I was introduced to the concept of working with the energetic and physical shifts that a woman experiences during her monthly period by the book The Red Tent. It’s a fictitious, almost alternative historical account of the life of Dinah, the Biblical figure Jacob’s only daughter. One of the main focuses of the novel centers around activities Dinah and her mothers do in the red tent, which is where the women in their community retreat from the world to rest and relax during their moon cycles. Since then, the topic of specific magical and spiritual activities that I could do during my period kept coming across my path.
In many Pagan communities, the first year a girl gets her cycle marks the beginning of her transition into womanhood. Lots of families will mark this occasion with a ritual or a party a year and a day from the first day of her first period. This can be a woman only ritual, but does not have to be. You have over a year to plan, so involve not only the honoree but also other important women in her life in order to create a special day. During this year of planning, the young woman’s parents or family friends may also want to discuss with her important topics such as the importance of a positive self image and the aspects of healthy romantic relationships.
Once a lady is an adult, there are a wide variety of rituals and spellwork open to her during that time of the month. They are all easily adaptable to personal practice.
One ritual that is perfect for tapping into the cleansing power of lady time is a ritual bath. Now this is different from the ritual cleansing someone does prior to a ritual. A ritual bath is specifically set up to wash away any negativity and energetic messiness and to infuse a person with a particular intention or aspect. Tools you can incorporate into this ritual include essential oils, Epson salt, bubbles, crystals, candles, incense, a book, music, and a glass of wine. Part of why a ritual bath is perfect for this time of the month is that not only does it help cleanse your energetic self, but also alleviates cramps and other nasty symptoms.
Another ritual that I find is good to perform during a women’s cycle is any that calls the divine feminine into your life. This one is really good for any woman who is new to the Path or has had a break from spirituality. These types of rituals are often (but not always) performed near a body of water. Basically, you sit and meditate on the Feminine using the sound of the water as a touchstone. It’s so simple, yet incredible effective.
Spirit creativity is something that can be so powerful during a period. This includes spirit dancing, painting, and writing. Since you’re tapping into such a unique energy, I’ve found that any creative project I do during that time of the month tends to be a true expression of my spirit.
Some magic that is often performed during a period include confidence, love, creativity, and fertility spells. One type of spell women are often tempted to try is blood magic. If you are interested in using blood in spell work, you just need to know that it is extremely effective and should be used sparingly.
For any trans-ladies who want to work with moon magic but fear since they don’t physically get a monthly cycle they can’t, adapt this concept to your needs. I know some ladies on hormone medication, especially when she lives with other women, will have fluctuations that are quite like the moon cycle shift (although the blogs I was looking at to research this topic for trans ladies said if that shift happens you might want to talk to your doctor to fix that). Otherwise, you can mark a portion of the month to dedicate to lady moon cycle magic based on the Dark and New Moon. This is a contentious issue in the Pagan community, but I don’t think the Goddess bars any of her daughters from tapping into her lady power.
Ladies if you have never worked with your cycle’s magic before, do it at least once every cycle for a few months. You will notice a positive shift in your self perception, in your spirituality, and in your life.
© Ariadne Woods