Adulting, Body, Health & Wellness, Spirituality

The Lunar Cycle and Your Period: Are the Two Cycles Truly Connected?

phases of a period

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Brianna Allison. Find her on Instagram at @ballison7. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

Periods are complicated. It’s a cycle of ups and downs – pain, mood swings, hormone changes and lots of unpredictability. So, for some people, it can be hard to keep track of menstruation. You can try to track it by putting it on your calendar, you can use an app or perhaps you rely on your friend whose cycle is synced with yours and she just shoots you a text to say that she just got her period.

However, some people swear by relying on nature to tell them when their time of the month is coming. These folks keep track of their period by following the moon’s cycle. And I’m sure you’re wondering, how do the phases of a period connect with the cycle of the moon? Well, let’s take a look!

Let’s start with the menstrual cycle

Now, before we get into things, let’s break down the basics of a period cycle. A menstrual cycle is the monthly shedding of your uterine lining. Usually, a menstrual cycle is anywhere from 21 to 35 days long, with the average cycle being 28 days. And during this time, your cycle goes through four phases. They include:

  • The menses phase– This is when you get your period. The egg has not been fertilized, so the uterine lining is shed out of your vagina. Your estrogen and progesterone levels also drop. This can last anywhere between 2-7 days.
  • The follicular phase– Next, during days 6-14 of your cycle, your estrogen levels rise which causes your uterine lining to thicken and grow. Another hormone, the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) causes your ovaries to produce small sacs which are called follicles. The healthiest follicle is then developed into a mature egg. This happens during days 10-14.
  • Ovulation– Then, halfway through your cycle (the 14th day if you have a 28-day cycle) your ovary releases the mature egg. This process lasts about 24 hours. 
  • The luteal phase– The last phase lasts from days 15 to 28. During this part of the cycle, the mature egg travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus. At this point, the egg either becomes fertilized by sperm, attaches to your uterine wall and you become pregnant; Or if it is not fertilized, then your estrogen and progesterone levels drop again, and the menses phase starts.

Now, let’s look at the moon phases


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Just like your menstrual cycle, there are four phases that the moon goes through during its 29.5-day cycle: new moon, first quarter, full moon and last quarter. 

  • New Moon – This is the beginning of the cycle. During this phase, the sun and moon are the closest together in the sky making it look like the moon is completely dark.
  • First Quarter – Now, the moon is a quarter way through its cycle. However, when we look at the moon during this phase, it looks like a half-moon because only half of its surface is lit. In the “Northern Hemisphere, the right side of the Moon is illuminated; in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the left side.”
  • Full Moon – At this point, the sun and moon are in opposition and the farthest apart in the sky. This completely illuminates the moon.
  • Last Quarter – And the last part of the cycle is when the moon has traveled ¾ through its orbit. And, again, it looks like half of the moon is lit, but this time “In the Northern Hemisphere, the left side is illuminated; in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the right side.”

The connection between the lunar cycle and the menstrual cycle


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So, how do the lunar cycle and menstrual cycle connect? Well, throughout the times, many have associated the lunar cycle with a woman’s menstruation and fertility because traditionally, the moon has been associated with femininity. The two cycles also are on a very similar timeline (28 days vs. 29.5 days). The overlap of the cycles and the symbolism of the moon gave women, in the early years, the opportunity to track their menstrual cycle. And many believe that women are connected to the moon which allows it to affect the biological processes of our bodies. Below are the moon cycles that have a correlation with our menstrual cycles:

  • The White Moon Cycle– The white moon cycle is the most common cycle to align with. If you have the white moon cycle, your menses phase (when you begin to bleed) starts on or around the new moon phase. If this is the case then you will ovulate on or around the full moon.

Because this is the most traditional cycle, someone who has a white moon cycle is seen as nurturing, looking to start a family and be in the “mother” phase of life. Also, when there is a full moon, the earth is most fertile. And in the white moon cycle, the person’s fertility and the earth’s fertility are aligned. However, it could also mean that you’re looking to focus on yourself right now and to remind yourself that you need love and care.

  • The Red Moon Cycle– If you have the red moon cycle then your period starts on or around the full moon and so you ovulate on or during the new moon. This is a less common cycle than the white moon cycle.

Back in ancient times, women who had a red moon cycle were seen as witches, healers and medicine women. But, today we just see them as “women of great power.” They’re more focused on being creative, focusing on self-growth and development. They are empowered from within which in turn allows them to empower others. The red moon cycle is also deeply connected to female sexual energy.

  • The Pink Moon Cycle– Those who menstruate during the waxing moon, which is between the new Moon and first quarter phases and between the first quarter and full moon, have the pink moon cycle. 

When you have a pink moon cycle you’re not entirely aligned with the moon which means that you’re in a transitional phase of your life. You may be “leaving a period of rest or shadow and coming into your strength and power.”

  • The Purple Moon Cycle– Lastly, there is the purple moon cycle. This is when you menstruate during the waning moon, which is between the full and last quarter and between the last quarter and new moon phases.

Similar to a pink moon cycle, a purple moon cycle means that you’re in a transitional phase. However, you’re transitioning in the opposite direction, “so this might symbolize you entering a quieter stage of your life or exploring your shadow self.” In this case, let go of what’s no longer serving your needs. Instead, find yourself and rest before going back out into the world.

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So, are the phases of a period connected with the moon’s cycle? This has been a constant debate. Many say that this is a myth when considering the statistics of people’s periods who align with the lunar cycle vs. those who don’t match the cycle of the moon. There’s also not any scientific evidence (yet) to prove the validity of these moon/menstruation cycles. However, it’s clearly evident how closely they align and it is certainly interesting… 

Does your menstrual cycle align with the lunar cycles? Do you think the moon affects your period or fertility? Let us know in the comments below!

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