is a gift to the light of consciousness for all humanity, and we recognize it asthe connecting force that maintains the race. Birth is a force that gives usmeaning, just as war is a force that gives men meaning and becomes theirmanner of transformation (see philosopher Chris Hedges’ provocative works
online or in print about the culture and transformative addictive powers of warand killing in a patriarchal society). Throughout history, women were known as guardians of the race notonly due to their sacrificial capacity to educate and rear children, but also fortheir magical capacity to create a new human by holding blood inside the womb for nine months. “From the earliest human culture,” writes BarbaraWalker, “the mysterious magic of creation was thought to reside in the blood women gave forth in apparent harmony with the moon, and which wassometimes retained in the womb to “coagulate” into a baby. Men regarded thisblood with holy dread, as the life-essence, inexplicably shed without pain, wholly foreign to male experience.”
From Aristotle to Pliny to medical schoolteachings up to the 18
century, the prenatal function of menstrual blood wasbelieved to be “the material substance of generation.”
Most authorities now agree that not only “uncivilized” races today, butcertainly all the world’s people in the prehistoric period, knew nothing of man’spart in the process of reproduction. It was believed that only women held thedivine power to give life.
Yet, once men discovered their role in the babybusiness (or probably learned the truth from women who were inventors of calendars based on moon phases), God suddenly became a man, woman
Birth is a Force That Gives Us Meaning – Ann Davenport