The Moon Cycle: An Astrological Approach to Menstruation
Learning to love my moon cycle (or, what is more commonly referred to as the ‘menstrual cycle’) has been a lifelong battle for me. Between dealing with crippling cramps, searing back pain, hormonal changes, and the internal roller coaster that comes along with birth control, I know I’m not the first to say that these symptoms are enough to make any girl or bleeding person* go crazy.
Yet, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to create the space to honor the more spiritual nature of my period. Yes, while it is painful and uncomfortable and inconvenient, it is also a huge blessing in disguise. The uterus, the womb, is the creator of life, and within it holds some of the most powerful manifesting energy. It is the part of us that is not only the home for new life to spawn, but is the strongest connection we have to the earth, the atmosphere, and the cosmos. When a period is tracked correctly, a bleeding person will notice that their cycle begins either on or directly around either the new moon or the full moon. This is due to the fact that the cycle of moon phases, much like the menstrual cycle, averages about 28 days. And with women in particular being inherently lunar through their sensuality, emotional intelligence, and divine feminine energy (the moon in astrology represents your emotional nature, your sensuality, and is correlated with the fourth house, which handles motherhood) it is inevitable that bleeding people who are consciously tapped in to the more spiritual side of their cycle will notice a synchronicity with the phases of the moon. For the majority, this means ovulating under the full moon, which represents life, rebirth, and new beginnings, and menstruating under the new moon, which represents a certain death, chapter ending, and darkness. However, depending on the nature of one’s cycle, this can be reversed.
But the connection. doesn’t end there. While menstruation is connected to the moon, it is also connected to the seasons of the earth- spring, summer, autumn, winter. The phases- menstruation, follicular, ovulation, and luteal follow the seasons in direct order. During spring / menstruation, the body sheds its skin and makes way for a new cycle to begin. It is a time of introspection, and a time where a person’s intuition is at its highest. During summer / the follicular phase, the body begins to prepare for ovulation by releasing hormones. In the fall / ovulation phase, the cervix softens and an egg is released from the Fallopian tubes. During the 2-3 days that this process occurs is when a bleeding person will be able to conceive. If the egg is fertilized, then the cycle of menstruation “bleeds” (pun totally intended) into the cycle of conception. But regardless, this leads to the fourth and final phase of the cycle, which is the winter / luteal phase. During this phase, progesterone (a heat-inducing hormone) levels begin to rise and stimulates the growth of uterine lining that'll be used to support a developing fetus. However, should conception not happen, the extra lining is shed and released from the body in the form of blood clots, and thus, the cycle begins once again.
Now, I’m not a doctor, so please note that this is a super mundane explanation of how things work. But the point of this post is not to talk about how the body operates, so much as what you can do for yourself (or your partner!) to ensure that you/they are the most comfortable during this process. And since both the female body and cosmos are linked together by the moon, it’s only fitting that an astrological explanation can help give way to a more comfortable moon cycle.
So whether you’re looking to have a more comfortable “bleeding” experience or help a partner / sister / friend / etc. through theirs, keep reading below for my menstruation horoscopes. For optimal results, consider both your / their sun + moon sign when reading. Don’t know your placements? Click here for my favorite free birth chart calculator.
March 21st - April 19th
Ruled by passionate and fiery mars, Aries your moon cycle is the time to turn up the heat! While your period may have you feeling all “hot and bothered” (literally) try channeling this energy into physical activity. Whether that means hitting the gym, going for a run, or engaging in more intimate physical activities (partnered or solo), make sure you are taking the time to get your body moving! With your hormones and adrenaline running strong, you’re more tapped into your fire energy than ever, so channel it into activities that stimulate your heart, your mind, and your sexuality. After all, an extra endorphin boost may not only help you mentally, but can also help you relieve those gnarly menstrual cramps.
April 20th - May 20th
There’s an ongoing joke about Taurus’ ability to eat, and while this may be debatable most times of the year, when it comes to your moon cycle your appetite is off the charts. Take this time to indulge in the best food money can buy. Indulge in your cravings, satisfy that sweet tooth, and let yourself be ruled by your hunger. Your planetary ruler of Venus loves the finer things in life, and with your ruling house (the second house) being the home of money and finances, don’t be afraid to shell out a little extra cash for the good stuff. Your body craves self-care, and now is your time to feed it!
May 21st - June 20th
Prepare for the mood swings, Gemini! Your ruler is the twins, which often represent the different sides of you that come out in different scenarios (ex. your public persona and your private persona). While this often gives you a worse reputation than you deserve, your moon cycle may lead you to teeter on the edge of moodiness. Don't let yourself slip off the edge- instead, take time to find an activity that grounds you. Maybe it’s meditation or yoga or simply taking the time to communicate your feelings with others. With your ruling planet of mercury, the ruler of communication, it’s important to understand that your words are your superpower. Instead of acting out upon your feelings, talk them out with a close friend or loved one. Tap in to your communicative powers to keep you grounded and leveled through an emotionally-dense time.
June 21st - July 22nd
Ruled by the moon and the fourth house of motherhood, Cancer the moon cycle is the most intimate experience for you. You may find yourself being swayed by your emotions (more so than usual) and feeling the weight of the world as heavier than ever. Remember to allow yourself to explore the depths of your feelings, and take all the time you need to thoroughly feel things through. While sometimes painful and sticky, there is nothing worse than holding things in and keeping them to yourself, so finding a healthy outlet to express your heightened emotions is key. On the plus side, your intuition is also heightened, so any visions, dreams, ideas, etc. that come your way are a symbol of divine guidance. Begin to tap into those little nudges that come from within and see how they can help to propel you towards success in your future. Meditation, journaling, and healthy dose of sleep are all necessary during this time.
July 23rd - August 22nd
If there’s one thing that Leo does best, it’s self-care. Roll out the red carpet for yourself, Leo, and don’t spare any expense! Your flair for the dramatic may carry over into your moon cycle (screaming for no reason, anyone) but how can you use this to your advantage? Just like Taurus needs to indulge in food, Leo you need to indulge in, well… everything. Start by kicking up your feet, rubbing on the essential oils, heating up the water bottle, and wrapping yourself up in your coziest blankets. Order take-out, watch a movie, read a book, and enjoy the state of just simply being. You love to have fun with your “work hard, play harder” mentality, but now is the time to slow down and really settle into the seat of your soul. Embrace what you need to feel good and take a moment to rest. Trust me when I say you’ll have so much more fun in the long run if you take the time now to settle down and take care of yourself. Now is the time to give yourself the generous, warm love that you continually pour out to others.
August 23rd - September 22nd
For clean and organized Virgo, the last thing you ever want to hear is to slow down and embrace the mess. Yet, your moon cycle is the perfect time for you to learn the lessons of embracing your imperfections. Not all of us can be on our A-game 100% of the time, and you are no exception. Are the cramps so bad you can barely move? Or are your hormones raging so hard that all you can do is cry? Perhaps the best remedy for both is to kick off your shoes and take a day off of work. As one of the most hardworking signs of the zodiac, Virgo, this is the last thing you probably want to hear. But keep in mind that allowing yourself the space now to rest and recover will only ensure that you’ll bounce back to work stronger and more energized than ever. Allow yourself to shut the laptop, put on your favorite sweatpants, and get a little messy (after all, periods aren’t exactly clean). With your ruling planet of mercury you tend to be a little uptight about your cleanliness and organization, so releasing that tight grip on ideals will help ensure that you are “flowing” alongside your cycle.
September 23rd - October 22nd
Bring on the cuddles! With your ruling planet of Venus and your home being the 7th house of partnerships, Libra you’ve got love on the brain! If you are partnered, now is the time to ask for some extra-loving attention from your significant other. Have a cozy and casual day spent at home on the couch as you cuddle up with a good movie. Allow yourself to indulge in loving energy in ways that may be different from your norm- maybe have them place their hands on your uterus or give you a back rub. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want - you know better than anyone that assertiveness is the name of the game within relationships, and if your partner is understanding, they will be happy to indulge in your moon cycle whims (after all, who can resist the charm of a Venus-ruled lover?) And if you’re riding solo, don’t worry. Call up your best girlfriends for a wine and movie date or get outside and get cozy at a coffee shop. The people are truly your medicine!
October 24th - November 22nd
Secretive and seductive scorpio, if there’s one word that perfectly describes your menstrual cycle, it’s hormones. With Pluto being your planetary ruler- aka the planet of sex, secrets, and seduction- you may find yourself feeling rather… errr… ready to get it on. Take this time to snuggle up with your significant other (or if you’re single, grab a friend) and give into your intimate urges. Satisfy your desires by shaking things up and stepping out of your normal routine. How can you keep things exciting and adventurous? While some signs need to slow down during this time, Scorpio it’s your time to speed up and turn up the heat. Treat yourself to an extra dose of oxytocin and revel in this magical time.
November 23rd - December 22nd
As a fire sign, your tendency to go, go, go 100% of the time. However, your fiery nature and go-getter spirit will need to take the backseat as you let your self-care take the reigns. How can you feed your need for adventure from the comfort of your own home? Perhaps grab a book, put on a movie, or find a way to let your mind escape, such as through journaling. Drift off into the world of your dreams, desires, and ambitions, and use this as a time to consciously manifest without feeling the need to be on the run. Sometimes the best action we can take is to be in more of a sedated state, so take that to heart during this time. And if you absolutely cannot sit still? Go for a walk in nature! Not only will the extra dose of endorphins feel oh-so good on your tired body, but the smells and feels that accompany nature will satisfy the needs to be on the run- right from the comfort of your own backyard.
December 23rd - January 20th
As the arguable “work horse” of the zodiac, Capricorn your period is a constant source of frustration. Finding yourself in a state of not being able to work as hard or as fast as you normally do? Good. Use this time to slow down and ease into your earthy nature. Take note from your element sister, Taurus, and engage in a little self-care. Does a bubble bath sound exciting? Or how about a blanket and a good book? Maybe some slow dancing to that new vinyl record of yours? Self-care is not traditionally in the name of the Capricorn game, so try to challenge yourself during this time of the month and push yourself to step outside of your normal working routine and begin to do things for fun. Frame it like this: your body is working hard to take care of you, so why not try to one-up it and take care of yourself even better? If there’s one thing Capricorn loves, it’s getting to the top. So, get to the top of your self-care game and I promise, your body, your mind, and your career, will thank you.
January 21st - February 17th
While other signs may crave cuddles and love, Aquarius you want space. Despite the fact that you are the biggest advocate for the people, your airiness and detached nature screams “leave me alone!” This isn’t a bad thing- just an indicator that a little solo time and an extra dose of self-love is just what the doctor ordered. Spend some time going inwards and taking time for self-reflection. Journal it out, meditate, read a book…. make more time during this season for the work that truly feeds your mind, body, soul connection. After all, you’re the first to admit that nobody can love you better than you can, and in this circumstance, it’s true. Give yourself the space to be your own free spirit self in whatever way calls to you (even if this involves a little time in the bedroom) and above all, relax. Put your needs first, put your feet up, let your hair down, and above all, try to have a good and comfortable time.
February 18th - March 20th
You know that song by Ariana Grande, “Love Me Harder?” When thinking about you, soft and sweet Pisces, that’s the first thing that comes to mind. You are so gentle and loving, it’s about time that you get some of that love back! But unlike your friend Libra who needs physical love, Pisces you need emotional love. As the most “watery” of the water signs - aka the most empathic and sensitive - on a normal day you feel things ten-times more than the average person. Which means that when it comes to your moon cycle, you feel things even more. Make sure you allow yourself a healthy outlet to express your feelings, such as turning to a partner or friend as a shoulder to cry on. Surround yourself with those who nurture your emotions and allow you to have the physically expression of them without judgment. Just be sure that you don’t express your overwhelming emotions in destructive ways. Being such an empathic sign comes with a cost, and with your planetary ruler being Neptune, the sign of dreams, fantasies, and illusions, many Pisces are prone to expressing their heavy emotions through escapist tendencies in order to reach that dream / fantasy state (drugs, alcohol, sex, eating). Ground out your energy and seek out healthy outlets for your emotions so you don’t swim yourself into a hole.
* Note: While, biologically, it is only females that can menstruate, it is important within the context of this discussion to separate biological sex from gender identity. Thus, the term “bleeding person” is used in place of female to represent the non-binary, transgender, and/or androgynous people who still experience menstruation.