So i have received a spate of emails about – basically – what is the “correct” calendar or moon cycle to be menstrually aligned with. That is, should women ideally, cosmically, menstruate with the New Moon, Full Moon, Dark Moon, whatever?
The short answer is that I don’t know but there IS a rich body of work around the Moon, Menses and innate female rhythms being in sync with Luna.The ultimate authority on this subject is Barbara Walker’s amazing The Woman’s Encyclopedia Of Myths & Secrets
Her sections on menstrual beliefs, calendars and customs across different cultures and ancient religions is fascinating and a massive revelation. It was through her work that I became aware that there was an older calendar based on the lunar months of 28 days – aka a menstrual cycle – that had 13 months.
This got replaced by the Christians with a dodgy 12 month one to get away from the whole icky-to-them Goddess/Lunar/Magic/Female vibe and they demonized the number “13” to drive home their point. At one point, menstruating women were refused communion in churches.
This article here has all sorts of “shamanic menstruation” theories, concluding that it’s more aligned with lunar vibe to have a surge of creativity/yang mid-cycle/ovulation and a more Yin/psychic phase with the actual bleed on the Dark Moon. Thinking about lunar cycles in relation to this monthly phenomenon that takes up approximately 3,500 days of a female life became out of fashion with a certain wave of feminism, i think.
People, understandably, did not want anything around menstruation to be perceived as a weakness and pre-menstrual tension, as opposed to any sort of magical or Pagan affiliation became the prism through which it was viewed.
But now? My theory is that a revival of the more Lunar/Pagan/Witch-friendly attitudes toward the process is nigh.
Image: Samantha Mash
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