The natural cycle of women who live and sleep out in the open away from artificial light is to ovulate on the full moon and menstruate on the new moon. The Taureg women I visit in Africa concur with this. For women of the neon civilization, though, it's almost impossible to follow this moon/menstrual cycle (although it would probably bring about the easiest menstruations, for, as already said, full moon and menstruation at the same time can be an overwhelming experience).
In 1979, an excellently researched special issue of Courage dealt specifically with menstrual blood. In it Louise Lacey, author of Lunaceptions tells how she regulated her ovulation by sleeping three nights out of twenty-nine in light and the others in pitch black.
My observations of the effect of moon phases on menstruation are compiled from the experiences of women I've lived with, worked with, lone workshops with, met over the course of years, or just talked to casually about their bleeding.
When moon phase energies are noticed, and these energies magnified by menstruation, what specific powers can be freed up and made available for use? Can be. I do not say that it must be so, or should be so, or that you will experience it so. Only that it is possible, if you want to work with it.
Waxing Moon Menstruation
Waxing moon is growth, time to learn, listen, and feel. New processes are coming into play, new experiences and events are within reach. Dawn reddens the sky, day begins, air moves, the moon is waxing.
The energy of waxing moon menstruation is inwards, self-nourishing. It' s time to think, to learn, to read. Time to make new discoveries. During this time, you might be open to important learning, and to receiving knowledge from other women.
The animal of the waxing moon menstruation is the raven, who stands for the transference of knowledge and embodies the flight of the soul. Persephone, the goddess who walked the path to the underworld and was initiated into womanly bleeding, is the guardian of this menstrual phase.
Full Moon Menstruation
The full moon is vitality: time to work changes, to make decisions, o show one's power, to bring something into being, to work politically. Noontime heat spreads in waves across the sky, fiery energy at its peak, streaming power evoking earthly blooms.
The energy of full moon menstruation is outward, world-nourishing. You have to be a real bundle of energy to be happy and satisfied with your work under this charged condition. Feasts and celebrations go well with full moon bleeding. During this time, the most powerful magic can be worked and influence exerted. The volcano already pours forth; the ire need only be controlled and directed. Now is the time to learn to transform energy: turn rage into creative action, belly cramps into sensuousness.
The animal of the full moon menstruation is the Phoenix, mythical bird being, who burns to ashes in order to rise anew. Ishtar, the Red Goddess of Babylon is the guardian of this menstrual fire.
Waning Moon Menstruation
The waning moon is a fire that has dwindled, having already given some of its heats to nourish others. Now is the time for persistence, for making reality out of the visions and impulses. The sun sets, darkness settles, the sky fills with the light of countless universes. The moon is waning.
The energy of waning moon bleeding is outward, world-nourishing. lt's the time to tend the blooms of the full moon energy, to create in the world what you have already created in your imagination. Weave your web: substantiate discoveries, verify knowledge, develop your plans and projects, stabilize already existing conditions.
The animal of this waning moon menstruation is the she-bear, who, in old myths is the womb. The energy of the bear is mighty, deep, motherly. The goddess. of this time, Demeter, is responsible for the cycles of life on earth, letting the fruits and grains ripen for harvest, in preparation for the next cycle when she'll withdraw to tend to her own nourishment, letting the earth become barren while she mourns her daughter.
New Moon Menstruation
The new moon is the hidden moon, the dark and mysterious power of the deep. The new moon is the pull inwards. The void sucks energy in and, at the same time, gives all power. During this time, anxieties, memories, and experiences may rise up, eager to be dealt with. Midnight: darkness at it fullest, a velvet ocean, watery womb of all life, the moon is new. The moon breathes in; the belly breathes out.
The energy of new moon bleeding is inwards, self-nourishing, into the cauldron of the woman, the belly, the witches' cauldron, the holy grail. New moon menstruation is a strong time of healing and its element is water. Jt's a good time to take stock, to read old diaries. to look through old photo albums, and to draw conclusions from them. What is built up on the full moon is dissolved on the new moon; that includes binding and releasing spells.
The animal of the new moon menstruation is the toad, with all her knowledge, her slipperiness, her ability to be quite alone, and her untouchable (poisonous) exterior. The goddess of this time is Hecate, the woman at the joining of three roads [also called tri-via], the guardian of mysteries and knowledge, the reaper, the dark one, the crone.