Fertility and Lunar Cycles
In every culture, religion and indigenous society the moon has always been a linked to woman and the feminine qualities she represents and fertility- reproduction in the animal world and growth in the kingdom of plants. The moons influence has always been considered as necessary for growth. This applies to a woman’s capacity to bear children in relation to both conception and birth, the reproductive ability of animals, and the germination and growth of seeds and plants.
Indeed modern research demonstrates that different phases of the moon have different influences on plant growth and germination and these beliefs have become part of agricultural practice today. The waxing moon is known to coincide with a period of growth for all things and the waning moon as being the time to gather, prune and harvest and prepare the ground for the nest planting. This also corresponds with the common experience of ovulating in tune with the full moon and bleeding at the new. I can just sense now how powerful and healing it would and should be sharing the ‘Red Tent’ with other woman, bleeding out the old and immerging refreshed, cleansed and renewed to create at the beginning of a new moon. Women’s connection with the moon is undeniable.
You may have heard of the term ‘lunar cycle.’ It refers to the idea that the moon has an influence on the body and the menstrual cycle. Have you noticed that you ovulate or menstruate with the moon? Francesa Naish first brought my attention to the Lunar Cycle and how it affects fertility. Francesa, a natural fertility herbalist, wrote the book Natural Fertility.
The effect of the moon on breeding cycles in animal life is clearly apparent. The metabolic and sexual activity of cows, monkeys, bats, rats, mice, worms and even some vegetables has been found to vary with the moon. It is now obvious that animals as well as plants, respond directly to the moons phases. Many different forms of marine life such as fish, seaweed and coral breed with specific phases of the moon
The word menstruation comes from the Greek language and translates into ‘month’ & ‘moon.’ We have known forever that the moon pulls the tides, and given our body is 70% water, it should be no shock that it effects and influences the body. What might come, as a surprise, is the idea that you might be fertile more than once in your menstrual cycle – possibly outside the ovulation phase – this term is referred to as Spontaneous Ovulation, induced by the lunar cycle.
Firstly, how is it relevant to fertility?
Naish suggest that there are several ways in which the moon affects our reproductive function.
1. Gravity. Through gravitation pull on fluids – an ovum is suspended in fluid. If it’s in the right position at the right time, this will influence ovulation and the egg is forced to be released.
2. Light. Dependent on if the moon is new or if it is full, amount of light available changed. It has been shown that the moon increases levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), essential for ovulation. The body also absorbs light in other ways – all essential to specific body function.
3. Ionisation. The full moon brings an increase in positive ions, while the negative ions proliferate as the moon wanes. The adrenals are particularly sensitive to this.
4. Electromagnetism. The electrical potential of living organisms increases as full and new moons have an affect on the nervous system.
Here is the interesting part:
The moon takes 28 days to orbit the earth; the same amount of time of a healthy menstrual cycle is. Of course this can vary from woman to woman but essentially it’s 4 weeks from the start of one cycle to the next. However the repetition of the phase of the moon at which you were born has a strong influence on your fertility. I hear you say huh? At least, that was my initial thought when I was first introduced to this idea. This means that if you ovulate – you’re fertile, however there is an added element – another part of your cycle influenced by the moon and your own body clock, in which you are also potentially fertile.
The lunar cycle was discovered (or re-discovered) by Dr Eugen Jonas in the 1950’s in Czechoslovakia.
He was practising a combination of astrology, psychology and medicine. Dr Jonas based much of his findings through working with Catholic women who were using the rhythm method. He felt that, “if there were any truth in the ancient ideas of astrologers, that Man and Universe were part of the same harmonic unity, then as important an event as conception must surely be subject to the same cosmic laws.” (Pg 100. Naish, 1999) Dr Jonas researched writings of ancient astrologers and discovered this: Women are fertile during a certain phase of the moon. He determined the patterns where a woman is fertile outside their expected mid-cycle ovulation time.
Rule # 1. The time of a woman’s fertility depends on the recurrence of the angle between the sun and the moon that occurred at the woman’s birth. Basically the concept is this. A woman is fertile at the same phase of the moon that was present at her birth.
This is a recurring biorhythmic cycle, which affects your body. The cycle commences at birth, becomes effective at puberty, and will continue to influence your fertility throughout your entire fertile life. The moon-phase cycle has an effect on the hypothalamus, pituitary, glandular hormones and nervous state and it is possible that increased levels of agitation aroused from physical sexual activity can trigger a spontaneous ovulation and lead to conception.
Rule #2. The sex of the child conceived depends on the position of the moon at the moment of conception. So if a child is conceived in the male sign of the zodiac it will be male and same for the female. I just want to put in a caveat to this – please don’t go decking out the nursery in pink based on this.
MASCULINE SIGNS (BOY LIKELY DURING THESE SEASONS)
FEMININE SIGNS (GIRL LIKELY DURING THESE SEASONS)
Rule #3. The distribution of gravitational forces, at the time of conception can affect the viability of pregnancy and foetus. According to Jonas’ you are fertile when the sun and moon are at the same relative angle as they were at the exact time of your birth, whether or not this coincides with your mid cycle ovulation.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions as to how this all works, but what has been established is that the lunar cycle is connected to, and has an affect on fertility.
The belief is this. Biologically tension, due to the effect on certain moon phases, builds up in a woman’s nervous and hormonal systems, and in the event of intercourse may lead to another follicle being released, resulting in a spontaneous ovulation. What Jonas went on to discover was that this event occurs at the time of lunar return (the phase the moon was in at the time of her birth). This is one way to explain those mystery conceptions or those, which don’t match with ovulation or scan dates. It is possible; some of us get more than one chance a month to conceive.
Detecting the ‘extra’ ovulation is possible although not as clear as the mid-cycle ovulation. Women mostly report ovulation pain, a sudden temperature dip or rise and increase fertile mucus following intercourse. When I read this, my sceptical hat sat up tall on my head but as I continued to read Johnas findings he also observed that following this freakish event, the endometrium immediately begins to thicken and prepare for implantation! Amazing. The body certainly seemed to know exactly what it was doing.
Using this theory for conception (or contraception the opposite – protect!!) is simple. You time intercourse when the moon is in the same phase as it was at the time of your birth. Here is how it works: If you are born four days before a full moon, then potentially you will be fertile four days before each moon. Some women’s timing will fall within their ovulation phase, this means they get one GREAT chance at conception, whilst others will be far outside mid-cycle ovulation, giving them essentially two chances in a month.
For natural contraception to be highly effective you must avoid unprotected intercourse when the moon is in the same phase as it was at your birth and also avoid unprotected intercourse at your mid-cycle ovulation. You must also have the desire to be in tune and in touch with your body and have the dedication to learn the fertility awareness techniques and rules which tell you when you can and can’t have unprotected sex.
The first step is to have your natal lunar phase calculated (by an astrologer and/or someone familiar with Lunar phase fertility calendars) Safety margins will also be added for sperm and egg life, giving a total of 4 days each lunar month where protection is necessary for this phase.
Learning how to read and assess the signs of your mid-cycle fertility can take at least a few months (cycles) as experience is what gives you confidence in your ability. Natural fertility awareness involves the observation of the changes in your cervical/vaginal mucus to tell you when you are fertile, the charting of your at rest basal body temperature (timing of your hormonal cycle) and understanding of the rhythm method as a back-up and fail-safe role.
A Conscious Conception
Every child deserves to be created with intention and love.
If your lunar time does not coincide with your with your mid-cycle ovulation, you have two chances per month to conceive. If it does coincide then you have one super chance. If you do want to conceive, fertility seems to be greatly enhanced if the mid-cycle ovulation coincides with the lunar peak. Also menstruation, far from being an infertile time, is a likely time for conception to occur-if it coincides with the natal lunar phase. This is important information for those who are trying to avoid or achieve pregnancy.
The lunar cycle is of course fixed, however your hormonal cycle is constantly affected by all manner of influences. Stress, trauma, travel, ill-health, sudden changes in weight or diet, drug taking and excessive exercise are some of the things that can affect timing of ovulation and therefore, your cycle. It is also common that women tend to tune into the cycles of other women in their environment- friends, house and workmates and can begin to ovulate and bleed in synch with each other.
F. Naish (1989) The Lunar Cycle – A guide to natural and astrological fertility control Prism Press
F. Naish (1991) Natural Fertility – The complete guide to avoiding or achieving pregnancy Sally Milner Publishing, Australia