THE RED MOON OR: THE FEMALE MENSTRUAL CYCLE (2)

For a long time it was literally embarrassing, awkward, unsuitable, or even taboo, to talk about the menstrual cycle which accompanies, and shapes, the lives of every woman for much of their lifetime.

However, this taboo is by no means restricted to older generations, or to societies with a very negative image of women. Many women of childbearing age in our own modern and open-minded society still avoid talking about the female cycle.

MENSTRUAL HYGIENE – AN OLD-FASHIONED WORD

Menstrual hygiene enabled at least some sort of mobility. Women’s everyday life with all its challenges cannot be imagined without it. The use of tampons makes us women almost forget that our bodies do extreme jobs during this period (as long as we do not suffer from menstrual problems). The first Tampons already existed 4000 years ago, hand-made from leaves and natural fibres. But, for about 70 years now, they have been industrially made of cotton.

However, there have been new discoveries in connection with the use of tampons which, to my mind, should be considered.

THE FOUR ENERGETIC PHASES OF THE FEMALE MENSTRUAL CYCLE

For a number of years many women have found themselves in a process of great changes which reopens a natural access to our female body and its energy cycles. We refer to ancient knowledge, and the wisdom of former generations of women, which was passed on to their daughters and granddaughters, by the old ones through myths and legends.

Our menstrual cycle goes through four phases and is closely connected with the cycle of the moon:

  • The first phase – from the end of the menstruation until ovulation – corresponds energetically with the girl/the virgin, and is described as dynamic, inspiring and generative (referring to reproduction).
  • The second phase – the time round ovulation – corresponds energetically with motherhood, meaning the power and ability of nourishing and preserving.
  • The third phase – the time from ovulation until menstruation – corresponds with the energies of ‘witches, magicians, seductresses or bad stepmothers’, because its energy refers to magic, sexuality or creativity.
  • The fourth phase – the time during menstruation – is connected with the energy of the wise old one who retreats from the external world into the internal one in order to live her creativity.

In my third blog from this series I will describe these four phases in more detail. If you are interested in this topic, I would like to recommend the book by Miranda Grey, ‘Red Moon. Understanding and using the creative, sexual and spiritual gifts of the menstrual cycle’.

Today’s post has been inspired by it.

Women

THE PSEUDO-FEMININITY MADNESS

I got my first brace in my late forties… I have to admit, it was an aesthetic decision. My dentist informed me about all the health aspects of a jaw correction, but, in the end, the reason for my decision was a different one.

However, how much has aesthetics got to do with the widespread slimness mania and the excessive body culture? Are there any invisible borders which have been quietly crossed in the western world?

The fact is that…

  • … there have never been so many photos of super slim, super perfect and super wrinkle-free girls and women on the net than now. Mind you, not least because of photoshop and photo filters.
  • … it has never been so easy and affordable to ‘create’ the female body according to general taste, to wax it, to pluck, to cream, to botox, to exercise, or to starve it. In the meantime, there are not only Botox-parties and Botox-flat rates, but also special Botox offers for students.
  • … the inhibition threshold for cosmetic surgery has never been so low. Breast operations, plastic surgery in the genital area, or even chest operations, where ribs are removed to gain a slimmer waist, have been part of the common beauty culture for a long time.

The interesting thing is that most of the women do not primarily want to be prettier or slimmer, but they long to be part of certain groups in society with their styled bodies. Furthermore, most of these women suffer from a compulsion to control which also effects their bodies:

The sociologist Eva Barlösius says that women want to express an attitude with their bodies, to have control, to be disciplined, and to have a willingness to perform. As long as our ideal of beauty is connected with success and social status, nothing will change.

Whereas one group of women exercise so long and intensely that you can see a vertical furrow on their stomach, slowly a counter-movement starts to form. Bloggers encourage us to love our bodies the way they are. They stand by their cellulites, or their stomachs left by pregnancies, and a few kilos more on the hips, or thighs. The documentary ‘Embrace’ encourages women to give up the pseudo-femininity madness.

Actually this madness has not got anything to do with femininity. But as long as women do not really understand what femininity means, nothing about this female body culture will change.

But there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon: it is the ‘millennials’, the generation born between 1980 and 2000. An increasing number of these women (and men) live a healthy life style and say NO to the pseudo-femininity madness. I will talk about them in one of my next blogs.

 

Women

WHAT HAS THE LACK OF FREEDOM GOT TO DO WITH THE 2nd FEMALE CHAKRA?

Many women are still expected to concentrate on satisfying the needs of not only immediate but also extended families. Without consciously being aware of it, they are directed by emotions, rooted in their clans, and connected with their first, and particularly their second, female chakra.

This energy centre is situated in the area of the uterus. Therefore, we must not be surprised that many women suffer from health problems connected with their reproductive organs.

The second chakra has to do with relationships. First of all, the relationship with ourselves, and secondly, the relationship with others. At the same time, this chakra is an energy centre which reacts to the quality of relationships, and everything that is emotionally closely-connected to us. Therefore, it not only reacts to burdens within our family and our circle of friends, but also to our financial situation and lack of financial security.

Girls have often been pushed by their clans to look for wealthy partners who can provide financial security for them, and sometimes even their family. They sacrifice love, the foundation of a partnership, for material security or a better social status.

HAVE YOU HEARD OR READ SENTENCES LIKE…

  • “You must not marry below your financial level.”
  • “Take care that your partner is able to offer you financial wealth.”
  • “Financial security is more important than love/fidelity.”
  • “Children are part of a marriage. That’s it!”
  • “In a family the man is the most important person.”
  • “It is your fault if your husband is unfaithful/drunk/addicted to gambling.”
  • “Women belong to their children.”
  • “Well. He is a man. Don’t get aggravated if he…”
  • “Forget about your dream job. Be realistic!”
  • “Instead of wasting your time with knitting/painting/singing, find a hobby that we can all benefit from.”
  • etc.

WHAT HAS THIS ALL GOT TO DO WITH THE SECOND CHAKRA?

Uterus and ovaries are our most important organs in the area of the second female chakra. Metaphorically, they represent a creative space, which, for example, gives birth to our children. But we do not only give birth to our children, in a figurative sense we give birth to so much more. We can reveal our creativity with baking, knitting, painting, dancing, singing, and writing.  Conclusions, new ideas, and inner wisdom, originate from there.

We women are often educated in a way that we assimilate the problems of our family members (second chakra), or we care for sick and old members of the family tirelessly. We often take on others’ big burdens and make them our own. As a result of our education we refuse to see that this often happens against our will. However, our body and soul often react.

TYPICAL TOPICS CONNECTED WITH THE SECOND CHAKRA:

  • suppressed aggression
  • suppressed anger
  • fear of being left by a partner
  • financial insecurity
  • social status
  • children
  • creativity
  • lack of security
  • apportioning of blame

The following table (after C.N. Shealy and C.M. Myss, The Creation of Health, 1983) shows which disorders can be connected with a weak second female chakra:

organs mental and spiritual areas

 

possible physical disorders
first chakra uterus

ovaries

vagina

cervix

colon

lower vertebrae

pelvis

appendix

bladder

apportioning of blame

feelings of guilt

problems with sexuality, money and control in relationships

power/control in the physical world

 

gynaecological disorders

problems during pregnancy

pains in the pelvis and lower back

sexual disorders

urinary problems

WHAT CAN WE DO TO BALANCE THE SECOND FEMALE CHAKRA?

Just as with all the other chakras, there are also different ways of balancing and strengthening the second chakra, such as

  • physical exercises or yoga on the energetic level
  • with the help of body-energy-work
  • with the help of meditation
  • on the emotional level through communication therapy, family settings, kinesiology, astrological counselling, etc.
  • on the mental level through positive thinking, mental training, etc.
  • on the spiritual level through transformation of karmic blockages or oaths with the help of spiritual tools

Picture: Gustav Klimt, Danae

Women

YOU CANNOT WRAP ME ROUND YOUR LITTLE FINGER ANY MORE

How often do we say YES, although we really want to say NO? And why do we actually do what we don’t really want to? Is it because we want to have peace, we do not want to be annoyed, or we do not have the strength for endless discussions? Because we don’t want to pick a quarrel? Because we are scared of upsetting or losing others?

Even now women are often educated to be inactive and quiet. Therefore, it is no surprise that they do not always say what they are thinking or feeling. But often there is real fear, helplessness or powerlessness at the root of this passivity.

DO YOU KNOW THIS FROM YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE?

_ Do others assume that you will always give in during discussions?

_ Do others still make demands on you, no matter how much you have already given or done for them?

_ Do people close to you threaten to make life difficult for you, if you do not do what they want you to do?

_ Do others ignore or neglect your feelings or needs?

_ Are you often made promises that are eventually not kept?

_ Does anyone threaten to leave you if you do not satisfy their wishes?

_ Do others call you egotistic, cold, envious, greedy or bad, if you do not react to their demands?

_ Does anybody threaten suicide, if you do not satisfy their wishes?

We will probably not immediately notice when the borders to emotional manipulation have been crossed. It is often close people, who you love and do not want to hurt, that want to wrap you round their fingers, or even put you under pressure. Or nice neighbours, who you want to get on well with. Or parents who can no longer handle day to day life without your help and support.

THREE QUESTIONS YOU OUGHT TO ASK YOURSELF:

Before you examine your relationship with somebody carefully, you should ask yourself the following questions:

_ How much can I do for the other person or how much can I give, without being fed up with him (or actually myself), angry or sad?

_ Do I deny myself and my needs when I keep giving in?

_ In which situations am I really egotistic – and when do I just set up my borders to save my space, my power, my energy and my joy of life?

Which signs you should recognize to be able to immediately notice manipulation and border crossing by others, will be a topic in one of my next blogs.

Additional literature on the topic: Forward, Susan; Frazier, Donna: Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

Women

WHAT HAS CLAN PRESSURE GOT TO DO WITH THE 1st FEMALE CHAKRA?

As soon as a small crab, which is kept in a bucket with other crabs, tries to climb out and escape, the other crabs keep pulling it back.

But what has this got to do with us women, and particularly with our first chakra, the energy centre at the bottom of our spine, from where we absorb earth energies(1)? Well, the first (female) chakra is closely connected to our clan awareness. The focus is not on love, friendliness or tenderness, but loyalty. The clan does not concentrate on individual needs, but the preservation and survival of the collective and the family. Even when the clan talks about love and solidarity, it really means compulsory clan formation which has nothing to do with affection or love.

AS A WOMAN YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD OR READ SENTENCES LIKE…

  • “You don’t really love me otherwise you would visit the family and me more often.”
  • “If you really loved me, you would not have a problem with my parents.”
  • “The family must stick together, and therefore you will care for my sick mother.”
  • “You cannot possibly go away and leave us alone for some days.”
  • “You will not make this decision on your own, but we will do it together.”
  • “Surely you cannot get together with these women! Who knows how they are going to influence you.”
  • “As long as you live in my house, you will do what I tell you.”
  • “Self-confident women are egotistic.”
  • “You cannot have a therapy, otherwise you might want a divorce.”

Let’s go back to the crabs. If one of them wants to leave the bucket, the others react in the same way as a woman who wants to free herself from tight family patterns. There it’s normal for family members also to try and sabotage – at least in the beginning – her efforts.

WHAT HAS THIS GOT TO DO WITH THE FIRST CHAKRA?

Our first chakra is influenced by education during the early years, for example by your family, belonging to a certain race, the social status we grow up in, as well as all the influences of our clans which have been passed on from generation to generation.

It has not got much to do with heredity. More important is the collective morphologic field of awareness of our family of origin, where the principles of our clan are imprinted.

Most families do not intend to hurt their members deliberately. They only pass on their ‘knowledge’ which they consider as the sole truth. Even it is about painful and restrictive structures, they are usually not ready to rethink them or let them go. “We have always done it like this…” Which woman does not know this sentence?

This clan awareness or clan suppression can go so far that mothers or families do not believe their daughters who have been sexually harassed, raped or forced into incestuous actions. How often is the perpetrator more likely to be seen as innocent than the affected woman. And this does not only apply to misogynous cultures.

TYPICAL TOPICS THAT ARE RELATED TO THE FIRST FEMALE CHAKRA…

…are at the same time the basis for typical female disease patterns:

  • inherited problems from the line of ancestors or clan
  • unresolved problems with the parents
  • incest (also applies to the second chakra)
  • abuse or neglect during childhood
  • restrictive beliefs that have been passed on over generations (e.g. You are a stupid/bad/useless girl; you should be ashamed of your body; men are always first; you are a girl and do not need to study; women have to serve the family/men, etc.)

IMBALANCES IN THE FIRST FEMALE CHAKRA

The following table (after C.N. Shealy and C.M. Myss, The Creation of Health, 1983) shows the disorders that may arise, after the female chakra has been weakened over a long period of time.

organs mental and emotional area physical disorders
first chakra physical support of the body

hip joints

sacrum

safety and security in the world;

inability to satisfy essential needs;

lacking assertiveness;

longing for a home;

no support  by others

chronic pains in the lower back

sciatica

varicose veins

tumour/cancer in the rectum

HOW TO BALANCE THE FIRST FEMALE CHAKRA?

There are various different ways, such as:

  • physical exercises or yoga on the energetic level
  • with the help of body-energy-work
  • with the help of meditation
  • on the emotional level through talk therapy, family settings, kinesiology, astrological counselling, etc.
  • on the mental level through positive thinking, mental training, etc.
  • on the spiritual level through transformation of karmic blockages or oaths with the help of spiritual tools

(1) The Japanese scientist Michio Kushi (1926 – 2014), a leading authority on macrobiotics and energetics, pointed out that the centripetal force of the earth ascends our body through the feet.

Women

HOW TO DETECT EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION

We are all more or less, emotionally manipulated by others, or wrapped around their fingers. But, on the other hand, we also know exactly how it works to achieve something the other one does not really want. We already knew how to do this when we were small. Think back to the time when you were a little girl. I am sure you knew what to do to get another ice-cream, or stay out longer in the evening.

Back then you unconsciously used mechanisms which were so effective that adults surrendered to your wishes. It is all the more surprising then that we do not notice as adults when someone tries to force their will upon us. This happens so subtly that we can only see it afterwards (if at all).

AT FIRST SIGHT IT APPEARS HARMLESS, BUT THEN …

It is one thing to captivate one’s father with a small girl’s charm until we get what we want. But once we are grown up, we are never satisfied. Then it is not about chocolate, but about putting pressure on somebody else.

Emotional manipulation is a slow process which we are not aware of at the beginning. Only when we start to feel uncomfortable because others intimidate us with their tears, screams or by withholding their love, do we notice that there is something wrong. Exactly: we think there is something wrong with US. But in reality the problem lies in the others.

The weaker one’s self-esteem, the easier it is to manipulate us, the more we feel guilty if we do not meet the other one’s expectations. And the harder we try to make everything better in order not to disappoint the other one.

THIS IS THE WAY YOU CAN RECOGNIZE EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION

There are clear signs and hints that show someone is manipulating you; and sometimes this manipulation can happen subconsciously. It is often a manipulation pattern which we have seen from our parents and copied. It used to be normal and, therefore, we did not think about it.

It is well established that we women are more easily manipulated than men. Over centuries women were at the mercy of social pressure and the moods of their male companions. They did not dare to neglect the claims of the male dominated society. Although in the 21st century we have discovered the old patterns and feel equal, we still fall back into the innate or acquired behaviour patterns of our mothers and grandmothers. This might be based on the fact that at the genetic level these behaviour patterns have been passed on through generations of women. And on the energetic level through the morphologic field.

THIS IS THE WAY YOU CAN NOTICE SOMEONE IS TRYING TO WRAP YOU ROUND THEIR LITTLE FINGER

Now we come to the six typical characteristics of emotional manipulation which are all connected:

  • You are faced with demands which are at the beginning quite subtly put, for example, “I could borrow your car, couldn’t I?”
  • First you show some resistance or say NO. It might sound like this, “I don’t want to lend my car, not to anybody!”
  • The NO is not accepted and so pressure is put on you. It may sound like this, “You do love me, don’t you? Why can’t I use your car?”
  • If this does not help, the pressure is increased and, subsequently turns into a threat. In our case it might be, “If you refuse such a tiny thing like lending your car, I feel forced to think about finishing our relationship!”
  • Depending on the personality, there is either an end to putting pressure on, and the manipulator has to realize he can’t get any further, or, the next round starts. The victim can’t see any possibility other than giving in. “Well, if you really think so, then take the car. I want to have a harmonious relationship. This is the most important thing for me.”
  • Giving in lays the foundation of repeating the manipulation. If the manipulated person does not do anything against it, this situation is repeated in different areas of life. This goes on until the victim changes behaviour, forcing the manipulator to change his manipulative behaviour pattern. Maybe the relationship is even ended.

In one of my next blog from this series I will describe how to recognize people who successfully keep manipulating others.

Forward, Susan; Frazier, Donna: Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

Women

THE RED MOON OR: THE FEMALE MENSTRUAL CYCLE (1)

When we talked about ‘Auntie Mona from Arizona’ as young girls, this was the secret word for our menstruation. It totally got on our nerves, as we felt restricted in our freedom of movement. Many of us suffered from physical problems during this time.

MENSTRUATION: SACRED OR UNCLEAN?

What we did not know as girls (we were much too young and had not received any information from our mothers): the time of menstruation was recognized and respected in ancient cultures, and  women developed certain practices to handle these strong energies in a creative way.

However, patriarchal societies discredited menstruation, as they considered this feminine power as dangerous. So the feminine cycle, which was once sacred, became something unclean. These taboos concerning menstruation are not at all restricted to primitive societies or the past, but still exist in various religions and social classes.

CONSCIOUS EXPERIENCE

A spiritual awareness which affects an increasing number of women, causes a totally new view of the menstrual cycle. Therefore, the energies during the menstrual cycle should be consciously accepted and not suppressed. This means:

  • allowing mood fluctuations on the energetic and emotional level
  • giving way to the inner need to retreat
  • enjoying the development of a stronger feminine awareness
  • noticing the harmony between the cycle of the moon and one’s own cycle
  • etc.

In her book ‘Red Moon. Understanding and using the creative, sexual and spiritual gifts of the menstrual cycle’ Miranda Gray describes four different energies that are noticeable during the menstrual cycle. I will tell you more about it in my next blog.

WHAT DO YOU RESPOND TO?

Read my questions and consider the feelings they arouse. Maybe you feel like writing down your thoughts:

  • What were you shown and told as a girl about menstruation?
  • Can you remember your first menstruation?
  • How do you feel about your days of menstruation?
  • Do you suppress your menstruation or do you consciously experience it?
  • Do you envy men because they do not suffer from the strains of menstruation?
  • Can you feel different qualities of your energies during your menstrual cycle (ovulation, after ovulation, menstruation, time before the next ovulation)?

WITH THE POWER AND WISDOM OF OUR FEMININE PRIMORDIAL NATURE

It is time to look at our menstrual cycle with different eyes. Society has gradually turned towards masculine requirements over the last decades, and we women subordinated our needs to the demands of a society dominated by males. We have more or less locked our menstruation away because it was obstructive to our physical performance. But a growing feminine awareness  has arisen amongst us women.

As soon as we recognize our menstrual cycle as a basic feminine source of energy and feminine spiritual awareness, the menstrual cycle turns into an appreciated part of our lives which we do not want to miss out on.

Women