The first new moon of fall (this Wednesday, October 6th) couldn’t be a better time to begin a good, cleansing detox both inside and out. The artifices and general busy-ness of modern life make it easy to forget sometimes that our inner and outer worlds reflect each other and often need the same amount of care and attention.
As we move through the cycle of the year we accumulate a lot of “stuff”; both physical stuff and emotional stuff. Time for us to change with the season! Time to clear things out, heal, purify and nourish, release, let go and start fresh. All you need are my favorite cosmic twins, Fire and Water.
As I discuss in an earlier post, it’s an awesome, curious fact of physics that water is essentially created by fire. The combination of oxygen and hydrogen requires combustion to transform those gases into liquid water. Inseparable, they make a great polar pairing on many levels and in many workings and even cosmologies, for instance the Norse Ginnungagap: the primordial void where fire and ice came together to form the world, the elemental giants and then the gods.
My current favorite way, and such a perfect way for the fall season, to combine the two elements to do a multi-level detox is to brew up a spicy, delicious, Moon-charged fire cider.
If you haven’t heard about the fire cider craze or at least haven’t gotten around to trying it, I highly recommend doing so and especially right now as we move into the chilly, sniffle-riddled seasons. Not only is it a potent immunity-boosting tonic, it’s a delicious seasoning that’s great to have on hand for sauces, soups, salads, marinades, pickling and anything else you can think of. I’ve been using it regularly for about a year now and I’m hooked.
Making fire cider is easy, fun and, best of all, it’s versatile. Herbal legend Rosemary Gladstar has written a whole book all about fire cider, with lots of different recipes. So be adventurous and tweak and personalize this in any way that feels right, but this is my basic fire cider recipe.
With this simple new moon ritual I combine purifying fire cider with the practice of creating moon water, or “charging” water in moonlight (or shadow) for a particular spell or purpose. If you’re familiar with magic herbalism, you’ll appreciate all the traditional purifying, protective energies and associations all of these ingredients have in addition to (or simply the same as..?) their physical health properties.
Since this is not only medicine, but magic, use only organic ingredients
unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 small-medium sweet onion
1 lemon (juice and zest)
at least 6 garlic cloves
several slices of fresh ginger
several slices of fresh turmeric (or a few teaspoons ground)
2 or 3 cinnamon sticks (or ground)
a few twigs of fresh rosemary
one sliced fresh jalapeno (or to taste)
On (or the night before) the new moon, mix up the cider. If you wish, begin by grounding, meditating and creating sacred space in your kitchen. At least make sure your work area is clean and you’ve washed your hands. Embellish or simplify as you see fit. Peel, slice and place all the ingredients in a quart glass jar.
As you do so, think about what you want to cleanse and detoxify on all levels. Think about answers and guidance you’d like to receive, think about starting fresh and new, about the new moon being dark and hidden like a new germinating seed. Think about what you’d like to grow but also what you need to prune and cull. You are a tree and your leaves are changing and falling away to make room for new ones. Relax and let them go.
Cover the jar with a tight, leak-proof lid and give it a few hearty shakes. Label it and be sure to include the day’s date. If you can, place it somewhere safe outside. There will be no moonlight for it to catch, as with most moon water spells, but the moon itself is still there and the idea is to get that new moon energy into the cider. If you can’t or don’t want to put it outside, placing it on an altar or a special spot by a window will do.
This is just for the night of the new moon. After that, keep the jar in a cool, dark cupboard or pantry and let it sit for two weeks, until the full moon (for the purposes of this ritual; any other time I let the cider sit for three weeks).
In the meantime, focus on continually detoxing and releasing in any number of ways – meditate, hydrate, kick a bad health habit, start a good new one, change a belief, go on nature walks, take a break from screens and social media, clear out old clutter and junk, clean house, etc.
On the full moon on October 20th (or a week later or on Halloween, if you like), take out and crack open the cider. Strain out all the other ingredients. If you can’t quite take it straight, add raw, organic honey to taste. Take at least 1 tablespoon daily (or 2 if you feel a cold coming on) and add it to salad dressings, marinades, vegetables, pickling blends, etc. Experiment! And enjoy the delicious flavors, the beautiful fall season and feel better on every level!
© 2021 Meredith Everwhite – All Rights Reserved