I have a Coven Feed on my phone; three of my friends and I talk about everything together, from booming business ideas, to lovely or irritating spouses, to big cosmic ideas. Our partners sometimes get jealous of our little chat, often wanting to be a part of the things we talk about there.
But it’s no boys allowed.
No matter how hard they try.
When we were talking about our intuition one day, my friend’s spouse declared he had intuition, too. In fact, he said it didn’t make sense for women to have something that men didn’t have – other than a vagina.
Admittedly, at first our feminine roars drowned out his comments. But then, we calmed down and asked each other, “Well, do men have intuition?”
What is intuition?
Is it a hunch that you can’t quite verbalize or explain? Is it a knowingness that can sometimes dictate your decisions? Is it a sense of connection to something else, influencing you subtly, depending on whether you want to listen to it? Is it instinct? A sixth sense?
And… is it reserved for women?
When I opened up my Thesaurus on my macbook, intuition came up as “he works according to intuition; instinct, intuitiveness, sixth sense, clairvoyance, second sight.”
We started talking about how women are groomed by society to be more in touch with our emotions; men, conversely, are – knowingly or unknowingly – encouraged to be disconnected from that part of themselves. While we all want a sensitive man who is in touch with his feelings and emotions, our society teaches them something different, influencing them to be less connected outwardly to this part of themselves. This used to happen quite directly, though now it continues more indirectly.
Do we associate the fluid, sensitive, feminine intuition with women, strictly because society thinks we are more emotional and emotionally aware, therefore more connected to how we’re feeling? If we’re more connected to how we’re feeling, are we able to pick up on subtleties, patterns, hints, hunches and synchronicities better than our male counterparts?
And if a man can disconnect from this oppressive expectation – can he be intuitive?
Sure, a man can have a hunch. Or a feeling. Instinct. He can work according to intuition, like the Thesaurus says, but does he possess the deep connection to the Universe that a woman does?
“Woman is the most superstitious animal beneath the moon. When a woman has a premonition that Tuesday will be a disaster, to which a man pays no heed, he will very likely lose his fortune then. This is not meant to be an occult or mystic remark. The female body is a vessel, and the universe drops its secrets into her far more quickly than it communicates them to the male.” – Edward Dahlberg
Dahlberg, a male novelist, thinks the universe does release some secrets to men, but it’s just not at the same level or speed to which it happens with women. For some reason, women are just more connected.
My Coven Feed started wondering if it had something to do with our menstrual cycle. Could a monthly or relatively regular physical change of shedding and healing influenced by the ebb and flow of the moon have something to do with it? Could this cosmic connection somehow gives us a deeper bond to the pulse of the Universe around us?
Our periods used to be in sync with Mama Luna before birth control took over our lives – tribes of women gathered in Menstrual Tents together to conduct sacred and holy rituals. Many cultures believed a woman was at her peak power and instinct during her menstrual cycle, leaving the men and children behind during menstruation to focus on her inner world. Insight, voices, karmic messages, journeying, dreams, and more would unravel from the woman with ease when she was “on her moon.”
She would die and be reborn each month. She could provide blood without any sacrificial animal or true death. She could journey and uncover insights that helped the tribe’s survival. Her intuition and insight were celebrated as a community ritual.
And not a single man in the community could partake.
In this fast-paced, digitized, disconnected age, our periods are more of a nuisance. We seek ways to “stop” our period when we can. Our cycle is no longer celebrated the way it was. And that’s too bad, considering the deep magic that brews there.
During the menstrual cycle, a woman’s senses are heightened. According to scientificamerican.com – a website having nothing to do with intuition – a woman’s sense of smell is heightened during her period and ovulation, particularly toward odorless scents like pheromones… those mystical “people smells” that we can’t actually smell.
The innate feeling of retreating and seeking solitude during the menstrual cycle also points to encouraging to explore the inner world and the secrets that lie there. To slow down. To make space for inner exploration and divining. Insight. Intuition.
More babies are born on full moons. Dogs howl and go wild when it shines full in the sky. My aunt once told me that there were triple the amount of psychotic episodes on the psych ward of the hospital when the moon was full – purely based on her experience.
The moon affects us and changes us, even if we try to disconnect from her. And for whatever reason, a reason that really threatens and scares some men, women are just more intuitive than men. They’re more in tune and in rhythm to the pulse of the Universe, and because of that gift, the Universe offers whispers that only women can hear.
VANESSA KUNDERMAN is an openhearted writer and storyteller who inspires others to discover their own paths and personal stories. She has a diploma in Creative Communications, and teaches at the University of Winnipeg. Her website, Rogue Wood Supply, is a large resource of modern spiritual practices centered around crystals, botanicals, and the moon. As an intuitive and crystal guide, she hosts sacred women’s workshops, offers crystal readings, and shares weekly moon phase oracles online. Vanessa and her work has been featured in Refinery29, The New Moon project, Cottage Life Magazine, and more. She is a mother and cancer survivor living in the Canadian Prairies.