Working intentionally with your menstrual cycle is a powerful way to supercharge your magic through the momentum of your inner tides, while aligning more deeply with the sacredness of your body.
We’ll be exploring the four phases of your cycle and different ways to magically partner with the energies of each phase.
As with any cycle, where we begin is somewhat of an arbitrary choice, as each phase follows from the one before…
…but we’re going to start with the follicular phase, as this most closely matches that initial spark of an idea, which is a common portal into a new phase of growth.
Follicular Phase – Building, Focusing, and Winnowing
The follicular phase is initiated by Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), produced by the pituitary gland.
This hormone acts on ova, or unfertilized eggs, within the ovaries. Each ovum is housed in a little follicle, and as its name suggests, FSH stimulates these follicles, causing a select number of them to enlarge.
The ova embark on a race to see who will emerge victorious, with the winner proceeding to ovulation and the rest gradually disintegrating.
Energetically, this is a time of building potency, increasing focus, and allowing extraneous elements to fall away.
The magic of this phase:
This is an ideal time for selecting a focus for your energy, and initially, you might be trialing a handful of options.
You could use tarot, runes, a pendulum, or other divination tools to explore the pros and cons.
You can check in with your body as you contemplate each option, sensing whether your body grows more open and expansive or more closed and constricted, using this to guide which path is best for you right now.
You can meditate and journal, asking your higher self or any guides and deities you work with for clarity.
You can pay attention to your dreams, requesting guidance before you go to bed each night.
Once you have a sense of which option your soul wishes to focus on, it’s time to start gathering your energy…
…and a big part of this process is consciously acknowledging the alternative options that you won’t be taking right now.
Too often, we have a lingering FOMO (fear of missing out), and this causes us to subtly (or not-so-subtly) cling to every possibility, dissipating our energy and leaving us feeling scattered and confused.
A spell to focus your energy:
I find it helpful to write down on separate slips of paper the options I won’t be pursuing right now.
Sometimes, this can bring up a whole host of emotions, such as fear, grief, anxiety, and so on.
If you can, simply be present with these feelings, honoring them by resisting the urge to reach for distractions, and trusting that even though they might be intensely unpleasant, they are nonetheless valuable.
You might also write down any additional energies that you sense need to be released so that you can move forward cleanly, recycling any unused energy for future endeavors.
Then, ritualistically release these elements by burning the slips of paper in a bonfire, in a fireproof cauldron, or other safe means.
You might choose to bury the ash in your garden or release it into a body of water with gratitude. (You can simply throw it away, too.)
Acknowledge that this energy hasn’t disappeared; it’s been powerfully returned to a larger cosmic cycle.
Even though you aren’t pursuing these options right now, there’s no telling how this energy might return to your life in new and exciting ways.
With this release, you are now primed to focus intently on your chosen aim, thereby unifying your will, which is an indispensable magical tool.
Without a cohesive will, your efforts will be scattered and less effective, which, over time, can feel extremely frustrating and discouraging.
Instead, support your efforts by having the courage to prioritize what’s truly important to you rather than trying to “do it all.”
I love journaling on my focus, and if I intend to cast a spell, this is when I would sketch out the details.
If I’m doing a worded spell, I’d draft my intention phrase, such as, “I am in a career that supports and nourishes me financially, creatively, and on all other levels—so mote it be!”
If I’m incorporating other ritual elements, such as candles, crystals, herbs, etc., now is the time to start gathering these magical allies.
Ovulation Phase – Energizing, Galvanizing, and Releasing
When your body reaches a sufficient estrogen threshold (among other factors), ovulation is triggered, and there are a few bodily signs that indicate this shift.
One of my favorite resources for more detailed instruction in this area is Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, but here, we’ll briefly cover the three signs that signal ovulation and their magical implications.
The first is an increase in your temperature, which is assessed upon waking in the morning.
Magically, we can think of this additional heat as fuel for our energetic fire—it gets things moving and allows us to burn through resistance and other obstacles.
When I’m paying attention, I notice a palpable shift in my energy during this time, and when I capitalize on it, I find it much easier to get. shit. done.
This is a wonderful time to schedule necessary tasks related to your aim that might ordinarily meet with inner naysaying.
You’re much more likely to transform resistance into fiery resolve during ovulation, so why not put that to good use? If you’re casting a spell or doing another type of magical working, now is the time to send that energy out into the cosmos!
The second sign of ovulation is a change in cervical fluid.
As ovulation approaches, this fluid generally takes on a more slippery, lubricative, egg-white texture.
Magically, we can view this as increased energetic fluidity, allowing us to travel the path of least resistance.
As we tap into the fiery momentum of ovulation, if we meet with potential obstacles, do we have the flexibility and adaptability to navigate them, or do we allow them to derail our efforts?
This speaks to an important principle of magic: While there’s much we can do to encourage a desired outcome, it’s far more difficult (i.e. energy intensive) to control precisely how this outcome is realized.
Particularly during this more fluid phase, our magic is enhanced when we acknowledge this principle…
…recognizing when we are growing too attached to a particular route and, with gentleness and self-compassion, releasing this attachment to allow the energy to continue flowing toward our goal.
The third ovulatory sign is cervical position, with the cervix becoming higher, softer, and more open during ovulation.
In a similar fashion, are we putting ourselves in a good position to support our magical aims?
For example, if we’re doing a spell to make more professional connections, but we’re hiding out in hermit mode, this undermines the energy of our working.
Often, when we’re trying to micromanage the process, rather than surrendering into co-creation with the cosmos, this causes us to constrict.
How can you support yourself in gently opening and softening during this time, welcoming the desired outcome into your life?
Luteal Phase – Increasing, Nourishing, and Preparing
If you recall from the follicular stage, the ovum is contained inside a follicle. At ovulation, the ovum bursts free, traveling to the Fallopian tubes and leaving its follicular casing behind.
This leftover follicle becomes a corpus luteum or yellow body, which carries an interesting alchemical correspondence.
In short, the yellow stage of alchemy involves a conjoining of above and below, a union of spirit/potential with matter/manifestation.
Magically, our outcome is materializing.
During the luteal phase, the lining of the uterus is thickening, in part due to cues from the corpus luteum, which is releasing progesterone.
Are you taking steps to prepare for and nourish the successful outcome of your magical working?
For example, if your goal is to find a romantic partner, and you know that staying up late every night translates into your being a total bear to be around, transitioning to an earlier bedtime is one way of nourishing a successful outcome.
Progesterone not only causes the uterine lining to thicken, it also suppresses the release of any additional ova that might compete with the ovum that is already traveling down the Fallopian tubes.
Magically, we are being given another opportunity to evaluate what we’re spending our time and energy on.
Are we spread too thin, thereby draining our original focus of its power?
Or can we continue holding space for this goal, allowing it to really take root in our lives, nourishing it through our daily choices, which in turn become self-sustaining habits.
This is a time for deeply instilling the outcome of your magical working into your actual, lived experience.
Menses – Purifying, Releasing, and Resetting
If the ovum has not been fertilized, once the corpus luteum disintegrates and is no longer producing progesterone, the blood vessels supporting the lining of the uterus will constrict…
…and that lining will begin to die off. This initiates a phase of flow and release, and in the background, hormonal players will be readying for a new round of the cycle.
Magically, I experience this time much like the energetic feel of a dog shaking itself dry after a swim before flopping down in the sun for a well-deserved nap.
It’s time to cast off anything that no longer serves and any unused remnants of energy leftover from the working.
I like to collect some of my menstrual blood and ritually offer it to the earth, acknowledging this process of shedding and release.
When you reach menstruation, you’ve just completed a cycle of building intensity and focus, and it can be so very delicious to embrace this period of cathartic release, resetting for the next cycle of growth.
How can you carve out time for rest or play?
Can you loosen expectations and shift into being instead of doing mode, allowing your batteries to recharge?
If we try to sustain unflagging productivity throughout our entire cycle, eventually we become depleted, wrung out like a sponge, and we have less access to our creativity and sources of inspiration.
Relishing this period of rejuvenation and release is so important.
Tuning into your cycle is a potent way of honoring the sacredness of your body, while connecting with the ever-changing ebbs and flows of energy.
By connecting with your inner tides…
…you will be better equipped to align with the larger, cosmic tides…
…and these, in turn, will add powerful oomph to all of your magical workings.