How Monthmatics Began

Living on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam during the 90's

In 1998, I began creating Monthmatics. I originally called it Spiraling Moon.

 

While living in a canal house near Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam during the 90s, I discovered a bookshop on the Westermarkt Plein, called Xiantippe, which I frequently visited. 

Boekhandel Xiantippe, Prinsengracht, Amsterdam

 

Several books from Xiantippe influenced my spiritual quest:

 

 

Into The Millennium

I bought a one-way plane ticket from Amsterdam to L.A. a week before the millennium. I embarked on a new path. I applied to two Women's Spirituality graduate programs in San Francisco: New College of California (NC) and California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), which offered me a scholarship. I chose to attend New College in January 2000, for the priviledge of having as my thesis advisor, Judy Grahn, Ph.D., author of Blood, Bread, & Roses: How Menstruation Created the World (1993)

The Results of My Masters Thesis Qualitative Study With Five Age Groups of Women

In 2001, I earned my Master's Degree in Women's Spirituality from New College of California. 

 

For my required community service practicum, I conducted a 6-month qualitative study course working individually with different age groups of women. My findings showed that my system improved the lives of all the women.

1) A young teenager changed her physical experience of menstruating from a painful period into a healthier, less symptomatic renewal experience. She was very quick to learn how to harmonize with cyclical lunar time. To her mother, it appeared as though her daughter had experienced sudden recall of a forgotten memory. The teenager finished the qualitative study as an awakened woman. 

 

2) A 20-year old woman applied the concept of Cycle Logic Power to her graduate project, which helped her pave an enormous amount of progress in six months;

 

3) A 34-year old mother of a 10-year old, was able to heal her marital relationship in six months by transforming her self-esteem, reawakening her sexuality, and expanding her perspectives; 

 

4) An independent 46-year old woman reshaped her self-identity by acknowledging and honoring, through repeated daily rituals, her connection with lunar cycles. Her dedication to the study brought on changes in her life and in her surroundings by analyzing her menstrual dream journal for six months.

 

5) A mature 60-year old participated in my qualitative study to pass the learnings on to her grand-daughter. The results of which deepened their bond.

 

These sample results suggested that the women who had participated in my study began to either experience or perceive the fertility cycle as much more than a physiological event. It had clearly became spiritual. They all transformed their experience and discovered their own unique femcentric perspective. 

In the years that followed, I taught Spiraling Moon privately and in small weekly group workshops to hundreds of women in the San Francisco Bay Area. I also guest lectured at Mills College.

My first website for Spiraling Moon, 2000

The Birth of Menstrala

Soon, I began using my menstrual blood to create a journal of my "pain things." My first Menstrala, Silverfish Spirits, was painted in September 2000. Months later, my published Menstrala on LiveJournal.com, one of the earliest online blogs at that time, inspired letters from people around the world. Almost a year later, memes broke out on Metafilter.com and then interview requests followed.

6 of 88 Menstrala by Vanessa Tiegs

My intention was to affirm menstrual blood as woman's reminder of her feminine renewal process.  "The medium is the message," and the universal message received by these paintings reveals how deeply ingrained the menstrual taboo is and still persists. But today, the Menstrala art movement keeps the red river visibly flowing through cyclic evolution.

 

~ Vanessa Tiegs, M.A.,

Creator of Menstrala, Mind & Menstrala, and Monthmatics Advisor


Thank you for taking time to read.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions. 

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