At the mere mention of all things monthly cycle and period, men (and women) cringe and duck for cover. Thanks to the evolution of social media, many have been enlightened and forthcoming with issues concerning menstrual health. Even though we aren’t anywhere near where we have to be, it has not always been like this.
In ancient times, women were segregated and often called evil at that time of the month. Some were subjected to bleeding huts where they were kept for the 3 to 6 days they would bleed; others were not allowed near their family as it was believed they would endanger their lives because of the curse on their heads.
While some were being not so positive, mostly out of sheer ignorance of the whole situation, others were embracing the natural occurrence and even finding uses for it.
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Ancient Egyptians believed that a first menstrual flow meant that the girl was becoming attuned to the Great Goddess. They incorporated menstrual blood into their curative and beauty regime. It was believed that menstrual blood diminished the appearance of stretch marks. It was also used as a tightening and firming formula to cure sagging breasts and thighs as well as used in drugs and ointments for the cure of a variety of ailments.
Priestesses and witches in ancient times revered menstrual blood. They prepared and drank potions containing their menstrual blood in order to enhance their magical powers. They also mixed the blood with semen, a potion known as “drink of immortality” for warriors, so that they were unbeatable on the battlefield.
The most popular and somewhat surprising use of this “sacred blood” is for rituals in the Hoodoo tradition. Hoodoo is a native African-American folk spirituality believed to have been developed from various spiritual acts, traditions and beliefs in West Africa, specifically Congo, Benin, Togo and Nigeria. Also known as “conjure” or “working the root”, Hoodoo is practised among native African-Americans who are descendants of slaves sold from the aforementioned countries during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Hoodoo is characterized by rituals and potions that involve the use of bodily excretions and fluids like saliva, sweat, urine, seminal fluid and menstrual blood.
Some believe it is just purely Pheromone magic, which has been described as the release of pheromones or “scents” to induce the attraction between two animals, strong enough to change emotions and induce sleep. Others have rubbished this claim and find it completely absurd to add body fluids to edibles. That does not stop these hoodoo women from practising and going according to their beliefs. There has been a vast array of accounts women have sworn by this practice yielding positive results.
Mostly, women would mix the blood from their monthly flow with the coffee or tea of their lovers, which they believed is an undeniable recipe to capture his sexual attention. The idea behind this is that the woman’s scent or odour will be locked into her beloved’s sphere of consciousness. After drinking this tea for a number of times, the unsuspecting male then falls helplessly in love with the potion maker and their souls are tied forever. There are alternate recipes that use urine and sweat for these rituals or a mix of fluids. In some cases, the males are aware of this “additive” to their cup of coffee or tea and its consequences. They see it as a blood covenant and have agreed to them and also see it as a way to bond with their loved ones.
It is important to note that practices of this nature are not to be taken lightly as they may have dire moral, legal and spiritual consequences.