"Woman is by nature a shaman" -Chukchee Proverb
Modern society has twisted and torn the sacredness of the menstrual cycle, leaving people of this day in age to feel it's "shameful" or "not to be talked about". Being helped raised by my "traditional" grandparents, I was told not to talk about my cycle and to dispose of my feminine products discreetly; so that no one was to know.
Upon coming into adulthood, I began developing my own beliefs and felt quite tired of feeling dirty or shamed when I was taking part in a beautiful cycle of death & re-birth. After learning more about just how sacred this Moon Time was in ancient cultures and how powerful menstruation could be, I began to feel innately connected to my inner goddess.
During menstruation, woman hold the ability to reflect inward; connecting to divine source and intuition. In ancient traditions, woman would spend their cycles in a Moon Lodge (or something of sorts depending on culture), with other women to connect with spiritual power and give wisdom to their tribe. In fact, the word menstruation is derived from ancient words also meaning sacred, supernatural, spirit, & deity.
It's no coincidence that the average menstrual cycle last approximately 28-30 days, the same as a lunar cycle. And very similarly to the moon, each cycle carries it's own energies that can create immense impacts within our lives.
Let's break down the phases of each cycle to see how we can harness their energies -
Phase 1- Menstruation (New Moon/Winter)
This would begin on your first day of bleeding, lasting anywhere from 3-7 days. This is when your progesterone levels plunge and the uterine lining sheds. During this time, many women will experience extremely low energy and become introverted. This is time to honor your cycle and maybe cancel those plans, take time alone, & practice all of those delectable self care rituals. A whole day off might not be as attainable for some women so try taking at least part of time out of your day to give yourself some loving. A nice warm epsom salt bath, a gentle yoga routine, and/or a journaling practice can be a beautiful moment to reflect on what your body needs moving forward. (Great time for setting those intentions!) This is the time when we are most intuition; pay attention to gut feelings, dreams, and insights you may experience during this time.
Phase 2- Follicular (Waxing Moon/Spring)
This phase occurs after the menstrual cycle and typically last 7-10 days. This is the time when the pituitary gland releases the Follicle Stimulating Hormones which helps the egg to mature. When we think of this time in terms of the seasons, Spring is a time for new things coming to bloom, energy & life is created as estrogen and testosterone levels raise. Perhaps, dedicate this egg to whatever you'd like to breathe life into and see what actions can be made in order to watch your intentions manifest. As estrogen levels raise, confidence levels boost, brain functions improve, skin clears up, & weight loss occurs. Just like a butterfly coming out to dance on the flowers, we can set our internal social butterfly free to feel light and be social.
Phase 3- Ovulatory (Full Moon/Summer)
This is the shortest phases of our cycle, lasting between 2-3 days. This is what our body works hard for! Dropping the egg into the fallopian tube, where it has a lifespan of 12-24 hours; either becoming fertilized or dying. During this time, estrogen and testosterone levels will peak, enhancing attribute of the Follicular phase. We may feel we're looking our best, feeling our most confident, senses may even become more heightened! (My sense of smell becomes that of like a hound dog LOL) This is the perfect time to be that tigress, be assertive, speak your truth, be active, & seduce your honey!
Get out into the summer sunshine that is this phase, rejoice in feeling light & connecting to the world around you. This is the time to watch our intentions come into fruition.
Phase 4- Luteal (Waning Moon/Autumn)
This phase last approximately 14 days but of course, differs from woman to woman. The beginning of this phase may resemble that of the Ovulatory phase but then estrogen and testosterone levels will begin to slowly decline; this will allow the production of progesterone. This production acts like a natural occurring sedative of sorts and we may feel ourselves drawing inward. We can think now of the Autumn harvest, doing the last of the work in order to feel comfortable and prepared for the coming Winter season. This is a perfect time to declutter your space and mind, allowing yourself to be cozy in your next phases. The second half of the Luteal phase is when we might start to see symptoms of PMS. Consider conserving energy and practicing all your favorite self care routines as your body prepares to start the cycle over again.
Some self care tips to prepare for Moon Time:
Avoid those sugary, salty, carb filled cravings and nourishing yourself with some healthy foods.
Taking supplements or foods rich in Vitamin C, B-6, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, & Saffron can reduce in PMS symptoms and even help lengthen the time of the Luteal phase.
Magnesium & Iron are your friends if you find yourself with a painful cycle!
Nourish your Sacral chakra:
Crystals such as carnelian, orange calcite, moonstone, & citrine are great to meditate with or carry during Moon Time
Indulge in seeds, broths, teas, & citrus foods like oranges
Try using self esteem & self love mantras
Use lovely essential oils or incenses like Bergamot, Patchouli, Rose, or Sandalwood
Honoring ourselves during these scared cycles will not only going to allow us to tap into our divine femininity but also will help us to discover aspects of our lives that need healing. Bringing awareness to our body as we experience our Moon Time will help us find out which aspects could use more balance.
Moodiness: a symbol for time needed alone, your body is desiring inner-work and time for reflection. Slow yourself down and honor your intuition.
Nothing Going Right: This is a common feeling amongst women during their Moon Time, the feeling as though everything is going wrong. This is simply your observant gifts showing you what isn't serving you. Pay attention to what things are causing a reaction from you and make note of what aspects of your life may need to be let go or altered.
Pain & Lethargy: as we bleed, our iron levels become lower, causing us to feel low energy. And in most cases, women are drawn to lay down for rest when experiencing severe cramping. Honor yourself when feeling this way, do your best not to push yourself to exhaustion. Women are known to experience more vivid and prophetic dreams during Moon Time, so allow yourself to rest and receive these messages.
If you have a hard time with your menstrual cycle, first off, know that you are amongst many women. It was not until I began to look at our Moon Time as a sacred cycle, connecting me to my spirituality and life around me that I began to truly embrace it. Think of this as a whole new way to practice divinity, spirituality, and self care. Take pride in your life giving womb, nurture yourself, honor your power.
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