"The moon is up, it's getting late. Let's get ready to celebrate."
Any mama out there familiar with these first lines of the "Pajama Time" book by Sandra Boynton? It's been our almost daily night time reading. This line in particular is also fitting to what I'm about to share.
I'm about to get a little personal. Just a heads up.
I got my period last week, and it made me sooo happy!
Don't get my wrong, it's been REALLY nice not to have it for so many reasons.
I haven't had to think about it and anticipate it.
I haven't had to spend $$ on tampons.
My undies haven't gotten stained.
Those awful debilitating headaches that I used to get haven't showed up.
I haven't felt rundown (at least for this reason! ha) and craved quiet time when my life's responsibilities prevent me from taking rest.
I could honestly go on and on.
I know you know what I mean!
My last period, before conception of our little human, was exactly 6 days short of 2 years ago.
Why was I so happy? Because it happened on the day of a new moon partial eclipse in Cancer (of all signs!).
Talk about feminine alignment and the forces of nature! This was so beautiful for me.
If you haven't ever paid attention to how you feel at different points in your cycle....
If you've ever felt having your period was a burden....
If you don't exactly know why I was so excited that I got my period on a new moon (partial eclipse)....
And you're curious, read on.
My introduction to lunar rhythms and how our bodies are affected by them came via Ashtanga yoga. If you've ever practiced Mysore style Ashtanga you know there is no practice on new moon or full moon days. These are days for rest. (And women are also encouraged to rest during their moon cycle.) Specifically, on full moon days, we tend to feel energetic and emotional, but not grounded, and on new moon days, we tend to feel grounded and calm, but dense and disinclined toward physical movement. (Read more about this here and here).
When I started practicing ashtanga consistently, I became more in tune with how I felt and, sure enough, I noticed I tended to be so much more emotional and "in my head" around the time of the full moon, and more grounded, slow moving, even driven to get more sleep, around the time of the new moon. It was a guide post and helped me better understand why I was responding to my environment in certain ways.
When it comes to the new moon being in Cancer and an eclipse, well, that calls for an astrology lesson and a whole other post, but, in essence, in astrology, the sign of Cancer is ruled by the moon, which influences our emotions. It's a feminine sign too. So all of this gave me even more reason to celebrate. It felt auspicious and connecting. And if you know me a little, you know how much I appreciate the guidance of the stars when read by an astrologer I trust.
But what does this have to do with my menstrual cycle?
Way back in the day, when we lived more in congruency with nature, when women's cycles were not dependent on the pill or influenced by hormonal imbalances triggered by our diets and lifestyles, our cycles were either influenced by the phases of the moon or people back then saw similarities between the phases of the moon and women's menstrual cycles. To them, the full moon marked fertility (celebration, energy, emotion) and the new moon marked menstruation (rest, feeling grounded). We also honored these cycles more. The Farmer's Almanac also recommends planting during new moons when the energy is rooted and ground, and harvesting during full moons, though this is a very simplified way of explaining.
This is all to say that before we were so connected to technology, and out of tune with our bodies, the phases of the moon gave us information. It was nature's way of saying "celebrate" or "rest".
So this was one reason I was so thrilled to get my period on the new moon. I felt I was in congruity with nature. It reminded me how connected to nature we really are and how so much happens on the subtle energetic level.
While this doesn't mean that I will now menstruate around the new moon and be fertile around the full moon (though that would be really amazing), it does remind me that my body is sensitive to lunar cycles and the natural energies around me.
Further, it reminds me of my femininity and connection the Mother Earth. Knowing this helps me truly cherish my feminine essence and the gentle, yet powerful spirit of the feminine, however that manifests within and through me. And we all have it, whether woman or man.
What about our moon cycles?
While few women's cycles are perfectly in sync with the moon, we experience a similar energetic phenomenon during the course of our full menstrual cycles - from the beginning of our period (new moon phase) to ovulation (full moon phase) and back to our period.
The past 2 years my body was doing an amazing job growing and feeding a little human being. It's been a period of ups and downs, yet hormonally I have felt stable (aside from those times I felt I didn't get enough sleep or my thyroid hormone levels were still stabilizing). Now that my period is coming back, I know I will feel those energetic and hormonal ups and down depending where I am in my cycle. But, this time around, I want to live more in tune with those cycles.
I want to listen to what my body is telling me, and I want to honor each phase for what it is. I want to eat what my body truly needs to maintain hormonal balance during the different phases of the cycle.
I want to rest on the first day or so of my period.
I want to respect all the energy I have during the ovulation phase.
I want to check in on what phase the moon is and understand how and why my body and mind are responding to my environment in a particular way.
I also purchased the Lunette menstrual cup because if I can reduce how much I add to landfill over a lifetime AND save myself some $$$ (on average a woman spends $1,773 on tampons in a lifetime according to one calculation) AND only have to worry about replacing the cup every 12 hours, I will take it! Anything to make my period less of a nuisance and more of a beautiful part of being a thriving, loving, nurturing, driven, sensitive, and beautiful woman.
How can you live more in tune with the moon and honor each phase of your cycle?
I challenge you to consider how you feel during each phase of your cycle (if you do menstruate) or each phase of the moon (if you don't menstruate). Do it for a few months and notice any patterns.
Here are some resources I use to understand my own cycles and the cycles of the moon from the astrology perspective:
The Universal Moon Cycle
The Moon Woman - Daily moon phase emails
Our Womanly Moon Cycle
Taking Charge of Your Fertility - This book will help you get to know yourself in a very intimate way. I also read it a few months before I got pregnant and it worked ;)
Would you be interested in reading more about how our menstrual cycles affect our energy levels and how we can support our hormonal balance monthly?
How do you relate to your menstrual cycles?
Do you notice how different you feel during each phase of the menstrual cycle?
Have you ever noticed how the moon affects your energy and emotions?
Send me a personal note or share in the comments below! I love hearing from you and read every note.