Embodying the Moon Cycles
Embodying lunar cycles connects us back to the rhythms of nature and our own inner rhythms.
Humans, like all animals, are cyclical beings. Our bodies, systems and lives exist through a multitude of different rhythms, cycles and fluctuations and the moon acts as a beautiful, visual reminder of these rhythms and the importance of honouring the waxing and waning of our needs and natures. The moon is one of the oldest keepers of rhythm to which we have long felt a strong connection and a deep yearning, serving as a regular reminder of our innate rhythmic roots.
As womxn and people with periods we feel the pull of the moon more strongly than most, as the subtle rhythms of nature pulse through our bodies in phases. But more often than not we have been taught and encouraged to ignore and suppress these rhythms, to work against the currents rather than use their flow to guide and inform us.
By reconnecting to our cyclical nature and lunar wisdom, we might rediscover the joys of swimming downstream and rediscover the timeless wisdom of living in tune with our moods, needs and tendencies. As we begin to cooperate with our bodies we can begin to see that all we need is within us, that we hold the key to unlock our true nature and in turn our power.
There is something incredibly powerful about gathering together in sacred space to honour and celebrate the moon. In the moon lodge we can show up exactly as we are and feel heard, nurtured, supported and understood. In a world of predictability and restraint here we are reminded of our innate cyclical and feeling natures and are invited to explore a life lived at an intuitive pace.
The Moon and You
Connecting to the moon can be as simple as observing its phase each day and paying attention to how your moods, energy levels, emotions, behaviours and tendencies may shift and change. For those with a menstrual cycle you can add the additional layer of noticing how the lunar cycle aligns to your own cycle and how this shifts and changes throughout your menstruating life. There is no right or wrong way to cycle with the moon.
The moon has a roughly 29.5 day cycle so depending on the length of your menstrual cycle you might bleed with the full or new moon but you might also bleed with other moon phases and each and every one has its own unique flavour. This means that each cycle will have a different dynamic as menstruation and ovulation occur at different points. This can be a rich and potent exploration.
For those without a visible monthly cycle, experiencing irregular cycles or on hormonal contraception that disrupts the natural cycles, observing the lunar cycle can reinstate a cyclical rhythm to life, allowing for rest and activity, pause and action.
Another powerful way of connecting to the moon is to celebrate and honour the new and full moons (or even each phase!). Let it be intuitive, do what feels good to you.
These rituals can be as simple or as complex as you'd like them to be. It could be a simple solo ritual like a meditation, journaling or lighting a candle, gathering together with friends, moon bathing in nature or perhaps joining a women's circle!
‘Menstruation is a time of renewal for our whole being. Lara Owen calls it the Sabbath of Women. The practice of Sabbath was originally connected with the ancient Babylonian Sabbatu, which comes from Sabbat, meaning heart-rest. In Babylon it was a day of rest, occurring once a month at full moon.‘ ~ The Wild Genie, Alexandra Pope
The Phases of the Moon
The moon moves through a series of phases from new to full to new again and each phase carries a potent and often tangible energy that can facilitate a deeper dive into wild and cyclical living. These are classical associations that have been attributed over millennia but you may have different interpretations and understandings for you personally. These are intended to be simply a guide.
Dark moon ~ Occurring during the three days before the sliver of new moon appears in the sky
The ebb of the lunar cycle. A time of deep rest and replenishment. You may like to explore yoga nidra, visioning, journeying, meditation, naps or journaling. You may feel connected, intuitive and insightful.
New moon ~ Begins 1-3.5 days after the balsamic moon
A time of new beginnings and planting seeds of intention. Traditionally viewed as a good time to launch or start new projects or ventures. Openness and receptivity abound.
Waxing crescent ~ Begins 3.5-7 days after new moon
A time to explore dreams and let them slowly begin to take form. Gradually building the courage and belief to let them become formed and visible.
First quarter ~ Begins 7-10.5 days after new moon
A time of energy and action, commitment, challenge and confidence. You may like to re-read and reaffirm your intentions and plans and reignite commitment.
Waxing gibbous ~ Begins 10.5-15 days after new moon
A time of tweaking, honing and adjusting. A time to make any changes that are needed and stay open to receiving messages and insights.
Full moon ~ Begins 15-18.5 days after new moon
The high point of the lunar cycle, a time of celebration, abundance and manifestation. A time to review the lunar phase so far and to release, surrender and let go. There may be strong emotions as the moon reaches this potent climactic point in the lunar cycle. It's effects can often be felt 3 days before, the night of the full moon and 3 days after. It is often said that we have more access to the shadow realms at this time and it can therefore be a time of revelation and insight.
Waning Gibbous (Disseminating Moon) ~ Begins 3.5-7 days after full moon
A time to breathe, rest and release. A time of stillness and being with what is. You might explore practicing acceptance and surrender.
Third quarter ~ Begins 7-10.5 days after full moon
A time to review and trust. What do you know? Which way to turn now? A time of change and review; what to take forward and what to leave behind? A good time to work with breaking the cycle of unhelpful patterns and samskaras.
Waning Crescent (Balsamic moon) ~ This phase beings around 10.5 days after the full moon and continues until new moon
A time of healing, soothing and surrender. Releasing into the restfulness ahead, preparing for a new cycle to begin.
And then the whole cycle begins again!
New Moon | Menstruation | Winter | Menopause | Crone
Waxing Moon | Pre-ovulatory Phase | Spring | Menarche | Maiden
Full Moon | Ovulation | Summer | Mid Life | Mother
Waning Moon | Premenstrual Phase | Autumn | Perimenopause | Wild Woman