Real talk: There is so much magic in bleeding. Eons before Tampax or even our beloved Diva Cups became staples of menstruation, women across cultures have found ways to not only cope with the physical discomfort and emotional upheaval associated with symptoms of a monthly period, but also embrace its power and beauty. (Yes, I said beauty.) Early societies respected the flow and its connection to lunar phases and the natural world, ritualizing bleeding as a time of rejuvenation, purification, rest, and creativity. As patriarchal society bucked the divine feminine, the ancient moon lodges and women’s community circles masterfully illustrated in Anita Diamant’s bestseller, The Red Tent, were replaced with shame and uncleanliness (don’t even get me started on the smear campaign against midwifery…). And just like that, getting your period went from a rite of passage into a new month filled with creative possibility—literally, to create babies and new life!—to a resented curse and feared taboo (hello, misogynistic tropes of the raging PMS beast-woman).
Honoring your period can be a healing, cathartic, and—dare I say—fun way to reconnect with your body, your creative force, and nature. Ahead, from moon charts to massages, more ways to bring back sacred menstruation for the millennial age.