Inner seasons

The menstrual cycle has four different phases, AKA inner seasons.  Each one is associated with a moon phase and a season of womanhood.  Often times, women feel like they have four different versions of themselves, depending on what season they are in.

Every season has a shadow and a light side to it and is intimately influenced by hormones,

primarily estrogen and progesterone.

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to begin tracking your cycle and creating an intimate awareness of what day you are on, what season you are in and what your individual needs are during each one.  In doing so, you begin to notice the patterns taking place cycle after cycle, and will likely realize that you may not be so unpredictable after all.

Image by Yoann Boyer

News flash:

You are not
bi-polar,
you are a
cyclical being

The Dance of the Inner Seasons

Women carry the rhythm of the earth and the cosmos

ingrained into the makeup of their bodies and wombs

 

They are the wisdom keepers, portals, bringers of life 

 

They are intimately connected with all of life  

Their bodies expressing the death and rebirth cycle,

month after month, after month

Menstrual Tree Color.jpg

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During inner winter, the menstrual phase, your energy is in its most yin, or internal state.  This is the most feminine time of the menstrual cycle.  Your energy is down in the roots and soil of your inner world.  Winter is the least conducive time to engage with the external world.  It is an invitation to draw inward, into your inner temple of menstruation.

 

You are invited to retreat from the external world and rest as much as possible.  It is a time for stillness, self-care and reflection.  You come to the inner temple to nurture yourself and slow down to heal and replenish your body and nervous system.

 

This can lead to a deep inner-connection, expansive awareness and altered states of consciousness, bliss and experiencing all life as sacred.  You must slow down enough to listen and allow yourself to receive the medicine and wisdom of your moon.

Image by Ray Hennessy

As you begin to transition from inner winter to inner spring, the follicular phase, your energy begins to surge upwards, just like new life surges from the roots of a tree, through the trunk and eventually out into the branches.  Increasing estrogen awakens you from your winter slumber, bringing with it a new sense of confidence and desire to engage with the external world.

 

You may feel calm, dynamic, clear, open, energetic, enthusiastic, focused and inspired.  Spring brings a sense of renewal and a desire to take action.  Embrace the curiosity and playfulness.  Allow your mind to engage in imagination and possibility and enjoy the surging energy and desire growing within you as you build into summer.

 

Inner summer, the ovulation phase, is the most yang, or external state of your cycle.  Archetypically speaking, this is the most outwardly focused energy.  You are likely to be in the fullness of your expression feeling sexy, vibrant, alive and like you can do all the things and more!  Hello super woman self.

 

Allow for sensual creativity and your growing sexual desire.  You are likely to feel more receptive, open, turned on and empowered.  This is a time to celebrate and be your most magnetic and attractive self.  Shine bright and milk the feel goods for all they’re worth!

Image by ErnAn Solozábal
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The transition from inner summer to inner fall, the luteal phase, can be one of the most difficult.  Hormones plummet after the egg is no longer viable, which triggers ovulation come down and your transition into luteal.  You may go from feeling on top of the world to questioning everything in your life over night.

Just like the trees drop their leaves and their energy begins to return to the roots in preparation for winter, our internal state and hormones are mirroring that.  Inner fall is a time to slow down, say no and to nurture yourself, as you will likely notice shifting needs and desires.  It is a time to set more clear boundaries and clarify your needs as to how you can best be supported during this phase.  Fall is a great time for completion of tasks and tying up loose ends.

The rose colored glasses you were wearing during spring and summer come off and truth time settles in.  This is where you see the deeper truth and come face to face with your inner critic.  It can be intense, yet spiritually refining and beautiful.  It is time to assess and refine what isn’t working in your life and align with what is.  Allow yourself to abandon all responsibility as you get closer to winter and prepare to return to your roots and surrender to your inner temple.

Know that every season is just a phase and this too shall pass….

*Note that the approximate days are based on a 28 day cycle

If your cycle is shorter or longer the days that you are in each phase will vary

Image by Aaron Burden

Menstrual Phase - Inner Winter

Approximately day 27- day 5

 

Moon Phase- New moon/dark moon

Season- Winter

Season of Womanhood- Crone/wise woman

Keywords- Rest, retreat, nurture, stillness, self-care, reflection, release, vision, detachment, inner-connection, expansive awareness and altered states of consciousness, bliss, experiencing all life as sacred, inner guidance and instruction

Almond Blossom

Follicular Phase (pre-ovulatory)  - Inner Spring 

Approximately day 6-day 11

 

Moon Phase- First quarter 

Season- Spring 

Season of Womanhood- Maiden 

Keywords- calm, dynamic, clear, open, energetic, enthusiastic, focused, inspiration, renew, action, innocence, curiosity, playfulness, imagination and possibility, surging energy/life, desire — sexual and emotional, focus, motivation, assertiveness

Image by Dakota Roos

Ovulatory Phase - Inner Summer

Approximately day 12-day 18

 

Moon Phase- Full Moon 

Season- Summer

Season of Womanhood- Mother

Keywords- Sensual creativity, receptive, open, sexy, turned on, empowered, confident, celebrate, express, outward focus, loving others, visibility, optimism, taking charge, mastery, high energy, magnetism and attraction, generosity, being in flow, allowing, gratitude, pleasure

Image by Cristina Gottardi

Luteal Phase & Deep Luteal - Inner Fall

Approximately day 19-day 26

 

Moon Phase- Third Quarter

Season- Fall

Season of Womanhood- Enchantress or Queendom

Keywords- Slow down, say no, nurture self, boundaries, clarify needs, listen deeply, self-reflective, completion, tying up loose ends, insight, truth-speaking, losing it, discernment, abandoning all responsibility