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Join the circle. Honor us. Share your story:

Yoko: "As a girl I was so entranced by the miraculous beauty of the colors and shapes that my menstrual secretions created in the toilet bowl. They unfurled like delicate flowers with flaming nerve tendrils, like dancers, like ice-crystals stained in primordial blood. I couldn’t share this with my parents because they were too freaked out by the fact that I had an actual working vagina, my class mates because they had the sensitivity of concrete slabs, or my brother because the issue of the body gave him the jitters, poor lost soul. So I contented myself with writing poems – love poems to the beauty of my menstrual flow."


Rea Red Wolf, Indian Nations: "When I first began to menstruate, the people of my tribe (Navajo) all gathered to honor and celebrate my fertility with singing, feasting and story-telling. I learned about the origin myth of White Shell Woman and how to walk in the sacred way of beauty, at harmony with all things. Uplifted by my people and our spiritual traditions, I felt peace and pride in being cyclic like the Mother earth, and proud to be responsible for my capacity to give life."

Maria Justine: "I started menstruating exceptionally young and I had a really, really heavy flow. It seemed like no matter what I did I couldn’t plug it up. I would lay on two heavy-flow pads and a heavy-flow tampon, and change them every twenty minutes - and I STILL SOAKED THROUGH.

One day I was sitting at my desk in school during math class and realized that not only was my skirt soaked in blood, but my whole chair was drenched. O.M.G. I jumped up and backed against the wall, and got out of school doing a side-ways crab walk, edging against the walls the whole way. Then I sprinted home- honey, you never saw a kid move so fast – and plunged into the tub. Women need menstrual days off!!!"


Our House
Ida: "In our house when any female member of the family got her first period she got to stay home from school (if she wanted too). We had her favorite foods for dinner and dad made his special Rumlesschocoa Cake for desert. Mom wrote a poem/note just for her, which she received under their pillow in a colored condom topped with a bow, because yes, no matter what you already knew, mom and dad gave you The Talk again.

Getting the Big P. was like a one time Holiday.


Esther: "When each of my daughters began menstruating we had a special dinner for them with all their favorite foods, and they got to choose what the family did together that night. I showed them the video of their births, and told them what it was like to be pregnant with them and bear them. We sang ancient Hebrew songs that my mother taught me, and contemporary songs that they picked about birth and womanhood. It was joyous and holy.

Drop By Drop
Marisol: "Drop by drop is how my nutty family let me know menstruation was dirty, a scandal! I had endometriosis and bled so heavily that anemia was a constant problem. Vomited, passed out from the pain. Dreaded it every month. "like labor twelve times a year" as a doctor put it.

Occasionally a single drop of my menstrual blood (flood is more accurate) fell on the floor, and I was in too much hurt to notice. My family would scream -SCREAM - like banshees that the bathroom floor was defiled, carry on like they'd witnessed a murder. Literally get hysterical.

"It's just blood" I'd say. Good god, we all have blood. Is weirdness genetic? Why were they so unhinged because it passed through my vagina?

I was a happy puppy when I got to go away to school and be around other women who were at ease about menstruating. I still tense up when I think about how crazy they got about something natural. Dark places lurk in the family!"


Rachel: "Menstruation was taken seriously in my home. We are Orthodox, and women are considered unclean during menses. We had to stay separate from the men, who wouldn't look at us.

This was not a positive approach, but my sister and I rebelled by creating a kind of Red Tent together. Since we were left alone alone -a rarity in our household - we read outlaw fashion and sex magazines, and looked at things on the computer that our parents normally forbid.

When I look back on it, this was our way of fighting back in an inequitable situation. I do not think girl children should be taught they are unclean because they have become fertile, and my daughter was not raised this way. Fertility is sacred, and should be treated with respect, not abhorrence."


Estella: "When I began menstruating, my mother and our best friends had a party for me. Rama, our dear friend from Egypt, taught us beautiful belly dance movements demonstrating how to ease menstrual cramps and childbirth. We all danced together, and then she danced with me in the middle of a circle of our friends. Now my own daughters and I are part of a Red Tent, where we share sacred stories and dance with our sisters."


Moss between thighs
sweet and dry on the dirt
menses snaking lava down my mound
into the warm, sun-baked earth
sky wide above
earth core below


K., Sierra Leone 

Wolf Sister: My story was one of returning to tradition with my tribe. I grew up off the reservation in the Christian religion, and my family considered menstruation a manifestation of Original Sin, Woman's punishment.
I visited my grandmother on the reservation when I turned 12, just before menstruation began for me. She explained to me how sacred and connected to the earth women are through The Cycle, and brought me into my peoples tradition - of spiritual passage. All women must be honored as they pass into the Cyclic phase that connects them to fertility, whether or not they bear children.

Beauty all around.

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