Have you ever felt like you're another person depending on which part of your cycle you’re in? Let’s take a deep dive into the female archetypes and how they are connected to the menstrual cycle. Our menstrual cycles have four phases. The first is when you’re bleeding, then there’s pre-ovulation, ovulation, and finally the luteal phase. While you go through each phase, your mood and needs may be altered. In other words, each stage changes the female archetype. This term was coined by psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Close to the time of his death, Jung said that if he could change just one thing about his life’s work, it would be that he’d use the word ‘Spirit’ instead of ‘archetype’ to describe the essential character of an energy type. Let that sink in.
Do Women’s Bodies Share a Special Relationship with Nature?
You may notice a lot of connections between the female body and the earth. In many ancient and indigenous cultures, nature is represented as a woman. You often hear the Earth referred to as Mother Earth or nature referred to as Mother Nature. The pronouns often used when describing nature in literature are often she/her. There are usually feminine references to the beauty of nature being feminine and the cycle of life. As the female body follows cycles and can produce life, does that mean we have a special connection to nature?
Four Female Archetypes
Now although there are more female archetypes – many more – we’re focusing on these 4 as they are essential when it comes to our cycles. (Reminder: although this is the general framework for a woman’s cycle, each and every woman is unique and may have longer or shorter cycles) The four female archetypes (along with their corresponding season and menstrual phase) are:
Week 1: Bleeding Phase (Moontime)
The Crown or wise woman archetype reveals herself on the first day of your period. This is the first week of your cycle and according to ancient wisdom, the inner winter. This phase represents wisdom, ageing, loss of fertility, external beauty, and emotions. It is said that this is the time when a woman is the most powerful and can access her inner wisdom. Winter is a time when it can be difficult to be active. It’s a perfect time to reflect and learn to be self-loving. Take a bath, have a cosy movie night, spend the days lost in a book.
Week 2: Follicular Phase
There’s no better feeling than Spring, and your inner Goddess comes out. Spring is the second week of your cycle. Think of everything we associate with Spring: rebirth, a new start, good mood, warmer weather and energy. Your inner goddess should be ready to take on the world after a period of self-love and reflection in winter. Estrogen should be rising during this phase which makes it the perfect time to focus on your goals.
Week 3: Ovulation Phase
In many ancient cultures, the mother archetype is strongly linked to mother nature, and this phase is all about the natural tendency to nurture (whether you have children or not). Psychoanalyst Carl Jung believed that the mother archetype even exists in children’s psyche from a young age and projected this nurturing behaviour to their parents/guardians. The mother archetype is compassionate, protecting, defending, & healing.
Week 4: Luteal Phase
This is a time where hormone levels start to dip. There are lower energy levels and a need for more space. During this time, the Enchantress archetype comes out. She may notice herself feeling irritated, and this is the phase when PMS symptoms will show. Some women may need more time apart than others.
The Four Female Archetypes & How To Work With Them
The seasons, moon phases, and periods are all cycles. It doesn't matter whether your cycle is regular or not, you still have a cycle. Some women have longer cycles, and some may be shorter. The first step to identifying when each of the archetypes emerges is understanding your menstrual cycle. If we can learn to recognise and embrace our sacred cycle and archetypes, it could make life a bit easier, and it can also allow us to be in tune with our needs. It’s important to understand that your wants, needs, and energy are not random or irrational. There is no shame in needing more time for self-care and reflection vs having the energy to take on the world.