Shadow Cycles-cyclic wisdom for mental health

Are you aware of the cyclic nature of your life?

Living with aware consciousness means being alert to the cyclic phases that are pertinent to you in any one moment and being conscious of the choices made in that moment. 

Do you know:

  • When is the time for planting and nurturing the seeds of creativity or creating intentions and plans for those intentions to come alive?
    Spring – 3am-9am, New and waxing Moon, Days 3-9 of the menstrual cycle, Maiden time: 0-25 years old.
  • When is the time for holding the space for the growth of your seeds and intentions and celebrating the fullness of their reality?
    Summer – 9am to 3pm, Full Moon, Days 10-16 of the menstrual cycle, Mother Time: 26-50 years old.
  • When is the time for harvesting the riches of the cycle, for examining their worth, for sharing in community
    Autumn – 3pm-9pm, Waning Moon, Days 17-24 of the menstrual cycle, Maga time: 51-75 years old.
  • When is the time for letting go? For rest and completions? For endings? This is the time when the ground is prepared for the next cycle- the letting go, the bones, become the mulch for the next plantings.
    ​Winter, Dark Moon/New Moon, Days 25-2 of the Menstrual Cycle, Crone Time: 76-100 years old)

If we do not live with the cycles consciously, they happen anyway

“The shadow is everything about ourselves that we refuse to know or do not know, dark and light.”

David Richo- Shadow Dance

At the age of 54, when I joined the School of Shamanic Womancraft – first as student, then apprentice and now teacher, the Wisdom of the Cycles became integral in how I lived my life. As a woman in the last months of my menstrual cycle at 54, I had lost the opportunity to integrate the living wisdom into that particular cycle. The diurnal (solar), lunar (moon), seasonal and life phase cycles have had riches of wisdom to offer in my personal life and in my work.

I understand that if I do not live with the cycles consciously, they happen anyway-the wheel keeps turning. What I have come to know in my work as a Counsellor and Psychotherapist is that far too often, the cyclic consciousness is suppressed, stuck, or wounded. Our responses become Shadows which we do not or feel we can’t know. Pushed aside, these shadows can often lead us in an unconscious and painful dance.

Whilst the teaching of Cyclic Wisdom is central, it is also critical to recognise and call home the shadows that are often created by this suppression, stuckness and wounding

Mental health issues are often linked to a shadow wound

In Western medicine these “shadows” become diagnostic labels which are most often treated with medication: the effect of which is to suppress even further the psyche’s response. (A note: I am not anti-medication for mental health as such-sometimes it is a necessary and life saving/life enhancing gift of western medicine).
However, in working with the cycles, I have noticed that mental health issues are often linked to a Shadow wound at certain times of the life cycle:

  • In the maiden time-the Shadow wound is often to a person’s sense of identity and might result in personality disorders
  • In Mother time-the Shadow wound appears to be in relationships and sexuality
  • In Maga time-the Shadow wound appears as disorders of mood, for example depression and anxiety.
  • In Crone time-the Shadow wound appears as fear of letting go, fear of death, undealt with grief.
  • In the Centre of the wheel is Trauma-Which occurs often and is often relegated to the Shadowlands.

Shadow wounds or issues might occur at any time

You might raise quite a sweat trying welcome home your exiled shadows, or you might find loving assistance and support makes all the difference.

My upcoming workshop on Shadow Cycles

If you are interested in learning more about Shadow Cycles and mental health, join me in the Shadow Cycles series of workshops (all online currently), beginning with an introduction on 12th March and commencing the teachings of the Cycles and Shadow Cycles from Samhain in May.

There will be learning about the Cycles, the Shadow Cycles and approaches for integration. The workshops will involve personal work with your own Shadowlands, and will also be useful to broaden your skills if you work in the field of Mental health in a professional capacity.

Regardless of your purpose for attending, be prepared to dive deep and connect with your own Shadows, and be aware that you will be in a safe, confidential container of a group of like minded women.

For more information and to book click here. 

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