May 14, 2019
How to Follow the Cycles of the Moon
The next full moon is May 18. Will it really affect us?
Photo courtesy of @paragon_photography/Twenty20
By Natalie Shukur
writer for The Natural
I was recently listening to a podcast with functional nutritionist and hormone expert Alisa Vitti, who specializes in “cycle synching”, providing a template for how best to eat and exercise during the different stages of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Vitti made an interesting point: that from a woman’s first period at puberty, to her last one post-menopause, she operates on a 29-day cycle (on average) as well as the 24-hour circadian clock, while men (and women outside of that life phase) run solely on the circadian cycle. Similarly, the lunar, or moon cycle (the period of time between a new moon and a full moon) takes 29.5 days to complete. While there are no concrete scientific studies that show a direct correlation between the menstrual and moon cycles, many in the alternative medicine and astrology communities have long been fascinated with the link.
Regardless of whether or not you menstruate, the concept of the human rhythm and planetary energies being in tune with the waxing and waning of the moon is an interesting theory to contemplate.
Perhaps you’ve noticed yourself getting more angst-ridden or energetic around the full moon, or more reflective and prone to being a homebody around the new moon. It’s a concept that rings true to me, so I spoke to astrologist and certified hypnotist Sandy Sitron to learn more.
“My framing is that it’s very primal,” says Sitron of the moon cycle. “If you think about electricity and how new it is (we have had electricity for about 150 years or so), that’s not very long, and humans have been around for tens and tens of thousands of years. So, on a very primal level, when there’s a new moon and it’s dark at night, we’re quieter, more inward, and we stay more to ourselves. There’s a sense of needing to replenish. And when the moon is full, if you think about how different that would have been if you were living without electricity and all of a sudden it’s nighttime and it’s really light out and you can see, how would you feel? You would be able to go and hunt if you wanted to. You’d be able to walk to your neighbors’ and stay out and party. And I think that it’s ingrained in us humans to be more active, more lively, more celebratory, maybe more prone to fighting or action and being extroverted at the full moon versus the new moon.”
Indeed, there’s that old saying: “blame it on the moon.” Does Sitron see any truth in that? “While there hasn’t been much money put into the scientific study of astrology, there are studies showing that doctors in the ER will see that there’s more movement at the full moon, and I personally believe that’s true from my own experience,” she says. “Anecdotally, I bartended for about 12 years, and I saw that at the full moon people were more likely to be out partying. There was just more of an upbeat vibe.”
Sitron believes that we’re each carrying the energy of opposites within ourselves at the full moon. “And so we can feel an internal push and pull that’s helping us to try and really understand something new and understand the big picture in some way.”
Fact or phenomena, for those who are curious, how can we tune into the moon cycle?
“The new moon, energetically, is about an inward quiet time to plant seeds. The first quarter moon, which is during the waxing moon phase when the moon appears to be getting bigger in the sky, that’s an action oriented time where you’re going to want to be busy. I’m doing a million things, running around, cleaning, etcetera,” she says. “I recommend doing more journaling on a new moon. Lighting a candle and just being instead of doing. Any kind of ritual that you can do where you’re with yourself and you’re quiet and introspective. Also at the new moon, try setting intentions. Every new moon, I like to write down all my wishes for the next four weeks — what I’m creating and what I want to manifest.”
“The full moon is a big time to celebrate what you’ve built, what you’ve created, see your intentions come into fruition and be happy, be grateful, and begin the process of releasing, which then continues through the third quarter moon, which is really all about letting go, forgiveness, beginning to surrender to what is, and acceptance,” she says. “I love the statement: ‘give your wishes to the moon’. At the full moon, I recommend some kind of celebratory ritual. So, a gratitude ceremony or having a party — really expressing the feeling of happiness in a big way is great for the full moon. If you want to, you can also begin to release, because after the full moon, we start the cycle of letting go. You can do that at the full moon or at the third quarter moon by starting to write down on a piece of paper the things that you really want to let go of, and then burn that piece of paper or release a stick into a stream. Then, by the time you get back to the new moon, you’re at a new beginning, a new cycle.”
In essence, it’s all about doing what works for you. “It’s very beautiful and poetic, and it’s wonderful to bring that into your life as a ritual,” says Sitron. “Try it on and see how it feels and see if it’s something that can help support you in your creative development, allowing the moon cycle to be a way to connect to nature and connect to yourself.”
Articles from The Natural should not be considered medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult a medical professional.