My Cycle is Nothing Like the Moon’s. (Except it is.) November 05 2013
When people hear that the menstrual cycle is similar to the lunar cycle, they often respond with some skepticism. “My cycle isn’t 28 days,” “My cycle is different every month,” “The moon cycle is actually more like 29 1/2 days.”
They’re right. And here’s why the statement still isn’t wrong.
1. The moon cycle isn’t exact either.
Some say it’s 29.5 days if you average the cycles over a year, but even that number fluctuates when you average multiple years.
Nature runs on it’s own perfect time table and it doesn’t really give a crap what our human made calendars say. But ancient tally sticks (from 9,000 BCE) suggest women may have been the first calendar keepers who tracked both their cycles and the moon with 13 notches a year.
2. We’ve thrown off our own clocks.
Having been born somewhere north of the industrial revolution, I can’t actually verify this, but many archeologists believe that before the advent of artificial light, traveling across time zones in a matter of hours, and timing our day around rush hour instead of the rising and setting sun… women used to cycle WITH the moon. Our technology and human made schedules provide many conveniences, but they also cost us some of our connectivity with nature. In one study (cited in Dr. Northrup’s post) of nearly two thousand women with irregular menstrual cycles, more than half of the subjects achieved regular menstrual cycles by sleeping with a light on near their beds during the three days around ovulation. As Dr. Northrup relates, when the light of the moon literally “touched” us without synthetic lights, it directly impacted our cycles.
3. Our cycle is similar to the moon in more ways than just days.
Another beautiful similarity we share with the moon is its pattern. The moon isn’t just full one day and “gone” the next. It waxes and wanes, just as our hormones do from day to day to day. In the first half of our cycle (just like the moon grows from New to Full) we grow more outgoing with our increased estrogen. On the backside of our cycle, progesterone draws us more inward (just like the moon ‘shrinks’ form Full back to New).
Regardless of how regular your cycle is or how many days it takes you to cycle, your body is indeed ruled by hormones, just as the moon rules the very tides of our ocean.