Luna Living: Reclaim Your Cycle
What is Cyclical Living or Luna Living as I like to call it? Luna Living is a way of aligning your body, intentions, routines, rituals, thoughts, and actions in a way that is harmonious with the cycles of natural world, the Moon (Luna), and your body.
This way of living is not something new, our ancestors followed the Cosmos for guidance about when to plant their crops, when to harvest, and even what professions would best suit members of their tribe depending on the astrological placement at the time of both conception and birth.
The cycles of the Moon also synchronizes with women's menstruation cycle, especially when women follow the natural rhythms of day and night. Women's Moon time used to be acknowledged, respected and held sacred. Indigenous women would go with other women in their tribe to a Moon Lodge, a sacred space away from the rest of their tribe. It was there that they were, free of taking care of others and responsibility for, their children, cooking, harvesting, and other tasks. Other members of the tribe would prepare them food. Allowing the women to have space to reflect, meditate, rest and fully the process this sacred experience.
During this time it was believed that women received great wisdom and understanding. These messages were received during meditation and dreaming time. Their blood was viewed as a sacred material and could be used as an offering to Mother Earth for all that she supplies. The women would then come back to their tribes rested and would then counsel their tribe members offering them the messages they received from Mother Earth.
This act of retreating during this time, slowing down, going within has been lost for many women. This has brought a deep disorder into families, communities, and societies as a whole. Giving an opportunity to other members of the community besides the women to be develop their divine feminine essence could swing a balance back into many of these incongruent interrelated dynamics.
Unfortunately our modern societies have completely twisted this sacred rite into something dirty, and impure. We use tampons and pads that are full of synthetic chemicals which we take in internally through one of the most absorbent parts of our bodies. Periods were made into something of shame and disempowerment, the opposite if what our menstrual cycle is! We have been programmed this way to take our power as women away. There has been a resurgence of women connecting back to their cycle, especially with books like, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom by Dr. Northrop, A Time to Celebrate by Joan Morais, and Honoring Mensuration; A Time for Self-Renewal by Lara Owen.
I believe with the big shifts happening in the world we live that there will be a resurgence of people going back to the nature and rediscovering the divine order. The way our indigenous brothers and sisters lived. They used nature as their ultimate teacher. Perhaps curiosity will stoke a flame that will lead us back to ourselves and our innate connection to the Earth.
Whether you are in your child bearing phase or not we all go through cycles. Everyday is a reminder of this. We feel those peaks and valleys during our day. When we put our bodies in a natural environment they align with phases of the sun and the moon. The moon reflects the sun as well and communicates with the natural world, influencing water, births, plant life, animals, the weather, and more.
The luminous light of the moon teaches about how to reflect, intend, release, and create. At the different phases there are opportunities to dive into these aspects and continually question if it is aligned with what you are striving to embody, express, and create. By bringing intentional rituals and reverence into these times you can fuel a deep balance and trust in the rhythm of your life.
How does the Moon cycle mirror women's menstruation cycle? The New Moon can be thought of a time of darkness, the unknown, winter, this time is also associated with the time you are bleeding. The first day you begin to bleed is when your cycle begins, usually you'll stop bleeding around your 6th day. You may feel like you want to alone, hormones are at their lowest point. Which leads to the shedding of your uterine lining. This is a time of retreating, reflection.
No matter what stage you are in your womanhood its a time to get clear on what you need to shed so you can give birth to whatever is emerging from your depths. Time to slow down, get quiet and listen. Focusing on self-care, gentle exercise, it best to eat foods that are easy to digest so the body can devote its energy to the other processes that are in motion.
Interestingly the Follicular Stage in your cycle normally starts from about the 7th-13 day of your cycle. The first quarter moon happens 7.37 days after the New Moon. As most of us know the Lunar Cycle lasts about 29.5 days so if we divide it into 4ths that is how 7.37 days is calculated. The follicular stage is the time where your hormones estrogen and testosterone are rising. This gives rise you more clarity, energy, increase in libido, all happening right before your ovulating. It makes sense why this time would be associated with Spring.
We can utilize this rise of energy, by blending the insights that you received during the New Moon time and channel it into action. Celebrate the newness of this time, enjoying how the body feels revitalized. You may notice the body craving movement and more vigorous exercise. Because of higher levels of estrogen your appetite may be suppressed. This could be a time to play with intermittent fasting. By giving your body at least 12 hours between meals for example, dinner to breakfast your body has the time to focus it's energy on restoring cells, boosting immunity, and releasing wastes and toxins. Enjoy this time of renewal and revel in this freshly birthed energy.
Next we shift into the Ovulation Phase, which happens around the 12-15th day of your cycle. This is the shortest part of your cycle. You are actually fertile during this time, but only for a short amount of time. You're full bloom, exuding pheromones, skin is glowing. This is the time to let yourself shine, wonderful time to give a presentation, take the lead, speak up! This could be thought as Summer and the Full Moon.
The energy of the full moon can be intense so be aware of thoughts, intentions, and your exchanges. Invite play into your being, have fun with the fullness of your being, invite pleasure into your body in whatever form you are called to. Acknowledge and celebrate what you've created. Also take the opportunity to honestly reflect on what did not go your way or support you during the cycle and what actions you need to shift to do so.
Then we transition into the Luteal Stage, this is when your hormones and energy start to descend. Now that you've gotten clear on what you need to change this is your opportunity to release those negative patterns. It maybe helpful to think of yourself as a majestic tree in the height of Fall. Appreciate all your efforts, that led you to this expression. Then with the grace and beauty of an Oak tree gently letting it all go. Releasing any attachment and offering what you've created back to the Earth as a sentiment of your appreciation of all the she offers.
It is important to be compassionate making sure to not overload yourself with extra work during this time. Give yourself permission to dial back, perhaps practice asking for help. You may feel more sensitive, hormonal, so it is a good time to commit to mindfulness techniques, breath-work, and healing arts such as yoga and tai chi. Your body needs to be fueled up for the coming darkness so be sure to eat healthy fats, supporting your descent into lower levels of energy hormones.
The cycle continues up until the next New Moon. Many of us associate the emergence of light with the Summer Solstice as rebirthing. Our Celtic ancestors thought in opposite terms. The Winter Solstice was thought of as the emerging of life. The darkness was celebrated and honored as a time of gestation for the years to come. To come into divine harmony I believe we need to acknowledge our history and dive into its wisdom. By doing so we can heal the generational trauma that is embedded in our DNA. This undoing, and re-learning begins with you, one cycle at a time. Reclaim our blood as our lineage and the bond which connects us back to each other and Mother Earth.