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What Can the Moon Phases Teach You About Your Body?

Written by Guest Writer

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Posted on May 07 2020

Thousands of years ago, it was believed that the Moon made women pregnant.

Yes, you read that right.

In the Matriarchal societies of old, the bleeding times of women always coincided with the dark Moon phase – the time in the cycle when She has turned her back and the sky turned black. And ovulation, when women’s fertility was at its peak occurred at the peak of the lunar cycle: the Full Moon phase.

Because conception wasn’t associated with sex (and the idea of a “father” did not exist)  it was believed that the fullness of the Moon made women’s bellies swell, and the blood between her legs dry up.

This may sound ridiculous to modern ears. Yet before you dismiss the idea, let’s take a look at how closely the cycles of the Moon and the cycles of women truly align. 

With both fitting snuggly into a four week-ish pattern, it’s not difficult to begin to see the similarities at each phase. Let’s look at some more…

Waning Crescent, Dark Moon and Bleeding (Menstrual) Phases

At both the dark Moon phase and the bleeding, or menstrual phase of a woman’s body, energy is low. You likely feel tired, inactive, and in need of solitude. Emotional strength is also low, meaning you don’t have the capacity to spend time with others and hold space for their feelings and opinions.

Physically, you are bleeding. Your body is releasing and you may have cramps or lower back pain. Just as the Moon has hidden away, these are physical signs of encouragement that you need to rest and retreat!

As blood is released, so are the emotions, ideas, behaviors, and attitudes that you picked up during the cycle. And for those who work with the energy of the dark Moon, they know that this low point in the cycle is a potent time of release, energetically as well as physically.

At both of these phases, you’re likely inwardly focused. During menstruation, the two hemispheres of the brain are most connected, meaning intuitive hits and inner knowings are strong. And it’s well known that the Dark Moon time is one of the most psychic of all when the veils are thin.

Waxing Moon Phase, and Pre-Ovulation (Follicular) Phases

 As lunar energy begins to rise, so does yours!

This waxing lunar phase corresponds closely with the pre-ovulation part of the menstrual cycle, also known as the follicular phase. Estrogen rises, bringing more energy and confidence. And at the same time, the hormone FSH is released in the body, telling the ovaries that it’s time to prepare to ovulate.

This internal bodily process aligns with the building, creative energy in the ether, mirrored in the increased light reflecting from the Moon’s surface. We too are getting ready to birth something new…

At both this lunar phase, and this menstrual phase, you tend to feel more open, enthusiastic, and energized. There’s less of an urge to find time away from others,  as confidence grows and your sensuality begins to rise, too.

Interestingly, just before ovulation, many women experience a pre-PMS day or two, as progesterone spikes. This aligns with the discomfort that can be felt just before the Full Moon when you’re SO close to birthing that creative project and reaching that ripe point of fruition, yet a little more effort is required.

Full Moon and Ovulatory Phases

The Full Moon is the peak of the lunar cycle – just as ovulation is the peak of the menstrual cycle.

Physically, this is a time of strength and dynamism. High, stable estrogen levels help you to feel sociable and confident. And of course, you’re at your most fertile. With so much light in the night sky, this is also a high-energy lunar phase. You likely find it difficult to sleep and switch off. Increased stamina makes this the point of the cycle when it’s easiest to stay up late, and is also ideal for throwing a party or two! It’s no surprise that this is when you’re likely to be most flirtatious and sexually confident.

Waning Moon and Pre-Menstrual (Luteal) Phases

After the highs of both ovulation and the Full Moon, you begin to experience dropping off in energy – both physical and emotional.

The tell-tale signs of PMS may begin to appear, as the need for space and solitude increases. Really, the anxiety and irritability are mechanisms to push people away, and find that quiet time, just as the Moon is slowly turning her back on us too.

 Low estrogen levels at this stage mean you’re less likely to take risks, or try new things. The focus is on less, not more.

 Release begins. You may notice your skin breaking out, as your body is starting to purge. So self-care rituals matter more at these phases than before. This is in preparation for the bigger release, of your blood and the energy and emotion it holds that’s been building all this time.

 Emotionally, this is a good time to reflect on the cycle. Whilst the lower estrogen levels of this menstrual phase can cause pessimism in some, they can also improve attention to detail. So does the waning gibbous Moon phase, making it a favorite of editors, bookkeepers, and researchers! This keen eye is also good preparation for the clearing, purging energy that comes with the dark moon, and the bleeding times.

But there’s No Right and No Wrong...

 This deep, embodied female connection between the lunar cycle, and the menstrual cycle is as ancient as humanity. And for a lot of women, it’s true for them today.

Yet for many, it’s not. 

There are a lot of women who experience erratic monthly cycles, that are longer or shorter than the lunar cycle, or out of sync completely. And more still, who override their bodies hormone production with the contraceptive pill.

It’s really important to realize that no cycle is “right” and no cycle is “wrong”. Women have been shamed for their bodies for too long already!

Understand that your body speaks to you uniquely, bringing messages and medicine that are meant for you. So aiming for the ‘ideal’ cycle that’s different from yours right now, is neglecting to hear your own wisdom.

The Easy Way to Cultivate a Relationship with YOUR Cycle

The best way to begin to feel this cyclic connection in your body is to simply cultivate a relationship to the Earth and to the Moon. Many women report that simply gazing up at the Moon each day, or night, for just a few moments is enough to help their bodies find a rhythm that’s more aligned with their natural state.

Why is it Important to Understand these Cycles?

 Both the lunar cycle and the menstrual cycle provide a backdrop to your emotional and creative energy levels in any changing day. These aren’t meant to “explain away” your feelings, or serve as excuses for the behavior you haven’t learned to control. Yet becoming familiar with their rhythm can help you to understand, plan, and be kind to yourself.

 It’s also important to realize that your cycle will change in relation to the lunar cycle.

Age, stress, medication, and lifestyle can all influence your menstrual cycle and hormone production. Don’t ignore it. Try to feel into what the overlapping rhythms of these two powerful cycles are trying to tell you, before you attempt to change anything.

 Your body is wise, and your body is beautiful! Allow it to ebb, and flow, like the timeless phases of the Moon.

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