Making up more than 70 percent of the earth’s surface and containing millions of species that have yet to be discovered and identified, the ocean never ceases to provide the world with inexplicable wonders. Walking past an unkempt beach is nerve-wracking, especially when you understand and appreciate all the ocean does for us. It is more than a place to swim and capture an Instagram-worthy photo. It is one of the most fascinating gifts on earth.
THE OCEAN AND HER TIDES
Did you know the waves that rock you back and forth when you are getting your swim on at the beach are not tides? Many people use “tides” and “waves” interchangeably. However, simply put, waves are caused by the force of the wind, while gravity causes tides.
Don’t worry, we won’t make this into an hour-long science class. Consider this the cliff notes. When the earth, moon, and sun get together to create a gravitational pull, tides are formed. Having the strongest gravitational force, the moon pulls the ocean towards it, causing a high tide on the point of the earth closest to the moon. Simultaneously, the earth is being pulled a little as well, causing a high tide on the far side of the planet, and low tides around the middle.
During full and new moons the sun and moon are in alignment. The moon’s power is enhanced by the sun, resulting in higher tides known as spring tides. Neap tides, however, are the result of the moon and the sun being at right angles to each other, creating quarter moons in the nighttime sky. In this position, the sun diminishes the effect of the moon’s power, and the tides return to a more balanced rhythm. Got it? If not, check out this YouTube visual explanation, by Brain Stuff. We understand that you, a hard working, world-changing feminist, don’t have time to waste, so rest assured, it’s less than four minutes. Here’s a bonus fact: the highest tides can be found in Canada at the Bay of Fundy, where they can reach a height of around 16 meters – or the height of a 5-storey building!
THE HUMAN CONNECTION TO THE OCEAN
Water’s power over man is a concept that dates back thousands of years and has found its place in spiritual beliefs of all kinds. Many people believe humans are more deeply connected to the ocean than we realize, due to the fact that our bodies are mostly made up of water. Some people suggest that the ocean plays a part in the feminine cycle; others see water as a healing tool, and still, others find a great peace while in the water. Water has a way of calming our moods, healing our bodies, and bringing us clarity and balance. Finding ways to be near it seems to be a natural inclination for us, whether we realize it or not.
Let’s talk about menses. Earlier we noted the strength of the moon’s gravitational pull is greater than that of the earth and sun–2.2 times more powerful, to be exact. With the moon’s cycle and ocean’s tides being so closely connected, many people believe that both have an impact on, or, at least, a very close correlation to our feminine cycles. According to women’s health expert, Christiane Northrup, M.D., “Specifically, the moon and tides interact with the electromagnetic fields of our bodies, subsequently affecting our internal physiological processes.”
For centuries, people have speculated that things can get a little strange during a full moon, but it has also been noted that conception and ovulation hit their peak the day of, or the day before, a full moon. The new moon often triggers a menstrual period for many women. Is it a coincidence that at the timeframe when tides are at their highest, the number of women experiencing a menstrual period around the world is at its highest?
As the high tides are supplying the earth with renewable energy, our menstrual cycles are cleansing us and renewing our energy. In her article, Wisdom of the Menstrual Cycle, Dr. Northrup says, “Environmental cues such as light, the moon, and the tides play a documented role in regulating women’s menstrual cycles and fertility.” If something as simple as color can significantly affect our mood and decisions, is it really that far fetched to think the moon and ocean can affect our feminine cycles?