How to Harness the Power of the Moon + Your Menstrual Cycle to Reach Your Goals
Today marks December’s New Moon, a time that can empower great change and help us manifest our goals. The fact that the moon reliably completes a cycle each month is also a strategic tool that we can harness, with just a little bit of self-reflection and paying attention.
As they say, the moon goes through four phases each month, and the female menstrual cycle aligns nearly perfectly with those phases. Why wouldn’t we pay attention to it? It’s a sacred recipe that helps us move forward to better health. Embedded in both the moon and menstrual cycle rhythms is a prescription for health.
The four phases of the moon correspond with four phases in a woman’s menstrual cycle—but if you’re not lined up with the lunar phases, there’s no need to try to reset yourself. Some people are opposite the moon, and that’s okay. Wherever your cycle is, is exactly where it needs to be.
But whether you’re synced up with the New Moon (you’ll be starting to menstruate this week if you are) or not, you can still utilize the power of the phases to create a better life. Here’s how.
Phase 1: New Moon/Menstrual Cycle
This first phase, which we’re entering now, is about a purification process. You’re literally shedding the lining of your uterus, and the moon is entering a symbolic phase called the “dark moon.” It’s when the moon’s light is absent from the nighttime sky, because it’s obscured by the sun. The moon is actually reflecting back the sun’s light to us. “There’s no distance between the moon and sun.”
Think of this as the New Moon, or Winter.
This is the time to set an intention, to have a goal that you want to focus on for the month. In terms of self-care, this is the time to begin manifestations, to use positive thinking. It’s about self-ownership, and getting clear on what you want to create.
It’s also a great time to hear from your body. Be receptive to listening and formulating an intention.
Phase 2: Waxing/Follicular
Phase 2 is all about action and excitement. For the moon, it’s starting to make its way back to a Full Moon, moving towards that bright night sky. In the female cycle, hormones are rising, being boosted from the purification process of your period.
This phase is characterized by: Energy (emotional and physical) rising, confidence rising, opening, swelling, greater interest in the outside world and exploration/discovery. Our cervical fluid is milky and creamy.
Think of this as the Waxing Moon, or Spring.
“Estrogen spikes,” and that causes a rebound in this follicular phase. Estrogen spiking also drives our need for connection, to build our tribe. You might feel more social this week, ready to have lots of outings and conversations. Estrogen propels relationships and communication as part of a drive to survive.
You’re also a little buffered in this week: You don’t feel pain in the same way because estrogen levels are higher. So you might physically feel better too.
Therefore, we may feel more upbeat and energetic with a focus on creation and putting things into action. What plans can you actualize to move your New Moon vision forward? To-do lists and creation come on full force here. What practical things are you doing to reach that intention you set during menstruation? Now is the time to prioritize goals and move towards them.
Phase 3: Full Moon/Ovulatory
This is the peak moment of a woman’s cycle. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not, your body is trying to win sperm and get that pregnancy. For all women, this power can be harnessed and funneled into other outlets. Prioritize those super competitive workout classes. Spin, run, exert yourself! This time of the month is about high impact and high energy.
This phase is characterized by: Strength and energy, communication at its height, emotionally soundness and security (hint: a great time to have difficult conversations!), stronger sexual arousal. Our cervical fluid has a slippery egg-white texture.
Think of this as the Full Moon, or Summer.
Therefore, this is a time to reap your cycle’s rewards and connect/celebrate with community. This phrase is bright, visionary, inspired and outward. What do you want to remember and honor during this time of birth and flourishing?
Phase 4: Waning/Luteal
The last phase is when your body is preparing for that menstrual shedding. That means it’s a good time to actively let go of that habit that isn’t helping you create the life you want. Think through, ‘What are the obstacles blocking me that I should shed or release?’
This phase is characterized by: Energy declining, a pull for restoration and quiet, inward leaning, preparing your tent, mood shifts, a desire for comfort, a sense of “dying” before rebirth. Our cervical fluid can have a sticky, tacky texture.
Think of this as the Waning Moon, or Autumn.
Therefore, we’ll be drawn back into a resting state with diminishing energy. The beauty of this time is that we are self-reflective, but also more detail-oriented. It is during this time that we return to the to-do list format, but rather than from a place of creation, we think about things that we’d like to clear or remove from our lives to make room for the new energy. What needs completion? Ask yourself, ‘Knowing what I know now, how do I intend for the next cycle to go?’
It’s also a time when your intuition gets turned way up. Any symptoms that you’re experiencing during this time are a wake-up call. Listen to those symptoms, whether they be headaches or sleepiness or pain. Tune into, ‘what is behind this symptom?’ and prioritize understanding. Figure out what habits you’ve been living in that aren’t creating your best life.
This might look like food sensitivities coming to light, or communication styles that aren’t serving you. Pay attention, because to understand where you’re going, you have to understand where you’ve been. In our masculine world, we’re taught to abandon ourselves by masking our symptoms. We’re taught to bulldoze subtlety and nuance, but the female cycle is all about the study of nuance, the study of self.
These four phases are your menstrual cycle. You aren’t “on your cycle” when you’re bleeding.
You are, in fact, always on your cycle.
You’re only bleeding or menstruating during 1/4 (ish) of it.
Harnessing the power of that study can not only inform you of your needs but it can also help you manifest your best life. The moon is as consistent as anything—it operates on this cycle every month like clockwork! And our bodies are cyclical and predictable like that too, if we can pay attention and draw understanding from them.
It’s also a study in resilience, to understand the rhythms our bodies go through. It’s easier to anticipate and cope with setbacks when we realize they relate to our rhythms. When things feel harder, when we’re paying attention to curveballs, we can see how they fit into the bigger picture and understand how we can bounce back.
It’s not a curse. It’s an extremely intelligent system that helps you understand yourself better—how to incorporate self-care rituals, how to overcome obstacles. It’s an investment in yourself to learn more about your body and take ownership of yourself.