Understanding the story about Daphne the Greek Goddess can give you an idea of the energy this phase shows for you in your cycle.

Daphne was a young, beautiful nymph. She was a huntress and delighted in woodland sports and the spoils of the chase. Many lovers sought her but she spurned them all and asked her father if she could always remain unmarried. One of the many men who desired Daphne was Apollo, the god of light and poetry. He desired Daphne so very much and wanted her for his own. It is said that Daphne was his first love, but unfortunately she never responded to his love. When Apollo came looking for Daphne, she became frightened and prayed to her father for help.

Her father was a river god with the power to transform. He agreed to protect Daphne by turning her into a laurel tree. A stiffness seized her limbs; her bosom began to be enclosed in a tender bark; her hair became leaves; her arms became branches; her feet stuck fast in the ground taking root; her face became a treetop, retaining nothing of its former self but its beauty.

Apollo stood amazed. He touched the stem, and felt the flesh tremble under the new bark. He embraced the branches and lavished kisses on the wood. The branches shrank from his lips. Daphne had her wish, to remain free and to stand strong by herself forever.

So how does this help us with understanding our cycle?

Like Daphne, this phase is one of enthusiasm, confidence and renewed energy. Daphne is pure joy to have around; people love her energy, positivity and vitality and are drawn to her. However Daphne is as happy in the company of friends as she is by herself, as this phase is quite independent. Daphne is happy in herself. Men can find such self-confidence intimidating. She is quick thinking and has a sharper wit (and sometimes, sharper tongue). If she is in a relationship, she may have renewed excitement towards it, finding it exciting and happy, not clingy or smothering.

Being the beginning of a new cycle, she is free of bloating and loses the old comfy clothes for tighter, firmer, fitted or sports clothing or girly styles. Make-up tends to be fresh and light, a fresh light gloss lipstick, however if glitter were available it would be on just for a laugh. Anything to make her feel great about herself! The energies of spring are mimicked in this phase, a time of renewal and inspiration. Your inner Daphne has boundless energy and requires less sleep: you are stronger mentally, physically and emotionally, you are confident and determined and your thinking is clear and focused.

This is an excellent time to take on new projects. Sit and write out goals, drawing on your strengths and confidence to complete tasks and to do more of everything – take on more responsibility, exercise, socialise. Yes, now is the time to ask for that pay rise! (In the Daphne phase, anything and everything feels achievable.)

You are likely to feel better mentally and perform better physically. One study found that swimmers have their fastest times on the eighth day of their cycle; other studies suggest that cross-country skiers perform better around now. Some say this is because estrogen helps your muscles better absorb glucose, a sugar in your blood that provides your body with fuel. The emphasis of this phase is on fun and flirting rather than overt seduction.

Sensuality is new and fun-loving: express it in your hairstyle, clothing and jewellery. In Daphne, you are more likely to wear younger styles of clothing in virgin-white or pretty pastel colours. As you’re more inclined to exercise or get out and about, you may also be drawn to trousers or jeans, matched with a sporty pair of sneakers, allowing movement and flexibility.

Chart your cycle and see what comes up for you in this phase. Learn more about how understanding your cycle can help you make better decisions at different times of the month, build on your relationships and flow through your days!

Photo credit Alex Mihai 772567