Monthly Mourning

The Lakota believe that when a woman is on her period it is her time of monthly mourning. That her body knows the potential for a new life will be lost and on a very deep and primal level, she mourns that loss. This is their explanation for menstrual mood swings and all of the symptoms patriarchal western medicine link with “PMS.” It makes so much more sense, doesn’t it? When we mourn the loss of someone we cry at strange times, our anger may flare up at the smallest thing, we feel that pain throughout our body. The monthly egg shedding is no different. When my Aunty Charmaine told me about this belief, and why women should be extra careful during the mourning days when doing spiritual ceremonies for themselves or others, I understood why in so many cultures women have a separate space to go during their periods. Women and their energy is extremely powerful; the Sacred Feminine lives in each of our wombs. Many of us are not aware of how powerful we really are until the monthly days of mourning, and usually we end up hurting people because we ourselves are hurting. Aunty Charmaine told me that in the Lakota way a woman cannot become a healer until she is a grandmother. In other words, when her moonblood stops flowing. It is only then that a woman’s natural power can plateau and be harnessed to help others in a safe way. This is a Lakota way that struck a chord with me, and I am waiting as patiently as I can to be of age.

I am also mourning because one of the Stray Cats, Friskie, has been missing for a few days. She was the weakest of the cats, so small and runty. She was constantly wounded by others and could not hunt for herself without getting attacked by her bigger and stronger sister, Duckie, or the many males that prowl around. I can only think that she has died and it makes me sad that someone I have been doing my best to feed and whose silly little elf face would peer at me mewling through the window is gone with such little fanfare. Here and then gone, just like that. It is raining here. The Lakota say that it rains when someone has died so as to wash their tracks from the Earth and help us to start over. I am sure they don’t mean cats, but today was the day I realised Friskie is gone and today it is raining. Poor little Friskie. I pray she didn’t suffer and I pray she had someone to guide her to the Spirit Realm where finally she will always be warm, full-bellied, and have clouds to play around with. I will miss her how I miss so many who are not with me, and it is almost comforting that the missing sensation is always the same no matter where in the world I am.