This November Full Moon is the last before the Winter Solstice, making it the "Mourning Moon" as well as the "Beaver Moon". I've incorporated both moon themes into this month's "Moon Meal" -- what does each symbolize? The Mourning Moon is a good time to let go of the aspects of our life that fail to serve us well anymore (and to pay attention to the manner in which we mourn when we remove these things from our life), before heading into the new year with positivity and new goals and dreams. It's a time to cleanse the soul of any negative or nagging thoughts, any bad habits, fears, emotions, even break ties with people in our life who only bring negativity.
I've incorporated spices and foods into this meal that are known to bring aid to the body's natural detoxification processes - cranberries, onions, garlic, beets, parsley, flax seeds, mint, lemon, and ginger - and that are thought to help the body cleanse itself, gently letting go of toxins built up from the past. Fresh cranberry sauce and gluten-free stuffing, followed by a paleo pumpkin pie not only contain these cleansing herbs and foods, but they also symbolize the "Beaver Moon" because of their cozy, "homey" comfort-food nature. It's no wonder these are the foods we eat every year at Thanksgiving while we spend precious time with our dearest family and friends. As I talk about in my article, November Full Moon: The mystical significance of the beaver, beavers live in close-knit families, and spend most of their life building and rebuilding their homes. Now is a time where we hunker down and spend most of our time inside the homes we've made, with our loved ones.
After eating and grounding, I top the meal off with a big hot mug of mint chamomile tea with lemon and ginger. While sitting comfortably, hold the tea and inhale the mint steam for a few breaths. The mint helps cleanse the lungs, which also relates to the beaver. From Animal Speak: The Spiritual and Magical Powers of Creature Great & Small by Ted Andrews: "[Beavers have] extra-large lungs, and [they] can take in more oxygen and tolerate more carbon dioxide than humans. Because of this, beaver can also teach lessons about breath and [their] control for the greatest health and effectiveness." After taking a few slow, deep breaths, try the "Beaver Moon" visualization below to cleanse the soul and prepare for a new year of fresh, new goals.
Imagine you're sitting in the middle of a slow-moving river, on the bank of a small island of dried mud, so that the river is flowing in front of and directly away from you. Next to you is a small raft made from wooden logs and sticks (any adjustments can be made to the visualization to make the scene more individually pleasing - weather, temperature, etc. - try to utilize all the senses). One by one imagine you're placing everything negative in your life, from the past year, on the raft. People, habits, emotions - anything that doesn't serve you anymore and which is holding you back from achieving your goals and dreams. After you place each symbolic item onto the raft, allow yourself to briefly mourn it leaving your life. What does it feel like? When you feel you've unloaded everything you need to rid yourself of, gently push the raft into the river in front of you, and watch it float away.
After your visualization, take a few deep breaths before finally opening your eyes. That night, pay attention to your dreams. What are they telling you? "Remember that the beaver reminds us that we have to act on our dreams to make them a reality."
I hope you enjoy this Moon Meal and visualization as much as I did!
1. Spiced Cranberry Sauce:
In a saucepan, combine:
Stir ingredients together and bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until the berries crack open and turn soft.
2. Paleo Stuffing with Sage, Flax Seeds, and Grated Beets
For the stuffing, I used Maria Emmerich's awesome recipe (click here to pull it up), but after combining the crumbled coconut flour bread and sausage mixture, I added in for the final oven cooking:
3. Gluten-Free, White Sugar-Free PUMPKIN PIE Featuring Blackstrap Molasses (Click to pull up the recipe)
4. For the cleansing tea, combine:
Fresh ginger slices
Slice of lemon
Steep, covered, for 15 minutes and enjoy.