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Menstrual Rites and History

After The Red Tent book came out, a whole Red Tent movement began with women seeking to return to traditions around coming together as women, in a hut/circle or tent and honouring their bleeds in synchronicity.

However, whilst Menstrual huts are reported to have been part of the menstrual rituals of some pre modern African and Native American tribes, the same can not be said for other parts of the world or other points in history. Indeed this type of menstrual ritual was not biblically accurate for the location/culture from which the book was inspired nor should it be considered the historical standard with respect to ancient menstrual rituals.

So, what do we know about different cultural/tribe/community and countries ancient menstrual rites and rituals?

Personally, I have invested the most time in researching my own ancestral rites and rituals and I believe this is a good starting point for everyone - research the customs native to where you live as well as where your people came from.

My linage comes predominately from Viking and Celtic, two ultimately Anglo groups who lived side by side in Europe in 1000 BC.

Whilst many records have been lost with respect to Viking history, anthropologists note that in Viking culture, to be separated or segregated was an ultimate punishment therefore it is extremely unlikely that woman separated from their men into a menstrual hut whilst synching in their bleeds. Segregation as a punishment was in part due to the fact that families and tribes needed to band together for survival. Women were considered to be more in touch with nature at this time of their cycle and as the Vikings were part time farmers, one can only assume that this was drawn on and perhaps utilised in some way.

Celtic menstrual stories are also scarce but they do indicate that women were more likely to be revered and honoured for their bleed rather than shunned. The Celtic word for red also means royal and blood was considered significant as connected to life force, regardless of where it came from. In addition, those who were menopausal were considered the wisest as they had the accumulation of their menstrual blood wisdom within them.

What about you?

What are your ancestral menstrual rites and practices? If you haven't looked into them yet, I'd invite you to start now and consider how these do differ to what modern society's stance is on menstruation today.

It may be common in this day and age for menstruation to be shunned, made secret or considered less than powerful but this is not normal, natural and was certainly not the case for the majority of history.

It's time to return to the old ways.


Want to find out more about what I do as a Coach and Hormone Educator, how we can work together to remap your mindset, find your intuitive strategies and empower yourself with your cycle? Read more here or message me to lock in your spot for a consult or 1:1 coaching. x

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