Using the Cup and Offering Gaia Blood Collection

Girl Talk!

by Natascha Pearson

May 19, 2021

The Menstrual Cup

Until October of last year, I was using the menstrual cup for about six months before discovering I was pregnant. Before that, I used tampons during my monthly flow. These were uncomfortable for me, and I felt unsanitary throughout the day. I also wasn’t comfortable with disposing of them, they shouldn’t go down the toilet, and it was always a pain throwing them away in the trash because my dog would try to get to it (gross, I know.) I worked on connecting with myself spiritually when I made the switch. I would save my blood to give back to the Earth. My monthly cycle was right before the full moon, and I took advantage of this by giving my offering when the moon was full.

Using the cup not only cuts out the waste of using tampons (or pads), but it is easy and comfortable for me to dispose of (in the toilet, or my case, a jar for safekeeping,) washed (preferably in a sink or in the case of a public restroom, over the toilet with a water bottle) and reinserted. It never felt too deep or lost (which can very well happen with a tampon.) So not only did I feel cleaner, fresher, and more comfortable, I also felt more aligned with my flow. I was aware of the days to expect it, how many days I would be bleeding, even how much I had bled (you won’t get that insight with a tampoon.) I could wear the cup in the water without an issue and keep it inserted for 6-12 hours without it filling, spilling, smelling, or causing discomfort. I use the brand Dot Cup (I prefer the black one to the white), and it comes in a discreet carrying pouch. You can choose from three different sizes. There are loads of tutorials on youtube for comfortable insertion and distraction.

Gaia| Earth| Mother Earth

Giving blood to the Earth sounded eww to me at first, too. But once I had come to appreciate how much the Earth offers me (or how much I take from it), I realized that contributing back to the planet that aids me daily helped me feel more connected to my environment. Women lose 2-4 tablespoons of blood a cycle. Blood should not be stored longer than 3-4 days to avoid bacteria build. In my practice, I dug out a pile of dirt next to my ritual tree or within the forest and buried my offering there. This offering comes with nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Blood is an attractive food for insects, according to an article on Watering down the blood that is condensed with salt and other chemicals can be applied directly to plants as a fertilizer.

When my period didn’t come in October, I knew four days after my missed date that I was pregnant. Offering my menstrual cycle was a very beautiful experience for me since I felt that Gaia had shown her appreciation with the most magical gift of all, my first pregnancy. Later I would continue to give blessings to Mother Earth by offering herbs from my tea bags (something I drink a lot of while pregnant.)

I have gathered information from about the cons of using tampons and pads compared to using the cup. In the worst-case scenarios, tampoons can cause toxic shock syndrome, which is life-threatening. They often can be uncomfortable, need to be changed frequently, can get stuck and forgotten inside the uterus, and the size of your flow can be more or less than the size of your tampoon. Tampoons have a significant environmental impact, with millions littering landfills every year. Tampons shouldn’t be flushed, and they can also irritate and dry out your vagina, causing pain and discomfort. Pads, on the other hand, can’t be used in water. It can lead to an odor throughout the day. They can shift out of place, wrinkle, and be uncomfortable. Their less discreet than tampoons or the cup, and you can’t wear them in a thong with G-string. The cup’s cons also include toxic shock syndrome in very rare circumstances. It can be irritable if not inserted or cleaned correctly and a possible chance of infection if your hands are not cleaned properly.

I wish someone had told me about the cup when I was younger, I would have liked to have taken advantage of it earlier in life, and I’m thankful now to have a tool that makes my period more comfortable and something honorable. I’m a woman, and I have this fantastic gift of giving birth. My monthly flow is something to embrace, not to be embarrassed over. It’s also a money saver.

Places to Hike in Humboldt County

Episode One

by Natascha Pearson

May 5, 2021

This week I have explored three new locations to hike in Humboldt County.

I started in Sunny Brae, where I hiked trailhead 1, the Beith Creek Loop Trail. I came upon two beautiful creeks during a moderate hike followed by an intermediate upslope. This hike is full of giant redwoods and immerses its participants in a forest experience. In addition, this trail has a bike-friendly accomplice. Unfortunately, this trail gets some traffic since it is so close to Arcata and College of the Redwoods. Nevertheless, my dog and I thoroughly enjoyed this hike. It is the most challenging of the three listed. This is a dog friendly trail.

Next is Headwaters Forest Reserve, which is full of history and plant life. This 11-mile hike (to the end and back again) is a day’s mission—5 1/2 miles to the end and back again. The first mile is on a paved road that follows a stream. Along the way, there are signs posted to educate people passing by about salmon spawning and how the forest reserve came to be once an old logging road. There is a beautiful, wooden education building in the first stretch. Once the paved road turns to dirt, I find the path less crowded and have yet to pass another person after this point. There are some uphill sloops, but overall, the hike is an easy one to make. The path is pristine. Running water and the songs from the birds fill the forest. I worked on training my dog on this path because it is a beginners hike and I can communicate with her easily compared to the rough terrain of the forest. I recommend this hike for someone looking for an easy-going day hike. This is a dog friendly trail.

I also made it to Agate Beach in Trinidad this week, a 32-minute drive from Eureka. We paid $8 for parking and drove through a rather large campsite to a parking lot on the coast. A beautiful view of the ocean awaited us when we got out of the car. From there, we hiked down a beautiful steep hill with gorgeous plants with a rather attractive texture. The trail was a little wet from running water. When we reached the bottom, there is a stream to your right where I left an offering of used tea herbs in thanks for any pebbles that we collect on the coast. Next, we walked down the nearly empty beach surrounded by redwood trees. The ocean seems to have less aggressive waves than on the beach in Eureka, but the tide comes in fast, so you have to watch out while collecting stones. We all got our shoes soaked. The stones are small in size but are what I was looking for during our walk. I brought some home to craft with for my Little Lost Forest store. This wasn’t a dog friendly trail.