Hello, witches. Welcome to the podcast and thank you for joining me today. How is November coming along for us so far? We doing alright? I’m doing… I’m doing. I have been wound a bit tight recently. I’ve been so high-strung that people close to me are feeling it; my bestie has been begging me to go outside and do some grounding and she is not wrong. I could use it, and I have it in my calendar to stop at the park on my way home from work and sit in the grass and lean against a tree. But like, it’s to that point in my life right now, where I have to schedule an appointment to touch grass.

And while I’m not thrilled that this is where my head is at right now, I did think it was probably important for me to acknowledge and talk about it a little bit. I get a lot of messages from witches who struggle to feel like they’re doing enough. The imposter syndrome is real. We don’t feel like we’re witchy enough or that we practice our craft enough or that we cast enough or that we meditate enough or whatever unrealistic and arbitrary rubric we’re using to measure ourselves against.


There is no minimum amount of witchyness that we must achieve in our daily lives to qualify us to call ourselves witches. Some days we are 100% witch, just waking up ready to hex the day and work some spells and commune with spirits and grow some sage, and some days we don’t even move the needle. But every day we are witches. So while I am struggling right now to keep it together and still prioritize my craft, I know that this too shall pass. This is just where I am right now in the cycle. And that was my ham-fisted attempt to segue to the topic du jour. 


Today we are going to talk about Sacred Cycles. And right off the top, I do want to acknowledge that this will be a very uterus-centric episode. We are going to talk about menstruation (among other things) and I know that can be alienating but we are going to try our damnedest not to be. Because biological cycles are not unique to women or to people who menstruate. Not even close. And so while that is going to come up during the discussion today, and I’m not going to apologize for that, I do want to also make it very clear that my intent is not to exclude. That’s never my intent.


This  subject was suggested by a witch called Brynn, and it’s a bit of a thorny one. So kudos to Brynn for giving us a talking point with a little bit of an edge. There are some teeth on this topic and I’m feeling it right now. So let’s get into it. 


When I was writing my notes for this topic, I was trying to figure out how to tie in universal human experiences to the concept of sacred cycles. Because it can get pretty esoteric, and I kept coming back to the parallel of moon cycles. And it is a perfect analogy for menstrual cycles which are typically 28 days, just like the moon cycle. So let’s go through the cycle and its biological effects really quickly.


There’s the period itself, which is commonly called the Inner Winter, which is analogous to the New Moon. Progesterone plunges, resulting in the breakdown and shedding of your womb’s lining – hello, period. Both estrogen and progesterone are low. As well as bleeding, we may be dealing with cramps. Your breasts might deflate – they’re at their smallest towards the end of the period. Energy is at its lowest ebb and we may feel introverted and introspective.


There’s the follicular phase, or the Inner Spring, which is analogous to the waxing moon. Levels of follicle stimulating hormone increase slightly, causing egg-containing follicles to develop. Estrogen begins to increase but progesterone remains low. As the body prepares for ovulation, the cervical fluid becomes wetter. The breasts may start to enlarge. The skin will clear. The rise in estrogen starts to lift energy levels, enhances the mood and brain skills. We may feel more confident, powerful and willing to take risks.


The ovulatory phase, or the inner summer is next. This is analogous to the Full Moon. At the end of the follicular phase there’s an estrogen surge, followed by a sharp peak in luteinising hormone (LH), which causes a follicle to burst open and release its egg – ovulation. This is when we are at our most fertile. We may feel ovulation as a pain on one side of the abdomen. The breasts are at their most perky and if we are particularly blessed, our skin glows – basically, the body is as ready as it can be to make a welcoming environment for a baby.The estrogen surge boosts all the positive effects that were enjoyed during the last phase. We look and feel our most attractive and confident.


Finally, we experience the luteal phase or the inner autumn. This is analogous to the waning moon. The follicle that released the egg produces progesterone, causing it to rise and thicken the womb lining. During the luteal phase, the breasts might be tender and slightly swollen. If we’re prone to breakouts, now’s the time. As progesterone increases we find our energy winding down. In the second week of the luteal phase we may feel PMS symptoms: mood swings, anxiety or irritability and cravings for comfort food.


If the egg goes unfertilized, estrogen and progesterone will drop and the womb lining will shed, so the period – the inner winter – comes around again. And the cycle begins all over again. Now that was a pretty dry biology lesson really, but I felt like it was important to draw out the similarities that the body experiences to the kinds of magick we have already talked about many times on the podcast with regard to the moon cycles. 


And let’s not ignore the seasonal parallels either. Or the parallels that we drew in our Solar Magick episode. The solar cycle essentially does in 24 hours what the moon does in 28 days. To a lesser extent, it could maybe be argued. And you know, biological males experience a solar cycle of their own. Men actually experience a full testosterone cycle every 24 hours, with peaks and troughs in testosterone levels during this time which affect mood, attitudes and behavior. 

Testosterone in men reaches its peak in the early morning, decreasing steadily after 9am throughout the day. 


Testosterone levels in men are at their lowest ebb at night, before sleep. Testosterone levels build up overnight, which is why they’re at their highest in the early morning. So everybody’s just experiencing cycles all the time to differing degrees. All of these cycles complement and reflect each other and we can combine these cyclical energies to drive and support our spell work and our manifestations and intentions. 


I have had a lot of emails over the years from witches asking about using menstrual blood in spell work. Now, we did a Blood Magick episode not too long ago and I do want to say that any spell work we discussed during that episode qualifies. Menstrual blood is blood, and it can be used for blood magick. However, there are some specific ways that we can use blood in spell work that can be even more potent by the use of menstrual blood in particular. All blood is a powerful magnifier for magick work, and menstrual blood goes nuclear. And this includes but is not limited to love magick. 


Love, lust, and obsession spells can be really juiced by the addition of menstrual blood. I am not going to get into the ethical ramifications of this kind of work because we’re all adults here and the work you choose to do is your business. I am not the witchcraft sheriff. 


Anointing or even drawing sigils with menstrual blood is really powerful. Blood is such a crazy amplifier for spellwork, like, I can’t stress this enough, and sigils are one of my favorite methods of manifestation. So the combined power of the personal connection of using blood with the creative and symbolic power of a sigil is like, a match made in heaven. I would only caution against using blood for sigils (or any spellwork) meant for other people. It’s our personal lifeforce we’re tapping into when we use our own blood in spell work. It’s worth being picky and selective about who we choose to share that power with.


I find that blood is really powerful in money work and prosperity magick. Again, when we’re using it for ourselves. We are essentially putting our own scent on this work so the universe can sniff us out more easily when delivering on our manifestations. It’s also an expression of confidence that our work will be successful. We don’t typically bleed for work that we’re feeling half-assed or unconfident about, ya know what I mean?


And while we are on the subject of using the power of our moon blood, our menstrual blood, let’s draw that line over to the 24-hour testosterone cycle too. If you’re a human being of the male persuasion who is interested in using your own blood to amplify your magick, consider drawing blood in the morning when those testosterone levels are at their highest. And again, as we have discussed in the moon magick and solar magick episodes, we can also match the timing of the work that we do with the solar or lunar cycle that best supports it.


So the full moon and the noonday sun rule wisdom, protection, particularly for children and pregnant women, illumination, creativity, divination work, psychic abilities in all their forms, accomplishments, energy, growth, healing, emotions, and intuition. Sex magick is also well supported by the full moon and the noon sun. 


The waning moon and the afternoon/evening sun is for spellwork associated with secrets, divination, prophecy, and spirit work. This is a great phase for meditating to exercise your own psychic muscles. It’s also helpful with banishing, binding, reversal spells, rebirth and renewal, endings, and death magic, AND otherworld or interdimensional work. Which makes it a great phase for practicing astral travel, or connecting with spirit guides and ancestors, the fae, or for any kind of paranormal investigations. 


The new moon and midnight are for those times when we are searching for wisdom, when we’re doing work that requires us to look inward and be very introspective. Think Shadow Work. When we want illumination in a situation or area of our lives that we are having trouble seeing clearly, when we seek hidden knowledge, and when we are working on our shadow selves. This is a good time for banishing work, but maybe surprisingly, it can also be the best phase for new undertakings. 


The best workings for a new moon or work done at midnight are those times when we are trying to start something brand new from scratch, something that is going to need to grow and build upon itself. Spellwork for new projects that we are beginning from the absolute ground up are going to be really well supported by this energy. 


And finally, the waxing moon phase or the late morning sun are perfect for work associated with becoming an advocate for yourself. If you’ve been allowing yourself to be a doormat in a friendship, a romantic relationship, at work, with your family, now is the time to reverse the tides. Allow this phase to assist you in establishing boundaries and enforcing the treatment you deserve. If you’re finally ready to cut off a toxic friend, let the waxing moon or late morning sun help you find your voice. 


This is a phase of abundance, attraction, not necessarily like physical attraction, but attracting that which we want to call in for ourselves, it’s a phase of increase, growth, luck, wealth, inspiration, business success and money.


And whether you’re a man or woman, if you menstruate or not, we can align our intentions with these times of the day and times of the month and allow the blood that flows through our veins, that pumps through our hearts, that stays with us throughout our menstrual or testosterone cycles to work to our advantage. This is easy stuff to coordinate when we’re in the planning stages of spell work. The benefits of timing the work that we do to ensure that we are taking full advantage of the moon cycles, the solar cycles, the seasonal cycles, our monthly cycles, cannot be overstated. 


If we’re going to the trouble of doing spell work in the first place, we may as well go all in, right? So. Try some spellwork timed to your personal cycle. If you menstruate, consider working a spell that incorporates your blood. It’s a bit taboo, sure. But we are witches for crying out loud, our very existence is taboo to some people. Why not get weird? So we’ve got our work cut out for us this week, right? Touch grass, do blood magick, enjoy the New Moon next Monday, and come back again next week. My name is Eli Ro, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch Podcast.

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