This is the moment we rise and that we allow something new to open up and uncover itself; this is the moment we take charge of our lives, that we become weavers of our own destiny and that we take part in this universal loom of women creating a new reality, a new way of experiencing humanity, nature, and the symbiosis amongst both. Honoring our sacred blood, illuminating the wisdom of our uterus, returning to the embrace of our grandmother moon, dancing along with the beauty of our fluctuations… thus, we shall outrun this journey of reconnection beyond the realms of time and space; uniting ourselves with our ancestors and their different lineages and traditions; we become, step by step, the change we want to see in the world! Be welcome, Daughters of the Moon!
WHAT IS THE MOONDALA:
The Moondala is a map that connects and contextualizes the cycles of the moon and your personal menstruation periods, so that you can comprehend the patterns of each phase of your cycle. After three months mapping your moon (or maybe more, in case the patterns are still not very clear), you will star to notice the patterns in your cycles that you were maybe never aware of; patterns that instruct you on how to flow through your month cycles and personal life in a more efficient, mindful and balanced way.
GET TO KNOW YOUR CYCLE:
The first day of bleeding is counted as the first day of the cycle, and the cycle ends in the last day before the next period. We then divide this complete cycle in four (4) parts, and each one of which represents a different phase related to the phases of the moon, the different seasons of the year, the different phases of a day cycle, etc.
A healthy cycle is usually from 25 to 33 days long, in case your cycle is shorter or longer, it is suggested that you observe if there is any unbalance in subtle, emotional or physical level.
Apart from that, the movement within your cycle will happen in a very peculiar rhythm: it can be shorter in some of the months (in case there has been intense inner processes activated, or lots of vital energy being used), or longer (when there is a greater need of integration and contemplation on what is occurring to us, and in our lives).
A lunar cycle is made of 29.5 days, but each lunar phase (New Moon, Waxing, Full Moon and Waning) can last from 6 to 9 days each, depending on the cycle. Thus this changing aspect of the moon cycle invites us to leave the linear and logical thinking and rather enter into a process of feeling and flowing in a more intuitive and subtle way; and this, in itself, is a great exercise of reconnection with the subtleness and the mysteries of the sacred feminine.
In each moment we receive our menstrual blood, something is coming to end, finishing and being concluded within us and/or our life. By connecting more to this cycling quality and to ourselves, we start noticing that there is a greater wisdom than what our mind is able to understand; a wisdom that talks about our healing processes and our growing as spiritual beings living this journey as women. A wisdom that teaches us about the times of life, death, and rebirth; and that has nothing to do with dates, calendars, numbers or patterns that are already established. This wisdom manifests itself even though we might not be aware of it.
It’s interesting to thing that there is no right or wrong cycle, and also there no such a thing as a cycle being better than the other. There is no need for your cycle to always happen in the same period, with the same amount of days, or in the same phase of the moon; in the same way there is no need for it to happen in a specific moon time. The best perspective we can have in this study is that our bodies is wise and it will show its signs, messages on how have we been living in a deeper level; using our menstrual cycle as a tool to get to know yourself and set yourself more aware of the truth that manifests within you, for you, at each new moment… that’s the way it is.
THE MOON AND THE PERSONAL CYCLE:
The moon in which we receive our blood is connected with what we are nurturing or healing, according to the specific energy of each phase. There is a myth that being on your period during new moon is better, or that having your periods always in the same moon phase means that we are more connected; but this belief is just a manifestation of our limited and rational controlling minds, trying to label our process.
To understand this in a practical way, we can name a few examples: receiving your period in Waning Moon might indicate that some aspect of our childhood or our inner child is being cleansed… or it can be that we are feeding a new project, or a new idea that is starting. Menstruating in the New Moon might be connected to the healing of subconscious aspects, of accessing our shadows and more rooted patterns; or of nurturing our potential of coming inward, of quietness and lonesomeness. These are just examples, but the best way to know what each of these phases mean is the observation of oneself, of that moon and this equation that is formed in between the moon in the sky, the moon within you and the different manifestations that come out of this!
THE DIFFERENT FEMININE FACETS AND THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE:
It is common to create archetypes and specific patterns for each cycle and its phases; such as the Child, the Mother, the Crown, etc. But it´s extremely important that each women dedicates herself to getting to know her own patterns, the archetypes that are being activated within each moon, and each phase of the menstrual cycle; and the personal and individual manifestations of a unique and individual path throughout this Mandala of the Cycle.
Answering to these questions we can observe ourselves with more attention; comprehending and recognizing our weaknesses and potentials as we are immerse in these unending cycles of life-death-life of our wombs. Through this act of self-love and self-care, we can manage to use our energy in a wiser and more efficient way; we walk through our cycle in a dynamic balance: a practical example of this is to start our projects when our energy is more focused (pre ovulatory phase); sharing our presences when we are more open and extroverted (ovulatory phase); finishing and concluding projects, closing cycles (premenstrual); resting, meditating and making retreat in the phases of best introspection (during menstruation); etc.
“KNOWING OURSELFS EMPOWERS US IN MANY LEVELS… IT POTENTIALIZES US IN THE WAY WE DEAL WITH OUR INNER PROCESSES AS WELL AS IN THE WAY WE MANIFEST TO THE WORLD"
PMS AS A SELFKNOWLOEDGE TOOL:
Another interesting question we can make ourselves at each new cycle, especially in the premenstrual phase (Known as PMS) is: “What do I wish to transform in my life?”, “What is supposed to be different?”, “What am I carrying to my new cycle that is no longer aligned with what I am and what I am looking for?”. “What should I leave behind in order to live my new cycle in a way that is more aligned to my inner truth?” or “What do I wish for this new cycle?”.
Making these questions at each month and comparing the patterns that emerge during our PMS, we can realize more clearly how much are we growing and spiraling in our life´s journey, or, maybe realize we are spinning in circles, pushing our frustrations forward, and repeating continuously the same patterns. In this exercise it is of great importance that the woman takes a 100% responsibility for her processes, understanding that everything that manifests outside is a result of something that was built inside. The patterns are there, showing itself at each new cycle, asking to be transformed… but remember: change always begins within!
THE MOON MANDALA AND THE CONSCIOUS FERTILITY:
The Moondala is a tool that can be used as means of controlling fertility, in a healthier, more integrate and organic way than the methods that are used now a days.
Knowing the patterns of emotional and physical manifestations of ovulation and the unfertile periods, the women is less dependent on the linear date control, calendars or pills; and starts to use consciousness of oneself as a more reliable tool.
Knowing more your cycle:
It’s useless to think that only because your menstrual cycle has 28 days you are going to ovulate on the 14th day of you cycle! This may differ from cycle to cycle. Ideally, you should map your symptoms, observe how you feel every day, at every moment, and start identifying the characteristics that indicate whether you are fertile or not! This is an important study not only to the women who WANT or DON’T WANT to get pregnant, but also to the women who want to take responsibility for their own health and stop handing over the responsibility for their own bodies to third parties!
Understanding your signs:
The primary signs include cervical mucus, cervical position, and basal body temperature. Here is a brief introduction that you can start using right away:
During the fertile period, the cervix is more open, soft, and aligned with the vagina. This can be checked by inserting your middle finger and index finger into your vagina until you can feel your cervix. On the other hand, during the infertile period, the cervix is hard, low, closed, and inclined towards the vagina wall.
Change in appearance and sensation of vaginal discharge: During the infertile period, the sensation is dry. If you have mucus, it’s sticky and scarce. An unchanged standard reflects inactive ovaries. The fertile period is characterized by increased mucus, in addition to wet, slippery sensation. It looks transparent, such as egg white (you can try to stretch it using your thumb and your index finger. You'll notice it's tacky and doesn't break). By observing the mucus, it’s possible to know whether you are fertile or not or if ovulation is close or has already happened.
Progesterone leads to increased body temperature because of ovulation. At waking up, measure your body temperature with a specific thermometer to check whether you have already ovulated or not.
The secondary symptoms: They are called secondary because they are not as reliable as the primary symptoms mentioned above. The secondary symptoms may differ from cycle to cycle or woman to woman; however, they are great allies to get to know yourself, your body, and your Feminine:
Your breasts may become larger and more tender when you are approaching ovulation. During the infertile period, they are smaller and more sagging.
In the vagina, the labia majora and minora may be more open and abundant when you are approaching ovulation;
You may experience some discomfort in the region of the ovaries or the waist;
Increased sweat, oilier hair;
You may experience increased sexual desire;
You may feel more active, enthusiastic, loving, creative, and confident.
The fertile phase starts with the first changes in the regular standard of infertility, about 6 days before ovulation. The last day of increased mucus is the most fertile in the cycle and is called Peak. To keep the egg from fertilizing, ejaculation should be avoided between the first day of change in the infertility standard and the fourth day after the Peak (considering the sperm may live up to 72 hours in the woman’s body).
BREATH! ... these are very basic tips, this is only the beginning, but it's a good start! Dedication, awareness, information, and responsibility are good companions in this process! But relax, take one step at the time. Connecting with yourself and your cycle is a great transformation in your life! We continue...
These are some of the signs that may be observed as the standard of fertility; however, use your own notes to identify the physical, emotional, and mental characteristics that manifest during this period! By getting to know yourself more deeply and assertively, you can take responsibility for your own body and choose how you want to manifest your sexuality in the sacred temple of your body. This is also a way to use the powerful energies of your ovulation consciously and nurture your creative potential, and your power to express yourself, creating your own reality in the form of ideas, projects, solutions etc., and giving birth to the life we deserve and wish for!
Before you start mapping, you should know that the phase of the moon marks Day 1 in your cycle. Day 1 is when you start bleeding. On Day 1, use the Lunar Calendar to check what phase of the moon you are in. In this cycle, if your Day 1 doesn’t match the start of any of the 4 moons of the calendar, find the phase of the moon that is closest to your Day 1, calculate how many days before or after you had your period, and find the relevant point in your diagram, moving forward or backward. After determining this reference point, you can start writing your data in your Moon Mandala. For example, if you menstruated 3 days before Full Moon, move 3 steps back. If you menstruated 4 days after New Moon, move 3 steps forward and start making notes from this point (you will find an arrow that points to the direction you should follow - forward or backward)!
If your cycle has more than 29 days, use more than one Mandala! We recommend you carry out this study for at least 3 months. After 3 months, compare the Mandalas and find the patterns!
2) Before you start mapping, you should know that the phase of the moon marks Day 1 in your cycle. Day 1 is when you start bleeding. On Day 1, use the Lunar Calendar to check what phase of the moon you are in. In this cycle, if your Day 1 doesn’t match the start of any of the 4 moons of the calendar, find the phase of the moon that is closest to your Day 1, calculate how many days before or after you had your period, and find the relevant point in your diagram, moving forward or backward. After determining this reference point, you can start writing your data in your Moon Mandala. For example, if you menstruated 3 days before Full Moon, move 3 steps backwards. If you menstruated 4 days after New Moon, move 3 steps forward and start making notes from this point (you will find an arrow that points to the direction you should follow - forward or backward)!
THE MOON MANDALA AND HORMONAL CONTRACEPTION:
This exercise of self-observation is more limited in case of the women who take contraception pills, because the artificial hormones change substantially your natural cycle; but even so it is recommended you do it: in the moment tender Grandmother Moon feels the call of the women for reconnection, much wisdom and many gifts are offered. It is for sure a big step to freeing yourself from pharmaceutical medication, from being fearful of your own fertility or from physical and hormonal disorders in general.
WHAT ABOUT MEN, CAN THEY DO THE MANDALA?
Yes! Women in menopause, pregnant or women who for whichever reason do not bleed can do the Mandala as well! In this case, the observation of the patterns that occur according only to phases of the moon, and not the menstrual cycle, of course. Remembering that the moon influences everything; influences us all!
SO, ARE WE READY? LET US BEGIN!
HOW TO FILL IN YOUR MOONDALA:
1 – There are 29 moons in each graph. They have been colored in black to illustrate the phases of a moon cycle. The black moon stands for the New Moon. The white one is the Full Moon
2 – Before you start mapping, you should know that the phase of the moon marks Day 1 in your cycle. Day 1 is when you start bleeding. On Day 1, use the Lunar Calendar to check what phase of the moon you are in. In this cycle, if your Day 1 doesn’t match the start of any of the 4 moons of the calendar, find the phase of the moon that is closest to your Day 1, calculate how many days before or after you had your period, and find the relevant point in your diagram, moving forward or backward. After determining this reference point, you can start writing your data in your Moondala. For example, if you menstruated 3 days before Full Moon, move 3 steps back. If you menstruated 4 days after New Moon, move 3 steps forward and start making notes from this point (you will find an arrow that points to the direction you should follow - forward or backward)!
If your cycle has more than 29 days, use more than one Mandala! We recommend you carry out this study for at least 3 months. After 3 months, compare the Mandalas and find the patterns!
3 – The day number of your cycle are registered in the area called “Day”.
4 – The dates corresponding to them are written in the areas called “Date”.
5 – The area called “Physical” is where you document the changes that happen in your body – for example, breasts are bigger, characteristics of vaginal mucus, sensible nipples, straining, diarrhea, thirst, tiredness or vitality, cramps, gases, lack or excess of sleep, oily or dry hair and skin, muscle pains, acne, amount of menstrual flow, etc.
6 – The area called “Emotional” is where you take note of the changes that happen in your emotional level – irritability, extroversion, introversion, receptivity, passivity, determination, euphoria, creativity, protector, caring, anxious, stressed, etc.
You can also complement the information like: dreams, libido, which food cravings or aversions you have, if you have less or more appetite, quality and amount of sleeping, etc.
7 – The space beside the moon can be colored in red during the days of bleeding and in some specific color to make reference to possible fertile days. Fertility control doesn´t happen in a linear way here, just based upon dates, but by being aware of the characteristics, physical/emotional patterns that may occur during the cycle; that is, through self-study, observation and awareness of one´s own patterns. (I suggest that for deepening this subject you take part on the online classes or workshops).
8 – Understand that our Moon Mandala is not ready; you are responsible to complete it with your information and through your own art! The illustrations around the Moondala are an invitation for you to express your inner universe and to get involved more subjectively; through forms, colors and creations.
* Consistency is the key: To create a daily habit on making this moon journal, its recommended you keep your Moon Mandala easy to access, by your nightstand, for example.
*Make it worth it: Try to create in your mind the idea that the time you spend feeding your Mandala is a time of reflection, to observe; is an act for care and self-love. It is a ritual of reconnection with your own self.
* Consolidate: You can write a 2-4 day general vision in case your experience is similar throughout these days. This will help you to find the pattern of each month after three months of keeping notes.
* Morena Cardoso: Visionary and founder of DanzaMedicina. Morena has traveled for over a decade in peregrinage searching for the most sacred lands, original cultures, ancestral feminine wisdom, body-psychotherapies and healing movement techniques; The result of this life research and deep inner work, is what Morena now offers to hundreds of women throughout the world, as DanzaMedicina.