Moon and Menstruation

On the first New Moon of the Summer, I wanted to get down and dirty.

Have you ever paid attention to the moon cycle, and the magical relationship it has with your menstrual cycle? The moon cycle has 29.5 days, changing from the waxing new moon of increasing light, to the full moon of total radiance, to the dark waning moon of decreasing light, and back to the waxing new moon of increasing light again.

I read that the natural cycle of women who live and sleep out in the open away from artificial light is to ovulate on the full moon and menstruate on the new moon. But this is not the case for most modern women whose natural rhythms are largely affected by artificial light. Some women may menstruate on the crescent moon, some on the full moon, some on the waning moon, and others on the new moon. According to Dragontime by Luisa Francia, specific moon phase energies, when magnified by menstruation can be freed up and made available for use if we choose to work with them.

Beginning on the New Moon (the moon is not visible), most women would bleed for 1-3 days (in modern times, it’s common for women to bleed for 3-7 days, and often not in sync with the moon cycle). In some cultures, women celebrated their monthly cycles and, as all women were on the same cycle – they could celebrate their Feminine Divinity at each New Moon.

Waxing Moon (light increases as the moon moves from new to full) – this is what we now call the follicular phase. This is the time when your body prepares to release another egg. Estrogen rises and your energy is sky high.

Full moon – Estrogen continues to rise during this phase, as does testosterone (and your libido!). Best time for ovulation, Mother Nature intended this time for baby making. The full moon is a time of connecting with your community – especially your loved ones and romantic partner.

Waning moon (light decreases as the moon moves from full to new) – this is what known in the modern times as the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Your energy is directed inward and you may be more tired than usual as your body prepares to either make a baby or shed its uterine lining. If you are not pregnant, progesterone levels will fall dramatically making you moody and you’ll crave foods that will increase your serotonin (our “feel good” neurotransmitter) levels. If there is a time of the month when self-care is of utmost importance, this is it. Many women find themselves more contemplative as their periods approach. This is a great time to get a massage or get out your journal and do some much-needed self-reflection.

 

If this sounds like a beautiful way to live your life, you can start getting in touch with and honoring your moon cycle once again.

I have three suggestions:

  1. Become aware of the phase of the moon I use the moon calendar on my mac iCalendar.
  2. Try to sync your cycles back with Mother Nature – if you currently are not having your menstruation at the New Moon, get outside when the moon is out. It may take a few months, but exposure to the moon can sync your cycle back up with Mother Nature.
  3. Honor your Divine Feminine by honoring your body – Take the first day of your period to relax as much as you can. Take a hot bath, meditate, get out your journal. Our energy levels tend to be low during the menstrual phase of our cycle; honor your body’s wisdom by letting it rest and go within. After your period ends, you’ll notice a surge of energy. Take full advantage of this; this is a great time to start new projects or get a little yard- or housework done. As you approach ovulation, plan a date night with your significant other or go out with your wing-(wo)man. Your hormones are telling you to mate – have at it!

As you enter the luteal phase, you’ll want to start withdrawing again. Get some rest and make sure to pamper yourself as your body prepares to shed its uterine lining again.

 

If you are on birth control pills, you can still follow this cycle (even if you don’t bleed). If you are in a phase of your life where you do not ovulate, then please follow the cycles of the moon the way nature intended!

Photo Credit: Robert Glender
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