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Menstruation Magic

Updated: Mar 22

Part of the important work of normalizing and celebrating our bodies, includes curating a better appreciation for the magic and beauty that can be found in our menstrual cycles. Personally, I process a lot of my emotions and experiences through art, and so I wanted to highlight a few works I have made that focus on this theme of 'Menstruation Magic', and perhaps share some inspiration for more period artwork to come. But first let me share some ideas to help you get started tapping into your own 'Menstruation Magic'.

Activities to Tap into Menstruation Magic

  1. Menstrual Art Journaling: Dedicate a journal or sketchbook to explore your feelings, experiences, and sensations throughout your menstrual cycle. Use a variety of artistic mediums such as drawing, painting, collage, or mixed media to express yourself.

  2. Create a Menstrual Mandala: Design a mandala inspired by the phases of your menstrual cycle. Use colors, shapes, and symbols that resonate with you and represent different aspects of your cycle, such as menstruation, ovulation, and premenstrual phase.

  3. Menstrual Poetry or Spoken Word: Write poetry or spoken word pieces that reflect your relationship with menstruation. Explore themes of empowerment, resilience, and the sacredness of the menstrual cycle in your writing.

  4. Menstrual Rituals: Establish rituals or ceremonies to honor and celebrate your menstrual cycle. This could include lighting candles, practicing meditation or yoga, or creating a sacred space for reflection and connection with your body.

  5. Menstrual Movement: Engage in gentle movement practices such as dance, tai chi, or qigong to connect with your body and embrace the energy of your menstrual cycle. Allow your movements to flow intuitively and expressively.

  6. Menstrual Collage Art: Collect images, words, and materials that resonate with your experience of menstruation. Create collages that reflect the different aspects of your menstrual cycle and celebrate the beauty of your body's natural rhythms.

  7. Menstrual Altar or Shrine: Create a special altar or shrine dedicated to honoring your menstrual cycle. Include meaningful objects, symbols, and offerings that evoke a sense of reverence and appreciation for your body and its cycles.

These activities are designed to encourage self-expression, reflection, and celebration of the magic and beauty inherent in the menstrual cycle. By tapping into your own "Menstruation Magic," you can cultivate a deeper connection with your body and embrace the transformative power of menstruation.

Personal Work with Menstruation Magic Themes:

The following video shows me painting a commission a good friend of mine asked me to make. She wanted to push me to make a painting a little outside of my comfort zone, stepping into the darker and creeper parts of ourselves. She asked me to make something a little eerie. The first thing that came to my mind was to paint her with teeth and blood on the vulva. From there I started to incorporated mushrooms and poisonous plants into the painting. Mushrooms felt like the perfect choice. They aid in the process of decay that leads into renewal, a parallel to our menstrual cycles.

The first painting I made that explored the topic of menstruation is my 'Period Witch' oil painting (see image below). After having enjoyed painting for many years I finally got the opportunity to take a painting class in 2020 at ASU. I was tasked with painting a vanitas painting. Vanitas is "symbolic work of art showing the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death" -(Wikipedia)

Painting a bloody pad, a full menstrual cup and half used birth control packet came very naturally to me. I added personal witchcraft touches as well, connecting the spooky themes of vanitas reflection on death and decay to power in our bodies ability to shed decaying flesh and start a new every month.

I definitely have plans to explore menstruation through art more, and think it is an important subject to hold space for. So much shame and stigma is attached to our bodies and their natural rhythms and cycles. Choosing to talk about these topics openly is a radical feminist act, and creating art around it helps me facilitate those conversations.

Period Artwork Inspiration:

Judy Chicago's Menstruation Bathroom

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