Blood is like the magic of life, and one of the earliest sacraments used by humankind. Blood affirms life and also reminds us of death. It’s passed down in our bones and bodies as a link to the lineage of our ancestors. Our sacred blood connects us to the ones before and weaves our DNA in past present and future. It bonds us with mama earth and has been given to her as fertilizer in years passed, being key element in woman’s development of agriculture. Just as in Taoist philosophy males sperm is seen as a form of their life force, so too is woman’s monthly blood. As is done in ‘Red Tent’ ceremonies, filling a chalice with menstrual blood is not only a way to honor our cycle, but to feed it back to the earth paying respect to the larger process in which we simply play a part. This ritualistic act of replenishment is related to snake medicine and the ancient symbol of Ouroboros, a serpent eating its own tail, which acknowledges that ‘the all is one’, and that small deaths or sheddings can actually be what nourishes the whole.
In matri-focal societies the snake has always been an ally of the goddess. In ancient Eqypt the hieroglyph for snakes also meant goddess! Priestesses used snake venom to induce a trance state as a gateway into the void, a space as vast as the sky on a new moon. “Kundalini” is also connected with feminine & serpent energy, and is believed to lie coiled like a snake at the base of the spine until awaken. This Sanscrit term identifies the rising of potential energy and oneness consciousness. The kundalini serpent has been shown as a spiraling snake or 2 that wrap around, spin and activate each chakra along the spine. The symbol of this rising serpent along a linear spine relates to the Rod of Asclepius and Caduceus: Two Ancient Greek Symbols. The Rod of Asclepius is associated with medicine, consisting of a single serpent coiled around a rod. The Rod of Caduceus is two serpents coiled around Hermes’ walking stick, which is crowned with wings. The caduceus is a symbol of commerce and negotiation, two realms in which balanced exchange and reciprocity are recognized as ideals. We could trace the pairing of wings with serpents even further back to the Meso-American Aztec God Quetzalcoatle, which translates into the “feathered serpent,” who was ruled by planet Venus and related to the wind, arts, crafts and knowledge.
Seeking knowledge, celebrating our body’s cycles and embracing our fears IS embracing the power of snake medicine. The snake is a symbol of personal power that occurs through the willingness to go through the transformative fires of life, agreeing to be transformed by the experience of living rather than hanging onto the known. Our continuous shedding’s highlight the little deaths we endure throughout life; puberty, fertility, menopause, and the various identities that accumulate and release along our quest towards “Sat Nam, ” true identity. By accepting the naturalness of our truth we deepen our connection to our physical bodies, each other and the world at large. From here, we can heal our wounds, the wounds that are obvious yet hard to actually see. The wounds that lie within our uterus, cervix, vagina…hearts. That lie within the psyche of the rapist, the emotional blocks of the young boy and the self-image of the young girl. We can heal by honoring our cycles and celebrating them through a rite of passage. This IS our birth rite! Rather than stuffing a bleached tampon in it and taking a painkiller, let’s move through the process, stained sheets and all. Ignoring the inevitability of the cycles is denying the potency of our process towards death.
The plants voyeuristically sway to the rhythms of our footsteps. Let’s heal, let’s celebrate; Lets do the work in the suns light and grow in the moon’s glow….Lets dance!