Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine energy are in all of us, regardless of the gender with which we identify. I am a woman and the Feminine is alive and well within me but for the majority of my life I had no idea. I had heard the of feminine charm and feminine intuition but they were just words, they had no real essence and meant nothing except what I now see has been left over from patriarchal conditioning regarding Feminine energy; weird and evil, it can only be used to attract a mate at best. This speaks volumes about the denegation of Feminine wisdom from its ancient revered position in the Gnostic teachings, down to the abhorrence towards Her which was conjured up by the witch hunts and more recently in modern herstory society’s cognitive dissonance regarding the glory and luscious superpowers of the Feminine, not to mention the menstrual cycle. (Maybe you could continue your research by reading Rebecca Campbell’s Rise Sister Rise or Lisa Lister’s bloody genius work; Code Red). All of this information is super linked and in flow with my choice to come off the pill and reconnect with the potent blood, sweat and tears of my menstrual cycle.
At age fifteen I had severe acne. It was really obvious and I felt disgusting. My classmates used to comment about it and often I would return home and cry, having bottled everything up during the day, and I mean CRY. I would hear myself sobbing animalistically and then bury my face in a pillow to stop my mum from hearing. My sobs were not even cathartic. They only fueled the pain and sadness about feeling so vile. I was the only one in my class with acne. Since I was tiny I had sucked up and drank in the media messages that women were not desirable if they were any less than perfect automaton Barbies. Part of me wanted to be this, part of me wanted to rebel against this. I was beginning to act out anorexia by avoiding food and exerting rigid control over my life and I had more than a penchant for self-harm, which was getting worse. I had developed the misguided understanding that my feelings were unimportant and that emotions were an unholy inconvenience (like most things connected to being female so I had been told). Yep, things were less than lovely.
Our bathroom was awash with lotions, potions (not the exciting witchy kind) and pills which I desperately hoped would clear up my skin. Nothing worked. I went back to the doctor and pleaded through my sobs that there must be something else I could try—I was never one to be fobbed off easily (standing one’s ground is a very feminine trait). I was convinced that if I got rid of my spots I would have some hope of being happy. My kind GP prescribed Mycrogynon 30, a combination pill that was known to help reduce acne, which would eradicate my menstrual cycle.
I was elated and I had hope that my skin would clear, plus I would kiss goodbye the horror of PMS which had plagued me (I really thought I was cursed and I deserved it) since age eleven. Nobody had celebrated me and told me that my cycle was sacred and a magnificent manifestation tool. Why would they? The women in my life did not know. Nobody had celebrated with them or taught them. The general message was that the menstrual cycle was something to endure, ignore, hide (from ourselves and from men so as not to be considered too much, too emotional or too inconvenient). It was there to let you have a baby and served no other function, and eventually it would cease completely and so would begin another “curse” called menopause—fucking fabulous.
Back then I was desperate for validation from outside sources because I was convinced I was oh so ugly. I wanted the approval of my friends, but mainly I craved the attention of teenage boys. Now that I was taking the pill, I became a special breed of teenage girl who could get it on without getting pregnant. In truth, the possibility of catching an STD didn’t really bother me and I was willing to forfeit my health in favor of the possibility that a boy might like me more than I liked myself, and that I could gain this approval by having sex. This was a pattern which continued until age thirty when I found myself in Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
Staying on the pill had pros and cons. It cleared up my skin quickly and it stayed clear. My periods stopped and so I didn’t have to mess around with tampons or other products. I no longer had cramps and the rocky periods of PMS calmed down. However, looking back there was a numbness, some kind of detachment from the flow of life which I am noticing and reconnecting with now, at age 33 and ¾. I developed some twisted thoughts, thinking myself more useful and desirable to men because I didn’t have to concern myself with getting pregnant or bleeding heavily, although one boyfriend wouldn’t let me sleep in the bed with him when I had a withdrawal bleed from the combined pill, in case I dirtied the designer sheets. I could bypass the chaos and inconvenience of the menstrual cycle which I believed that made me less of a hassle to my male partners.
I wasn’t seeing or experiencing the magic, mystery and power of the menstrual cycle and I had never been taught about the wonderment of being a woman having a natural cycle. I took the pill to heal my acne and I’m glad it worked, but subconsciously I was conditioned into believing that it is best for a woman to be “easy-going” (read: unemotional, quiet, linear, sensible) and to be available for sex at the drop of a hat, but with no mess from a bleed.
The Feminine speaks in a quiet voice, to begin with at least. In 2015 I tried the practice of orgasmic meditation and began to meet women who stood proud in Femininity. They were at home with their bodies, their emotions, their desires and their position as receivers rather than producers. They also talked of the power of cycles, the fact that women are cyclic creatures and are not meant to feel the same from week to week and that the womb and genitals were a caldron for magic which has been being manifested since ancient times. Women could be in community around the time of their bleed and celebrate their magic. This was all foreign but totally captivating for me and I felt like I was coming home. The soft, quiet voice said “maybe I can do this” but I ignored the bleed-based wonders of my inner Goddess until this month.
The conditioning was strong and I was traumatized from being shamed by men about bleeding. Since 2015 I have been learning, experiencing and initiating myself with communities of women who wish to bring the ancient arts of Femininity back into the fore. I am learning from experts that when the Cycle’s energies are harnessed and honored, periods need not be excruciatingly painful and exhausting. I could deny my menstrual cycle no longer and stopped taking the pill. I am a huge mixture of feelings, intuitions, opinions, body sensations about the unfolding of my cycle, but I am excited and honored to meet Her. Pre-ovulation, ovulation, pre-menstruation and then the bleed are all parts of Her and are therefore all parts of me. I am no longer denying who I am, which began with the painful need for approval from my teenage self.
I am healing the deep wounds and letting the blood flow. It’s a new beginning, a rebirth. When I begin my first bleed, whenever it returns, I will celebrate and mark the occasion with my own menarche ceremony. The Feminine is calling forth a new age. Listen to her voice.