So what is dirty? Other than your laundry, though you may feel shamefaced by that too. You must have examples jumping to your mind, I know you do, let them arrive. Perhaps dirty is that affair you had, or wish you’d had. Maybe it is the sexuality beyond the sexuality you profess to your partner, the things you would really like to do. Dirty could be your guilt. The thing you said, the way you said it. Your truest dirt may be found in a web of lies and misgivings that you tell the world, that you tell yourself. Maybe your dirt is the grit under your nails, the art you create, and the food you prepare, full fat and astonishing. Your dirty is your humanity. It may be discovered holed up with a host of emotions, lust, greed, passion, excitement, love, hunger, fear, hate, adoration, expectation, envy, empathy… Your dirt, your filth is not the excrement of life, but the enacting of it. The things you regret, the things you most certainly don’t. It is our dark. It is that which captures you even when you try, so hard, to turn from it. It is the dark night of the soul, the questions of existence that sneak up and choke you. It is the fireworks set off, on magical occasion, to enlighten your being.
Whilst divinity… That is allegedly something altogether other. It is the connection to a truer, higher, less than human self. Your divinity is purportedly unsullied, it is prayer, incense and magic. It is your connection to intuition. It is not all ‘the light’ though. That is a myth. It is the depth of feeling, the karma, the justice meted out against all you have felt and done. Divine is your feeling of ‘something more’, your inner knowing, the light at the corner of your eye, the shadow at the end of your bed. Divinity was birthing your children, or losing your mother, or finding a lost lover. It was what you learned, how it shook you, where it took you, emotionally, spiritually, transcendentally. It is the shimmer of enlightenment that raises you up and bounces off your well-intentioned words of comfort and love. Divine is unseen, harder to grasp, but you are a woman, you need not see it, you need simply feel it. Allow yourself to feel it.
Alice Grist is a bestselling spiritual author, artist, tarot professional and mother of two young girls. Her work (in all it’s forms) focuses on empowering real modern women to their intuitive spirit.
Find her at www.alicegrist.co.uk
Ideally, the bleed is a time for rest, for going inward, doing as little as possible and taking good care of ourselves. Many women really honour themselves in their Moontime, by having carved out space and time to truly rest and relax. The reality for some of us though is that life continues as usual, and there can be very little extra time, space or energy to give to our bleeds.
Just recently I’ve been so busy that, on numerous occasions, I lost track of when my blood was coming, so it often surprised me and I found myself completely unprepared for it. Not only had I not allowed myself time in my schedule for rest, but also I could not fully settle in my home as it was neither clean nor tidy and, probably worst of all, I had not shopped or cooked beforehand and, apart from a few sunflower seeds and the odd tin of plums, my cupboards were literally bare! This lack of preparation manifested as stress during the bleed and compounded unhelpful feelings of exhaustion and frustration.
It doesn’t have to be like that though. With forethought and a little planning it is possible to really nourish oneself at this time. Luckily many women have an urge to clean and tidy in the pre-menstrual stage and this is a natural readying for rest. Food is such an important element and it’s wise to stock the cupboards well beforehand. It’s worth making a soup and/or stew that will last a couple of days or have something available in the freezer. There are even some delicious ready meals around these days. The onus is on nourishment and ease.
It’s a good idea to plan and shop for all meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner - as well as any snacks and drinks you’ll need to see you through. Personally, I like things that are warming and easy to digest, so I go for smoothies made from fresh fruits, nuts, seeds and kefir, and then vegetable and soft pulse soups and stews with things like quinoa and tempeh. I don’t know about you, but I can eat like a lioness at this point in the month, so having plenty is good. Sugar-free, dark chocolate makes for a delicious, nutritious treat/snack and nettle tea (fresh is best) is a great drink for bleeding women, restoring the iron in our bodies, with some mint too perhaps, to ease the stomach and help to nourish us from the inside out.
Next month I’ll definitely be heeding my own advice and getting myself sorted for some seriously delicious, restful Moontime!
Cheryl Tipple-Trepat - is a writer, artist and Editor of She Who Knows Magazine.
Autumn arrives and she beckons us home to the hearth - after a Summer season of family holidays, festivals and weddings, I have arrived to the satisfying feeling of landing in the warmth and familiarity of home. It's a great time to begin afresh, with the beginning of the new school year and new courses, it’s a perfect moment to get everything in order - cleaning, making medicines that will see us through the Winter, stocking up cupboards with plums, blackberries and apples, tidying my desk and sorting my paperwork! It's a full and satisfying time.
Lighting the fire and welcoming in the spirit of Autumn, I ask her to hold my family and me in these quieter months that we may be nourished and restored, rested and renewed. It's a great time to commit oneself to a creative project and make your own personal intentions for the journey you intend to travel through the darker months, and where you wish to be when you emerge in the Spring.
Many other creatures are tending their homes too, and in Autumn the spider can be seen in her newly woven web waiting patiently for her Winter store of food. This morning as I walked through the wood, I noticed I had absent-mindedly destroyed quite a few of these meticulously woven webs as I trod my way down the path. Feeling somewhat regretful, I took to stepping over these carefully woven webs so that the spider can catch, not just her food, but also her Winter dreaming.
So, if you are inspired, when your nest is prepared, light the fire and/or candles, fill the air with sensual smells and make intentions, spoken from your heart to the flame, that you may dream through the Autumn months, catch nourishment in the web of your womb and come home to the hearth.
Isabella Lazlo - I am a Mother, a Performance Artist, Writer, Bodywork Practitioner and a Facilitator of the Deep Feminine. I sing and drum with the ancient call of the Earth, awakening and stirring the memory of our ancient, wild roots. I bring the depth of my journey as a woman, alongside a wealth of experience and knowledge in somatic movement, bodywork, creativity and feminine awakening. I am passionate about the intelligence of the moving body and through my performance practice I explore the capacity of my body to speak deeply and directly to women of their own lived experience.