Cycles of the Moon, Flowers and Women

As I’ve learned more about the cycles of the moon, and why the moon is the symbol of feminism, I’ve started to understand my femininity at a deeper level. When compared to the sun that rises and sets in the same place every day, the moon seems a lot more complex. Her location in the sky changes, along with the amount of light that shines from her. While it’s easy to remember that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, it’s unlikely that anyone but a student of the moon would know her exact location and the time of her cycle on a given day.

She’s mysterious, and hard to understand. She changes.

Her movements in the sky shift the energy on earth; water is her devotee and ebbs and flows with her cycles.

I too, ebb and flow. My energy shifts. I want one thing one day, and the next day I don’t want it at all. I have high-tide times with lots of energy and movement, and low tide times where I’m turned inward and feel protective of my energy. My life is a continuous dance between these two states, leaving room for lots of mystery, spontaneity, confusion, and misunderstanding.

Like the moon, flowers have cycles of blossoming when they are open, beautiful, vibrant and radiant, and times when they are closed. These times of closure allow them to recuperate and protect themselves from non-ideal living conditions, and also, at the end of their cycle it allows the death of the flower bud, allowing the stem and roots to store up energy and hibernate until the next time to blossom comes around. While flowers don’t follow the moon calendar, blossoming and closing every month, they share the same overall cycle of growth to expansion and fullness and then closing inward to protect, recuperate, and die.

The Yang energy of growth, when the moon is reflecting more light on her way to fullness, is the period of expansion and blossoming. The Yin energy of turning inward, comes after the full moon, and is the moon’s journey back to darkness. With the dark moon, this is ultimately the release energy of closing, wrapping ones petals around oneself and either recovering or shedding the life of the flower.

The cycle of human life/death/life*, is a similar cycle of growth, expansion, and then turning inwards, slowing down, and ultimately dying in order to be re-birthed.

Women share cycles with flowers, the moon and human life/death/life with our menstrual cycles. We have periods of growth and expanse as our bodies prepare to release an egg for ovulation. Energy builds in our ovaries, we may feel cramps or pain, or enthusiasm about the possibility of life that is about to be released within us. After the high energy of ovulation, the body starts to slow down as even more energy is then devoted to shedding the uterine wall when we start to menstruate. Bloodshed, often associated with death, is equally associated with and required for giving life.

Historically women’s menstruations cycles aligned with the moon cycles. The high expansive energy of the full moon coincides with ovulation, a time of giving birth, of outward focused energy as our body physically releases an egg that could be manifested outside of our bodies if fertilized. The dark moon, or new moon coincides with menstruation; a time for slowing down, and to exude less light while the focus turns inward to reflect, listen to one’s intuition, and cleanse in preparation for another time of birth.

As I’ve struggled with rebuilding my menstrual cycle after 12 years on hormonal birth control, I’m intuitively understanding how women are inextricably linked with the cycles of the moon and life, and how these cycles are integral to the creation, and survival of our human experience. I’ve learned that when I’m not aligned with the cycles of the moon, not only am I not connected with natural rhythms of the world around me, but I’m often fighting against them, ultimately draining more of my energy and disconnecting me more from the Source of life.

*Women Who Run With the Wolves, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés