The Cosmic Connection
“There is archaeological evidence that women’s 28-day menstrual cycle was linked with the rhythm of the waxing and waning of the moon each month, which gave rise to the lunar calendar. (Grahn,p. 268)” The ABC Path toward True Wisdom, p 9-10.*
The famous relief sculpture of a woman carved on the entrance of a cave in the south of France, called the Venus of Laussel, is dated around 23,000 years ago. It shows her left hand on her belly and her right hand holding a crescent shaped horn with 13 marks, the number of 28-day moon cycles in a year and the number of 28-day menstrual cycles a woman has in a year. This image is painted red and indicates our ancient ancestors understood and honored the relationship between the phases of the moon and women’s menstrual cycles.
The 28-day cycle of the moon starts in darkness because the moon isn’t visible from our position on earth. This phase is called the new moon. As the moon moves in orbit, around the earth, it gradually becomes illuminated by the sun until approximately 14 days later we see the moon fully illuminated; this phase is called the full moon. This first half of the cycle is referred to as the waxing of the moon, meaning it’s growing in illumination. As the moon continues its orbit we see the light diminishing. This decrease in illumination is called the waning phase that ends in darkness approximately 14 days later; and the cycle of the new moon begins again. **
A woman’s menstrual cycle begins on the first day of her period and as she starts her journey to peak fertility, levels of estrogen increase to enrich her womb with nutrient rich blood in preparation for pregnancy. Increased estrogen also boosts endorphins to increase her “feel good” energy. Estrogen is at its highest level by day 14 when the egg is released for fertilization. If the egg is not fertilized the estrogen levels recede and energy can wane as hormone levels drop over the remaining 14 days. Finally, the unfertilized egg leaves the body on day 1 of the beginning of the new cycle.
Are the many sculptures and artifacts found all over the world evidence that our ancient ancestors understood and revered the sacredness of these monthly cycles so essential to the circle of life? Did they feel their embodied cosmic alignment with the waxing and waning of the moon, this regenerative rhythm of ebb and flow? And did they honor this sacred connection with ceremonies, rituals, music, and art? The research by women archaeologists, historians, theologians, mythologists, psychologists, artists, and musicians say this is so.
Questions for Circle Discussion
- What was it like for you when you first menstruated?
- What has been (or was) your relationship with your menstrual cycle, how did it impact the rhythm of your life?
- What was your experience of spiritual, emotional, and physical support for this sacred female aspect of life as a woman?
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*The chapter reference for this Wisdom of the Feminine theme is from The ABC Path toward True Wisdom: A Woman’s Guide to Trusting What She Knows in Her Heart Is True, Remembered Rhythms” p. 115-119.
*Grahn, Judy. Blood, Bread, and Roses: How Menstruation Created the World. Beacon Press, 1993.
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©2019 Teresa Lampmann