The Moon governs the high and low tides of the oceans, those waters that make up more than half of this Earth. We women, in body, are nearly 70% water when fully developed. Thus, the consistent and predictable waxing and waning of the moon’s cycles could be a clue into the innate rhythm inside of these watery bodies. We rise and fall, empty and fill, just like the Moon. If the Moon can alter the vast mysterious ocean, it is undeniable that we are affected by these gravitational forces, pushes, and pulls.
When this we know in the core of our being, we can work with nature rather than against her.
The Moon goes through 13 cycles each year; each cycle takes 28 days to wax from new to its full expression. There was a time when people didn’t chase the clock but rather followed the solar and lunar rhythms. Women often tracked their cycles by seeing where the moon was in her cycle, as they were in sync with such forces. When the moon was full, one could infer she was at her peak ovulation; when the moon went dark, nearly disappearing, the blood red rivers flowed. All of this is connected to the 28 day cycle of moonthly menstruation.
A natural fertility of connection with something greater than the Self.
This ancient tradition of connecting with the Moon should not be lost. In fact, La Luna is still here; it is up to us to unplug, drop in, and acknowledge the potency of her luminosity. It is within the act of acknowledgment, of noticing, that a door opens to the relationship in which one can begin again to live in a rhythmic way with cycles and seasons. The coming and goings are steady in their own right, steady enough to be relied upon. Phew, something to rely on in this fast, fleeting, chaotically divine world.
As you read this are you aware of where YOU are in your cycle? Can you feel the changes in body and hear what you’re being told by your swollen breasts, need for time alone, or rich emotions? It is not just PMS; you are powerful, shifting as the moon.
As you read this, are you aware of where the moon is in her cycle? Is she new, empty only to be filled again? Perhaps a small waxing crescent? Or in her full beauty, unabashedly radiating her light for those to see in darkness? Yet, even better than knowing where the Moon is, is feeling the connection to her within your own body.
And if you don’t feel her yet…relax, give it time.
In all of her magic, the full moon is when energy is highest in the body. Energy builds from the feet to the top of the head. It is a time for play, for laughter, for joy. The full moon is indicative of when peak ovulation typically happens in the cycle. If you have a 28 day cycle, around day 14 you begin to ovulate. You might feel more turned on, and it is when your body is preparing for the possibility of conceiving a new life. Your body is ready for the new seeds to be planted. It collects and gathers, grows and builds, until informed that it is not needed for fertilization and the uterus sheds its precious lining.
As the full moon’s brightness calls one out to share their light, the new moon draws one to go into the darkness of womb to contemplate. The new moon, a time of emptiness and darkness, is when energy is lowest in the body. It is said that this is when a women will bleed, as energy has taken the past 28 days (more or less) to descend, and is then being released.
How to live in sync with the lunar cycle
Bathe in the Moonlight
Some say that moon bathing is much more important than sunbathing, as it infuses us with energy, enthusiasm and the divine feminine light of the moon, and unlike sunbathing, has no negative side effects. It is said to calm and cool us, while also making us more receptive and sensitive, connecting us with our feminine nature. Not only that, from an Ayurvedic perspective, exposure to moonlight is wonderfully cooling for the Pitta dosha and has been used in diseases such as hypertension, hives, rashes, urticaria and other inflammatory conditions as well. So spend some time basking the the white rays of the moon -- take off some layers and let her cool light sink into your skin!
Drink Moon Water
Drinking moon water cools us and increases our receptivity in the same way that moon bathing does, only from the inside out. Make moon water by filling a clear glass jar with purified water, and setting it outside over night during the full moon to be charged up with the moon's rays. Drink throughout the day as a gentle, soothing elixir that's been infused the the moon's magic.
Entrain Your Cycles to the Moon's
One of the reasons that our cycles are no longer synced with the moon is because nowadays we spend much less time outside, and much more time around artificial light. One way to remedy this is to sleep and wake with the sun, and to sleep in the darkness, expect during the full moon, when you might open your curtains and/or turn on a nightlight to clue your body in to the natural cycles. You may start to notice your cycle begin to regulate as it syncs with the true cycle of the moon.
Take a Moon Bath
Bring the cosmos to your bath tub by bathing in alignment with the lunar cycle. To create your ritual, select botanicals that align with the phase of the moon, brew them in a French press and add to a warm bath along with salt, milk or honey. You can also use other healing tools and self care practices that amplify the potent energy available during each phase of the moon. Learn more about this practice in the Moon Bath Book.
Create Your Own Moon Rituals
Both the new and full moons are times for rituals; a time to make an offering and remember. There is no right or wrong way to do a ritual or ceremony. It is simply a genuine expression of a sincere heart, and is whatever feels authentic to you. Grab your favorite feathers, rocks, bells and chimes, or bring nothing at all except an open heart. It doesn’t so much matter. It’s the intention and action that the universe responds to. Remember that you are the force of the moon. So sing, laugh and pray. Build a greater sense of curiosity for the natural world, in and out, by paying respect to the influences upon you.
The full is a great time for gathering with other women around a fire to sing songs, dance, laugh, and play. Within the strength of sisterhood, be vulnerable, naked, with the elements and in light of the moon. Come together with your tribe, howl and prance together, and make the union that much stronger. The web is being woven, and it is the strength of each thread that creates the resilient tapestry. The day of, before and after the full moon is a time to attract love, abundance, creativity and positive energy
The new moon is a time when your truth serum runs, listen deep. Gather with yourself, guides, and ancestors. The darkness of this time is supportive to going inward and contemplation. It is a time to reaffirm in a concrete way what it is you want. Make it clear and known. You can burn a candle, sit under your favorite tree, sit in meditation, or lye under the night time sky. If you are not menstruating, do a yoni steam ritual and set the intentions of your hearts longing. They are bound to come true, if it is truly what you need to thrive.
You are a woman of the moon. Embrace her, embrace yourself.
Julie MacAdam is a creative artist, yoga teacher, body worker, and lover of the earth. She is founder of Medicinal Changes, through which she offers herbal medicine and consultations as well as bodymind practices.