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The Moon Cycle and Your Cycle: What’s the deal?

The Moon Cycle and Your Cycle: What’s the deal?
Why the connection between periods and the moon? 

It’s hard to ignore the very captivating fact that both the lunar phases and an average menstrual cycle last 28 days! Plus, the term ‘menstruation’ is derived from the Latin mensis, meaning month and connects to the Greek word mene, meaning moon or how about the Old English word for menstruation, monaðblot, meaning ‘month-blood’! [1]. Throughout history and across various cultures, rituals and practices have existed to celebrate and honour this fascinating correlation between menstrual cycles and the phases of the moon. And rightly so! We love any menstrual practice that celebrates the power of our monthly shedding of the uterus lining.

For example, the traditional practice of Ojibwe culture saw women from the community spend time away in a secluded ‘moon lodge’ during menstruation. Ojibwe women would take time to reflect on their vital roles in the community and take a much-deserved break to rest and revitalise [2]. Historically for example, women who got their period on a full moon (also known as the Red Moon Cycle) could harness their ability to take care of other women around them as well as their own creativeness through art, way of life, business etc. [3] Fascinating.

So what are the Lunar Phases associated with our cycle?
When googling this question, I found myself launched into a whole new world of lunar phase descriptions, explanations and ideas, which is very interesting but left me with many more questions (classic Google search!). Essentially, just as there are four phases of a menstrual cycle (you can read about those phases in detail here!), there are four Lunar Phases that correlate with each of the phases of our cycle. As we see the moon change in form, menstruators experience the push and pull of changing hormones. The notion is to align your menstrual phases with the harmonising lunar phases.
Day 1-7 The Dark Moon/ Red Moon -Menstruation
Day 8-14 Waxing Moon - Follicular stage
Day 15-21 Full Moon- Ovulation
Day 22-28 Waning Moon-Luteal Phase

There are many suggestions out there about how to sync your cycle up with the moon phases, such as: simply being aware of the changing moon, making sure your room is nice and dark when sleeping and exposing yourself to as much natural light during the day or to trying out moon charting [4].

No matter how the correlation between the moon phases and menstrual stages is depicted, the main concept is to focus on honouring the varying phases of our monthly cycle, to connect with the wondrous moon and accept the changes that naturally occur with our bodies.

So...scientifically speaking, do our periods actually sync up to the moon?

Hmm, good question! Throughout history, there have been countless attempts to answer this question, with various findings. A very recent study by Clue, analysing over 7.5 million cycles, suggests that the menstrual cycle actually does not sync with the lunar cycle. Depending on the length of your menstrual cycle to that of the moon cycle the correlation will vary more or less for people along with other variables such as age [5]. You can check out the details of this study here! It may sound cool but it isn’t necessary to have your period sync with the moon phases– period on a new moon and ovulation on a full moon.  

However, regardless of the facts, here at hannahpad, we believe that practising mindful menstruation in any form, such as having healthier habits, spending more time in nature or switching to toxin-free period products are all positive means of personal care and practice ❤️ 

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