12. Ceremonial return of your blood to the earth
CEREMONIAL RETURN OF WAIWHERO TO PAPATŪĀNUKU
In a Maori world view, we are from the land and so everything belonging to our bodies are returned to the land. When we are born, our whenua (placenta) is buried with a special tree planted. Our hair, nails and teeth were all buried in the earth and when we die, our bodies are welcomed back to the ancient womb of Papatūānuku (Mother Earth).
It was also thought that our menstrual blood contained our ancestors and descendants so it made sense to our tīpuna to return our menstrual blood (usually along with karakia) to the earth and usually on tribal lands.
You may not wish to squat on the earth and bleed straight onto it but another approach could be to wash or rinse your AWWA underwear onto the earth in a place somewhere special to you or somewhere that feels like home to you.
This could be a wonderful ceremony between mother and daughter for when your daughters ikura arrives.
The more we kōrero on these ancient ways, the more normal some of the practices will become and that is our hope moving forward for our wahine in Aotearoa and around the world.