Howl for me, Wolf-Woman!
I got my menstruation a week early. I got it during the super moon.
Is there any meaning to having my cycle closer to the new moon versus the full moon? Is there anything that I could be tapping into during these cycles in terms of my own spiritual growth and development?
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Wild women are cyclical creatures. To my mind, there are few things that serve our souls more than embodying a deep knowing of our personal ebbs and flows, be they menstrual or otherwise, because it is only though that knowing we begin to accept the dark, fallow times in our lives as normal and necessary. We experience psycho-spiritual winters in every aspect of our lives, including but not limited to relationship, work, sexual desire, creativity, and cravings for spiritual connection. The high-fire times are easier to accept, for these are socially validated by our hyper-active society, but it is the lows, these dark moon voids of rest and uncertainty, that have been historically shunned by our patriarchal economic, social, and political institutions.
If we over-simplify and frame a human being, regardless of gender, in terms of masculine and feminine forces (and, importantly, there are other change-agents at work in us all), then it is the feminine that waxes and wanes. From a Tantric perspective, the spirit energy of Shiva is pure consciousness; it is ever-enduring and constant. The Shakti is the fem-fire that pervades all in an ongoing spiral dance. She is soulful individuality, immanent within all of nature, and she resists predictability.
The Shakti in us all is dynamic and ever-changing, and, as a woman, your blood cycles are a regular reminder of the cosmic wheel.
Longstanding patriarchal structures have attempted to sully the beauty and she-magick of our blood. In the absence of an accessible Red Tent and mother-teachers who will tell us of our moon-blood’s beauty, adolescent girls understandably experience much confusion over menstruation. While your moon-time is a biological phase, it is essentially a visible reflection of how the feminine cycles within you, and uniquely so. The sacral chakra, Svadhisthana, is an energetic hub of emotionality, sensuality, sexuality, fertility, and creative alchemy, and your menstrual cycle is a reflection of how these energies writhe and wriggle on a monthly basis.
Consider the lunar cycle a metaphor for the way the feminine energy moves within all human beings, conditionally independent of both gender and the actual moon phase. Those embodying more feminine energy will experience these cycles more blatantly, and this is true regardless of physical biology, but it is important to know that you do not need a physical womb to experience these feminine peaks and valleys. Moreover, the actual lunar phase may not align with your unique cycle, and, unfortunately, I have seen many wild women struggle with forcing their cycle to align with that of the moon. It does not make you more or less of a wild woman/Witch/Earth-Mother/creatrix if you do not bleed on the new moon and ovulate on the full moon. I believe there is some merit in sleeping in total darkness and seeing if your cycle will regulate according to those highly subjective norms, but the fact is that many women do not have a 29.5 day cycle. Women with shorter and longer cycles will never predictably bleed on the new moon, and I do not believe it serves them to force their unique rhythms to align with the moon cycle.
All bleeding women who track their cycles along with their moods and physical symptoms will come to know their unique, psychic seasons. Your dark moon phase may not align with the actual lunar cycle, but these are the days just before you bleed and the early days of menstruation. During the dark moon phase, we are resting in the void. It is our woman’s late autumn and early winter. We yearn for the warmth of our nest and the nourishment of non-doing. We are still, and we are undergoing a physical and psychological purge. We are psychically potent, and our powers of divination are at their strongest.
In the Triple Goddess metaphor, we move from our Crone-hood to our Maiden-hood at this time, and we may not seek social interaction or relational warmth.
This is our time of sacred solitude and intense detoxification, and it is absolutely vital to our physical, mental-emotional, and spiritual rejuvenation.
During the final days of menstruation and leading up to ovulation, we are in our personal waxing moon phase. We move into late autumn and early spring, and our increasingly active energy engages our sensuality. We crave tactile experience and intuitive movement, and we begin to move from Maiden-hood to Mother-hood.
At ovulation, we are in the hot mists of a sultry summer. We are at our most generative. Whatever a woman’s divinely mandated medium may be, she creates feverishly now as an Artist of Soul. This is our Mother phase, and it is often the most socially acceptable version of ourselves. Our production-consumption oriented culture places many demands upon us, and, while our dark moon stillness may be socially denigrated, our many-armed creativity is conversely heralded. This full moon phase is illuminates our sacred work at this stage of our life, and we may crave community, relationship, and validation.
Finally, our waning moon phase moves us away from the heat of our inner summer and into the hallowed fallows. We move from Mother to Crone, and we begin to let go of our to-do lists. Our intuition becomes heightened, and we may crave spiritual nourishment, ritual, and authentic communication more than physical touch. This internalized early autumn is our long exhale. We retract our claws and prepare to go into the dark.
I cannot say why your cycle changed, though many forces can affect our rhythms including increased light exposure, sickness, and stress, but I can bow down to you for being as attuned to your inner rhythms as you are. I believe cognizance of our cycles as human beings, not just as women, is a learned skill of self-empowerment. It serves us all to go back into our personal histories and track times of abundance and scarcity, manifesting and releasing, and wounding and healing. My love, honor it all. You were born to change, and to be wild is to break out of any cage, even, and sometimes especially, out of those we as healers/Witches/shadow-walkers have built for ourselves. There are no rules that will be true for us all, so become a Scholar of Self.
I recommend Mysteries of the Dark Moon by Demetra George for links between menstruation and patriarchal subjugation of the feminine. Taking Charge of Your Own Fertility by Toni Weschler is a solid, practical resource for cycle-tracking, and Womb Wisdom by Prakasha is a powerful ode to the energetic womb as a gateway to understanding our feminine light and shadow.
Whenever you bleed, Woman, do it without apology and with many gut-born, mournful howls. I will be howling with you from within the reddest tent raised on our collective psychic ground.
Yours in fierce feminine truth,
➵ Submit your howl to firstname.lastname@example.org.
➵ Find our guidelines for submission to the Wolf-Woman here.
Sip a little more from Danielle’s medicine:
➵ Witch, Howl Moonward:
The Timely Salve Of The Dark Primal Feminine
➵ The Wolf-Woman’s Book Of The Dead:
A Samhain Benediction
➵ Invoking Artemis: The Liberation Of Our Wild Spirituality
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Leaving My Father’s House: A Journey to Conscious Femininity.