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 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 essential wisdom of living in tune with our moods, needs and tendencies. As we begin to cooperate with our bodies we begin to see that all we need is within us, that we hold the key to unlock our innate creative and visionary 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. Let it be intuitive, do what feels good to you. 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 a potent energy that can facilitate a deeper dive into wild and cyclical living.
Dark moon ~ Occurring during the three days before the sliver of new moon appears in the sky
A time of deep rest and replenishment. A time to practice yoga nidra, to vision, journey, meditation and journal.
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.
Waxing crescent ~ Begins 3.5-7 days after new moon
A time to explore dreams and let them begin to take form. Slowly 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. A time to re-read and reaffirm wishes and intentions 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.
Disseminating ~ Begins 3.5-7 days after full moon
A time to breathe, rest and release. A time of stillness and being with what is and to practice 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.
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 and move on.
And then the whole cycle begins again!