New moon in Pisces – Sunday 26th March 2017

The new moon today is in Pisces. This water sign is the last in the Zodiac cycle and brings with it a great deal of ancient wisdom and mysticism. The most delicate and sensitive archetype, Pisces is highly intuitive, empathetic and compassionate. All these qualities are particularly heightened around this time and you may notice that you feel more vulnerable and in touch with your feelings than usual.

While this may feel uncomfortable, this time is actually incredibly powerful as this new moon offers us the chance to look at life beyond the constrictions of everyday reality. It’s an invitation to go deeper and imagine a different future not just for ourself but for the world.

It’s no surprise that Pisces is connected to Neptune – the sea god – the planet so intertwined with spiritual aspirations and artistic inspiration. Yet this time comes with a caveat. While we can embrace the magical potential, we need to be aware that Pisces is connection to illusion and delusion. The two fishes which represent this sign are swimming in different directions for a reason. They show the different pulls that Pisces often struggles with – one fish swimming upwards towards divine connection the other fish swimming downwards towards self sabotage and emotional overwhelm.

This is a time to stay true to yourself. While the Pisces energy may feel like it is pushing and pulling you, it’s important to stay connected to your bigger life purpose. To focus on your dreams and how you can manifest the upward swimming fish’s deepest and most heartfelt desires.

As with all new moons; any new behaviours are fortified and strengthened by the full power of the lunar cycle. This is a powerful opportunity to imagine all that you wish life to be. Creative visualisation was made for a Pisces new moon as were all the mystical arts such as yoga, meditation and chanting.

Physically Pisces is connected to the feet so any ailments, tension or imbalances can be felt more acutely at this time. Anything that you can do to nurture and care for your feet will be particularly beneficial and have much longer lasting benefits. Whether it is a pedicure, reflexology treatment or just warm foot bath in a washing up bowl.

Melissa is the signature oil for Pisces. This watery plant is highly regarded as an antidepressant, (important for our downward swimming fish). Melissa lifts negative thoughts and emotional burdens by inviting you to participate in the higher realms of living and dreaming.

And really that is what the Pisces new moon is all about. Taking time to imagine life ‘outside of the box’ and connecting to that magical unseen life force that surrounds each and every one of us.

New moon in Aquarius – Saturday 28th January 2017

The new moon tonight (Saturday 28th) is in Aquarius – the water bearer. This sign so closely connected to Uranus – the planet of the unconventional and the unexpected – can appear eccentric and non conformist. However underlying it’s cool and aloof persona, this sign is often ahead of it’s time, challenging the status quo and pioneering social change.

As always a new moon is the time for new beginnings. It’s our opportunity to begin afresh and start a new chapter with the full force of nature behind us. This is a particularly powerful moon as it’s the first one of 2017. There is very little happening energetically on the 1st January so any goal or intention that you set is much more likely to succeed if you set it along side the highly charged new lunar cycle.

Physically Aquarius is connected to the lower legs, particularly the ankles. It’s worth giving these areas more attention around the new moon as any effort that you put it is greatly magnified and will have longer lasting benefits.

Problems in these areas can also arise during a new moon so be aware that varicose veins, ankle sprains and calf cramps can be common around this time. If you can spend some time lying down with your feet elevated it will help release any tension especially if you can use some vertivert or cypress essential oil. These essential oils (used in a carrier oil) are particularly good for circulation and ankle tension. Also (and this may not be for everyone) using your own salvia is one of the best things for getting the circulation moving. Just rub some into the back of your knees and massage in an upward direction.

The essential oil Neroli is the signature oil for Aquarius. This much loved and revered oil is great for meditation and calming the active mind. It’s also really good for insomnia which can blight Aquarius as it’s mind is alway thinking ahead and planning the future.

Aquarius loves new ideas, new technologies or anything unusual or unorthodox. This really is the time to embrace ‘new-ness’ into your life. During this new moon try and disrupt your routine and take time to look at how you wish your year to unfold. What new behaviours are being called forth? Aquarius wants us to think bigger and look at our lives from a different view point. Making some time to reflect upon this will really set us up for the year ahead.

Full Moon in Pisces – 16th September 2016

It’s a full moon time tonight in Pisces! This moon is also called the Harvest moon because it is so close to the Autumn Equinox on the 22nd September.

So while this is a great time for Taureans, Cancerians, Virgos, Scorpians, Capricorns and Pisceans, the rest of us may find that this mystical moon brings with it feelings of discontent and emotional imbalance.

Yes emotions are heightened during a full moon, especially during a Pisces full moon. Ruled by Neptune, Pisces is the last of the water signs and one of the most empathetic and intuitive of all the zodiac signs. Due to all the extra positive ions in the atmosphere, feelings are super charged and as these ions restrict your blood flow, it can make you feel constricted and congested.

So don’t worry if you are feeling highly sensitive and a little irrational today – we’re all in the same boat and there are many things that we can do to make the most of this time.

Firstly we need to remember that while the new moon is the best time for new beginnings, the full moon is the time of manifesting your dreams. It’s the climax, the completion to what you set in the place at the beginning of the lunar or seasonal cycle. If you haven’t manifested what you wanted to then this is a good time to notice what is holding you back in life. As the moon is at it’s biggest it can help shine a light onto areas of your life that you have overlooked or ignored.

As Pisces is connected to the feet – try to make an extra effort with yours today. While getting some reflexology would be amazing, even just giving them a soak in some epsom salts and using some essential oils would be great. The essential oil Melissa is the signature oil for Pisces – healing and comforting and one of the best for lifting the soul out of discontent and back into balance.

 

New moon in Virgo – Thursday 1st September 2016

The new lunar cycle starts on Thursday with the new moon in Virgo. This earth sign, represented by the priestess, is very much connected to service and work. It is also considered to be the sign most concerned with health and wellbeing. The new moon is the most exciting part of the lunar cycle as once you decide what you want to create, you can use this energy to transform your life. This is such a good time to take stock and look at how you care for yourself especially while balancing work and family commitments.

The Virgo new moon is connected to the third chakra, the solar plexus. This chakra, found one inch above your belly button, is all about your personal power. As this is the most auspicious time to put new behaviours in place –  this is an ideal opportunity to connect with your third chakra energy centre.  Whatever you decide to do, whether it is starting a morning or evening health ritual or simply taking time each day to plan your meals, this Virgo new moon is the time to take action. 

Physically, Virgo is responsible for the liver, solar plexus and lower digestive tract. When you are out of balance your body uses different organs as a means to communicate that change is needed. Ulcers, colitus, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea are all common Virgo ailments that are heightened by the new moon. If you have a sensitive stomach or sluggish digestive system, it is important to avoid heavily processed or overly spicy food around this time.

Traditional Chinese medicine states that each organ has a time of ‘high energy’ – the time when the organ works hardest so that it can maintain equilibrium and wellbeing throughout your body. The small intestine is at its height of productivity between 1 and 3pm (often when it’s digesting food from lunch) while the liver is most active between 1 and 3am. If you repeatedly wake up between 1 and 3 am it’s often a sign that your liver is congested and needs support in detoxifying. 

Physically wellbeing and the new moon in Virgo
The liver is your largest and most hard working of all your organs. It processes everything that you eat or drink, and either repackages it for your body to use or eliminates it. Due to the amount of processed and chemicalised food, pollution and environmental toxins, your liver can easily get clogged.

Physical signs that your liver is struggling include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, brown urine and jaundice (which causes yellowing in the whites of your eyes). Chinese doctors assess the state of the liver from their patient’s eyes. While bright and clear eyes suggest a healthy liver; dry, red and itching eyes show that there is too much ‘heat’ and the liver needs to detoxify.

The liver is said to be the ‘seat of anger’, feeling angry a lot, is also an indication that this area is overworked and needs some support. 

Any care for your liver during a Virgo new moon is doubly beneficial. While avoiding alcohol and processed foods helps, doing a liver cleanse can revitalise your whole body. There are many different types of cleansing programmes available. However small changes go a long way and just changing your diet, adding some juices and supplements can make a huge difference. 

Milk thistle and dandelion root are renowned for helping your liver detoxify. The benefits of milk thistle have been recorded for over 2,000 years. It is particularly good to use during a liver cleanse as it decreases inflammation and helps rebuild liver cells.  Dandelion root is also helpful for the liver as it increases bile production in the gall bladder.

Castor oil packing is also great for the liver too. The reason being is that his oil is high in ricinoleic acid (a very good essential fatty acid) which help the body decongest and clear toxicity. To create a ‘castor oil pack’  you need to put cold pressed castor oil, referred to as the oil of light, on a cloth and place it directly onto the liver. Cover the cloth with a hot water bottle and rest for 20 minutes. As it has a laxative effect on the digestive system, don’t do this if you are pregnant or have inflammation of the bowel such as IBS. It’s also crucial to drink lots of water afterwards to flush out toxicity.

Emotional wellbeing and the new moon in Virgo
Caroline Myss says in Anatomy of the Spirit that the third chakra’s sacred truth is to ‘Honour Oneself’. Putting your own needs first is one of the best things that you can do during this Virgo new moon. This sign can typically veer towards perfectionism and working long hours so you may find yourself coming into the new lunar cycle feeling a little weary and depleted.Taking time to shower yourself with care and attention will help recharge your batteries for the rest of this cycle.

Everyone is different regarding what forms of nurturing they prefer. While some people are able to book time away, for others it can just be a case of cancelling your evening plans, turning off your phone and taking some time to listen to music, watch a favourite film or just have a long bath.

Rituals Remedies and Guidance

1) Crystals  – Chrysocolla is a helpful crystal during this Virgo new moon. When placed over the liver, it helps to detoxify it. It also draws off negative emotions that have been stored within the body and helps to reverse negative emotional programming. As crystals absorb energy, they need to be regularly cleansed. You only have to google ‘crystal cleanse’ to see all the different ways you can do this. I tend to wash mine in salt water and put them outside in the garden during a full moon. However the most important thing is to have clear intention while cleansing your crystal of what you want it to do.

2) Essentials oils  – Lavender is the signature oil of Virgo. This supremely healing oil can ease the tendency to over-care, soothe weary muscles and help promote restful sleep. This oil can be used in a diffuser, in a massage balm, directly on your pillow or straight into the bath. (I always put my oils in a carrier oil when putting in the bath – almond oil or epsom salts are my favourite).

Thyme essential oil is also supportive especially if you have an ‘angry liver’. It helps in addressing trapped feelings, especially anger, rage and resentment. You can use this in a massage balm or in a diffuser. (Avoid if you are pregnant) 

3) Foods – As your liver processes everything that you eat – foods are particularly important in maintaining your physical and emotional balance. There are many foods which can help your liver detoxify. Garlic, which has high levels of allicin and selenium is especially good for this.

Grapefruit which has high levels of vitamin C and antixoxidants is  also great as it  flushes out carcinogens and toxins.

Perhaps the most important foods for your liver are leafy green vegetables. These are one of your most powerful allies in cleansing the liver. As they are extremely high in plant chlorophylls, green vegetables are able to suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream and neutralise heavy metals, chemicals and pesticide.

Summary

Overall this Virgo new moon is a powerful time to make your health and wellbeing a priority. Setting new heath rituals are much easier around this time. It’s also a great time to nurture the emotional and physical needs of your liver, solar plexus and lower digestive tract. Our body is in constant communication with us so taking some time to stop and notice how your body feels is an important piece of creating optimum wellbeing.

Potters Bar Red Tent – September 29th 7.30pm – 10.00pm

To help us listen to our bodies more and work with the healing power of the moon cycles; I’ve set up a Potters Bar Red Tent group on each Thursday evening closest to the new moon. This is a time to honour each new cycle and reflect on where we are in our lives.

Next month with the new moon in Libra – this influences our hips. kidneys and bladder so we will be looking at how these areas mirrors our emotional balance.

Please do email me (prue@theorangegrove.net) if you would like to join us.

Upcoming dates for Red Tent:
September 29th – New moon in Libra
October 27th – New moon in Scorpio
November 24th – new moon in Sagittarius

New moon in Leo – 2nd August 2016

The next lunar cycle starts on the 2nd August with the new moon in Leo. This sign represented by the Lion and symbolised by the sun, is one of the most sociable signs of the Zodiac. Leo likes to have fun and has a strong self esteem which is readily communicated to others. While this may be seen as boastful, especially to some of the more introverted signs, this natural self acceptance is one of the reasons as to why this sign is so powerful.

Physically Leo rules the heart and circulation system. In Chinese medicine, the heart is considered to be the ruler of all the other organs, in a similar way that the Lion is seen as the ruler of the jungle. The heart sits within the fourth chakra, often called the heart or anahata chakra and is green in colour. This area is related to love, relationships and all human connection. Physical symptoms that show up if your heart chakra is out of balance include heartburn, heart disease, chest pains, hypertension and breathing problems such as asthma.

New moons are very powerful, energetic moments in time. Setting new goals and intentions on the new moon is incredibly powerful. Anything that you start, whether it is a new behaviour, project or relationship will have a much better chance of success.

Taking time to set a new moon intention is one of the most powerful things that we can do for ourselves. To make the most of the Leo energy, this is the ideal time to pro-actively acknowledge your own qualities and what you are most proud of (rather than waiting for others to notice). It’s also good to consider what aspects of yourself you wish to develop for the next lunar cycle.

Physically wellbeing and the new moon in Leo
As your blood circulation is at it’s peak during the Leo new moon , having a restless nights sleep is quite common. Keeping your body temperature cool will help. One way you can do this is by soaking your feet in cold water for a few minutes before you go to sleep.

Back problems and issues will the spine can also feel more painful and harder to ignore during a Leo new moon.  It’s a great time to have a massage or see an osteopath as the moon energy will intensify the healing effects. Even just placing a warm flannel or hot water bottle across your back (with essential oils such as lavender or rose) will help ease any building tension.

Emotional wellbeing and the new moon in Leo
As Leo is responsible for the heart, this is the time to focus on your heart’s emotional needs. The best way to do this is through self love. Loving ourselves can be misunderstood and either seen as selfish or indulgent. However putting our own needs first is so important if we wish to flow with life. Making time to listen to your heart requires stillness and courage as in many circumstances it means reviewing your health, work or relationships.

As Leo rules the heart, this is a potent time for forgiveness. It’s easier now to let go of any issues or resentments that you have been holding on to. While society can often encourage or excuse holding a grudge, the truth is that any resentment you carry only depletes your own energy and heart health. Imagining the person as a child and seeking to understand how their life journey brought them to this point can help lesson the hold they have and make it easier to move on from an injustice.

There are also rituals that you can do to help cut energetic cords that connect you negatively to another. One of the most simple and effective ways is to visualise what the attachment or cord looks like (for some it’s a rope, chains or tube – your cord will be personal to you). Then see yourself cutting this cord and filling the remaining ‘hole’ with white light.

Rituals Remedies and Guidance

1) New moon meditating – This is the most powerful part of the lunar cycle. Taking time to meditate on the new moon and think about what you want in life (rather than what you don’t want) is very important at this time. Writing your wishes down, speaking them out loud or drawing them will harness the moon energy and help manifest your wish.

2) Crystals – Rose quartz is particularly beneficial during this new moon as it’s the stone of unconditional love. As well as strengthening the physical heart and circulatory system, it is the most important crystal for the healing the heart chakra. It’s best to wear it over the heart otherwise place it by your bed or in the relationship corner of your house (the far right corner in your home).

2) Essential oil – Of all the oils to use, rose essential oil is ideal for heart work. Seen as the essence of love, rose oil holds a higher frequency than any other oil on the planet. It’s renown for being deeply healing especially when the heart is closed with grief.

Bergamot is another good oil for this time as it opens the heart chakra and supports the love-energy to radiate out.

You can either use the oils in a massage around the heart area (5 drops in 5ml of carrier oil – such as sweet almond oil or evening primrose oil) or put a few drops in a diffuser or on a tissue.

3) Foods – As the fourth chakra is green; green vegetables such as kale, lettuce, spinach and broccoli are really good at helping heal any heart imbalances.

Good quality dark chocolate is also shown to support your heart health. As well being a natural pick me up, a recent report in The Telegraph found that small amounts of dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries. The chocolate also prevents white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels which is a common cause of artery clogging.

Fresh pomegranate juice and dates are also said to help support your heart. A team at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology found that pomegranate juice and dates dramatically slowed down the rate of therosclerosis – the build-up of fatty substances in the arteries which can cause a heart attack or stroke. When pomegranates and dates were consumed regularly, arterial cholesterol content decreased by 28 per cent.

In Summary
Overall this Leo New moon is the best time to acknowledge what you love about yourself. Rather than waiting for someone else to ‘see’ or acknowledge your qualities, this is time to reflect upon what you are most proud of. As it’s a time for inviting new behaviours, it’s good to think about what you want to do differently in your life – what new ways of being or qualities do you wish to bring out during this new moon.

Potters Bar Red Tent – September 1st 7.30pm – 10.00pm
To help us listen to our bodies more and work with the healing power of the moon cycles; I’ve set up a Potters Bar Red Tent group on each Thursday evening closest to the new moon. This is a time to honour each new cycle and reflect on where we are in our lives.

Next month with the moon in Virgo we will be looking at our digestive systems and how it mirrors our emotional balance and ability to let you and move on.

Please do email me (prue@theorangegrove.net) if you would like to join us.

Upcoming dates for Red Tent:
September 1st – new moon in Virgo
September 29th – new moon in Libra
October 27th – new moon in Scorpio

New moon in Cancer – 4th July 2016

The new moon coming on the 4th July is in Cancer. The fourth sign of the zodiac which is represented by the Crab. This sign, ruled by the moon is often seen as the mother figure of the zodiac. You may feel drawn to spending more time at home or with your family this week. It’s a particularly nurturing sign so it’s a really good opportunity to direct that energetic care and attention towards yourself.

As with all new moons, this is the ideal time for new beginnings, relationships or projects. Anything that you set in motion during this time such as a new behaviour around your family or starting any ‘house projects’ will be strengthened and moved forward by the waxing energy of the new moon.

Physically, the Cancer sign is responsible for the chest, lungs and stomach. So these areas may show up if you are out of balance. It could be that your breathing feels tight or your stomach feels nauseas, has indigestion or IBS symptoms. The mind uses the body to express itself so any discomfort or pain during this time is a flag that something in your life needs tweaking.

While the stomach is responsible for breaking down your food, it is also hugely influential on how you feel. When you are stressed and in fight or flight then your digestive system shuts down. Either by eliminating everything quickly (diarrhoea) or by holding on to all the partially digested food until the perceived danger has passed (constipation).

Being conscious about what you are eating and how you eat is really beneficial. Making time to eat slowly (and ideally chew each mouthful until it is liquidised) makes a huge difference to how your body is able to take in and process nutrients.

New Moon in Cancer and your Physical Body
As the stomach stores and breaks down your food, the Cancer new moon is a really good time to look at what foods you are consuming and notice if they are nourishing you or depleting your energy. Certain foods have higher ‘frequencies’ in so much that they are energetically recharge you. Examples of these are fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Fast food restaurants and highly processed foods have a much lower ‘frequency’ so these foods won’t energise you or make you feel good.

It’s also helpful at the beginning of a Cancer lunar cycle to notice how much you are eating. If you are stressed or very busy, it’s very easy to overeat and miss the signs that your body has had enough. Typically when your stomach is full, it can hold around one litre of chewed food. However if you eat a large meal then your stomach has to stretch and take up space belonging to the heart and diaphragm. This will generally make you feel inwardly ‘cramped’ and make breathing uncomfortable.

New Moon in Cancer and your Emotional Wellbeing
As well as processing the food and drink that you have consumed, the stomach is a really good indicator of how you feeling. It processes your reality and immediately shows you, by physical sensations, what you really feel about someone or a situation.

‘Who or what can’t you stomach right now?’

As well as being the home of will power, your intuition resides in the stomach and most people, often unconsciously, will trust their ‘gut feeling’ over a rational explanation. The stomach is connected to the third chakra, the solar plexus which is found above the belly button and below the sternum. This chakra is connected to your self esteem and personal power.

If you feel hurt or emotionally attacked then food can be used as a way to numb the pain and ‘fill up’ this energetic hole. If you are someone that suppresses emotions with food then the courageous act of just stopping and allowing yourself to ‘feel’ can help bypass many automatic responses around food.

In traditional Chinese medicine, one of the most important energy centres in the Tan T’ien which is located in the abdomen – just underneath the belly button. The Japanese call this energy centre the hara. In both cases this stomach area is regarded as the seat of your spiritual power and used as the focal point for most meditations. Taking time to breathe into this point can really help ground your energy and help you connect to your intuition.

Ritual, Remedies and Guidance for the New Moon in Cancer

1.Essential oils
I use essential oils most days as I find them really useful in creating sacred spaces. They are great for using in diffusers as well as in massage balms and room sprays. As the oils are potent, it’s important to seek guidance from an aromatherapist if you are wanting to make personal blends or use them next to your skin.

Neroli is a great essential oil for a Cancer new moon. It’s particularly supportive in healing deep emotional pain as it helps to recreate links between a disconnected mind and body. It’s also recommended for diarrhoea especially in children (again, do seek advice especially if you wish to use essential oils with children).

Fennel (both the essential oil and the tea) is also ideal to use around this time. It works really well in a massage balm for the stomach as it helps to relieve indigestion, abdominal bloating, nausea. belching and flatulence. It’s also recognised as helpful in ‘moving the bowel’ if you are constipated.

2. Water
Just like the earth which is 70% water, we (our cells) are 70% water. So staying hydrated and drinking water is really important especially on a Cancer new moon. Very often people mistake their body’s dehydration signals for hunger so rather than drinking water, they eat food instead. This makes life much harder for the stomach as it needs fresh pure water to break down food and move it into the small intestine.

Drinking a pint of body temperature water 30 minutes before you eat is a great way for setting your stomach up for optimum nutrition. It also ensures that you are eating because you are hungry and need fuel rather than because you are thirsty and need water.

3. Foods
Eating Proteins (fish, lean meat, eggs, pulses and legumes) with each meal can really help you balance your blood sugar levels which help you feel fuller for longer. The reason for this is that proteins are broken down in the stomach unlike carbohydrates which are more rapidly digested in the small intestines. By combining carbohydrates with protein it reduces the speed that glucose enters the blood stream thus avoiding blood sugar spikes.

In Summary
As well as spending time nurturing yourself, the new moon in Cancer is a great time to explore your relationship with your stomach as it’s much easier to listen to what your stomach is telling you during this time. It’s also useful to listen to your gut feelings as this connection will be heightened during a Cancer new moon. At times trusting your intuition can be uncomfortable as it requires you to step forward and go against the tribal norm. However making time to connect with your ‘seat of spiritual power’ will hugely enrich your life and those who are part of your home and family.

Potters Bar Red Tent – Thursday July 7th 7.30pm – 10.00pm
To help us listen to our bodies more and work with the healing power of the moon cycles; I’ve set up a Potters Bar Red Tent group on each Thursday evening closest to the new moon. This is a time to honour each new cycle and reflect on where we are in our lives.

This month with the moon in Cancer we will be looking at how our stomachs are and connecting to our own intuition. We will also look at what we can do physically and emotionally do look after our stomachs.

Please do email me (prue@theorangegrove.net) if you would like to join us.

Upcoming dates for Red Tent:

July 7th – new moon in Cancer
August 4th – new moon in Leo
September 1st – new moon in Virgo

New Moon in Gemini – 5th June 2016

The new lunar cycle starts on Sunday 5th June with the moon in Gemini. Gemini is the third sign of the zodiac and represented by the twins. This is a very social sign; Gemini, which is ruled by Mercury the planet of communication, loves to connect with life by thinking, talking and socialising. You may notice that at this time you want to connect and be around people more than usual.

As a new moon is all about new beginnings and starting afresh, this is an ideal opportunity to look at your social life and consider what new behaviours, activities or friendships you want to make.

Body wise, Gemini resides over the shoulders, arms and hands. So whatever you do to look after these areas during this time, is really beneficial. If you are feeling stressed or out of balance then the shoulders are likely to be more uncomfortable and painful. It’s really difficult to ignore any on-going shoulder pain during a Gemini new moon.

While getting a massage, having an epsom salt bath or even just doing some physical stretches will help, it’s a particularly good time to look at the cause of the tightness and understand what your shoulders represent in your life.

New Moon in Gemini and your physical body
The shoulders are usually the first place that we notice when our body is holding tension. Whether you feel tightness in one small spot, a large area or even down the arm. The reason for this is the shoulder area is made up of several large muscles that cover most of the back. The main muscle is the trapezius which starts from the neck and ends up at the base of your spine. You can feel this muscle (and any tight knots) by pressing your fingers along the ridge of your shoulders.

So while this muscle gives you a huge range of motion, your flexibility is immediately limited if tension is being held at any point. Burning between the scapulas, headaches, pain behind the eyes or at the base of your skull are all signs that your shoulders, in particular your trapezius muscle, needs some attention.

New Moon in Gemini and your emotional wellbeing
While it can be tempting to stop any pain with medication, this route only ever masks the symptoms rather than addressing the underlying cause. Emotionally, the shoulders are connected to the heart chakra and represent responsibility. If they often feel tight and painful it is worth thinking about what you are feeling responsible for and whether this feels like a burden that is hard to carry.

As the shoulders are connected to the heart chakra, this can also indicate isolation – that you are choosing to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders alone, rather than reaching out to share the responsibility.

Often one shoulder can feel tighter or ‘worse’ than the other. This is important to notice as each side of our body represents something different. Your right side represents the yang – the physical side. When the right shoulder is tight, it is often a sign that the problem is physical in nature – looking at how you sit, how you carry bags, your shoes can help rebalance it.

Your left side represents the yin, your emotional world. When pain shows up on this side, especially in the shoulders, it is a sign that you need to look inward. Rather than focusing just on the external reasons why the shoulder is out of alignment; the answer often lies in the emotions that are trapped in the muscles and want acknowledgment and release.

Ritual, Remedies and Guidance for the New Moon in Gemini

1.Epsom Salts
As my work (massage and reflexology) is quite physical, one of the ways that I ensure my shoulders don’t become knotted or tight is by using epsom salts in my bath a couple of time a week. Epsom salts are made up of magnesium sulphate which relax your muscles and detoxify your body. Magnesium deficiency is really common these days and the cause of many physical issues which include restless leg, cramps and muscle tightness. As well as helping relax my shoulders, I find having an epsom salt bath incredibly soothing and calming.

You can buy epsom salts in supermarkets and chemists although I tend to get mine online. I’d start with 1/2 cup of salts and build up from there. Having a 20 minute bath (I wouldn’t recommend much longer because of the detoxifying effect) is great for taking time to stop and listen to your shoulders and see what message they have.

2.Essential oils
A great way to magnify the effect of the epsom salts is by adding 4 to 6 drops of essential oils to the salts. It’s much more effective to add the oil to the salts rather than putting them straight in the bath as they mix better. I use essential oils most days in either massage blends, rooms diffusers, epsom salts or sprays. They are great for both the physical body as well as supporting your emotional wellbeing. My favourite oils for shoulder tension are lavender, geranium and bergamot.

Lavender is such a good all rounder as it soothes the mind as well as the muscles. Geranium is particular good for ‘workaholic perfectionists’ as it helps bring you back into your body and ‘feel’ again rather than experience the world from a rational, head space. Bergamot helps to release any pent up feelings (often stored in shoulders) and will help you to relax and let go.

If you don’t have a bath then you can use the epsom salts and essential oils in a foot soak. Just use a large bowl (washing up bowls are a good size) and add the salts to warm water. Start with half a cup and work up to a full cup after a few foot soaks. Even though you are not directly working on the shoulders, it will still really help relax these muscles as the feet (specifically the area underneath the little toe) are connected to this area.

3.Food
Fresh pineapple is also really helpful in alleviating shoulder tightness and joint pain. It contains bromelain (found in the pineapple juice and stem), a powerful anti inflammatory enzyme which helps to reduce swelling and tightness.

Green vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli and sprouts are also good for helping reduce tension in the shoulders. Firstly they are alkalizing which neutralises acids in the blood and tissue (a cause of ‘knots’ and pain found in the muscles). Secondly, the phytochemicals in the vegetables are seen as effective in rebalancing and opening the heart chakra – when is connected to the shoulders.

4.Tiger Balm
I also carry Tiger balm around with me. It’s a herbal heat rub which originates from China and is great for releasing tight muscles. It has quite a strong menthol smell which helps me to connect with the emotional side of my discomfort and think about what my shoulders are trying to say.

In Summary
This new Gemini moon is an important time to consider the direction your life is taking. Not only thinking about who you are spending your social time with and whether you want to adjust this with new connections or activities. But also looking at how your body is, especially the shoulders, arms and hands. Pain or discomfort is not a bad thing, it’s a sign that your body is trying to communicate with you and let you know that something is out of balance and needs to be acknowledged.

Potters Bar Red Tent – Thursday June 2nd 7.30pm – 10.00pm
To help us listen to our bodies more and work with the healing power of the moon cycles; I’ve set up a Potters Bar Red Tent group on each Thursday evening closest to the new moon. This is a time to honour each new cycle and reflect on where we are in our lives.

This month with the moon in Gemini, we will be looking at how our shoulders are and what responsibilities we are carrying. We will also look at what we can do physically and emotionally to look after them.

Please do email me (prue@theorangegrove.net) if you would like to join us.

Upcoming dates for Red Tent:
June 2nd – new moon in Gemini
July 7th – new moon in Cancer
August 4th – new moon in Leo

New Moon in Taurus – 6th May 2016

The Taurus new moon kicks in on Friday (6th May). Like with every new moon this is a great time to reset and start afresh. This month the new moon is in Taurus, the first Earth sign of the zodiac and represented by the Bull.

All zodiac signs are connected to different parts of the body and Taurus rules the jaw, throat and neck area. During a new moon, these areas often show up if you are out of balance or run down.

With this Taurus new moon you are more vulnerable to sore throats, ear aches and stiff necks so anything that you can do to look after these areas is extra beneficial. Getting a massage or even just making sure you’re not sitting in a draught will make a big difference.

New Moon in Taurus and Your Physical Body
The thyroid (found in the middle of the throat) also sits in the Taurus sign. This butterfly shaped gland acts like a ‘battery’ as it controls your metabolism, temperature and growth. It does this by converting iodine – taken from the foods we eat – into the hormone thyroxin which it secretes into your bloodstream.

The thyroid affects each cell of your body and is hugely connected to how you feel as everything from your energy levels, body temperature, sleep quality, weight, libido, fertility and menstruation all comes under it’s remit.

Thyroid problems, which are much more common in women than men, happen when your thyroxin levels go awry. Too little and your thyroid becomes under-active – you’ll feel cold, exhausted, withdrawn and sluggish. Too much and your thyroid becomes over-active and you’ll feel restless, nervous and unable to concentrate or wind down.

While there are many thoughts as to why problems occur ranging from stress, iodine excess/deficiency, toxic overload and poor diet; I find that our emotional wellbeing is the best place to start.

New Moon in Taurus and Your Emotional Wellbeing

The thyroid represents your creative expression and is located in the same place as your throat chakra which is all about speaking your truth. When you’re out of alignment with your creative self, you can often hold back from saying that you really want to.

I know only to well that when I’m stressed I can lose myself in ‘doing’ – going from one thing to the next without pausing for breath. When I’m in this survival state I’m blocking my true creative self by trying to be a version of who I think I should be. My communication and self expression are often the first things to be compromised as I lose confidence to say what I really feel.

Rituals, Remedies and Guidance for New Moon in Taurus
There are many things that you can do to support your thyroid. One of the best thing you can do is look at ways you can reduce stress as the stress hormone, cortisol, suppresses thyroxin production.

Cutting out stimulants such as alcohol and cigarettes and eating small, frequent meals is also helpful as these things help balance your blood sugar levels which is a good way to combat stress. Avoiding fluoride is important as this mineral upsets your cell’s iodine receptors.

Food wise – it’s good to make sure you’re getting enough selenium (which protects the thyroid as well as regulating thyroxin production), this is found in Brazil nuts, oysters and tuna. You can also eat vegetables from the brassica family (brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale etc) to help rebalance an over-active thyroid. Iodine rich foods such as sea vegetables (nori,kelp,wakame) cranberries and organic yoghurt can help boost an under-active thyroid.

On a spiritual level, you can help your thyroid by connecting with your creative self. Making time to listen to what your inner voice truly wants to say. Part of this requires you to release blocked emotions and stifled words and feelings. Start by asking yourself:

What words am I swallowing down?

Connecting to the earth is also really important during the Taurus new moon. Even just walking barefoot on the grass will help ground you and reconnect you to your authentic, creative person. Using your voice is particularly powerful at this time too (the vocal chords also belong to the Taurus sign). Be it chanting, singing or even just allowing yourself to talk on your own, without any barriers.

Overall, this Taurus new moon is the ideal time to stop and consider how well you are expressing your needs and wishes. To notice whether you are compromising your self on any level and creating blocks by trying to be all things to all people. Having a healthy thyroid is a key part of your self expression and living a life of ease and flow.

What new behaviour is the Taurus new moon calling out in you?


NEW MOON CIRCLES – RED TENT POTTERS BAR

To honour each new moon, I’ve set up a Red Tent group for Potters Bar. The first meeting is on Thursday 5th May and a theme of the evening will be your relationship with your thyroid. You can find out more about The Red Tent Movement here.

Please get in touch if you are interested in joining me on the 5th May for the New Moon in Taurus – I’d love to have you there.

Here is a list of upcoming dates if you can’t make May but would like to attend a future event.
– June 2nd – Red Tent for New Moon in Gemini
– July 7th – Red Tent for New Moon in Cancer
– August 4th – Red Tent for New Moon in Leo

Please note: The Red Tent Group will always be held on the Thursday evening closest to the New Moon, so even though the new moon this month takes place on Friday 6th May, the Potters Bar Red Tent Group will be held on Thursday 5th May.

New Moon in Aries – 7th April 2016

It seems right that my first blog is about the new moon in Aries as Aries is the first sign of the zodiac. I like new moons. It’s more than just the physical side when the atmosphere is flooded with negative ions which make us feel good. For me it’s about the the ritual of a new cycle – the opportunity every 29 days to have a clean slate.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I completely miss what the moon is doing; when I’m in survival mode and not noticing what’s happening outside of the window. But when I do eventually notice and engage again I feel more connected to the better side of me, more in flow with life and less like a hamster in a wheel.

I feel different when I’m working with nature. Our bodies change depending on the season, the time of day or the moon cycle – our energy levels ebb and flow and our emotional and physical capacity is influenced so much by what is happening outside. If we can be aware of this, in tune with the bigger picture then our lives have the tendency just to be a bit easier.

So on Thursday 7th April the new moon is in Aries, the child of the zodiac symbolised by the ram. This is a really potent time to put thought into action. Whether we want to have a major life change or a new way of thinking, the Aries fire is boosted by the energy of Spring which is the season of birth and new beginnings.

Body wise – the ram is connected to the head – (specifically from the top of the head to the nose). So anything we do to look after these areas during these few days is particularly beneficial.

However, it’s also a time that, if we’re out of balance, it is likely to show up in these areas. I don’t really get headaches or migraines but I often feel tension in my head around an Aries new moon as this first born sign has an urgency and forcefulness that is hard to ignore. So if I’m not aware of this going on, I can end up in frenetic activity. Drinking lots of water is especially beneficial this week. Not just with alleviating headaches but in helping maintain our clarity.

Sleep can potentially be affected too, as the mind is more likely to become fixated on things that need to be done so shutting off can be harder. I try to make a list of things that need to be done before I go to sleep which helps my mind to slow down and rest.

This is a great week to start something new. It helps to know which direction we want to steer this energetic abundance. What is it you want to create – what would the end goal look like? For me, its about eating healthily again. Since having my second child George in November I’ve been eating foods that don’t make me feel good. So I’m using this new moon as a spring board into eating more healthily, listening to what my body wants.

Monthly New Moon Circles – Red Tent Group Launching in Potters Bar 

To ensure that I continue to work with the moon cycles and honour their power, I’ve set up a red tent group for my local area in Potters Bar. I’ve always loved the magic when women come together. Having a gathering around the new moon each month gives us a chance to stop and reflect on our lives and notice the direction we are taking.

What have you been putting off? What do you want to create with this month’s new moon in Aries?

The Consultation Process

There are some points in my life when i look back make me cringe. And while I dont to don’t dwell in regret  – there are definitely times in my life when reviewed, physically make me squirm. One of these moments is when I used to do my consultation forms at the beginning of each massage, reflexology or Reiki treatment.

So just to give you a bit of background, when I was learning about reflexology many moons ago, part of the course required an extensive consultation form. This covered each system and I would diligently ask about each part of the urinary, respiratory, lymphatic, circulatory, nervous, endocrine and reproductive system. Asking about each organ (and how if your sigmoid colon today?) and making notes on every little thing and i feel i must add, also included my clients reactions to the questions – *Mrs Smith coughed when I asked her about her spleen*, *Mr Jones blinked when I mentioned his pancreas*. The process was arduous but as a good student and caring practitioner I never questioned it. In fact the longer the form, the better practitioner I thought it made me.

Well that was until one evening, about ten years ago. I was at a clients house and it was her first treatment.  I was in her living room and had laid out the heated chair and sprayed the room with fresh lavender. We were about half way through ‘the form” when she said ‘Actually I don’t feel comfortable answering that”. Oh. I stopped and took a breath. Looking back it was obvious to me that my client, a busy working mum, was just desperate for her treatment to begin. She wanted to relax and switch off and not have a lengthy anatomical exploration My questions were detailed but superficial – i was missing the point and the person in front of me. There was no flow or trust being build while I was being dictated to by my form.

Now I do it differently, in fact I rarely even have a piece of paper during the consultation as I prefer to write up notes afterwards. And yes of course i need to know if there are current conditions or past injuries but ultimately there are two questions that comprise of my consultation. 

How do you feel in your life? How do you want to feel at the end of our time together?

Knowing that helps me create a treatment which is completely personal. If something wants to feel energised and alert then I’ll use aromatherapy oils to create that alive feeling – i use different pressure and focus on specific areas of the body. Just the same as when people want to feel rested and calm.  So while I cringe at my younger self’s wholehearted dedication, i send her much love and compassion and notice the different place I am in my life and work right now.