Thursday, June 20, 2013

The cycle of life

Dear my brother, and anyone else who doesn't want to read about "feminine issues" - consider yourself warned! ;)

I've recently become slightly fascinated with women's menstrual cycles.  (OK, that sound odd.  But it's not...just hear me out!) 

Maybe it comes with self-awareness, but I've started to realize just HOW different my personality can be at different times of the month.  Some days I can be the most peaceful, calm and loving person.  Other days I can be cuckoo-bingbong to the max, and my husband looks at me like "who the hell are you, crazy woman, and what have you done with my wife?"

For serious.

And then this week I stumbled upon this chart.  And oh how GREAT it would be to show you, with a little underline and a hyperlink on those words, the actual chart that I'm talking about.  Exxxxcept, I printed it out instead of saving the link.  And then cut and pasted it.  And then rested my coffee on it. So now it's not even worth scanning it to share it with you.

Anywho...back to my point.

The four phases of a women's cycle are so DRASTICALLY different, that it's not a wonder that many of us feel like we have multiple personality disorder sometimes.

Let me summarize my handy-dandy colour coded chart for you:

The pre-ovulatory phase, which lasts for 9 days - associated with the season of spring, the element of air, and brightening light.  Emotions are calm, dynamic, energetic, able to cope.  Libido is rising, feeling carefree.  A good time to start projects, clear out, catch up.  Relationships are easy going, trusting. A great time for new beginnings, exuberance, and self confidence.

The ovulatory phase, which lasts for around 5 days - associated with the season of Summer, a Motherly archetype, the element of earth, and full bright light..  Emotions are loving, nurturing, nourishing, sustaining, energized and connected.   Energy is full.  Libido is at its height.  A great tie to work hard, love well, birth creative projects.  In harmony with nature and other mothers.  Women in this phase are fertile, radiant, and caring.

The pre-menstrual phase, which lasts for around 9 days - associated with the season of Autumn, the element of fire.  Darkening light.  The Wild Woman/Enchantress archetype.  Energy is waning, destructive, and descending inwards.  Libido can come in peaks and troughs, can be very intense.  Immune system is lowered.  Towards the end we see bloating, tiredness, tender bodies, sugar and carb cravings, hostility, mood swings.  A good time to focus on assessment, inner directed projects, and taking action to deal with issues.  Need balance between dynamic interactions with others and focused creative time along. A magical, witchy, destructive, and intuitive time.

The menstrual phase, which lasts for around 5 days - associated with the season of WInter, the element of Water, the season of Winter, and the archetype of the Crone/ Wise Woman.  Absence of light. Energy is introspective, dreamy, sensitive, intuitive, spiritually connected.  Little desire for physical intimacy. Feeling crampy, tired, teary. A time to retreat and dream, do only what is essential.  Delay important or stressful decisions.  A desire to be alone or with other women.  A time to slow down and rest well.


I sit back and look at all that we go through in a month, and I want to give myself and ALL OF YOU a pat on the back for being alive, being mostly sane, being good parents, running households, businesses, whatever it is that you manage to do without entirely losing ALL OF YOUR SANITY.

Seriously - pat yourself on the back.

Now...take a moment to imagine how wonderful it would be if we actually had the time, or made the time to HONOUR those emotions, those physical and spiritual desires that come with each phase.  To rest when we should rest, to create when we should create.  Wow...what powerhouses we would all be!

But I have a sneaking suspicion that MAKING the time to honour these emotions is more than worth it.  It involves planning, to be sure, and it won't always work.  But I think of myself, and how some weeks I can stay up late nights and nights on end, and work until midnight, and on other weeks I'm in bed by 9:30 every night, dead to the world.  A little bit of planning, to be seriously productive on those key days would go a long way.  And what if we planned vacations for weeks that we should actually be resting...what a crazy idea.

Or not!

I bought an agenda today.  And tomorrow I'm going to mark these "phases" in my agenda for the next few months, and work on honoring them.  Create when I am at my most creative, dream when I am at my most introspective, rest when my body needs rest.  I've also shared my colour coded chart with my husband - hopefully it will help him to understand me more, and not look at me like I've totally gone off the deep end some days. 

It will be an interesting experiment, to be sure!

Stay tuned... ;)


  1. Of course I have known the physical phases for ages...what with all my fertility charting and such...

    But to know the motions and other important things with each that is good information to know.

    Maybe I will mark this down as well....lots of thoughts! Thanks for posting!

  2. So interesting. I wonder if there cycles are there even in absence of a period. I have been breastfeeding for over a year so no "little visitor," however there are certainly still emotional cycles.

  3. Have you read The Red Tent? It's a fantastic book of fiction, but also reminds us of the power of the mestrual cycle and how it used to guide women's behaviours. Definitely worth a read!