Have you ever been amongst female friends and had the topic of menstrual cycles and the moon come up? I feel like this happens a lot. As women we’re curious about our bodies, the origins of our cycles, and how they might be connected to the phases of the moon. We may notice that many, though not all, of us experience cycles that last approximately a lunar month (28-30 days). I’ve personally seen women get so excited when they realize their period is syncing up with the phases of the moon! I think it goes to show that we desire more understanding of our bodies and more insight into how our cycles might affect us.
I’ve always wanted to be in sync with the moon, but have struggled with this, because I live in the heart of NYC where I can only so rarely actually see the moon. Read on to learn how I was able to sync up with the moon in the most difficult place in the US to do that, and how you can do it, wherever you live too!
Why we connect the menstrual cycle with the moon phases
Firstly, let’s consider the traditions and history behind this phenomenon. The new moon is traditionally associated with menstruation and if you find you get your period with the new moon this is known as a White Moon Cycle. The full moon is traditionally associated with ovulation, but some women do get their period on the full moon and this is called a Red Moon Cycle. The White Moon Cycle is the kind that is more commonly experienced. Historically this is down to the impact of light on the Earth and our bodies - the full moon is the Earth’s most fertile time because of the additional light received by plants when there is bright moonlight as well as sunlight, and this is why it is traditionally associated with the ovulation phase.
Although the White Moon cycle is more common - that’s getting your period on the new moon and ovulating on the full moon - a Red Moon cycle has interesting traditional connotations. Women who experience a Red Moon cycle have historically been thought to be healers, wise women, or medicine women. These women could take care of the other women who were on their period at the time that they themselves were ovulating. It’s also associated with creation in realms other than getting pregnant and having children - when the woman’s focus is on creating art, a business, or a new way of life for herself and others.
Does it matter if my period does not sync with the moon?
Although there are these historical and traditional links, it’s not important that you get your period on the full moon or the new moon - although it can be pretty cool when it does happen! As long as you’re having a healthy cycle that is consistent for YOU - this is what matters. That means that your cycles are regular and last a similar amount of days each time. If your cycles are wildly fluctuating then it is an indicator of health issues like PCOS, fibroids, or endometriosis. A consistent, regular cycle is much more likely to be symptom-free, although it is still possible to experience PMS, cramps, or bloating with a regular cycle. Ideally, however, your period’s arrival is predictable, but not necessarily predicated on what the moon is doing!
How to Sync Your Cycle to the Moon
1. Spend time in Nature
If your cycle is fluctuating in length hugely from period to period then it may also be the result of your environment - it could be because you’re not getting enough good sleep due to a bright or noisy setting and it could be down to your disconnect from stress-relieving, calming Nature as a whole.
More and more research is revealing that we need to be in Nature frequently - in the way of a park, a hike, the beach - for the good of our health, our mental health, especially. And stress can really screw up your cycles and cause them to become irregular. So, rather than focusing on the moon alone, I feel like we should be looking at our relationship to Nature in general and make a point of re-connecting with Mother Earth by getting into green spaces as much as we can.
For me that was simply a daily long relaxing walk in Central Park and some time walking on the grass or sitting on a rock to ground myself. While in nature, I would really be present, looking at the beauty of trees, birds, dogs, anything that made me feel like I was connecting to a more natural and less urban or digital environment. You can do this in your backyard, your local playground, or on a walk through your neighborhood - the key is to direct your attention to those natural elements, breathe it in, and feel the well-being that comes from spending time outside.
2. Improve your relationship to light and dark
Part of how our cycles can sync to the moon is through our exposure to light and dark as it changes throughout the lunar month - at the New Moon we’re supposed to be sleeping in darkness and at the Full Moon the night sky should be lit up with moonlight. However, many of us live in towns and cities now that give out light pollution. It can be hard to see the moon clearly and the moonlight is competing with office block lighting, street lamps, house lights, illuminated signs and more. We are not as exposed to the direct light and darkness of the moon phases as we once were. Of course light (and noise) pollution can also be disruptive to our sleep patterns and make for a fitful sleep and frequent waking up during the night. This throws off the hormone melatonin, which happens to be linked directly to ovulation regulation and therefore cycle regulation.
If you want to sync with the moon, but like me you struggle to connect with the moonlight in a busy, 24-hour town or city, then take steps to ensure you experience good sleep by using black out blinds and a white noise machine, and employing a sleep-supportive bedtime routine. To become more aware of the moon’s phases and have the best chance of reconnecting and syncing your cycle to its changes, download a lunar phase calendar or use an app like MyMoontime - take a look every evening to see where the moon is that night in its cycle and then try to spend some time in view of the moon either meditating, reading, or just resting. More and more places now also have Full Moon hikes where women can connect with the moon and each other. If you can’t find a group, practice a ritual at home in view of the moon or start your own group!
3. Fix your period problems
To repeat - as long as you’re having a healthy cycle that is consistent for YOU - this is what matters. Monitoring your period and cycle for length, looking at the color and consistency of your bleeding, and tracking any symptoms you experience - from PMS to bloating to acne - is more important to your health than syncing with the moon. It’s from this place that you can start to solve and move past your period problems. Your period should and can be regular and predictable - if it’s not, there’s a way to change that. Once you’ve got a healthy cycle that feels good for you, then you’re in a better place to start working on syncing with the moon and you’ll be better positioned to reap the benefits of this experience.
Your body is a mirror, whether or not your period comes with the full moon or the new moon. You don’t need to be bleeding with the new moon to reconnect with Nature, but connecting with the natural environment will have a positive impact on your health - including getting your cycle to be more regular, predictable and symptom-free. Your cycle is magical, regardless of any cool moon connection you might experience. Your cycle can work magic for you, if you support it with hormone-friendly foods and a hormonally-supportive way of living. Get in touch with your own, personal, unique cycle and that’s the first step to living in your Flo with all of its benefits.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this - the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you have a Red Moon or a White Moon cycle?
Second, are your periods irregular?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
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