• Anna

The Sacred Feminine Cycle

Photo by Monika Kozub on Unsplash
Female hormone balance is a subject I hold close to my heart. As someone who is now post menopausal, I encountered an intense and almost unbearable menopause. As a result, it is an area of specific interest to me as I endeavour to ease this journey for other women. So, when Dr Taryn Jacobs, a South African homeopath, gave a webinar on the Sacred Feminine Cycle, you can bet I was among the first to sign up.
Learning to understand our feminine hormonal rhythm and where we are within it gives women the power and information we need to make the most of our lives; rather than ignoring these natural influences and disregarding the consequences.

For regular menstruating women, the monthly hormonal pattern is normally fairly obvious and therefore relatively easy to chart. Even when menstruation stops, women still have a hormonal rhythm which, if we observe it carefully is vital to our wellbeing; and in both cases, understanding and working with this pattern can clarify and decipher so many of our physical, mental, and emotional states.
Since the Suffragettes, women have fought to be accepted as equals amongst men. Consequently, society has more recently cast women as multitasking heroes, able to take on the world. We hold down high-powered jobs, raise families, whilst navigating personal and social relationships. Therefore, to suggest that we might be having an off day because of our hormones, is likely to send us into apoplexy. Yet, we have hormones, men also have hormones and, like it or not, they impact our lives.

At the start of the monthly cycle, woman experience an increase in oestrogen. This brings with it an array of benefits, although too much oestrogen also has its challenges. But on the whole there’s increased energy, we often look more beautiful and multitasking is something we manage without difficulty. As we arrive in the middle of the month and ovulation, we are at our most attractive to encourage our mate and the fertilisation of the egg within us. After this, oestrogen diminishes and progesterone appears in higher proportions. Now is the time our stomachs may bloat, breasts become heavier, some women experience mood swings, become irritable or depressed. You could liken it to the spring of oestrogen dominance, the summer of ovulation, the autumn of progesterone and winter of the monthly bleed.

Accepting this pattern gives us the expertise to maximise our natural place in the world. During the spring and summer of the month, we can take on projects, throw dinner parties, let the children crawl all over us, handling it all with aplomb. In the autumn and winter of the month, we are best to observe a quieter pace of life, benefiting from a change to more meditative or reflective activities. This knowledge gives us the opportunity to make informed choices about what we do and when we do it. Of course, it is not always possible to organise our lives to fit these parameters. But at least if we know what is predominant, we can make allowances or take measures to give ourselves the best support for success.

Peri, menopausal and post-menopausal women, also benefit from tuning into their daily and monthly rhythm. It is a sacred and underlying beat to our lives, an ebb and flow that has been respected throughout ages; in the days when the female cycle was supported and cherished. In modern times, a woman’s menstrual cycle is referred to as the curse rather than something sacred, something to be endured, resisted or ignored. Post menopause women are referred to as crones, often without realising crones are wise and vibrant beings who understand the rhythm and flow of nature. In this way, we have lost the sensibility to work with our hormones, culminating in burn out and contributing to ME, chronic fatigue, adrenal exhaustion and thyroid imbalance.

The moon has an immense influence on our planet, the seas, tides and our monthly rhythms, so if you no longer menstruate, use this as your starting point. Start a diary noting how you feel each day in line with the state of the moon. Charting your monthly cycle is the key for all women to grasp how your life is playing out. After a couple of months, you will see patterns developing. You will notice in which part of the month you feel your most invigorated or moody. You will see those times you need to give yourself space and time and those when you can dance the Can-Can.

Some women question why they are permanently tired and fear there is something wrong with them. Charting our feminine cycle gives us the information we need to resolve this concern. It brings awareness of how we and our hormones change throughout the month. It gives us the courage to combat the erroneous social and media pressures that tell us we ought to be: a 24/7 Go, Go, Go Girl. Instead, we learn to tune into our bodies’ rhythm and as we get to know and work with it; we reap the benefits.

Dr Taryn says that many are the times her patients have dissolved into tears once they realise there is nothing wrong with them. They chart their hormonal rhythm and work with it, turning their lives around without needing drugs or therapy. Realising that tiredness and disorientation is a by-product of not listening to our bodies is a game changer. By keeping up the same relentless pace, we wear ourselves out. Indeed, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with us, we just stopped listening. Yes, we need to change some belief systems and habits. Yes, there may be some lifestyle changes that will energise and re-stabilise our system. And yes, there may be some remedies that help. But essentially, the first thing to do is to understand our genetic inheritance and work with our beautiful bodies to find our way back to health and happiness.
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