The moon has guided us for millennia. All human beings are affected by the moon.
The moon is the Triple Goddess representing the female archetypes of Maiden, Mother and Crone – birth, nurturing, death and rebirth – as she moves through her phases from Waxing to Full Moon to waning:
- New (Dark) Moon: birth
- Waxing Moon: Maiden
- Full Moon: Mother
- Waning Moon: Crone
- Dark (New) Moon: death
She is associated with feminine energy, mystery and psychic ability. She’s a natural time keeper, a constant moving through a cycle of 29.5 days.
In fact, before the times of electric lights and mobile phones when we lived to the cycles of nature, the tides, the seasons and the cycle of the moon in particular and women lived together in tribes, they would experience their bleed or ‘moon time’ at the New Moon and ovulate at the Full Moon on a 29.5 day cycle to match that of the moon.
We’re all off kilter now – artificial light has upset our Circadian rhythm, our 24 hour cycle, and the expectations of society means that it’s getting more and more difficult for us to connect with our own feminine cycle and the cycles of nature around us.
In previous blogs, we’ve looked at how your menstrual cycle corresponds with the four seasons of the year as well as the four female archetypes so you’ve probably already guessed how the cycle of the moon also fits in here as the Triple Goddess – Maiden, Mother and Crone.
Many women no longer cycle in tune with the moon, ie ovulating at Full Moon time and menstruating at New Moon time, and there are lots of theories about why that might be but she is always there, inviting you to connect with her. Her presence every night is a reminder for you to connect with her natural cycle while looking within and connecting with yourself and your own journey.
In her book Moon Dance: The Feminine Dimensions of Time, Sioux Rose suggests that the cycle of the moon strongly affects our energy, emotions and feelings.
By keeping a daily journal and writing down your thoughts, feelings and emotions while tracking the movement of the moon through its cycle and the phases of your own menstrual cycle, you will start to see patterns emerging and be able to more effectively plan your life accordingly, based upon your predominant female archetype, the season you are in and how much energy you have on a given day. Moon calendars or journals showing the moon cycle can be a helpful support for this.
While nowadays it’s unlikely that your menstrual cycle will follow the cycle of the moon as women’s did in days gone by, by identifying where the two cycles overlap will enhance your experience of your monthly cycle through the corresponding increasing or decreasing intensity of the energies you feel. Being aware of your feminine energy and superpowers at any given moment will help you to efficiently use your time and energy.
Miranda Gray, in her book Red Moon, talks about the two traditional menstrual cycles: Red Moon (bleeding with the Full Moon and ovulating with the New Moon) and White Moon (bleeding with the New Moon and ovulating with the Full Moon). She suggests that the different bleed and ovulation cycles have much to do with our purpose and Dharma and the gifts we are sharing out in the world, as well as what is going on in our lives. Over our menstruating years and beyond, we change rhythms and patterns as women between these two cycles.
We’ll write a fuller blog on this fascinating topic later but to summarise:
White Moon: As the Earth is generally more fertile during the Full Moon when you’re ovulating, the White Moon cycle is associated with fertility and motherhood, and you’ll likely feel a surge in your intuition during your bleed and will need to withdraw for nourishment and self-renewal. In other words, you’ll have given the month your all so now it’s your time.
Red Moon: In ancient times, the Red Moon cycle, where you bleed with the Full Moon, was linked to Shamanism, high priestesses, and healers and it was thought that women were focusing their darker, more creative menstrual energies outwards in order to be able to nourish and teach others from their own experiences. The Red Moon cycle is associated with being more focused on self-growth, development, mentorship and creativity.
In her book Dragontime, Luisa Francia explains what experiencing bleed time at various phases of the moon may signify:
- Waxing Moon: Time to think, learn, read, make new discoveries and receive information from other women. Inward. Self-nourishing.
- Full Moon: Time to learn how to transform energy, turn rage into creative action and belly cramps into sensuousness. Outward. World nourishing.
- Waning Moon: Time to create in the world what you have already created in your imagination; time to substantiate your discoveries, verify knowledge, develop plans and projects and stabilise existing conditions. Outward. World nourishing.
- New Moon: During this time anxieties, memories and experiences may appear, eager to be dealt with. It is a time for healing. Inwards. Self nourishing.
As you’ll already be aware, the two key phases of the moon are the New Moon (or Dark Moon), when she’s not visible from Earth, and the Full Moon, when we see her in all her glory.
The New Moon is the time to set an intention for the month ahead. It’s a time to step away from our very Yang way of living, the pushing, striving and achieving of modern life, and relax and focus inwards, connecting with yourself and your dreams and desires. It’s equivalent to the winter of your monthly cycle and the Crone (or Wise Woman) female archetype.
If you ovulate with the New Moon, rather then it being a bleed time for you, it will be a time of creation, a time of birthing the mysteries of the inner darkness out into the wider world.
The quietness of the New Moon coupled with that time of inner creation can result in a potent mix, inviting deep awareness to this time and a level of consciousness that can help you shine a light on shadows and desires and bring them forth into the light.
The New Moon is a tool for reflection and self-enquiry, allowing you to check in with yourself and your life and whatever it is you want to focus on for the next month, for the year, as the seasons change. This time of death and rebirth helps to encourage us to start to make some real tangible changes. You might choose to set an intention around something specific at this time, such as financial abundance, or you could set an intention around developing a quality, such as patience or self-compassion, but let it come from your heart.
And then working with the moon as she moves through her cycle, as she grows into her fullness, we have time to reflect upon and relax into our intention. She firstly develops into a slim crescent and then moves towards her first quarter, and as she grows there becomes this growing desire in us to take action on our intentions. As she becomes fuller and grows, we move forward too, trusting that the perfect intention will come to fruition at the perfect time.
Half way through her cycle, the moon will be at her fullest. The Full Moon is often seen as a time of high energy, of action, a time for review, looking back over the first half of the month and looking forward to the next New Moon.
For those bleeding with the Full Moon, rather then ovulating, this time can be one of sharing and self-actualisation. Often women who bleed with the Full Moon are wise women, enchantresses, circle leaders, those sharing women’s wisdom and teachers sharing their gifts with the world. Perhaps the energy of the Full Moon when they bleed gives them more energy to do the work they do out in the world.
This Full Moon time opens up space for us to reflect. How has the intention you set at the last New Moon developed? Does it feel right for you right now?
The Full Moon is the time to move forward with your intention if it feels right, but if it doesn’t it’s a time to release it in its current form and change course for the second half of the month.
Wherever you are in your life, the Full Moon is a time for release; a time to focus on what you’re holding on to and let it go; a time for action. It’s the summer of your menstrual cycle, the Mother female archetype, a high energy time, and even if we bleed at this time we are releasing in one way or another.
We hold onto all sorts of things that no longer serve us – from emotions, thoughts, feelings and memories to clutter at home and clothes that no longer fit us.
As a way of letting go and moving on, you might want to carry out a Full Moon Letting Go Ceremony.
You could wash it all away in the bath or shower, in the sea, by dancing outside in the rain or through your tears. Or alternatively, you could burn it away. On a piece of paper, writing down what no longer serves you and burning it on the fire or in a candle flame; all the better if you’ve got a group of friends around you and can celebrate the release.
How does that feel? Lighter?
You’ll now have more space for your New Moon intention and will probably notice a shift as the new fills the space left by the old.
As the moon begins to wane towards the next New Moon, it’s a good time to receive the rewards of your intention with gratitude, reflect and give thanks. Before starting the process all over again. We are doing this already as our energy shifts during our menstrual cycles but by bringing an extra level of awareness to the process and being intentional with our choices and where we choose to put our energy, we can bring more awareness to this process of creation and surrender during which we can learn how best to cherish and nourish ourselves, when to declare ourselves, find our voice and speak it, and when it is time to draw in and get real with ourselves and to surrender to stillness, to rest and incubate ideas ready to start the creation process all over again in tune with the ebbing and flowing cycle of the moon and how that interacts with our own unique menstrual cycle.
If you would like to learn more about working with your own feminine intuition and the moon or your menstrual cycles, contact me to find out more about my Women’s Moon Circle or menstruality mentoring and support.
I specialise in working with women one to one and enjoy being part of their journey of reconnection and self-discovery. I support women to find more balance and harmony in their lives by deepening their inner connection to their own body’s needs, helping them cope pre-conception, with fertility issues, prenatally, postnatally or during times of transition, grief or loss and helping alleviate the symptoms of menstruation, perimenopause or menopause.