It is almost my birthday.
I can feel it in the air. It is heavy and thick, like honey coating my lungs. I feel so many emotions and sensations in my body, and my intuitive awareness is on high. My knowing is strong.
It is almost time to die.
No, I am not sick, or physically ill in any way.
Instead, I am highly aware of energy systems, including my own, and so when I feel a shift and change, I tune into it. After eight years of deep study into energy healing, and spiritual practices that open my awareness, I know when something has shifted.
It is a metaphorical death that I step into each year as I get closer to my birthday. And you may be in it too.
It’s springtime, and things are blooming, growing, and moving faster than ever as everyone is popping out of the winter caves. And I’ve spend the last month quietly hiding in my room: making space to feel and clear out my emotions, forgiving past hurts, napping, and being present with what is falling away.
Sometimes I make art collage cards to express myself. Other times, I just need to unplug my phone and watch TV. Anyway you slice it, being around people when I am in my “undoing” can be quite challenging.
It can be especially terrible if I fight it or try to ignore it.
So I admit it: I am in my death cycle.
The concept of a death cycle was introduced to me by my Quero Apache spiritual teacher Maria Yraceburu.
According to Maria, a person’s death cycle starts 60 days prior to their birthday and continues until 30 days after their birthday. The death cycle is broken into three 30 days increments, which have a specific focus for the energy that is coming through.
I will share this process, how it affects me, and how you can learn to navigate this for yourself.
The first phase (60 days before your birthday) is: release.
This is the part when everything in my life feels like it is ending. There is a sense that nothing really works like it should, and that I would burn it all to the ground if I could find the energy to get out of bed to do that. It can feel chaotic or boring, or like a general state of “f*ck this.” There may be intensity in your heart, body, emotions, or actions.
You will feel ready to let go of whatever is not your truth.
Tips on how to navigate the release time:
>> Make space for it by clearing your calendar and by saying no to anything that doesn’t light you up to do.
>> Journal or make art to express and acknowledge what is moving (this can be a sanity saver!)
>> Get an energy clearing and healing to let go of old patterns that no longer serve you. (I can help in person or via distance clearing).
>> Take an epsom salt bath.
>> Ask for spiritual help to release, and to be extra kind to yourself in the process.
Phase two (30 days before your birthday) is: communion.
Communion time is the time when my life starts “talking” to me. It is when I am in direct connection and communication with the divine, the earth, and my body. Communion is giving and receiving energy, and it is the space for allowing what’s fallen away to be great information for what I do not want to continue.
This is the phase that I am in right now, as I move through my personal death cycle. It is why I am driven to reach out to write, communicate and let others see me as I am right now.
For me, communion is a special time where my awareness and intuitive abilities are heightened, and I am aware of the my “bigness.” It is also a time where I can see what I was choosing before, and if it is in alignment with who I would like to become.
There is a sense of desiring to clean things up, and to forgive. Whereas in the release state, I want to hide from it or burn it all to the ground, in the communion state, I want to connect with it. To know it from the inside out. What’s the gift of this thing in my life? Do I want more of this? How can the earth support me in this time of transition?
Tips on how to navigate the communion time:
>> Ask questions. Get curious. My favorite question is: “What is the gift here?”
>> Get into nature. Lay on the ground, and feel how supported you are by the earth, even if you do nothing for it.
>> Be in supportive community. This is a great time to let other people in to connect with you, and be seen in this open-hearted space.
From this open and connected space, I am ready to have my spiritual death.
Phase three (your birthday to 30 days after): assimilation/celebration.
The final phase in the death cycle is “death”—the day before your birthday, and rebirth on your birthday.
In this time, we celebrate the letting go of the old you, and bringing in the new you. So bring on the birthday cake, candles and cheering! And then spend the rest of the month after your birthday re-calibrating the new you.
My spiritual astrology teacher Beatrex Quntanna suggests celebrating your birthday for seven days, as a way to “set your year for joy.” I love that concept, and after two months of deep inner work, I am thoroughly ready to celebrate that I made it through.
Things seem to get lighter energetically after my birthday, although as Maria warns, we can get ungrounded during this time, making accidents and actual death a possibility. Personally, I am choosing not to die physically this year, thank you very much, so I will be heeding the warning to keep grounded during my celebrations.
Tips for navigating the Assimilation/Celebration phase:
>> Celebrate that you made it through this death cycle to “set your year for joy.”
>> Make sure to acknowledge how far you have come this year, and what you would like next. It’s your personal new year, so make a list of all the things you desire to do, be, have and receive this year.
>> Stay as grounded as possible. Feel your feet on the earth, and get into your body with movement, yoga or dance. If your body craves more protein, then give it to it.
Congratulations! You made it through a death cycle.
For me, this time is sacred, and now that I know about my own personal death cycle, I look forward to it. It helps me to stay connected to my body, my energy and to make a conscious choice to be a new person every year, with a lot of ease.
So when you see that your birthday is coming up, I invite you to engage with it consciously, and ask for the love, acceptance and support you need to move through this time with presence. It is my honor to guide people through their transitions with presence, humor, and with lots of tools to make it easier.
I hope this article helped you to get into allowance for your own cycles, and maybe even see this “death” as a chance to be more “you” in the world. I wonder what is possible from this space of being a new you?
Author: Jaime Lyerly
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Image: Zak Cannon/Flickr