People are always talking about how the full moon has it's affects on behavior. When babies are crying all night, kids are misbehaving and women or men seem to feel extra chaos in their lives, you'll often hear someone say in jest "it must be a full moon!" I've known more than a few women whose menstrual cycles have been thrown off this month and I have to wonder...could it be the fault of the Super Moon? I'm only half kidding. A simple Google search brought me plenty of interesting answers to my query, which was more or less "What is the deal with the moon and menstruation?"
An article entitled "Lunar Folklore" on About.com states: "The word lunatic comes from the Latin luna, because it was believed that people were more likely to exhibit aberrant behavior during a full moon. Although studies have been done showing that emergency room visits and accidents are increased during the full moon period, there has yet to be conclusive evidence for causation." Well, I can certainly say that I sometimes feel like a "lunatic" while I'm menstruating, but this still didn't answer my question about the connection between women's cycles and the cycles of the moon. I searched on...
An intriguing article on Menstruation.com explores the Menstrual/Moon cycle connection. The site asks us to set aside our scientific knowledge of the Moon's affect on the earth's tides etc. but to focus instead on the mythical symbolism of the Moon as a female energy. When we understand that lunar phases can match the phases of a woman's life: birth, growth, maturity, death, and that these phases are experienced in small ways throughout our lives (relationships, jobs, etc can all phase from birth to death) we can begin to understand our connection to the Moon and create an atmosphere in our lives where that connection can work for us. According to the article,
"Each month a woman will experience changes in the way she perceives herself and her world in accordance to where she is in her menstrual cycle. The moon's cycle also adds another subtle tone to her monthly experience, increasing or decreasing the intensity of the energies depending upon where the two cycles overlap."The article further explores how in our busy, modern society we've gotten away from living our lives in harmony with the natural ebb and flow of our cycles in favor of the rigid structure of scheduled life. After all, anciently, women menstruated together, escaping to Red Tents or Moon Lodges to care for themselves and each other during this time of the month in which nurturing oneself was made a part of life. Now, we are multi-taskers, organizers, planners....we find a way to "fit it all in" even if this is not in true harmony with our physical, emotional or spiritual needs and we do this on our on, the world never stops for us. The following link from the Menstruation.com article gives a great visual example of how these phases work: http://www.menstruation.com.au/periodpages/femphaseimage.html
While part of me wanted to roll my eyes and say this was all just a little too "out there" for me, I had to admit that much of the folk-lore rang true, especially in terms of how I feel leading up to, during, and in the time immediately after my Ladies Holiday. I wanted to know more. How could I claim the energies of the Moon for my own menstrual well-being? How could I reconnect with the natural world in spite of the rigidity and structure of my life in modern society? After all, we are where we are, I do not live on a mountain top or on a secluded desert island...and although I have my moments where I wish I could set up my Red Tent and hide away during my "holiday", I know too that while I could actually choose to move somewhere like that and fully commit to a more simple, rural, "throw-back" lifestyle, that is not what I have chosen. I must accept the modern world and my modern life, since I am choosing to live it that way. I will not pretend that this is not the life that I choose or that I do not love it, I will not condemn it or wish to live in ancient times. However, there must be a way to pull some of the wisdom from ancient times and incorporate it into my modern life. Having my cake and eating it too is perhaps my naughty little life-long endeavor. But really, why not try?
Google, Google, Google...how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! More searching and I landed here: CycleHarmony.com a wonderful site built on the same intentions that this blog originated from--making peace with menstruation! The link will lead you to a wonderful article explaining how to sync your menstrual cycle with the moon. That's right! According to the article, it can be done. One portion of the article describes the practice of swallowing the moon...yes, you read that right.
Step number six of syncing your cycle with the moon is to "Swallow the Moon Energy", and the instructions are as follows:
"Simply face the moon when it’s just rising and gently breathe in the lunar energy, swallowing it. It’s recommended that you do this 30 times. And the best time is from the new moon until five days after the full moon, when the lunar energy is most powerful."Again, this may seem pretty "out there" to you and admittedly it did to me at first too, but let me just repeat myself: why not? It certainly sounds lovely, even meditative. I've got my eye on my lunar phase calendar and according to it I can expect a full moon to "swallow" around June 4th. Are you with me? Whether you are or not, I hope you've enjoyed exploring the possibilities with me. If we can't agree on the validity of the Moon's cosmic affects on us, what we likely can agree on is that it is wonderful and perhaps even comforting to have this giant piece of celestial art to gaze at in the night sky.
I'll end by quoting one of my favorite songs by children's singer extraordinaire, Laurie Berkner:
Moon, Moon, Moon,
Shining brightMoon, Moon, Moon,
My night light
Moon, Moon, Moon,
I can see
Moon, Moon, Moon,
You're taking care of me.
In the light of the Moon,
Hungry for some Moon gazing tunes? Check out my playlist "Ode to the Moon"...just for fun. :)