Your power is in your cyclicality. Your true Beauty beats in your differences day to day. And if you are a menstruating human, you are greatly different from week to week. Both science and Spirit are on your side, bringing you through a purposeful and mystical journey of hormonal and emotional fluctuations each month. This is the divine design of Mother Nature. New life does not just arrive from the sky, but manifests through this process of sacred Creation within a menstruating human each month. Much of it is beyond our control. But much of it is within our control, as we can listen sharply to the symptoms arising and respond sweetly by making lifestyle adjustments.
In this cycle series, we are going to be going over each phase of the menstrual cycle (there are 4 in total) ~ diving into the energetics of each phase, the science of each phase, and nutritional + self-care tips for each phase. Up today is ::
The Follicular Phase
Corresponding with the Spring Season + First Quarter Moon
Archetype :: The Maiden
Science of the Follicular Phase ↣
Science tracks the Follicular Phase as being the first days of bleeding up until the day of Ovulation. These are dry days ~ bleeding is ending and there are little to no vaginal secretions, until Ovulation. The beginning of this phase is an infertile time, but keep in mind that the last days of it begin our fertile window. Hormones during this phase are preparing an egg to be released for Ovulation. At the beginning of this phase, the pituitary gland begins producing a hormone called GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone). GnRH stimulates the production of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone).
FSH is secreted during this whole phase. When FSH reaches a peak level, 5 - 7 ovarian follicles (fluid filled sacs in the ovaries which contain an immature egg) will be recruited and will begin competing to be the one to be released for Ovulation. The Follicular Phase is all about these follicles competing for dominance, and usually only one will be released during the day of Ovulation (the end of the Follicular Phase), however sometimes multiple are released within the same 24 hour period, which is what manifests twins.
At this time, the uterine lining is creating collections of immune system cells, known as lymphoid aggregates. As the follicles mature, they release estrogen, which lets the body know that the egg has matured and it is time to ovulate. This rise in estrogen also causes the fluid sac to grow, creating vaginal secretions and sensations of wetness. The ending days of the Follicular Phase and heading into Ovulation, estrogen reaches its highest level. There is also a surge of FSH and LH ~ this is called the LH surge and 24 - 36 hours after this surge is when Ovulation (peak fertility) occurs.
Energetics of the Follicular Phase ↣
We are ripening. Opening. Emerging. We are surfacing from hibernation, ready again to greet Life with a confident intuition and inspired action. As the days pass on, we are the sprout rising to greet a brand new Sun, dancing through this process of ripening, blossoming, intending to bear the most delectable of fruits for everyone to enjoy. We are fresh. Brand new. The Follicular Phase is our Spring ~ the days in which we feel buoyant, hopeful, expressive. Life takes on new manners of communication with us, and us with it. We are again ready and willing to be of service to others, as we have just spent our days of bleeding being of service to ourSelf. Our sociability is peaking as we embody an unapologetic air about our course forward. Truly, we are ripening as surely the eggs in our womb ~ preparing to incubate ourselves with someone or something new.
These cycles of fertility and bleeding mirror how consciousness manifests, as well as our capacity to relate with Life. In the Follicular Phase, we are shifting from the introverted darkness of the New Moon (Menstruation) into the extroverted lightness of a Full Moon (Ovulation). We are in our highest energy and enthusiasm this phase, bubbling with new ideas and the vitality to see them through. This is a time of insatiable craving to create something new ~ in body, mind, and spirit. This is an ideal time to initiate new projects and open up needed conversations. Our confidence is supported now, and our determination is exhilarating.
This is an integration period, where we are called to really show up for Life by practicing what our intuition speaks. This is when we must put the “pings” into action, stay brave, march on. Times of darkness (New Moons) are for Listening, whereas times of brightness (Full Moons) are for Answering. These are our days to answer the call, pick up the phone, and make the arrangements with Life that our hearts long for. If any strong intuitions, feelings or downloads came through during the Menstrual Phase, we are now supported with the energy to weave them into being. In this phase, we are called to take responsibility for our experience, abolish any victimhood, and step into an embodiment of our Divine Blossoming, and this looks different month month. We can trust ourselves here. Our confidence can soar. As a cycle of Creation begins over again, we are given sweet release and a renewed hope to carry us through what we now feel called to do. The great theme of the Follicular Phase is Becoming ~ Step into your Beauty.
The Follicular Phase is also a time to do some Spring cleaning. Clear the energy of what accumulated last week when you didn’t have the energy to tidy up your spaces. Clear out what isn’t inspiring. Give away what isn’t getting used. Love more up on what you do use. Curate a new altar area. Spruce up some re-organization of your desk. Get your space super light + inspiring so that you have the capacity to bloom where you’re planted. Our physical energy is also greatly increasing in this phase, which may bring on feelings of restlessness, unsteadiness, unreadiness. All of these sensations are normal, and we have everything we need to work with them. Alchemize (transform) this energy, by using it as a catalyst to make something, or help someone else. Expend this energy consciously. Get creative. Keep moving. Keep blooming.
Nutrition for the Follicular Phase ↣
With this increase in energy and freshness of feelings, vibrant and light foods will aid in our blossoming. Because estrogen is increasing in this phase, we really want to keep a balance on that so as not to become estrogen-dominant. Indulge in fresh salads, raw or lightly cooked veggies, plenty of fermented foods sauerkraut + kimchee / kombucha + jün / yogurt + kefir, as well as sprouted nuts and seeds. The ferments + fiber from the veggies will help the body to break down and flush any excess estrogen.
Nourish with light cooking methods like steaming or sautéing. And in terms of exercise, we have the most energy during this phase, so it’s good to go for the harder activities and get our of our comfort zones.
A few other foods to love yourSelf up with during this phase ::
- Coconut water, coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut butter…okay so, coconut everything.
- Avocado, flaxseeds, and sprouted nuts or seeds you feel drawn to (it’s fun + much more inexpensive to soak + sprout your own nuts + seeds at home, as well as experiment with making your own butters!)
- Raw honey
- Lightening herbs like mint, tulsi, lemon balm, oatstraw, hibiscus, ashwagandha, rose, calendula
An Herbal Infusion for the Follicular Phase ↣
- Boil water ~ Pour water over the herbs in a Mason jar ~ Let sit out on the counter for 4-6 hours or overnight ~ Strain + enjoy instead of or alongside water all throughout the day!
Bloom, wombyn, bloom.
𑁍 Be sure to share this article with loved ones who you feel would find some benefit from it