Did you wake today full of vim and vigour? Did you wake full of energy? Did you bounce out of bed full of motivation, joy and happiness? Or did you wake feeling, glum, feeling low? Did you wake thinking what is the point of getting out of bed today? Yesterday did you get lots done, were you super productive and feeling super proud of yourself for all you achieved? Or did you sit on the sofa doing nothing? Crying, cuddling the dog?
I received an email earlier this week from someone asking me about tracking her moon cycle. I’m really aware that charting and tracking our monthly cycle, keeping a moon diary has become more popular and more common for women. I feel like it is becoming more mainstream to talk about how we feel during the month, what effect our cycle has on our mood. There are some wonderful books, some have been around for a while now, two authors I particularly rate are Lucy H Pearce and Alexandra Pope, but I encourage you to see who resonates with you. Although, I would add as an aside here when talking to a friend the other day we were asking is it more mainstream? Are more women talking about it or is it just the field we work in and the people we associate with?
I felt like I came to the party late in my bleeding years; but the thing to remember here is that even after we stop bleeding our body still has a cycle, we still wax and wane just as the moon does. It is no secret that there is a connection between the lunar cycle and a woman’s body. Let’s face it we are made up of something like 60% water. I say it’s no secret but am aware that some people do disagree with this idea. Just look at the impact of the moon on the tides, there is documented research about the moon and the effect it has on some animals. Anyways back to us women and our post bleed years, and the transitional months, years of the peri-menopause.
The question is what do we do when our bleeding becomes irregular? When we step into the transitional stage of peri-menopause when we don’t know when our next bleed is coming, although we do don’t we? When it’s nearly here we see and feel the changes!
There are two ways of tracking our moon cycle, of tracking how we wax and wane with the moon. First off I want to say here there is no wrong or right way. Often we will find it stated that we should bleed at the New Moon or Dark Moon and ovulate at Full Moon. I am pleased to say that we do seem to be stepping away from this theory, and this does make me very happy we have enough going on in society telling us women what we should and shouldn’t do what is right what is wrong.
One way of tracking ourselves with the moon is to take New Moon as Day 1 (If you came on my Moon and You workshops you’ll perhaps remember this) and counting the days until the next New Moon. A thing to note here is that it does shift slightly the lunar cycle is in fact 29.5 days. The second way is to take our Natal Moon as Day 1. Our Natal Moon is what phase the moon was at on the day you were born. This can easily be found out on the internet (how did we survive before the internet?!) There are days when it really isn’t my friend but I do appreciate it does have benefits, although as a child I did love an encyclopaedia! Many happy hours were spent flicking through them dipping in and out pages of flags, a list of the capital of each country and so on. Anyhoo back to the moon. Our Natal Moon holds many secrets, which we will save for another day. Jane Hardwicke-Collings mentions our Natal Moon in her workshops. Awen Clement mentions it in her book Moon Wise and the idea of using this to chart your moon cycle. Just as Full Moon is opposite New Moon, our Natal Moon also has her opposite.
Over the last year I have favoured charting with my Natal Moon rather than the New Moon. I have found for me that it shows a “truer” picture of how my mood, energy, creativity, ebbs and flows, waxes and wanes. I was aware of the impact the moon had on me but it just felt slightly out of kilter if you like. My Natal Moon is two days after New Moon, Crescent Moon, it is hence the slightly out of kilter.
Next question how do we track/chart our Moon Cycle? Well that is entirely up to you, referring back to the no wrong way or right way. The right way is what works for you and you might find this is a combination of different ideas. You many want to write rambling notes in a journal, a word or two in a diary, elaborate drawings and paintings. It really is a personal choice and you might well find that where you are in your cycle has an impact on how you wish to chart. You may find that when you are in your winter you want to just write one word, in your summer you may find yourself writing pages and pages, with doodles and colour and all sorts. Take time to find your way. The longer you chart the easier it will be to see a pattern, three months is usually a key time for seeing a pattern beginning to form.
Now the question I’ve been asked before is what is the point? I can’t just think oh its New Moon next week that means I’m going to be in a bad/sad/good mood. But if you know that at a certain time you are going to be feeling a certain way then you can put this to good use. If you know that you will be creative then that is the time to get the paints/sewing machine/knitting needles what ever out. If you know that at a certain time you might feel irritable, less tolerant then that is the time to take yourself off quietly and be alone. Instead of picking that same old fight about the washing up, cooking, blah blah, acknowledge where you are in your moon cycle and walk away. There are times obviously when we need to have a discussion about what is bothering us but to quote a good friend of mine “know when to pick your battles”. A good example is I know that there is a time in my moon cycle when I am at my creative peak, but the opposite to this is a time when I can sit at the sewing machine and nothing will go right, so what do I do? Unless I have to be sewing at that time for a job I have a deadline to meet I leave well alone. Tracking our moon cycle becoming in tune with how we wax and wane can lead to a much more efficient ,effective and harmonious life both in work and home.
A lot of the books on the market and a lot of the information available on social media, internet and so on does link the moon with our menstrual cycle. If you are interested in working with the moon but aren’t bleeding for whatever reason, two books that I personally like are the aforementioned Moon Wise and Lunar Abundance by Ezzie Spencer PhD. There are many books available but these are two that I particularly like. They are both very different, Lunar Abundance does mention our menstrual cycle briefly at the beginning and I think in one or two of her anecdotal stories, but essentially she talks about the yin and yang of the moon, the energy when to rest and when to be out there. She has ideas of moon rituals, questions to reflect on, prompts and so on. Again if you’ve been on my Moon and You sessions it might well be a book you remember. She works with the moon cycle from New Moon to Full Moon and back round again. Until I mentioned this book earlier this week I had completly forgotten that she has a website http://www.lunarabundance.com/free-resources/ with downloads and all sorts. One thing that I like about this book is she encourages you to sink into your physical body and see how it feels, really feels. Many women I have worked with have said to me that although they no longer bleed their body does still change physically throughout their cycle just as it used to and exercises in this book encourage you to really listen to your body.
Moon Wise is more a year book in the second half Awen takes us through each month, bringing us the many names for each of the moon, beautiful insight to the energy of each moon, she invites us to consider what that may mean to us with journaling prompts whether that be writing or painting or something else. An open invite to consider each month, each moon “its own energy, its own purpose, focus and attributes….” I think one of the reasons that this book really resonated with me is that she makes a point of saying that she is deliberating not going into menstruation and fertility “because this text is intended to be accessible to everyone”
There is a whole wealth of information and knowledge out there about tracking and charting our cycle when you are bleeding, some but not so much if you are not bleeding (or not so much that I’ve come across). It is something that I recommend, if you feel unsure, I invite you to try it for 3 months and see where it takes you.
Want a helping hand, a bit of guidance, mentoring, let me know and I’m more than happy to chat and work together.
Finally, I just want to say thank you to the person who sent me the email on Monday, although I think my reply to you might have been more eloquent than some of this blog, thank you for the inspiration it had been dancing around my brain but you made it happen.