menstrual cycle lunar

As happens with many adolescent girls, I found myself at 15 years of age with terrible acne and was swiftly put on the contraceptive pill, which I stayed on for over 10 years. At 26, once I’d really cleaned up my diet and lifestyle, I intuitively felt that in order to feel aligned with my values of health and wellness, I’d need to stop taking this little pill every day. So I came off it.

And as I’ve shared here on the blog before, my period took an entire year to return. I spent this 12 months yearning for a flow, trying to figure out what I could do to bring it back. After so many years of complaining about my period and even skipping it for months at a time, I was desperate to get it back.

And with patience and self care, it returned. (You can read about my period party here!) It took another 12 whole months to become regular again and pain free, but I didn’t mind, I was just so thrilled to feel in the flow again. To have a cycle. To learn more about these different sensations and new states of being I was experiencing at various times of the month.

You see, while on the contraceptive pill, a woman does not ovulate. And as I had only experienced a short year of menstruating before going on the pill, this was a whole new, wild world to me when I began to truly experience a natural cycle for the first time. I could feel my sexual desire and sociability increase at ovulation and my mood become erratic leading up to menstruation. I marvelled at how my breasts and abdomen changed shape over the course of the month and realised with excitement that I could harness the intense burst of energy I consistently felt right after the release of my menses.

So what has our menstrual cycle got to do with the moon?

What really fascinated me at this time, was the synchronisation between my menstrual cycle and the lunar cycle. In fact, my period had initially returned after that year of no bleeding, on a full moon. And as it began to regulate itself, it consistently came back to this pattern of bleeding at a full moon and ovulating at a new moon. I had heard about this happening to women before, but experiencing it myself was a totally different ball game. I felt so unbelievably feminine and open and wild.

Digging a little deeper, I discovered that a women’s menstrual cycle is the same length as a lunar cycle, around 28 – 29 days.

In fact, it’s been said that before electricity, the light of the full moon would trigger ovulation and women would bleed at a new moon. In Healing Hypothalamic Amenorrhea: An Ancestral Guide to a Modern Woman’s Dilemma, holistic nutritionist Dr. Kate Callaghan shares that sleeping with the curtains drawn at a full moon, may actually help to encourage a woman’s natural flow. (You can find more about that eBook here).

Unfortunately in the western world, we have somewhat lost our connection as women to both nature and the moon. Traditionally in many cultures, the moon holds sacred significance to the goddess and the female. For thousands of years we lived in the open, amongst the trees and the stars and the earth and the ocean, so it’s easy to see how modern society has become so detached from this wild, natural way of living.

menstrual cycle lunar 2

 Imaged sourced from Pinterest. Artist unknown.

The moon is symbolic of the birth, emergence, death and rebirth cycle. Every month the lunar phases follow the self-renewing, cyclic and creative pattern of life, as do our own menstrual cycles. And with this cyclical nature, comes the ebb and flow. As each phase is different to the last, so too are our energy levels and capacity for creativity. Learning how to flow in harmony with these patterns and use the most appropriate amount of energy that is available to us at each phase is far more sustainable and efficient, than expecting ourselves to be at full throttle all month.

So how can you use your menstrual cycle and the phases of the moon to enhance and nurture your creativity and wild nature?

Let’s take a closer look at the lunar cycle by exploring the new moon and full moon phases. You might already know that the moon has a gravitational pull on the earth and that this is strongest at a new moon and full moon, when the moon is closest to the earth.

A new moon is the beginning of the lunar cycle. It is the perfect time to set new intentions and dreams, goals and plans or begin or launch new projects. A new moon is also a yang time, so it is great for taking action. Each yang phase is always followed by a yin phase, which are times for receptivity, rest and turning inwards.

It has been said that traditionally in many cultures, women have gathered together at a new moon – when many women menstruate – to use their collective energy to tap into their divine feminine power. I have a new moon circle with three of my closest female friends, and we use this time together each month to share and set new intentions and celebrate our sisterhood. We burn what we’re ready to let go of, we laugh and feast on good food and nothing is censored. I always walk away from these evenings feeling recharged, reconnected and re-inspired.

Now let’s take a look at the full moon. A full moon is the peak of the lunar cycle. Everything in our lives becomes illuminated and it too is a time for expression and release. My Mum is a nurse in the emergency ward of a hospital and she would always tell us that on a full moon, they’d increase the amount of staff on a shift because of the unpredictability of patients. Many people find that this erratic energy actually helps to amplify their creativity! I’ve read of songwriters using the entire 3 – 4 days of a full moon phase to get most of their writing done and then spending the new moon compiling, editing and revising their work.

Personally, I have found that full moons are a time for rest and retreat, for looking inwards and moving a little slower. This is also the time when I am menstruating, so I am extra gentle with myself, knowing that a burst of energy is on its way. In fact, I always get a surge of clarity and energy right after a full moon, so I find that the more rest I give myself at the full moon phase, the more creative energy I have throughout the rest of the month. As I personally ovulate on a new moon, there is a lot of new-ness then and a strong desire to co-create – in more ways than one!

Let’s break the menstrual cycle down even further!

In her eBook Let’s Go Menstrual, Miranda Gray (who is also the author of Red Moon: Understanding and Using the Creative, Sexual and Spiritual Gifts of the Menstrual Cycle) divides the menstrual cycle into four phases, or four seasons. The Winter phase is day 1 – 6, when we are bleeding and feeling withdrawn and reflective and want to do very little. The Spring phase is from day 7 – 13 and this is when we have more energy, feel great in our bodies and more likely to take action.

The Summer phase is from day 14 – 20, when we are ovulating. We feel loving, empathetic, warm and most likely want to get out and be social. Finally, the Autumn phase is from day 21 – 28, which takes us right up until the day before we start bleeding again. Again, we begin to turn inwards and feel more tired and emotional. You might also feel really creative in this time, but more in a reflective way than outward and expressive. Gray shares that allocating her most creative week in her cycle purely to writing, resulted in having her first book published! I love love love that we can tap into this power.

Remember, it is important to trust your intuition and be mindful of how your body responds creatively, hormonally, emotionally and spiritually throughout the month and with the natural cycles around you.

Can you see how we can never, ever expect our mood and emotion and energy to be consistent and calm and linear all throughout the month? It just ain’t gonna happen.

We are cyclical beings and whatever your cycle looks like right now is perfect. I find that jotting down the current lunar phase and day of my menstrual cycle in my journal helps for reflection, observation and discovering creative patterns within my self.

This post is an excerpt from my very-soon-to-be-released eCourse Wild, Well & Creative: Fearlessly & Deliciously Create From The Heart. Think audio and video training, planners and tools and tutorials and an amazing community of like-minded souls. If you’re ready to embark on an adventure devoted to nurturing and expressing your unique creativity, I’d love for you to join us! Click here to join the VIP list and get first dibs on early bird pricing and bonuses. We’re launching so-super-soon!

And tell me in the comments below, have you noticed a connection between your menstrual cycle and the lunar phases? I’m so interested to know! 

Claire x

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