Back when shamanism was a highly respected practice, the woman was seen as highly intuitive and an important figure in society (still my belief). The start of menstruation was actually praised as it signaled the cross-over into womanhood as well as the heightening of a woman's intuition to better serve the community. It was believed that women hold a close relationship to our moon, Luna. The Mbuti people of Africa consider women and menstruation to be "blessed by the moon." Women back in those times were actually proud to have a menstrual cycle which is very opposite to how most women feel today. When major religions began to spread, along with the patriarchal system, shamanic practices and the menstrual cycle were demonized as the men who were taking over did not understand these processes and principles. Hopefully, we can come to a better understanding of wombmanhood as well as how to properly flow with our flows.
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Just like Mother Earth and Luna Moon, women have seasons and phases. Most women's menstrual cycles will actually align with the cycles of the moon. When a woman releases on or slightly after a full moon with ovulation occurring around the new moon , this is called a Red Moon Cycle. Red moon cycles are associated with women who focus on creative energies to nourish and teach others during their cycles. White Moon Cycles occur when a woman releases on or slightly after the new moon with ovulation occurring around the full moon. Women with this cycle may experience a surge of intuition and the need for self renewal. All women will experience both cycles in their lifetimes (fertility delays and hormonal imbalances may make it more difficult to pin point each stage, although still possible to experience).
The menstrual cycle, as a whole, consists of different phases. Each phase has a particular "season" associated with it. Days one through seven of a woman's menses, the release of menstruation, are associated with winter and the new moon. Days seven through fourteen, the follicular phase, are associated with spring and the waxing moon. Days fourteen through twenty-one, ovulation, are associated with summer and the full moon. Fall and the waning moon are associated with days twenty-one through twenty-eight, which is the luteal phase of the menses cycle. As the Earth goes through changes during her seasons, a woman experiences different moods and characteristics during each one of her seasons.
A woman's winter is a time of boundary setting. This is the time for that woman to purge all unwanted feelings of anger, hurt and pain that may have accumulated from the previous month. She is shedding emotionally and physically. This is really just a time to focus on the self. A woman may notice that her intuition is heightened as well as having more vivid, prophet-like dreams. Premenstrual symptoms may actually become amplified if a woman strays from caring for herself in a loving way during this time as the body is trying to tell her to just have a seat and rest. A woman can honor this stage of her cycle by partaking in activities like:
- Creating an in-home spa for herself
- Listening to when her body needs rest
- Respecting the boundaries she sets for herself
- Cooking herself a healthy meal
Health Tip: As it is always important to drink plenty of water, high water intake is extremely important during this time to keep things flowing smoothly. It is also important to consume a diet rich in iron, vitamin C & vitamin B12 (lots of whole grains and cooked veggies). Partake in low impact exercise like yoga.
Spring within a woman is tied to her goddess energy - all women have this no matter how in tune she is with it. This is a time to make plans for the month ahead of her. Energy levels are beginning to rise along with creativity. A woman may have this renewed sense of purity and this is a great time to step into nature whether it be taking care of houseplants, taking a nature walk, or even doing something special for another person.
- Set your intentions for the month during this time
Health Tip: Consume fresh fruits and vegetables as well as nuts, eggs and fish to support follicular development. Partake in light cardio exercises during this time.
Summer is a fun one and my favorite season to experience. This is a time when a woman is the most sociable, outspoken and outgoing (get out there and network!). As this is the ovulation season, it's a no brainer that a woman may also experience heightened sexual urges in summer(this energy is great for manifesting!). Furthermore, this is the season to get up and get things done! Run that package to the post office, register the kids for school, begin that work presentation, etc.- use that energy productively!
Health tip: Foods with B vitamins, zinc and essential fatty acids are important during this stage for the healthy release of an egg and blood flow to the uterus. Consume lots of water to keep the hormones flowing freely. This is a good time to try new high endurance exercises as well (without overexerting yourself).
As estrogen and energy levels begin to drop, the fall season begins. This is a time of reflection as anything you have been pushing off earlier in the month will resurface. During this time, one may want to wrap up any last minute work or errands to complete before the winter phase, the menstrual release. This is mainly a time to prepare for the winter season. This would be a perfect time to pick up last minute household supplies, do some deep cleaning, a yoni steam or a spiritual bath and stock up on face masks and food.
Health Tip: Consume foods high in magnesium, calcium and b vitamins like root vegetables, brown rice, cruciferous veggies, cucumber and beans to support the liver in metabolising hormones. Really embrace using this time for self care.
As physical embodiments of the Divine Feminine, women can be proud of what sets us apart from our male counterparts. We can learn to honor our cycles by learning more about them. One can honor her cycle simply by taking time to pamper herself in a way that is special for her. Listening to your needs and releasing things that no longer serve you are also great ways to honor your cycle - yourself as well. I believe that once women start honoring the divinity within us, there will be a decline in depression rates, mood swings, stress, etc. The more women who are respected and live peacefully - the happier Mother Goddess will become.
Peace and love to you.
Disclaimer: Please consult your health care professional before attempting any of the techniques here. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any health conditions. These claims have not been evaluated by the FDA.