Phase 3: The Shamanic Woman
Life Cycle: Post-Motherhood, Pre-Elder; Shamanic Maturity
Tree Cycle: Shedding of the Leaves (Preparing for Dormancy/Death)
Energy: Inward Sage, Depth in Darkness, Intuitively Sensitive to Processes beyond the Self, Walking in Life & Death, Unpredictable, Erratic, HIGHLY Intuitive, Shamanic Awakening into Cosmic Knowledge, Vibrationally Receptive to Cosmic Energies, Passing between Dark Shadow & High Light Self, Attuned to Darker Vibrations of the Cosmic Order, Attuned to Collective Consciousness Patterns of Past, Present, & Future, Divination, Seer, Communing with the Unknown & the Great Mystery.
This phase is the 3rd phase of the cycle, post ovulation and pre menstruation. The Phase of the Shamanic Woman is possibly the most misunderstood time for the woman in Western society, as it embodies the most mysterious elements of the Woman. Commonly labeled as “PMS”, it’s association with erratic behavior and emotional instability is nearly universal to the Western culture, yet I feel that this stems from ignorance. In a society that does not encourage women’s individual recognition of her total cycle, the energy present during each phase is not channeled in a harmonious way. We experience the energy regardless, yet without consciousness we are at the whims of whatever is flowing through us. Thus, the disconnection creates an “unpredictable” experience due to the fact that the woman is not consciously engaging and channeling her energy accordingly.
The Shamanic Woman phase is a very intense phase to channel and to direct, even for the most skilled, and is even more so for women not educated in the Arts of Cycle Channeling. The energy itself, has just transitioned from Fertility and is preparing for Death, two extreme energies that find themselves at a crossroads. Sensetivity and Intuition are perhaps highest at this time, the medium of walking between the Light and the Dark as a “walking between worlds” experience.
I have noticed my dreams are more intense, lucid states being common, and that the messages coming through are beyond myself yet are directly applicative to my own reality experience: Universal Wisdoms normally hidden in Shadow States are present and pronounced for personal interaction. Sacred Sight is perhaps most ideal to practice during this time, as we have the ability to see into the forces of Nature on a deeper level than with the other phases: The Light Forces & The Shadow Forces are seemingly one. The practice of divination can be carried out during this phase.
This Shadow phase, or Darkness, is commonly associated with negativity, as stated with the PMS labeling. However, the Shadow phase, the Mysterious Darkness, has much to teach us and through embracing these elements, we are given the ability to see into the depths of the Nature of the Universe. In Western culture, we tend to embrace the light (good, predictable, safe, comfort) and shun the darkness (bad, unpredictable, discomfort, etc.), yet this phase in particular calls for a depth of consciousness that transcends dualistic mentalities. For expansiveness of the self and universe, we must transcend such mentalities to embrace the Vast Mystery, which does not recognize good energy and bad energy, only energy.
Emotionally, this phase is the most difficult to handle if methods for channeling have not been developed into a personal practice. Because we are walking between worlds, disorientation can come from being in the physical reality while still experiencing a vast amount of connectivity to the Mysterious Darkness. We, ourselves, are streaming with mysterious energies that can be mistaken as “our own”, when we are really experiencing infinite depths of universal waves. And even further, we can attach ourselves, and our emotions, to these mysterious waves of Cosmic Energy and become erratic and unpredictable. Keep calm, through your practices, and openly embrace these times, and watch the energy transform itself into Cosmic Messages.
The practice that I have developed begins with first recognizing that I have shifted into this phase. I know when this occurs, usually a week or more before the Bleeding phase, that I must distance myself from others when necessary. I become extremely sensitive to forces and situations in a mysterious way, yet if I give myself the time and practice to go inward, I see the deeper connections to the Shadow.
I begin keeping my dream journal beside my bed for any messages coming through in my dream states. I tend to take long walks in Nature when my sensitivity becomes aroused and sing, pray, and meditate at whatever whim I feel, as the waves of this phase come and go as they please. I see interwoven connectivity in every moment and this is sometimes so intense that I must give myself time to fully feel what is being presented. I find that my night activities increase, my alter time expanding into the depths of Night, which helps me to see and feel the Shadow within. I especially enjoy the “witching” hours of 3-4 AM at this time.
Often times, I feel connections of my experience to vast bodies of knowledge, humanities collective memory, and am taught practices that I never before knew. Once, I had a profound experience channeling emotion felt on the Trail of Tears and wept at my alter for hours, accompanied by visual flashbacks of the experience. Such experiences, for me, are forms of prayer and release for universal energies still with us in the Akashic Records.
It is common for me to be taught, by a particular female Mayan entity, practices in my Lucid states. I wake up from a ritual with my hands moving over my womb, uterine massage or energy practices unique to the Mayan lineages. These experiences, too, are gifts. I have also been known to sleep outside during this time, as I have found that it heightens and expands my lucid dreaming experiences.
It is helpful for me to express my coming into this phase to those around me, so that they understand when I must take space or are sensitive to my process when they feel it is becoming more difficult for me to channel. I am blessed to hold myself to no obligations in life, so at this time, I explore what is coming through to its entirety. It is my personal belief that “PMS”, and other harmful mentalities, have resulted in the woman’s inability to fully be expressive due to societal restraints and expectations of programmed, specific, predictable behaviors.
Because of the extremity of this phase, sometimes rest is necessary, sometimes creative endeavors are necessary, sometimes solitary contemplation and feeling of the Cosmic Energy is necessary, and I have noticed it is different every moment, in every phase. The level of predictability of the other phases is not present in this Shamanic phase. One steady feeling for me is the feeling to remain inward and attentive, reflective and feeling the vastness of this time.
Shamanic visioning, heightened intuition, and spiritual communion is most ideal to facilitate during this time. I encourage women to find what is most resonate with them, as this time can bring out the deepest shamanic gifts that we are meant to facilitate as individuals. Alter practices, visual meditations, and night-time activities are a great place to begin your practice. Smoking herbs (white sage, palo santo, etc.) are also VERY helpful in “going in” to a particular state for Cosmic Communication.
My totem animal for this time is the Snake, Sacha Mama, the Serpent. For me, I see how She is a special creature, nearly blind, without olfactory senses of the nose, yet senses the vibration of the Earth in a completely connected and unique way. A Native teacher once told me (after I was bitten by a Rattlesnake in 2012 & did not need the assistance of a Medicine Man) that I had been initiated into the Beauty Clan. The Snake is the totem for the Beauty Clan, a clan of healing and shamanic pathways, because “She walks with her belly on the Earth at all times. She knows and feels the motions of Mother Earth to which all other creatures are blind to. She may not see as others do, but She sees the light and the dark, and knows the depth of each”.
The Serpent is considered a shamanic animal across the Americas, representing the Spirit of Grandmother Ayahuasca, revered and sometimes feared for its power in other Amazonian tribes. In Aztec and Toltec lineages, the Serpent is represented by Snake Woman, who sometimes is the same force as Tlazolteotl, the Feminine Force of Death and Rebirth, the ally to the Midwife, and the Recycling Element of Nature.
The element of Wind, or Air, has been helpful for me to embrace as I ride on the shamanic winds of the etheric. As with Air, the most unpredictable element, we may fly and soar in heights or become stagnant as the currents subside, and this change can happen instantaniously, reflecting the vast unpredictability of such a time. Yet, as with Air, we are attuned to to the Waves of Universal energy, and to maintain fluidity, we must embrace the heights as well as the periods of stagnancy.
Vagnial nectar during this time will be cloudy, sporadic, or, most commonly, none. A woman may experience grayish or brownish discharge as she comes closer to her menstrual cycle (sometimes called “spotting”, yet if it is present during all phases, may indicate a bacterial or yeast infection). Yet, as with the Warrior/Maiden cycle, she is not fertile at this time. Though it is possible to take sperm in this time, I personally have found that such a time is best suited for personal time. The highly vibrational experience of the Elements, Nature, and Cosmic Mystery open to the woman are sometimes more appropriately handled if the woman has the absolutely free space to explore these parts of herself.
Fall is the Shamanic Woman’s season. As the leaves of Autumn shed themselves, Nature preparing itself for dormancy, so too does the woman prepare for her bleeding through shedding her skin, as Sacha Mama herself does. Such a time is filled with heightened sensitivity in the intuitive states, as preparing for dormancy, winter, or death can be an apprehension for the unpredictable. The color I associate this phase with is Black. Kali, the Hindu Goddess of Destruction, and Tlazoltleotl (who I also consult in Bleeding) are strong energies for me to relate to, consult with, and derive wisdom from when maneuvering this phase. I can relate to their stories, and their symbols in my own process.
For our women, I feel it is important to note that in such a highly sensitive time, that the unpredictable can become less so, and erratic behaviors can become fuel for ritual practices, whatever feels most appropriate to the woman. With heightened intuition, we can become skilled in Divnination and Sacred Sight regarding the Great Mystery of our Cosmic Geography. Whatever creative outlet calls to you, perform your rites with the understanding that Cosmic Energy is present and you are in turn channeling a way to communicate with this force of Nature.