This is Your Brain on Full Moon

 The Moon from The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck, art by Kim Krans.

The Moon from The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck, art by Kim Krans.

I’m not an astrologist. I dabble in witchy shit and various manner of woo, and I’m a decent-to-pretty good tarot card reader. I’m not entirely sure I believe in astrology; but, much like the more mystical approaches to the tarot, there is something spookily resonant about it. My favorite astrologer, Chani Nicholas, always has a way of freaking me out with her spot-on horoscopes, and at the same time empowering me, especially as a queer/multiply-marginalized woman. My natal chart is likewise unsettlingly accurate.

But while I may be iffy about astrology, I DEFINITELY believe in the moon.

See, the moon really affects me. But not in ways that the online world of woo assumes it would: that I should feel invigorated during the full moon and in a rut during the new moon. In fact, I always feel the very opposite. I feel foggy-brained, easily overwhelmed, and restless, and I often flake out on my commitments around the three fullest moon days. Everything feels a bit beyond my control, and I can’t drink in the good things that happen during that time because I’m so massively overstimulated.

Conversely, during the waning days, and especially on the new moon, I feel fabulous! I am calm, refreshed, present, and ready for action. My tank feels full. I am mindful af. I get waves of inspiration, and creativity flows easily. I’m like a snake shedding its old skin!

 Fun fact: Snakes' eyes go opaque when they're about ready to shed their old skin. Foggy eyes are another analogy for how I feel during the full moon. (Source: The Google) 

Fun fact: Snakes' eyes go opaque when they're about ready to shed their old skin. Foggy eyes are another analogy for how I feel during the full moon. (Source: The Google) 

Why is this such a departure from common discourse re: the moon? (Common astrological discourse that is, which is perhaps not very common at all...)

The High Sensitivity Connection

Personally, I have a suspicion that it has to do with my being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). Around 20% of people are HSPs, and a full 40% are at least “moderately” sensitive. Being an HSP, or someone with “Sensory Processing Sensitivity” as it’s more officially termed, has unique challenges and benefits -- a thorough examination of which is worthy of an entirely separate blog post.* One of the many ways that being highly sensitive seems to impact me is by making me very, well, sensitive to the moon cycle.

That most people are not HSPs may explain why I almost exclusively find descriptions of folks feeling fierce with the full moon’s influence and drab as it wanes. It's also allegedly a thing that hospital emergency rooms are significantly busier during full moons and general reported wackyness increases. For me, I just can’t process nearly as much of the stimulation that Miss Luna Llena brings with her and I frazzle more easily due to my extra touchy nervous system.

Hormones? 

Since I take hormonal birth control (for free--thanks, Obama!), my period does not naturally coincide with the moon's phases, as in ye olden days. And anyway, explaining my moon cycle weirdness by pinning it on hormones is actually no more scientific than associating it with sensory processing sensitivity, since the psychological understanding of the latter is backed up by plenty of neurological “proof,” and therefore constitutes a totes legit explanation.

Of course, when the cycles ARE aligned -- well, you can probably forget about me being fully functional. You will likely find me in a corner, clutching a hot cuppa shai, cradling my aching and confused body, staring into the distance in an effort to shut out any additional stimulus.

Which brings me to where I am atm. I have had a great week of exciting news and impending transitions, but it’s also been a full moon -- in LEO no less! -- and all I want to do is be as cuddly and slow-moving as possible. I haven’t yet sorted the week out (past or upcoming), and merely opening Google Calendar is making me want to toss a blanket over my head. I can’t wait until the new moon, when I get my mojo back. Everyone else may be in their off-season then, but I’ll be sailing along at my own ideal pace, gettin’ (meaningful) shit done, feeling centered.

So what about you? How does the full moon make you feel? Are you an astrologist? Do you know about high sensitivity AND astrology and can you confirm my theories? Leave a comment in the space below!

 

*I promise to publish more content on HSP-ness (don’t say that out loud) in the near future!