Natural Health, Uncategorized

Happy Fall Equinox!

imgresThere are only two days a year when there are equal amounts of dark and light at the equator – Fall & Spring equinox. It is marked with rituals around the world and throughout the ages as a time to celebrate┬áthe richness of the harvest and to acknolwedge both abundance and balance – tangible and intangible – in our lives. The pagans would light a candle and bless the cakes and ales put on their altar. This day in the Wiccan calendar is known as Mabon and the cakes represent the masculine forces in nature, and the ales in the chalice represent the feminine. Again it is a time to honor balance, between the seasons, the light and dark, the masculine and feminine, and in all ways.

In China the fall Equinox falls on September 23 and is the half way point between “First Fall and First Hoar Frost”. At this equinox it is tradition to make sacrifices to the moon (in the Spring they are made to the sun), as the moon, the dark, the cold, the yin is the time of year approaching. Rice filled dumplings are eaten to celebrate this time. Though because September 23 doesn’t always fall on a full moon, and it is important that the moon be full for these rituals, so now it is often celebrated at the “mid-autumn festival” which is timed around the first fall full moon. Dumplings are given as gifts. This is the moment when yin and yang are in perfect balance. One fun tradition in China is to try and balance and egg on it’s end. This can only be accomplished on the equinox. Because yin and yang are in balance right now, it is important to eat foods that balance heat and cool, and to start preparing the body for the cool weather ahead – continuing exercise to boost immunity, and eating foods the strengthen the lungs (important for preventing illness in TCM) such as rice, honey, nuts and dairy products.

So here’s to a day to celebrate balance, abundance, harvest and health as we head into the colder, darker months ahead!

Natural Health, Uncategorized

Fall: The Time To Gather Seeds. And Ideas, and Intentions and Dreams…

IMG_6792Fall is here. The summer lovers are sad about this, but I am thrilled, I love the fall. The crisp air, changing leaves, the holidays beginning…to some this time of year is about endings. And it is, as is each season in its way. But really this season is about the earliest stages of beginning to. In Chinese thoughts of yin and yang, deep within the deepest part of the yin is the seed of the yang. And deep within the deepest part of the yang is the seed of the yin. So in deepest winter, we begin to turn toward sun and warmth. In hottest summer, there is the seed of winter within. And so in the fall, there is the ending, the reaping of the harvest, and the dying of the plants. But it is also a time to gather seeds and plans and ideas to store over the winter.

The big expansive active energy of summer has faded, and as we enter the months that are about IMG_6795rest, rejuvenation,quiet and stillness, and planning, we start by collecting the fruits of our labors over the summer. From all the plans that came to fruition, and even the ones that didn’t, there are wonderful seeds to be harvested – lessons learned, new ideas, new inspirations. So gather the seeds now to collect and store and ponder over the long winter. These are the seeds that contain your next project, your next move, your next career change, relationship, lifestyle shift, or just continuation on a path you chose to stay on. The summer is ending, but the spring planting of new things starts right now. The seeds are in your garden, and in your mind and body. Be conscious of which ones you chose to carry into the next year, and which ones you chose to leave behind and not re-sow. Your great joys and achievements are simply the results of choosing carefully which seeds to grow with your time, energy and love.

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