Reclaiming the Goddess

“Ours is a search for meaning, for what has been lost and for what can be recovered. Our challenge as men and women of the late twentieth century is to open ourselves to other realities…we must go beyond the old ways so deeply ingrained in our culture… In reclaiming the Goddess…We can redress the imbalance between the human species and our natural environment…exploring the possibility of living in harmony and justice with all things.”

— Elinor W. Gadon, (1989) The Once and Future Goddess: A Sweeping Visual Chronicle of the Sacred Female and Her Reemergence in the Cultural Mythology of Our Time (p. xiv-xv)

There was a time, in women’s long-forgotten past, when the first connection between human life, and the universal pulse, was the recognition that the menstrual cycle followed the same pattern as lunar cycles. [1] Before the advent of electricity, the moon was as important as the sun in defining cultural activities.  When the moon was waxing, nightly activities increased.  When the moon became full, those activities intensified until the waning moon ceased to light the nighttime sky, and activities became more subdued.

Menstrual theories teach that synchrony is a primary basis for evolution, women’s solidarity and intelligence, rather than our isolation, weakness or sinfulness, are emphasized. Women can help each other lose the shame and confusion of not knowing where we fit in as culture movers and shakers, and become engaged, active participants. This encourages and enables women to, for example, intelligently struggle to gain a full measure of control within institutions that affect them related to health and our bodies, motherhood, sexuality, the economy, marriage, education and children’s welfare, religion, government, science, the military, the welfare of the planet, and so on.”

— Judy Grahn, “The Emergence of Metaformic ConsciousnessEditor of The Journal of Menstruation and Culture

Every life form on this planet is, in some way, influenced by the 29.5-day lunar cycle.[2] Many women have chosen to live outside this integral life cycle. Striving to do more, be more, has compromise our peace of mind and our wellbeing.

Within each of us, there is a seed of remembering, a touchstone to the power associated with women’s traditional cultural roles, that honored our connection to the lunar cycles.  The new moon was the time of our monthly bleeding.  When the moon was full, so were we, filled with the power to nurture, and love all those around us.  With the waning moon, our physical energy ebbed, allowing our connection to spirit to guide us, as the light of the moon diminished.

In those ancient, matriarchal cultures, women were revered for their connection to, and deep understanding of, Mother Earth’s fertile bounty. Women gathered seeds and planted their crops, guided by the cycles of the moon — a practice still adhered to in many agrarian societies. Mathematics, counting, calculations, even seasonal predictions evolved, because women kept track of their monthly bleedings. Women were healers, counselors, midwives, and coroners. These wise women were the grounding element, the nucleus, for societies who recognized this blessed relationship between heaven and earth. In these matriarchal, agrarian societies, the relationship of women’s cycles to lunar cycles gave women status, respect, and self-esteem.

[1 ] Grahn, J. (1993). Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World. Boston: Beacon Press.

[2] Human Responses to the Geophysical Daily, Annual and Lunar Cycles. Russell G. Foster,  Circadian and Visual Neuroscience, Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, University of Oxford, Levels 5 & 6 West Wing, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headley Way, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK; Till Roenneberg, Centre for Chronobiology, Institute for Medical Psychology, Medical Faculty, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Goethestr 31, D-80336 München, Germany. Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 17, R784-R794, 9 September 2008; doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.07.003


Author: H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik

I started the Inconvenient Woman Blog in 2007, and am the product of a long line of inconvenient women. The matriarchal line is French-Canadian, Roman Catholic, with a very feisty Irish great-grandmother thrown in for sheer bloody mindedness. I am a research analyst and author who has made her living studying technical data, and developing articles, training materials, books and web content. Tracking through statistical data, and oblique cross-references to find the relevant connections that identifies a problem, or explains a path of action, is my passion. I love clearly delineating the magic questions of knowledge: Who, What, Why, When, Where and for How Much, Paid to Whom. My life lessons: listen carefully, question with boldness, and personally verify the answers. I look at America through the appreciative eyes of an immigrant, and an amateur historian; the popular and political culture is a ceaseless fascination. I have no impressive initials after my name. I’m merely an observer and a chronicler, an inconvenient woman who asks questions, and sometimes encourages others to look at things differently.