When British menstrual activist Jane Legge uttered these four words, I couldn’t help interrupting her with a guttural and breathy “YES!”
Love your menstrual edge.
“This is so important, and I always forget to mention it,” said Jane, looking at her notes.
The Jungian in me, devoted to the unconscious slipping through in our forgettings, memories, dreams, and menstrual-sexual experiences, perked up its ears. What was it about the words “menstrual edge” that had immediately resonated with me? And what is it to forget its bloody importance?
Jane was just getting started with her Woman’s Wheel workshop, which is the free and traveling gig of her Menstrual Magic Tour around the US. We connected through the bloodlines of the Society of Menstrual Cycle Research, I’d invited Jane to Aletis House, the home of embodyperiod. here in Hudson, NY, to show us her stuff.
During the several hours of her workshop, Jane guided participants through the menstruality paradigm of Alexandra Pope’s Red School. Basically, a model for relating the symbolic embodied energies of the four phases of the menstrual cycle (menstruation, pre-ovulation/follicular, ovulation, luteal/premenstrual), with where and how they intersect with a menstruator’s lived context.
Take away: In the between places of these two life cycles – of body and soul –menstrual edge grows wild.
As my good friend Jordan Shapiro, scholar on edge among other things, has said, edge “is about living your life (and productively contributing to society) in a way that’s more aligned with our unique individual attributes than it is with the collective habitual attitudes.”
Something that is often forgotten is: the menstrual cycle is not just for the sake of reproduction; a menstrual body is not the property of the collective. Said another way, something to remember: life is a integrative experience of body, mind, heart, soul, and the world, and the the menstrual cycle, therefore, is an attribute of one’s unique, embodied individuality.
Jane’s workshop came to a close in a room of faces blushed with the vital, full-bloodied experience of our menstrual edges. Of where the dynamic fullness of who we are arose at each cyclic threshold and trespassed and transformed habitual norms of what we are supposed to feel and do during those times. The effect was indeed magical in the etymological sense of being empowered by the forces that cycle within and move us out and with the world.
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