On the Full Strawberry Moon live cast, we talked about the deep inner work so many of us are grappling with right now. Here in the Northern Hemisphere we’re leaving the spring Maiden and moving into summer, but it’s the Crone who is hovering over us.
These months of forced COVID-19 pause and the dank underbelly of racism that’s been exposed worldwide — both are calling us to deep, difficult self-reflection, self-reckoning, and radical transformation.
I’ve said before that COVID-19 was our global “period” to stop us all in our tracks and force us into introspection and contemplation.
To force us to look at parts of ourselves that we would never willingly look at.
And now we have the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others. We have Black Lives Matter. We have an ugly truth that was always there, exposed to the light where it can no longer be denied.
We have the truth that we are all prejudiced — even racist. We’ve all grown up with biases from our families, our communities, and society at large. We all have to question our beliefs and our biases.
To me, it feels a whole lot like a big collective luteal phase.
Uncomfortable truths, the inability to repress them any longer, a deep, shadowy interiority — any woman who has paid attention during her premenstrual phase will recognize that.
It may seem like a stretch to relate these enormous, painful global events to the menstrual cycle of a woman. Periods might feel like a funny thing to be talking about right now.
But I believe that part of our problem — as women, as men, as a society — is an inability to sit with our shadow sides and to value and integrate the truths they hold.
The work of the moon and the menstrual cycle is to bring us back together — to unify the light and the shadow.
Inner stillness requires checking in, tuning into the inner being and asking questions. Looking at your spiritual callings, your emotional struggles, your physical being, your mental capacity, and the truths that are asking to be acknowledged.
Your menstrual cycle, if you are a woman with a cycle, provides you with a built-in map to do exactly this.
What am I talking about?
If you've been around here for long, you’ve probably heard it from me before and there’s a good chance you’ve embraced it for yourself.
But if you need a refresher on what exactly this in-built system of self-knowledge is:
Like the moon you have distinct phases, waxing and waning from light to darkness, from the fullness and fertility of the follicular phase to the withdrawn interiority of the luteal phase.
First we have the phases of the cycle that, on the surface, feel more fun, more buoyant, more in line with the productivity and positivity that are expected of us:
The energy of pre-ovulation is the energy of the Maiden, all about rebirth, new enthusiasm, mental clarity and physical vigour. This is your crescent moon phase.
Ovulation ushers in the nurturing and supportive energy of the Mother, a fertile environment for the nourishment of your relationships, dreams, ideas, and creative goals. This is your full moon phase.
And here’s where we begin to come into those more challenging energies, the ones that feel less acceptable:
The premenstrual phase brings the energy of the Enchantress: emotional, wild, unpredictable, powerful, no longer able to tolerate the intolerable. This is your waning moon phase.
Menstruation brings you the Wise Woman. Your body may be begging for nothing more challenging than your couch, your brain may feel dulled, but this quiet, introspective, intuitive energy can be deeply spiritual and even magical. This is your new moon phase.
It’s when you consciously track these four phases alongside the phases of the moon that you begin to discover how to process, honour, and integrate all aspects of yourself.
A lot of people have been telling me “I have so much time to think.”
In these past few weeks, so much of that thinking can feel negative, like we’re spinning in our thoughts.
Instead of spinning in thoughts, we have the opportunity as women to use our cycles as a guideline for self-inquiry. Tracking your cycle with the moon provides the space for that inquiry. It’s like journalling at a cyclical level.
If you’d like to understand more about using your menstrual cycle as your personal map for self-reflection, self-reckoning, and integrating the shadow with the light…
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