Mother Earth Embodied
I wrote the following post as a guest blogger for Mother Earth News this month:
While we live our bodies are moving particles of the earth, joined inextricably both to the soil and to the bodies of other living creatures. It is hardly surprising, then, that there should be some profound resemblances between our treatment of our bodies and our treatment of the earth” ~ Wendell Berry
There is immense power in the integrity of my fertility whether or not I desire to create a baby. Being aware of the nuanced phases of my fertility not only helps me avoid,or achieve, conception, it connects me to the rhythmic nature of divine creative energy and the opportunity to thrive in harmony with it.
I experience and respect my cycle as a micro of the macrocosm of all creation.
I know myself to be Mother Earth embodied. The forces of nature whisper Pablo Neruda’s poetry to my ovaries:
“I want to do with you what spring does to the cherry trees.”
I honor the blossoming, the fruit, the fall, and the fallow within.
There they are: the four seasons in cyclical perfection within the four weeks of my cycle. I feel the playful sweet sparkling momentum of spring as my body prepares for ovulation and an autumnal deep dive of release before I bleed.
The first steps on my path to fertility awareness were motivated by a desire to smash the patriarchy, not flowery poetry. As an angsty activist teen in “abstinence only education” Idaho I volunteered at Planned Parenthood and held office in Boise State University’s radical political student group. I was offered the pill to manage my painful, excessive, and irregular cycle. I refused it. The thought of giving the pharmaceutical industry access to control my hormones seemed to me like surrendering my vitality to the nefarious powers of patriarchy and consumer capitalism. I saw suppression of my ovulation as a path to subjugation, not liberation.
“Merely external emancipation has made of the modern woman an artificial being. Now, woman is confronted with the necessity of emancipating herself from emancipation, if she really desires to be free.” ~ Emma Goldman
I learned about fertility awareness as a method of contraception from a library book at Aprovecho Research Center, where I interned studying alternative technology, organic gardening, and sustainable forestry. Here I discovered the importance of observing, honoring, and integrating the cyclical beauty of nature in all aspects of my life.
Our bodies are ecosystems and our fertility is an energy source.
The biochemical implications of our fertility offer potential to create life in whatever form we choose ~ be it human, intellectual, artistic, or otherwise.
The havoc created by man’s attempt to dominate nature is widespread. This abuse of power is paralleled in industrialized agriculture, the medicalization of birth, and the pathologizing of our fertility. Menstruation, pregnancy, and birth are commonly treated as diseases to be cured with pills, synthetic hormones, or surgeries.
The pesticides and hormones used in conventional food systems have devastating effects on human hormonal health. To address the symptoms of imbalance, allopathic medicine prescribes birth control where whole food diets, herbs, and lifestyle changes would improve balance. In the forward to one of my favorite books, “Woman Code” by Alisa Vitti, the luminary Dr. Christiane Northrup writes, “giving birth control pills to women to regulate their periods, improve their fertility, or enhance their sex drive is akin to putting a piece of tape over the flashing indicator light on the dashboard of your car and pretending you have addressed the engine problem rather than looking under the hood and dealing with the underlying issue.”
Healing the earth demands that we cultivate reverence and respect for the cycles of the womb. Our fertility does not simply mirror nature, it is part of nature.
May we find nourishment, synergy, and inspiration from life’s cyclical beauty in all its forms.
For a sassy & simple guide to practicing fertility awareness please check out my e-book, Ovulation Awareness: Know Your Cycle, Know Your Self.
Other suggested reading includes:
“The Way of The Happy Woman” by Sarah Stover
“Woman Code” by Alisa Viti
“Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler