For thousands of years women, have been aligned and tuned to the moon and its cycle, whether aware of it or not. Not only physically but on an energetic and psychological level also. As women we are cyclic by nature – our menstruation cycle plays a very influential role in our life, far more than the physical bleeding and ovulation.
As women of the modern day we have grown to dislike and in some cases detach completely from this part of our selves, unaware of the effect this can have on our body, energy levels and divine feminine spirit.
When we hear the word “menstruation” we are programmed to think dirty, painful, nuisance, inconvenient, burden, messy, a curse. Something to try and hide or literally “plug up” and forget about.
Yet in ancient cultures, our first moon time – menarche, was something so sacred and magnificent, it was celebrated and honoured. To step into this first stage/phase of womanhood claimed by you through rite of passage, was a beginning of a journey with support and guidance from all women in your circle or tribe. You were initiated into the sacred circle and at moon/menses time each month you would work with the blood energy, resting, learning, sharing stories and insight, and meditating.
I know which is more appealing to me!
My perception from the Ancient Women wisdom teachings –
As women we develop through 3 main stages/phases – maiden, mother and crone. This is also referred to the Triple Goddess. The Goddess energy that corresponds to and represents the cyclic feminine aspect of the moon and it’s phases. I believe this Goddess trio incorporates the 3 main stages and anything in between. There are many Goddess Archetypes that represent these different stages and is a personal choice with whom you would work with in each stage, bearing in mind no matter what age we are we can embody any stage goddess, as required. When referring to the Triple Goddess I prefer to perceive her as one entity, for the purpose of honouring the moon’s feminine energy regardless of what stage we are experiencing. I would also like to mention the phase that I believe is becoming more predominant in modern day – the priestess/queen stage, that has always been there, of course, but I feel needs more focus. I also like to refer to this stage as the Humble Warrior.
DARK MOON PHASE/CHRONE STAGE/MENSTRUATION
When women in ancient cultures/tribes bled, they bled together at DARK MOON – all in sync. This was the time they came together in circle. Dark Moon/Menstruation was, and still is, the phase of menstruation and moon that we are lowest on energy, (no surprise there!) and most vulnerable, seeking refuge.
This is our time of “retreat”, withdrawing into our own inner world seeking intuitive insight and working with spiritual connection, receiving messages through dreaming, clairvoyance, working with cards and meditation to name a few. It is also a time to share stories and experiences seeking advice and support from other women, creating a container of sisterhood through a community circle or with women in your life you trust and feel safe with. Taking the time to practice this feminine act of self-nurturing not only deepens our connection to our innermost self, our gnosis (inner knowing), we also replenish our energy container to serve (in whatever way that is) those around us from a presence of alertness, love, patience, guidance, compassion, rather than fatigue, frustration, judgment (including of self) and comparisons. This is also the death part of the cycle of birth-Life-death-rebirth – in our monthly cycle. Time to truly release or shed what needs to be, so we emerge a wiser version of ourselves. A potent time of the cycle to set our intentions, through a ritual that works for us, for the next cycle, and beyond.
I would also like to mention when women practiced this ritual in ancient times, the men totally respected this and took charge of the day to day duties, knowing full well they would benefit as a whole community from the wisdom that came from this monthly ritual.
Now obviously in modern society, we all don’t bleed together at full moon, for various reasons. Some of us don’t bleed at all. Some of us bleed at various times during the moon’s cycle. If you don’t bleed (including post menopause) flow with the moon’s cycle. If you bleed at different times, I would suggest (this works for me) work with your own cycle, but keep aware of the moon’s cycle. This can be confusing trying to track both, but I go with what feels right at the time, honouring my feelings ALWAYS. If it feels forced don’t do it! Eg. If it is full moon and you are menstruating, friends are heading out on the town and you really, really want to join, but you feel low on energy and your body is giving the signal it just wants to rest – YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO!
The first step in this process is GIVING YOURSELF PERMISSION to take this time for yourself. Let go of western society’s paradigm of the modern woman who can power through anything constantly – who benefits from this?
WAXING MOON PHASE/MAIDEN STAGE/PRE-OVULATION
This is the phase that we begin fresh and vibrant ready to experience life’s pleasures again, getting in touch with our senses and sensual pleasure, being curious, creative, including creative expression, chilling out with gal pals, going on an adventure, trying something new. Also time for self-pampering if you prefer your own company- pedicure, massage, new hairstyle. Time to possible start something new, be it a project or an activity. Setting new goals for yourself. Really going with the flow of life allowing yourself to be open to anything, be willing to try.
Seeking a new perspective or understanding from within.
FULL MOON/MOTHER PHASE/OVULATION
We all feel the effects of the full moon right? We are high in energy (if not us our kids make up for it!) wide awake, in CELEBRATION mode. Time to party up with your tribe! Or a fun night with the family/partner – really celebrating the fullness of life and connection with those you love. Celebration of what or who you have nurtured from birth, revelling in the joy of what has come to fruition, of that which you have put so much of your energy into.
This is also the time to bring into illumination what needs to be illuminated, whether it be a shadow trait, something you’ve been working on in yourself, an area wanting attention or some “light shed” on it.
Also allowing yourself to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how minor you believe they are. Last full moon I celebrated that I went 1 week without sugar in my tea and coffee! That small acknowledgment for yourself is a fantastic self-love act, which is so beneficial. We focus way too much on what we didn’t achieve or get done, disempowering ourselves. TIME TO CHANGE THAT!!
This full moon manifestation energy is there for you to utilise – CREATE your inner desires, your intent from Dark Moon, or whatever flows from your heart.
Also a potent time for sacred union of masculine and feminine, within and without, polar opposites joining together in harmony creating blissful union and balance, taking time to appreciate and connect dissolving opposites creating a moment of Oneness.
WANING PHASE/QUEEN STAGE/PRE-MENSTRUAL
So we’ve hit the peak of the cycle, now time to start the decent. Time to REFLECT and make the conscious decision of what is in your own best interests, deciding what to keep that which supports or accommodates your personal growth and what to let go of that doesn’t, if anything. What serves you, what doesn’t. A bit of enquiry and reflection on the path you are on. Are you content where you are?
Fully acknowledging the lessons learned and taking responsibility for your part of the process, with the understanding mistakes are part of the learning process, whether your own or someone else’s – not to be clung onto (creating guilt, victimhood or self-sabotaging issues). This can sometimes be an easy step. Sometimes this can be quite confronting and a difficult task of this phase, taking some time/a few cycles to do. However, it is important to practice this part of the cycle in preparation for the decent into dark moon/menstruation phase.
The way I relate this to the Queen stage/Humble Warrior is at this time we are able to see through the illusion of a situation, taking the time to see the true nature or the cause. We take appropriate action where required, but not react on impulse, from fear or our ego feeling threatened. Facing what we have been avoiding, taking the “high road” in a situation rather than “add fuel to fire” by being drawn into drama (ego boosting), which is very energy depleting mentally, physically and emotionally.
Journaling is a great tool for this, putting pen to paper (even in the form of questions) allows your thoughts to be grounded/earthed creating more space (mentally) for receiving answers/insights/awareness in the Dark Moon period. This has been my experience. Through ongoing practice we become the Humble Warrior, in by belief, evolving spiritually in readiness for the wise woman stage of The Crone.
Just to mention this is the time our Wild Woman – Lilith shows her face, expressing her pent up anger and frustration. Those of us who menstruate may very well feel this at this time of the month right? Sometimes it is pointed out by others. If you do not bleed take note of your feelings at this time. It is up to us to be mindful and honour her presence in a healthy and pro-active way.
Consciously becoming attuned to the moon and menstruation correlation, and honouring by body’s natural feminine cycle, has created a shift in me that is deep and empowering. I also suffer less cramping and physical pain. I now can pretty quickly become aware of when I am not honouring the cycles enough by actions eg. lashing out at others, slipping into a state of victimhood, feeling fatigued, or just simple lack of patience – for anyone or anything!
May I suggest spending 5 -10 mins each night (or when you can) out in the moons light, use this as a simple meditative inquiry practice. Just taking a few deep breaths gazing at the moon, bringing your awareness to the shape, light and shadows. Saying a little prayer, poem, inquiry to the Tripe Goddess. At least this is a practice that can be easily carved out of your day to give yourself “A MOMENT”, a moment of acknowledgement of your Inner Goddess container of energy. A little check-in of your mental, emotional and physical state creating a deeper relationship with your body and an awareness of your internal states of being.
This is a summary of my perception in regard to the menstruation – moon correlation. There are also astrological influences, but this is a start for those who are seeking an initial connection to their Inner Circle of Goddesses and the Divine Feminine energy we all posses.
I will be sharing in more detail about the different stages of womanhood in coming posts.
For a PDF printout version of the different phases as below click here PHASES.