How to Use Astrology to Manage Your PMS
Cramps, bloating, headaches, mood swings — these are just some of the thrilling symptoms that come with the PMS phase of our menstrual cycle.
But beyond heating pads and aspirin, astrologers believe we can also look to the stars for guidance in navigating these unwelcome symptoms. "You can really use your astrological sign as a self-care template for your period," states Tali Edut, co-founder of The AstroTwins and INTIMINA ambassador.
Although there's no scientific or medical evidence to suggest elements of astrology impact our bodies, around 30% of Americans currently believe in and follow this ancient form of divination, according to figures from the Pew Research Center. So how are the stars and cycles thought to interact?
How Astrology Relates to Your Menstrual Cycle
It all comes down to that shiny entity we call the moon. Although it takes 27.3 days for this natural satellite to orbit the Earth, the lunar phase cycle it goes through actually lasts 29.5 days, which roughly correlates with the average length of our menstrual cycles.
As such, astrologers "look at the four main cycles of the moon and how they correspond to the four cycles of women's monthly menstruation," explains Edut.
- New Moon = menstruation phase. “[This] is a lot like the menstrual phase, when you’re starting over and it’s a fresh phase for you,” states Edut.
- Quarter moon phase = follicular phase. As Edut notes, this time “is when you’re strengthening post-period and your energies start to rise.”
- Full moon = ovulation phase. “You’re at your most fertile symbolically during a full moon, and also when you’re ovulating,” says Edut. “There can be that real agitated energy and excitement...that comes along with both.”
- Third quarter moon = luteal phase. As this is when those PMS symptoms thrive, it “is the time to do more self-care, moisturizing, hydrating, resting and powering down,” Edut shares.
However, before you start checking a calendar, your menstrual cycle needn't align with that of the moon — in fact, the chances of that happening are relatively low. "I think that it's more [about] recognizing the presence of the cycle and the way cycles flow, as opposed to wanting to sync with the moon itself," says Aliza Kelly, astrologer and author of This Is Your Destiny: Using Astrology To Manifest Your Best Life. Through this awareness, astrologers believe we can develop a better understanding of our cycle and body, and allow ourselves "to recover from the things that could have caused us stress or anxiety or blockages and to forgive those," she adds.
And the lunar-bodily relationship doesn't end there. "The moon is also astrologically tied to the Mother and to women, and to concepts surrounding fertility, emotions and feelings, and our internal experience," Kelly says.
What PMS Symptoms to Expect Based On Your Sign
We typically associate most with our sun sign — which "is where you get your energy from," explains Edut. However, as the menstrual cycle is so closely linked to the lunar phases, your lesser-known moon sign — aka the sign of the Zodiac where the moon was at the moment of your birth — plays an important role, too. Your moon sign will likely be different to your sun sign, but it's easy to figure out – and this calculator can help you do so.
While many assume everyone encounters similar PMS symptoms, astrologers say those in different signs experience some more strongly than others. Grouped under the wider astrological elements, you can look to either your sun or moon sign (or both) to learn which behaviors and emotions are more likely to flare up during your luteal phase.
Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)
Represented by the flame, fire folk tend to be passionate – but it can all get a bit much at times. "These ambitious types may feel overwhelmed and suddenly get irritable and outwardly cranky about something they were inspired about the prior week," says Edut. "They may pick fights or blow up at people over 'insignificant' things just to vent anger."
Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)
Those in this element need a bit of me-time to help maintain the stability and calmness they're known for. "If they don't have enough quiet and comfort, earth can get fussy and demanding," Edut explains. "They may scold people for minor oversights or start worrying unnecessarily about the future instead of taking time to process emotions."
Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)
They're natural communicators, but this point of the cycle can see things taken up a notch. "Social drama may rev-up for outgoing air signs. Suddenly, they may question everything they've said or texted," shares Edut. "They may think friends are talking about them or people are looking at them the wrong way. They may get into tiffs on social media or snap at roommates and colleagues."
Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)
These emotional signs see feelings ebb and flow throughout their cycle, but at this point, "insecurities can flare for these sensitive types," Edut reveals. "They may feel worried about their social standing, money, or the future of relationships. Suddenly everything looks wrong, from their hair to their clothes to their home décor, but trying to 'fix' it leaves them in tears."
So you know what you might encounter – now what?
How to Use the Moon to Navigate PMS
To learn more about the behaviors that astrology says could help make your cycle feel like a more leisurely ride, focus on your moon sign. "The moon represents those hidden feelings that we often ignore, says Edut. "In astrology, the moon is the heavenly body that says a lot about our needs: How to nurture ourselves, how to find comfort."
Let's take a look at what your moon sign says about your PMS journey.
This sign is typically strong and determined, but Edut states this switches upon the arrival of the third-quarter moon (representative of the luteal phase). "They really like to be babied when they're not feeling good," she says. "The whole thing is about what to allow for in yourself. Allow yourself to be babied and not apologize."
Not feeling so great? As the first earth sign, "for those with a moon in Taurus, a great way to deepen their connection with their body is to see it mirrored in nature," Kelly says. "Spending time in nature, or with plants — even just houseplants or flowers — would be a great way of visualizing your own natural shedding and blooming process."
This is the communication-based sign, so get ready to let your emotions flow. "Being able to keep a journal or even just have a group of friends that you can talk with about your cycle, where you're at and how you feel…would be a great way of connecting that energy," Kelly notes.
"Cancers are ruled by the moon," states Kelly, "so I would say really allow yourself to feel your full range of emotions and how they fluctuate throughout your cycle."
Edut adds that getting creative can be a great way to help see yourself through PMS: Whether that's dancing around your bedroom or picking up a paintbrush.
Just like Geminis, Leos love to share — so get talking to your pals, because we always feel better when someone's there to sympathize. "Tracking your cycle with other people and setting an example for how it feels to be in the different phases...is going to deepen your connection and make you feel more embodied with your flow," Kelly notes.
To help them feel at their best, "I would love Virgo moons to be paying attention to the way that environments, food, habits and behaviors — just sort of day-to-day goings ons — impact or influence their natural cycle," says Kelly. "Really become synced with what is going into the body and what is the input and output of that expression."
Lucky Libras have a couple of approaches to try. Go right ahead with the indulgence: "Get the bath bombs ready, chocolate cake, and a decadent kaftan," Edut says. "Libras are very fashionable, so they like to have a period wardrobe to relax into."
Having a period buddy could be of benefit too, notes Kelly. "Having a friend you can be accountable with, to deepen your understanding and relationship with your period, would be a great fit for the sign."
While some signs prefer to be social during their PMS phase, Scorpios like to retreat into their shell — and having some alone time could be just what you need to get in tune with yourself. "Work on creative projects, and get into your spiritual side," suggests Edut.
As much as you might want to stay curled up under the duvet, for typically lively folk under this sign, "it's good to have some movement," Edut notes. "Get out for some gentle walks; don't let that energy get stuck. Keep things around that make you laugh – fun movies or books, or friends who crack you up."
"Capricorns are probably the most resistant to getting their period, as they hate slowing down!" reveals Edut. "I think more than anyone, Capricorns need a period plan app, so that they know they're going to be going at a slower pace and not to schedule anything in if they can help it."
Kelly adds those in this sign shouldn't resist the menstrual cycle's ebbs and flows. "Learn to appreciate that about your body, and see it as a strength rather than a weakness."
Those in this air sign are often stirred by environmental and social concerns. "To connect with one's body on the micro is also to understand the greater issues on the macro," explains Kelly. Rather than wallowing in feeling crappy, feel empowered by reading up on rights and humanitarian matters, "as guided through women's issues and body issues," she adds.
Those in this water sign "like to give and give," reveals Edut, "but they need to watch that." Recognize it's OK to take time for yourself and that your body might need a bit of TLC. Pisceans should "allow themselves to pamper themselves and say no to things when they're tired," she continues. "A lot of the time, the stress of letting people down will almost get them cramped up further."
The Bottom Line on the Astrology-Menstruation Relationship
Essentially, astrologers believe exploring the association between the lunar cycle and that of your own can be beneficial in increasing self-awareness and kindness. "The emphasis is on healing, and what does that look like for me and for my body, to allow it to be something that goes through cycles," Kelly says. "The moon is this incredible mirror and tool that can help you find a rhythm if you haven't found one."
However, while we're here for more self-love, do bear in mind this astrological approach doesn't constitute professional medical advice — so if you have concerns or issues regarding PMS symptoms or your menstrual cycle, it's important to speak with your ob-gyn.