Acknowledging Humanity's Oldest Taboo Through Visual Art



Menstrala is the Official Name of the Visual Arts Movement Now Academically Recognized For Its Worldwide Cause:


Advocating Valuable Changes for Present & Future Generations of Menstruating Women

The Phoenix, a firebird rising from the ashes of its old cycle, symbol of cyclical rebirth.

"The Medium Is The Message"
~ Marshall McLuhan 

Why create art with this medium?  


Forbidden to be seen in society, the medium conveys a dangerous stigma. Some believe that merely looking at menstrual blood is harmful. Consequently, menstruating women deal with this least understood taboo in various ways.


If society examines the origin of the taboo, the medium, by its very nature, has the power to bring the dawn of positive changes to menstruating teenagers and women. It will depend on how the blood is presented and framed. How does it become acceptable as a visual art movement? Afterall, it expresses the menstruant's experience with the medium - how she feels, how see copes, and how it shapes her whole outlook on herself and her life.


Proceeds from Menstrala art collections can raise funds for women's causes.


Menstrala invoke emotional urgency, which can redirect a critical awareness to women's issues such as: 


economic relief to underprivileged girls (menstrual poverty); a daughter's first rite of passage into menstruation; educational reform in schools; cultural validation; advocating better medical solutions to the debilitating health problems caused by menopause; and, a 

cyclical practice of mindful menstruation.

Setting The Stage for Expressing Menstrual Emotions Through Visual Art

Since 2000, Menstrala have been setting the stage for a new age in which girls worldwide can deflect the shame of bleeding and begin personally defining their spirituality and expressing their emotions toward their menstrual experience, sexuality and feminine identity. Now they can, if they choose, contribute their menstrual paintings to the universal, academically accepted visual arts movement that is officially called Menstrala.

The 1st International Menstrala Competition, 2014

Over 100 Menstrala entries were submitted to a jury.

In 2014, Vanessa Tiegs was invited to serve as a judge in the first international Menstrala painting competition organized by a University in Mexico. Increasing numbers of artists around the world have begun choosing to address menstruation visually.

"Just as we renew during sleep and winter recess, women reclusively renew their fertility during the lunar-menstrual cycle, woman's natural blood sacrifice enabling her to procreate humanity. The fact that menstruation became easy to joke about (see examples of memes) shows that girls are unsupported in dealing with the painful monthly recurrence that effects their health, wellness, self-identity, self-esteem, and sexuality. Maturing from puberty involves teenagers self-defining their menstrual experience, regardless whether they choose to create Menstrala art.”

"The menstrual cycle is central to womanhood, so it needs to be experienced in relation to cycle logic. I invented a simple real-time automated visual system to grasp this useful knowledge and pass it along.  I named it Monthmatics."
~ Vanessa Tiegs

Rebalancing Outdated Mind Control By Placing New Values On Menstruation

Menstrala aim to rebalance the destructive programming honed on girls. The Menstrala art movement raises awareness of the need for educational health reform. One such organization is CeMCOR's Endowment Fund. Since its inception in 2002, The Centre for Menstrual Cycle & Ovulation Research at the University of British Columbia promotes new medical standards in women's health. 

"By referring to menstruation as a renewal (i.e., saying "I am in my renewal phase"), we own the honor in womanhood: regenerating pro-creative ability after bleeding for days without dying."


What had once begun as an online blog of visually journaling  "Pain-Things," unwittingly ignited the earliest swarms of memes on within months of their first publication on LiveJournal, under the username SpiralingMoon.

Served to the Vatican

The jpeg of October Flight, Menstrala No. 42, was requested and served to the Vatican's website domain on November 9, 2002.

World Cultures Are Rooted In Menstrual Logic

Dr. Judy Grahn's Metaformic Theory and Blood, Bread & Roses, explain how menstruation created world cultures. The word taboo originates from Polynesian Tapua.

Woman Is The Lunation

In the “Lunar Cosmology” of the Aymara people in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, the word for the menstrual blood of woman is p'axsi wila, meaning moon blood, which also refers to the first glimpse of the new moon. (Denise Y. Arnold quoted by Dr. Judy Grahn.)

Rituals Are R'tu

The word ritual originates from Sanskrit r'tu meaning menstruation. Women's blood rites of passage (menarche, defloration, childbirth, menstruation, and menopause) are the original first rites. Man's "parallel menstrual rites" were circumcision, tattooing, & piercing skin.


The word cosmetics, sometimes called make-up or war paint, derives from cosmetikos, meaning ordering the cosmos through symbols written on the body. (See Dr. Judy Grahn's Metaformic Theory and Blood, Bread & Roses).

Her Moon... Hormone... Harmony... Her Money 

The bright white full moon symbolizes a pregnancy.  The hidden dark moon, the eclipsed red full moon, and the eclipsed black full moon, symbolize menstruation and menopause. 


Women's secret secretions are two opposing currents recycling at different phases each month: the white clear current flowing during ovulation, and the dark red current flowing during menstruation. Her moon currents... her moons... hormones, subliminally refer to the harmonization of flowing monies or currencies in the economic system, as they create the liquidity necessary for properly functioning world economies (eco-moons) to maintain balance.

Astrology: Electromagnetic Coding

All of us manifest stardom, the space-time map of the star-dome we were born under.  Our natal horoscope shows us the map of our elctromagnetic coding. All that is needed is the date, exact time, and location of our birth to delineate the electromagnetic signature we were born to own and express. The horoscope is merely a navigating tool.


We measure time cyclically. The 360 degrees of light to darkness ratio determines the hour, minute, second of the day or night.


But space is electromagnetically charged. It is measured by frequencies, or the wavelengths of the repeating cycles.  We hear certain waves of sound and we recognize certain frequencies of light.


Consciousness, on the other hand, is measured by the quality of our relationships to things. Aware of it or not, we clearly are energetically influenced by the sun, moon, stars, and planets' positions around us at all given times.


How can natal astrology help menstruating women? Knowing the position and condition of her Natal Moon would be a start. 


Phoenix & Dragon 

Copyright © 2024 Vanessa Tiegs. All rights reserved. Linking to the digital images presented on this website is freely permitted. However, commercial usage of the artworks requires a licensing fee for any one time usage and a royalty fee for multiple usage in derivative works. Exceptions to the fees may apply to academic and educational unedited usages with written permission from the artist, Vanessa Tiegs.

We need your consent to load the translations

We use a third-party service to translate the website content that may collect data about your activity. Please review the details in the privacy policy and accept the service to view the translations.