By Liana Jacob
WHILE MOST WOMEN dread their time-of-the-month, this yoga instructor sees her PERIODS as a blessing as she PAINTS on canvases with her periods and uses the excess blood to WATER HER PLANTS.
Massage therapist and yoga instructor, Cassie Blue (30), from Michigan, USA, started creating her period art, also known as Yoni paintings, which is the ancient Indian term for vagina, since August 2017; using the blood to paint on canvases which she would hang up on her bathroom wall.
Such as with most women, Cassie’s menstrual cycle caused her discomfort, so she decided this was a way to turn an inconvenience into a creative outlet. Since August last year, every month she would paint a new canvas and even used the excess blood to water her plants.
“I use a reusable menstrual cup and pour the contents into a lidded glass jar. If I’m not ready to paint yet I’ll just store it until I’m ready. I don’t need very much at all, it’s probably less than an ounce,” Cassie said.
“Before I began yoni paintings, I felt largely inconvenienced by my cycle, that it was something I had to do. Now, I see it as a blessing and opportunity, something I am truly grateful for.
“I was really excited to do my first yoni painting. I’d just gotten back from the solar eclipse in Charleston, South Carolina, and had started my cycle early, in sync with the eclipse.
“Any apprehension was melted by the time I got my paintbrush out and began painting, my own self being painted in front of me.
“Sometimes the images come to me as I’m planning for my painting; gathering canvases and brushes, but other times it’s more from energetic vibes and I just try to express them accurately as they feel in my mind to how the shapes look on the canvas.
“Other times I start out with one plan and something completely different happens in the process, it definitely varies month-to-month.”
Cassie explained what she does with the excess blood and her favourite paintings.
“In my research, I’ve found some incredible studies into the healing power of menstrual blood especially with soil. So, I fill my jar up with water and go outside and water my plants,” she said.
“I see and feel so much in my paintings it’s kind of hard to separate one from the other. Like my first one of the eclipse, I had no idea what I was doing really, but I was so giddy about the possibility of it all.
“In January, I did a painting that started as a mandala, but morphed into this creepy eyeball. I wasn’t sure why it had come up so strongly.
“In April, a cat turned into a lion, and my meow began to feel more like a roar. To me they’re just me, and I suppose some pieces have different weights, but they’re all a construct in my journey.
“I hang them in my bathroom on a large wall. I have thirteen-months hanging on the wall, but I have them split them into two sections, so the first twelve-months are all blocked together in order.”
Cassie explains that each painting looks a different shade to another, and she has received an overwhelming amount of support from friends and strangers.
“Some of my paintings get darker, some get browner, some stay almost exactly the same. The red house was painted outside right after I moved into my new home and has hardly changed colour at all,” she said.
“Perhaps because it dried in the sun as I painted or something else, but I love the way they evolve in time; each one changing its own perspective too.
“I’m still waiting for the backlash because I’ve had nothing but support in my life with regards to them. People are curious and just tend to ask a lot of questions.
“My friends will ask logistics: how I collect, dispose, etc. Strangers are more curious as to why. Either way I’m happy to answer because it’s been so helpful in my life.
“I think the energy of that comes through and even if people may have once turned their nose at this work, I think the energy of this Earth is moving in such a way people want to connect not only to others, but themselves too.
“I love sharing my yoni painting stories because I think it’s another opportunity for that connection with ourselves and those around us as we get to know more about ourselves.
“However you feel inclined, create. Even if it seems silly or strange, if you feel called to it you should at least try it.
“Each moment we follow our intuition, is an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and create more options for us to create more choices to live better lives.
“I often suggest to people that are nervous to try it to just meditate with the thought and intention, then try it with red paint.
“It’s still a great way to tune in, but less prep-time and fear of being weird. Also, if you feel like it, you can always dive deeper.”