I was about 12 and and owned a book called "A Baby Comes into the World," which was given to me by my Mom a few years earlier. Even though we looked at the detailed drawings of Female and Male anatomy, and she read the book to me more than once, when the day arrived -- none of that, apparently, sank in.
I found a dark red stain on my undies when I went to the bathroom. I had no clue of what it could be, and decided to ignore it. I pulled my pants up thinking the stain would go away by the evening. A few hours later, when I found that it didn't, I told my Mom. She identified it as my period and we proceeded to go to the bathroom, where she strongly emphasized that I needed to wash often when my period came.
My Mom was scientific and cold about the information she gave, and cleanliness was her main point. She never mentioned the word "dirty," but her stress of the need to wash gave me a clear message: my blood was unclean. It followed that we both discard of our pads in the trash, where all dirt goes... After I was washed and "padded," she gave me one quick hug and said I was a woman now. It didn't mean much and there was no warmth in her hug. I went on to think of my period as "nuisance" for years afterwards, much as she did.
Most of my memories center around feeling mortified of the thought that the boys would find out... I remember a dream in which I was wearing white pants to school, and unbeknown to me had a huge red stain on my behind. The boys' laughter was humiliating, and I woke up feeling deep shame. I have a few memories of feeling camaraderie with girls who started bleeding, but we all thought of our periods as bothersome.
I discovered the sacredness of my Moon Blood, and the depth, beauty and insight that come with conscious flowing, only in my early thirties. It has been an empowering journey, and now, at the gateway of menopause, I cherish my flow even more, knowing it will not be with me forever.
Having sat in circles with women and girls around the world, I found that sharing our First Moon stories has a profound healing effect. Regardless of differences in detail, the stories resonate with women everywhere because of the feelings they evoke. I strongly believe that creating sacred spaces for our First Blood stories to be told and shared, is essential to our growth as women, individually and collectively. It is also a step in modeling strong, confident womanhood to the girls in our midst.
As an open invitation to sit in a virtual Red Tent, I created a discussion group on Facebook, called My Virtual Red Tent.
The group is a place to share our stories of First Blood, as well as Last; to convey revelations and insights from our cycling years; to ask questions and invite answers; to have open dialogues about the meaning of living life as Cyclical beings; and to explore the wisdom that comes with the end of cycling, as we enter the Crone phase of our life.
The address for 'My Virtual Red Tent' group is:
In order to join the group you would need to join Facebook first (it's free and open to all) by going to Facebook.com
I hope to meet you in an actual Red Tent, one of these days...
Until then, why don't you join the virtual one?
Welcome to the circle...