It’s the time of the Rose, Queen of the flowers, who holds a brief but lovely June reign in the garden. The rose beautifully symbolizes the quality of the feminine essence to me. Her appearance around solstice marks the dreamy transition from maidenhood to motherhood as the cycle of the year progresses along the path that all of us as women tread- maiden, mother, wise woman; and then we sleep- or perhaps, gestate- before the cycle begins anew. While we mirror this cycle in the grand schemes of life, we also mirror it in the microcosm of the month. The moon showers us in silver along this weekly transformation, further punctuating the glory of each stage of the metamorphose that is womanhood.
In spring, the earth is fertile. It is crying out with potential, in the same way our daughters who are coming of age seem to bloom. Have you noticed that same quality of life- bursting and stretching with exuberant dreams and possibilities, and at the same time, magnetically pulling back in towards herself- in our beautiful girls when they are young women? Just as the young plants are inspired heavenward on the surface, straining their little heads to bask in the sun and try with their might to fly up towards it, they are dancing below the surface, with their delicate root tendrils slowly circling, waltzing, and sinking as deep as they can to take hold of the earth and ground themselves firmly.
Likewise, we find that same quality in our “spring” of the month as a woman- the week we are fertile. Like the newly-thawed earth, our cervix becomes softer and opens slightly, and our cervical fluid (sticky like egg-white now) becomes more abundant just as the spring rains wash the world with moisture- inviting the seeds that are sown to find a hospitable place to grow. We are “in love with being in love” emotionally- a little more playful, a little more energetic. A little more magnetic! And though we may not be calling forth physical babies, we are calling forth dream babies. A wise woman once told me we are either birthing babies or ideas. So make time this week of your cycle to call those dreams forth, to flirt with Inspiration, to dance with Possibility. I like to mark this special week of Fertility by dressing up a little more, maybe a special piece of jewelry; wearing softer, drapier, or more flowing clothing… embodying the feminine element. The moon is full- go out at night and bask in it. Leave your window shade up and let the moonbeams shine in your dreams.
Summer, the mother-time. Our basal body temperature (our lowest body temperature at rest- such as when we first wake and are lying still) is at its highest, for our internal terrain mirrors those hot summer days. Cervical fluid is scanty, just as the rains have lessened and the earth sometimes seems dry or parched. The cervix begins at a high point, and slowly descends just as the summer sun is already beginning to lower and the day length after solstice is slightly ebbing. The moon begins to wane. In the garden, the rose has been pollinated… the seeds are forming… in our lives, our ideals are taking shape and form, our creative processes are coming to fruition. We are no longer dreaming, but doing. I like to dig in to a project, whether in my home or crafting, during this week.
Autumn, and body temperatures are still quite high but beginning to decline, just as the cervix is growing lower and harder (whereas it felt soft like a lip before, it becomes harder like a nose)- and just as the days are warm but the nights carry the chill of a cold to come. Outwardly, things build up to a crescendo of glory- bright colors, beautiful cornflower blue skies that herald both gorgeous Indian summer days and brooding storms. The fruit is ready. Our dreams are borne out. We taste them, touch them, bask in their rewards. As the wise woman, we see our children (whether human children or life work) grow and realize their potential. We experience the change of life, the hot flashes reflected in the season’s rapid pulsing from warm fronts to cold fronts. The garden has exploded with everything we will need to carry us through another year. There is delight, but hard work too- making sure the things we have worked so hard for are not frivolously wasted, but shored up to nourish us for the cycles ahead.
The moon begins to wane. A touch of frost alights. Those storms become menacing. We mirror this in our emotions- this is the time to think before we speak. Will our words build up or tear down? We can go from clear blue skies to gray thunderheads in mere seconds. How do we support ourselves in this time? Do not push yourself too hard; crystallize your complaints/frustrations and find their solutions, then use that power of the storm to bulldoze the hang-ups or roadblocks that have prevented you from moving forward on your path. Shake loose of the things that need to fall away! This is the thorn of the rose- guarding, preserving the life that is beautiful.
Winter. Basal body temperatures are lowest; precipitation at its greatest (snow white outside, blood red within). I always keep a sweater nearby, and I have a tradition of enjoying a grass-fed steak- (rich in iron to help replace the iron lost in bleeding)- acknowledging the sacred cycle of life and death, give and take, sacrifice and offering. The cervix is hard; the ground is frozen; the moon is empty. This is your time to hibernate- your week to stay at home and avoid the busyness and errands whenever you can. Your quiet, sleepy, brooding time to reflect on the past cycle and prepare for the next.
Over in the garden, the rose bush is dropping its petals…