As a menstrual cycle awareness advocate, activist and educator, I am extremely passionate about helping women rediscover their sovereignty through their female bodies. For those of you who may not know, menstrual cycle awareness is the practice of bringing awareness to your cyclical hormonal changes and the corresponding physiological effects these changes have on your mind, body and emotions.

Fortunately, as observant Jewish women, the practice of taharat hamishpacha gives us a perfect opportunity to connect with our holy sacred menstrual cycle! I believe that this is no accident. In fact, I’d like to make the argument that the practice of menstrual cycle awareness combined with the observance of taharat hamishpacha has the potential to be a healing, liberating, woman-centered, embodied opportunity for sexual, spousal, and personal growth. Would it be too bold to claim that this reclamation can bring about the rise of the divine feminine? Read below and decide for yourself.

Women experience subtle hormonal changes throughout the cycle but to simplify things I’m going to break down the menstrual cycle into four inner seasons. This isn’t my original idea but I love it. Through this structure, I will share how each cyclical inner season offers us an embodied way to more deeply connect with the taharat hamishpacha practice that falls within the given inner season.

 The inner winter is the beginning and the end of the menstrual cycle and is more commonly known as the menstrual phase. Due to hormone changes, the communication between the left and right hemisphere of your brain is more powerful than any other time in the month, making a perfect chemical concoction to receive clear intuitive gut messages. Your inner winter asks you to do as little as possible and be intentional about it, to dream and connect more deeply to self and what you really want. Creative downloads come more easily here and you are invited to ponder the question, “What do I wish to create?”

Interestingly, the laws of taharat hamishpacha coincide with the first step necessary to take full advantage of the gifts of the inner winter. And that is… separation. Separation from spouse is required of us. And that provides us with a powerful first step towards separating from daily life (as much as possible), and opening ourselves to the task of turning inward. When we allow ourselves some time to separate, we may experience more easeful, even pleasurable periods.

The inner spring comes next. More commonly known as the follicular phase, the inner spring is the time of energy expansion. You are moving from the internally oriented inner winter and expanding as estrogen starts to rise toward ovulation. What creative downloads from the inner winter do you want to pursue?

The inner spring may as well be called the seven clean days, as that is generally when it occurs. Unfortunately for an observant Jewish woman, as estrogen rises, you may find yourself horny and yearning to connect physically with your husband. However, this restriction can help women deepen their connection to self and nurture their female friendships, by encouraging us to experience sensual fulfillment and connection elsewhere. Dancing, using our hands, listening to music and starting new projects are all activities that can support us during the inner spring.

The inner summer or ovulatory phase is generally welcomed by all (observant or not). This phase is characterized by peak levels of estrogen and testosterone, which stimulate the verbal and social centers of the brain, giving you greater access to communication skills. You will likely be more articulate, receptive, energetic and horny. You will likely appear and feel sexier as you enter your fertile window. The inner summer invites you to ask, “How do I wish to nourish my creations?” This phase supports you to actualize your goals.

For most women, the entrance into the inner summer coincides with mikvah night. As you prepare for the mikveh and remove your physical barriers, you have the opportunity to focus on removing the energetic, spiritual barriers that exist between your limits and your potential. Once these barriers are removed and you are clear on what you wish to actualize this cycle, you can immerse in the sacred water, asking Hashem for guidance and assistance in moving the fertile energy that is readily available to you at this time (be that baby, idea, project, relationship). After immersion, you are encouraged to consummate this spiritual energy with your beloved, further strengthening your power of actualization into the world.

The inner autumn, or the luteal phase asks you to slow down and begin the descent inward. Many women dislike this phase (PMS, burnout, self doubt, inner criticism) and wish they could instead, stay in the inner summer forever. However, the gifts of the inner autumn, while not pleasant per say, are plentiful. The inner autumn supports you to edit and finalize your creations. Whatever isn’t going well in your life will become glaringly apparent. This season invites you to ponder the question, “How are you, really?”

I find it interesting that the inner autumn falls in the last week or so before we bleed and enter niddah again. For many women, sex (or even a romantic date) isn’t so appealing at this time. Arguments are a common occurrence in the inner autumn. However, if you are able to slow down and understand your needs, you can connect more deeply to yourself and your husband by exploring this more challenging internal landscape together. If there is something in your relationship that is bothering you, it will become clear in the inner autumn. Taking the time to notice your needs, and developing tools to address them, can be the greatest gift to your relationship. 

As I hope I’ve illustrated, incorporating cycle awareness with taharat hamishpacha is a recipe for a more meaningful experience in both spheres. When women connect with their cycles in the deepest ways, they heal themselves and through that, the world.

I look forward to teaching many women about the magic that resides in these structures and how we can reconnect with our bodies through Jewish practices. You can find me and my work at or on Instagram at @valleyofmoons.