ritual and its unfoldment while doing reiki). Menstrual magic is powerful shit.
As I was leaving my place of ritual, I got the distinct feeling that I needed to come back for the next full moon and do it again. So of course, I am going to. My period began right on schedule and I should be ready for Friday’s full moon in Leo. Which is again, another blessing to this process because no one knows how to own themselves and be proud to express who they are than Leos. I’m looking forward to it. The effects from the last ritual have been astounding to watch and feel within myself. I honestly have felt more comfortable with myself and all that I am than I can even remember.
How do you collect your menstrual blood? Well if you are down with diva cups, they make it a lot easier. I simply pour mine into a mason jar that I keep next to the toilet. If you use pads, tampons, or a sponge soak them in water and use the saturated water for your ritual. If you want to use menstrual blood for your plants, I believe you are supposed to dilute your blood first. I’m no expert, so please google plant care with menstrual blood before testing it out on your plants. As far as what you do with said blood if you aren’t using it in plants is up to you, your guides, your ingenuity and imagination.
And hey, if it isn’t for you that is absolutely beautiful and okay too. There are many ways to witch. There are many ways to pray. What I provided above is simply a resource for those who are thinking of using their menstrual blood and my own story of finding it to be extremely useful and sacred.
What are your favorite tools or substances for ritual? I’d love to hear and learn about more!