Continuing from part one, The Four Phase Feminine, this second part will give you a better understanding to the emotional roller-coaster you experience during your menstrual cycle and why we are “PMS’ing”.
“The moon made me do it!” is an accurate expression of those (whether consciously aware or not), are influenced by the synchronicity with the moon.
Now for some of you, this may seem airy-fairy, or woo-woo.
Many women think nothing more of the moon other than appearing at night; let alone what phase it’s in, or our connection to it. This isn’t some new-age thing, in fact traditions and mythology around our menstrual cycle and the moon dates back to 10,000BC (!!!)
“Traditionally, the Moontime is the sacred time of woman when she is honored as a Mother of the Creative Force. During this time she is allowed to release the old energy her body has carried and prepare for reconnection to the Earth Mother’s fertility that she will carry in the next Moon or month.
Our Ancestors understood the importance of allowing each woman to have her Sacred Space during this time of reconnection, because women were the carriers of abundance and fertility…”
– Sacred Path Cards: The Discovery of Self Through Native Teachings by Jamie Sams
If it’s approved scientific research you seek, you won’t find it here.
Scientifically speaking, Scientists continue their search to find evidence linking the menstrual cycle and the lunar phases, however, if you consider how many of us have become detached from the idea of living cyclically, especially in toxic environments which impact our hormonal balance, it’s no surprise that most studies form no relationship at all.
The Lunar Cycle
10,000BC our ancestors were aware of the synchronicity of the menstrual cycle and the moon; they were aware that the lunation cycle was a phase where the moon orbits around the earth, and we see this today, as the moon waxes and wanes between new moon and full moon, for a total count of 28 days; an average menstrual cycle is the same, consisting of 28 days.
The moon goes around the earth 13 times each year – the same number an average woman menstruates is also 13 (these figures are obviously inaccurate if you are irregular).
Historically, women would ovulate when the moon is full and bleed when the moon is dark.
Even farming practices dating back to the 1700s (still believe) that when seeds are planted by the full moon, harvests are most abundant.
Making the Connection
The connection of the lunation cycle and the womb links to our natural predetermined biological rhythms that are in sync with what are called circadian rhythms; this is a 24-hour cycle of living beings, including animals, plants, fungi, etc. Consider your wake/sleep pattern – this is your body’s natural circadian rhythm, and this is influenced by the moon orbiting the Earth, along with the sun and other planets.
The belief of the lunation cycle and a woman’s menstrual cycle is based on the pineal gland in our brain, which sends a message to our ovaries to release an egg based on the amount of light our brain senses when we are asleep; and at the point where the night sky is brightest (the full moon), we are programmed to ovulate. As light in the night sky gets brighter, so does our energy, and as the light recedes, so does our energy.
Before electricity even existed, it was much easier for women to be in sync with the cycle of the moon, as there were no lights, televisions, and smartphones to interfere with the energy their bodies naturally relied on. Today, there are many cultures that follow this rhythm of turning down at sun set, going to sleep when it gets dark, and waking with the sunrise.
For many of us who are imbalanced or out of sync, it is because artificial light and the activities of modern life has disrupted our natural inclination to be in synchrony with the moon, and many women are on some form of drug, whether it’s the pill, hormone therapy, neurological medication, etc.;
we are being affected by synthetic medicines and devices which suppresses our menstrual cycle.
I’ve been moon mapping for a few months now, and while I stressed of my menstrual cycle not being in alignment with the moon, I learned that based off of my lifestyle and environment, it is very common that women do not bleed on a New Moon and ovulate on a Full Moon, so instead, I focus on each lunar phase, and take note of its specific energy level and observe how I am feeling.
For example, right now, the lunar phase is in Maiden, which is Spring energy, as we approach the Full Moon (Mother/Summer energy) on Sunday. However, my menstrual phase just entered the Mother phase, so while I’m a week ahead of what would be considered “in sync” with the moon, I focus on the energy and characteristics I’m experiencing based on the phases I’m in, this includes my life cycle,Earths season, menstrual cycle and lunar cycle.
This helps me better understand the fluctuation of energy in my emotional state, and also take note of the phase in my life, including external influences such as stress, weight loss/gain, my health, my diet, work, family… all variables that you may find causing you to be out of sync with the lunar phase including, pregnancy, breast feeding, menopause, travel, sickness, etc.
I personally never knew the menstrual cycle was split into four quarters (4 weeks), 1 week = a quarter.
Each quarter we go through a shift physically and mentally, as we experience the phases of new growth, to ovulation, to the pre-menstrual phase and degeneration, and back to renewal again – just like the Earth seasons, just like our life cycles (rites of passage)
Day 1 – Day 7
Crone – Winter Energy
Associated to New Moon
Characteristics: death/rebirth phase, inwardly focused, quiet
Day 1 is first day of bleeding.
Physically, as we bleed, we feel tired and inactive, feeling aches and pains in our bodies.
You may notice you want to be alone or undisturbed, and may even cause or get into arguments. Listen to your body and take these as signs to rest.
Focus on reflecting old ways or beliefs that no longer serve you, by letting go and being released through your blood. This way you don’t carry any bad ju-ju like beliefs, attitudes and behaviours over to the next cycle.
Our ancestors would take this time to retreat to what you may have heard as the “red tent”, or “moon lodge”.
Some tribes still follow this practice to date, as a women’s intuition is heightened where we have insights (whether through meditation, or dreaming), receiving messages or predictions.
Day 8 – Day 14
Maiden – Spring Energy
Associated to Waxing Moon
Characteristics: regeneration, rebuilding, new beginnings and growth, new experiences
As your blood stops flowing, Spring energy builds as you turn inward to focus on self-nourishing.
You may feel more creative, and set new ideas into action. You may feel more open to others and the possibilities around you, as you think, learn and plan – metaphorically planting seeds for the new cycle.
This is an important time to focus on creative visualizations, as the feeling (whether positive of negative) of accomplishing your goals will carry over to the next cycle as well.
Remember, we are are going through a continuous circle of life cycles (birth, growth, full potential, dissolving, stillness, rebirth).
Day 15 – Day 21
Mother – Summer Energy
Associated to Full Moon
Characteristics: high energy, urgent feelings, heightened awareness of self and others
This is when you ovulate, and week 3 is the best time to become pregnant.
Physically, you are at your most strongest and most alert. You become more aware of your appearance, and become flirtatious and sexually confident, as you are in your most fertile phase.
Overall, our mood is great to be social and communicative, as you are at your sharpest point, thinking quickly and logically during this time. Use this as a time to use the creative energy and intentions from the Maiden phase to accomplishing those goals.
Day 22 – Day 30
Maga – Autumn Energy
Associated to Waning Moon
Characteristics: coming down phase, post ovulatory descent, reflection, wanting change
The signs of PMS approach as our energy is in Maga / Autumn phase.
You may notice a decline in your physical and emotional energy.
You feel anxious, irritable, defensive; similar to the characteristics of the Crone, you may push others away in order to be alone.
You may feel the need to restore the body, whether through treatments like a massage, or taking a hot bath. Cravings and appetite may also increase, if your body is signaling for nourishment; try to be mindful of what you are eating during this time, as you care and honor yourself physically.
Hormonally, our emotions are heightened, which depending on the intentions and goals you’ve set during the Maiden and Mother phases, you may experience feeling either proud or disappointed in yourself, such as pushing yourself to get pregnant, or reaching a deadline for work, for example.
These emotions stem from an ego’s stand point, as opposed to a state of inspiration.
Rather than loathing during this time, and succumbing to many negative feelings associated to this phase, take this time to focus on letting things go in phase of the Crone, otherwise you will repeat the cycle all over again.
Before, I would DREAD getting my period, now I actually look forward to this week, as I am more aware by focusing on what I had set out to achieve, and not let it bother me if plans didn’t work out; so I just let it go during my Crone phase.
Moon mapping is tracking your period with the moon phases, journaling your emotional and physical being, tying in with the Earths seasons, in an effort to understand your cycle.
There are apps you can use, or you can easily draw up a moon map on your own, or even print one, or use a journal template. I much prefer journaling, as opposed to logging it on an app on my phone, as I find the act of pencil to paper more personal.
I would suggest moon mapping for 3 months to notice a pattern in your cycle, or introduce it as a form of journaling in your life for as long as you can. Otherwise, if you’re quick to take note of the phases, you can easily predetermine the characteristics, and mentally prepare yourself during each week.
To moon map your cycle, you will want to take note of the following:
Moon Cycle – which phase the moon is in, which you can grab from Time and Date.com
Day – day of your cycle (day 1 is the first day of bleeding, not including spotting which happens for some before your flow begins).
Date – corresponds to the dates of your cycle (Day 1 – Nov 26 | Day 2 – Nov 27 | Day 3 – Nov 28…etc)
Physical – notes on anything your body is going through (cramps, sore, headaches, muscle aches, etc)
Emotional – notes on your emotional being (happy, depressed, sad, inward, uplifted, etc)
Some moon maps include the zodiac constellation the moon is in.
For example, you may have seen “Moon in Aries” – this is if you are into astrology, and want to understand your zodiac personality during a particular moon phase, and additional characteristics to look for. You can track the astrology signs and moon phases on Farmers Almanac.com
With an awareness of your natural rhythm, it will become easier to awaken the divine (feminine) energies that tune you into your physical and emotional state (female or male).
Men, I hope to shed light on the emotional and physical challenges the females in your life face every month, and hope you approach her “PMSing” in a new and respectable light.
Ladies, once you get past the menstrual cycle as a negative inconvenience, you will begin to see it more as a gift.
Menstruation is a woman’s birth rite.
Not only are we as women portals to bringing new Spirits into this world, but we have the ability to recreate ourselves anew, through each cycle.
As I mentioned in The Four Phase Feminine – it has taken me 20 years to disconnect from the negative feelings associated to my cycle – one thing that has deeply resonated with me (in alignment with my motto, “change your mind, change your life”), is planting those metaphoric seeds at the start of my cycle to grow, full bloom, harvest decay, die and then become reborn again.
I want this information to spread like a wild fire, so our daughters and our daughters daughters may live in confidence and harmony, nurturing and nourishing their bodies, minds and Spirits.
Here’s to strong women: May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.
And so it is.
Do you believe we are in sync with Mother Earth? Let me know in the comments below.