I’ve been thinking a lot about this question lately: When women menstruate with the full moon are their bodies out of rhythm with the natural cycles? This question surfaced for me after reading Pink Elephant's interview with fellow moon-lover Sherry Rothwell, co-founder of Domestic Divas.
I love everything about what Sherry shares about how we can use the moon phases as a profoundly feminine blueprint for time-management. It's a piece of wisdom I love to teach too and she frames it in a truly compelling way. I encourage you to read the interview to see what I mean.
In Moon Goddess I call this embodied time-management tool moon cycle charting and I've been sharing it with women for a decade. And for a decade I have disagreed with Sherry on one essential point: That women who get their period with the full moon are out of sync with the lunar energies.
Part of the reason I say this is because I know many, many women who start their periods with the full moon rather than the new moon, including me. But the answer that I really love to share with my Moon Goddess students when this question comes up is: There are two traditional patterns women’s cycles can follow – the Red Moon cycle or the White moon cycle.
Download our free at-a-glance PDF to see the Red Moon vs. White Moon cycle.
You won’t find a lot of literature about women who cycle with the Red Moon. My guess is that’s because of what menstruating with the full moon represented in the past. According to Miranda Gray, this cycle was linked to the archetype of the seductress, the enchantress and the woman who knew how to wield healing power and magic. This was the kind of woman whose sexuality was applied to something ‘other than’ the formation of the next generation. She was considered by our patriarchal ancestors to be the ‘evil woman.’
In truth, the Red Moon cycle belonged to the medicine women, to the midwives, the magic-makers and the wisdom keepers of the community. These women were not focusing their feminine energies to give birth to children. Rather their energy was used to empower other women and their communities. The first time I read Miranda’s book Red Moon this idea really resonated with me. I saw myself as the healer-woman. The woman who dives deep into her depths to develop her self-awareness and then turns her energy out to help the world. I remembered my Great-Grandmother who was a medicine woman and a midwife. And I had a profound aha-moment. That’s why all my Dad’s brothers and sisters called me dadi-ma growing up! They saw me as their grandmother in more ways than they realized. Now I see too, because the Red Moon cycle is also known as the ‘Wise woman’s cycle.’ When a woman ovulates with the full moon her body is following the White Moon cycle. Her body acts as a perfect mirror for the fertility of the earth since the earth herself is most fertile under the light of the full moon. We know this because of bio-dynamic farming practices, which show us that when seeds are planted by the full moon, harvests are most abundant. The White Moon cycle represents the fertile power of women and was considered the cycle of the ‘good mother.’ These women were the ones who were celebrated in patriarchal times under the full moon fires with ceremony and fertility rites.
For me it’s very important to emphasize, whether you tend to menstruate with the full moon or new moon, that both cycles are expressions of the feminine energies and neither is more powerful or more “right” than the other. Instead, they each have their unique role to play in your life as a woman. If your body follows the White Moon cycle you might ask yourself – Are you desiring children? Do you spend a lot of time ‘mothering?’ If you said yes, that’s lovely. Your body is in harmonious balance with the natural fertility of the earth.
If you’re experiencing the opposite cycle where you ovulate at the dark moon and menstruate at the full moon I wonder – Do you desire self- exploration and self-expression? Has your role of mothering children completed? Or is it a role you're postponing for the future or not planning on at all?
Miranda Gray says, “A woman with the White Moon cycle, bleeding with the dark (new) Moon, becomes linked to the deepest levels of her awareness, reminding her that there exists more than just the world she sees, because she is the carrier of the seed of life. A woman with a Red Moon cycle, bleeding with the full moon, brings the energies and mysteries of her inner darkness out into the world around her as a gift and an offering of the depths of her learning.” Just beautiful isn’t it?
I'd also love you to know that our cycle has a tendency to change along with our life circumstances, emotions, ambitions and goals. I imagine that when I get married and start to plan for a family, my cycle will shift orientation to reflect the change of focus in my life. I don’t believe I’ll need to ‘do’ anything differently to make it happen.
What about you? Do you follow the Red Moon or the White Moon cycle? Do you feel a connection with the woman who is using her body’s gifts to serve the world or her family? Tell us your thoughts below…we’d be so happy to know!
==>>If you're trying to conceive on the Red Moon Cycle, make sure to read: How to get pregnant when your period lands on the full moon instead of the new moon.