I first became fascinated by plant medicine when I was 9 years old when a herbalist swiftly healed my glandular fever with herbal teas and tonics. I felt like I was handed a golden thread – I wanted to be able to do what she did when I grew up! – And I have since followed that thread with boundless curiosity.
I grew gardens, borrowed books about everything and anything to do with herbal medicine from the local library. I also endured adolescence (awkwardly) sensing there was so much I was not being told about this transition to womanhood and feeling quietly angry about that. Studying naturopathy after school exploded my horizons.
On a post-it above my desk throughout my naturopathic training, I had a Rumi quote: “Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” So I watched what my spirit responded to in those 5 years of study and the golden thread continued to unravel. Women’s health, menstruation, fertility, home-birth, reproductive rights and women’s rights joined the cabinet of curiosities alongside the plants.
I was excited and somewhat overwhelmed by the bigness of it all. Women had been severely persecuted in the past for sharing this knowledge…and in many ways, still were. I didn’t know it then, but this was my initiation to cycle-consciousness.
We’ve evolved with nature over millions of years and are biologically attuned to the slower pace of the transitioning seasons. This new world we’re living in is dramatically different from what our ancestors adapted to. We’re now exposed to an extraordinary array of stimuli, chemicals and speediness. This new onslaught is showing up in women’s health as menstrual cycle and fertility challenges. It’s not due to faulty physiology. Our bodies are extraordinarily intelligent.
It’s because it’s a challenge to remain in touch and nurtured by the earth and its rhythms. It’s because culturally in the west, cycle-consciousness has been lost to the linear mainstream.
Luckily as women, we have an inbuilt system that connects us with a slower, more powerful and sustainable ebb and flow: our menstrual cycles.
Menstrual cycles have gone through a cultural dark age; something to be hushed up instead of harnessed. Understanding our fertility is not on the education agenda. As girls, we weren’t taught that we can only become pregnant 4 – 7 days of the cycle, let alone taught how to recognise this. Fear that we could fall pregnant any day of the month makes contraception medications and devices the “responsible thing to do”.
I began to study women’s herbal medicine specifically and the Fertility Awareness Method. I also found the work of psychotherapist Alexandra Pope and started exploring the inner spiritual journey that can be unfolded by cycle consciousness.
I began to experience my world in a completely new way.
A veil dropped, and I could see the vast untapped potential women have been cut off from over the centuries.
The menstrual cycle reflects everything that’s in nature and is a master craftswoman.
She has her own seasons: seasons of rest and seasons of action. Seasons of fertility and seasons of infertility. Within each cycle are invitations to self-transform and weave our creativity and reality together in a careful, artful way.
Understanding these inner workings of your cycle is a whole new way of approaching your health, fertility, creativity, relationships, work, spirituality and energy.
Herbal medicines, like us, come from the same creation cycles of the earth. They’ve been here millions of years longer than us. They’re potent teachers and allies of resilience, cyclical attunement and aligning with nature. They’re my medicine of choice for healing menstrual cycle challenges, fertility issues, supporting pregnancy and birth, as well as building resilience. Nothing you can find in a pharmacy can touch the sides of this restorative potential.
How would it feel to reclaim this knowledge?
To know which herbs and foods you can use to bring your body and cycle back into alignment?
To know when you can and cannot get pregnant?
To know how to work with your inner creation cycles that will faithfully weave your dreams into a breathing reality?
This is cycle-consciousness. And it’s how we can connect with our deepest, wisest self.
I’ve realised that the golden thread I found as a girl has lead me to this place and has given me a basket of medicines to share with others. The kind of medicine that helps you find the key to open the door that has been with you all along.
If you would love to take the first step towards discovering and embracing the wisdom your cycle has to offer you, I invite you to join me for a special free community class, Cycle Alchemy, which I offer twice a year. To learn more and register, pop over here.