Hello my pretties. I've concocted some stress balancing tonics to help you (and me) get through this dark season. They are made with adaptogens which increase your body's ability to adapt to stress on the body/mind and prevent damaging effects. The name moon milk serves as a reminder that rest and relaxation are vital and we can pair them with the moon phases, hormone cycles and feelings or intuitive processes that come up during these times. Fall and winter is a perfect time for reflection to learn more about ourselves. Let's begin.
When I was a young girl I imagined myself a sorceress, surrounded by jars of herbs, goos and tinctures. I made up spells, brewed potions from ketchup, grapes and cold tea (fyi: not tasty) and consumed endless fantasy books and movies. When I was five my mum bought me The Wizard Of Oz and I drove her crazy watching it over and over with the same vigour as the first time. I went through obsessive phases of watching the same movie every day for a month at a time. Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Beauty and The Beast, The Witches, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal– anything supernatural was my choice of pleasure and poison.
When I was twelve my goth-ish aunt (who dressed only in black, swore often and had an unusual amount of skulls in her bedroom) took me and two other morbidly obsessed friends to a wicca shop in Toronto. We spent hours browsing spell books, inspecting crystals, and smelling one hundred sticks of incense that gave us headaches. The lady working there swung a pendulum over our hands telling us which ones would birth a boy or girl. We bought a book of spells, a few charms including a (real?) rabbit's foot, and the least offensive incense we could find. We got home and laid them all out browsing our occult bounty with excitement. We put on our darkest shade of lipstick, re-watched The Craft for the bajillionth time and got to work. We took out the ouija board and conjured spirits which were mostly hand spasms from holding our fingers straight for an hour at a time. We played Light As A Feather Stiff As A Board, decided which element we felt a strong affinity for and sat in a circle in the backyard reciting the chant from The Craft, “HAIL TO THE GUARDIANS OF THE WATCHTOWER OF THE EAST!!! Hear me. Hear us!". Once in a while a light breeze would ruffle a feather around and we took that as confirmation that we were in fact real witches. We were unsure if that meant we sold our souls to the devil but in those times of hormonal highs and lows mixed with teenage angst, we were okay with that possibility.
When I was thirteen I invited friends over to watch The Exorcist because it was a classic scary movie and my goth-ish aunt said “it's very f*cked up and I almost shit my pants". “Perfect!" I thought. Halfway through the movie everyone requested I turn it off because they felt disturbed watching a possessed girl of the same age mutilate her genitals with a cross. I said “nahhh, it's probably almost over" and then we all had near heart attacks as she spiderwalked down the stairs and spit up blood. They yelled at me asking why I wouldn't turn it off but I was too entranced by how terrifying it was. I loved testing how far I could push myself before clinical insanity. As I reflect back on my life, it's no a surprise I have sleep problems.
With constant stimulation surrounding us, it's easy to feel how the outside world affects our inner world– how we feel, thoughts we think, how much or little anxiety is present. But what about cultivating our inner world to affect our outer reality? How often do we actively work on starting first from a peaceful grounded state of mind? We become more powerful and gain more control if we begin from a good feeling place. I work on this by giving myself alone time that is essential for me to feel balanced. I enjoy journaling, reading a book, going on a walk or just laying and let myself zone out. Meditation or yoga for even 5 minutes in the morning is a great place to begin my day.
My incredibly talented friend Miranda creates this beautiful moon calendar every year which is perfect to hang on the wall and refer back to for journal entries and general guidance. She has also just released a moon journal with @thebodyastrologer that offers suggestions for what to focus on during each lunar cycle.
Tapping into moon phases can be a great way to begin journaling if you don't know where to start. Each lunar cycle consists of 28 days as does a typical women's menstrual cycle. This is no accident we are linked with the waxing and waning of the moon. It is thought that before artificial light, women's menstrual cycles would align with the moon phases. If you're synced up, you'll menstruate around the new moon (the darkest time of the month) and ovulate with the full moon (the brightest time of the month). This information gives us insight into why we feel certain ways during our hormone cycle. When you know the feelings that may arise around these times, it can be an opportunity to 'go with the flow' of life rather than pushing against, which can leave you feeling stuck or frustrated.
Lavender Tart Cherry Milk promotes relaxation, sleep, calming effects, lowers inflammation
- Drink: before bed, during the new moon, waning moon, during pms and menstruation
- Adaptogen: Ashwagandha– lowers blood sugar + cortisol, increases brain function, reduces anxiety and depression, anti-cancer properties, increases testosterone + boosts fertility in men, lowers inflammation.
- Healing Herbs: Tart Cherry Juice– sleep enhancer (natural source of melatonin), high in antioxidants. Lavender– relieves indigestion, good for sleep, promotes relaxation.
Maca Cacao Milk increases energy + mental focus, hormone balancing, promotes sexual function
- Drink: in the morning or afternoon, in substitute or alongside coffee, during the full moon, waxing moon, during ovulation and post menstruation.
- Adaptogen: Maca– boosts libido, increases endurance, balances hormones, increases fertility, increases physical + mental energy, sharpens memory + focus, mood balancing.
- Healing Herb: Raw Cacao– high in antioxidants, iron, + magnesium (good for heart, brain focus, muscles, calming effect), natural mood elevator (seratonin, tryptophan + other neurotransmitters associated with feelings of happiness + well being).
- Optional Adaptogens: Mucunas Pruriens (Velvet Bean)– antidepressant actions, antioxidant, good for digestion, increases libido, boosts energy + focus. Chaga– immune boosting, antioxidant, reduces inflammation.
New Moon– setting intentions + seeking inspiration
Waxing Moon– energetic time, conception to fertility to creation, taking action to bring idea to fruition with the full moon
Full Moon– celebration + practicing gratitude
Waning Moon– releasing, decluttering, reflecting, restoring
As above, so below friends.
inspiration: moon phases + hormone cycles
the feels: creamy, soothing, warm, relaxing
eat with: tahini snack bites, shortbreads, gingerbread or chai cookies.
might like if you're into: tarot cards, astrology, lunar cycles, ouija boards, witches, yoga, journaling, forest walks, meditation, incense, herbalism, energy clearing, himalayan salt lamps, essential oils, tracking your cycle
makes one moon milk each || time: 5 t0 10 minutes
cacao maca milk
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 teaspoons cacao powder
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon maca powder
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey/agave)
- pinch of pink salt
- optional: 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- optional: 1 tablespoon almond butter
- optional: 1 teaspoon chaga, reishi or mucuna pruriens powder
- optional: shot of espresso or heaping teaspoon herbal coffee
- optional: scoop of protein powder
lavender tart cherry milk
- 1/2 cup tart cherry juice
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (from can)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender buds
- 1 teaspoon raw honey (or maple/agave)
- 1/2 teaspoon ashwaghanda powder
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of pink salt
- optional: dried rose petals + dried lavender buds for garnish and aroma
cacao maca milk
- Hot: In a small pot/pan, add milk, cacao, maca, maple syrup and pink salt. Whisk until combined. Heat over medium until just hot but not boiling. Drink as is or pour into blender, add other optional ingredients and blend for extra creaminess.
- Cold: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 30 to 60 seconds on until fully combined and creamy.
lavender tart cherry milk
- In a small pot/pan, add almond milk, coconut milk, tart cherry juice, honey, vanilla, ashwagandha, and salt. Whisk until combined. Heat over medium until simmering. Remove from heat and add lavender buds. Cover with lid and let steep for 5 minutes. Pour into mug over a strainer to remove the lavender buds. Blend in blender if you prefer the drink more foamy. Crush edible dried rose petals and/or dried lavender together and sprinkle lightly on top for a soothing aroma.