Tonight is going to be this phenomenally large moon.
Last night, my eyes snapped open at around 3, fully awake to see an enormous orange glowing moon which kept me awake for a few hours despite the alternate nostril breathing. What is the deal with moon power?
One of my favorite remedies in all of Ayurveda comes in an ancient text where it is recommended that for over-heated, angry or intolerant conditions (known as excess pitta in ayurveda-land), the sufferer indulge in moon-bathing.
Moon light is romantic because it is bright enough to see clearly, but soft enough not expose the imperfections. Moon-shadows are spooky, and a moon-less night always make me feel that there is trouble lurking where I cannot see.
Watching out for the moon cycles is an easy way to get into the rhythms of nature. Whether in city or country it is easy to follow the cyclical, monthly moon cycles, catch a glimpse, or just acknowledge it. As women, we experience the cyclical nature of things in our menstrual cycles, the waxing and waning of energies, emotional and physical. Where I live in winter, by an east facing beach, full moon-rise nights bring people together to watch the bright globe rising up out of the sea. It is always a great show.
Once I started focusing on the moon, of course, I became more exquisitely sensitive to all of its effects. As always I am never sure if this additional sensitivity brought on by greater awareness is a good thing or a bad one. That is a different conversation, but in this case it means that the moon cycles have a greater effect because I am noticing them. And in case you are not aware, the moon is intimately connected to cycles which effect everything we do and experience on this earth.
Tides on earth, are for example, mostly generated by gradients in the intensity of the moon’s gravitational pull. These are the regulatory tidal forces. Given that our earthly bodies are composed mostly of water, it makes sense that just as the sea ebbs and flows with these forces, so we too are affected. It is also true that the moon regulates our climate by controlling our stability in the solar system.
In more esoteric arenas the moon is said to relate to the emotional nature and to have a cooling, effect. While the sun is masculine and energetic, the moon is characterized as feminine, “moony”, emotional, and maybe even a little unpredictable. Women are on their “moon cycle” which is cleansing. In Chinese children’s folk-lore there is a beautiful and powerful woman of the moon and wise men who live there as well.
On the flip side: I feel like I never sleep well when there is a full moon. The bright wash of blue light is intense and completely energizing… and I find it disturbing . So I always stay aware of the cycles to anticipate those nights and go to sleep a little earlier, eat better, drink less, generally do the things that I know will be less aggravating and more likely to allow me to sleep through the night and/or get back to sleep more easily if, as last night, the intensity snaps me awake!
And because I believe absolutely that we are a microcosm of the macrocosm, it is particularly important for women to understand the relationship of the womb to the moon. A good part of menstrual troubles – PMS, grouchy, grumpy dysfunction has to do with being out of sync with nature. Your bleeding time is an incredibly powerful, self-regulating reset button. Menstruation is, in fact, said to be the reason women live longer than men. Instead of storing toxins in the blood, the plasma and ultimately the liver, we have our very own flush and detox cycle. Become aware of it. Use it. Dare I suggest you enjoy it?
And one more thing on this subject: I absolutely believe that the one or two maybe even three intense cycle days are days for rest and nurturing. Our western obsession with pushing through as if nothing is going on is foolish and destructive. Honor yourself. No need for the red tent but definitely do respect the cycles.
Get out and do some moon-bathing, some moon-noticing, even do some moon salutations in gratitude!