Red Moon or White Moon? – Different Kinds Of Lunar Cycles

    by Kelli Hansel Haywood

    Important caveat to reading this post:  Do not assume that if you are not a person who bleeds or has bled with a monthly cycle that you do not have one.  Persons of every gender have a monthly cycle.  It’s our nature.  You are alive (arguably so, LOL)… you have a cycle.  More on determining your cycle in the article.

    You’ve worked hard to learn about and create a practice of Spirit and flow in your life through aligning with the wisdom of the moon.

    Or, you are working toward that as a personal goal. And, if not, maybe you should.

    Either way, you’ve probably noticed how balanced and intuitively good adhering to a lunar cycle feels on paper.

    During the waning, dark, and new moon we focus inward.

    Beginning the day of the new moon and during the waxing and full moon, we focus on action – bringing ideas to fruition.

    It’s an amazingly beautiful cycle.

    That is, unless you fail to factor in your personal bodily cycle, and you find yourself trying to force your energies into the common, traditional, textbook descriptions of the lunar cycle whether or not it feels natural to you.

    The main thing to remember is that regardless of your gender identity, the energies and hormones in your body create homeostasis, or stability as best as they can through balanced periods of activity followed by recuperation.

    The easiest way to look closer at what our bodies naturally do is by taking into consideration the menstrual cycle.

    Those who experience the fairly regular monthly pattern of ovulation followed by the shedding of the inner uterine lining (your “period”) two weeks or so later, are probably on some level in tune with the way this cycle affects your body’s energy and your personal moods.

    For some of us the menstrual cycle is like being on a roller coaster.

    For others, it’s a subtle communication, like a slight headache because you’re more tired than usual after your typical day.

    Most basic descriptions you’ll find on the lunar cycle and the human menstrual cycle correlations will say that the menstrual cycle should line up with the wisdom of the moon, and the types of magick recommended during the various moon phases.

    The waning/ dark/early new moon time is for shedding, banishing, dark magick, letting go, and bleeding.

    The waxing and full moon is the “most fertile” time for planting seeds, spells and rituals for manifestation, energetically charging our tools of magick, creating, and ovulating.

    The last new moon experience I had drew me to examine more completely the fact that my body’s cycle is and almost always has been (when it appeared more or less normally) polar opposite of the lunar cycle.

    Intuitively, I knew that there was nothing inherently wrong with my body’s cycle, but I wanted to go into deeper understanding of what it could mean for the way I schedule activity, self care, spell/ritual work, and even what types of magickal work may be naturally more effective for me.

    What does it mean to feel strong and alive during the new moon and vulnerable and chaotic during the full moon?

    For those of us who bleed (I still have a cycle, but my uterus no longer bleeds because of uterine ablation surgery), what does it mean to be bleeding during the earth’s most fertile days and the moon’s fullest light?

    For those whose bodily cycle is not marked by monthly bleeding, ovulation sensations, or uterine cramping, you can determine your own ebbs and flows by taking notes of how you feel in your body, emotionally, and mental alertness.  Three months of notes should give you enough to determine a clear pattern. Take note of moon phases too. You may already intuitively have an idea of your pattern.

    Back to this past new moon.  As I worked my banishing ritual, I felt full of life, clear headed, and solidly grounded in the dark night.

    I was sure in the effectiveness of my magick. The powerful energy buzz moved through and around me.

    Now, though, as the full moon approaches, I’m exhausted physically and mentally.

    My emotions are heightened. I feel very vulnerable in the light.

    As I consider what workings will have my focus this full moon, I’m learning some important things about my beingness and magick.

    There is some traditional knowledge about those of us who cycle opposite of that which is associated with optimum fertility and manifestation.

    According to author Miranda Gray, in her book – Red Moon: Understanding and Using the Creative, Sexual, and Spiritual Gifts of the Menstrual Cycle, we cycle on what is known as the Red Moon.

    Red Moon cycles were commonly associated with healers, midwives, intuitives, oracles, and magick – those people who were less focused on directing their energies into procreation both as childbearing and creating enterprises.

    Red Moon cyclers tended toward working to redirect the energy already existing inwardly to more effectively be supportive of outward life.

    And, come to find out, we were not valued by the patriarchy because we weren’t seen as fertile.

    Christie Craft wrote in 2015, in her article for Nylon called Sacred Menstruation 101: How to Reclaim Your Period about the Red Moon cycle:

    Women who tend to menstruate with the full moon are said to focus their “darker” and more creative menstrual energies outward rather than inward in order to nourish and teach others from their own experience.  Many times, women with this cycle will be more focused on self-growth, development, mentorship, and creativity.”

    Again, I want to note that men, gender-fluid, transmen, and transwomen – people – all have cycles. Learn yours by tuning in.

    So, here’s how this informs our approach to work, magick, spiritual practice, and even relationship.

    While someone on the White Moon cycle (bleeding with the waning or new moon) might focus on the outward creation or manifestation of a solution to an issue – i.e. needing more income, such as gainful employment or the dream job, and find this focus highly effective, those of us on the Red Moon cycle might find our most effective magick performed under the new moon.

    We might choose to put more of our energies toward banishing behaviors that reinforce a mindset of lack.

    We might use divination to determine a strategy for manifesting the result through our actions.

    We could also choose to deeply explore the shadow side of the issue to investigate the blocks that keep us from being naturally fulfilled, for are we not whole in and of ourselves?

    Whereas White Moon cyclers may manifest a breeze on a hot day, Red Moon cyclers may find it beneficial to recognize why they’re uncomfortable in the heat.

    What’s important is that we never fail to realize that there is more than one way of doing and understanding ourselves in relation to our reality, earth, each other, and magick.

    Information we find in books or online is not definitive. We must learn to trust ourselves more to know.

    Magick is but an exploration of self.

    We must not judge who we are or our effectiveness based on a meme, a definition, or an opinion.

    We are the Universe.

    So, to those of you bringing your full moon magick inward in the next little bit – nice to meet you! Welcome to the club!



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    About the Author:

    Kelli Hansel finds safe and productive places darkness amidst a spiritual world feigning over white lights and positivity. She is a writer, intuitive guide, self empowerment teacher, and avid yoga witch.  Making her home in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky her witchery and approach is steeped in the mountain traditions.  As a 200hr. RYT and 15+ year yogini and instructor, yoga and yogic philosophy deeply informs the magick.  Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and her website –


    images: author’s own





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