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Using the Phases of the Moon with Our Body’s Natural

Rhythms and Connection to Lunar Cycles for Health,


Awareness, Honoring, Conception, & Contraception
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This document is Copyright 2014
Published by & Property of 13 Moons of
Matrescence//Aileen Peterson
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DISCLAIMER
The information found herein is for informational purposes only and does not
replace the profession guidance of your care provider. The contents of this book
are not intended to diagnose or treat. The author of this book is not responsible or
to be held accountable for any outcome that may occur due to a reader applying
any methods or utilizing any information found within these pages. By reading this
book, sharing the information within, or utilizing it for yourself, you are
acknowledging the above statements. Any claims made within have not been
evaluated by the FDA.
So what is this Class all about?

This is a class on Lunaception and includes information on:

 Lunar Lore and the link between Menstruation and the Moon
 What is Lunaception & what it can be used for
 Lunaception: How-To
 How Lunaception can be used with other forms of family planning and
fertility tracking for added success regarding conception or contraception
 Troubleshooting & Suggestions
 Bibliography & Further Reading
 BONUS: this class also comes with a bonus section on honoring your
menstrual cycle and a bit about Red Tents & the Red Tent Movement.

҉҉҉

What is included in the cost of the Class?

Besides the information and free **BONUS** section mentioned above, one-on-
one mentoring and E-mail correspondence for one month is included. Also
included is a printable chart with the moon phases for combining fertility tracking
and Lunaception. You can print as many as you need and use them to track your
cycles.

One, thirty-minute mentoring session is included if desired via Google+ Hangout


or Skype plus E-mail Correspondence for one month.

If any extra mentoring is needed, it is $15 per thirty-minute session or $30 per
month of correspondence.
Lunar Lore & the Link Between Menstruation
& the Moon
Peoples the world over have recognized a link between menstruation and the lunar cycles since
the beginning of time. “The word ‘menstruation’ is etymologically related to ‘moon’. The terms
‘menstruation’ and ‘menses’ are derived from the Latin mensis (month), which in turn relates to
the Greek mene (moon) and to the roots of the English words month and moon (1)”. The ebb and
flow of the tides, of the moon’s journey through its various phases, all reflect the ebb and flow of
the cycles and bodily fluids within us, particularly in regards to menstruation (and also birth). All
of the cycles of ovulation, menstruation, birth, and other bodily fluid cycles also correlate with
the tides of the ocean—another watery place entrained to the pull of the moon.

It is typical, when the circumstances allow, for womyn’s bodies to sync up to each other, and
entrain (or match up) to the strongest influence on their internal cycles—the moon. This was
particularly the case when we lived and worked and slept together in tribal groups and extended
family units, when we were also a part of cultures that lived day to day based on the cyclical
nature of, well, nature. This can still be seen in similar cultures around today, and to an extent—
though now often altered by technology, poor diet, constant exposure to artificial light, altered
sleep schedules, increased levels of stress, and lack of close vicinity to other females for the
majority of womyn—in the western world. Even with these modern influences on our bodies’
natural rhythms, science has shown that ovulation and conception (and also births) are most
likely to occur close to or during a full moon, and less likely—thus with menstruation most
commonly occurring—around the New Moon (2). However, there is some evidence that many
womyn are the opposite—bleeding at the Full Moon and ovulating during the New Moon (6).

Ancient peoples associated the moon with menstruation, or the Moon Flow/Moontime, and with
the feminine mysteries. The moon’s cycle was reflected in the agricultural cycles and seasonal
behaviors of wildlife in the world around them, as well as in the world within their wombs.
Many are taught that 28 days is a “normal” length for a womyn’s menstrual cycle, when in fact
29.5 days—the same length as a lunar cycle—is seemingly more common (and studies show,
results in the most fertile of women (6)). Some of the oldest known calendars come from the
Paleolithic Era and are believed to have been used by womyn who were tracking their menstrual
cycles. “In Indo-European the roots for 'mind' (*men-) and 'measure' (*me-) originated from the
root for 'moon' (*me-) - there's a theory that human intelligence and mathematics developed in
the Paleolithic because of women calculating their moon cycles… As a verbal root in Uzbek,
o'y- means ‘to carve notches’, as in the bones which were the first calendars, made by Ice Age
women tracking their menstrual periods (5)”. This is believed by many scholars to have been the
basis of mathematics, as well as agriculture, both having been started by womyn based on the
cycles of the moon. This can be seen even today just by picking up a Farmer’s Almanac that
encourages sowing and harvesting different plants and vegetables based on the phases of the
moon.

There was a story once that I read, that I unfortunately cannot find again, that the moon is in fact
a man, and he came down each month in the dark of the moon, and coupled with womyn while
they slept. When they awoke, they had begun bleeding. It was thought that a womyn became a
virgin each cycle, and then was deflowered by the moon and started her courses once more.
Many mythologies the world over, including those of the Maya and others, link the moon
goddess to menstruation.

There is also the theory of the “lunar fertility cycle” that was articulated in the 1950’s by a Dr.
Eugene Jonas and works under the premise that you can be fertile (whether or not you are fertile
at an entirely different time of the month as well) during the phase of the moon that the moon
was in at the time of your birth. This ties into astrology, and has been met with quite a bit of
skepticism by the scientific and medical communities. For some womyn with a longer menstrual
cycle, this could mean multiple ovulations and/or fertile periods (most likely the body may
attempt to ovulate more than once, and actually ovulate only one time). For some womyn, this
may coincide with their own biological ovulation times resulting in only one ovulation/fertile
time per cycle (3).
What is Lunaception and What Can It Be Used
For?
The term Lunaception was first coined in the 1970’s by Louise Lacey in her unique book
Lunaception. It is the syncing of one’s menstrual cycles to the lunar cycles using light
manipulation during sleep at certain times during the menstrual cycle to mimic the cycles of the
moon. When menstrual and lunar cycles are linked, the most common outcomes include
menstrual regularity (resulting from hormone regularity—we need sunlight during the day and
darkness at night for proper hormone balance (8)), increased fertility/awareness of fertile periods,
and increased bodily awareness and awareness of the world around you. This is a natural state of
being for the female body and the reproductive system especially. Some womyn while practicing
Lunaception will bleed on or around the New Moon (dark part of the month) and ovulate on or
around the Full Moon (light part of the month)—others are the opposite, bleeding at the Full
Moon and ovulating during the New Moon.

Who can benefit from using Lunaception? Anyone can benefit, but it is particularly for those
who are not on/using [hormonal] birth control and for those who are searching for an all-natural
method of regulating their cycles, learning to track their fertility, and either getting pregnant or
avoiding pregnancy. It is also for those who wish to return to a more primal way of being, and
who wish to honor and bring awareness to the cycles of their bodies and the world around them.
One article I read claimed that womyn suffering from hormone problems (whether linked to the
reproductive system specifically or not) and even PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) can
benefit from the use of Lunaception (7).

Lunaception can be used for general health and wellness by helping to regulate your
menstrual cycles, and when used in conjunction with other fertility tracking methods can help
you to recognize when something is amiss such as the possibility of not actually ovulating during
a cycle, or when you may have a yoni (vaginal) flora imbalance or infection. There are other
reported benefits as well. “We can apply the lighting patterns of the moon to our own bedroom to
re-align our cycles with this intrinsic pattern. In this way, we create regular periods and balance
our melatonin production… two key ways to balance hormones. You’ll notice more energy,
easier weight management, less PMS symptoms, and more (7)”.

Lunaception can also provide you with an avenue of Awareness, both of your own body and
bodily cycles, and wellbeing, but also an awareness of the cycles of the natural world around
you. I highly recommend researching old farming practices, and picking up a Farmer’s Almanac
if you have a garden and learning how to plant and harvest based on the cycles of the moon. You
can also, if you live close enough for a visit, experience the beach/ocean at different tides, and
different phases of the moon.

Though this could be considered a part of Awareness, Lunaception helps provide a way for
you to begin Honoring your cycles through the time dedicated to practicing this craft and
tracking your fertility and the awareness of your body and nature that it brings. You can simply
recognize that and be present with that, or you can elaborate as much as you would like. We will
talk more about other ways to honor your cycles and Moontime in the Bonus chapter of this
booklet.

The most commonly sought uses for Lunaception are found in its name: Conception and
Contraception. Lunaception accomplishes these things in a couple different ways. Lunaception,
as mentioned earlier, helps to bring your body into balance (though sometimes other factors are
at play and must be considered as well) and helps to regulate your cycles. Womyn with regular
cycles are more likely to get pregnant, especially when using other fertility tracking methods,
and have the easiest time avoiding pregnancy compared to women who are irregular [*this is not
to say that womyn with irregular cycles cannot practice things such as Fertility Awareness
Method for conception or contraceptive purposes, but it is more difficult and often there are other
underlying factors affecting fertility when there is cycle irregularity*]. Having a regulated cycle
means that your hormones are balanced, and hormones play a key part in getting and staying
pregnant. Sometimes the difficulty with getting pregnant or avoiding pregnancy is simply a lack
of knowing when one is or is not fertile. Lunaception is one way to help bring you into
awareness about the fertile and infertile ebbs and flows of your cycle. As mentioned earlier,
additional fertility tracking methods employed with the use of Lunaception can help to determine
any problems that may be present that could potentially be inhibiting ovulation, or the
continuation of a pregnancy (for example, chronic early miscarriages is a sign of a short luteal
phase—the time between ovulation and the start of your next period).

Caza: Lunaception
Lunaception: How-To

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:


+ Daily planner, wall calendar, cycle charts, etc.

+ Something to darken your bedroom windows, such as black-out curtains, blankets, and tape or
tacks

+ Something to cover the cracks of your doors, such as a dark blanket or thick towel

+ Lamp with shade or a nightlight

+ OPTIONAL: red light bulb for your bathroom

~~~

The key to Lunaception is lighting. The first thing you must do is determine when
the New Moon and Full Moon are each month. This will let you know when to do
the “night lighting” and when to sleep in total darkness during your cycle. Once
you have these dates determined, you’ll need to mark them either in a daily
planner, on a wall calendar, in a cycle tracking software (if possible/if it doesn’t
already provide it), and/or on your cycle charts [which are provided for printing
and use with this class]. Highlight the day before, the day of, and the day after
the Full Moon. These are the days that you will introduce the light.

The next step is to black-out your sleeping area. A sleeping/eye mask is not
adequate, except possibly while traveling. It is recommended to invest in black-out
curtains, as these will provide the best protection from light coming in through
your window such as from cars driving by and street lamps (particularly for those
living in urban or more-populated areas). If you can’t, try doubling up dark
curtains with a thick blanket and pinning or taping the edges down, etc. You may
also need to find something to cover the cracks of your bedroom door, such as a
rolled up blanket or thick towel. Make sure that all electronic devices are turned
completely off or covered- including computers, cell phones, and particularly
glowing digital alarm clocks. Any amount of light can be sensed by the body
during sleep and disrupt the process or trigger early ovulation, even the tiny
blinking blue lights from laptops or cell phones. You may also want to invest in a
tiny lamp and red lightbulb for your bathroom for mid-night bathroom trips, or
hang a red scarf completely over a lamp. Red light does not affect the body’s
process/trigger ovulation unlike white and blue light.

Once this is all done, you will sleep in total darkness every night, until the Full
Moon. This is when your regular lamp or nightlight comes into play. If too much
light keeps you from sleeping, try it with just a nightlight versus the lamp. Sleep
with your lamp or nightlight on for the day before, the day of, and the day
after the Full Moon. Afterwards you go back to sleeping in total darkness until
the next Full Moon, and so on. For those of you who perhaps live somewhere rural,
or where the Full Moon passes in front of your bedroom window during the night,
you can throw open your blinds on the three nights of the Full Moon and sleep in
the moonlight instead of using a nightlight or lamp. Some womyn may desire to
actually sleep outside during the three nights of the Full Moon, such as in a
screened in porch, tent with the windows unzipped to let the light in, etc.

For a few womyn, it takes only a cycle or two to sync up with the moon. However,
it is more common and to be expected for it to take 4-6 months, or longer, for
most womyn. I would note, though, that if it is taking longer than 6 months I would
highly consider what other factors may be at play such as toxic environmental
exposures, diet, severe hormone imbalances, or chronic stress.

One source recommends for womyn “to sleep in complete darkness for one to two
months prior to night lighting, to help ‘reset’ the body (7)”. I think this would be
particularly useful for those who are just coming off of some form of birth control,
or have had some other significant hormonal event in the last 3 months (such as a
miscarriage, abortion, or return of cycles after birth/weaning) but this is only a
personal theory.

In Honoring Our Cycles, Katie Singer mentions that “Once you are pregnant,
sleeping in complete darkness can help you keep a healthy pregnancy. After your
baby is born, sleep in complete darkness until you are ready to ovulate again (8)”.
Using Lunaception with Other Forms of
Fertility Tracking
Other ways to track fertility:

 Fertility Awareness Method/Natural Family Planning; Billings Method, etc.


(or tracking fertility using cervical fluid, cervical position, and basal body
temperature changes— which ones you track depends on the method)
 Ovulation Predictor Kits
 Saliva Ferning Tests
 The “Lunar Fertility Cycle” and/or “Astrological Birth Control”

What are some of the benefits of using Lunaception in conjunction with other
forms of fertility tracking?

 Increased accuracy in determining the effectiveness of Lunaception


 Increased accuracy in determining fertile periods and ovulation during your
cycle, resulting in an increased ability to become pregnant or avoid
pregnancy
 Increased bodily awareness
o This can include knowing when something is not quite right with your
body/cycles such as not ovulating or a yoni infection (this applies
when using FAM/NFP).

FAM/NFP; Billings Method: It is highly recommended to learn how to track your


fertility using one, two, or all three of the body signs in regards to fertility. These
include: cervical fluid changes (in texture, consistency, and amount); cervical
position changes (in texture/hardness, os openness, and how low or high in the
yoni it is); and waking basal body temperature (this is the most accurate way to
determine if ovulation is actually taking place, however it shows when ovulation
has already occurred, not when ovulation is going to occur). Fertility Awareness
Method and Naturally Family Planning employ the use of all three. The best books
I can recommend to learn how to do this are Taking Charge of Your Fertility by
Toni Wescheler and Honoring Our Cycles by Katie Singer. I cannot stress enough
the importance of learning to do this, for all women. Taking Charge of Your
Fertility goes into deeper detail in regards to abnormal charts and symptoms,
different rules particular to FAM/NFP, and has a section dedicated to charting
while breastfeeding as well. The other touches on these topics but not in as much
detail. Honoring Our Cycles is a great book for carrying with you while traveling
as it is light-weight. It is also very easy to read and grasp the concepts. If you get
Katie’s book, the pages on Lunaception (which she calls “Night Lighting”) are 50-
51. She provides an alternative method of Night Lighting, based on your cervical
fluid changes not necessarily the moon phases. The Billings Method is an
alternative method that only tracks cervical mucus changes.

The other benefit of tracking and charting your cervical mucus especially is being
able to determine healthy discharge from unhealthy discharge. In TCOYF she
mentions that many women went over and over to their doctors complaining of a
yoni discharge, positive they had an infection. Each time they were sent home,
being told they were fine. It turned out that they were just noticing their cervical
fluid changing with their fertility throughout their cycles each month! Knowing
what is normal for you can help you know when something may be amiss.

OPK & FERNING: Ovulation Predictor Kits show when you have a spike in a
particular hormone associated with ovulation, Luteinizing Hormone. This typically
tells you that you should be ovulating within the next 12-48 hours. Saliva ferning
tests show an increase in “ferning” when the saliva is viewed under a microscope
as the hormones change and rise leading up to ovulation. This “ferning” pattern
begins to appear around 3 to 5 days prior to ovulation, allowing you to predict peak
fertility. The downside with using OPK is the need to purchase the strips or tests
used, but they can typically be found in bulk online (which lowers the overall
cost). Handheld microscopes for saliva testing can be bought for $25-$50 generally
and is a one-time purchase. They are both done daily. They also do not tell you that
you have in fact ovulated— only an ultrasound and/or temperature charting (or
your own intuition) can tell you that. However, they can be wonderful additions to
sign tracking and Lunaception for determining fertility.
LFC & ASTROLOGICAL BIRTH CONTROL: I do not have the space to go
into detail regarding Astrological Birth Control, however there is plenty of reading
material out there. I have provided some links to such sources in the Further
Reading section at the end of this document, if it is of interest for you to research
and learn about; though be warned for those not versed in astrology some of it can
be heady reading. I just recently learned about it, and of the “Lunar Fertility”
theory mentioned in a previous section. As someone who believes in the validity of
astrology, they are of worthy note to myself. It may behoove you to look up
exactly what phase of the moon it was in at the moment of your birth, and take
note of it while charting and doing Lunaception. If you’d like, you can look at your
past charts (if you have been charting already) and see when during your charts
that particular moon phase was, and see how it correlates to your changes in
cervical mucus, temperature fluctuations, or actual ovulation. You may also wish
to make a note of that particular moon phase in your current charts, and see if your
body attempts to have a fertile window or actually ovulate at that time as well as
with or instead of the Full Moon, for example. If you do any of these suggestions, I
would be greatly interested in hearing your results!

~~~

For those who are adamant about not getting pregnant, it may be in your best
interest to take up other fertility tracking methods in addition to practicing
Lunaception for better results. FAM alone when followed properly has a 98%
efficacy rate. OPKs and saliva ferning tests can help better determine fertility as
well. Lunar Fertility Charting may help explain why you are ovulating twice in a
cycle, or at least why your body is attempting to and may help you to better plan
when not to have risky intercourse (or to not have sex at all). All of these would of
course increase your chances of getting pregnant also, if that was your desire.
Troubleshooting and Suggestions

So you’ve been attempting Lunaception for a few months or so and it doesn’t seem
to be working?

- My cycles are still irregular


o Make sure that you are sleeping in total darkness—you shouldn’t be able to see
your hand in front of your face after 5 minutes of turning the lights off. Make sure
that all lights, including the tiny lights on cell phones, are not visible while
sleeping.
o Do you have any stressors in your life right now—such as starting a new job,
school, or a new relationship, have you moved recently or are you moving soon,
etc? These can throw off your cycles.
o How is your diet—sometimes your cycles are irregular because the foods you are
eating are affecting your hormones. Toxins and junk get filtered by some of the
organs that are responsible for regulating your hormones, such as your liver. Also
eating foods with soy (unfermented/unsprouted), and not eating enough good fats
(saturated fats from naturally-raised animals as well as having a healthy balance
of omega-3s to omega-6s) affect hormone production and thus our cycles.
o Try waiting it out—for some it may take as long as 6 months for cycles to
regulate and/or sync up with the moon. However, if it takes longer than 6 months
I would recommend evaluating your environment, your diet, and seek
professional evaluation in regards to your hormones, etc.
o Have you tried any herbal supplements or regiments—some benefit from
hormone-regulating herbs such as wild yam, dong quai, and vitex/chaste berry, or
uterine-tonic herbs such as red raspberry leaf. There are many herbs that can help
regulate cycles and I recommend seeking out a skilled herbalist or midwife
knowledgeable in womyn’s herbs to help you determine the right herbs for you.
o Also consider “Lunar Fertility”—see below.
o Try Grounding—see below, in “Suggestions”.
- My cycles are regular but not matching up to the Full Moon/New Moon
o Many of the above factors may be at play here, including just needing to wait it
out a bit longer, making sure you’re doing your night lighting appropriately,
and whether or not you may have anything that is jump-starting or delaying
ovulation such as stressors or other environmental or hormonal factors.
o Something else to consider here is your “Lunar Fertility”—look up the moon
phase for the day you were born. If you want to get really into it, look at where
the moon was from your natal chart, which is based off of the day, time, and place
you were born. Either way, whatever phase the moon was in when you were born
may be playing a part. It could be causing you to ovulate (or attempt to ovulate) at
a different time than the Full or New Moon that you are trying to sync up with. It
may be best for you to work based off of this instead of trying to sync up to the
Full/New Moon, if the moon phases don’t match up or are far apart.
o For some womyn, they simply won’t sync up. Some who try to do Lunaception
never sync up to the Full/New Moon cycle, or do for a short time them get off-
track, then perhaps sync up again at a later time. And that’s ok!
- I don’t seem to be ovulating
o Any of the above factors could be at play, particularly hormonal disturbances,
stress, and diet. If you are charting your cervical mucus and/or temperature and
you seem to not be reaching a “peak fertile phase” (with eggwhite fertile mucus)
or not having a temperature spike with a sustained temperature rise, you may not
be (or are not) ovulating. Taking your charts to a trained FAM mentor, midwife,
or other care provider may help determine what is going on, as well as evaluating
your lifestyle and diet, etc. to see what may be causing you to be anovulatory.
o Some of the above suggestions may help, such as removing stressors, diet
changes and herbal supplements/regiments. A gentle liver cleanse and overall
detox may be useful (particular for those wanting to get pregnant), followed by
hormone-balancing herbs and diet changes. Some womyn have success using wild
yam from the start of their period until when they should be ovulating, then
discontinuing the wild yam until the beginning of the next cycle. However, I have
heard of women doing it the opposite way, so I would talk with an herbalist or
midwife who works with womyn’s herbs and fertility to determine the best herbs
and regiment for you.
- I think I am getting pregnant but then miscarrying around when my period is
due
o One of the biggest causes of this is a short luteal phase—which is the part of your
cycle from ovulation until the start of your next period. Generally speaking, no
matter how long your cycle is overall, your luteal phase should be no less than 12
days long and no longer than 15 days. On average for a healthy womyn, even
with irregular cycles, the luteal phase is 14-15 days long. However, due to
hormone imbalances, the luteal phase may be shorter than 12 days. This is not
adequate time for the uterine lining to build up (with the aid of progesterone
mostly but also estrogen) after ovulation to support a pregnancy, even if
implantation occurs. Many womyn with a short luteal phase will have multiple,
sometimes referred to as “chronic”, miscarriages right around when their periods
are due, at 4-5 weeks pregnant (from LNMP)/2-3 weeks gestation (from
ovulation). Wild Yam is really useful for helping to remedy a short luteal phase,
but there are other herbs as well. Diet may also be a factor. I would recommend
taking your charts to a trained FAM mentor or midwife, and also speaking with an
herbalist/midwife in regards to herbs and other ways such as homeopathy to help
remedy this.
- I Bed-share with a Partner and/or Children
o This can be tricky, and whereas it isn’t an issue when trying to learn Lunaception
for some, for others it could be. My recommendation would be to explain to your
partner what you want to do, and how you have to go about it, so they know to
help (not turn the regular light on in the middle of the night unless absolutely
necessary, turn off completely or cover their electronics such as their phone by the
bed, etc.). This may take some getting used to for your partner, but be gentle and
work with them if they forget!
o As far as children are concerned: though there are those who prefer to sleep with
a nightlight, it is actually better for their health as well (male or female) to sleep
in as much darkness as possible! I would get a red-colored bulb for a nightlight
and use that every night (if you use one for your children) except the nights you
need regular “yellow” light and then you would just switch out the bulbs for those
three days. Also using a red scarf over your lamp would help when night-waking
for smaller children/infants for changing diapers/feedings.

~~~

Some of these have been mentioned previously, but to provide them all in one
place, my suggestions to the reader are as follows:

1. Take the time to really be aware of your body, your personal cycles and
rhythms (physically and emotionally) day to day, week to week, season to
season. Keep a journal and record your observances. Are you more moody or
energetic at a certain time of the month, and does this correlate to a particular
moon phase? Can you tell when you are ovulating, such as feeling a sharp pain
or cramps on one side (called Mittelschmerz)? Does it alternate sides each
month? Also keep track of your dreams—often times I dream that I have started
my period a night or two before I start bleeding in waking life, and sometimes I
dream of when I will get (or am) pregnant as well. Some also find (and is
recurrent cross-culturally) that they are more prophetic during their moontime
(menses).
2. If you are interested in studying or experiencing the moon’s relationship to
various natural occurrences in more depth, I suggest two things— especially if
you have a garden (or would like to have one someday), pick up a Farmer’s
Almanac and study it (or research online). Read over the lunar charts, the
planting and harvesting charts, and see where the moon falls for different areas
or plants; also, if you are able, take a trip down to the beach a few times a
month during different moon phases, and at different tides. The high tide on a
full moon is always the highest, and the low tide on a new moon is always the
lowest. Can you sense the differences? Write down your experiences in your
journal.
3. If you can, spend time outside as much as possible (preferably barefoot),
especially at night around the Full Moon. This not only will help you to get
more in touch with the nature in your surrounding area, but will help put you in
direct contact with the moon and the earth. On that note, I have another
suggestion…
4. Grounding and Earthing. This is a practice that I think everyone should learn.
Grounding is usually paired with a practice called “Centering” but I will focus
on grounding. You can do this inside, if you must, but it is best and most
effective to do outside, in direct contact with the earth (called “Earthing”). Take
a seat, comfortably, in a cross-legged lotus position. Rest your hands on your
knees, or wherever is comfortable. Close your eyes and focus on your breath, in
out, in out. Feel your breath filling your belly on each in breath, and taking all
your troubles with it on the out breath. Do this for a little while until you feel
relaxed and focused. Now, feel/picture yourself reaching down into the earth—
whether it is strands of energy, roots (as if you are a tree), etc. Push yourself
down into the deep dark fertile earth, and touch the energy there. Pull that
energy up through your strands/roots into yourself, filling yourself with this
earth energy. If you like you can take the meditation further and view yourself
as a tree, with branches reaching up from the crown of your head towards the
sky and reaching back down again to brush the ground around you. Feel the
energy rise up through you, up through your branches, and back around to the
earth again. Do this for as long as you would like, as often as you can
(preferably a couple times a week at least). Grounding is a healthy practice in
general for anyone, but in regards to Lunaception, grounding, and especially
Earthing, helps get you in touch with the earth and the earth energies, which are
linked to the moon and the moon energies, as seen in the cycles of the earth and
the cycles of the moon (that you should hopefully have been observing!). This
came recommended by an acquaintance who practiced Lunaception for quite a
few years, and she felt that it helped boost the success of Lunaception.
5. Incorporate other fertility tracking methods. I think it is very useful to learn
how to do and to use other methods of tracking fertility in conjunction with
Lunaception. I especially lean towards fertility sign tracking (cervical
fluid/position, temp) and their respective methods (particularly FAM) and
recommend learning it, and learning it accurately.
6. Diet. Diet has a huge impact on our general well-being but also in regards to
our cycles, ovulation, and pregnancy. Try to eliminate toxin exposure by cutting
out junk foods, processed foods, additives such as preservatives and food dyes,
refined sugar and refined grains, etc. Focus on eating nutritious whole-foods,
buying local and/or organic whenever possible. If you eat meat, eggs, and/or
dairy products, make the effort to purchase antibiotic and hormone-free,
naturally-raised/grass-fed products. This helps ensure the products come from
happy animals and are free of toxins. I highly recommend researching the work
by Weston A. Price and reading the books by Sally Fallon on traditional
nutrition and traditional food preparation methods such as sprouting and
fermenting grains and legumes, culturing raw milk, etc. Some sacred foods for
fertility include: grass-fed raw milk and cultured raw milk products, raw (local)
honey, oysters and muscles, grass-fed butter, grass-fed liver, and others. If
trying to get pregnant, both you and your partner should eat a healthy diet and
avoid toxin exposures (such as from household cleaners and makeup). Sally
Fallon recommends for at least 6 months, but traditionally couples ate like this
for up to two years before they attempted to conceive.
7. Herbs. I recommend that womyn drink red raspberry leaf tea regularly. It is a
well-known and much-loved uterine tonic that is safe for pregnancy and safe to
be drunk in the long term. You can brew it with other herbs for their added
benefits or simply for flavor, and add the tea to juice if you don’t like the flavor
on its own. Drink up to 4 cups a day if you like (of only red raspberry—not all
herbs are safe to be taken daily or in the long term). Other herbs can help
regulate cycles, help ease menstrual discomforts, etc. I recommend reading
Susan Weed’s Wise Woman Herbal and her Wise Woman Herbal for the
Childbearing Year, as well as Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Healing for Women
and also getting in touch with an herbalist and/or midwife to see what herbs and
regiments you may benefit from as not all herbs are for everyone and your
personal history and medical concerns need to be considered when taking herbs.
8. Homeopathy. Sometimes homeopathy can be paired with herbal regiments, or
if herbs don’t work or can’t be taken often times homeopathics will work alone.
They can be used for a wide range of ailments from irregular cycles to painful
menses to having a poor ability to absorb iron in the diet. Homeopathics do not
interfere with herbs or allopathic medications. I recommend reading up on the
history and how-to’s of homeopathy, and also seeking out a trained homeopath
if you are interested in this healing modality.
9. Lunar Fertility Charting. As mentioned a few times previously, some women
may ovulate, or be more fertile, around the time of the phase that the moon was
in when they were born. Even if you think it is all “woo woo” or don’t give any
credibility to Astrology, it may be worth simply noting in your charts, and
seeing how your body responds to it now that you are observing it. You may be
surprised to find that there is something going on. This may even resolve the
mystery causing you so much frustration that you seem to be ovulating more
than once, or having more than one fertile window per cycle, or why your
cycles seem to be “off” sometimes. I would be interested in knowing your
findings if you do incorporate this into your Lunaception practice and charting.
Honoring Our Cycles & the Red Tent Movement

Simply taking the time, energy, and dedication to practice Lunaception, to learn
about your body’s fertility, and taking your fertility and reproductive health into
your own hands is in itself an act of honoring your cycles. But why stop there?

Cultures the world over acknowledged the sacredness of a womyn’s moontime.


Sadly this sacred reverence turned into a taboo in many areas, but they are based in
the old practice of the separation of bleeding women from the others in the tribe
that was originally done out of respect and honor, not fear. It was taught, from the
Middle East to the mountains of Peru to the deserts of North America, that a
womyn’s magic was in her womb, and in her ability to bleed each month, and to
grow and sustain life within her. The Native Americans believed that a womyn’s
magic was very different, and even stronger, than a man’s magic (or “medicine”),
and it was forbidden for a womyn to touch a man’s medicine objects lest she
negate his connection to it and replace it with her own. It was also said that
womyn, and especially bleeding womyn, did not enter the Sweat Lodge because it
would alter the medicine of the lodge and also its purpose was for cleansing and
purification, which womyn did each month naturally during their moontimes. Men
did not have this, and so they entered the sweat lodge (however an exception was
made for warrior womyn in some tribes to enter the sweat lodge). In most cultures,
when the womyn began to bleed each month, they would retire to a separate
sleeping quarters for the duration of their moontime. In North America it was
called the Moon Lodge. It is being called today by many womyn the Red Tent,
based off of the Anita Diamant’s book The Red Tent that was based in the Middle
East during the time when early Abrahamic religion was beginning to surface in an
otherwise pagan land. In some places the bleeding womyn were sought for counsel
on various matters regarding the tribe from spiritual concerns to foretelling the
future and determining plans to best benefit the tribe.
In Peru, the womb is considered the most important energetic and emotional center
for womyn, and girls are taught how to be in touch with their wombs and to heal
from the inside from a young age. They believe in a “womb consciousness”— that
a womyn’s medicine is found there, and it can be used in journeying. They wear a
hand-woven waistband after childbirth and during their moontimes. It is worn to
protect their umbilicus and womb, the source of their medicine, and to keep the
womb “warm” during and after “cooling” processes such as monthly bleeding and
childbirth. This keeps away sickness of body and mind, promotes healing, contains
the medicine within, and protects the womyn from being influenced by others’
energy around her. (This is also one reason why new mothers and midwives wear
rebozos tied around their waists/hips in other Latin countries). The Peruvians
believe that menstrual blood is a sacred water of life and it is offered to the earth,
spirits, and gods in the place of other blood sacrifices. They believe in allowing
their womyn to withdraw from their typical household duties and responsibilities
during their moontimes—the man takes care of the home and children while she
rests both during menstruation and in the postpartum. This is still practiced in some
rural communities in Peru.

So what can you do to honor your Moontime? Here are some suggestions to get
you thinking. Take one or all of these ideas and run with them—make them your
own, or come up with something entirely different~

 Learn about your fertility signs and track them, practice Lunaception, and
otherwise be conscious of and present with your body and womb cycles.
 Use alternatives to modern feminine hygiene products such as menstrual
cups, sea sponges, and cloth pads. Be conscious of chemicals and trash that
you are exposing to your body and the earth when using modern feminine
hygiene products.
 Another option is something called “free-bleeding”. Some do this the whole
of their moontime, others do it for an afternoon, or during their “time away”.
You simply wear no hygiene products, and bleed freely on your thighs, a
towel, or into a bowl. Many who do this find that they have less menstrual
complaints and they feel more empowered about their blood and their
womb.
 Collect your moonblood and give it as an offering. You can dilute it with
water and give it to your plants, pour it out at a sacred site, altar, or tree near
where you live, etc. This shows respect and honor to your blood, as well as
providing an offering to the Earth/Divine/Spirits/Goddess.
 Wear a veil or head wrap during your moontime. I wear one that is made
from a red scarf. It is like a “little tent”, bringing my own attention inward
and recognizes my moontime when I would otherwise be doing ‘mundane’
things or going out in public. It also helps contain my own energy/medicine
and acts to protect me from external influence/energy while I am “opening
up” during this time. You can consecrate your veil or headwrap to its
purpose if you’d like.
 Wear something around your waist/pelvis—you can either make something
by hand or tie a scarf around your belly. You can make it out of handwoven
fabric, something you crocheted, a strip of leather decorated with shells and
coins, or something like a rebozo or scarf. If you’d like, you can consecrate
it for its purpose (similar use as the headcovering but is more focused on
protecting the womb itself and keeping it “warm” during the “cooling”
process that is menstruation).
 Set aside some time during your bleeding days to retreat from the mundane,
the every-day, your duties and work. Whether it is thirty minutes one day or
each day, or a full-day to yourself, taking time to be still, present, and
relaxed where you are free from the stress, worry, and responsibilities of
everyday life is both honoring and is a much-needed reprieve. Many womyn
find that when they do this, they find a lessening or relief from pre-
menstrual symptoms and the discomforts of their moontime.
 Gather with other womyn at a certain time of month, such as at the New or
Full moon, and hold sacred space—perhaps create a Red Tent or join one in
your community.

The Red Tent Movement began shortly after the publication of Anita Diamant’s,
The Red Tent. If you haven’t read it, it is well worth it and I encourage everyone to
do so. In the book, the women of the family would gather for the three days of the
New Moon in the “red tent”. They had no responsibilities such as cooking and
weaving while in the Tent—the younger and older women who did not bleed
brought them food and drinks during the three days and they were undisturbed by
menfolk. (This was also the place that new mothers stayed for the first couple
months after the birth of their new baby). They bled on the straw and they laughed
and dreamt together, and they shared what were called “moon cakes”, always
giving some as an offering to the goddesses.

This sense of sisterhood and honoring of our bodies and cycles is what has been
brought into the present in the Red Tent Movement. Red Tents have been popping
up all over the country, even the world, where womyn gather once a month
(usually at the New Moon but some hold theirs at the Full Moon) in sisterhood to
share their stories, to receive or give healing, to simply enjoy the company of other
sisters, to learn about reproductive health and about their cycles, to honor their
moontimes and their bodies, and more. Each Tent is a little bit different from the
next in what they do, cover, or how they function, and sometimes are very different
from each other. Some are very goddess-centered while others aren’t, some are
done in the nude but most aren’t, and most allow transgendered womyn and other
womyn such as those in menopause who may not bleed, or even have wombs, to
attend.

Look online to try and find a Red Tent near you, and if you find one check it out
and see if it is something for you—one Tent may not mesh well with you when
another might. If you can’t find a Tent nearby, consider starting your own! It can
be held anywhere, from your living room to a tent outside, in a park or your
backyard. Look at pictures or visit a Tent to see how they are decorated to get
inspiration for your own—try to use colors in shades of red and maroon, but you
can really decorate any way you’d like. Add curtains and draperies, pillows and
cushions, etc. Will you serve tea and cakes, such as red raspberry leaf tea and
“moon cakes” or will you ask those who come to bring a snack? Will you
encourage those who offer healing such as using crystals or massage, or perhaps
those who dance or do henna, to attend and share their gift with their sisters? Do
you have anything like this to offer? What about throwing Menarche celebrations
for young girls, menopause rituals for older womyn, ceremonies for those who
undergo pregnancy release or hysterectomy or mastectomy? The possibilities are
endless and you are only bound by your imagination. Look online for inspiration
and talk to others who have run/started Red Tents and those who have attended (or
currently attend) one.
Bibliography and Further Reading
(1) Allen, Kevin (2007). The Reluctant Hypothesis: A History of Discourse
Surrounding the Lunar Phase Method of Regulating Conception. Lacuna
Press. p. 239
(2) http://www.drnorthrup.com/womenshealth/healthcenter/topic_details.php?to
pic_id=138%20and%20child%20birth
(3) http://www.epigee.org/menstruation_lunar_fertility.html
(4) http://www.rahoorkhuit.net/devi/moon/bleed.html
(5) http://johanna-hypatia.livejournal.com/19400.html?thread=45000
(6) http://www.athenainstitute.com/lunarmpl.html
(7) http://empoweredsustenance.com/balance-hormones-with-moon/
(8) Singer, Katie (2006). Honoring Our Cycles. New Trends Publishing, Inc. p.
50-51

Further Reading Suggestions


Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH
Lunaception by Louise Lacey
Astrological Birth Control by Sheila Ostrander
The Lunar Cycle: Astrological Fertility Control by Francesca Naish
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Wise Woman Herbal and The Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year
by Susan Weed
Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar
Hygieia: A Woman’s Herbal by Jeannine Parvati
Moon Mysteries by Nao Sims & Nikiah Seeds
Moonsong by Jane Hardwicke Collings
Becoming a Woman: A Guide for Girls Approaching Menstruation by Jane
Hardwicke Collings
http://www.assatashakur.org/forum/knowledge-self-astrology-numerology/36476-astrological-
birth-control.html

http://milky-way-astrology.blogspot.com/2011/11/astrological-birth-control-not-same-as.html
Using The Fertility Tracking Charts
Included with this class are two charts that I created to attempt to blend
moon cycle-based charting with fertile signs-based charting. One chart includes
temperature tracking and is three pages that can be stapled together, or if you need
more of different pages for a particular cycle, you can tape them together (end-to-
end) so they can be folded out and then you staple the tops of the first pages of
each so everything is together for that cycle. The other chart is circular and does
not include the section for charting your temperature. The reason why you might
need more than one page of a particular chart are two-fold: one, there are only 31
days provided on the first chart and 30 on the second, and a cycle may be longer
than 30/31 days; and two, because not everyone wants to or has time to look up
and color in a blank circle the moon phase each day themselves, I put in the moon
phases for each of the 31 boxes starting and ending with the new moon—but not
everyone will start cycle day 1 (CD1) on the first day of the new moon. For
example, your cycle for June starts on the 7th day of the moon cycle, leading up to
the full moon (during the waxing phase). So the first 6 boxes* would be left blank,
and because your cycle ends up being longer than 24 days (the number of boxes
left on the page), you need to print another chart and tape it on to that page to
continue charting for that cycle. [*This only applies to the first chart with
temping.]

On the chart for temping there are spaces for the following information:
o Your Name
o The Date that cycle chart was Started
o The Date that cycle chart was Ended
o The final Cycle Length (such as 28 or 32 days, whatever it is for you)
o T. Time: “temperature time”, or the time each morning that you take your
temperature—this should be as close to the same time each morning as possible.
o Temp: “temperature”, whatever your Basal Body Temperature was for that day,
each day. Taking Charge of Your Fertility has a whole section on tracking
temperatures, and you can find information online as well.
o CF: “cervical fluid”. This box is where you would put whatever symbols you
choose to use to denote different ‘discharges’, whether “None”, “Sticky”,
“Creamy”, or “Eggwhite”.
o Flow: “menstruation/menstrual flow”. This is the box where you would put
whatever symbols you choose to denote for different flow-strengths during your
bleeding days, such as “None”, “Spotting”, “Light”, “Medium”, or “Heavy”. Or
you can just use one symbol for ‘spotting’ and one symbol for ‘bleeding’ and
leave all other boxes blank.
o Physical Being: this is where you can make brief notes (using words or symbols
or a mix of both) regarding your physical being/changes day-to-day. This could
be breast changes, vaginal/yoni sensation (dry, wet, etc.), days when you were
sick/had a fever, days you worked out, days when you had bloating or cramping,
etc. This could also be where you note when you had intercourse, and any birth
control methods you might have used (“Misc. Notes” could also be used for this).
o Emotional Being: this is where you make brief notes (using words or symbols or
a mix of both) regarding your emotional being/changes day-to-day. This could be
days you feel angry, weepy, frustrated, ‘out of it’, extra loving/affectionate, etc.
o Misc. Notes: this could be where you make notes about things such as
corresponding astrological information for that day, stress, sex/birth control,
dreams of note, etc.
o The Legend: the legend box on page 1 is for you to use as a space to make note
of any symbols or abbreviations you may use throughout your chart and what they
mean, for example (*)= spotting, *= bleeding, OV= ovulation.

If you need room for additional notes, feel free to use the backs of each chart.

If you need help with using your chart, please don’t hesitate to contact me (this is also part of
what is included in your month of one-on-one support).

Below are some images of an example chart to give a visual idea of how it is used. You may or
may not fill in every single box every day, as you can see on the last two pages. I highlighted the
three days of the Full Moon for when I would do ‘nightlighting’, and also highlighted the six
days before the temperature spike (I would use a different color on a real chart), drawn a
coverline to show pre-ovulation and post-ovulation temps, and a line marking the end of the
cycle. [This is all talked about in TCOYF]. You can also see where I crossed out the first handful
of days on the chart because my first CD was not on the first day of the New Moon in this
example. My symbols for Flow and CF as well as note abbreviations are written in my Legend.
҉

The second chart is a circular chart that does not have the sections for charting
your temperature. There are 30 days on each blank chart, so if your cycles are
longer than 30 days you’ll just have to continue on a second copy and staple them
together. With the circular chart it is a lot easier to start your CD1 (cycle day one,
the first day of bleeding) no matter what phase of the moon that day corresponds
to. There is also a Legend box, and if you need to make further notes beyond what
the boxes hold you can use the back of the chart or a separate sheet of paper and
attach it.

On the circle chart without temp tracking, there are spaces for the following
information:
o Your Name
o The Date that cycle chart was Started
o The Date that cycle chart was Ended
o The final Cycle Length (such as 28 or 32 days, whatever it is for you)
o The Date & CD (cycle day) for each box
o CF: “cervical fluid”. This box is where you would put whatever symbols you
choose to use to denote different ‘discharges’, whether “None”, “Sticky”,
“Creamy”, or “Eggwhite”.
o Flow: “menstruation/menstrual flow”. This is the box where you would put
whatever symbols you choose to denote for different flow-strengths during your
bleeding days, such as “None”, “Spotting”, “Light”, “Medium”, or “Heavy”. Or
you can just use one symbol for ‘spotting’ and one symbol for ‘bleeding’ and
leave all other boxes blank, etc.
o Outer World: this is where you can make brief notes (using words or symbols or
a mix of both) regarding your physical self/changes day-to-day. This could be
breast changes, vaginal/yoni sensation (dry, wet, etc.), days when you were
sick/had a fever, days you worked out, days when you had bloating or cramping,
etc. This could also be where you note when you had intercourse, and any birth
control methods you might have used.
o Inner World: this is where you make brief notes (using words or symbols or a
mix of both) regarding your mental, emotional, and subconscious/dream
self/changes day-to-day. This could be days you feel angry, weepy, frustrated,
‘out of it’, extra loving/affectionate, had a dream of particular note, a spiritual
revelation, etc.
o The Legend: the legend box is for you to use as a space to make note of any
symbols or abbreviations you may use throughout your chart and what they mean,
for example (*)= spotting, *= bleeding, OV= ovulation.

Below are some photos of an example circular chart filled out. The three days of
the Full Moon I highlighted to represent when I would be doing “nightlighting”.
You can see that my CD1 is on about the 7th day of the waxing moon.
Again if you need extra room for anything, feel free to write on the back of the
chart or attach a separate sheet of paper. And if you need any assistance with using
either of the charts, feel free to contact me. I also appreciate any and all feedback
regarding these charts!

You can e-mail me at mamaoceana.withwomen@gmail.com if you have any


suggestions for improving the charts or general feedback on their use~