Charting with the moon
Women have been using the moon as a tool to keep track of their cycles for literally ages. In fact it is thought that the first calendars sprung into being, as a result of women keeping track of the moon and their menstrual cycles.
"Chinese women established a lunar calendar 3000 years ago, dividing the celestial sphere into 28 stellar 'mansions' through which the moon passed. Among the Maya of central America every woman knew "the great Maya calendar had first been based on her menstrual cycles."" From The Woman's Encyclopaedia of Myths and Secrets by Barbara G Walker.
The year comprised of 13 lunar months (of 28 days) to make 364 days, plus one day to spare. When Christianity came into being, (diminishing old pagan ways and beliefs) the lunar calendar made way for the Roman Solar calendar which is what most western societies follow now. The months are changeable in length - 28, 29, 30 or 31 days depending on which month it is, and the moon and her phases no longer fit so neatly into the system.
Because of this, and the fact many of us live in cities, many women just don't pay that much attention to the moon and her cycles any more. Some young girls and young women get by, bleeding each (lunar) month without making the connection to the moon which so greatly influences their bodies.
Your period is highly affected by the moons movement. How it does so, is as yet, not known - at least not on a quantifiable scientific basis - it could be do with light, ionisation, electromagnetic energy, gravity - no-one has come to definite conclusions. But as the moon ebbs and flows so do you. So charting your menstrual cycle using the moon is a natural thing to do.
The beauty of knowing which phase of the moon you bleed with is:
- It is a potent visual reminder - all you need to do is look at the calendar and you can see which phase of the moon you are bleeding with and by observing the pattern that starts to emerge you can easily estimate and observe your fertile times as well.
Ovulation almost always occurs 14 days before the next bleed - 14 days is half the lunar cycle, which really easy to pick out on a calendar that keeps track of the moon. Its a good idea to note down fertile times (phases) on your calendar - use a different coloured pen to make it really stand out.
- Teaches you to look at the moon outside - Reinforce your connection with the moon by getting into the habit of looking outside.
- It can be an effective regulation tool - the moon naturally rules your menstrual cycle. By tuning into it - knowing which phase you bleed or ovulate on, and by taking the time to look at the moon outside, you can bring an awareness to yourself and your body. If you suffer from an irregular cycle tuning into the moon like this can help to regulate it back to a normal 29 days again.
- Helps you keep track of your natal lunar phase. If you know which natal lunar phase you were born under, then using a lunar menstrual calendar is essential. You can mark down your lunar fertile days on this calendar and keep track of all your fertile times in a month. If you don't know your lunar fertile times or need to know how you can change your cycle so you only have one fertile time per month see Personal Lunar Fertility Guides.
There are many advantages of keeping by the moon, but don't take my word for it. Give it a try - tune in, reconnect and see if it makes a difference to how you view your cycle and your body.
Written by Nadia MacLeod