What It Means If You Get Your Period On The Full Moon

In our culture today, periods are something generally dreaded by those who get them. Countless ad campaigns for everything from tampons to Midol have long encouraged people with periods to take any and all measures possible to make it feel and appear that this deeply affecting monthly occurrence simply isn't happening. We are told to push through, to keep quiet, and to be ashamed if we don't want to do either of those things. 

In a world in which there is no shortage of blood shown on television thanks to countless series and movies of a violent nature, menstrual blood was virtually never seen on screen until very, very recently, and even now is considered hotly taboo (via The Wrap). Somehow, our patriarchal society has made blood born of violence acceptable, but blood born of the natural, miraculous cycles of a body that can beget life horrifying. Shameful. Ugly. Dirty. 

But what if we told you that periods were not always treated this way by society? What if we told you that there were cultures and societies that revered women and their monthly cycles, that understood and allowed for the changes (both physical and emotional) that come with monthly bleeding, and that gave women the space and the power to honor what was happening?  Further, what if we told you you could learn to love (or at least not hate) your period by learning from these cultures and rituals?

Cultures that revere menstruation as sacred

There are cultures across the globe that in the past and in the present have treated menstrual cycles and the people who get them with the utmost respect. Take a native tribe of people from the northwest coast of the U.S. called the Yurok. Before European settlers upended their culture, this tribe had a group of aristocratic women who spent their monthly bleeding time performing sacred rituals honoring what they believed was the time of their highest spiritual experience. (via NPR). 

Today, the Asante in Africa celebrate their children's first periods. Girls in this culture, when they bleed for the first time, are treated like newly anointed queens; while sitting underneath a lavish umbrella, they are given gifts. Upon this occasion of their first cycle, the phrase used to describe the girls in this culture translates to "she has been made perfect" (via The Exploress). 

In the culture of the Ojibwe people of North America, girls who get their first periods are said to be moving from childhood to adulthood, and because women are revered as wise, girls spend the first year of their cycles focused on learning from the older women of the community. The menstrual cycle is seen as a link to both their ancestors and their future children, a sacred continuum between past and future (via The Exploress). 

What it means if you bleed on the full moon

If, however, you are a person living in modern western cultures that do not revere the menstrual cycle with such respect, there are ways you can incorporate traditions of other cultures and past ages to make "that time of the month" a sacred one for you, rather than a dreaded one. One way to begin is to track your cycle as it relates to the phases of the moon, an ancient practice (via Nylon). Both the moon and our bodies run on roughly a 28 day cycle, and so once you being tracking, you are likely to notice that you tend to bleed at roughly the same moon phase each month. 

Modern new age beliefs pull from many different time periods and cultures, and it is generally believed in these circles that bleeding near the time of the full moon (or during the waxing moon) means something different than bleeding around the time of the new moon or during the waning moon. If you get your period around the time of the full moon, this is called a Red Moon Cycle. Because the energy of the full moon is one of outward creation and vibrancy, people who bleed at this time are said to be in a phase of their lives where they are focused on teaching, creativity, mentorship, and outward growth. It is said to be the cycle of healers.    

Rituals for respecting and loving your full moon cycle

Once you've been tracking your cycle and have a better understanding of it, you should feel more in touch with your body rather than angry with or alienated from it at that time of the month. If you are someone on a Red Moon Cycle, you could consider doing some rituals during your bleeding time that can help shift your perspective toward seeing your period as a beautiful, sacred thing, rather than one that needs to be battled against.

The most important thing is to allow yourself to do what feels good to you. We are programed to force ourselves to do what is expected of us at this time rather than what comes naturally, so sit with yourself and determine what your body actually wants to do (via High Brow Hippie). Maybe your ritual will be lighting a candle and meditating. Maybe you will write in a special journal, as many cultures feel we are our most intuitive and in touch with higher spirituality during our periods. Perhaps, because of your outward energy, you'll feel like playing some music and dancing or making art. Maybe you'll be moved to take an epsom salt bath to ease the cramps and relax the body while lighting special candles and listening to music.

Tap into the higher wisdom that we all have access to; listen to your body; allow your guidance to come from within rather than without, and see your experience with your period change.