Cycles are present in every aspect of Nature, from Lunar phases, to Seasonal cycles, to that cycle that is experienced each month by the Woman. We may peer into the wisdom of Nature when viewing our cycles as Women and become conscious in our unique rhythms. Just as there are 4 Seasons, 4 Directions, and 4 Lunar phases, Women too embody the Transformative 4 Phase Life Cycle. Each month of our lives as fertile women (outside of pregnancy & menopause), we embody the 4 Phases of the Woman: Virgin Warrior/Rebirth (post bleeding, pre-fertile), Mother (fertile, ovulation), Post-Mother/Shamanic Woman (post-fertile, pre-bleeding), and Death/Elder Crone (bleeding, menstruation).
This series of articles offers a looking glass into the 4 phases of the woman, as I have personally experienced and adapted through inter-cultural exchange, how I have embraced them in my own practice, and how I have taught them in Fertility Awareness & Women’s Cycle Energetics classes.
In this philosophy, we explore ourselves as we see reflections of our own cycles in those cycles of Life present within Nature. We, as women, embody 4 different types of energy (represented here as archetypes) each month, and the tools to interweave our consciousness with these forms of Cosmic Energy are presented here. In addition, it is reflected upon how we may channel the energies, unique to each phase, through this association as well as ritualistic practices in fertility awareness, totem animal and elemental association, aspects of the Goddess, and other tools for discovering and channeling these Divine Energies.
This journey is one of conscious re-discovery of how our bodies, spirits, and souls are interwoven in a vast matrix of Cosmic Energy. We can see them mirrored in Nature Herself, and when we channel Her, we are consciously incorporating ourselves in the Divine Matrix of Her. We have complete access to these energies, and when we become aware of this through consciousness, we begin a Spiritual Path of Communion with Nature. Not only can we know when we are fertile, and when we are not (which in itself can act as a natural form of birth control), but we may come to know ourselves in a way that is more grounded in the channeling process, eliminating common cultural misconceptions and taboo associations of the West with the cycle of the Woman.
In these articles (broken up into 4 parts: 1 for each of the 4 cycle phases), offer the tools for awakening and initiating the 4 Archetypes of the Woman. This article gives a brief introduction to the subject, introduction to Moon Charting, and covers the 1st Cycle Phase: Virgin Warrior (post menstruation, pre-ovulation).
The Moon Dial: A Tool For Tracking Your Alignment with Mother Nature
The 1st image presented in this section is a Moon Dial Chart from my own cycle in July 2014, when I was at the peak of my creative expression with charting my cycle energetics and fertility signals. These sorts of Dials, are useful when aligning our consciousness with the Moon, allowing us to see through physical art how the patterns between our bodies, fertility, and energy relate to the Natural Cycles of Nature.
The process is simply that of “checking in” with your energy readings, fertility signals (i.e. vaginal readings), and state of being (emotions, intuitions, activities, locations, etc.), and each day writing them down in a notebook. After time, you will begin to notice your own patterns that are UNIQUE to you yet fit in with the Natural Rhythms of the Earth & Moon movement.
For example, at the time of the construction of this chart, it was the Monsoon Season in New Mexico. During these months, I noticed that, through active initiation (prayer, song, ritual), I was able to activate my ovulation with rain storms. Thus, my ovulation was almost always in-sync with the Rain Storms of the Desert, a rare time in Nature as well as a unique opportunity to connect to this rare event through my own bodily and fertility experience.
Looking at this particular Moon Dial, one can see that there are 4 phases to the chart: Yellow (Virgin Warrior), White (Mother), and Black (Shamanic Woman), and Red (Bleeding Woman/Crone). These colors, along with their archetypes, represent the energy and fertility status that is embodied at each phase of the cycle. You may also notice that I was VERY aligned with the moon at this time, as each cycle transition occurred precisely on the Moon transitions. For example, you see that I began Bleeding on the day of the New Moon and transitioned into Virgin Warrior on the day of the Half Moon. This sort of preciseness was a result of months of training, energy channeling, and practices of alignment, which you will read about as you explore each individual phase.
You may notice, that each day has a space for recording information. Because this is an artful rendition of a less artistic (and more practical, yet sloppy and boring!) chart, I condensed the information that I normally would write in the spaces of the original chart. The information that I recorded included my vaginal nectar fluid readings, my emotional/physical/spiritual states (whatever was relevant that day, including dreams), traveling, natural events (weather patterns, lunar cycles, etc.), intake of Sacred Medicines, etc. Over time, I began to notice patterns of how my 4 phase cycle energy was interwoven in all activities of Self & Nature.
Symbols for me were also useful, the hearts indicating when my partner and I made love, the green “M”‘s representing the days that I was engaged in Medicine Work (dietas, ceremonies, etc.). To note, here you read that I was sexually engaged with my partner on fertile days of my Mother phase. I would like to note that, at this time, my partner and I were practicing forms of Tantra that did not encompass ejaculation (orgasm without ejaculation, or restraint from orgasm: see Mantak Chia and his books on Taoist Sexual Practices. I would like to advise women, especially beginners, to take your time in practicing your charting before embarking on such practices of sexual engagement during fertile phases.
The Yoni Dial, presented at the beginning of the article, is a creative reflection of the evolution of my Moon Dials. First, I would complete my monthly cycle chart (a messy, yet thorough exploration), then I would create the Moon Dial, then lastly, I would create Yoni Art that was completely reflective of my experience. As I began developing a sacred connection and relationship to the archetypes, energies, elements, and totems that helped me channel my energy in a more conscious way, I began incorporating these elements into the artwork. You can see, as with the Moon Dial, that the Energy of each phase is represented by a Color of the Medicine Wheel (Red, Yellow, White, Black), yet here, they are accompanied by Totem Animals, Elemental Symbols, Color, & Mayan Symbols.
For those interested in Fertility Charting as a form of natural birth control, these articles is too brief to give a detailed understanding of how to go about initiating this process, though aspects of this are mentioned. The focus of this series is that of Cycle Energetics, not the precise methods of Fertility Signal Reading, though there are many resources out there for these methods. I encourage women new to this path to consult the vast amount of information regarding the intricate practices and methods regarding this subject before attempting to create your own unique system. Helpful guide books for this process are the book: Your Fertility Signals, and Miranda Gray’s book Red Moon.
It is important to note that all cycles have the potential for sporadic change and the cycle may differ, slightly, from month to month. Even in highly regular women, it is normal for the cycle to undergo a major switch once or twice a year. It is very important for women to begin their journey in Cycle Energetics & Fertility Charting with this understanding and to take care in the urge to immediately jump into this Spiritual Practice as the only form of Birth Control. Thus, if you are a woman that experiences irregular cycles, it is first important to regulate yourself, and this practice is definitely helpful (be sure to read the resources mentioned in the upcoming articles about regulation).
Eventually, the psychic attuning a woman has with her body can replace the charting, as the sensations, nature, and guides are the measures of reading a very intricate, yet now familiar, system. Yet, even as this is my practice, I return to the practice of charting when I feel my routines of self or reality are shifting. Such “checking in” with the self is necessary for complete understanding.
WELCOME TO THE JOURNEY!
Phase 1: The Virgin Warrior
Life Cycle: Maiden
Tree Cycle: Seed Sprouting to Sapling
Energy: Inspiration, Rebirth, Starting Anew, Energetic, Conscious Awareness, Transition from Inward states to Outward states of interaction, Ambitious, Explorative, Expressive, heightened physical activities, materialization of ideas and inspiration, increased momentum, most masculine in the female cycle.
The Virgin Warrior phase the 1st phase in the cycle. This phase of the cycle is the Rebirth of self after the shedding of ourselves in bleeding (menstruation). Just as in life cycles, when we die (in the cycle of the woman, through our bleeding) we are also reborn, purified, and cleansed for a fresh newness for the next upcoming Life cycle. An increased momentum comes after a brief (2 day) period of re-grounding after the bleeding, then we are shot into this new Phase of Being: The Virgin Warrior. Feeling shot into a new cycle, we are charged and activated to a high vibrational consciousness of exploring, initiating, and manifesting heights in our realities.
This youthful and empowered energy can be channeled to creative endeavors of the physical reality, because the increased momentum and energy can be harnessed to create our realities in an assertive way. In other words, this is the most appropriate time in the cycle to take on new projects, for manifesting put-off aspirations, and for tackling new explorations within the self and our outer worlds. Because we have been cleared of blockages, the visioning of what we want is easy and so is seeing the path of how to get ourselves there. I have felt this phase to be my most masculine form, as the assertiveness and power for manifesting the physical reality is highest at this time.
Warrior Goddesses, Fire Spirits, Animals of Strength & Power are excellent totems to keep on your alter, in your prayers and meditations, and other practices at this time. Though Quite Spiritual Practices tend to be less flowing, or less pronounced during this time, Physical Practices can be used to channel the energy of the Spirit. As the Virgin Warrior, our Spiritual Selves are fueled more so by stimulation and physical activity than by quiet meditation and peaceful, yet silent and still practices.
Physical practices that encompasses activities requiring high amounts of energy (i.e. Vinyasa or Hot yoga, hiking, working out, etc.) are perfect ways of stimulating the energy of this cycle. When stimulated by activities requiring high energy in mental, physical, or creative states, the energy is channeled appropriately and powerfully to manifest, otherwise intense, changes in personal flow. This is a distinctive marker in the Woman Cycle, as the other phases are by nature less active. We just seem to keep moving during this time!
Socially, we are at our most heightened state and extroverted activities are most ideal, as at this time they are fuel instead of an energy drain (ex: high social activity is a distraction and draining element when in the phase of the Bleeding Woman). We are able to become empowered by places and situations of high energy activity, and interacting with these states allows us to channel our energy more effectively.
The phoenix is a wonderful power animal to relate to during this time, as it is born from the Ashes and takes flight, through flame, into a new sky. As with the phoenix, the energy of Fire is present when experiencing ambition and assertiveness of our own inspirations, ambitions, explorative nature, and expressiveness. The fire of new life accompanies our spirit, mental states, and physical endeavors. We may take charge of ourselves, in newness, and spark change or work on intense projects in life: the Warrior Woman archetype in us all is alive and in power during this time.
The Maiden archetype of newness in Life, and the Warrior archetype of high ambition and momentous charge, can be seen in the self when consciously viewed from within. The element of Fire represents initiation and inspiration, and I have found that Rosemary, the herb, is a useful plant to call upon during this time. As the Romans considered Rosemary the “aid to the seeker of truth and wisdom”, when taking on new endeavors, Rosemary is ideal. Take it in a tea (unless you are Pitta type), use the tea as a hair rinse, or dab the essential oil on your pillow before bed or on your clothes to begin your day. I personally have found the hair rinse to be a sublime way of allying Rosemary to my process as a Warrior Woman.
The Hawk is also laced with warrior energy. Soaring high in sacred sight of seeing far into the environment, we too have the ability to soar high on the winds of our youthful energy, and to dive into the necessary actions for our growth.
Our Fertility status at this time is of Maiden, and therefore conception is not possible. This is the ideal time to enjoy our men and the power of their sperm if our goal is not to have a sexual experience that results in pregnancy. It is important to note that the length of this time is different for everyone, and simple fluid (I prefer calling it “Nectar”) reading can determine this, but the Maiden phase always occurs at the beginning of the cycle, right after bleeding. Vaginal nectar at this time will be none, and a woman will experience dryness when checking herself first thing in the morning.
I personally experience a week of this Warrior/Virgin phase, yet because sperm can live for 72 hours inside of the vaginal canal, I cease the intake of my partners sperm after day 4. We have begun a playful expression for this time as being “Sperm Week” after the popular Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” (though cheesy, it was my partner’s ‘ah-ha!’ moment that sparked his association, and I feel encouraged to encourage his discoveries). My partner’s awareness towards my cycle helps him come into his own routine based around it; he knows when “Sperm Week” is, like clockwork, and thus he has formed his own rituals for how to prepare for this time, as well as how to interact with me and my energy field during this time.
A joyful time to experience the Spring of the Self, the Newness of Life, the Passion of Youth, & the Success in Assertiveness, the Virgin Warrior archetype of the Self is a remarkable embodiment of Femininity! We see, as in Nature Herself, the burst of Spring Blossoms within our consciousness and external reality. As the Warrior, we take on our world with excitement and intention, and through the Fire our inner Phoenix Flies to our deepest work in the Material world!
Cycle Energetics (Part 2): The Mother
Cycle Energetics (Part 3): The Shamanic Woman
Cycle Energetics (Part 4): The Bleeding Woman