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How the Phases of the Moon Impact Your Body & Mind

Whilst we don't know why, there are many observations and some correlations between behaviour, medical conditions and symptoms with the phases of the moon. It's unlikely to be the gravitational pull affecting the water in our cells (the physics doesn't quite stack up), it could be the impact of light on our circadian rhythm (although the floodlit false lighting of our streets and cities has made this difficult to tell) and it could be the changes in energy which disturb our sleep and therefore affect our mood and overall health. (Effects of Different Phases of the Lunar Month on Humans, Ujjwal Chakraborty, 2013. and Evidence that the Lunar Cycle Influences Human Sleep, Cajochen et al, 2013).

Even history cannot deny the mystical role the moon plays on us. The word "lunatic" is derived from multiple languages in reference to the madness or hysteria. From the Old English "monseoc," "lunatic" literally translates to “moon-sick"; and from the Latin word "lunaticus," which originally referred mainly to epilepsy and madness, as diseases thought to be caused by the moon.

I think this relationship is one of those amazing things that the complexities of millions of years of evolution will keep secret from us for a while longer even though we're desperate for science to unlock and explain it.

In astrology, the moon is considered female, presiding over our fertility, emotions, and monthly cycles. We are affected by her pull — receding and renewing as often as the tides. Each month, a woman’s body has the ability to cleanse and rejuvenate itself through menstruation. 

In Ayurveda, there is a cyclical sway of energy exists inside each woman to cause her to wax and wane in her energy with the moon. It used to be in traditional cultures, that women would menstruate together during the dark night of the new moon. Monica Yearwood writes for Gaia.com: 'During this time they would gather to support one another in a journey of deep introspection. During the night of the dark moon, when there is no moon in the sky, women are encouraged to look within and practice introspection. It is believed that her energy, in relationship to the moon, is at its lowest point. To safe guard her well-being, she is advised to spend time in quietude, rest, and inward reflection. When the moon is full, women are at their highest point energetically. She is encouraged to be more externally expansive, to get involved socially, and to finish long-term projects'. 

Phases of the Moon

Click on the picture-table below to enlarge and understand how you may feel during each phase and the kinds of activities that are aligned with phases in order to capitalise on their energy.

The entire cycle where the moon rotates around the earth is 29.5 days long, similar to the average length of a women's menstrual cycle (said to be 28 days, but it varies greatly). In the 1980s, Winnifred B. Cutler published a study in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology that studied 312 university women who were menstruating. She noted that 69 out of the 312 women whose menstrual cycle duration approaches the cycle duration of the earth's moon (29.5 days) tended to ovulate in the dark phase of the lunar period which includes the half-cycle of the month from last quarter, through new moon, to first quarter. Women showing irregular menses also tended to ovulate during the dark phase of the lunar period.

In these modern times are aren't so exposed to nature and the moon, nor do we live together in close quarters with groups of females like in a tribe, and so we feel the effects of the lunar cycle less and less on our bodies. If you don't already chart your own menstrual cycle I highly recommend you do this. Using an app like Clue or MyFlo is a great insight into your female and reproductive health. Combine this knowledge with a chart like this one, plus the information in my picture below and you'll be forearmed and forewarned of the mood and possible challenges that may be heading your way so you can overcome them!!  

Read my blog What Do The Sun & Moon Have To Do With My Health? to understand some tools to help you with the stronger effects of the new moon particularly during equinox.