Moon Time Brujas: A Guide to Mindful Menstrual Rituals
Your moon time, menses, period, shark week — whatever you call it — is a time of the month all people with wombs go through. For some it shows up like clockwork, for others it’s regular in its irregularities. It can be bloody, spotty, heavy, easy, or excruciating. But what if when we knew our cycles were approaching, instead of dreading it, we had a ritual to look forward to? A moment to celebrate our bodies and their natural ability to function?
Our cycles have for too long been stigmatized by society’s disinterest in our bodies’ full expressions aka bleeding. So we curated an inspirational guide for getting in touch with the power of menstruation, whether you’re a bruja or not.
Take a ritual bath
During menstruation, our bodies are more tender to the touch, more introspective. As our herbalist Jordann says, “Menstruation is a time during which a woman or person with a womb may go inward and tap into their heightened intuition.” Commencing day one or two of your cycle with a bath gives you that pause to go inward to meditate, relax and cleanse.
Simply adding items that you already have at home like herbs (such as chamomile, calendula, peppermint, or rosemary), a few slices of citrus (grapefruit or orange), flowers (lavender or rose), and a few tablespoons of Epsom salt can calm your mind while the hot water can help to soothe any tightness in the muscles of your womb. If you’re already a bruja you probably have enough of these items to make your own bath salts at home.
If you don’t have a bathtub, simply combine all ingredients into a jar and use it as a body scrub, letting the warm shower water wash over you and penetrate the herbs into your skin. Try taking a tincture of choice to deepen relaxation.
Make sacred fertilizer
Turns out that menstrual blood is an excellent fertilizer for plants. Before you get freaked out –– hear us out –– blood is packed with macronutrients like phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen, all commonly found in store-bought nutrients. So why not test out how your house plants respond to your special albeit bloody mix of plant food.
In the Oglala Lakota tribe, they created “wiíčhuwa”, a sacred bundle used for good luck. They were sometimes made with tiny pieces of cloth soaked in menstrual blood. These sacred bundles were said to have been so powerful that they perhaps were the origin of other-than-human potency, causing fortune, goodness, or destruction to whoever received them. Other myths tell us that bleeding women on their moon cycle often fed and fertilized the earth by free-bleeding directly onto the soil and their seeds.
Try diluting your blood by filling up a large glass jar (approximately 12 ounces) of water, placing a used organic tampon or cloth pad in the water overnight to extract the blood. If you use a menstrual cup, simply pour the blood from your menstrual cup into the water. Use your special homemade fertilizer to water your plants. For good measure, if you’re worried about a potential smell, be sure to give your plants plenty of freshwater to flush out any lingering surface remnants, or only use your special feeding tonic on your outdoor plants.
Each lunar phase — new moon, half-moon, crescent, waning, waxing, or full — has a meaning. Seeing as our bodies wax and wane much like the moon, synching up your intentions while on your cycle can increase the potency of your power. Intentions too are a great way to work out and process desires, goals, and dreams that you wish to come to fruition.
You may already have a ritual for your intentions. Feel free to do whatever feels comfortable. But if you’re feeling adventurous, try this one out: If you have an outdoor area where you can see the moon or the sky, bring out a yoga mat, blanket, meditation puff or pillow to sit comfortably. Bring candles, choosing a color that corresponds to a mood or intention. If you have crystals that need to be washed or recharged by the moonlight, bring those along with you as well, in addition to herbs like cannabis, sage, or rose. Create a circle and sit inside of it with your adorning items surrounding you. On a piece of paper, write down your intentions. Maybe during this cycle, you’d like to find better ways to communicate with your partner, write a script, quit your job, finish a thesis, give up a bad habit, release an old partner from your thoughts, or get rid of any unwanted energy that no longer serves you. Whatever it is that comes to mind, write out your desires, being fully present with each word you choose.
When you’re ready, read them aloud and then burn the piece of paper, safely placing it in a bowl of water or fire pit. Look up to the sky and the world around you and let the magic within you release the intention out into the world.
Radical self-care routine
It may be cynical or hypocritical, but sometimes it just feels like some companies have chosen “self-care” as a way to sell you more shit. Yes, we are in the business of selling products but we don’t only subscribe to self-care in the form of capitalism. Self-care can be watching a movie surrounded by junk food in your bed while you bleed. Often it can come in the form of advocating for a marginalized community, or calling someone who makes you feel good. Self-care can be booty dancing in the mirror with your menstrual cup securely in. It can be watching porn, or having freaky sex with your partner while your flow is in full effect.
We want to amplify and honor whatever form of self-care helps you feel yourself without having to buy something. We call on you to use this time of the month to do whatever nourishes you and your body, whatever makes you feel wild, carnal, or calm. There are so many expressions of self and thus of self-care. So as long as you are not hurting yourself or anyone else, we will leave you now to radically self-care.