~Much of my work references the sacred cycles and seasons of life, so here’s an overview of them: the menstrual cycle; the lunar cycle; the solar cycle of the seasons and the Wheel of the Year; and the life cycle stages of the Goddess archetypes~

The Menstrual Cycle

Red rose

Pre-ovulation

Days 6-11 (approx)
Your inner spring when energy rises.

Ovulation

Days 12-20 (approx.)
Your inner summer – where you are fertile, abundant, full of life.

Pre-menstruum

Days 21-28 (approx)
Your inner autumn, where you are getting ready to let go and clear out (and don’t suffer fools gladly!).

Menstruation

Days 1-5 (approx)
Your inner winter, the death of the old as you bleed and release.

And if you don’t menstruate you can still follow these changing energies by tapping into the phases of the moon. They’re all interconnected.

The Lunar Cycle

Full Moon: selenophile

And these cycles can also be seen each lunar month – in the phases of the moon.

New Crescent Moon – rebirth

The Waxing Moon is spring-like in energy, growing, expansive.

The Full moon is summer – bright and abundant.

The Waning Moon has autumn-like energies, falling away and letting go.

And the Waning Crescent (Balsamic) and Dark Moons are winter-like; a time of inner reflection, the void before the cycle begins again.

The Solar Cycle of the Seasons

Seasons of the year on one tree

Winter

It’s the death of the old. The trees are bare. The air is cold. The ground is hard. All seems barren.

But look deeper and realize that it’s just that the energies have gone inwards – hibernating, conserving, ready to flourish when the time is right, in spring.

And we can do the same. Snuggle up with a blanket and book. Allow quiet-time. Conserve our energy. Meditate. Look within. Identify what new seeds we wish to nurture ready to grow next spring.

Spring

And now new life springs forth!

As daffodils bloom and the first shoots on trees bud, we can tap into this rising energy ourselves and let the seeds of ideas we nurtured over winter now begin to grow.

Summer

The height of the growing season. All is on-show. Energy is high. Tap into abundance. Choose to do things which bring you joy.

And as Summer turns into Autumn, take stock of your own personal harvest. What flourished this year? Be grateful. Give yourself credit for what you’ve achieved. Reflect on what could have gone better – what might you do differently next year.

Autumn

As the trees let go of their leaves you may feel called to reflect on what you are ready to let go of. What’s falling away? It could be material possessions you no longer need. It could be habits; ways of being; people even.

…and so the cycle continues as we descend into the depths and death of winter, before the cycle begins again.

The Wheel of the Year

Leaves in the colours of the seasons

These are ancient festivals and remembrances which connect us back to our pre-Christian ancestors, whose lives were, of necessity, deeply embedded in awareness of the solar, agrarian calendar of planting and harvest.

The solar festivals are the two solstices and equinoxes, whose dates change slightly each year as they’re determined by the relative position of the Sun and the Earth. And then the four cross quarter days (also known as the Celtic Fire Festivals) marked the turning of the seasons and relate to the agrarian calendar of the keeping of crops and animals.

Imbolc

1st/2nd February the northern hemisphere (NH), August in the southern (SH).
Marks the beginning of early spring and the reawakening of the land.

Spring Equinox

20th-22nd March NH / September SH.
Spring is in full swing.

Beltane

1st May NH / November SH.
Beginning of early summer.

Summer Solstice

20th-22nd June NH / December SH.
The height of summer.

Lammas

Around 1st August NH / February SH.
Beginning of autumn.

Autumn Equinox

20th-22nd September NH / March SH.
Mid-autumn.

Samhain

31st October NH / 30th April SH.
Beginning of winter.

Winter Solstice.

20th-22nd December NH / June SH.
Midwinter.

While each of these festivals have been associated with specific dates I invite you to open to working with their energies through an entire six-week period, and to be alive to when you feel the seasonal energies changing both in the place that you live, and within your body and soul.

Bring it all together with the Life Cycle Goddess Archetypes

Goddess statue

Archetypes are powerful, enduring symbols which exist out of time and transcend cultures, in what psychiatrist Carl Jung termed ‘the collective unconscious’.

There are five main archetypes I reference when working with all of these seasonal cycles – which I’ve outlined below.

They’re faces of the Great Goddess and inner energies within your soul that you can call upon whenever you need their powers and healing gifts.

The Maiden

  • Hope, innocence, curiosity, new beginnings, joy
  • Early spring
  • New crescent moon
  • Pre-ovulation
  • Age: 0-15 (approx) (birth, early years and puberty)
  • AND: any time in your life when you wish to evoke these energies

The Lover

  • Sensuality, sexuality, passion, courage, freedom
  • Late spring into summer
  • Waxing moon
  • Pre-ovulation into ovulation
  • Age: 15-30 (approx) (experimenting with who you are and with relationships)
  • AND: any time in your life when you wish to evoke these energies

The Mother

  • Nurturing, birthing, creativity, unconditional love
  • Late summer into early autumn
  • Ovulation
  • Full moon
  • Age: 30-45 (approx) (birthing years – children and/or career, creative projects etc)
  • AND: any time in your life when you wish to evoke these energies

The Queen

  • Discernment, harvest, setting boundaries, confidence, empowerment, protection
  • Autumn
  • Pre-menstruum
  • Waning Moon
  • Age: 45-60 (approx) (peri/menopausal years)
  • AND: any time in your life when you wish to evoke these energies

Crone

  • Wisdom, intuition, vision, darkness, death, peace
  • Winter
  • Menstruation
  • Balsamic – Dark Moon
  • Age: 60+ (approx) (post-menopausal years)
  • AND: any time in your life when you wish to evoke these energies

*

At its heart, cyclic living is a practice of embodied mindfulness; of paying attention to what is true for you as the rhythm of the seasons unfold.

It grounds you into the ever-present, ever-shifting rhythms of nature and to feel part of something greater than the materialistic concerns of everyday modern life.

For by honouring these sacred cycles of outer nature you may come into a deeper relationship with your own inner nature – your truest self – your soul. That wise and timeless part of you which is naturally aligned to the great rhythm of life of rebirth, growth, release and decay.

And it is this deeper, enriched soul connection that is the treasure that working with the sacred cycles of nature reveals to you.

I hope you enjoy the journey!


About Stella

Stella Tomlinson Soul Sanctuary PriestessHi, I’m Stella Tomlinson and I share a healing path honouring nature’s cycles & the callings of the soul, helping you to feel “Held by Her” – the loving, healing & empowering presence of Mother Earth within and all around us.

I’m a Priestess, author & poet and experienced soulful meditation guide.

My next book Cycles of Belonging: Honouring ourselves through life’s sacred cycles is out with Womancraft Publishing in early 2022.

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