Women’s bodies, spiritually and physically, have always been linked to the moon. The lunar cycle is 29 days, as is (approximately) a woman’s menstrual cycle, from follicular to luteal. Even the origin of the root word for menstruation in Latin is “mensis,” meaning “month,” the word that “moon” also comes from.
While women may feel more physically and spiritually connected to the moon because they share a cycle length—some women even sync their cycles to the moon so that they feel more connected and in a groove—everyone seems to be affected by lunar cycles in one way or another.
If you’ve ever felt a little agitated or “crazy” when the moon is waxing gibbous or totally full, you’re not alone. Many studies have been done to test the theory that a full moon makes people more erratic and prone to violence, and all of them show that crime skyrockets during full moons compared with other days in the lunar cycle. The science behind these studies suggests that “the increased incidence of crimes on full moon days may be due to ‘human tidal waves’ caused by the gravitational pull of the moon.”
In fact, that’s where the word “lunatic” or “lunacy” comes from—it literally means “moon-sick,” also known as “intermittent insanity” related to the phases of the moon. An extensive study was conducted on bi-polar patients and the effect of lunar tides on their manic episodes and the results were consistent: “Onsets of the patients’ manic episodes were synchronous” with very specific, invariable lunar tidal cycles.
According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the reasoning behind this is more physical than spiritual. Because our brains “are a significant source of water, Dutch researchers hypothesize the moon’s gravitational pull could similarly have an effect on your brain, causing erratic behavior.” This can effect other bodily organs that are mostly made up of or process water, such as the kidneys. While there isn’t hard and fast science to prove this, there is enough evidence to keep this under the thumb of current researchers, and that’s enough for us to take extra good care of ourselves at high-lunar-energy times.
But it’s not all bad. Waning moons encourage relaxation and confidence. And while the energy and gravitational forces are low during the new moon, the process of Earth blocking the sun’s light from reflecting off the moon’s surface and charging its power center can cause us to become introspective and enter a subdued state. Some say this is a great time for nesting, cleaning, getting organized, and setting intentions for the weeks to come, when the energy from the moon is reflected on us once more.
Heather Askinosie, co-founder of Energy Muse and author of Crystal365, says that “the new moon is like a blank canvas every month—a chance to start anew. Even though, ironically, the moon is not visible during this roughly two-day time period, what you don’t see can inspire you!” She explains that this lunar phase can bring about feelings of hopefulness and renewal. Don’t fight any urges to change your routine, or follow a new direction. “A new moon is the perfect time for a new beginning in any area of your life—from your workout routine and self-care practices to your career or even your romantic life!”
It’s also been suggested by the Farmers’ Almanac that our heart rate is at peak performance during the rise of the full and new moons. So, channel that high energy into a workout for intense, out-of-this-world results. When the new moon breaks and the night sky is awash with diffused moonlight rather than stars, it may cause a little jolt of excited energy that motivates us to start new projects. According to astrologers, waxing crescent and first-quarter moons are a time to challenge yourself. Take advantage of this fruitful time to begin and execute projects—and finish what you’ve started.
If you’ve never taken a moment to track the cycles of the moon and asses your own thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, tonight is a good time to start. The 26th is a new moon, so light some palo santo or a candle, take some deep, restorative breaths, and observe the clarity and fresh energy that accompanies this darkness. It might inspire more organization in your routine, create a feeling of connection between yourself and the universe, and serve as a guide to executing different modes of self-care throughout each month.