Week 1: Sharing Circle 101
A Note on Sacred Womb Mandala/ Menstrual Wheel
Note: This is a framework through which to understand your body, however nothing written here should override your own experience. That is to say that your body is the highest authority, and through tracking your cycles, you will come to know your own unique rhythm, which will likely not map directly onto the framework presented.
This is designed to inspire you to pay more attention and find what works for you, giving you permission to follow the instructions your body gives you.
Note 2: It is worth mentioning at this point that there are many womxn who do not have periods or have very irregular periods, which may be due to menopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome, do not have a womb, or a number of other reasons. Those on hormonal birth control will also not experience a fluctuation in hormones as outlined in this framework.
This is completely OK! It’s ok not to have a cycle, or to not fit neatly within this map. There are still many ways to engage in this work, and to live cyclically if you want to. I will present some of these ways later.
The information I share here is written about widely and extensively, though it is still relatively new to most people, and has not yet penetrated the mainstream.
The Sacred Womb Mandala, or the Menstrual Wheel, maps the cycles of the sun, the moon, the seasons, menstrual cycles, and life cycles, as one integrated system. It observes the changes in energy that occur throughout nature's cycles and offers a way of life that is in harmony with this order.
I first came across this concept through Jewels Wingfield, an established workshop facilitator here in the UK. Others I love and respect in this area are Ruby May, who runs a 13 week online course, and The Red School (There are many great online articles and books written by the founders.)
The way I present this knowledge is how it was passed to me, and observes a womxn’s menstrual cycle as a mirror to the changes in the seasons. As such this particular framework is perhaps more directly relevant to those living in parts of the world that have four distinct seasons. I do, however, still believe the basic principles are relevant to womxn all over the world, and the framework of seasons may be adapted to those living closer to the equator.
The Sacred Womb Mandala treasures each part of the cycle as an essential component of the whole. Within our modern way of life we are stuck in some kind of ‘perpetual summer’, and disregard the autumn and winter phases of our cycle.
By beginning to track our cycles, as well as listen more deeply to the rhythms of the earth, sun and moon, we tune back into the natural way of life.
To fully embody this may require a complete shift in lifestyle. This might seem challenging at first. It can be helpful to remember that change can happen incrementally, and even small and subtle changes in behaviour will make a big difference.
When we embody this wisdom, which is already innately within us, we are able to step into our full power, and celebrate our cycle as something that supports us, rather than an inconvenience.
Womb Mandala/ Menstrual Wheel
Original image, please credit me when using