By: Samantha Clement
Seasons & Cycles is all about bringing awareness to women concerning the patterns in nature and the cycles within ourselves. We find this is an important topic to discuss because so many women have expressed feeling disconnected from themselves and their environment. Our education system does not always do us justice when it comes to understanding our physical anatomy and all the emotions that rest beneath the surface. Girls are menstruating earlier and earlier and, still, we fail to bring awareness and tools to unlocking the secret of womanhood: connection. It is not only about knowing what cycles take place inside our bodies, but also about understanding how these cycles are reflected in nature–and at one point in history, worked together with nature.
Each season brings its own role to the whole. If we look at seasons in correlation with our female menstrual cycle, there is a clarity to understanding the bigger picture. When you start bleeding, you may experience an introspective time in your cycle. This is like winter. The season feels colder and darker than any other season. We tend to draw within ourselves. We feel heavier emotions, require a bit more rest, and think on a deeper level as we shed the lining. Then comes spring: a season of rejuvenation. This is like the week following our bleeding time. You hit the reset button and make new plans. Your energy is returning slowly but surely. Summer comes and we move into the heat. Here we have full-fledged energy. This is ovulation. Creativity resurfaces as a wave of possibilities move in. You have released the egg. Your spring plans are in motion. Autumn brings a crispness in the air and the scent of decaying foliage, your premenstrual cycle hits with its own shift in hormones. You know this feeing. It is time to store away the harvest of seeds sown in seasons prior. Your cycle comes to an end as you anticipate a new bleed. Winter is here once more, and you shed the old to welcome the new.
Your twenty-eight days cycle also quite literally parallels the moon’s cycle. You bleed, and just like the new moon, draw in—shrouded in darkness, you travel further into yourself and leave everything else behind. As the new moon slowly waxes, it becomes lighter and brighter little by little. And like each new sliver of light making the moon bigger every night, you move into ovulation, a time reflected in the full moon. Your energy and creative flow are rekindled. Your love is made more tangible. Your body becomes warmer and more accepting. You peak. And then you begin to fade (or wane) back into yourself, your thoughts, your dreams. Instead of loving outwardly, you pull love in to care for yourself and shed the former.
Looking back in time (way back–like Biblical times), women used to seek out physical places together during their bleeding and birthing. These places were often referred to as red tents. Women actually gathered together, away from the men, to commune, support, share stories, and take part in one of the most basic female biological functions. They would bleed into the earth without shame or embarrassment, knowing that every woman that sat beside them was experiencing the same thing. This would usually take place sometime around the new moon. That was the other thing; just as the moon governs the oceans’ tides, she also governs the menstrual tide of women. As the new moon grew into a full moon, around two weeks later, women would ovulate. Imagine this kind of awareness and connection to yourself, other women, and nature.
Maybe you’re wondering why women no longer bleed with the new moon and ovulate with the full moon. Maybe you think that you can’t relate to this. In our society we have been infiltrated with hormones in our food, toxins in our environment, and we are bombarded with synthetic light 24/7. These unnatural toxins have altered our cycles. The truth is, women are meant and designed to reflect the cycles and the seasons in nature. If you want to understand your body, you must tune in to her and tune in to the natural cycles around you. Everything in creation moves according to its natural, God-given rhythm. It does not ask for advice, require extra help, or manipulation from man to survive and thrive. We may think it does, but it doesn’t. This is the same with the female body. There are ways to regulate yourself naturally. It may be a painful and difficult journey, but it’s only for a season. Once we understand our bodies, we step into the power we have as women. We can begin, not only anticipating our cycles and changes, but enjoying them.
So you see, nature has always worked hand in hand with our natural bodily cycles. This is precisely why it is crucial to tap into our female makeup and the environment that surrounds us. Maybe the question is how? It’s obvious we do not live in a society where all women are synced or have a place to retreat to during times of bleeding, however it is not impossible to begin a similar, more modern approach.
This season’s issue will focus on the first step in that process: awareness. Being aware of the changes we experience will lead to preparing for them. While we prepare and form traditions and celebrations around such changes, we can slowly build a healthy relationship with them. Cycles are inevitable and life will always bring new seasons with the changing tides. Through awareness and relationship to cycles and seasons, we begin to connect. Welcome to the conversation!
Please feel liberated to share below your own experiences with your moontime (menstrual cycle). Are you in tune with it? Is it painful or pleasant? Is it something you desire to have a better relationship with? Do you wish to be more regulated with the cycles in nature?