As a woman, I have found so much joy in learning more about the Menstrual Cycles and the Moon. It wouldn’t surprise you that I live by the moon and the stars. The astrological cycles and the moon cycle help me to plan everything in my life – from launches to travel to social events and more!
But it might surprise you to learn that the moon cycle is closely linked to another cycle… the menstrual cycle. Menstrual cycles and the moon last about 28 days. They both have ‘seasons’ of ebb and flow. For example, the new moon is a time of renewal and rebirth. This aligns with the bleeding phase of the menstrual cycle which is all about letting go of the old and bringing in the new. Similarly, the menstrual cycle and the lunar cycle can both be broken into yin and yang or feminine and masculine phases (I’ll share more about this really soon).
The similarities between the menstrual cycle and the lunar cycle make it easy to work with both of them. But even though it’s easy, it is also really powerful. By working with my menstrual cycle and the lunar cycle, I am able to deeply explore my emotional and spiritual side. I am able to understand what is coming up for me and what it’s trying to teach me. These cycles are the ultimate guide and the first place I look when I need some wisdom. Because the wisdom that we seek is never that far away. And in this blog post, I’m sharing how you can find that wisdom in the menstrual cycles and the moon!
Working with the lunar cycle
As I mentioned before, it takes the moon about 29.5 days to pass through a full cycle. This means that it takes the moon 29.5 days to go from new moon to full moon and back to new moon again. Most people can recognise when there is a full moon or new moon (because the moon isn’t visible). But did you know that there are eight different phases of the lunar cycle and they all represent something different?
Here are the eight moon phases and the different representations:
- New Moon: beginnings
- Crescent Moon: slowing down
- First Quarter Moon: discernment
- Gibbous Moon: trust
- Full Moon: letting go
- Disseminating Moon: receiving
- Third Quarter Moon: giving back
- Balsamic Moon: connection
As well as having different themes, the eight phases also alternate between yin and yang energy. Yin energy can be described as being ‘feminine’ and is all about ‘being’. In contrast, yang energy can be described as being ‘masculine’ and is all about ‘doing’.
The moon phases with yin energy are the crescent moon, gibbous moon, disseminating moon and balsamic moon.
The moon phase with yang energy are the new moon, first quarter moon, full moon and third quarter moon.
Each of these phases last between 3-4 days which means that you’ll experience both yin and yang energy throughout the average week. By acknowledging these different phases and working with the energy, you can help to restore balance in your emotional and spiritual world.
Because life is so much more than doing and doing, all of the time. There needs to be space for being and feeling… and the moon cycle is a great reminder for that!
As I said before, you can also look to the moon cycles for guidance or wisdom. A good way to do that is to look at the moon phase that you’re currently in and consider how the ‘theme’ of that phase might be affecting you. For example, if you’re feeling some resistance during the gibbous moon phase then you would want to explore themes of trust. And if you’re struggling during the full moon phase then perhaps there is something that you need to let go?
Here are some questions that you can ask yourself during each phase of the moon cycle:
- New Moon: What do I want to birth this month? What does my soul want to express?
- Crescent Moon: What part of my life needs to slow down? How can I do that?
- First Quarter Moon: Where am I over-exerting myself and where do I need to pull back?
- Gibbous Moon: How can I be more trusting? Who deserves my trust?
- Full Moon: What do I need to let go of right now?
- Disseminating Moon: How do I feel about receiving?
- Third Quarter Moon: How can I give back?
- Balsamic Moon: What can I do to foster connection?
These questions are basic prompts to get you started. But as you practice, I challenge you to go deeper and ask more and more questions.
Working with the menstrual cycle
Similar to the lunar cycle, the menstrual cycle is generally 28 days long. This can differ depending on the woman. And that’s absolutely okay!
While the length of your menstrual cycle might change, you should still have a cycle with four main phases.
These phases are:
- The Bleeding Phase
- The Follicular Phase
- The Ovulatory Phase
- The Luteal Phase
During each of these phases, your body (and your emotions) are going through different changes. Here is what you can expect during each phase…
The Bleeding Phase
During this week, your energy is the lowest in your cycle and you may feel tired and withdrawn. It’s for this reason that the bleeding phase has a yin energy. You may want to rest more than you usually do, or even take a day off. Clear your calendar of big social events and make a date with yourself. Try writing in a journal and reflecting on the events of the past month. This creates awareness and allows you to set intentions for the month ahead.
The Follicular Phase
This phase follows just after menstruation. Estrogen and testosterone start to rise during this phase. This will bring you a boost of energy and can often improve your mood and brain function. Because of this, the follicular phase has a yang energy.
The Ovulatory Phase
Estrogen and testosterone rise to peak levels, boosting the effects of the follicular phase. You may feel that you look better and feel more confident so it will be easier to verbalise your thoughts and feelings. For this reason, the ovulatory phase is aligned with a yang energy.
The Luteal Phase
The first 2-3 days of this phase will feel a lot like the ovulatory phase. Then you will find yourself beginning to wind down and this is a good time to embrace a yin energy. Now is a good time for nesting, chores and taking care of your to-do lists. You might also feel PMS symptoms like headaches, anxiety and moodiness.
Roughly, each of these phases will last between 5-7 days. But this will differ from woman to woman and it’s important to recognise your own natural cycles. It’s for this reason that I recommend keeping a journal so that you can easily identify each of your phases. Or if you like technology then there are heaps of cool apps that you can download. I use one called Eve.
When it comes to seeking guidance from your menstrual cycles, I recommend that you identify what phase you’re currently in. Once you know which phase you’re in then you can better identify what your physical and emotional needs are. For example, if I’m feeling grumpy during the luteal phase then I know it’s a reminder that I need to take my foot off the pedal and slow down. Or if I’m feeling anxious during the ovulatory phase then I might need to channel some of that energy into a creative project.
The more you track your menstrual cycle, the more aware you will become and the more wisdom you’ll be able to find!
Working with the menstrual cycle and lunar cycle
So I have outlined the ways that you can work with the menstrual cycle and the lunar cycle separately… but what about working with them together?
To do this, you’ll want to identify the moon phase that you’re in when you first start to bleed. This will provide you so much information!
Traditionally, a menstrual cycle that is ‘synced’ with the moon means that you would bleed during the new moon phase. Both of these phases are connected to renewal and new beginnings so they are naturally aligned!
However, you might find that you bleed with the full moon and full moon menstruation is about letting go, this combination of menstrual cycles and the moon cycles can complement each other well.
Of course, you might also find that you bleed during any of the other six moon phases and each of those combinations have different effects. The main thing is to determine how it affects you and how you can harness the unique energies you’re receiving.
I hope that this blog post has helped you to uncover and realise the potent power of menstrual cycles and the moon. If you would like help aligning with your moon and lunar cycles then checkout my Lunar Planning Toolkit which comes with a bonus Working with your Natural Cycles workbook.