Cleanse + Release
“The autumn begins with harvest and ends with colder, shorter days full of reflection and gratitude. The light wanes and all the creatures of the earth turn inward and downward in preparation for the winter. Many seeds are scattered for the coming spring, and many are gathered and eaten, too. We enjoy the last bounty of the harvest.
As nature slows down, we build our resources and energy to prepare for the approaching winter by eating warm, nourishing foods. The drying energy of autumn can be balanced by eating late winter squashes, potatoes, nuts and seeds that also build strength and resistance to disease for the coming winter.”
In Prayers of Honoring Grief, Pixie Lighthorse notes the following in regards to Autumn, the West. She says we are invited into inward healing, often passed over in hurried attempts to sidestep the pain of messy hardships. Here lies the repository for the pieces and parts that we have not time for. It is the graveyard at the crossroads where grief work thrives. Travel into the underworld to desegregate rejected aspects.
“Winter is cold and slow. The world outside is quiet and sleepy, and may be blanketed in snow and ice. The days are dark and short, with a pristine stillness. Aside from a few adventurous creatures, there is little activity to be seen. The trees stand bare and silent, or covered in snow, while the birds rest between their limbs.
During this time, we, too, can be quiet and still. We spend most of our days indoors, reading, crafting, writing, working on projects. Winter is a time to “go within” and nourish our bodies and souls with deep introspection and journaling.
The food we eat in the wintertime should be equally wholesome and warming. Stews, cooked whole grains, beans, and lots of spicy herbs and curries are in order this time of year. Good fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado help keep us not only warm but also ward off dryness.”
6 week of darkening
6 weeks of darkening
Winter is a time for drawing inward and experiencing the fallow time, the time of deep potency and the energy of contraction. Nature covers everything in blankets of snow, ice, clouds and shifts the light. With the preparation done in Fall, this season a gorgeous time to slow it down, settle in by the fire at home, and draw inward until Spring.
“In the cycle of life, spring is a time for growth and renewal. After the deep dark winter, we can throw open the windows to drink in the fresh air, savor the sunlight, rain, and sweet and pungent scents that nourish the full spectrum of our senses. Sleepy plants and animals surface from their slumber, new and crisp, ready for a fresh start. As we enter spring, we, too, emerge from our wintery slumber. This is a time to wake up our minds and bodies in preparation for the heat and movement of the summer. We slowly shed our winter weight along with our heavy clothes, sweep out winter's cobwebs, and begin to eat lighter and move around outside more.
The first plants to emerge in the spring are often called spring tonics. Some of these tender, new herbs include young dandelion and other greens, chickweed, young poke shoots, and nettles. Traditionally thought to “purify the blood,” these plants more likely help spark digestion and stimulate liver function. They also help stimulate lymphatic flow. They help the body “wake up” after a long winter. Incorporating spring tonics into the diet in the early part of spring helps us acclimate to the changes of the season to keep us happy and healthy.”
Winter gives way to warmth, fluidity, fertility. This is the time to plant seeds, clarify intentions and get working to ensure future abundance. After a long rest during winter, we are ready to get moving!
Ah Summer, the season of enjoyment, gentleness, generosity. The time where we share, celebrate, and seek shade. Languishing in the long days and listening to the laughter of friends, family, and little ones.
”In the summer months, the new life that emerged in spring is dancing in its full expression and the sun is high in the sky casting warmth upon the land.
During the summer, like the bees, flowers, and animals, we are also fully active and engaged in the world. Food is plentiful, and we need not worry about expending all of our resources trying to stay warm. We can eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible to help us cool, visit farm stands for the freshest food, and tend our vegetable and herb gardens.”