Mood swings and women: they go hand-in-hand, right? That’s what I grew up believing. And it’s what I experienced, too, spending many years feeling like a crazy person because I couldn’t control when I was outgoing, productive, and energetic, and when all that dynamism melted into an overwhelmed puddle on the couch.
When I discovered there was a cyclical pattern to the ebb and flow of my emotions and strengths, and that my “mood swings” were a perfect mirror of the moon’s cyclical phases, it was like stumbling on a treasure map to my self.
What I discovered is that inside every woman is encoded an ancient feminine heritage.
An innate wisdom that is our almost-forgotten birthright: our connection with the cycles of our body and the moon. In a beautiful symbol of the moon’s waxing and waning, we women flow monthly through a rhythm of outward phases and inward phases. We have specific times each month when we are more sexy and sensual, more nurturing and loving, more intuitive and spiritual, more vivacious and dynamic. And, because of our hormones, times when we’re not.
And not only is this okay, it actually provides us with a profound handbook on how to thrive.
I call it our four Goddess energies: four distinct phases we innately channel through our natural menstrual cycles, in tune with the phases of the moon.
First we have the maiden. She corresponds to your pre-ovulation week, just after you bleed: that time when you’re full of enthusiasm and vitality, growing fuller like the crescent moon. Maiden energy is ideal for beginning new projects, outlining goals, and tackling your to-do list. Your mind is clear and your enthusiasm is boundless.
The mother comes at ovulation. This is your most emotionally engaged time, perfect for nourishing your love life, your relationships, and your creative projects. You’re like the full moon: bright, expansive, vital.
The enchantress is who you become in your premenstrual week. You’re growing darker and drawing inward like the waning moon. It’s important to give the enchantress space for reflection and solitude—otherwise she may demand it in less-than-pleasant ways. But when you allow her to take you inside to that quiet and reflective place, she rewards you with deep insights and creativity.
The wise woman is the you who emerges during your period: quiet and internal as the dark moon, open to more mystical, psychic and intuitive experiences than at other times. The veil between the physical and spiritual world is said to be at its thinnest here. Meditation feels effortless. If you sit quietly with a journal and listen to your inner voice you may find guidance bubbling to the surface more readily than usual. This is a precious time to receive the wisdom and direction that you can implement when you cycle again into Maiden energy at the end of your period.
As I learned to embrace each of these Goddess energies, I began to understand that mood swings and PMS are not natural or normal—and they’re not because women are crazy, either. They’re the result of fighting against the flow of our feminine energy.
We may live in a world built largely on a linear masculine model, but we are not linear beings. And though it takes some effort to honour our cyclical selves in a linear world, the practical benefits extend into every area of our lives.
Because those ups and downs are not mood swings—they’re moon swings. And once we begin to tap into and channel them, that’s when we start becoming the unstoppable goddesses we came here to be.
I’ve created a series of meditations for each phase of the menstrual-moon cycle that will help you connect with the moon and with your cycle and embody the goddess you truly are.
The series includes:
Meditation for the New Moon phase, which corresponds to our Wise Woman, the time of bleeding, introspection, and spiritual insight
Meditation for the Crescent Moon phase, when we are blossoming into the energy of the Maiden after the darkness of menstruation
Meditation for the Full Moon phase, the energy of the Mother, when we are bright and ripe with fertility (the baby-making kind or the idea-generating kind) during ovulation
Meditation for the Waning Moon phase, when we sink into the energy of our Enchantress as we enter the premenstrual phase
The meditations are designed to be listened to at each phase of your menstrual cycle—your personal new moon, crescent moon, full moon, and waning moon phase—regardless of what the moon in the sky is doing. Your personal phase is what’s important.
I’d be so delighted to share these meditations with you.
Love and delight,
This article was originally published in Over the Moon magazine on March 8, 2016.