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Menstrual Cycle Awareness

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“At menarche a young woman enters her power,

throughout her menstruating years she practices her power,

and at menopause she becomes her power.”

– Native American proverb

A small book found at a women’s red tent circle called The Wild Genie – The Healing Power of Menstruation by Alexandra Pope began a journey of profound discovery for me many years ago. I devoured that book in a way that has only happened a few times since in my life, because it awakened within me a deep inner knowing and resonance with the sacredness and power of the menstrual cycle. I realise now that this was just the beginning of my pathway into the richness of the teachings of the Divine Feminine and the realisation that this is the birthright of every girl and woman. 

Menstrual Cycle Awareness (MCA) invites every woman to engage with the power and uniqueness of her menstrual cycle.  MCA correlates each week of the menstrual cycle with the phases of the moon and a corresponding inner season, bringing a different flavour, mood and energy to each week of the cycle. 


The Inner Seasons of the Menstrual Cycle

  • The beginning of the cycle is the menstrual phase and is aligned with mid-Winter, the Dark Moon, the Crone and the Rosehip. The energy is inward, deep and contemplative. It invites both release and renewal as the cycle ends and begins again. 

  • The second week of the cycle is the follicular or preovulatory phase and is aligned with mid-Spring, the First Quarter Moon, the Maiden and the Budding Rose. The energy is emerging, nascent, creative, wild, carefree and even impatient. It invites exuberance, the tending of new ideas or creations and the ability to dream big.


  • The third week of the cycle is the ovulation phase and is aligned with mid-Summer, the Full Moon, the Mother and the Full Bloom Rose. The energy is full, ripe, luscious, fertile and is the height of the cycle. It invites full expression of the self and the full bloom or birthing and the care and nurturing of creations, projects or children.


  • The fourth week of the cycle is the luteal or premenstrual phase and is aligned with mid-Autumn, the Last Quarter Moon, the Wise Woman and the Post Bloom Rose. The energy is contained, precise, wise, exacting and potentially with grief for what has not come into being. It invites distillation, tending to the harvest of the cycle, and noticing what is working and what needs to be pruned back or released before the cycle begins again.


My journey started by charting my cycle and working into each season of the cycle so that I could understand my own ebb and flow throughout each month and each year. I found Elder women of my community who mentored me, and I sat in Circle, and listened to each aspect of the cycle reflected within the words of the women of my community. From there I delved into the rich work of teachers like Jane Hardwicke Collings, Miranda Gray, Jean Shinoda Bolen and later Clarissa Pinkola Estés, who all spoke of the seasons of womanhood, the power of menstruation, cyclic awareness and the goddess archetypes evoked within each aspect of the cycle. 

As I worked deeper it became apparent to me that there were cycles within cycles – with each being a reflection of the other – the hormonal cycle, the lunar cycle, the solar or seasonal cycle and the life cycle. And so, within the framework of cyclicity awareness, I naturally turned to looking at how herbal medicines, flower essences, foods and movement could support each season of womanhood.

I then brought the richness of this work into my clinical practice and taught women to orient themselves within the inner and outer cycles of their lives bringing understanding and clarity to their current health and emotional states. I noticed that it created a unique roadmap for each woman and with the support of herbal and naturopathic medicine, she could journey back to wholeness and deeper understanding of herself and her needs throughout the month and life cycle. 

The beauty of this method continues to be that it invites each woman to deeper understanding of her changing and unique cyclical nature. It teaches a deep sense of body literacy and I continue to see women exhale with relief as they set aside the self-criticism and begin to work into the flow of their natural rhythm. The practice also grows on itself and becomes a rich tapestry in the life of women, it brings insight, depth, compassion and self-acceptance. A gentle grounded power. A deep inner knowing. A kindness. It is the alchemy of the menstrual cycle and one of the gifts the Great Mother brings us through the experience and em-body-ment of our Divine Feminine nature.


“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.”

- Maya Angelou

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