Menstruation is significant. The word “blessing” originates from the old English “bloedsen” which means bleeding. The power of menstruation resonates loud and clear in many cultures across the world. What secrets were they in touch back then? Does it have any relevance for a 21st-century woman? Does it have a connection with the menstrual suffering and infertility too many of us experience? And how we could use this power?
Every single month, our menstrual cycle gives us an opportunity as women to connect on a deeper level, practice self-love and self-acceptance and to hone our power and menopause is our graduation day. The woman who has crossed her menopause having understood the power of her menstruating years is truly a woman to be reckoned with. When we understand and learning to love our relationship with the cycle we understand and love relationship with ourselves.
Most of us already know that the tides of the ocean are caused by the magnetic pull of the moon. Scientific evidence shows that our biological cycles are connected to the moon and tides, they work together and effect our physiological responses. The average women menstrual cycle is 29.5 days – the same length of the moon cycle. It takes 29.5 days to fax from new to full and wane from full to new again.
There are many similarities between the moon cycle and women cycle. Dark energy of the full moon is similar to menstrual energy and outward fullness of the full moon to ovulation.
Research has shown that women living without artificial lighting and who do not eat food that got artificial hormones naturally bleed at the full moon and ovulate at the new moon. If I had to choose another word to call menstruation it would be MAGIC, if it is not magic than I do not know what magic is.
To give you a rough idea of these phases, in a classic 28-day cycle:
Week 1: Inner Winter/ New Moon– Around day 1-6 of your menstrual cycle, starts on the first day of your bleeding.
Week 2: Inner Spring/ Waxing Moon– Around day 7-13 when you’re in the pre-ovulation phase, starts the next day after the bleeding.
Week 3: Inner Summer/ Full Moon – Around day 14-21 during your ovulation phase.
Week 4: Inner Fall / Waning Moon– Around day 22-29 during your luteal phase (winding down again).
However, do not get too hung up on exact days. The important thing is to sense and follow your own cycle experience and discover the season changing moments for yourself. As you bring consciousness to and care for each season in turn, you restore the order of the cycle, your inner ecology, and with that create a feeling of greater ease and pleasure, coherence, and effectiveness in using your power. Our body each month teaches us important lessons which we have to learn alone. It is time to reclaim our power and listen deeply to our inner wisdom.
PHASE: Visionary Bleeding
ARCHETYPE: Wise Women/Crone
SACRED TASK: Surrender
EMOTIONAL SENSATION: Energy focused inward on the self. Sometimes moodiness, sometimes relief. Visual skills and left brain/right brain communication at peak-lots of dreaming. Open to receiving intuitive messages.
KEYWORDS: Menstruation, peace and rest, alone time, quiet time, still, release, wisdom, sensitivity, tension, I want to feel safe and cosy, I am not available to you right now, creative ideas.
Inner Winter is your bleeding time – a time to slow down, pause and turn your gaze inwards.
This is a time for a recalibration and reset – a time for nesting, visioning, resting, connecting to your ‘womb wisdom’, journaling and allowing more space to simply BE – no for pushing and excessive doing. When you ignore the inward pull to rest at this time in your cycle you can set up a domino effect for the rest of the month – you might feel you are always playing catch up and are unable to access the full potential and energy of the Spring and Summer due to exhaustion.
I would recommend avoiding any form of physical exercise on your winter days, at least on the first day of bleeding. If it is possible to give yourself permission to rest and sleep if you cant at least go to bed earlier than usual. In this way, you will be so much more productive in your spring, trust me. If you can’t stay still try restorative yoga, hot water packs could be great here. Gentle walks could be good as well, preferably in nature if you feel like going out. If you got menstrual cramps I would recommend try breath awareness exercises, like the ocean breath or alternate nostril breathing. All those breathing techniques will soothe your nervous system, relaxes your body so the pain will easier leave your body, do not do any pumping breathing techniques as Kapalabhati or Bhastrika this not going to help with the natural blood flow downwards. As well try some soothing herbal teas like Rasberry Lief, Ginger (which will help to create heat in your body this will help to deal with the cramps) or calming Chamomile. If you are into essential oils, relaxing Lavender is a perfect choice. Try journaling, intention setting, oracle cards, visioning. Be aware of your dreams, they going to be very powerful on those days as well you will be able to reach much deeper states of meditation than usually.
SACRED TASK: Cherish
EMOTIONAL SENSATION: Typically outgoing, upbeat, and revitalized. Urge to act on new projects. Increasing creative and mental energy.
KEYWORDS: Rebirth, fresh-start, focused, independent, pre-ovulation, new beginnings, dynamic energies, optimistic, grounded, carefree, flirty, youthful, fire/air.
From around Day 7 you begin to arise from the depths of Winter and feel the shift into your Inner Spring – a time of new beginnings, possibility and potential. In Spring you can start to feel and harness the budding energy building, and (slowly) begin bringing the seeds you planted in the Winter to fruition. This is a great time to implement new rituals into your daily life as you are feeling inspired and filled with energy. The Maiden archetype is evident here and you will perhaps feel playful, innovative, abundant, courageous, sensual and inspired. Now it is a perfect time to choose more feminine forms of yoga like Womb Yoga. As well try swimming, SUPing or nature walks. Spring is a new start so make sure you treat yourself with a nice bath full of your favorite blossoms and essential oils or hammam. It is a perfect time to show yourself some love, book a massage or try yourself breast massage, mirror gazing or other self-love practices. Make sure you are giving yourself lots of vitamins, eat clean and mindful.
SACRED TASK: Self Celebration
EMOTIONAL SENSATION: Verbal skills at peak. Sometimes experiences of relaxation, contentment, and receptiveness to care by others. Fertile ground for new ideas to take action on.
KEYWORDS: life, lightly creative, community-focused, relationship building, service, strong, able to take challenges, love-making, lush, fire, sexy, fertility, attractive, super-woman, feminine, adventure, driven, full moon.
After the Spring comes the fullness of Summer and the peak of your energy during your cycle. This is a time to get expressive and use all that creative potential – in your work, life or the bedroom! Aligned with the energy of the Full Moon and the archetypes of the Mother and the Sensual Siren, this is the time to have fun, play, not take life too seriously, share your love and bring the seeds of intention planted in the Winter and nourished in the Spring to manifestation. Your focus is outwards and you may very well feel like you have the world at your feet – nothing can stop the energy of Summer!
Now you are at the peak of your energy so try stronger forms yoga, canoeing, paddle boarding, surfing, trekking, bike riding, running, dancing. Tap into and cultivate your sexual energy, solo or with the partner. Connect with your sisters – now it is your social phase!
ARCHETYPE: Wild Women/Priestess
SACRED TASK: Holding Yourself
EMOTIONAL SENSATION: Energy slowing down, feeling more introverted, focusing on self, noticing what is working and what is not working. Typically more intuitive and in touch with your feelings.
KEYWORDS: Premenstruation, autumn, dynamic energies, impatient, tired, critical, sensitive, emotional, pain, irritable, anger, alone, bloated, spotty, observe, chocolate, blocked, brewing, destruction, real, low energy, hormones are dripping, moody, less focus and concentration, heightened creativity.
Once the Summer heat begins to dissipate you will start to feel the turn of the Fall and your energy begins to wane. As your hormones drop you may feel the need for more sleep, so honor your changing rhythms and rest when you need to. Move at the pace of your body, rather than your mind.
This is a potent creative time for you – and as you feel the waning energy drawing you close to bleeding, you can experience a final surge to get things done and finish projects so you can fully rest come Winter. Autumn can also be the time you are most likely to fall prey to self-sabotage and inner judgment, get to know your inner critic – listen for the particulars of how you put yourself down so that you can deal with your self-critisism better.
Gentle Yoga/ Exercise – can help to stimulate endorphin release, regulate hormones and lesson stress. Now it is the perfect timing for all the creative projects – get crafty, write, paint – mix it up! Take extended periods off Social Media (comparisonitis can be rife this phase). Nourishing and warming foods – the digestive system can be a little sluggish during this phase (try and give sugar a miss too). If you are suffering from menstrual cramps make sure you are doing your best to avoid coffee, white flower, alcohol, strong forms of exercise during this period. Rest is your priority. Start closing the projects and fill the fridge with the healthy food choices so you will be prepared for your winter and do not have to eat junk.
We’re not meant to suffer when we bleed. Our menstrual suffering, that’s so often passed as “normal” is not normal at all. If you would like to embark on your journey with the inner seasons you have to become interested in in the whole of your cycle – chart it so that you know where you are at any given moment.