Know Your Period, Know Your Power
Embodying the cyclical nature of all life, Now Age thinking is that women’s menstrual cycles are designed by nature to guide us to our most creative, sexual, nurturing, and knowing selves every month. And when we actually bleed, this is symbolic of us being “reborn.”
One of my favorite writers on the subject of women and cycles is another British witch, Lisa Lister, who believes that some of our greatest spiritual work as women lies in realigning ourselves with the rhythm and rhyme of our Moon time. “Getting to know your cycle is like a master key to your monthly superpowers,” she told me recently. I had waited three days for her email, since when I first reached out she was on day one of her cycle and had just begun to bleed. “Retreating from the outside world on day one is sacred and a total nonnegotiable for me. I have said no to TV appearances because I was on day one,” she explained.
According to Lisa’s research (which became her life’s work after she was diagnosed with endometriosis at age 25 and told she needed a hysterectomy), the four distinct phases of our cycles—Menstruation, Preovulation, Ovulation, Premenstruation—can be mapped and therefore utilized to guide us to our most powerful selves. The issue is that what Lisa terms the “dude-centric” systems we live by don’t allow for these fluctuations. Week in, week out, we’re expected to show up in the world and perform in the same way. When the expectations of society go against where we’re at in our cycle, frustration—along with major chocolate cravings—can set in.
“But if we actually listened to our bodies … we’d unlock some extremely powerful ways to access our inner wild woman—intuition, rage, truth, alchemy—and that’s where the real MAGIC happens,” Lisa goes on. Magic, just maybe, like listening to your highest self and allowing it to guide you toward your most magnificent and significant life purpose.
All of which I got pretty darned excited about when I was first introduced to Lisa’s work. The idea that once you come to know your cycle intimately, you can begin to plan your life around it, seemed like a fabulous way to capitalize on the energy and gifts of each different phase. This is easier if you’re in a position to make your own schedule, granted. But if you do have the kind of job where you have to show up to a cubicle at the same time every day, you can at least go easy on yourself if you “underperform” because a big pitch happens to fall on a day of your cycle better suited to quiet introspection.
But wait a minute: What if you have an irregular cycle, like me? Which Lisa also thinks is very common, BTW, if not exactly “normal.” Her theory? “It’s another symptom of working against our cyclic nature and trying to live in a linear, dude-centric way.” Considering my whole career has meant being creative on demand to hit weekly if not daily deadlines, regardless of what my inner compass is telling me, it’s not exactly a huge leap to see how this alone could affect my flow. Many, many of our flows.
Lisa’s advice to me as I continue to work on finding mine? Keep diligently mapping my cycle: like, literally take daily notes on everything from my mood and energy levels to how I’m feeling about my appearance, until I begin to understand where my unique phases begin and end. This is something I encourage you to try, too, whether it means making daily notes in your diary or on your phone, or downloading an app (I’ve started using one called Luna) to keep track of where you’re at.
“The more you chart, the more your cycle will start to find her groove, since generally she’ll be ‘irregular’ because you’re not paying attention and are working against her, opposed to with her natural rhythm,” Lisa told me, adding that the length of each phase will be somewhat different for everyone.
In my case: “You may notice that your preovulation is super long because your body needs it to be that way so that you can get more done. This is how freakin’ incredible it is!” When it comes to what I’ve been learning about periods in general, freakin’ incredible sounds about right.
The Secret Powers of Your Moon Cycle Phases:
This guideline is based on a 28-day cycle and may be slightly different for you, if your cycle is longer or shorter.
Menstruation (days 1–6)
It's all about: deep intuition, retreat, and forgiveness—a reconnection to your inner truth.
Preovulation (days 7–13)
It's all about: high energy, risk taking, and expansive vision—getting shit done.
Ovulation (days 14–21)
It's all about: wanting to be seen. You're sexy, social, “The queen of freaking everything!”
Premenstruation (days 22–28)
It's all about: a shift from “doing” to “being.” You're letting it all hang out, and there's no time for BS.
Adapted from Material Girl, Mystical World, by Ruby Warrington. Copyright © 2017 by Ruby Warrington. Reprinted with permission by Harper Elixir, a line of Harper One, a division of Harper Collins Publishers.
Feature illustration by Ruben Ireland.
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For more of Ruby Warrington’s tips on how to live a stylishly spiritual life, try:
Can Cleaning Your Closet Really Cleanse Your Soul?
A Hair Shaman’s Tips for Lovely and Lustrous Locks
How to Attract Love and Abundance with a Good Luck Talisman
Here’s the Best Perfume for Your Zodiac Sign. You’re Welcome.
What’s Your Secret Power Color? Your Body Knows.