As women brought up in a patriarchical culture, we may need to learn how to invite the more receptive, feminine parts of ourselves forward in our lives. This can be hard work and take practice when living and working within the very systems that seek to benefit from us ignoring the needs of our wild selves and our wild bodies. It is an over-active masculine principle (that manifests as an excess of doing, progress, action and consumption without reciprocality or restoration) that fuels the patriarchal forces we experience in our everyday lives. This leaves the power of menstrual cycle largely hidden from sight and unexplored by most.
The behaviours that ignore and shame menstruation are the same behaviours causing the destruction of our natural world. Menstrual awareness shows us that we are intimately connected to the cycles of the moon and the natural world ~ it shows us that we carry these cycles within our bodies ~ it teaches us that we are not separate from the natural world, but an intimate part of it. Menstrual awareness also inspires us to create a healthier balance between our inner active masculine parts and our receptive feminine parts. This inner shift ripples out to spread change throughout our lives – it is a shift in being that is spreading fast. A more balanced world is being birthed through each and every person hearing the call to be with their receptive self, to listen to the needs of their menstruating body and to understand the unique gifts of each phase of their cycle.
My invitation in sharing the moonlog practice is to offer you in way in to create this change for yourself and in your life. It is a call to become lovingly curious about your menstrual cycle and its unique relationship with the phases of the moon. In hearing this call, you are playing an active and empowered role in dissolving the systems that seek to keep us separate from our true cyclical nature and from the natural world we belong to.
How to use your moonlog
Each person finds a unique and creative way to use their moonlog to serve where they are in their life and how much they already know about their menstrual cycle. Below are some ideas and suggestions for starting to using your moonlog. I encourage you to get creative and find your own way with it. I purposefully leave the moonlog with plenty of space for scribbling around it so you can record and create whatever you want to each lunar cycle.
1 … track your menstrual cycle with the moon phases
This is a really simple and beautiful practice to do to bring awareness to your menstrual cycle and reveal how it aligns with the phases of the moon. Mark the moons of your bleed each month by colouring them red to see the pattern of which lunar phase you bleed with. Learning when to expect your bleed is really useful information in practical terms but will also bring a more cyclical rhythm and understanding to your life.
An example from my first moon log with my bleed in red, my cycle days numbered in green.
If you are using a form of cycle tracking to either avoid or achieve pregnancy or are interested in giving it a go, the moonlog is a wonderful tool to use alongside your cycle charting practice. I always write the days of my cycle on my moonlog to know when my fertile and infertile phases are. For more information about tracking your cycle to either conceive or as a form of contraception, check out The School of Natural Fertility.
2 … a menstrual awareness practice
Keep your moonlog somewhere significant in your home where you can return to it easily. Take some time each day to be just with yourself and your moonlog. Be still, sit for a while with eyes closed and taking deep breaths. Write down anything that is revealed or feels significant about your mood, dreams, frustrations, needs and desires next to that day’s moon phase.
This practice can expand to include anything about your body and wellbeing each day – how you slept, energy levels, what your dreams were like, how sociable you felt that day, what you felt like doing etc etc. Over a few cycles, you will start to find patterns emerging about your inner experience on particular days of your menstrual cycle/ particular moon phases. With time, this knowledge can become a empowering tool to create a self awareness practice in alignment with the cycles of the moon – for example, you might realise you feel you want to rest with the full moon or that you need to be out doing something energising or creative instead.
Today as I write this, my moonlog tells me I’m on day 25 of my cycle so I know I’ve entered my pre-menstrual phase and big hormone shifts are happening in my body. Now, as I pause to be with sensation in my body, I find I feel tense and quick to feel frustration. As I know whats going on for me today, I am able to adjust my day to accommodate my needs and look after my body. I am also able to communicate how I am and my needs to those around me in a clear and empowered way.
Before I delved into my moonlog practice, I actually thought I was crazy for half of the month! These days, I understand when my subtle hormone changes are happening and I am able to be really loving, compassionate and patient with myself. I was not crazy – I was a beautifully in-tune, complex being in a female body and I was simply feeling all the real stuff.
3 … a healing theme for each lunar cycle
When I turn over to a fresh month of the moon log, I give myself a theme to focus on. It is usually something that requires my attention or needs some healing. I write it clearly on the moonlog as a theme for the month to revisit each day. Some recent themes for me, as examples, have been ‘cultivate radical trust’, ‘I am, so I am loved’ or ‘feeling my value’.
It brings a focus to any inner work you want to do and serves as a foundation to come back to if you feel lost or confused. Some months might have multiple themes, or an inspiring quote or something to do with the astrology of that cycle. Whatever you decide to write on them each month, remember that it comes from you to meet your needs.
4 … release and affirm
This is a powerful tool for working on an affirmation each lunar cycle to explore and release with the new moon or with your bleed what no longer serves you and affirm or attract in what you need with the full moon or with ovulation.
On the new moon, or as you start to bleed, set aside some time to rest and receive. Be with yourself, light a candle, journal and do any other practices you have for connecting inward. Once you feel present and connected, give yourself some guides or questions to explore what is real for you in this moment … some examples might be … How am I feeling? What is alive for me? What feels out of alignment? What no longer serves? What do I need to release? The answers can give you some raw material to craft an affirmation for yourself. Be honest with yourself and draw from your highest thoughts for yourself. Be specific, clear and careful with your words. Below are some of my recent moonlog affirmations as examples:
‘As I cultivate my own nature, all else follows’
‘What will most serve me’
‘I wholeheartedly choose to be connected’
‘Returning to soft power’
Write your intention or affirmation on your moonlog so you can return to it each day over the coming lunar and menstrual cycle. Spend the time just after the new moon or during the first days of your bleed feeling into what you need to release so you can fully embody and invite in your words. Over the coming week, in the space between the either the new and full moons or between or bleed and ovulation, revisit your affirmation each day, cultivate trust in it, speak it out loud and feel it in your whole body.
When it comes to the full moon or your ovulation, make some space once more to connect in with yourself and return to the words of your intention or affirmation. How is it going? Has anything happened to support it? Does it still feel right? What needs tweaking? This is when we start to feel our affirmation taking shape and we can use this time to consciously act towards it. Allow yourself to really feel your affirmation in your body ~ get outside under the moon – go on a moon walk, bathe in its glow, howl to it – whatever you feel.
In the space between the full moon or your ovulation and the next new moon or your next bleed, give thanks for any shifts you feel taking place through your affirmation.
5 … record deep diving
Deep diving is a way of describing any practice that brings you into relationship with the deepest parts of yourself. This is different for everyone but some examples might be paying attention to and recording your dreams, writing poems, shamanic work, stream of consciousness musings or journalling. Use the space around the moonlog or on the back of each page to record the pearls of wisdom you find deep diving with the moon phases. It can be really powerful to align this with an awareness of your menstrual cycle.
This work is not always comfortable and it takes courage to be so honest with ourselves, with how we truly feel and with the changes that happen in our body each cycle. And yet it is rich and powerful work that brings us back home ~ into connection with our self, our body and with the cycles of the natural world. You can gift yourself a moonlog here ~ own it, use it wholeheartedly and fall in love with your lunar cycles. With love and hope for your menstrual journey x