There’re a lot of very poetic notions about menstruation and the lunar cycle.
Unfortunately, like a lot of people for whom endometrial tissue management is a regularly recurring problem, my cycle is not actually twenty eight days long. I felt kind of broken when I first realized this — even my mother told me that “women have either a twenty one or twenty eight day cycle.” (Haha, no. While twenty eight days is average, it is totally normal to have a cycle that is shorter or longer. Sometimes significantly so.)
So while I had the idea of tracking my cycle with the phases of the moon in the beginning (“Oh, it’s waning. Better stock up on Advil.”) this rapidly proved to be fruitless. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no information to be gained from it.
Every phase of the moon has its own attendant properties. The waxing moon increases, the waning moon decreases, the new moon is for beginning, and the full moon is fruition. Every ritual to honor one aspect must therefore, by necessity, honor the others — every full moon ritual has its roots in the beginnings represented by the new moon. And, like the cycle represented by the Wheel of Fortune in tarot, it continues without end, bringing forth each season.
I’ve noticed a correspondence between my biological cycle and where it falls in the lunar cycle. The full moon brings those times when I feel the most love and gratitude. The waning moon times have always been when I had something I needed to release from my life. The waxing moon times are times of promise and growth. The new moon times are times when it’s time to get off my ass and start some things.
I’m usually not able to do much when I’m dealing with cramping, bleeding, and elevated intracranial pressure, so it forces me into a few days of rest and reflection. I’m not of a mind to regard menstruation as particularly sacred or perform menstrual magick, but it’s a valuable time to get my head right and take a look at where I am in this cycle. It’s certainly better than feeling somehow “out of step” with the universe for not feeling the same direct lunar connection that others seem to feel.
How do the cycles of the moon play through your life?