Menstruation seems to inspire a lot of strange rituals and taboos in cultures around the world. Asians stick to more traditional restrictions for the menstruating woman, but Western cultures are now embracing weird rituals which they claim to be good for health.
A self-proclaimed "womb witch" in Bali is now advising women to drink their menstrual blood for improved health and fitness, according to a Mirror.co.uk report. She has termed her practices "menstrual magic", a form of menstrual spirituality that has recently gained many followers around the world.
Menstrual spirituality refers to rituals shared by women online in a movement to rid the natural phenomenon of the taboo that society subjects it to. Spiritual practitioners aim to prove that periods are not shameful and should be embraced openly.
The "womb witch", 30-year-old Nadine Lee, claims to be a teacher of menstruation magic. She suggests rituals that can help boost health during that time of the month, including pouring the blood on the ground and drinking it.
A female spirit healer from Australia had painted her face with menstruation blood as part of a sacred ritual. After the video of the incident went viral, netizens condemned her action on social media.
Former hairdresser Yazmina Jade had also urged women to use period blood for facials.
How do you view your monthly bleed?? I personally through my teenage years and early 20s didn’t enjoy or care for my monthly period. It was just this thing that was kind of annoying and I felt shitty. It made me eat a lot more and I would bloat out and feel fat ☹️ You could say I had an unhealthy relationship with my monthly bleed and didn’t really enjoy getting it at all!!! There was a COMPLETE disconnect from my womb and how I felt towards bleeding. I would use tampons that often hurt and felt so unnatural ( a form of self abuse really ). So numbed out, even with how I put them inside of me... ? There was NO FUCKING guidance as to what happens when you bleed and how to even nurture or care for yourself through this SACRED time of the month. I had no idea, no guidance and I just did what everyone else did, EVEN though it didn’t feel good OR NATURAL at all. It’s taken me years to realise that bleeding is a sacred ritual time, for women to go inward, to let go, to create, to use in powerful manifestation and to honour our womb power and MOTHER EARTH.. I have been drawn more and more to reconnecting with my body and especially the womb... We hold sacred wisdom with our wombs. Our BLOOD holds the same wisdom, it’s something to be celebrated, honoured and worshipped. Not hiddened, disowned and sanitized. We have shamed ourselves as women for bleeding, men have placed this taboo on us for bleeding. It’s a time to reclaim our power through reclaiming that which comes naturally for us.. It’s a blessing It’s powerful It’s a fresh start each month It’s a letting go It’s connection to something greater And we can’t stop this natural occurrence so why disown and shame ourselves for it? Iv been spending time monthly to CONNECT in with my womb while I bleed, using I Diva cup so I can actually see my blood, using my blood on the garden or in ritual has helped me build connection with myself and my body. I have a new level of love and respect for my body that wasn’t there before, mainly because I was shaming myself for something that I couldn’t stop. It’s been a full on journey, I’m only just tapping the surface of the POWER of the BLOOD.
"Through the ritual of painting it on my face, it deepened my bond with my body," said Yazmina. "I felt this overwhelming love with myself I have never experienced before."
The menstrual witches say they tend to bring these practices into the public eye as they want age-old traditions associated with menstruation to be abolished from society.
In Asian countries, particularly India, menstruating women are considered easy targets for evil spirits. In some regions, they are not allowed to walk through crossroads, keep their hair untied or enter places of worship. On the other hand, many communities practice rituals that symbolize the freedom of body and spirit.
An ethnic Indian community, the Bauls of Bengal, believes in honoring the first period in a girl's life. They reportedly do this by preparing a drink with the menstrual blood mixed in coconut milk, cow's milk, camphor, palm juice and sugar. The community believes that drinking this mixture helps increase memory, concentration, serenity and happiness in life.