Today, I want to talk about blood. So much of my work with my dedicated Deities is about water, flowing, and healing. So much of my own personal work with healing myself is about water and how it flows in me. This flow is so much of what constitutes the great organism which is the biosphere of the entire Earth! The small piece of the Earth’s life which is my body is in the form of an animal, a mammal, a human being, a woman. Therefore, the form which this flow of life takes within me is the form of blood.
Our dysfunctional mainstream culture has normalized fear of, disrespect for, and disgust with blood. We have been taught to associate blood with violence, injury and death, which is exactly backwards. Blood is about life and the power to create life, and what connects us to those who have lived before us. Some people have now become obsessed with blood in the form of idolizing fictional vampires. Some people, particularly adolescent girls struggling to form a coherent identity, deliberately wound themselves, feeling some kind of comfort and satisfaction from feeling their own pain and seeing their own blood. I think that these people are looking for their lost connection with life - the ideas which they have been presented with about how life works are so empty that they look for the glamour of death instead. I believe that what they really need, and that what everyone needs, is to recognize the sacredness of what life really is, and I believe that there is no better symbol of that than blood. I believe that discomfort with the idea of blood is closely connected with misogyny and disrespect for all life.
Reading The Women's Wheel of Life, by Elizabeth Davis and Carol Leonard (both practicing midwives), particularly the chapter entitled The Blood Sister, had such a profound effect on me, it helped me to understand where my Priestess path was taking me, what form my work must take, and how it was all part and parcel of my life as a whole. I was astonished to find that I had been harbouring shame about my own body and blood, even as I thought of myself as a proud, self-respecting woman. I realized that to respect myself as a woman, I must fully accept and respect my own body and blood, including menstrual blood.
I am passionately attached to the idea of showing public respect and reverence for blood in my work as a High Priestess. I have developed a great respect and reverence for blood and all that it can mean. I want to see a world where all people respect their own living bodies, their own blood, and everyone else’s. I particularly want to see a world of women who are not the least bit ashamed of their own blood, but who are proud to be alive, to have bodies, and to thrive by taking care of their own bodies with great love and respect.
Imagine a world where children grow up knowing how their own bodies and the bodies of adults work, where menstrual blood is a fact of life to be taken for granted or even celebrated, not a shameful secret or a surprise to be sprung on girls just as they are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be. Imagine that in this same world, violence is rare and is considered truly shocking. Imagine that children could grow up comfortable with the idea that blood is always flowing within our bodies because we are alive, and that it sometimes flows from some of our bodies as part of the dynamic process which makes new life possible. Yes, occasionally, those children might also witness blood flowing from an accidentally cut finger or a scraped knee, but even so, the word “bloodshed” would automatically bring to their minds part of the process of life being lived, with no connotation of violence, injury, or the untimely end of life.
A close friend of mine told me that while she was in the hospital after the birth of her first child, she was proud to be able to make her own way from her hospital bed to the bathroom, but was then mortified when her blood-soaked pad fell on the bathroom floor and she was unable to bend down and pick it up or clean up the mess. When she apologized to the nurse on duty about the mess she had left on the floor, the nurse laughed and said “Don’t apologize for that! That’s the good kind of blood! We like to see that kind of blood around here!” My friend realized that for someone who works all day around illness, injury, and the aftermath of violence, the blood of childbirth was actually a source of joy! I invite you, now, to find joy in the pulsing of the living blood within your veins!
One with the Flow of Life,
Wishbringer Molly Blue Dawn, High Priestess of Serendipity