I'm still suitably high on a happy vibe following the launch o' Code Red - seriously you ladies RULE!If you've bought a copy, if you've shared it on social media, if you've written gorgeous words to me in a message or email I want to cover you in Kat Von D lipstick kisses. It's been totally humbling to watch the RED-volution - see what I did there? - unfold over the internet in the past week + that's down to your love + support, I am crushing on you. HARD.
I knew that for some Code Red would press buttons. I knew that for others it would be like a coming home to themselves, while for others, they'd be waving their fist at the page, shouting 'why did someone not tell me this shiz sooner?!!!' I think the most interesting response has been from peri-menopausal women, women who's periods are starting to show them signs that they may soon be experiencing the menopause. They're mad. At me, at society + at the world. And rightly so, because they're stepping into their Wild + Wise Woman phase and nobody's bloody told them about it Right now, if you're peri-menopausal or menopausal ,you're stepping into a place of ALL knowing. Which basically means that the four phases that those of us who bleed experience throughout each menstrual month are ALL YOURS now. You have ALL the knowledge of each phase available to you at any given moment, that's why women should be celebrated at menopause, not made to feel less of a woman because they no longer make babies - you are ALL FREAKING KNOWING. It's WHY we cycle, in preparation for the time we step into our wise and wild woman archetype.
If you still bleed, you'll get to experience the Wise + Wild Woman as you shift from ovulation into your pre-menstrual phase. The logical, linear and practical traits that served us so well in the previous two weeks during pre-ovulation + ovulation now become a limited tool kit as we enter the feminine, more yin-led phase of our cycle.
Unfortunately, this shift is often ignored by the 'super-woman' that we cultivate in ovulation. She thinks she can just keep on pushing through and functioning at the same levels of high energy that she had been for the past two weeks, but it’s just not possible – at least, not without some serious side effects. These include everything from: irritability, frustration, confusion and sadness through to depression, anxiety and addiction. Sadly this is not a unique story and one that is wreaking havoc throughout ladykind. This phase is an area of the female experience that is often overlooked and scorned, which for me is particularly interesting as it’s represented by the Wise, Wild Woman archetype. The one which modern society ignores in favour of a younger and more vital version of womanhood.
The thing is, this phase can get a little messy and as modern women we learn very early on to keep the ‘messy’ aspects of femininity under wraps. Our emotions, should they spill out, get squashed down and we apologise for them. A LOT. We worry that we’re being seen as 'too much', while struggling with feeling that we’re not enough. We have been tamed and censored and never is it more present than in this part of our cycle, because it is here that our womanly wildness – our truth, our voice, our very essence in all its messy and imperfect glory – demands to be untamed and uncensored, and if that actually happened, if lady-kind took life by the ovaries and actually spilled their heart, gut and womb out without censorship, a heavily patriarchal structure, like the one we currently live in, would be scared shitless. Because, quite frankly, we’d be dangerous. Except we wouldn’t be, not really, we’d simply be living in our truth. What’s more dangerous to me is that we’ve disowned the second half of our cycle. If the first half is a deep inhale, this half is the exhale, the let go, the opportunity to stop doing and to be. To let our heart, gut and womb lead us into a different, deeper way of being, and yet we’ve been totally disconnected from it. Until now that is.
What is your instant response to the Wise, Wild Woman? How does she manifest in you? Do you suppress her? Does she feel so uncontrollable you have to keep her on a leash? Have you even met her yet? When I first explored my Wise, Wild woman, I was scared of her, I thought she was ‘too much’, but that’s what we’ve been programmed to believe by society, so slowly, with each cycle, I’ve started to hang out with her to really explore her rage, her bitchy-ness, her uncensored nature and she has become my mentor in owning my voice and speaking my truth.
Be warned, not everyone will dig your Wise, Wild Woman, especially if you’ve never invited her in before. At first she may feel overwhelming, but take it slow and drink her in like a fine Mary Magdalene-approved red wine. Like Autumn, the pagan sabbat of Samhain, the time of year when the trees start to shed their leaves, when you feel the need to be inside more, tending to your inner fires, preparing for the winter, pre-menstruation is an opportunity to look inwards and to care less about what’s going on in the outside world and instead turn your attention to your own inner landscape, to experiencing your Wise, Wild Woman fully.
"This is the work that saved my womb and I mean that quite literally. Every woman should know this (and actually guys should too)." - Michelle Hastie