We are approaching another dark Moon: The lunar phase that has always signalled a time for retreat. At these times, our emotional energy is often at its lowest ebb so it can be a really hard time to be interacting with a lot of other people, and putting ourselves into socially challenging situations.
As our sensitivities and powers of intuition are being heightened, and because of the rawness of the emotions often felt at this time in the lunar month, the Dark and New Moons, and the days leading up to it are a great time for shadow work.
The shadow contains parts of ourselves, that for various reasons we have learnt to deny, and this suppression means that their aspects or qualities can sometimes erupt in our lives, in harmful, destructive, or plain irrational ways. But by tracing them back to their core (and there are so many healing modalities within which to do this), they can be recognised and re-integrated so that their healthy expression becomes normal again. Shadow work is a huge subject all of its own, but you could think of it as a sort of emotional, or psychological cleansing.
As well as for the emotional body, the waning Moon, culminating in a Dark, and then New Moon is also the time when the physical body is consolidating, eliminating and preparing to start afresh.
Being the time when our whole being can ease naturally into this mode of cleansing and purifying, why not allow the physical, digestive functioning of your body to also go into retreat?
If we halt the overload of food and give our digestive organs a rest, we give them the time and space to really enter into their own cleansing and restoration modes, and this has a positive knock on effect for the whole body.
When our digestive system rest, it allows some of the glands and organs of the lymphatic system a break too, as they are not having to deal with the fall-out from what we choose to put into our bodies. For example, the pancreas, which normally deals with an excess of simple sugars (from bread, pasta, noodles, etc…) by producing insulin, doesn’t have to do so much of that day to day hormone balancing – it too can rest and repair.
The ripple effect of benefit and balance, that a cleanse or a fast can have on the whole body isn’t limited to the physical. Juice cleansing can bring a profound stillness and clarity of mind and this can really accentuate and aid the already increased levels of intuition, and access to inner wisdom that can be tapped into around the new Moon.
As the key phase when lunar energy is aligned to support new beginnings, it is also the ideal time to begin healthier eating habits, and a cleanse (and how you break the cleanse) can bring to your attention not just the quality of the food you eat, but the emotional attachment that can exist around food. When you completely remove the emotional crutch that is food, the emotion it supports, be it boredom, anxiety or shame, for example, has nowhere to hide, and can be honestly confronted.
Many of the benefit of cleanses and fasts have been documented through the ages, but what is less widely known these days is that their affects will be multiplied by practicing on the New Moon.
And personally, on a practical note, when following really simple new Moon juice cleanses, I have found that it is much easier at this time of the lunar month, than at others (particularly compared with a waxing moon when the body is taking on and storing up sustenance). My body doesn’t crave solid food as much, as my appetite is naturally lower, so I feel more satisfied with only juices and teas.
So for all of these reasons, I would highly recommend that you give it a go!
Whilst I’m no juicing expert, I do it often, and love it! So here are my juicing tips for a new Moon juice cleanse:
- Stock up on enough fruit and vegetables the day before the Dark, or the New Moon so there’s no pressure to get to the shops. If you don’t have a juicer, you can still do this. It’s ok to go out and buy fresh juices!
- The night before, have a very light supper, raw if you can, to help ease your body into the cleanse.
- Drink three to five decent juices throughout the day, each about three hours apart. In between, drink plenty of water and herbal teas.
- Juice fruit and vegetables in the same colour range. This may seem counter intuitive – we know it’s good to eat from the whole spectrum – but I adore the unadulterated vibrancy of a juice when I keep to this rule, (though not essential!)
So I’ll juice: carrots, oranges, ginger, turmeric root and sweet potato together. Or apples, kale, lettuce, ginger and limes, for example.
- For a scrumptious tasting juice, as a base, combine something sweet, something tart and something rooty or green. The sweet ingredient could be a high yielding fruit, like apples or oranges, the tart would be lemon or lime, and the root or green could be anything from ginger, parsnip, or beetroot, to spinach, broccoli, kiwis or cucumber.
- Plan how you will break your cleanse the following morning. This is important. You may be ravenous, but to begin with eat only fruit, as you need to ease your body gently back into digestion.
- If you are extending the cleanse, go easy on the citrus ingredients, as too much of these types of juices may be too harsh and astringent on a very empty stomach.
- (Not quite a juicing tip, but) to further aid the processes of elimination, try massage, dry body brushing and gentle exercise. These kinds of physical stimulation will help to get things moving, particularly for your lymphatic system, as it has no pump of its own.
If you have never done a juice cleanse before, do a little research so you know what to expect – some people can suffer side effects like headaches or nausea. These types of symptoms are the effects of your body releasing toxins (most toxins are stored in fat, and if your body is getting the chance to tackle some of its deposits, they get released). So however awful it feels, it’s doing you benefit in the long run! Of course, if it really feels too much then stop – eat something! (ideally make a very simple vegetable stock soup, or raw salad). You don’t need to prove anything to anyone – this is very much about simplifying, in order to tune into your own body, so that is what you must do.
Others may have emotional reactions – especially if the cleanse is extended. With the release of physical toxins can come the release of stored emotional ‘toxins’ and blocks, so again, see this as a cathartic experience.
If you do plan to perform a juice cleanse, of course be careful – you are responsible for your own body, and if you are taking medication, are pregnant or breastfeeding or have any health concerns then don’t do it.
Otherwise, I hope that you may reap some wonderful benefits.