There's been quite a few questions about lotus cycles & lunar cycles. I haven't answered them myself because I believe our MOONRISE|13 sisters Lisa Lister, author of Code Red, Kristina Wingeier, lunar mystic / creator of the Lunar Womb, & Rachael Fox-Tierney, my own midwife & lead at Birthstream Midwifery, can bring the layers of shadow + luminosity we need to untangle the generations of misunderstanding, violation & confusion surrounding our life-blood. The opportunity of this conversation is priceless :: access to your inner wellspring, the life blood that creates existence from the invisible. As women, we carry the gift of magnification.
In my interviews with women who have no visible lotus cycles, either because of menopause, meds, illness, nursing, working out or stress ("good" & "bad"), I've found that there are still subtle cycles at play. In every case, the needs of women are the same, they just don't fall into the same rhythms. So it's worth exploring the lunar rhythms for resonance, and exploring the lotus cycles for real needs. You use the maps in the same way, there is just no blood to track. In your case, you are tracking the time you go into "trance:" wisdom-holding, insight-harvesting, channeling as a conduit, beauty-making, truth-telling, & course-correcting. These are times when your needs for support & quiet intensify. You will also track when you blossom with clarity, confidence & capacity, so you can use those times to catalyze & magnify what came thru.
Yesterday Carrie-Anne, MOONRISE|13 sister & soul-nourishment curator at Annapurna Living, asked me to snap a shot of my lotus cycle. I'm on my second lotus cycle for this lunar month, which tells me I've had a bit too much light, evening movies + computer time. (It's only happened once before) When I rest well, and follow the light in the sky, with wakefulness, and the dark with rest, my cycle falls on the New Moon. I work best this way, now. I can count on myself more than I ever have in the past. There were decades when I just stayed up, nearly the entire night - I'm a true night owl. Early in my parenting I would crash, but wake at 2am, & create until 6am before crashing harder. There was plenty to show for it - including deep exhaustion, burnout, missed opportunities & miscommunications.
During those years I discovered that my cycle was either irregular & unpredictable with cramping, or very heavy, and longish, during the Full Moon. As a result, I was premenstrual and a suffering-kind-of-sensitive when I could have been harvesting the extra energy of the Full Moon. Or, when I had lots of energy + clarity from my *buds* (post-menstruation) & *blooms* (ovulation) cycles, the world + society were in the truth-telling, shedding, & internally intense time before the New Moon. So it was all truth-telling, all the time. Pretty intense, for me, my collaborators & my loved ones.
Now I must rest for real.
It's a gentle kind of fierceness.
This is just a piece of my story. We each have a unique story, an individual experience of initiations, & need different lunar medicine, even though we are each given by moon-pulls and our body-ecology. Thru tracking, taking note of the general cycles, noting what resonates with your experience & what's not true for you, you'll find new power in your months, where you are thinking more clearly, your gesture has more velocity, & your communication lands with more importance and love. You'll also tap in to places where you can create more ease, support & gentleness for yourself & others, while you focus on bringing the magic.
So. The Offering today is our life blood, and we Offer It Up to ourselves. May you be magnified for the rest of us.
ps - If you have questions for Lisa, Kristina or Rachael, you can leave them in the comments below, & we'll cover them on calls in the next week.
pps - Here's how these pieces work together:
1. Print up your "Lotus Cycles: The Gift of Magnification" map. Just right-click on the picture above. Locate your cycle, & yourself in the description. Bleeding starts in the upper-left circle, "Flowing," & goes clock-wise. Where are you at in your cycle? Make notes about your experience of each phase right on the map. If you don't have a lotus cycle, notice the needs, the phases. Make notes about your own rhythms. Your needs may not show up in a clear rhythm, so you get to be honest about which needs are met, unmet, & glaring. How much do you need, to be well? How often? Make sure to see yourself clearly, as leadership. Don't skimp on this part, even if you have no idea how to get those needs met. You need to know what you need, in order to get those needs met.
2. Print up "The Moon & You" map. Again, look for resonance & differences. There are very different stories & experiences around lunar cycles. Some people experience the exact opposite, depending on their astrology, what hemisphere they are in, inherited ways, and their personal temperament. The key here is to begin noticing what phase the moon is in, and what impact it has on you, your building gesture, your relationships and your initiatives. We start each month at the New Moon, on the bottom, and go clock-wise. In the tradition of our global ancestors, we begin our manifestation prayers here, and build with the light of the moon.
3. Open up to "My Lotus Cycle," page 9 in your September-October copy of *On Path. This is a snapshot of mine, today. The next New Moon is in 7 days, but my cycle started today. So in the innermost ring, I colored in the space 7 days prior to the New Moon. Yesterday it began a little, so I shaded it a bit lighter. I use a colored pencil for this. You can use whatever. The middle ring has my physical experience, and the outer ring includes my emotional & mental experience. I went ahead & noted the days prior to my lotus cycle, because I had two giant midday naps, & my capacity was lower. This let me know my cycle was coming, to take everyone else a little less seriously, to let my mom feed me, and to cuddle up with my ukulele instead of trying to run errands. We were visiting, but had I been home, I would have stopped trying to get work done & let myself stare at the wall & eat ice cream with a journal. We had a fairly huge meeting because we are launching ROVR in a few months (shhh!!), but we did it gently: family-style, with kids, chaos, food and porch-swinging.
For those also using *GIVEN*, you simply track that inner circle over the course of 26 moons, or two years, like this. Each ring represents a new lunar month, for a lady ledger that intimately reflects your flow. Over time you can also see how it echoes flow in other domains of your life, as well.