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Blood Mysteries, Pt. IV - The Siren

Sirens, crying beauty to bewitch men coasting by; woe to the innocent who hears that sound!...
The Sirens will sing his mind away on their sweet meadow lolling.
There are bones of dead men rotting in a pile beside them and flayed skins shrivel around the spot.
In my skin, she is there; ink and blood paint her into everything I am, while she gazes from behind me, murmuring curses we would kill to hear.
She is veil of death, womb of blood, mystery of the abyss. At her feet, the dead and the alive succumb to her song, to her flood of blood and sea and to her ever open wound. In the past, we bled for the vision quest, blood streaming down thighs as, in groups, we gathered to exchange stories, to collect premonitions

Between our legs were Chaos, Night, Revenge. In other histories, we bled impurity, our womb had teeth. The word hysteria rose out of the theory that our wombs moved freely around our internal organs and caused insanity. The female blood and flesh were meant to be feared, reduced, denied, and now, synthetically perfumed.

To some, the woman was associated with water - unconsciousness, mystery, depth, and sensuality. She held the power to bring drought and flood and to use her voice to condemn, cast spells and judgment, to make blind or reveal.

Listen! the swish of the blood,
The sirens down the bloodpaths of the night,
Bone tapping on the bone, nerve-nets,
Singing under the breath of sleep.

She gave the moon, and thereby, gave dreams - in some cultures, she was forbidden to sleep during menstruation, for her dreams were considered altered by psychic powers too violent to be allowed to speak through her. Elsewhere, it was this violence that was sought after in the bleeding woman - dreams became means of divination. She became the moon, the triple-moon goddess, the maiden, mother, and crone. Her blood entailed descent, as in Persephone and the crossing of the threshold of womanhood in her descent to Hades. The pomegranate she ate from was womb, seed, and blood. The Furies, born from the blood of castrated Uranus, black-clothed avengers of crime, especially crimes of blood. Their names are Allecto (neverending), Megaera (envious anger), and Tisiphone (retaliation).

The bleeding cycle was used to gauge time, for the woman's blood is bound to the moon and the tides of the sea. Said Kali, "I AM Time, ever inclined to destroy the worlds and annihilate all and anything that is not worthy of keeping." Here we unveil the Fates, born of night, symbolic of ancient forms of Justice. Triple-goddesses still, they spin, measure, and cut the thread of life. Whatsoever they will, be it annihilation or poetry, must come into being, must be born out of chaos and blood. The woman's blood and flesh as life giver and life taker is prevalent in the paradoxes that so imbue the history of blood.

The blood that flowed from Medusa's decapitated head fell on the desert, and there engendered snakes. The Gorgon's remaining blood was caught in vials by Athena - it had such power that a single droplet from the left side could raise the dead, and the same amount from the right could instantly kill.

To mark themselves with the power of menstrual blood, women have historically made signs on their bodies to recreate the creative power, bringing warnings, protection, repellence, attraction, and religious significance. The teaching of menstrual principles to men and the use of blood as a signal or sign or status was heightened by the use of slashing - the women could create blood at will, through cutting. The sight of blood on another woman's thigh could start a woman bleeding, so slashing, for some people, was a method of synchrony. Women found that they could have menstrual signals visible on their faces and other parts of their bodies even when they were not in the dangerous state of menstruation. Among native tribes, chin tattooing was primarily a mark of the female status achieved at menarche. Among some people, tattooed lines continued down the neck onto the breasts or stomach. In addition to using tattoos for ritual purposes, people marked their mouths and bodies with bits of special carved wood and shell. They were pushed through holes punctured in the skin, ears, nose, septum, or embedded in the flesh of the menstruant.

All of the openings of the face were, by extension, vaginas in need of protection. Protective ornaments have also been embedded around, and between, the eyes. Scarification was also used to adorn and protect. Her body was a writing tablet before writing, covered with information. Her face, breasts, abdomen, and back would be decoratively scarred as well.

Invoker of wound and mystery, the body of the woman is the immaculate witness to time, vengeance, creation and destruction. The blood that floods down her skin is the siren song of mystery religions, violence, the impenetrable thread that binds sex and death. In chaos she invokes shadows - the word made flesh - the rapture of the curse, the bouquet of the underworld, the eyes that bleed.

~Source Unknown~