As Louise Lacey has showed*, before the electricity era the female cycle was closely connected to the phases of the Moon, with menstruation taking place during the New Moon and fertility with the Full Moon. These phenomena were especially evident in Stone Age, when people lived according not only to the seasons and Moon phases, but also to the hours of day and night. Just as the New Moon, menstruation was imagined as a dormant pause from regular activity before starting a new cycle, and once a month it was natural for women to take a few days break from everyday activity.
Thus, being the Moon imagined to be the main aspect of the Goddess, it was natural to think that the female cycle was regulated by the Goddess Herself. Women, who were thought to be the mortal manifestation of the deity, were especially proud of their cycle and felt it as a strong, spiritual power directly delivered by the Goddess. Furthermore, women were believed to be the instrument through which the Goddess ruled the world: when She decided to communicate with humans, She was used to do it through the delivery of Her words to women with whom Her link was especially close, as prophetesses, and She listened to human requests from the words of priestesses and sorceresses, while She healed people through the hands of she-healers. This special link between women and the Goddess through the female cycle was the Divine Female Power, also named Divine Feminine or Sacred Feminine.
Although little girls already enjoyed from their birth a special protection by the Goddess, Who nourished them with care and love, it was only with the menarche when they began to enjoy the full strength of the Divine Female Power. However, after the menopause this Power did not wane, only changed itself into a sort of Divine Wisdom: most of prophetesses, sorceresses, and healers, were just aged women with a direct touch with the Goddess.
And now, let us summarize the material effects of the Divine Female Power during the three female ages:
Maidens (i.e. girls from the menarche to the first childbirth) enjoyed a much greater amount of psychophysical energy than boys: even nowadays, in our patriarchal society, teenaged girls can spend all the night dancing and, after only a couple of hours sleeping, get up in the morning and go to the college for attending lessons and studying, being noticeably fresh and rested in comparison with boys. Therefore, we can imagine what amount of energy a Stone Aged maiden, totally conscious of her Divine Female Power, could enjoy.
Mothers had a great capacity of dealing with several jobs, as midwifery, breastfeeding, children education, home works as spinning and weaving, and field works as sewing, harvest, and vintage. Mothers were also capable of facing adversities of life better than men, with a more rational and fearless mind.
Crones, as it was said above, enjoyed the Divine Wisdom which assured them to be priestesses, prophetesses, sorceresses, and healers. While the everyday life decisions were taken by mothers, the most important choices —as the location, position, and orientation of the houses and graves to build were taken by crones.
And what about the Divine Female Power in patriarchal times? The Indo-European rulers replaced the concept of such power with the idea of a male power that dwelt in the testicles. According to it, the capacity of being good warriors was ought not only to physical strength, but also to a sort of aggressive and predator spirit originating in the testicles. As usual, the Divine Female Power began to be thought as a negative influence of evil energies over women. Of course, such development increased during Christianity: the Divine Female Power was imagined as a possession by the devil, and the wise crones were thought to be witches worshipping Satan. One of the greatest pearls of Christianity, the chase of witches, was only due to the fears of patriarchal society towards the Divine Female Power and Wisdom.It is important to keep in mind that the Divine Female Power was not only the supersticious belief of a primitive culture: it is a true energy that lies in the womb of every woman. Its effects both in Stone Age maidens and mothers can be observed today too. However, it has not to be confused with female beauty: although the Divine Female Power too can light sexual attraction in men, and female beauty can be used as a kind of power and control over men, they are quite different things, since beauty is a gift that not all women have, while all women have the Divine Female Power.Unfortunately, more than 3500 years of patriarchal society have changed female minds about it, inspiring them the wrong idea that their monthly cycle is a dirty and impure thing which needs to be hidden as more as possible, with the final result of losing their consciousness of the Divine Female Power. It is also important to keep in mind that this Power is not a weapon against the male gender, as patriarchal society believes, but an important resource for the whole mankind: prophetesses did not reveal the thoughts of the Goddess only for women’s benefit, and healers did not heal only women.At the light of all this, women should wish to take back the full consciousness of the Divine Female Power and to learn its use. The first step should be getting a new attitude towards menstruation: taking a few days break from modern stressed life should be imagined as a relaxing and healthy way for recharging batteries, just as the Moon does with the New Moon phase. A further step might be following Lacey’s methods in order to match the female cycle with the phases of the Moon, with menstruation during the New Moon and fertility with the Full Moon.
*Lunaception. A Feminine Odyssey into Fertility and Contraception, 1974. Here is her website, while here is her Wikipedia page.