The Cyclic Wisdom of the Goddess

Menses, Moon Lore, Magic, Measurement, and Mathematics

Judy Grahn, in her 1993 book, Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World, developed her hypothesis within a modern construct when she stated, “…the menstruant, having the most direct connection with the lunar cycle, would have been the first to know; she had motive, method, and opportunity to be the originator of lunar notation.” [1]

The phases of the moon related not only to a woman’s sacred menstrual period, but also to Mother Earth’s own fecund cycle. Understanding the lunar cycle and noting the passage of time became integral to the developing Paleolithic societal units. [2] Many researchers now conclude that Paleolithic women’s drive to track their menstruation gave rise to rudimentary mathematics. [3]

Were women the first mathematicians?

Based on the artifacts and the evidence, it seems likely. Archeological finds indicate that this period of lunar calendar creation coincided with the rise of Goddess worship. [4]


Excerpted with permission from, Understanding Your Mind, Mood and Hormone Cycle,© 2012, Leslie C. Botha and H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik.

[1] Menses, Moon Lore, Magic, Measurement, and Mathematics Judy Grahn, in her 1993 book, Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World,

[2] Paleolithic” sometimes referred to as the Old Stone Age, refers to the oldest, known period of Human History. It lasted for 2.5 million years…from hominid’s first use of tools until estimated 10,000-years ago — the end of the last glacial period. At that time improved tools and more complex social structures gave rise to the Neolithic (new Stone Age).

[3] How Menstruation Created Mathematics, John Kellermeier – Copyright 2002

[4] Claudia Zaslavsky, Women as the First Mathematicians, the Women in Mathematics Education Newsletter,Volume 7 Number 1, January 1992.


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.