The Four Phases of Creation – Part Two: Culmination

(This is part two of a four-part series on the phases of creation. (
Here’s part one if you missed it.) Everything you ever birth–be it a baby, a book, a business, or a brunch–goes through these four phases. They sync up with the seasons, the lunar cycle, the menstrual cycle, and the planting cycle. Once you know what they are and use them consciously, you can add some serious rocket fuel to your creations and your creative process. This is part two, when you’re ready here’s parts three and four!)

I’m so good at starting things. I very rarely overthink things. I just get excited and get going.

In the past I would start on every idea that came to mind that I was even vaguely amped about and end up with lots of open loops that rarely got closed.

Getting traction was a challenge because instead of funneling my energy towards completion, I just kept starting new things.

Lots of energy was expended, but I felt like I never had anything to show for it.

Can you relate?

In early 2014 I learned the power of working on one project at a time and, for the first time, the idea of focus didn’t feel boring or uninspired. It felt smart. And powerful.

Finishing what you start falls under the part of the four phases of creation that has a similar energy to autumn, the waning moon, and the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

I like to call this phase of creation Culmination.

Why? Because the energy is about:

  • Winding down
  • Slowing down
  • Crossing t’s and dotting i’s
  • Wrapping up details
  • Finishing things
  • Turning inward

Our bodies are ingeniously wired for this because the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (also known as the premenstrual phase), where we’re hormonally primed for focus and completing tasks, tends to be longer than the other three phases. Our body knows that it usually takes more time and energy to complete things than it does to start things. Our hormonal makeup is literally designed to help us finish things.

The motto for the Culmination phase is:

Less inspiration. More perspiration.

There are times for enthusiastic new beginnings, but this phase of creation is not one of those times.

So, how can you take advantage of this energy in your own life?

  • Track your menstrual cycle and schedule time to complete projects during your luteal phase.
  • Track the lunar phases and schedule time to wrap things up when the moon is waning.
  • To the best of your ability, follow each project you begin through to completion before starting on something new. (Have an idea file where you capture your flashes of inspiration for new projects – otherwise not starting on something the minute you think of it may feel suffocating.)
  • Once a creation is out in the world (it’s gone through its Visibility phase) it’s ready for Culmination. Focus as much of your workday as possible on detail-oriented tasks and completion.

When you honor the gifts of the phase of creation you’re in, you get a lot more done in a lot less time. 

(My membership community for entrepreneurial moms, Origin®, dives really deep into the gifts and opportunities of each phase and how to catapult your business by capitalizing on them. Get on the waitlist to be the first to know when enrollment opens again!)

Rather than trying to start new things while launching other things and finishing other things and letting other things gestate all at the same time, try this on for size: harnessing your energy towards one phase at once gets your further faster. And conserves your energy so you don’t burn out.

So, next time you get distracted by a shiny new idea, honor it by writing it down somewhere, and then harness the energy of the culmination phase to finish what you’ve already started. When you do this over and over again, you’ll be amazed by the momentum you create.


Are you a great starter or more of a finisher? Somewhere in between? What do you do to harness the culmination phase of creation and finish what you start? Let me know in the comments below!


  • Vonnie

    Hi Kate. Enjoying your blogs about Creation very much. Makes so much sense to me. You tie some of the phases to our menstrual cycle but I’m wondering if you can say something about those of us who are in menopause. We can’t track the ebb and flow of that glorious process. I know for me I tend to be more of a procrastinator getting started, love to be in the process of creating and have learned to know how to finish. I am an artist and get a sense of when enough is enough. Love Creativity!!

    • Kate Northrup

      Track the moon! The same 4 phases apply to the 4 phases of the moon. Menstrual is the new moon, follicular is the waxing moon, ovulation is the full moon, and waning is luteal!

      • Yvonne

        Thanks Kate. I was starting to think that that was the answer and that has often been my inspiration over the years. I find that the seasons also work that way for me too with Spring being a time of new beginnings and Winter being a time for incubation and hibernation to bring forth those new ideas for Springtime again. And I love the lush fullness feeling of summertime that we are in now.

        • Kate Northrup

          Very cool how you feel your inspiration ebb and flow with the actual seasons too – I also LOVE the lush fullness feeling of summer. It’s my favorite!

          • I am from Ontario Canada where we have four very distinct seasons and I revel in the gifts of each one. The crisp cold of a winter day, the blossoms on a spring flowering tree, sunbathing on a beach in the summer and basking in the beauty of the fall colours of the trees. Ain’t life grand! Thanks for reminding me about all the seasons and phases of my life. I am going to focus on working more with Mother Nature and her messages.

  • I’m a consummate beginner but it’s the completion that I always, always struggle with. I think it’s fear masquerading as perfectionism in my case.

    • Kate Northrup

      Yes! That can so often be the case. Though the irony is that without completing anything failure is inevitable because nothing is ever done!

  • Alexis

    I enjoyed reading these and attending your masterclass for Sarah Jenks’ LMWL program. If I want to take these concepts and apply them to the lunar calendar rather than my personal cycle, how many days are in each phase – winter, spring, summer, winter? I don’t have a menstrual cycle and I want to get the most out of sycning up with the lunar cycle until I do again. What do you suggest? I see a lot of conflicting schedules online for how many days there are per phase. Thanks, Kate! I truly enjoyed these four blog posts and I’m so glad I found your site.

  • Hi Kate! Just listened to your interview on Melyssa Griffin’s podcast and I am *so* inspired by all of this!! I’ve been trying to schedule monthly batch-working days into my business but have struggled to stick with them, because my energy and attention are seldom drawn to the tasks. Monthly scheduling is so arbitrary and not at all in tune with the cycles of the world nor my own body. So I’m leaning into a new kind of scheduling that is already much more in alignment. :-)

    I do have a question which is admittedly a bit superficial, but where would you say coursework falls into these cycles? Would it be more appropriate to schedule my time doing online courses and other types of continuing education in the Culmination phase, or is it better in the Emergence phase?

    Many thanks for all you’ve shared!

    • Kate Northrup

      Hi Dani – So glad to have you in our community via Melyssa – welcome! Love that cyclical living is resonating with you. I actually like to do coursework during the Fertile Void because it’s more passive to me (if it’s listening to audio or video) but if you’re doing worksheets or exercises, it really depends on what they’re about. If they require detail orientation, then I’d say during Culmination, but if they’re about getting things going, I’d say during Emergence. Thanks!

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