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The ritualistic importance of menstruation and menstrual blood

From: catherine yronwode 
Newsgroups: alt.magick.tantra,alt.lucky.w
Subject: Re: The ritualistic importance of menstruation and menstrual blood
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 11:03:37 -0800
Organization: Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
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Yvonne Jonsson wrote:
> I am a student of Religious Studies at Stockholm University, Sweden,
> and I am currently writing a paper on menstruation as a physical
> connection to spirituality and its prominent role in ritual and
> worship! 

This topic has spun off several interesting threads about the relative
value of book-learning versus direct experimentation in magical
practices, but few folks are responding to the questions. Being on the
rag today, as i write, i think i shall take a go at it, then...

> The physical substance of menstrual blood, what significance does it
> have for you and what role, if any, does it play in your rituals
> and/or spell casting?

I use menstrual blood to anoint idols (statues of deities), amulets, and
curios. For instance, i have used it to dress lodestrones in spells for
sexual attraction and bonding. In the African-American hoodoo tradition,
as well as in Sicilian folk-magic, menstrual blood served to a man in
his coffee or tea is a sovreign recipe for capturing his sexual
attention. I have done this often, with uniformly good results. I have
directly fed gobbets of menstruum to my lover, from my fingers, as one
might feed a pet. This was done to bind him, but to avoid the sneakiness
of slipping it into his drinks -- i want him to KNOW how much i want him
to be mine, and to know that i am working the spell on him right out in
the open. (As the old slogan for the Steak-and-Shake drive-in chain
reads: "In sight -- it must be right!")  

> Are there any rituals, not necessarily involving the physical blood,
> connected with the menstrual state?

Karezza is a sexual-metaphysical system in which intercourse during
menstruation (not involving blood per se, but taking advantage of the
woman's typically increased level of desire) is perceived as a "rite" in
the mystical sense. One karezza writer, John William Lloyd, who
advocated abstinence from orgasm, declared that during "the woman's time
of great desire" (e.g. at the outset of her period) she should be
allowed to have all the orgasms she wants and that the man should go
along qwith her and come too. So Lloydrecognized the menstrual period as
qualitatively different from the rest of the woman's cycle, in terms of
the performance of a spiritual sex act. As a practitioner of karezza, i
find Lloyd's advice valuable and am always glad when my partner follows

> During the time of your menstruation, how are you affected 
> spiritually and how, if this applies to you, would you describe its 
> role as a tool of communication with the spiritual and/or the 
> Deities?

I am focussed on sexual desire the first day of my period, and since i
worship in a sexual-spiritual way, the lines of communication are
definitely open! 
> If there is anything more you would like to add I would be very
> grateful for that also!

I suggest that you read more about the uses of menstrual blood in
folk-magic; the "ceremonial high magickians" of the late Victoriaan era
(including Aleister Crowley and his cohorts) were too prudish to deal
with this matter as anything other than antinomian and rule-breaking.
They found it exhilerating in proportion to the degree to which they
judged it to be daring, provocative, and naughty. In folk-magic,
menstrual blood is a straightforward tool of spell-casting. 

If you study folk-magic you will quickly learn that in virtually every
culture there are spells that make  use of ALL of our bodily effluvia
and detritus, including the amniotic sac (caul) of a baby, spit, semen,
tears, urine, feces, head hair, pubic hair, and nail clippings. In the
light of the universality of bodily effluvia and detritus as tools of
magic, the singling out of menstrual blood is more rationally approached
on the basis of its intended EFFECT (generally spells of sex and love)
than on the basis of its ORIGIN (female bodies). There is no question
that menstrual blood is "female" and has a role in goddess centered
worship, but it is only one of a panoply of human bodily effluvia and
detritus that is given a religio=mystical role in magic.   

catherine yronwode

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