The Phoenix Rising for Her Galaxy Crossing

In The Year 2000

Soon after the turn of the millennium, Vanessa Tiegs created 88 paintings between 2000-2003. She gave her paintings a name that had never been spoken before: Menstrala.

The Neologism

The word Menstrala is the neologism that names the 21st century women's art movement that respectfully reframes and thoughtfully redefines the world's oldest taboo - menstrual blood.


Several of the paintings from the collection have been featured in documentary films, art magazines, academic journals, posters and blog write-ups. One Menstrala was even displayed in the Persian Gulf while onboard U.S. Navy supercarrier, USS Kitty Hawk during the Iraq War in 2003.


Menstrala remind us that women bleed for days to renew their fertility while general reactions to them expose a deep fear and loathing of woman's blood that has not yet been adequately debunked.


Selected Paintings from the Collection Created in 2000-2003.

High-gloss acrylic medium mixed with menstrual blood on white gessobord. 



Mathematics derives from the root word "ma."  By counting the number of dark moons in their fertility cycles from conception until giving birth, mothers created mathematics, as well as the very first calendars. Women's 9-month long gestation cycle, or pregnancy, correlates exactly with eclipse cycles: see Dietrech Pessin's Lunar Shadows III: The Predictive Power of Moon Phases and Eclipses, 2009

Taboo & Rituals

The word taboo originates from Polynesian tapua and means menstruation and sacred. The similarity between taboo and tattoo is intentional.  

The word ritual originates from Sanskrit r'tu and means the rite of menstruation. Women's blood rites (menarche, defloration, birthing babies, menstruating, and menopause) were the very first rights. 


The word cosmetics, also called make-up or war paint, derives from cosmetikos, which means ordering the cosmos through symbols written on the body. Dr. Judy Grahn's Metaformic Theory and Blood, Bread & Roses, tells how menstruation created the world while men's parallel blood rites eventually became woven into human culture.

Woman Is The Lunation

She symbolizes the full moon when pregnant and the dark moon when menstruating.

She bleeds for days without dying, silently enduring as many as 500 bleeds through womanhood with little to no cultural support to practice the benefits of mindful menstruation.

In the “Lunar Cosmology” of the Aymara people in the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, the word for the menstrual blood of women 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.)

Memes of "Pain-Things" 

What started in 2000 as a visual dream journal of "Pain-Things" grew into a controversial art genre.

An army of memes that focused on red pixels presenting Pain-Things of menstrual blood began introducing the menstrual blood artworks to new audiences all around the world.

Served to the Vatican

The jpeg of "October Flight" was requested and served to the Vatican's website domain on November 9, 2002.

In 2003, Vanessa Tiegs rendered the path of her dancing footsteps swirling upstage. How many others wished to overcome the shame of bleeding? Immediately, teenagers began breathing life into the movement by writing art papers in school and anonymously publishing their artistic expressions on blogs.

One Menstrala is Worth A Thousand Words

Women's Menstrala are collectively reforming the stigma of bleeding. Redefining this cyclical event as a monthly renewal is one way to confidently embrace the mysteries of womanhood and own the psychological powers that menstrual blood represents: a connection to lunar and cosmic rhythms. 

The 1st International Menstrala Competition, 2014

Over 100 Menstrala submissions were received.

In 2014, the artist was invited to serve as a judge in an international Menstrala competition organized by a University in Mexico. Increasing numbers of artists around the world today are choosing to address menstruation visually.

A Rock'n Menstrala Scene 

In 2009, Rockstar Dave Navarro, guitarist from Jane's Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Pepper band, asked to buy "Voluntary Leaps" after filming a collab in her San Francisco art studio.

Deconstructing Societal Mind Control

Menstrala's purpose is to take a solid stance in deconstructing societal mind control honed on innocent girls who are in much need of support.  Each creative contribution to the Menstrala art movement raises awareness of the need for health reforms in public education and medical practices. Soon, the first of its kind Menstrala NFTs will be offered  on the XRPL, and will be 100% donated in the first year to 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. 

The Decoder:  Menstrual Blood Turned to Gold

The artist’s last Menstrala in her collection, No. 88, painted in 2003 and entitled The Decoder, features the artist's deep red menstrual blood conclusively turned to gold.

Copyright © 2023 Vanessa Tiegs. All rights reserved. Linking to the digital files on this website is permitted, but usage of the artworks requires a licensing fee for any one time usage and a royalty fee for multiple usage in derivative works.