You are made of Essence. In Chinese Medicine, they call it Jing. For women, Jing cycles in years of 7 and for men in years of 8. So what is Jing? Dr. Lia Andrews describes it as “concentrated creative power that is passed to us from our ancestors and parents through the egg and sperm; through our DNA. Our Jing acts as our reserves of energy, and is related to our hormonal and reproductive functioning. The quantity and quality of our Jing dictates our ability to manifest in this world.”
With each cycle, we have opportunities, rites of passages, to potentially enhance vitality or wreak havoc on our constitutions. For women in particular, we have what’s called “The Three Golden Opportunities” that greatly influence our health. They are Menstruation, Postpartum and Peri-Menopause; you can read more about them here. How we perceive, experience and embody these “opportunities” reflects not only our reproductive wellness, but also our overall vitality and how gracefully our aging process is.
These cycles are the key to understanding your relationship with nature. And even more so, connection to yourself. By tapping into rhythms you can access intuitive muscles and a place of grounding along with vertical alignment. If you’ve ever wondered how to reconnect, start with your 7 year cycles. Here’s a general outline of your seasons.
Birth to 6: You are the manifestation of ancestral inheritance. Do you know your birth story? How was your development? How was your health, digestion, immunity? Were you breastfed? Were you loved and cared for? What are some of the stories around your early years?
Cycle One Age 7-13: How is your foundation? This is your Wood phase, the place of your roots. Your kidneys are starting to strengthen and is slowly building up to abundance. Do you feel secure? Do you feel a sense of self? Were you taught about boundaries and creating sacred space? What health practices were passed onto you?
Cycle Two Age 14-20: Fire Phase; Menarche. This phase is characterized by emotive experimentation and connections. At what age did you first bleed? Were there feelings or emotions around that? Was there a conversation about what is happening? Were you taught about your body and your fertility? What were your menstrual care practices?
Cycle Three Age 21-27: Height of physical development. The Earth phase. Do you have a sense of secured sense of self? Were you abundant in nourishing relationships? What were you most attached to? Did you explore your sexuality? Did you practice self cultivation? How was your hormonal health? Were you taught shadow work? Where is your power?
Cycle Four Age 28-34: Full maturity. Peak of Vitality. Are you in full bloom? Do you have children? How was your postpartum experiences? Is your body strong? Are you flourishing?
Cycle Five Age 35-41: Rejuvenation. The early prep for menopause. At 5x7, our bodies start a slow decline. Earth cycles into Metal. This cycle is about reflection and refinement. What is, and what is not working for you? We can work to slow the decline even more by adjusting our lifestyle to more reservation vs activity; more nourishment vs depletion. What was your mother’s and grandmother’s experience into menopause?
Cycle Six Age 42-48: Continue to prepare for the pause of menses and Detoxification. Life reveals itself to you as we near the cease of our menstrual cycle. Metal energy is still strong as it pushes you to examine your wounds and traumas so that you can move forward with grace. How do you feel? Do you feel depleted from overexertion and taxation over the years, or do you feel vital and stable from strong rejuvenation rituals and practices?
Cycle Seven Age 49-55: Water Phase. Crone. Wisdom Keeper. Our work here focuses on embracing the end and death of our reproductive years. What are your feelings surrounding this ending? How are you experiencing the change and transition? Are you turning to tonics? Do you practice longevity exercises? How are you sleeping? Shifting mindset; the gift of death.
Cycle 8 and Beyond: The Rebirth; Second Spring. What do you want to cultivate? What do you want to birth? Are you ready for expansion? Obligations shift from out to in. Do you still honor your menstrual cycle and create a ritual around the full or new moons?
What cycle are you in? Do you need guidance in understanding and integrating the best practices for your cycle?
Kris González is a licensed acupuncturist, board-certified herbalist, and guide into the lost art of radical self-care called Nourishing Life (yang sheng) and specializes in feminine healing arts. She educates her clients on gaining an understanding of their biological and physiological rhythms within the lens of Chinese Medicine and guides them on gracefully approaching the 7 year cycles of females. Kris is also the resident acupuncturist for Peristeam Hydrotherapy Institute/Steamy Chick where she provides consultations and education on pelvic bowl steaming for healing gynecological and andrological conditions. She is also a faculty member for Wise Womb Medicine Path Living School of the Temple & Healing Arts. She resides in Santa Barbara with her husband and two sons. You can learn more about Kris at thewayofyin.com.