This article is part of a four-part mini-series about the different phases of the female cycle (the menstrual cycle or the moon cycle, depending on whether you’re pre-, peri- or post-menopausal). You can find the other three parts here:

Part 1 – Inner Winter (Menstruation / Dark Moon)
Part 3 – Inner Summer (Ovulation / Full Moon)
Part 4 – Inner Autumn (Luteal-/Premenstrual Phase / Waning Moon Phase)

If you prefer listening to it instead, HERE‘s my podcast episode on the Inner Spring.

Welcome to this little introduction to the four phases of your cycle!

Since very few of us are taught at home or at school what a miracle our body, and especially the menstrual cycle is, I hope this four-part series will help you make sense of and appreciate everything that’s going on inside of you during the different phases over the course of a month.

Because your cycle doesn’t only work you on a physical level. It also influences your emotional, mental and spiritual-energetic experience and well-being.

And especially if you struggle with menstrual problems, such as painful bleeds, PMS (PreMenstrual Syndrome), PMDD (PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder), endometriosis or PCOS, it’s important to first of all understand what’s happening on the different levels during each phase – to help you put your experience into perspective, and also find the words to express what’s going on, so you feel less alone.

Below, I’ll explain what’s happening in each cycle phase – or inner season – on each of these four levels, and provide one practice and one journaling question to connect more deeply with the energetic quality of the respective phase, so you can explore your personal experience with it and the medicine it holds.

Because overall, a cycle is regenerative by nature. And when you consciously make space for each phase and learn to appreciate its respective flavours, you will see your cycle as a source of strength and (inner) power, providing you with all the energy you need to enjoy the fun things in life.

A note on the word “cycle”

Life is inherently cyclical, and every cycle shows the same four phases: A phase of inspiration and new beginnings (spring), a phase of growth and blooming (summer), a phase of harvest and reflection (autumn) and a phase of rest and dying (winter) – which in turn, prepares the ground for new inspiration in spring.

And as part of Nature, we humans are cyclical beings, too, surrounded and influenced by different cycles all the time. (So from a purely logical standpoint, the idea that you should be, feel or show up the same every day is complete BS – and that’s a good thing!)

There’s the menstrual cycle, the moon cycle, the yearly cycle and the pregnancy cycle. Our life and the planets have their own cycles, too, even projects at work. And they all show the same four phases, with very similar characteristics.

In my case, since I mainly work with women and non-binary menstruators, when I talk of “the cycle”, I specifically refer to the menstrual and the moon cycle. Because whether or not you’re still bleeding, whether or not you have a uterus and/or ovaries if you are a (cis- or trans-) woman or a non-binary menstruator, you have a cycle. Yes, even in perimenopause and post menopause!

Because I firmly believe that as women and/or menstruating people, what happens during perimenopause is that we transition from the menstrual to the moon cycle. So in post-menopause, your energy flow is probably more in line with the moon’s cycle. As I said, we are all cyclical beings at all times, it’s only the length and basis of the cycle that differ over time.

And of course, if you’re post-menopause or don’t have uterus and/or ovaries, you will not be influenced by the physical aspects of the cycle as much, because the hormonal shifts aren’t as pronounced as if you had a menstrual cycle. But still, when you start paying attention to this, I’m pretty sure you are going to find subtle energetic rhythms in your body.

The Inner Spring: The Follicular or Waxing Moon Phase

[In the first part of this series, I already talked about the Inner Winter, the time of menstruation or Dark Moon, in great detail. If you want to catch up on it before diving into Inner Spring, you can do that HERE – but it’s not a prerequisite to understand today’s episode!]

In a menstrual cycle, Inner Spring refers to the follicular phase, from the last day of your bleed until ovulation. During this time, several follicles with their eggs mature in the ovaries until at ovulation, one follicle finally bursts open and releases its egg for possible fertilisation.

If you don’t menstruate, for example if you’re pregnant, breast-feeding, in peri- or post-menopause or you don’t have a uterus and/or ovaries, Inner Spring is the time of the Waxing Moon phase, when the moon gradually reflects more and more light back to us from the sun.
Energetically speaking, this phase runs from the second day after Dark Moon (also called New Moon) until two days before Full Moon.

In terms of a life cycle, this is the life phase of childhood and youth, a time marked by daily discoveries, adventures and wonder. It invites us to look at the world with fresh eyes over and over again, that’s why the themes of this phase are rebirth and renewal.

What happens during Inner Spring (Follicular Phase / Waxing Moon Phase) on a physical level?

After Inner Winter (menstruation or the Dark Moon phase), a time when we tend to be more inward and reflective, you will now be able to physically feel your energy returning in Inner Spring. Similar to what happens in outer spring, when the sap – the plants’ life force – starts to rise and flow into every branch.

You become more energetic, less sluggish and tired, more upbeat and optimistic.

If you have a menstrual cycle, your estrogen levels start to rise in this phase. Estrogen is one of the two main sex hormones in a female body and is also called the “caring hormone”. It takes care of your (skin, bone, cardiovascular and brain) health, and may also lead to you “caring” more about what other people think ;-).

In Inner Winter you were so intimately connected with yourself and your deep inner truth, and now you’re stepping out of your cave into the world and might find that not all of your facets are equally welcomed and appreciated by society (or in your family). That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, quite the contrary! My wish is to create and provide saf-er spaces where you’re welcome with all of you – all your beauty, all your complexity, all your quirks and unique traits!

But especially during this phase, as you value and care more about belonging versus being authentically you, it’s possible that you start hiding parts of yourself, leading to a sense of inner disconnect. This (conscious or subconscious) dissonance is a reason why you might also feel overwhelmed in this phase of your cycle. Maybe you prefer to stay in the safety of your Inner Winter cave for just a little bit longer, and that’s totally okay, too.

All I want to say is that there’s a whole spectrum of experiences in Inner Spring, which is why it’s important to get to know your own cyclical rhythm with its different flavours.

Side Note: If you’re post-menopausal, a) you have lower estrogen levels in general and b) there’s a different kind of estrogen prevalent as compared to your fertile years. So in my humble opinion, this is part of the reason why in peri- and post-menopause we care a little (or a lot) less about what other people think of us – so yes, that “comes with age”, which is partly due to hormonal changes ;-)

What happens during Inner Spring (Follicular Phase / Waxing Moon Phase) on an emotional level?

You may have noticed that the physical aspects are closely connected to your emotional experience, but I want to have a closer look at the spectrum of emotions in Inner Spring nonetheless.

You may be more sensitive (which is something positive!), tender and vulnerable at this time, especially if you had a rough childhood and difficult upbringing.
Maybe you’re more concerned with caring for others and what they think of you, because that was your survival strategy at the time. Maybe you’re trying to hide parts of yourself from the world, because they weren’t welcome, and you feel easily overwhelmed and anxious.

In this case, it’s important to tend to and care well for your inner child. Ask yourself what you can do, so you and your inner child feel safe.
Do you need a warm blanket, is it easier to work from the couch or another cosy space, can you postpone an appointment that feels particularly stressful? What can you do for yourself and your inner child to feel safe and protected?

On the other hand, Inner Spring is also an invitation to approach Life with some playfulness, innocent like a child. Maybe you can look at the world with this childlike wonder and curiosity, looking forward to each day because it brings news adventure and possibility.

Your personal experience can lie on either end of the spectrum or anywhere between or beyond, and it can, of course, also be different on different days of your Inner Spring phase.

What happens during Inner Spring (Follicular Phase / Waxing Moon Phase) on a mental-psychological level?

On a mental and psychological level, Inner Spring can be a creatively fruitful and productive time, with lots of new ideas and inspiration. A time when your imagination is running wild in the most positive sense, and you confidently ride on the waves of your creativity.

Or, you may feel like these waves are sweeping you away and pulling you under, because it simply is “too much” for you. Maybe you feel confused or overwhelmed by the intensity and onslaught of ideas and stimuli.

I personally know that I have to take really good care of myself at this time, because I tend to be anxiously nervous. One thing I do, is to write down my ideas without immediately having to do anything about them (unless I get this inner nudge that I WANT to). I consciously tell myself that a) I don’t have to implement ALL of them and b) I don’t have to implement them NOW. It’s okay to store them away for later, when I’m in a calmer position and can make a clear decision.

Whatever the experience of this phase looks like for you, you can use the general upward swing of Inner Spring to look at your intention for the new cycle, what kind of seeds you want to plant. Again, it’s not about taking action just now, but just pondering, feeling into, dreaming up what you want to have more of in your life, what you would like to have happen in this cycle.

What happens during Inner Spring (Follicular Phase / Waxing Moon Phase) on a spiritual-energetic level?

This vision of what you want the new cycle to look like, what you want to call into your life, that’s what Inner Spring is about on a spiritual-energetic level. Perhaps the previous Inner Autumn and Winter have shown you what you no longer wish to tolerate and what you want to invite into your life instead. What makes your heart sing, what lights you up, what nourishes your soul?

Allow this vision to reveal itself to you – the vision for your life, for your work, for your community, for the world – no matter how impossible or unachievable it may seem. And see if there’s a small aspect of it that feels doable and that you can focus on and nurture over the next three cycle phases/the next month. Being mindful of what’s needed moment by moment, tending to it step by little step!

Journaling in Inner Spring (Follicular Phase / Waxing Moon Phase)

If you enjoy the practice of journaling, here’s a question to ponder in your Inner Spring:
“What is my soul yearning for, what is calling me?”
And then just start writing.

It’s basically about inviting in your desires and your passion, giving them space to be here. Allow them to flow onto paper freely for 5-10 minutes and observe, what impulse or inspiration is stirring your soul afterwards.

Inner Spring practice (Follicular Phase / Waxing Moon Phase)

The practice for this cycle phase is all about initiating – which doesn’t mean getting into the nitty-gritty details and actions just yet, no!

It’s more like pondering what you would like to harvest at the end of this cycle, for example, a feeling you want to experience more in your life, a habit that you want to anchor in your day-to-day, these kinds of things … and then looking at the seed you need to plant for that to happen.

Be especially mindful of your energy in Inner Spring. Yes, your energy level is rising, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend it right away ;-)
In “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben, I learned that some trees try to shoot up to the sky immediately – but because they haven’t taken the time and energy to build a supportive root system, they usually don’t last for very long.

So be mindful of not overexerting yourself and take it slow, instead of being totally swept away by your excitement. Rather, cherish the moment, pay attention to how long your energy lasts and pause every once in a while!

Your Cycle – a monthly process of evolution and growth

Wow, that was a lot of information on your Inner Spring. Maybe now you understand what I mean by saying that your cycle “works you” on all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual-energetic. At first sight, all of this might seem unreliable and uncontrollable, but in reality, there’s a certain dependability to it, a steady rhythm – just on a monthly basis, and our mind needs to get used to this.

So it’s not like women and menstruating people are “unstable”, “emotional” or “unreliable”, as it is often portrayed in a derogatory and dismissive way!

It’s a process of Death (Inner Winter) and Rebirth (Inner Spring) that you go through every month, and I find that really remarkable! With every cycle, you come a little closer to yourself, your deep, inner truth.

And when you explore and befriend your cycle, it’s going to be easier to understand the fluctuations over the course of a day, a week and a month and you’re less surprised or concerned when certain things happen in a particular phase. This doesn’t only foster a more loving relationship with yourself, it can also be helpful when you’re living together with other people.

For example, when your close ones know what you need in a certain phase and how they can support you. Or how you can support the people around you in their respective cycles.

And in the end, consciously journeying this process of Death and Rebirth will also help you navigate the bigger (and often challenging) life transitions with more ease. Practicing how to release one version of yourself to create space for something New on a monthly basis, will help you support yourself through transitions like a miscarriage, the end of an important relationship, becoming a mother or parent, empty-nest or moving through the perimenopause transition.

[And if you don’t want to move through those kinds of times alone, I offer support through challenging life transitions and crises! You can find out more about my services HERE, or book a free Discovery Call to get to know each other.]

Further Resources

I want to point out again that it was only the basic overview of an archetypal cycle. As you may have noticed, there’s a whole spectrum of experiences on every level and your personal experience is unique to you and can look very different to what I’ve described. This article is just a starting point for your exploration, so you know what to look out for, what to expect, what it can feel like.

In case you have any questions, you can ask them here or send me a voice message.

But in the end, your experience is unique and can change over the course of your life cycle, so it’s really about charting your personal cycle to explore what menstruation or the Dark Moon phase is like for YOU. What do you experience in your Inner Spring? What’s present in you? What is your energetic capacity like? Where does your Inner Spring experience fall onto the spectrum I described (or even goes beyond that)?

A simple entryway is my free tiny course on cycle charting: “Unlock the Healing Power of Your Cycle”
It includes a short explanation of the different cycle phases, my super simply approach and a cycle chart to fill in and explore – everything you need to start charting your cycle right away.

Learn to speak the language of your body and uncover the innate healing power of your cycle!

And if you want to dive even deeper and have a facilitated heart-to-heart with your own cycle (whether you menstruate or not), I offer Sacred Cycle Deep Dive sessions. Because I can teach you all I know and give you all the tips you want, in the end your cycle can teach you better – it can even offer you support and guidance through life.

Especially, but not only, if you experience menstrual or perimenopausal health challenges, I know that your cycle has messages for you. So during this Deep Dive session I will ask you and your cycle very specific questions that will help you make sense of the messages. While there’s value in me explaining what’s going on inside the body and providing the necessary context, it’s infinitely more powerful for you to experience that the answers lie indeed inside of you already – you will form a much stronger bond with your cycle and deeply understand that it isn’t here to annoy or play tricks on you, but to be your best friend and ally.

Because I want you to feel safe, happy, healthy and (w)holy in your body and build this unique and beautiful relationship. And a good relationship is always based on open and effective communication. That’s why the Sacred Cycle Deep Dive comes with a special practice to foster and strengthen this communication once we’ve started it.

But whether you just start charting your cycle, or you want to dive deeper with me, be sure to subscribe to my Mo(o)nday Musings! They are my weekly e-letters on Mo(o)nday mornings, to start the week more grounded and connected to yourself and your body:

And don’t forget to read the other three articles of this 4-part series, to better understand how your cycle influences you on all four levels over the course of a month:

Part 1 – Inner Winter (Menstruation / Dark Moon)
Part 3 – Inner Summer (Ovulation / Full Moon)
Part 4 – Inner Autumn (Luteal-/Premenstrual Phase / Waning Moon Phase)