In this episode of Taking Back Birth, Maryn talks about the Sacred Blood Mysteries and how they have been lost in our modern patriarchal society, as well as how we can remember and honor them.
How can we help women connect to this deeper knowledge we all have within that can support us with our births and mothering? To dive into that question we must first understand more about the Sacred Blood Mysteries.
Download this podcasts transcript
What are the Sacred Blood Mysteries?
All five mysteries are natural physiological processes. Although the origins are unclear, there was an ancient understanding about them and rituals to honor and protect them.
- Menarche – first bleed
- Pregnancy and Birthing
Maryn describes the amazing and wondrous fact that women can bleed with no injury. In the past women were seen as magic – holders of this incredible power.
Why is the sight and thought of blood so powerful and what did our ancestors understand?
- Blood is a source of personal power
- Blood is life in its simplest form
- The uterus is a sacred temple
- Menstral blood is life giving
- Women were considered clairvoyant and connected to another dimension when bleeding, and their wisdom was respected and protected within their community
- Rituals and rites were in place to protect and celebrate the blood mysteries
- The word ritual comes from the Sanskrit work rtu, meaning menses. So ritual comes from the word for menses!
What is happening in our world today?
Maryn started to wonder about why people are so scared of blood during birth, postpartum, and with miscarriages. In the past these events were surrounded in mystery and now they are cloaked in fear. Maryn references midwife Elizabeth Davis and discusses the transition from matriarchal to patriarchal society as a cause of the fear and shame around women bleeding. The biggest tragedy of all, says Maryn, is these mysteries aren’t being seen as mysteries and deserving of our attention at all. There is a cultural denial of women’s moon time, birth, and loss for as long as the patriarchal model has been around.
Bleeding is now:
- Seen as unclean
- Viewed as shameful
- Often not recognized at all
- Controlled with pills
- Seen as a nuisance
- Felt as embarrassing
We are repressing our power and hurting ourselves physically and emotional, and Maryn believes this is the bind we are in when it comes to birth. It can help explain why there is no simple way to help connect women with their innate wisdom – there is a strong repression of a woman’s own personal magic! If women don’t understand the Sacred Blood Mysteries it’s very hard to reach them when it comes to birth. In our world, blood is seen as shameful and gross. Our knowledge, wisdom, and rituals are suppressed. Maryn discusses how blood is seen as chaos in our modern lives, as something needing to be controlled. Even home birth midwives are treating blood during birth with fear, even though the majority of the time it is normal.
How can we remember the mystery?
Bringing knowledge, wisdom, and ritual back can look like anything you want! Any kind of celebration and honoring can help bring the change we need for ourselves and our children.
How can we remember and acknowledge all five blood mysteries?
- Learn more ourselves – use online resources and books
- Connect what you learn to your heart – what feels right?
- Explore your own beliefs and feelings on bleeding
- Consider how your religion or spiritual beliefs align with what you learn
- Examine which feelings and beliefs are yours and which are cultural
- Find ways to accept the power and life in bleeding
Maryn invites you to share your thoughts on the blood mysteries and how we can incorporate them into teachings and our communities. Please feel free to comment below!
Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast and any others please leave a review on iTunes.
Check out all that Indie Birth has to offer online:
- Visit our website https://www.indiebirth.com
- Join our Wise Woman Circle https://indiebirth.org/circle/
- Check out Indie Birth Midwifery School http://www.indiebirthmidwiferyschool.org
- Explore our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/indiebirth/
Podcast (taking-back-birth): Download (Duration: 42:24 — 30.6MB)
Thank you so much for this! Empowering!
Where can I find your podcast on Moon circles that you mentioned here? LOVE
Thanks! All of the podcasts can be found here. The one you are looking for is called “Sacred Blood”.
Love it. My oldest daughter will start her cycles within the next couple of years, and has always hated the sight of blood. I’m trying to teach her the idea that in this case, blood is a sign of good health, and not something to be afraid of. But that isn’t a dominant cultural idea for sure.
I started simply when my daughter was roughly 9/10 and I was having a cycle. She would occasionally accompany me to the bathroom. Once she did notice the blood and all I had to say is “oh that’s good blood, it means Mommy can give life.” She needed nothing more. This daughter happened to start her cycles early and intuitively I felt it coming. I pulled her aside some to further discuss it and she was not afraid at all. She embraced it! She was overjoyed to know she could be a mother some day! How wonderful.
I must add one not so politically correct comment. I loved how it is mentioned here to consider how your religion aligns with what you learned. We are devout traditional Catholics and very much open to life. Historically there has been sad confusion and misunderstanding surrounding the church, a seemingly patriarchal institution. But we believe God has an order to things and when men are ordered to God, they embrace women as holy vessels, givers of life and to be treasured and respected as beautiful. This is the Catholic Church I know. I recently read the very most awesome book For the Love of Mothers by Lisbeth Berger—a German midwife during WWI. An incredible account of how much the church supported women and the sanctity of life. Women were not seen, ever, as dirty. They were celebrated! And the church paid for the instruction of midwives for the villages. Homebirth abounded and thrived and so did women. I strongly recommend this book as the accounts of the births are riveting! Amazing, truly! I hate that somewhere along the line, the Church has been viewed so wrongly.
Anyway, excellent post!