Self Care for Follicular Phase + Waxing Moon Energy
The moon is a crescent sliver in the sky and I am in such a good mood. I feel something extraordinarily powerful within me, a deep surge of feminine, creative energy.
I had expected to feel this last month, having felt a strong connection to my intuition in September. In that first month of spring I felt electric, creative, connected to my divine feminine. With Beltane at the end of October, I thought this energy would only grow stronger. I anticipated vibrant health, vitality, creativity, and motivation.
Instead I went through a month long slump. I felt sluggish, like Sisyphus with his stone, having to push up hill for each gain. I arrived at the end of October with little of September’s mojo intact.
But I recalibrated. At the start of my monthly cycle, which coincided beautifully with the beginning of the month, I set my intentions for November and the rest of the year.
The most amazing things have happened since then. My health is clearing up. My energy is returning. I’m taking charge in my business. I’m killing it at the gym. I feel resurgence in that creative energy, and my mojo is back with a vengeance. This feels like the month I had envisioned last month, picking up the promise of such a hopeful September.
I’m conscious of the lunar cycle and feminine cycle that I’m in. As the crescent moon grows larger toward the first quarter, I move deeper into my follicular phase. There’s such energetic magic in my female cycles being synced with the moon phases.
Our Divine Connection to The Moon & Why It Matters
As women, we are powerfully driven by the natural ebb and flow of hormones in our menstrual cycle. It affects everything from our mood, our energy levels, our sexual desire, our motivation, our assertiveness, our social habits, our confidence, our body weight, our skin, how well we adapt and respond to stressors – even the size of our lips and the shine of our hair. A woman’s regular cycle is 28 days long – which is also the length of a moon cycle.
Also like the four phases of the moon: dark/new, waxing, full, and waning, a woman’s regular menstrual cycle has four phases: menstruation, follicular, ovulation, and luteal. During each of these phases, a woman’s body changes hormonally and physiologically to prepare to create new life. In the follicular phase, the follicles in her ovaries are stimulated to grow eggs. In the ovulation stage, her body releases an egg for fertilisation and she is fertile, able to conceive. In the luteal phase, a woman is no longer fertile. Her body becomes an incubator for any life conceived in the ovulation phase. If she has not conceived, her lining will be shed with a new menstrual phase and the cycle begins again.
Traditionally, historically, women’s cycles were synced to the cycle of the moon. Almost all of us would bleed together with the dark moon, and ovulate on the full moon. This beautiful synchronicity of lunar and feminine energy has tied women with the moon since ancient times. Many of us find that our cycles are this way even now. In fact, syncing my cycle with the moon (the how = a post for another time) has been one of the most energetically cleansing things I have done.
By tying in moon energy with your cycle, you will notice significant synchronicity in the flow of your month. I believe every woman should observe the lunar phase when she is menstruating and ovulating, and document her energy shifts around those times, eventually calibrating her cycle to line up with the phases of the moon.
Women typically have more energy in their follicular and ovulation phases, as their oestrogen and testosterone peaks. We have better skin, glowing hair and are mentally sharper, more focused, stronger, and motivated. In our luteal phase, a woman’s energy is lower as oestrogen and testosterone drops and progesterone takes over. In this phase, we are softer, tenderer, and more emotionally fragile. Physically, we tire easily, are less strong, and our skin often feels dry, or breakout prone. In our menstrual phase, we battle with cramps, headaches and bloating. We feel sluggish, emotionally vulnerable, and exhausted. Despite what tampon commercials try to peddle, many of us just want to retreat, hang out at home in our comfy PJs and hide from the world.
The moon’s energy shifts in a similar way. Whilst the dark moon (menstrual phase) is symbolic of new beginnings, setting new intentions, turning inward, rest, intuition, feminine mystery, reflection and stillness, the waxing moon phase (follicular phase) is like the spring after winter. It’s a time of rebirth, intentions evolving, energy rising, synchronicity, motivation and feeling driven to take inspired action.
Whilst it’s not always possible to plan your entire life by your menstrual and moon cycle, certain elements of our lives flow better if planned according to our cycle and (if we’re synced) the phase of the moon. For instance, if you are planning a massage, book it in during your luteal phase to ease PMS. If you are planning interviews or business meetings, book them around ovulation when your confidence and verbal skills peak.
Follicular Phase/Waxing Moon Energy
THE SCIENCE PART | In your body, during the follicular phase oestrogen levels rise, prompting your uterine lining to thicken in preparation for a fertilised egg. Your ovaries prepare to release another egg thanks to the stimulation of your follicles via the pituitary gland (aligned with your third eye chakra). Your egg follicles begin to swell (like the swelling of the moon).
HOW YOU’RE FEELING | You’re likely feeling a surge in energy, maybe even restless energy. You feel creative, driven, bursting with new ideas. You feel compelled to act, inspired. You work on your passion projects with seemingly tireless energy. You’re motivated, and you feel creatively powerful. In your manifestation work, synchronicities are starting to line up with almost scary accuracy. You feel upbeat, positive, and revitalised. You feel eager to socialise, personable, open to trying new experiences and visiting new places. You feel flirtatious, free, and confident. Your libido may also experience a boost (or, it may not yet – both are normal).
WAXING MOON ENERGY | The waxing moon is the peak time for creativity, new beginnings taking root, mental clarity, maximum brainstorming power and problem solving energy, manifestation, synchronicity, and creative energy.
Self Care During the Follicular Phase
PLANT SOME NEW LEAF BABIES | To symbolise new life and feed creative energy, this is the time that I plant new seedlings and give my established plants extra love with fertiliser to encourage growth. (I also talk to them and tell them how beautiful they are. Plants like that.)
CHECK IN WITH YOUR INTENTIONS | Sit down with some sage incense, light a white candle, and go over the intentions you set at the new moon. How are these tracking? Where are you noticing synchronicities, opportunities, and flow? Write out your ideas, creative sparks, and things to follow up. Your energy at this time is supercharged, so follow where it leads.
BUY YOURSELF FLOWERS | One of my favourite women’s coaches to follow is Clare Baker at This Is Lifeblood. Clare specialises in teaching women to embrace their feminine cycle and has a fantastic tip for the follicular, or “spring” phase of your cycle: buy yourself a bunch of flowers. In witchcraft and pagan spirituality, bringing fresh flowers into the home is a symbolic tradition in springtime, heralding the burst of new spring life and the miracle of creation. Buying yourself flowers honours that same miracle within your body. Alternatively, I find it beautiful to hand pick flowers from my garden and gift them to myself with a ribbon, scatter them around my work space, or wear them in my hair.
KEEP IT FLIRTY | This is the energy of the virgin springtime goddess, fertile, flirty, but a little aloof. Go for youthful, flirty, and fresh in your style, makeup and interactions with your partner (and/or yourself). Choose a fragrance with fresh floral notes. In your style choices, pair soft, feminine, flowy lines with a little bit of edge and sexiness. Cute cropped shorts, crop tops, bright swishy skirts, feminine bralettes and lace kimonos are perfect wardrobe choices. Accessorise with florals and owl motifs (sacred to the virgin goddess). Share your flirtatious, frisky energy with your partner through lots of stolen kisses, cheeky texts, love notes on post-its and “accidental” touching. If you’re single, write yourself love notes, wear your prettiest outfits, and kiss yourself in the mirror.
NEW HAIRSTYLE | Bold and rejuvenated waxing moon energy is perfect for daring to rock a new hairstyle, so try and book in with your hairstylist during this part of the month.
SKINCARE | The boost in your oestrogen levels will plump up your skin and boost collagen production, making your skin absolutely glow. In fact, the follicular phase is typically when our skin looks its best and is least prone to breakouts. If there’s a new skincare product you’ve been dying to try, grab it and try it out during this time, when your skin is less sensitive to breakouts.
START A HEALTHY EATING PLAN | You’re more likely to stick with a healthy eating plan if you begin it in your follicular phase. Further, your body is less prone to cravings and can handle eating lighter food. Who wants to start eating healthy right in the middle of PMS when all you want is chocolate and pizza? If you’re planning a detox, the beginning of your follicular phase is the best time to start.
GRATITUDE | Take advantage of your surge of positive, synchronistic energy by starting a gratitude journal. What you bless, multiplies.
HAIR REMOVAL | Unless it’s getting my eyebrows waxed (which I find super zen and relaxing), I struggled with hair loss procedures. Youchy! Then I learned I always seemed to book it around PMS or my period for some reason. Big mistake! During these phases, we tend to have heightened pain sensitivity. In contrast, you are the least sensitive to pain in your follicular phase than in any other phase of your menstrual cycle, so book hair removal in now for less ouch.
LEVEL UP YOUR WORKOUT | Leverage your high energy levels and extra motivation by taking your workout up a notch. Bump up your weights, add a kilometre to your running distance, or go for that mountain hike you’ve been working up to.
WORK WITH VIRGIN GODDESSES | Embrace the springtime of your cycle by channeling virgin spring goddess energy. The virgin goddess is independent and assertive. She follows her intuition above others’ opinions, and has a one-track mind in pursuit of her goals. She cares for the environment, is competitive, and in more than one tradition is associated with the owl (the totem of wisdom), flowers, and fire. Though she is feminine, fertile, and flirty, the virgin goddess carries undercurrents of masculine energy. In many traditions she is represented as a huntress or a warrior, mirroring follicular phase motivation and almost masculine drive and assertiveness. She knows what she wants and goes after it and though given the title of “virgin goddess” is in charge of and confident in her sexuality. The virgin goddess rules creativity, the arts, magic, and manifestation and is associated with luck, abundance, and prosperity across traditions. Embody this energy through symbolism and motifs (owl totems, gold, and floral themes), as well as playing up the assertiveness, independence, and confidence you’re likely high on right now.
MAKEUP | Your skin is looking its best, so show it off with light, fresh, and natural makeup. Think “no makeup makeup” looks: light, fresh, wearable, dewy, glowy, natural, and flirty. Avoid heavy foundations and stick to concealer only where needed, a light dusting of mineral powder, a little bronzer, highlighter and blush. Go easy on the eye makeup, with just a little bit of matte bronzer in the crease and mascara. For lips, use a nude liner and matching lipstick and finish with clear wet look gloss in the middle of your lip.
THIRD EYE CHAKRA | Your pituitary gland, amongst other things, is responsible for stimulating the follicles in your ovaries to produce an egg. Because it is located between our eyes, it is associated with the third eye chakra. It is known as “the seat of the mind”. When this chakra is balanced, we are more emotionally stable, able to see our path more clearly, and are more deeply connected with our intuition. Show it some extra love during your follicular phase with mindfulness, sunlight, and lavender aromatherapy. Eating purple third eye chakra foods like prunes, blackberries, blueberries, and eggplant can also help to balance your third eye chakra. Interestingly, as it is also a common totem in virgin goddess energy, the owl is the totem animal for the third eye chakra.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU’RE CALLING IN | Waxing moon energy is manifestation energy and focused on what we want to call in and manifest in our lives. It’s good energy for new beginnings, signing contracts, new relationships, and new energy. It’s not good energy for focusing on what we don’t want, cutting cords, letting go, or banishing (this is waning moon or dark moon energy).
Waxing moon/follicular phase energy is powerful, driven, insightful and action based. We are the goddess in her prime, magic, miraculous. This is the power source of your manifestation, the phase for inspired action, hustle, and creativity. Leverage it accordingly.
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