The Blood Mysteries The Blood Mysteries

The Blood Mysteries

By Isabella Gillespie

The Blood Mysteries The Blood Mysteries

Bleeding, is our Rite.

"The word ‘ritual’ comes from ‘rtu,’ sanskrit for menses. The earliest rituals were connected to the woman’s monthly bleeding. The blood from the womb that nourished the unborn child was believed to have mana, magical power. Women’s periodic bleeding was a cosmic event, like the cycles of the moon and the waxing and waning of the tides. We have forgotten that women were the conduit to the sacred mystery of life and death." — Elinor Gadon 


Women undergo an initiation in their first blood rites. Whether embraced, celebrated in ritual or not; it is a rite of passage. However she was received by herself, her family and by her community was the initiation. The imprint that anchored a set of beliefs around what it means to be a woman and how being a woman is seen and received in her society. What part of her is acceptable and what part of her, is not.  

Lets take on the taboo.


Blood, menstruation, vagina, vulva, cunt, whore, bitch, witch, pussy...

dickhead, knob, asshole...

How many words about our bodies are used against us? 
We use the body as our means to insult one another, ignorantly perpetuating the insecurities so many of us hold towards our bodies. 

Words that are charged negatively, are golden arrows to where power is hidden.

That is why language is so fascinating, how we choose to communicate is a reflection of our consciousness, indicating what beliefs we hold and those that we have let go of. Many of the words we use are born from a past that no longer serves us, no longer represents us. Our language carries its own history, it is his story. It is time to break the patterns and break into new territory in our conversations, in how we show up in the world.

Menarche, Menstrual, Menopause

Even our most feminine, sacred, intimate initiation rites have been painted and projected from the 'patriarchy'. Where the illusion lies is that the patriarchy isn't a hierarchy of men, it is a hierarchy of boys in mens bodies who have not yet had the opportunity, guidance, initiation to come into their manhood. The damage in our world is not of a gender blame, it is a complex web of subtly that we are a part of. Yet, it is not how we have been oppressed that we should focus on; but whether we choose to continue to believe in that which oppresses us. And it starts with the first blood.


For many women, our first blood was not an experience of celebration but one of embarrassment and shame. Many of us felt we needed to hide our changing bodies, especially from the men in our lives. Why should we be ashamed of our becoming woman? Of our incredible ability to bring new life into the world? We become vessels of the mystery, the untouchable sacred element of life. We become portals for new souls to enter and we grow entire complex and intricate systems of human bodies, with every element needed to create, grow, birth and sustain new life. Even the most atheist minds are moved by the wonder of birthing a child. We are reawakened into the wonder.

At menarche a woman meets her power,

During menstruation she practices her power,

At menopause she becomes her power.

My teacher Jane Hardwick Collings taught me this.


Menarche is an initiation into the secret mysteries. It is our greatest gift to bleed. And yet, there is a heavy weight over our womanhood and the space we feel to express it within society.

Blood shame leads to body shame.

I have had the pleasure of diving deep into these mysteries with large groups of women of all ages, who have shown me how this imprint carries throughout the course of a woman’s life.

It is time to bring this information out of the darkness and into the light.

Menarche is a pivotal moment in a woman’s life, it is an experience of imprint; whether our memory is clear or we have completely forgotten; the body remembers.

First blood anchors a girl into a new truth and journey into meeting herself, every month. Understanding how she changes, understanding what changes her. How things in her life can affect her cycle, how much pain she has, whether she comes late or early, whether she sleeps or whether she cries. She has to learn to understand the cycles of her lunar calendar, with its rhythms of fertility and infertility; creating eggs and letting them go.

Every month our bodies expectation of holding new life comes with the grief of unfulfilled potential. It is a continual cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Happening both on a physical level and throughout the emotional and psychological bodies. What has occurred is a loss of knowledge of how important it is to learn our unique imprint, our cycle, our rhythm. Ovulation is a time of heightened creativity, energy and the desire to be out in the world. women emanate an aura of magnetism in this time. This is nature’s clever way to ensure the continuation of our species. Whilst bleeding is a time to go inward, to withdraw from the outside world, to honour and give space to our feelings and contemplations of our inner worlds.

To Know Thyself is to Know Thy Cycle.

We live in a wounded body.  When you do not love, the very thing you are bound to by blood, bone and flesh; you are inebriated by a sense that somehow there is something wrong with you. That there is something a little off, which we feel needs to remain hidden, or else the world will discover the whole truth of us and we will be rejected by the invisible scales that measure our worthiness.

We think our bodies aren’t capable, they are not beautiful, they should remain hidden and so the deep subconscious roots go into our sense of self that we are not enough. We do not feel at home in the house we live in. It is the sacred place where we have the pleasure of experiencing what it is to be human, what it is to physically feel, what it is to walk, to run, to orgasm, to bleed, to be ripped apart and healed again.

We bleed, because we are walking miracles. 


Guide to practicing Your Power

1. Chart your cycle

Either through a Moon Diary, or the app Clue.

2. Make Blood Prayers

Offer your blood back to the earth, to the water with gratitude and prayer for what you are letting go. Offer your blood for the healing of humanity, for those you love, dedicate your blood to someone or something.

3. Feed Your Plants

Blood contains three primary plant macronutrients—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. All amazing for the plant kingdom.

4. Drink Your Blood

Sacred and Powerful way of deeply connecting to your body

5. Create Blood Art 

paint with its magical colours

6. Cover Your Body With It

It is good for your skin!

7. Notice Your Dreams

On the 3rd night of your cycle, we are more likely to have prophetic dreams

8. Create a MoonLodge

Cover your bedroom door with red string, flowers ect to honour your bleeding time 

9. Keep Your Blood on the Altar

Recognise your blood as sacred upon your altar, use it to manifest your dreams.

10. Wear Red Jewellery

Keep a special piece of jewellery for your moon cycle, so those you know you out in the world may honour your energy levels.


1 comment

  • I liked the article over all, I just think it’s a pity that you associate the suffix “men” (from the Greek and Latin roots of the noun MOON) with the English word for men. They have nothing to do with each other and patriarchy does not show in these words at all. They’re all related to the moon, thus feminine in their core.

    Rebecka on

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