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  • Writer's pictureSama

Menstruation: Where it all began

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

I received the inspired guidance to create the Womb Centered Healing Temple in 2018 while visiting the sacred red waters at the Chalice Well in Glastonbury, UK. I was bleeding at the time and made offerings of my blood to the shrines there in the World Peace Garden surrounding the Red Spring, which many consider a place where Mother Earth menstruates.

The Womb Centered Healing Temple was to be a collaborative space where Womb Centered Healing practitioners, including myself, could come together online and support each other to share their teachings and offerings. One of the aspects of this co-creative space would be a blog with guest writers and myself sharing about our Womb Centered Healing journeys.

This collaborative model central to the feminine leadership approaches I will be writing about in other blog posts. Suffice it to say that I have repeatedly felt the disempowering effects of domination and exploitation based leadership models and am devoted to implementing mutually beneficial leadership in all of my endeavors.

As the time to start the Temple Blog approached, it became clear that it would be the ideal place to start sharing excerpts from my Bio-Mystical Womb book that I am in the process of writing. This book will include much of my personal story in relation to Womb Centered Healing. As the intention of this blog post is to share my mission and motivation, I will share an excerpt from the book that does just that:

Throughout this book, I will include descriptions of some of the central formative events in my life that influenced my development, all closely related to how I learned to connect or disconnect with the womb. I will also include similar stories from Case Study volunteers who are participating in my Bio-Mystical Womb Apprenticeship. Many of the events and circumstances I and these Case Study participants have experienced were traumatic and may be difficult to read, especially if the reader has had similar traumatic experiences. In my extensive explorations of healing from trauma I have developed several approaches that I will incorporate into the writing of the Bio-Mystical Womb book, so that reading it will not re-traumatize, but instead be a healing experience.

One of the healing approaches is titration. This is a well known technique that somatic trauma therapists in many traditions use to prevent re-traumatization during the recapitulation, somatic release, and/or remembering process. In titration, we approach a traumatic memory or difficult feeling in the body very softly and gently, with the intention of only lightly touching the surface. We pay attention to how our nervous system is responding to connecting with this memory or feeling. If we notice any signs of fight/flight/freeze response and/or dissociation, we back up from connection with the difficult material and return to a place of pleasure, ease, and support.

As you are reading these stories I invite you to engage with your own titration process. Before you start reading, look around yourself, feeling the support of the surface your are sitting upon, finding beauty and comfort in your surroundings. You can even create a special place of sensory pleasure for yourself before you start. Light a candle, arrange some aromatic flowers or an aromatherapy diffuser, prepare a platter of scrumptious snacks, and wear comfortable, sensual clothing. Snuggle up on the coziest couch or chair with a soft blanket or silky shawl. Play some pleasant ambient music. You can be as elaborate with this as you like. Then whenever you feel anything disturbing or difficult arising in you while you are reading, you can check in with your nervous system. If you notice anything contracting in your body, your breathing starting to become shallow or rapid, heat flushing to your face, your mind wandering and making it difficult to continue reading, or any other sign of distress, you can take a pause and focus on the beauty and pleasure surrounding you.

I will also be weaving mythical stories filled with pleasure and beauty into this telling of my story, starting with retellings of stories of Persephone and her daughter Melinoe in which Persephone is completely sovereign in her choices to marry Hades and become Queen of the Underworld. In this story, she initiates her daughter into the mystical mysteries of the womb. I will also weave in retellings of other Goddess mythologies, reclaiming our sovereign mystical feminine divinity. These stories are the perfect medicine for the hurts described in the biographical stories, and for those who share the same hurts. Hopefully this interweaving will provide ample titration so your nervous system can remain in resting and digesting mode while reading.

Another healing approach I will include in this telling of my biography will be that of focusing on the wisdom and strength that was necessary to get through, and that arose out of, difficult situations, the helpful connection with mystical realms that often happens during trauma, and the miraculous assistance that usually arrives when trauma occurs. This focus adds an additional layer of titration to the story. It also supports the reprogramming necessary to heal from past hurts.

I will continue to weave these titrated stories into the entire book, diving more deeply into specific scenarios appropriate to the progression of topics. I will also use this same approach with the biographical stories of the case study subjects included in the book. May Divine Mother fill my words with the sweetness of her nourishing love, that all who read them may find their way home to her loving arms.

I was conceived by two young teenagers who had not been initiated into the powers of creation their sexual play held. This was at a time when it was shameful to speak of sex and education about it was kept to a bare minimum. It was also at a time when young people were rebelling against the sexually repressive attitudes of the time. The culture of the Summer of Love and Flower Children was blossoming with feelings of sexual freedom, free love, and communal living exploration. They just didn’t have all of the information about the consequences of their rebellion yet. And birth control education was not yet readily available. It was easier to get marijuana and other recreational drugs than birth control I suspect. And accurate information about female fertility was even harder to acquire.

My mother started menstruating at the age of 10 before anyone had ever told her anything about this eventuality. She thought she was gravely ill and told nobody about it. She wore three pairs of underwear to school to soak up the blood. This has always struck me as a powerful testament to her strength as a young woman. The fact that she was able to hold such a secret within her and carry on as needed was a great demonstration of the inner space she had cultivated to hold and experience difficult feelings. This stoicism would serve her greatly throughout her life.

She spent those first days and perhaps weeks in a state of heightened anxiety about her health until her mother discovered her bloody underwear, which she had most likely attempted to clean herself and hide in the bottom of the laundry bin. She wasn’t allowed to do her own laundry, however, since her mother had exacting standards of how it was to be done, far beyond the capabilities of a 10 year old, and little patience or time to train her. When she discovered the bloody underwear, her mother told her it was a natural process. I can just imagine the sigh of relief she let out, at least on the inside, as she learned this. It wasn’t a complete relief, as she was probably still feeling her mother’s annoyance about the stains in her underwear, but at least she wasn’t dying. Her mother told here it was a sign she was growing up but shared nothing about how it was a sign she was now fertile and able to conceive a child.

Melinoe was playing in the garden, dancing with the butterflies and bees, smelling the flowers, sticking her tongue inside them just like the bees, trying to taste their nectar, mostly succeeding at getting pollen on her nose and spreading it to other blooms. She could feel the hungry bellies of the bees getting full on the nectar they could reach with their tongues, but her belly still grumbled. It was early spring and there was no ripe fruit in the garden so she headed back towards the house where she knew there was some leftover muffins her mother had baked for breakfast.

As she opened the door, the red silk scarf was hanging down from the door frame and brushed her face pleasantly. This was the same scarf she was wrapped in when she was born. Her mother used to brush her face with it when she was breastfeeding. Whenever it touched her face now, it evoked those ecstatic feelings of motherly love inside of her, that feeling of being completely cared for and satiated. She could still feel the intense pleasure at the roof of her mouth where her mother’s milk would flow, soothing any cries of impatiences she might have had the rare opportunity to express. As the silk scarf touched her face now, she felt that same burst of sweet pleasure fill her head and pour down her throat. She forgot her hunger and began nuzzling the scarf. Its smell and softness flowed into her, filling her belly and heart with exquisite colors. As she nuzzled there, she could hear her mother and father’s voices in the back room cooing and trilling with pleasure together.

Somewhere inside her she knew her mother had hung the scarf there as a signal. They had discussed it recently, that when she found the scarf hanging in the door, it was mommy and daddy’s special time together. But she didn’t really need to remember that conversation, her response to the scarf was so strong. Soon she was curled up on the floor with the scarf, slumbering the sleep only babies know when they have had their fill of mother’s milk.

It was only new to find the scarf hanging in the door as she had recently become old enough to play outside in the garden on her own. Before that her mother would give her the red scarf to play with and take her over to grandma or aunties house so she could have the house to herself with her husband. Even before that, when she was too small to spend time too far away from her mother, she would hang the scarf over her bassinet. Melinoe was very accustomed to being overcome with pleasure as she snuggled up with this familiar scarf to the sounds of her parent’s lovemaking.

At one point, Melinoe asked her mother what she was doing with daddy when she gave her the red scarf.

“Well, your daddy and I love each other very much and we have many ways of showing each other.” Persephone began to explain.

“ Yes, like when he brings home the special wine you like from the market, or rubs your feet at night?” Melinoe asked

“Yes, just like that. We also show each other by telling each other the truth about how we are feeling, asking for what we want and need from each other, and trying our best to give to each other.” Persephone continued.

“Right, like when daddy comes home and he is tired and wants to take a bath and have his dinner in there and put him in the bath and bring him his dinner?” Melinoe asked.

“Yes, we have many ways like that to please each other and show our love. One of the ways we do this is how we got you. It is called making love. This is what happens when our love for each other grows so strong that it bursts out of us and creates more love in the world. Sometimes this love makes a child, like you.” Persephone explained.

“Wow” breathed Melinoe, feeling her mother’s passionate love for her father and the wordless mystery of her own creation.

“So when our love gets so strong like this, we need some time to spend with just your father and I. We need time to ourselves. But we also want to share that love with you, since you are a big part of that love. That’s why I give you the red scarf to play with. It helps you to feel our love without having to be right next to us, isn’t that right?” asked Persephone.

“Mm hm” sighed Melinoe, remembering the overwhelming feelings of love the scarf evoked in her just the other day.

“But mommy,” she pondered,”sometimes you give me the scarf when daddy isn’t around. He always goes fishing at the lake with uncle on the dark moon for three days. You give me the scarf a lot then too.”

“Yes, love, that is when it is mommy’s moon time. That is a time when my love for life and the world spills out of me so strongly that I need to be alone to feel it all. It is a powerfully magical time for me. My body produces a potent elixir at that time that helps all the plants in the garden to grow and nourishes Mother Earth. It is very important I have my time alone to collect that elixir and give it to Mother Earth. She gives us so much and asks only this in return. She will ask this of you too one day you know:”

“I want to give it to her now!” Melinoe exclaimed.

“Patience, my darling. You are growing riper every day, just like the fruit on the trees. You must wait until your elixir bursts from you like the juice of a ripe fruit, so it will be sweet and rich for Mother Earth. Remember when you tried to eat that plum you picked before it was ripe?”

“Yuck!” Melinoe remembered.

“Indeed. So all you need to do is spend plenty of time in the sun, drinking plenty of water, and dancing through the seasons, and you will ripen in time just like the plum. Then you can give your elixir to Mother Earth. And perhaps then you will fall in love with someone and your love will create a baby too.” Persephone suggested.

“Ooohh” Melinoe dreamed.

“And for now, the red scarf will help you learn all about how that kind of love truly feels so you will know it when it is your time.” Persephone explained. She began to hum a tune from deep within her belly, scooping Melinoe closer into her lap, and stroking her hair. Melinoe dozed off after a few moments and dreamed of herself hanging from the branch of a tree, growing plumper and juicier and sweeter, getting ready to drop down to Mother Earth.

This completes this excerpt of the Bio-Mystical Womb Book for now. I feel this initial story of shame and secrecy around menstruation was fundamentally impactful for my life purpose. It created, and continues to create, tremendous suffering, in my life, and in the world. I feel deeply motivated and devoted to bringing healing and change to this area of our lives. This is why I am writing this book and creating this Womb Centered Healing modality, to help humanity return to reverence for menstruation and the womb as the source of life, creativity, and wisdom. I would love to hear from you about this in the comments below.

Learn more about the Bio-Mystical Womb Apprenticeship program here:

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hazel grove
hazel grove
Aug 06, 2020

Wow powerful, Thank you for sharing your mums sensitive story around bleeding, it is a stark example of how female body cycles have been tabooized by patriarchy over the centuries. And what beautiful descriptions from Persephone explaining to a child of love, birth and menstruation. Sama your book is going to be amazing!


Would that I had been so free of the still deeply entrenched shame and secrecy around the Divine Feminine beauty of life to have shared the truth with you as Persephone did with Melinoe. Thank you for answering the call to serve in this calling and so enable me to find some healing.

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