Moon goddesses are also goddess of magic and herbal healing. Isis, Artemis,
Hecate, and Diana are just a few of the any lunar deities who were invoked
in herbal healing rituals and spells.
The very first forms of magic were healing magic. Healers used the energies
and properties of the world around them to bring their ailing patients back
into a state of health. They observed that all living things responded to
the waxing and waning of the Moon. During the Full Moon shellfish are
plumper and more succulent, and mammals have more blood in their bodies and
stronger heartbeats. Women tend to menstruate during the New Moon and
ovulate during the Full Moon. The herbs used by ancient healers were said
to be best when picked during a particular phase of the Moon.
As a modern herbalist, I have found the Moon to be a powerful healing ally.
Unlike my healing predecessors, I am spoiled by a ready supply of prepared
herbs. Therefore, I don’t spend a lot of time picking my herbs during the
optimal phase of the Moon. However, I have found using herbal therapies in
harmony with the phases of the Moon to be a very powerful healing strategy.
The waxing phase of the Moon is the best time to build the body up. This is
when I use nurturing herbs and tonics to strengthen the body’s natural
immunities. Raspberry leaf is an excellent tonic for female reproductive
organs; hawthorn berries are good for the cardiovascular system; nettle is a
great blood tonic; marshmallow root is a soothing tonic for the urinary
tract; astragalas is a wonderful immune system tonic; burdock is a good
liver tonic; red clover builds fertility; oat straw is good for the nervous
system; and alfalfa is a fantastic all-around nutritive tonic.
These herbs are simple and gentle. They are best taken in a cup of tea,
three to five times a day. During the waxing phase, I also like to increase
water intake to avoid water retention. The more water we ingest, the less
water our bodies attempt to retain.
This is also a good time to apply medicinal salves and to take therapeutic
baths. Most importantly, I work during the waxing Moon to ensure that the
body has all the nutritional support it needs. This is the body’s building
time, and it needs a good supply of minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates,
lipids, and amino acids to be healthy. I would also not attempt to fast or
to lose weight during the waxing Moon.
Use energy healing techniques to strengthen and reconnect with the earth.
Be careful to ground and center when healing so that you never use up your
own life force energy. The universe if full of energy to use, and by
tapping into it you will be able to help many more people than you could by
using just your energy alone.
The Full Moon lasts about three days. It is a very intense phase. Many
women still ovulate with the Full Moon. This is the time when I apply the
most powerful herbs. I like to use cayenne capsules to treat infections of
any kind. Goldenseal is a well-known herbal antibiotic. Echinacea and
Lomatium are anti-viral. Dong quai, black cohosh and chasteberry are
excellent herbs for female hormonal fluctuations.
Energy healing work during the Full Moon is very powerful. On the energetic
level, it acts like a magnifying mirror. The strong lunar energy pulls
everything out of hiding and reflects it back at us. This is often the time
during an acute illness when people feel their worst. The Full Moon
intensifies whatever else is going on. Often people aren’t even aware that
they’re sick until the Full Moon hits.
This is also an excellent time for psychological therapy. Emotions seem
closer to the surface than usual and social inhibitions melt away. Agendas
that have been simmering under the surface tend to come out under the light
of the Full Moon. This is a time to strengthen relationships and reaffirm
bonds. Never underestimate the healing power of simply holding someone’s
hand and listening. This is not the time for isolation or introspection.
The Full Moon draws all of life toward it. Even the solid ground rises
several inches when the Full Moon passes overhead!
The Waning Moon is the best time to employ therapeutic fasts. I avoid
drastic fasting. There is usually no need to starve the body to heal it.
However, I found it helpful to limit my intake to juices and soups for a few
days during the waning Moon, particularly when I was struggling with the
flu. I like to use purifying herbs in moderation at this time. Sage,
ginger, lemon, thyme, lavender, and peppermint are all cleansing the
The waning Moon is also a good time to do sweats and diaphoretic (sweat
producing) baths. In addition, if I were trying to kick a habit, I would do
it during the waning phase. Full body massages help circulation and
strengthen the eliminative systems. Use energy healing techniques to server
unhealthy bonds and strengthen boundaries.
The New Moon is as powerful in its own way as the Full Moon. It is a time
for taking stock. It is a phase of hibernation, retreat, and contemplation.
Avoid crowds and gatherings and seek a little time for yourself. Unless
an illness is at a critical phase, I frequently cease all therapies for a
day or so and allow the body to seek its own level. Rest is crucial during
the New Moon. Simple foods and quiet times are powerful healers.
Many women menstruate with the New Moon. It is natural to want to curl up
in bed with a good book and nice cup of chamomile tea. Stronger nervines
(relaxing herbs) are skullcap, hops, catnip, oatstraw and valerian.
After the New Moon ends and that first crescent appears, then the healing
lunar cycle begins all over again. Most acute diseases do not last a full
The information in this article is only intended to be an educational tool,
not a prescription. It is always wise to consult with your health care
provider when experiencing any illness or discomfort.
Awareness of the rhythms of nature can assist you and your health care
provider in determining the best course of treatment at any given time.
Naturally, some conditions will require that you apply therapies that don’t
necessarily “fit” with the phase of the Moon. However, I have found that my
own therapies are much more effective when I am not fighting the tides that
flow around and through us.
May the lunar goddesses of healing – Artemis and Isis, Diana and Hecate –
bless your healing efforts with Moon wisdom and Moon magic.