Menstruation is Power
by Alexandra Pope
The stress sensitive barometer in women, the menstrual cycle is
system for sensing both physical and psychological well-being.
is an initiatory time, when women can potentially open to a highly
altered state, giving them access to a singular kind of power.
The power of self awareness, deep feeling, knowingness,
power that matures over time with each cycle.
Cycles are the very basis of life, the means by which nature and
regenerate. To go against them is a recipe for disaster. To listen
adds a richness and connection to life. Women who medicate their
cycle through the use of the Pill are in danger not only of
physical health, but also of cauterizing the depths of their inner
Something will never feel complete. In short, they can end up
living a half
The tendencies in the ovulatory phase of the cycle are more
linear, left brain, feeling fairly clear (no messy emotion) and
with plenty of energy for others. As we move into the menstrual
the cycle women tend to become more inner focused. The transition
inner state is often signaled by feelings of irritability, anger,
greater dreaminess and vagueness. The people around us often feel
Opposites are amplified. For example you may experience feeling
one moment and then flip into its opposite, becoming drifty and
next. A feeling of purposefulness may fall away to be replaced by
about one's self and what one is doing.
This can also take the form of criticism of self and others, or
depression. The single most dominant characteristic of this phase
We become more permeable both to our own depths but also to the
Ironically the power of menstruation comes from the one thing we
condemn in ourselves at this time: this very sensitivity. It is a
opening to feeling and spirit. If you can travel through this
greater acceptance, you'll experience over time an illumination
that will suffuse the whole of your life. Your deep feelings are
intelligence, a form of knowing, sometimes prescient, that goes
realities. Without our capacity for depth of feeling, and, yes, it
all the so called 'negative' ones, life would lack meaning and
ecstasy and joy .
The sensitivity extends the acreage of our souls, encourages us
and challenge ourselves and the world we live in. If the task
great, the sensitivity of menstruation too overwhelming, we should
condemn ourselves nor menstruation.
That would be like shooting the messenger. Instead we must learn
value and harness the power that comes from our greater openness.
stand for more womanly ways of knowing that can track feeling,
gut instinct, notice synchronicities, catch the intuitive flashes
the connections between all things. Intellect is immeasurably
such skills of knowing.
At menstruation we are being called to attend to ourselves and
beyond the mundane surface level of existence. True power comes
capacity to travel in both inner and outer worlds, to experience
and spiritual depths along with our intellectual rigor. This is
both women and men. Women are blessed with an inner process, the
cycle, that reminds us of and supports these capacities. This is a
gift. A kind of blessing.
Copyright 2002 Alexandra Pope
Alexandra Pope is the author of "The Wild Genie: The Healing
Menstruation" (2001, Sally Milner Publishing) and "Walking
with the Genie: the Modern Woman's Menstrual Health Kit" (2001,
Alexandra Pope is a psychotherapist and facilitator.
She runs menstrual health and Wild Genie workshops, and
'The Power of the Feminine' workshop in Australia.
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
PO Box 1018, Bondi Junction,
NSW 3155 Australia