The Lunar Connection: Your Menstrual Cycle And The Moon•
Posted on June 24 2020
In astrology, the Moon is the goddess of femininity, ruling the ebb and flow of our emotions and our daily lives. Everything around us works in cycles and renews itself periodically: we only need to look at nature to see the changes she’s going through the season by season, year by year, age by age. The moon cycle, lasting about 29.5 days, is one of nature’s rhythms that influence us the most.
The menstrual cycle and the moon cycle are interwoven. As women, we’re governed by the Moon, but also deeply connected to Mother Earth. It’s not surprising that their rhythmical dance influences our personal seasons, our monthly windows of rest, growth, activity, and release. Just as the Moon has her time of darkness and her time of light, our menstrual cycle carries important messages about the type of energy that we embody at a particular time. It’s a sacred token of our connection to the Earth and to the divine, reflecting our life-giving power, the mother archetype of the Moon.
It’s said that you are “aligned” if you’re menstruating on the New Moon, the lunar phase that corresponds symbolically to the bleeding phase: darkness, release, a new beginning. However, studies contradict themselves on this subject: one has found a correlation between the New Moon and the menstrual phase, another one has linked the New Moon with the ovulatory phase, while a more recent study hasn’t found any relevant connection. What can we take from this? It could be that there’s no “right” time to menstruate, and that being aligned simply means listening to the messages of your personal moon cycle.
Let’s find out more about the four main phases of the cycle, their symbolic seasons, and the way they mirror the Moon’s phases.
The Bleeding Phase/Winter/New Moon
Just like a New Moon is a time for reflection and regeneration before a new cycle begins, the menstrual phase of our cycle is a release of the old so we can start the new (no matter if it takes place on an astrological New Moon, Full Moon or in between).
Menstruation is a purification process for our bodies and our emotions, a way to naturally let go of what no longer serves us. I’ve noticed that my bleeding tends to be heavier in those months when I’ve had a lot going on emotionally. There’s a lot to release.
The bleeding phase is associated with winter because it’s a time when our energy levels are low, calling us to listen to our bodies and to find stillness. We can notice what comes up in our inner world, what is being released and what is preparing to be reborn, a process similar to our New Moon intention-setting.
It’s often said that our energy levels for the rest of the month depend on how much we’ve rested during our moon, so don’t be afraid to take a rain check and spend some time in retreat, caring for yourself. It’s what the body and the soul need the most in this phase.
If you notice that your bleeding phase tends to align with the Full Moon, a moment of release when emotions run high, you might benefit from an introspective, meditative approach during those days. If you menstruate around the New Moon, a lunar phase that carries the energy of renewal, you can work with your cycle either by resting or by doing something creative.
The Follicular Phase/Spring/Waxing Moon
The follicular phase follows menstruation and it’s a time when our energy and our motivation are on the rise, mainly due to increased estrogen and testosterone levels.
Our bodies are basically getting ready for a baby, whether we’re planning on it or not!
Corresponding with the waxing moon, this is a time when we’re setting our intentions for the following cycle, then start working towards them in earnest.
We’re blooming just like nature in spring, excited to be productive and to try new things, riding the wave of our enthusiasm and desires.
The Ovulatory Phase/Summer/Full Moon
In the ovulatory phase, estrogen and testosterone reach a peak level, boosting our confidence. It’s a time when we feel more attractive, more courageous and ready to make ourselves visible in the world.
Just like the Moon shows herself in all her glory when she’s full, we’re also at a phase in our cycle when we’re ready to put ourselves out there.
The ovulatory phase is similar to summer, a season of fun, warmth and sharing, and this type of energy can be visible many areas of our life: we’re more bubbly and nurturing in our relationships, we’re ready to tackle important meetings and to present the results of our work and we have a lot of energy to invest in our passions. In this phase, we can connect to the nurturing, extroverted side of our lunar power.
The Luteal Phase/Autumn/Waning Moon
Progesterone levels peak in the luteal phase, making it a time when we’re assessing what’s been happening in our lives for the past cycle.
Just like a Waning Moon, the luteal phase is for making adjustments and tying up loose ends, finishing what’s on our to-do list so we can get a sense of completion before the next cycle begins.
In this window of time, we’re also likely to feel moody, anxious or angry, emotions that we can brush off as being just PMS symptoms, but that actually carry important messages about what’s been frustrating us for the past month. Allow yourself to feel all your feelings and trust your instinct! The Autumn phase is for sorting things out and starting to let go of the old. It’s the phase when the wild woman archetype within us is done with social niceties and wants to go her own way.
Each cycle phase can have different durations, varying from woman to woman, so how about starting a journal to track yours? Getting to know your period better can help you spot the best time for starting a new project (the follicular or ovulatory phase) or the period when you’re likely to feel cranky and have low bullshit tolerance (the luteal phase), making it easier to rest when it’s time to rest and to push forward when your body supports you. Just like we’re syncing our lives with the phases of the Moon, we can call on our inner moon to nurture us in her intuitive, powerful, tender or wild ways.