...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

Lunacy, Lycanthropy, and Menstr-oo-ation (Yeah, You Heard Me Right)

So. Fellas, shut your ears and hum real loudly.

I had my first period off the pill this last month. My first, back-to-nature cycle in a damn long time--7 years at this point, I believe? And man, do I love it. It was like having my very first period all over again. Yip yip. It was not when it was supposed to be. It came about two weeks late. But I dug this too because it was like my body was revolting and shouting a big FUCK YOU to the processed hormones that had been dictating the ebb and flow of its natural movements for nearly the past decade, shouting SEE, GODDAMMIT, NOW I CAN DO WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT. I had old-school cramps. I bled up a storm. It was great.

Ok, fellas. You can unplug your big-baby ears now.

So here I am musing on menstruation and stuff because of my return to the natural, and it's fascinating to me. I mean, I really dig the thought that the ebb and flow of our blood is so similar to the ebb and flow of the moon's cycles--how much more connected to nature can you get, really? And since out of anything in nature, the moon drives me to states of awe most often, I dig the idea of having some sort of connection to such a magical thing.

It's interesting too when you think about all the things that have been connected to the moon: madness, menstruation, werewolves, etc. Etymologically, "lunacy" referred to "intermittent periods of insanity, such as were believed to be triggered by the moon's cycle."

lunacy -- 1541, "condition of being a lunatic," formed in Eng. from lunatic (q.v.). Originally in ref. to intermittent periods of insanity, such as were believed to be triggered by the moon's cycle. The O.E. equivalent was mona├░seocnes "month-sickness." **

This makes sense in the context of werewolves as well--the moon brings out a lunacy in humans; this "lunacy" also sometimes takes the form of a werewolf. But this is also amusing in the context of women--is the fact that we ebb and flow like the lunar cycles supposed to explain away the "intermittent periods of insanity" that come with pms and menstruation each month? This is both simultaneously laughable and yet typical of how menstruation and the female body's reaction to it is viewed, historically and even nowadays--as something to be shunned and to run away from when "that time of the month" rolls around. It's amusing that we're looked at like madmen or werewolves, to be frightened of and avoided at certain times of the month.

This is why the movie Ginger Snaps is a favorite horror movie of mine. It playfully and skillfully makes all these connections--between menstruation/puberty and madness, and--even more awesomely--lycanthropy. Ginger snaps, tumbling into the curse of a werewolf, right at the time she is reaching "sexual maturation," and the movie ever-so-skillfully toys with these connections. If you haven't seen it, you really should rent it, as it's a phenomenally smart and spooky movie.

The same can be said for Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber (specifically "The Company of Wolves," which the Neil Jordan movie was based on, and "Wolf-Alice"). Carter plays with the connections between womanhood/menstruation and werewolves in similar and interesting ways, so if you're looking for some good Halloween/fairy-tale-reading, you should pick her book up.

So all that being said and done, here I am again, back on my own lunar cycle--madwoman, werewolf, and menstruator. And I dig it.

All in time for Halloween.



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