In modern times, a woman’s menstrual cycle is often misunderstood, associated with pain, inconvenience, or a “loss of productive time”. We have lost sight of the power of the blood which holds our connection with our ancestry, our land, our Earth, our fertility and the dark mysteries of the body.
By honouring our connection to the moon, we can open the door for greater access to our natural wisdom and the inner mysteries.
Women And The Moon
Traditional cultures around the world have recognized the connection between women and the moon, a special link which granted a deeper understanding of the natural world and cosmos.
With each full moon, she rose to the peaks of her fertility (ovulation); with each dark moon (new moon), she moved toward introspection, shedding and renewal (menstruation).
It was recognized that women’s sensitivity to lunar cycles granted her with heightened powers of intuition, prophecy, dream revelation, and spiritual power. With this connection, women played a key role in ceremonies and through their ability to communicate with plants, nature and the spiritual world.
Women also played a central role in ensuring the health and prosperity of the community, as well as the health of agriculture.
The Moon Cycle
The Moon represents the cosmic feminine principle on Earth, associated with Kapha (water, earth, cohesion) and Vata (air, ether, movement).
The Moon moves the tides, and is associated with femininity, magnetism, introspection, imagination, agriculture, the subconscious mind and life cycles. Negatively, the Moon can also be associated with lunacy (coming from the French word lune or moon), hallucinations, mental-emotional turbulence and getting carried away with fantasy, collective trends or what is unreal.
In Sanskrit, the moon is known as Chandra “the one who shines” or “she who delights with her movements”.
In Vedic astrology, the moon sign is considered to be one of the most important aspects of our chart, and shows our sensitivity and how we relate, think and behave.
The Moon & The Menstrual Cycle
Understanding the connection between your menstrual cycle and the cycles of the moon can a powerful source connection of self-connection, regeneration and healing.
The basic stages of the moon, and the impact of our psyche, is as follows:
- Full Moon (Ovulation): Full moon energies enhance the mind and emotions, as well as the tendency toward outward movement. Your fertility (both creative and sexual/reproductive) are at their highest. Seek ways to express yourself that are nourishing and uplifting: dance, meditations, sex/romance, art, writing, or the beautification (of yourself, your altar, your home). Be aware that the collective tends to go a little crazy around full moons. Try to avoid making any major decisions or getting caught in delusion.
- Waning Moon (Post-Ovulation) : After the full moon, your energy will immediately start to go inward, and toward introspection, reflection, serenity and resolve. You may naturally wish to limit your social interactions. Give yourself extra time for reflection, dreamwork, journaling, art or time in nature.
- Dark Moon (Menstruation): This is a time of cleansing and release. Your power of creation is strong through non-logical knowing. Pay special attention to longings, visions, dreams, messages, intuition, curiosities. Write, journal, make art, rest, be quiet, be in nature. If you can, allow others to nourish you. Try to sleep in a dark room, without any interference of artificial light.
- The Waxing Moon (Post-Menstruation / New Cycle): Your body is renewed and refreshed, and creative and sexual energies slowly start to increase. You may feel an appetite for new connections, projects, habits or journeys. This is good time to start new dietary, exercise or lifestyle habits or to begin a journey. There is a natural acceleration of energies toward the full moon.
Don’t worry too if your menstrual cycle doesn’t match this cycle. You are connected to nature at all times, whether you realize it or not. Your intention to connect with Mother Moon as you see her in the night sky above your head is enough to start to connect more deeply with your body’s innate wisdom.
Following Grandmother Moon
The Lakota tribes of North America offer the following to aid in developing a more heightened lunar consciousness. They say:
Follow your Grandmother Moon. Her illuminating cycles will transform your spirit. Begin with the Grandmother Moon at her brightest and most open. This is a time of outward activity and high energy. Sleep where the moonlight touches you. Walk outside where there are no artificial lights. Feel joy and creativity.
As The Grandmother begins to cover her face, begin to withdraw into a quieter, less social place. Move to that inward place that is more about being than doing.
In the dark of the moon, when bleeding, the veil between you and the Great Mystery is the thinnest. Be receptive to visions, insights and intuitions. Go to a quiet, separate place such as the Moon Lodge. Later, come out of the dark, a woman with a cleansed body. As the moon returns, come back out to the world, carrying your vision.
-The Lakota Tribe
Ayurveda honours all cycles of a woman’s life as sacred — from birth, youth, menarche, maturity, motherhood to elder.
In many traditional societies, it is the elder women (the crone) who holds the highest seat of power in the community, recognized for their breadth of wisdom, experience and spiritual insight.
From the ayurvedic perspective, menopause marks the transition from a more outward, productive phase of life (the pitta phase) to one that is more inward, sensitive and spiritual (the vata phase). She cannot keep the same pace as she once did in her fertile years; she must be able to distill the lessons that she has learned into a new expression of mature and subtle wisdom.
Within a woman’s body, the energies that previously went toward reproduction and procreation move inward. She is no longer affected by the same hormonal changes as the younger women, and can therefore serve her community with greater stability, breadth of perception, detachment, and powerful insight.