Updated: Jun 28, 2020
From the archives: Understand how the moon affects the female cycle, and why menstruation is oh so powerful.
Before there were street lamps, overhead lights, and a vast variety of screens projecting artificial light, humans only came into contact with natural light. By natural light, I mean sunlight and moonlight.
This natural light dictated and balanced our natural human rhythms, from when we went to sleep and woke up, to when our menstrual cycles took place. Environmental rhythms are directly correlated to how and when hormones are secreted in the body, and modern day contaminants have affected this.
For example, the artificial blue light from our screens suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep before bedtime—keeping us up long after the sun has gone down. In a similar way, nighttime light pollution in cities, such as the bright lights on buildings, has been linked to ovulation disorders, meaning strong nighttime lighting could even affect fertility overtime.
Before all these artificial lights existed, ancient cultures noticed a correlation between menstruation and the lunar cycle (both cycles occurred over a period of about 28 days). These cultures long celebrated the link between the period and the lunar cycle—noting that women shared a connection with the natural world in a way men did not. For this reason, women were respected as great healers, mothers, and wisdom carriers of sacred traditions and knowledge.
Since societies back then lived in tribes, the women of the tribe would bleed together—the same way women in the same household or on the same dormitory floor still do today. So long ago, every full or new moon served as a time of solidarity among the women of the tribe, as they shed their uterine lining together, and made space for yet another new cycle of life.
Today, many scientific studies either refute or support this idea of a shared relationship with the lunar cycle and the menstrual cycle. But with all the light pollution in today's cities, the blue light from our devices, and the artificial hormones contaminating our food, how could this natural connection with the moon still exist as it once did?
Spoiler alert: With intention and awareness, it still does exist, despite all man-made contaminants, because nature, like any woman, is strong as hell.
I still bleed with the moon cycle, and I have many friends who do too. Regaining this connection to the natural ebb and flow of nature requires a purposeful choice to reconnect with our own bodies and the natural world around us.
Most women bleed on the new moon, a time of new beginnings, and ovulate on the full moon, a time of great nourishing. A smaller group of women will experience the inverse, bleeding on the full moon and ovulating on the new moon. There is no need to sync your cycle with the lunar cycle, the syncing already exists. You just need to tap back into a relationship with yourself. Good ways to do this include: spending more time in nature, working on your relationship with artificial light, and slowly healing any hormonal imbalances you are experiencing with natural methods.
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