Skip to main content

In this week’s blog we encourage you to reflect on your menstrual experience, and where you sit on the menstrual spectrum. Thank you to Katherine Cunningham for this deeply insightful piece, enjoy!

The following is a scale. It may or may not make sense to you.

After sharing 20+ years of conversations of the menstrual experience I have found that the whole gambit of possibility could be held within this spectrum. Given it’s full depth and breath of all the humans with wombs that I have met and described to me their bodied state of menstruation, this is what I have observed as the different ways to be with:

Menstrual Tyranny: To be controlled by the cycle. To be made to be in bed because you can’t move, can’t think, can’t… much. Hate it. Hate what it does, why it exists, hate being a woman because of it. Perhaps the pre-menstrual phase is the hardest and EVERYONE around you hates it, maybe even hates you, which you can feel, because of it. There is a deep “done to”, victim-hood, in this state. A fury that is internalized and an anger that is revisited and maintained deeper each cycle, maybe since you began. It’s hard not to be effected by it all month, even though it may only have 7–10 days of actual effect. Perhaps you even hate conversing about the cycle, any part of it. Not a lot of self-reflection is available when such tyranny is felt.

Menstrual Blah: Not a lot of anything. Have no idea where you are in the cycle at any given time. Don’t care either way. Perhaps on some kind of hormonal contraceptive. Don’t feel much, doesn’t affect negatively, but don’t see the point in it being a positive thing. Confused at all the fuss. Not a conversation that you enjoy having, but will have it with a doctor if necessary. Holds no interest. Emotional state is fairly null and void. Not so much with the art nor passion for life. Most of the world is just normal. Not a lot moving inside, nor much understanding/interest/desire to explore the emotional realms, or perhaps, not interested in connecting the emotional with the physical.

Menstrual Curious: Becoming aware that the body has some wisdom. That this new noise about the menstrual experience may have some validity. There may well be a desire to feel, to feel something, anything. Tired of the BLAH, the nothingness of making it all go away. Often this is when we begin to come off the hormonal contraception, perhaps learning natural fertility, or a non-hormonal IUD. We are becoming aware that there is more, we are more, that in exploring our belief level of being, we change our experience level of being. There is an inner movement, soft and subtle but insistent.

Menstrual Bliss: Leaning in. Learning to LOVE the nuances of the blood. Finding all manner of places within the experience. There has been a deep shift within the body, within the heart/mind. A desire, a want to be in it, explore it, learning how to BE with it. Each cycle becomes opportunity, possibility, to feel, to feel more. Within this level of being with we often speak with our sisters more, seek the company of women where we can share this new love, this deepening love. Building the language that we can, because we give ourselves permission to love the blood.

Menstrual Sovereignty: Truly owning it. Once the real value of the menstrual experience arrives, you begin to become quite protective of this time. Wishing only to be alone in it, communing maybe with Earth/Her alone for as much as possible. Or able to share it with those intimate enough to deeply be with. Living in the juicy soft altered state for as long as you can. Trusting that when we create the space, so much more can arrive, and it does. Our capacity to trance is deepened greatly, our access to our inner landscape, the deep diving into the unconscious. We become practiced in the art form of learning to die. Of letting go. Of going there AND coming back, with the jewels, with the bounty found within. We become so much more whole, profoundly less fear-full. As we deeply own the power inherent in our wombs, our connection to the earth we are living from a place of strength that we have not seen on the planet for a very long time. Women who live here, create deep change.

Menstrual Champion: Those of us that want to see all women able to bleed well. Who know that the love of the blood needs to be shared, broadly, across all landscapes that women live. We have a calling, maybe even an Aries Moon, a force that will no longer be silenced. That knows the way forward to living in deep loving understanding with self, other and earth is found through honest bleeding. We are those that know the better a woman bleeds, the better she births. That when a young woman is celebrated and honoured for this incredible state, she can better honour and celebrate herself, making more delicious choices for herself sexually as she unfurls her real womanhood. We know that when we cross our final bleed we have all that wisdom within to share. We know the true and real value of the menstrual cycle experience and wish for the world to know. If our world were populated with women like this, we would all be governed from a different place.

When the Dalai Lama states that it is the Western Woman that will save the world, my feeling is that it is the Maga Menstrual Champion. The whole woman, just beyond her bleeding time, that she has cherished profoundly, knowing exactly what to do with the next 25 years before her Crone arrives. The Maga Menstrual Champion needs no more practice, all she needs lives within her and her core relations to all the primal wisdom of Earth. These are the women I am invoking, for we need them NOW.

Thank you so much to Katherine for allowing us to re-publish this blog, you can find the original blog at here at Medium.

Katherine Cunningham

Menstrual educator

Katherine Cunningham has been a menstrual educator since 1998, focussing on sharing the internal cultural change needed to experience ecstatic menstruation. Recently launched her digital class, “Riding Your Menstrual Cycle” and just finishing her first book, “StarFire Self Initiation Workbook”… all of which can be found through