By: Lydia Jarjoura
There was a time, before our mothers and our grandmothers and perhaps even their mothers, where all life and time was governed by the Menstrual cycle. Before artificial light, endocrine disrupting diets (processed foods) and the rise of hormonal birth control, most women would experience their period together on the New Moon and would ovulate at the Full Moon. This cycle is our default setting and, until recently, it is what controlled our cycles of rest, work, creativity, and play.
In fact, civilization’s way of tracking time was born out of the lunar rhythms of a woman’s monthly cycle, or Moon cycle. The origins of the word Moon, come from the word month and menses both in Old English and Greek. This is where we get the words month, menstruation, menarch, and many more words with “me”- to measure. The Lunar Calendar is what is innately inside each of us and, as women, many of us are beginning to remember this cycle, and to align our lives with it.
A woman’s cycle not only mirrors the phases of the Moon, but also the four seasons. The first season, or phase, is winter. This is the New Moon phase when the sky is black and Moon is dark. Like winter, when a woman is experiencing her New Moon phase, she is withdrawn. This is typically when a woman bleeds; her physical energy is low, but her creativity can reach the stars. During her New Moon phase, there is little distinction between intuition and logic. The veil is thinned between the Spirit and Earthly worlds.
After the darkness of winter during the New Moon, the light begins to grow. So we enter the Waxing Moon phase, or the springtime phase of a woman’s cycle. This is after bleeding stops and new energy begins to rise to the surface. Like fresh flower buds, a woman’s energy begins to awaken to the world around her. This is when senses are heightened and nature beckons. During the Waxing phase, the earth becomes ripe and calls to be walked upon with bare feet.
As the Moon’s light continues to grow, it becomes Full. During a woman’s Full Moon, or summer phase, her energy is at its height. Her body is fertile and her femininity flows. Just as we start to harvest the fruits of our summertime labor, this is the time when a woman tends to nurture others, more than herself. Practice self-care on the Full Moon, as you release what is no longer, to make room for what’s to come.
When summer ends, and the Full Moon has passed, the brightness starts to dim. This is a woman’s Waning Moon phase or autumn. Many women experience pre-menstrual symptoms during this time and, just as autumn arrives, we are invited to start to slow down and draw within. During this phase of a woman’s cycle, it’s important that she be gentle with herself. Just as if she were coming inside from the wet hot heat of summer, she must cool herself and calm her energy. During the Waning Moon, self-care is vital, so that energy can be conserved for the next phase, the New Moon phase, that starts the cycle over again.
Every woman who has ever existed has experienced these four Moon phases and four seasons within her body; whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual. When we can learn to live in alignment with these phases, we can truly start to flourish. In each of us is a New Moon Wise Woman, a Maiden of Spring, a Mother of Summer, and a Priestess of Autumn.
By learning about your sacred cycles, you can illuminate the essence of what it means to be a woman.
Photo credit: Lydia Jarjoura
Lydia Jarjoura is the founder of Lunar Nourishment: a holistic feminine health platform. Lunar Nourishment helps women live in alignment with their natural rhythms by providing guidance on menstrual care, fertility awareness, herbal + nutritional support, yoga, energy healing and more. Lunar Nourishment Moon Ceremonies happen each month to connect women from all walks of life as they work towards reclaiming their cycles.