How does YOUR Blood Flow?
For many, many women, the connection between the lunar cycle and the menstrual cycle is an experiential truth: Our hormonal, emotional, creative, active and spiritual selves, and of course our powerful and necessary bleeding times, correlate firmly every month with what we see of the Moon’s waxing and waning light.
But science continues its search and struggle to find definitive evidence that this is really true. For each study that finds a link between menstrual patterns and the lunar phases, another finds no relationship at all. And for many women, there genuinely is no correlation. Which isn’t really that surprising, if you consider not only how detached many women have become from the idea of living cyclically, but also how many disruptive ingredients there are in our daily lives, which impact on our delicate hormonal balance.
But in my own experience, the more you develop a relationship with the Moon and her phases, the more tuned into her your body becomes, and before very long at all, the two cycles synchronise.
** This does NOT necessarily mean woman ovulate at the Full Moon and bleed at the New. NO WAY! The way that these cycles dance around each other is a creation in and of itself. And it’s this interplay where real magic can occur…
What IS the female cycle / menstrual cycle / blood cycle connection…?
The phases of your menstrual cycle provide an underlying structure.
They are a kind of blueprint around which you can organize your life, to support and enable your own best performance. And the way in which your personal cycle aligns with the rhythm of the Moon, means that your energetic output throughout the month is influenced by hers. At times, your efforts will be met and charged with her powerful energetic pull.
Some women bleed with the new Moon, and some bleed with the full.
This can vary according to your age, time of life, any preoccupations you have, or whether you are actively participating in any rites of passage (for example for women, or girls who have just started their periods, for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or for women approaching menopause).
The most common experience, and that most aligned with what we know of our ancestral grandmothers’ cycles, is to bleed around the time of the new Moon, when her light and energy (and ours) is at its lowest ebb. BUT in today’s world, there is no right and there is no wrong.
Let’s leave any judgments here. Now.
Yet it can help to have a basic outline of the interconnected phases, and how they influence woman:
Menstrual / Bleeding Phase / Waning Crescent / New Moon
Physically, you are bleeding, feeling tired and inactive with possible lower back pain and pelvic cramps. See these as signs and encouragement to rest and retreat!
Emotional strength is at its lowest ebb.
You are likely inwardly focused, preferring quiet and probably solitude.
It’s time for consciously releasing outmoded beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, along with the bodily release of blood. It’s important to do this now, so that anything that no longer serves us is not carried with us over into the next cycle.
Intuition is heightened – the two hemispheres of the brain are most actively communicating at this phase so intuitive insights and messages may be received.
As bleeding slows, it’s time for consciously setting intentions for the new cycle and emerging from this time of retreat.
Pre-Ovulation / Follicular Phase / Waxing Crescent / First Quarter / Waxing Gibbous Moon
The pituitary glands release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which is the signal the ovaries need to get ready to ovulate.
Physical and emotional energy is rising.
You likely feel more open to others and to the possibilities around you.
Rising confidence enables you to attract more of what you desire into your life.
You likely feel increasingly creative, enthusiastic and eager to make plans and put them into action.
Ovulatory Phase / Full / Waning Gibbous Moon
Physically you’re at your strongest and most alert. Emotionally you are energized and confident.
High, stable estrogen levels mean that you feel open, sociable, and communicative, so the general mood is great!
It’s the best time in the cycle to throw or attend a party, to go on dates and schedule meetings. This is because communication skills are at their sharpest, you’re thinking quickly, calmly and logically, and have the stamina to keep going!
You may be more aware of your appearance and become flirtatious and sexually confident (this is your most fertile phase).
Luteal / Pre-Menstrual Phase = Waning Gibbous / Last Quarter / Waning Crescent Moon)
You start to experience a decline in physical and emotional energy, and towards the end of the cycle, premenstrual symptoms may appear.
You may become anxious, irritable and defensive in an attempt to push others away, in order to create the space you need to be alone.
You feel the desire to perform self-care rituals, to restore and honor the body and aid in its natural cleansing and repair. Emotionally, these kinds of activities (long hot baths, massage, facials, manicures, etc.) help us to feel soothed and grounded.
You likely begin to seek more comfort and the familiar.
The particular ratio of hormones at this phase increases our attention to detail, and you may become absorbed in domestic chores and feel the urge to take stock and have a good clear out.
Emotionally, it’s also time to take stock and reflect on the cycle, which can result in feeling either proud of what you’ve achieved or disappointed in yourself. This reflection prepares you to strip back and release any aspects of yourself no longer desired or required, as you anticipate the release that comes with your next bleeding phase.
Ebb and flow is your natural state
The depth you need or wish to dive into any of these phases is up to you, and remember: it will change according to where you are on your own journey. But the basic pattern and rhythm hold true for all women, so it’s important to remember that the ebb and flow is your natural state. Modern society may demand a single, relentless, progressive pace, but that has never been our natural, female way – our bodies tell us so!
Once you have an awareness of this rhythm, it is far easier to start to tune into your body and emotions and then respond in whatever way is needed most.
Honouring the female cycles of fertility and menstruation is the responsibility of each single one of us, and is one of the most vital and practical ways we can keep on encouraging the awakening of the divine feminine energies within.