Seasons of bleeding
You hold the body of seasons and sum of ancient creations
in your womb.
You are stitched with secrets of the Mother. They are powerful.
Others will call you a hurricane and not in a good way.
They don’t know the weight of your fire.
Show them the whispers of your ancestors;
how they sparkle with wonder beneath the moon
and sway with the power of all the tides brewed together.
There are seedlings blooming in your blood,
each one a gift passed down within the lineage of you. For you.
May they light embers with remembrance.
You are home.”
My journey of connecting with my cycle took a beautiful turn last month. I was privileged to attend a women’s* workshop and circle with the gorgeous Loren Honey; a woman who holds a wealth of period understanding I cannot wait to be more fluent in. The workshop was delivered through the seasons of femininity and how this relates to our cycle. This knowledge felt ancient, powerful and wild. We hear a lot about decolonising our bodies, and I think this understanding is a great start. Our periods and hormones are not, and will not be defined by the colonised labels of moodiness, hassle and temper. We are powerful and this knowledge honours, deepens and explores the beauty of our bodies. Here’s what I learned:
A cis-female's hormone cycle spans 28 days (while a cis-male’s lasts 24 hours!). I think we tend to break this down into our fertile time, PMS hurricane time and squeezy womb sacred bleeding time. Loren teaches that every week of our cycle brings forth a different energy (I like to think of this as a different power) associated with a season (winter, spring, summer and autumn) and archetype. I understand archetypes to mean different embodiments of ourselves (Carl Jung, a groundbreaking psychologist coined the term and I guarantee there will be more specific definitions online). Learning how to harness and flow with each energy connects us to our cycle and ourselves in a way I never imagined until now.
Week one, or the week of bleeding, is associated with winter. I don’t know about you, but winter to me represents coziness, home and bed - and that is exactly what I feel like during my period. I go into a state of snuggly hibernation where I want nothing more than me, myself and I, some good TV shows and takeaways. This is also the time when our inner voice is the strongest. Listen to it!
According to Loren, this feeling dates back to our ancestors. In many ancient cultures, menstruators were said to have spent time alone to process, tune into themselves and just be during their periods. They would emerge from the symbolic red tents with clarity and connection. I believe sending menstruators away during their periods wasn’t segregation, but instead a recognition of the sacred nature of bleeding.
Power: strong inner voice.
Week two, or the time after bleeding relates to spring and the maiden archetype. What do these words mean to you? To me, spring makes me think of new blooms, energy and awakening after the hibernation of winter. A maiden represents youth, vibrancy and vitality. Now is the time to be social and soak up the wonders of the world! Life is beautiful!
Power: freedom and vitality.
Week three, ovulation! The sun’s out and so is our energy! This is the time when we feel most alive. Our fertility is blooming and so is our desire for socialising, flirting and having fun. We are free! Summer holds hands with the mother archetype. This relates to our fertility and the ability to get big ideas or projects rolling. Mums are superheroes and we embody them this week.
Power: creators of life! (If we choose).
Week 4, or the week before our bleed is the autumn aspect of our cycle. To me this week represents the welcoming of what we commonly call PMS; a crazy, emotional, raw hurricane of hormones. I like to drop things, cry, watch sad movies and lose my temper much more than usual. Unsurprisingly, this week is known as the time where our wild woman is released. To me, this means my inner voice is strong and uninfluenced by other people and things around me. I know what I want and anything less gets the fire in me going! This is not the time to get yourself in situations which you know will annoy you. Our wild woman ain’t got time for that! We need this week to be kind, listen to ourselves and clear out anything that’s bringing us down. What does wild woman mean to you?
Power: being uninfluenced by external people and things. No time for inauthenticity! We can see straight through that.
I find this perspective on my cycle groundbreaking. We are incredible beings and I think understanding each part of our flow is super empowering. I still have so much to learn and I’m definitely not an expert, but I can’t wait to find out more and observe how I flow in each season.
P.S. If you’re in Auckland and would like to learn more, head to Lauren's Instagram @lorenhoney_ to find out more about any workshops she is holding! This is not sponsored in any way. I just love Loren and the knowledge she holds and is willing to share. Let us reclaim our period powers! Let us be wild!
** Disclaimer: You definitely don't have to identify as a woman if you hold a pair of ovaries, and likewise, not all women menstruate. We aim to be as inclusive as possible and would like to acknowledge that Wā Collective is ovary based, and not based on gender! Periods do not have to be the epitome of femininity, however, this article explores how embracing femininity can be linked with periods