To be a woman in matriarchal times, was seen and understood to be special because of woman’s ability to bleed and seemingly defy death. And through the withholding of her blood for a long period of time in pregnancy, to produce a new life! What a miraculous gift, the perpetuation of the species.
As a woman approached elder status, her wise blood was retained within her body. This was considered and believed to be an even more incredible time of power for the menopausal woman as her ‘wise blood’; life giving and death defying abilities remained inside her body for her sole use, purpose and desire. No longer did she have to bleed and nourish the earth with her gift of blood, nor did she need to share her body to help create a new life. She retained all these gifts and power for her own use, to do with as she pleased. She no longer needed a male for seeding as she could now seed herself. This made her an incredible power figure, with many special gifts, blessings and power to share with her people.
With the advent of scientific knowledge, menstruation, pregnancy, birth and menopause have sometimes been reduced to medical conditions at best and medical emergencies at other times. Often, because of scientific knowledge and terminology, the magic, beauty, power and wisdom of menstruation, pregnancy, birth and menopause has been lost and overlooked in the harsh, sterile world of patriarchy.
Sometimes we can feel like there are integral parts of being a woman that are not recognised for the value, purpose and wisdom that is so innate for us in being women. This has been such a challenge for us, as women, because these abilities (to menstruate, be pregnant and birth children) are so natural to us that it can be strange to think of our blood as wise, our bodies full of wisdom and love, our cycles as having purpose and direction for us, and menopause as a time of great power and wisdom for each and every woman.
What a change of thought and feeling it is, as we can reclaim and honour our bodies for all the magic, fun, and love that they provide for us if we have the heart to take a closer look at the truth of who we really are as compared to the dictates, thoughts and opinions of others. Welcome to Woman of Wise Blood.
The transition into menopause can be a time of apprehension and uncertainty of ourselves, our bodies and our future.
It can be a time reduced to a medical condition that may require medical attention.
It may be a time experienced as an emotional upheaval brought on through the changes in hormonal levels.
It may be reduced to a time of inconvenience and despair for others and self.
Menopause can be experienced as one of the most exhilarating and exciting times in life.
It is a time for choices. It is a time for the woman herself, her needs, wants, desires, experiences, freedom. All this can be unexpected and overwhelming as a woman learns and experiences that new and different choices to the ones she has always known before are available.
Menopause is a time of great change. It is important to take sacred space to discover our possibilities and our potentials and heal and release that which we no longer require. This will allow us to move with more ease and purpose into the present and help us to self-determine the future, our future ,our daughters future and the glorious possibilities that are available to woman.
There are choices such as to HRT or not. Is this right for me?
What do I want?
What alternative therapies are available to me if I am experiencing symptoms?
What may these symptoms be trying to teach me?
Have I honoured or am I honouring my cycles?
Do I respect myself?
How do I feel about my fertility or the loss of fertility?
How do I feel about menstruating?
How do I feel as a woman?
What does my spirituality mean to me as I approach Menopause. Do I think I am wise?
Do I think my blood is wise?
Have I ever thought about myself in regards to some of these questions?
What would be the implications of these basic questions to my attitude towards myself and my body?
It is very important to have information about our bodies, the way they work, the changes that we all go through as we grow and develop, understanding what we want or need, our choices, our bodies, our lives. Most woman I have worked with do not realise that we have choices, that our bodies and blood are wise, and that we can become self-determined about our choices in life and our bodies. Most of all, woman are astounded that the possibilities are available and that Menopause is not the end but truly a new beginning.
We have resources, books, alternative therapies, support groups, courses, magazines, friends, each other. The more information you have the better you will be able to make informed decisions for your self based on your own individual needs. If you need HRT, see your GP. If you feel confident in Naturopathy or Homoeopathy for support with symptoms find the right therapist for you. If you require counselling help is only a phone call away. Being a Woman means we can pick up the phone and find the assistance and support that we require. Suppression or hoping things will just go away will never solve anything.
There are some other factors to take into consideration when we think about hormones or hormonal treatments whether that be HRT, or the Pill. Two hormones that are a major contributor are progesterone and oestrogen. What we do not readily hear about other than the controversy surrounding HRT, is the factor of oestrogens in our natural environments and the changes that are occurring and how these hormonal changes are adversely affecting our environments.
For further information read “Hormone Heresy : What Women Must Know About Their Hormones ” by Sherrill Sellman.
By Arielle Kaph