Many of us in the witchy spiritual world love to live by the moon cycles, and for good reason. A new moon cleanse is a great way to tap into this cycle if you haven’t yet, and a wonderful way to enhance your practice even if you have already established one.
The Moon Cycles
Living by the moon cycles is not just for witches. It is a way to tap into the earth, into nature, and into your spirituality by accepting and stepping into the natural rhythms of life.
Some might call it “woo woo,” but it is no more woo woo than waking and going to bed with the sun, getting outside into nature more, and eating a well-balanced diet that honors plants and pasture raised, humanely treated animals.
Eckhart Tolle tells us in his book A New Earth that our purpose as humans is to undergo an awakening, waking up to our inner purpose by living out an outer purpose that allows us to tap into our souls.
The more we do to honor nature, the more opportunity we have to open ourselves up to our inner purpose, our awakening.
He also notes that this awakening is not something we can force. It is something that happens to us when we are ready.
How do we get ready?
Well, just live your best possible life until it happens.
We can do this by living in concert with everything around us.
Stepping into the rhythms and cycles of nature is a wonderful way to do this that takes very little effort and very little ego.
The moon cycles around the earth every 28 days approximately, and it controls all of our water systems, which means it has a powerful effect on humans and our systems, given that we are mostly water.
When we work with the power and gravitational pull of the moon, we are more prone to stop resisting and start flowing with natural forces.
This shift in the way we live can have a tremendous impact on us as most of us live our lives in a constant state of push and pull, resistance and force.
Honoring the moon, and creating rituals around the moon cycles, is a small step toward a more holistic, flow state that will open us up in new and beautiful ways.
A new moon cleanse is the perfect place to start.
The new moon is the first phase of the 28 day cycle. It is when the moon is dark in the sky, barely visible to the naked eye, as the sun is directly opposite it on the other side of the earth.
We use this cycle of the moon to start something new.
Many women menstruate at this time, washing their female reproductive organs clean of the possibility for new life and beginning a new cycle that will prepare the body once more for potential fertilization.
The waxing moon is the crescent we see in the sky when the moon is heading towards fullness.
We use this time to work hard toward our short-term goals.
During this phase, we tend to be more energetic as well as more fertile, which makes us more open to inspiration and intuition.
The full moon shines in the sky when the moon and the sun are fully exposed to one another, so we can see the moon at its fullest point.
This phase is when we bring to fruition what we have been working on and we can really see the fruits of our labor.
This is when many women are ovulating and are ripe for fertilization.
And the waning moon is the closing out of this moon cycle. We see a crescent in the moon that draws closer to the next new moon, getting darker and darker in the sky.
During this phase, we wrap up our short term goals and prepare for several days of rest.
A new moon cleanse does not have to be just one thing. It can be a variety of approaches, and it can mix and match your favorite ways to cleanse.
Some people do a dietary cleanse, others do a literal body cleanse, and still others do an environmental cleanse.
The primary and most important aspect of any cleanse lies in the intention.
You feel like you are cleaning up, so you are.
The purpose of any cleanse is to clean up and clear out, to detox, decontaminate, and decompress.
Basically, you want a fresh start.
A New Moon Cleanse
A new moon cleanse is best prepared for well in advance. Know what you are cleaning up, how you plan to cleanse yourself or your space, and gather whatever materials you might need.
Under a new moon, you can do a cleanse during the day of the new moon or at night, or both. The point is that you know a new moon is here, and you are working with the energy of that part of the cycle.
Materials to gather could include a jar for water, paper and pen for a spell or intention, bath products, cleaning products, and even yard tools if you plan to work in the garden or with the earth.
Create the Conditions
There are multiple approaches to a new moon cleanse, and you can do them all at once or only one at a time. Remember, you have 13 new moon cycles to work with.
I like to do a major cleanse on every solstice or equinox, and make it timely for the season, and then do smaller cleanses for the other new moons of the year.
So, for example, for the autumn equinox, on the 22nd of September, I will prepare my yard for fall, cleaning and clearing out space for fall leaves and pine needles to fall and putting away plants or yard furniture that could get ruined in the frost or rain.
I will spend the day with my bare feet on the earth, allowing the vibrations of the ground to take from me all my overwhelm, all my anxiety, all my stress.
Then, at midday, I will open all my windows and fully clean my house, sweeping all negative, old energy out the door and burning sage.
I will also make a thick stew on the stove in my cauldron, allowing it to slowly simmer all day, filling my house with scents of fall – grass fed beef and broth, carrots, squash, pumpkin, etc.
Once my house is clean, I will fill my bathroom with steam from my shower and step into the warm water to fully cleanse my body with scrubs, soaps, and clay masks. At the end, I lock in all my cleansing with a shock of cold water.
I wrap myself in comfortable clothes and light candles all around my house.
In the evening, I will close my windows and allow my home to warm up, then head down to the fire with my intention written on paper.
I will burn the paper in my fire pit, and trust that the universe knows my plans and is co-creating with me.
That’s an example of a solstice new moon cleanse.
I do a smaller version of this every new moon, and a mini version once a week on Saturday to reset my week.
Set the Intention
The trick to any new moon cleanse is to have clear intentions for how you expect the next moon cycle to go, or how to hope the next season will play out.
So write your intention down on a piece of paper, keep it with you all day, and prepare to burn it at night in faith.
Take time during your new moon cleanse to be still, to listen to the Universe, and to become one with the moon and the cycles of the earth.
Remember you came from the earth as much as you came from the Universe. Righting yourself with the earth is perhaps the most concrete and powerful act you can make.
It is an act of nature, an act of connection, a deep, root chakra statement you make that you are connected to all of life on this planet.
Take a few moments, if not a few hours, to touch your bare skin to the bare earth.
If you can incorporate water, all the better, for a moist surface is more absorbent.
Also, allow yourself to be silent during this new moon cleanse.
Silence is the space between all your thoughts and words.
All your podcasts and music.
It is good to be silent every day for a little bit.
But at the very least take time to be silent on a new moon cycle, when you can hear the rhythms of the earth speaking to you.
And finally, at the end of your cleanse, let go.
Release your fears, your worries, your pain, your exhaustion.
I like to do some dancing or some full body vibrating to simply release all the pent-up energy that I have been holding onto.
You will be surprised by how much you have to release once you get started.