Moon cycle and periods + your energy, explained

Moon cycle and periods - illustration of several lunar phases
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Do the moon cycle and periods sync up? Should you try to track and align your periods with the moon? You can, but following a moon cycle tracking chart isn’t just linked to when you get your period–it can also help explain the natural ebbs and flows of your energy throughout your cycle.

What is the moon cycle and why should I care about the lunar calendar?

So, sometimes people kind of roll their eyes when they hear about following a lunar calendar or the moon cycle and periods or energy. It sounds really out there, but there’s actually science and history behind it. First, let’s consider that menstruation stems from Latin and Greek words for “moon” and “month.”

Now, think about the natural flow of tides we see in bodies of water. Tides are energy, and the reason we have a tidal force is because of the sun, but mostly, the moon’s gravitational pull on the earth. We are also affected by gravity, and women’s bodies are up to 60% water. So, it makes sense that our bodies’ fluids also follow the moon’s gravitational force. From a biological standpoint, men’s bodies function on a single 24-hour rotation of the moon on its axis. Women’s bodies operate on the 28-day lunar cycle. Twenty-eight days equals the amount of time it takes the moon to circle the earth and it’s also about the length of a typical menstrual cycle.

Fascinating, but how does the moon’s phases affect our energy? During each phase of the lunar cycle, the gravitational pull of the moon changes. As a result, the energy of tidal forces change in predictable ways. So does the energy in our bodies. This makes the moon cycle really helpful in understanding and anticipating when we, ideally, need to dial it down or when we’ll have the energy to accomplish more.

How do the moon cycle and periods align? What can I expect with my energy levels during my cycle?

The moon cycle and periods can align because of the gravitational forces in play by the moon and the sun. Like some phases of the lunar calendar are less energetic or more energetic, so are we and so are the things happening in our bodies.

The new or dark moon

If your menstrual cycle is fully aligned with the moon, you’ll get your period during the dark moon or the new moon. This is called the white moon cycle. Consider how you feel on your period. Oh, I’m tired. I need to rest. I’m not digesting things as well. I don’t feel like doing anything. This isn’t the best time of the month to organize, plan, or kick off a project. Trying to do these things works against the natural energy flow of our cycles. During this particular phase of the moon, it feels best to our bodies to turn focus inward and rest and reflect.

Waxing moon

From the new moon, your energy increases as you approach a waxing moon (which is halfway to full). During this time, your estrogen levels rise and your energy and motivation goes up too. This phase is ideal for turning your reflection and evaluation from the new moon into ideas. You start to feel like making plans again and taking action.

Full moon

The full moon phase of the lunar cycle is said to be the most powerful. When you get to the top of the full moon, your energy is the highest. The high energy you have in this phase is associated with ovulation and a rise in estrogen and progesterone. Now’s the ideal time for creativeness, to make connections, and to be visible.

Waning moon

During the waning moon, your body is getting ready to complete its cycle and you’re close to getting your period (which is day one of your cycle). In your life, this time is so good for wrapping things up: tying up loose ends or closing out projects. If you’re not going to complete anything during this time of low energy, work with your cycle to postpone it during your period and hold off until your energy starts to build with the waxing moon.

How come the moon cycle and my periods don’t sync up?

It’s really easy to get out of rhythm with the moon and off balance in general. If your stress is up, you’re not eating well, you’re cramping or having PMS, have taken hormonal birth control, or if you’re having any life issues at all–which we all do–then your menstrual cycle might be irregular or shift out of alignment. Sometimes, trauma–especially types of reproductive trauma–can make us disassociate from what we’re feeling in our body during our cycle and that can cause us to be out of alignment.

Will it hurt you to not follow the moon’s calendar? No. But it means your energy will be off compared to your cycle, and that can be difficult. Once you start tracking your cycles on the calendar, it’s really interesting to see the energy patterns that show up after a few months. You begin to understand why you’re struggling in some situations. Like it’s a full moon and my kids have a crazy amount of energy and I can’t deal. But instead of ovulating during the full moon and being at the highest energy point of your cycle, you realize you are at your lowest point of energy during the month because you have your period. Of course it’s going to feel more difficult to parent in that instance.

What are some of the best charts for tracking the lunar cycle?

There are a lot of different options for tracking the moon cycle (here’s mine) and your period–and with certain trackers, you can record all types of things in relation to the moon: how you feel about work, emotions, energy, libido, or how you physically feel. Once you see your patterns, you can work with your body to re-align with the energy of the moon.

How do I get more aligned with the moon?

Some simple things you can do to realign your connection are watching what you ingest (toxins, xenoestrogens, news consumption), womb meditation, vaginal herb steaming, Reiki, yoni eggs, and eating seasonally. What’s really helpful is to see where you are. Depending when you get your cycle and what it’s like, it can indicate a dosha imbalance. (Doshas are the three forces that make up your particular constitution.)

If you are irregular and it’s scanty flow, you might have a vata imbalance. Being really regular and getting migraines usually is a pitta imbalance. And if your kapha is imbalanced, you might have really thick blood flow, depression, sore breasts, and a lot of bloating. Once we understand which imbalance you are dealing with, we can work from there to pull it back into balance.

Erica Snyder, Certified Ayurvedic Wellness Coach
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