The Wise Old Woman's Wise Blood
The original Crones of the matriarchal community were women past the age of menopause, in whom the blood of life no longer appeared outside the body. However, to our remote ancestors this was not necessarily a sign of its disappearance. It was clear enough that pregnant women also ceased to menstruate, presumably because their magic blood was otherwise occupied int he manufacture of the female miracle, a new life. When the aged mothers of the prehistoric tribe ceased to menstruate, it was similarly assumed that their magic blood was retained within the body for another wonderful purpose. Since it was usually described as wise blood, and old women were described as the wisest of mortals, it is not surprising to find that retained menstrual blood was often regarded as the source of their wisdom.