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 women 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 rediscover the joys of swimming downstream and rediscover the ancient yet wisdom of living in tune with our moods, needs and tendencies. As we begin to cooperate with our body we begin to see that all we need is within us, we hold the key to unlock our innate sensual, creative, visionary and abundant powers.
The Moon and You
Connecting to the moon can be as simple as observing its phase each day and noticing how it is affecting your moods, energy levels, emotions and tendencies. For bleeding women 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 potent exploration.
For women 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.
Moon Lodge Ritual
Another powerful way of connecting to the moon is to celebrate and honour the new and full moons. This can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. It could be a simple solo ritual or gathering together for a red tent 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 8 phases from new to full to new again and each phase carries potent energy that we can work with in our lives.
Dark moon ~ Occurring during the three days before the sliver of new moon appears in the sky
At this time typically no ritual or magic takes place. This is a time of rest and replenishment, to practice yoga nidra, vision quests, journeying, deep meditation and self-enquiry.
New moon ~ Begins 1-3.5 days after the balsamic moon
A wonderful time to plant seeds of intention, a time of new beginnings, dreams, hopes and wishes. A great time to begin new projects or ventures.
Waxing crescent ~ Begins 3.5-7 days after new moon
A time to explore dreams and let them blossom and flourish. To let dreams become visible and to have the courage and faith to move forwards.
First quarter ~ Begins 7-10.5 days after new moon
A time of energy and action, commitment, challenge and confidence. A good time to re-read and reaffirm wishes and intentions and reignite commitment to a sadhana.
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 lessons. Stay on course!
Full moon ~ Begins 15-18.5 days after new moon
This is 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 high anxiety and strong emotions as the moon reaches this potent climactic point in the lunar cycle. It's effects can be felt 3 days before, the night of the full moon and 3 days after!
Disseminating ~ Begins 3.5-7 days after full moon
A time to breathe, relax, accept and regroup. This is a time for stillness, not for starting anything new. A wonderful time to share wisdom and to practice acceptance and surrender. A time for downtime.
Third quarter ~ Begins 7-10.5 days after full moon
A time to re-evaluate, re-balance and trust. What do you know? Which way to turn now? This is a time of change and review; what to take forward and what to leave behind? A good time to break bad habits and let go of negative emotions.
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. To let go, move on and release bad habits.
And then the whole cycle begins again!