Your cycle supports you – whether you cycle with the blood (menstrual cycle) or with the moon (pregnant, breast-feeding, post menopause, or without uterus/ovaries …).
Every month you get to reconnect with yourself and your deep truths in inner winter (Menstruation or Dark Moon). Then you have the opportunity to set an intention for the new cycle (for example making decisions from your values) in your inner spring (Follicular Phase or Waxing Moon), nurture and grow it until inner summer (Ovulation or Full Moon), allow it to ripen and mature in inner (early) autumn (Luteal Phase or Waning Moon) and finally harvest and release what‘s no longer working FOR you in inner (late) autumn (Pre-Menstrual Phase or Last Quarter Moon). After a time of resting and composting (and being with yourself again) in inner winter, the whole cycle begins again.
It’s a practice. You can’t “fail”, because there’s no fixed end goal to reach. It’s a never-ending process of death and rebirth that will bring you closer and closer to yourself, cycle by cycle.
Overview Inner Winter
Daily Cycle: Midnight
Menstrual Cycle: Menstruation (bleed)
Moon Cycle: Dark Moon (when the moon isn’t visible = doesn’t reflect the sun’s light)
Year Cycle: Winter Solstice
Life Cycle: Old Age
Archetype: Crone / Wise Elder
Rite of Passage: Death
Themes: [Fallow] Shedding, Death
Practices: Rest, Allow & Receive
How Inner Winter might show up for you
First of all: Your cyclical experience is unique and there’s a whole spectrum of how inner winter – Menstruation or Dark Moon, depending on your cycle – can show up for you, which can also vary over the course of your life.
Usually, this is a time where your energy is lowest and you feel the most inward in your cycle. It can be a very connected, intuitive and dreamy time of the month and you’re possibly drawn to BEing instead of DOing.
This can also cause inner distress – the societies we live in don’t appreciate this necessary resting phase, because from the outside it doesn’t look “productive”. But like outer winter, when the world seems still, there’s a lot going on below ground. The digesting and composting happening in your subconscious is actually making room for something new to emerge with fresh energy in your inner spring.
There’s also the possibility that a lot of emotions and experiences that you haven’t taken time to properly process come up in this phase for you to look at and release.
And if you’re menstruating, symptoms like cramps, migraines and anxiety might be part of your inner winter experience, too. Even though they are common, they are not “normal” and you don’t need to simply bear them. So if you want to alleviate them without medication, hormones or surgery, send me a mail and let’s discuss what you can do to support yourself (that may or may not include us working together, but I’m happy to simply point you to some resources!)
But I can assure you, if you take time to rest during this phase, you will have exponentially more energy during the rest of your cycle!
And just to be clear: Lying down while you’re beating yourself up for doing it in your head, doesn’t really count as (true) rest ;-) Although it can be a good starting point. Because in the beginning your nervous system will tell you that it’s dangerous to rest and do nothing. That’s simply what a healthy nervous system does when it’s trained to produce results all the time.
Resting your body nonetheless will start sending your system the signal that it’s okay to do so and it will become easier to quieten the thoughts over time.
Since this is the time when you’re most connected to your innermost self, spending some time in stillness – even just one minute, or five – will help you hear and receive your soul’s messages, the intuitive hits of where to move next in your inner spring.
How to support yourself through Inner Winter
Practice Rest (apply the 1% rule): Your inner winter is the time to retreat a little from the busyness of the outer world, shutting out the constant noise around you to have a few precious moments to yourself.
And always ask “What is the 1% more rest that I can give myself?”
If you’re a mother with toddlers, your rest might look like closing the bathroom door while you go pee. As a busy professional, it might be taking the elevator instead of the stairs. Or ordering take-away food so you’ve got one item less on your list.
And by all means, if you want to take three days off during Menstruation/Dark Moon to retreat into your menstrual cave, you’re more than welcome to do so. There’s not one-size-fits-all and the practice of rest, too, can shift and vary over the course of your life.
Release: Inner Winter is a time when everything that you haven’t properly processed during the previous cycle can come up for you to look at, digest, integrate and release – whether that’s emotions or experiences.
Use journaling to just free flow and allow everything to pour out of you on paper (which you’re welcome to burn – safely – afterwards). Or try an EFT/tapping practice to release both emotions and draining thought patterns.
Create Space: Inner winter is the end of a cycle and endings are never easy. So whatever is ending in your life, take some time to acknowledge it. Create a cosy space, with a lovely scent, a candle, a hot beverage and blanket, and then allow yourself a few moments to gaze into the candle and listen for what wants to come forward.
Some things need more than one cycle to be fully released, but ask your inner guidance to lead you through the ups and downs of this transition. You can even take it further and ask your womb for guidance!
Contemplate: Take some time to contemplate or journal on the following question: “Who am I?”
Inner winter is when you’re most deeply connected to yourself, and allowing yourself to ponder this question will show you your True North, what you want to bring to this world, through your desires and passions, but also simply through your being.
Resources for you
If you want to learn more in-depth how your Inner Winter works you on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level, listen to my podcast episode about it:
The Four Phases of your Cycle explained – Part 1: Inner Winter
Your cyclical experience is unique and can be different to what I’ve shared here, so consider taking my free course “Unlock the Power of Your Cycle” and starting to chart your own cycle. It comes with short explanations and a beautiful cycle chart you can use to connect and communicate with your cycle right away.
And if you want to go deeper and have a facilitated heart-to-heart conversation with your cycle (no matter if you’re bleeding or not), I offer Sacred Cycle Deep Dive sessions. Because I can teach you all you want, but ultimately your cycle can teach you better – it can in fact support and guide you through life.
Especially (but not just) if you experience menstrual or menopausal health challenges, I know that your cycle has messages for you. In the Deep Dive, I’ll ask you and your cycle some very specific questions that will help you make sense of these messages. Because while there is value in me explaining what’s going on inside your body and providing context, it’s an infinitely more powerful experience for you when I don’t interpret and interfere – you will form a stronger bond and really see how your cycle isn’t here to annoy you, but to be your best friend and ally.
But in any case: Make sure to subscribe to the podcast and my weekly personal e-letter if you haven’t already and check out the other three episodes in this series.