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  • Sharon Tenuta

A Woman's GPS

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

picture of moon at night
moonlight through the trees

by S. Tenuta (04-'23)

Women say they want to be strong, powerful, empowered, sensitive, successful, and wise. Does this result from having a good education? Does a good education shape our opinions? Do our elder women teach us these tools and characteristics? Do we learn such characteristics from society?

It seems society says one thing and promotes the opposite. What do I mean? It suggests we get educated so we can get a good job or be wise. What does that mean? Does that mean we have to conform to a society that is based on male leadership and virtues? Does it mean we must ignore our womanhood to survive? Does it mean we must jump through society’s classes, exams and licensures in order to be a real woman?

My goodness. I was reflecting and came to believe we women have been duped. We have been ignored. We have been unappreciated. We have been degraded and we have been abused. We have been fooled. I believe we have not been given the tools we need to be strong, powerful, empowered, sensitive, successful and wise women. We have gone to school. We have been educated. We have lived in a society that pictures women on lots of commercials and billboards, yet these pictures are more about satisfying the eyes and desires of man’s vices. We have been trained to be submissive or fearful of not having the desired characteristics. With fear, we can be easily manipulated.

Is there a way to help women really become strong, powerful, empowered, sensitive, successful and wise? Maybe. One way could be for the woman to come to understand her genuine menstrual cycle. If she observes her moods, her desires, her energy levels, her insights, her dreams and her intuition, and she came to learn the meanings of these, she would have more tools to understand herself in a deeper and then a more complimentary and confident way. She could recognize her stages of change during the month and be accepting of these. One book describes a woman’s cyclic changes during her cycle as: Enchantress phase, mother phase, virgin phase and hag phase. Each has special characteristics.

The Hag phase is a special time of withdrawal from society, and into self. This is the time that may begin right before menstruation and end around the time the bleeding stops. This is the slowing down time to reflect and accept how we are so connected to the earth, world and all of creation. This is a fine time to meditate. However, during this time, emotions can be especially sensitive. What messages do young women get about her cycle? Oh, push through. Don’t be a wimp. Ignore your symptoms, take some Tylenol and wear a tampon so no one knows you are menstruating. Keep playing whatever games or sports you are in. These messages do not allow the reflection and down time that would benefit a woman during this part of her monthly cycle.

The virgin phase is the time of new energy and enthusiasm. It is a time to have renewed strength and confidence following the menstrual bleed. She is now feeling energized and able to set new goals. It is also a time of flirtatiousness, fun loving and outgoingness. It is a time of feeling sensuous, sociable, and communicative. Also, the virgin phase emits energies that show the determination to help others less strong or seemingly threatened. The woman can be more independent and able to push through challenging moments confidently. This confidence may seem threatening to the opposite sex.

The mother phase has the characteristics of giving. The woman has so much love and energy that she feels connected to the earth and wants to take care of all she meets, be it people, earth, work, or creatures. She is feeling content, and in harmony with all. She feels self confident and valuable thus offering support, strength and encouragement where needed. The focus is on others. This may be a time of a strong sex drive. It may be a time of incredible dreams and visions.

The enchantress phase is when the woman tends to go more inward with her energies and assessments of self. However, there is increased creative energy which wants to be expressed. This can be a very sensual stage for the woman where she may feel like seducing men, both by tempting or frightening with a sense toward self -satisfaction, causing a more aggressive stage of her cycle. For some, this can cause a person to act less responsibly. Psychic tendencies may become magical with colorful sights. With this phase, women may become more interested in herbalism, healing therapies, astrology, or spirituality. It is a phase of restlessness.

Throughout the centuries, it is a wonder how women would collectively create beautiful art. Their energies have been known to heal, to grow plants, to make quilts, to build and manage families, even while raising families. If we as a society relearn the strengths of the menstruating woman, we may find it wise to encourage her to experience the fullness of the menstruating cycle, to recognizing its wisdom that can be learned through observation and to accept menstruation as a gift.

What messages are sent to the culture through media? Don’t feel pain, if you do, cover it up with a drug. Don’t have children, the world is too populated. Do take a morning after sex pill to be sure not to be with child. Be sexual and promiscuous with as many partners as you can, and here are the tools to help you not get pregnant if you are sexually active.

If these are unnatural routes of nature, then it seems these would have negative consequences. And many people do report consequences. There are health problems and hormone imbalances. There are cancers and emotional depressions. There are abortions, abortion pills and shots. There are people who regret actions after realizing they stopped life while not weighing all the options. These less than healthful solutions, have a cost on the medical world and the mental health of the people in the world.

In accepting the phases of a woman’s cycle and menstruation, business, society and culture could adjust its goals around the woman’s phases and truly accept women’s moods, insights, creativity, and meditative modes. Businesses and cultural activities would learn from their reflective or wise insights and not feel threatened. Women could be allowed their mood and hormonal changes as wisdom from the universe. Realizing the body is wise, the painful moments, could be recognized and addressed as a message sent to a woman to slow down and reflect on her personal needs through meditation, prayer, or sleep. Women would no longer have to take on jobs as if they are working a male role. They could truly then feel strong, powerful, empowered, sensitive, successful, wise and appreciated in a wholesome world family.

Bk. Red Moon by Miranda Gray


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