June 16, 2024
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Spiritual Diet: How to Eat Metaphysically

Food carries more than physical vitamins and minerals; each item you ingest also has a spiritor quality of energy that you are taking in as well. These energetic qualities or spiritual aspects of food which you are assimilating are nourishing— or, in some cases, aggravating— your system on metaphysical levels. It is easy to see how eating clean, unprocessed foods would benefit the spiritual and energetic aspects of your being, as taking in whole foods is taking in the energy of life itself which is absent in chemically processed foods. However, we can get much more subtle than this in our understanding of the energetic elements of diet. Let’s explore some ways of understanding the soul of food and how what we eat interacts with our auras.


The Law of Correspondences

The central tenet of alchemy is a natural correspondence between the natural world and the spiritual world: “As above, so below”. Matter and spirit are one, and inner and outer are thus reflections of one another.

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In herbalism, this principle is used to discern the energetics of a plant. If there is a natural correspondence between the spiritual and the physical, then any attribute which a plant displays outwardly in physical form must indicate something about its intrinsic spiritual properties. Certain colors indicate a connection between the plant and a planet or sign of the zodiac. Certain tastes or smells indicate a connection with a certain element.  Through carefully observing the properties, behaviors and effects of the physical plant, the herbalist can deduce how the plant might interact with emotional, mental or spiritual levels of the individual.


For instance, plants that have an expectorant property are linked with the element of Air. Such plants help us breathe better and expel mucus and toxins from the lungs. These plants are usually thin, aromatic, and have leaves. They correlate in the body with lungs and the large intestine. Energetically, these plants help bring clarity, inspiration (literally “breathing in”) and quickening of movement. The foods that grow the farthest above the ground up in the trees correlate with air, including fruits, nuts and seeds.


Plants that have sharp thorns, flowers or the color red correlate to the element of Fire. These plants produce sweat and stimulate the circulatory system, aiding the heart, blood and small intestine. Energetically, these will also stimulate the intuition, courage and willpower. Foods that get a lot of sunlight correlate with Fire, including grains, legumes, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.

Heavy, dense plants like root vegetables correlate to the element of Earth. These promote grounding, strength and presence. They aid the liver, bones and spleen. Foods that grow deep inside the earth correlate naturally with the element of Earth, including tubers, carrots, onions, garlic and root vegetables.

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Plants with diuretic properties correlate to water, and often these plants appear fluid, soft or lush. Such plants promote empathy and compassion and aid the “water” systems of the body — the kidney, bladder and lymph. Foods with high water content correlate with Water, including green vegetables, cucumbers, melons and squash.


Metaphysical diet: Eating with the Lunar Cycle

Another metaphysical element of diet is timing. Many events in nature—including the ebb and flow of the tides, birth, weather, menstrual cycles, mating patterns, and even sleepwalking—occur in direct relationship with the movements of the moon, and the processes of ingestion and digestion are no exception. Land animals and sea creatures are aware of this on some level, as they synchronize their hunting and eating activities with the position of the moon. We would benefit if we re-awakened this ancient instinct within ourselves.

Our ancestors were well aware of the powerful effects of the lunar cycle, organizing their both their agricultural and religious calendars around the patterns of the waxing and waning moon. When the moon is waxing, energy is building, collecting, multiplying and accruing. This phase supports growth, sprouting and accumulation. When the moon is waning, energy is releasing, resolving, dispersing and contracting. This phase supports harvest, completion, cleansing and letting go.

This rhythm is more powerful than you might have realized

The effectiveness and success of daily activities, such as wood-cutting, cooking, haircuts, gardening and cleaning are subject to the cycles of the moon. For example, during the waning moon, foods cook faster and digest more quickly. Detoxes are more effective and clothes even wash more easily. During the waxing moon, wood can be cut more easily as moisture content is higher. Herbs and vegetables are most potent when picked during the full moon period, as the waxing of the moon increases the sap flow in the plants, filling them with more nutrients, vitality and energy. Certain medical procedures and medications that are effective at one moment can be altogether useless at another moment.

If you start to pay attention to the lunar cycle and synchronize your life activities with it, you will start to witness the real-world benefits of doing so. The natural world has an intrinsic rhythm and you are part of the natural world; you can move either in harmony with this rhythm and experience flow, or move in opposition to this rhythm and experience friction. Let’s look at how to eat during each phase of this cycle:

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New Moon

New moon can be likened to the phase of exhalation in breathing, when we eliminate toxic gases and waste products from the body. You can prevent many diseases by fasting for a day at this time because the body is more than ready to purify itself from accumulated toxins. New moon also signifies a new beginning. If you wish to give up old habits like smoking or drinking alcohol, this is the best time for it. You may try hard to change such habits at other times of the month but be disappointed about your inability to do so.


The Waxing Moon

Whatever goodness and nourishment you take during the Waxing Moon will be much more beneficial than at other times of the month. The body is receptive to strengthening and nourishing energies that promote growth and the augmentation of life force.


Full Moon

The body has a tendency to hold back fluids during full moon, so it is best to avoid doing flushes or other cleanses at this time.


The Waning Moon

During the waning moon, the healing capacity of the body is at its most powerful. Surgeries and healing procedures are at their most effective. Physical activity requires less energy and meets with greater success. The digestive system also works more efficiently, even to the point that eating a little more than usual will not cause weight gain.

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