Yes, this drum was painted with my Moon Blood.
Our moon blood is sacred substance. It starts as life-giving tissue that lines up our wombs monthly, in preparation for new life. If no life is conceived, the lining is shed as our menstrual flow. The tissue that would have nourished new life now flows from within us. We can choose to trash or honor it.
For many years I have been collecting my moon blood by soaking menstrual cloth pads in water, and feeding my plants with this rich, nourishing soup. The house plants were ecstatic! They shot up as if fed by magic (which they were!) and looked happier than ever before (not to mention the environment, that is given a break each time a woman chooses to stop using disposable menstrual products). Recently, I have discovered the Moon Cup: a little goblet made of latex-free rubber. It is inserted like a diaphragm, and collects our Moon Flow at source.
I was led to a new level of connection with my blood.
Pouring the deep crimson liquid from the moon cup into a bowl allowed me to see my blood for the first time in its raw form. I have collected 4 days worth of flow into the bowl (no, it doesn’t smell. The odor you may be familiar with comes from the interaction between your blood and the chemicals used in commercial “feminine hygiene” products.) Later that night I took my Moon Blood bowl and my drum, and went to sit by the fire place.
The long gaze into the flames moved me to an altered state, and I dipped my hands into the bowl. With no fixed idea in my mind, I let my fingers chase each other in the rich broth, lifting them occasionally to see red ruby droplets fall back into the bowl. I was fascinated. My hands felt like fish gliding in smooth waters, and my eyes feasted on the beauty and depth of the burgundy blood. After a while I was ready to touch my hands to the drum.
I reached one hand and let it play on the drum’s surface. My other hand immediately wanted to follow. I watched as they chased each other in spiraling rounds, creating vortexes and whirlpools, letting them smear and allow fresh ones to emerge. I was in kindergarten once again. The pure joy of playing with color overcame me, and for a while I had no attachment to an end result.
Then a pattern started to emerge. The spiral that sprang from the center felt like “the one.” My left hand made a print below it. I liked the idea of it being an impression of my heart-hand, and proceeded to leave a left-hand imprint in each of the four directions. I stood up to look at it and my mind shifted to “art critic” mode. It took a minute to switch off, and to realize I was actually sorry to be done, since this meant the fun was over… Well, at least until my next cycle.
I washed my hands and saw the blood interact with water. It thinned, turned pink, and disappeared down the drain. I was sad to let it go, and wondered what else could I create when my Moon Flow returns. The possibilities, of course, are endless…
Is this art? My Moon Time drum is sacred to me. It is not displayed as art, for it is meant to be used ceremonially. The power that emanates from it feels like it needs a container, and I keep the drum covered when it is not in use. I have since painted with my Moon Blood on paper and recycled it. That month I wanted to keep the experience of painting as the only essence, and let go of the end product.
I hope you are inspired to try… Yes, years of societal taboos may spring to mind, disguised as resistance, aversion, or judgments. Listen to them. Then inquire within: whose voices are talking to you? Can you find your authentic voice among all others? If not, where is it? Relax into a comfortable position, dive deep into your wellspring, and let your deepest guidance speak. That is the most worthy voice…
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Menstruation as a Spiritual Journey
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