This is a valuable, concise guide to understanding the menstrual cycle, set in the context of the modern-day Red Tent and Moon Lodge movement. It is written in a very accessible, conversational, easy to read style and is broad in its scope, touching upon menarche, fertility, pregnancy, birth and menopause as well as menstruation. I really liked the fact that the author, Lucy draws upon the wisdom of other writers, including Penelope Shuttle, whose work I adore. There are also strong guest sections by Rachael Hertogs and Lorraine Ferrier on menarche and fertility respectively.
There was the odd fragment that didn’t resonate with me though. For example, Lucy states that she doesn’t like having a bath whilst she is bleeding, preferring to wait until the end of bleeding to wash the smell of menstruation away. I personally feel differently and believe that having a sacred bath during days 1 -3 of menstruation can be a beautiful way of honouring the bleeding self. It presents an opportunity to drift off, dream and vision in warm water during the more intense part of menstrual bleeding. Like using water to ease contractions during birth, I think water also has a role in easing period pains and helping with general relaxation. Also, for many menstruators it is a simple way of carving out a bit of time and space for oneself, a way that our family and friends will understand.
My second piece of constructive feedback is that the book is written from the perspective of the menstruating cis-woman. It would have been more inclusive if all menstruators had been included in the breadth of the book. Some trans-men and gender-queer people do menstruate and I’m sure would appreciate the opportunity of learning about the rhythm of their cycle. This seems a bit of a missed opportunity, as this is the second edition of Moon Time.
The book covers the whole journey of womanhood and is strong on rites of passage, exploring Mother Blessings for pregnant women and Closing the Bones postnatal ceremonies. Lucy also discusses Menarche ceremonies for newly menstruating girls and those of us who missed out on this rite of passage first time around. She offers some great suggestions and ideas. I like the fact that a chapter is devoted to the poignancy of menstruation whilst we are trying to conceive a baby, when moon-blood is the last thing we are likely to greet with joy.
All in all, ‘Moon Time’ is a good introductory guide to working with the dynamic of your cycle, in the context of the other blood mysteries, together with a comprehensive resources section at the end. I recommend it.