As my period starts, my world slows down. I cancel my appointments, prepare my heat pack and sleep. This is sacred time as I enter my Red Tent. I sleep a deep, heavy sleep, where I drift between this world and the deeply unconscious.
As my body gives up my blood, I am aware of my perceptions changing and my senses deepening. Today I bleed heavily, it’s exhausting and almost like a religious rite. It cleanses me, prepares me for the new and puts the past behind me. It drains me and renews me.
In my sleep I stand on a hilltop, behind me lies my past and ahead is my future. As I look behind me I can see the events of my life that have made me who I am. I can see my ancestors, the women whose heritage I carry.
As my pain subsides I connect with my foremothers and relive their experiences with them. Their joys, their tears and their lessons. Breathing deeply I let these impressions and memories flood through me and fill me up. As I breathe out I become aware of being not one woman, but all these women at the same time. I am an aggregate of all my foremothers. They live on in me.
Slowly I turn in my sleep and look to the future. I am using my mothers’ eyes now, staring, scrying, through time. I can see what is to be in the far, far future when my body is dust and I have ceased to be.
There will still be love and laughter then, Spring will give way to Summer and Autumn just as it does now. Winter will come with its quiet peace and let Spring emerge when she is ready.
The menstrual cycles of women are a part of this wheel of time now, as they were in ancient days and will be in the future. Some things don’t change.
Being a woman includes being tuned into the timelessness of life, of being part of all the women that have been and those that are yet to come.
The Red Tent is within us, and will appear when needed. It shelters us, nourishes us and teaches us according to each situation
As I sleep I gradually return to the present, filled with promises of what is to be and memories of a distant past. Darkness falls outside and the day is over, as my blood flow quietens from a torrent to a trickle.
It is a heavy process, I am so weary. So many things have happened, as the world slowed down for me to bleed. Feeling like a priestess in some magic rite, I slowly rise to shower and eat.
The heaviest day has now passed, my work is done and I rest. And I sleep, a restful, restorative sleep so that when I awake in the morning I am again a young maiden, no longer a crone. Such is the magic of womanhood, such is the magic of life.