The summer solstice is coming up this week (June 21) and with it comes the beginning of our new summer season. I have come to view summer as two distinct (yet closely connected) seasons: early summer and late summer. Each has it’s own specific positive energy, and sometimes it’s negative energy as well. When you come to know the seasons and their gifts intimately you will also notice which season you reside in the most (and also which season your friends and family reside in, too). This can be really helpful when you may feel “out of balance”without knowing why…a common imbalance is when people live out of sync with the seasons. This is why summer, for me, has two distinct phases: one of expansion and one or retraction.
In my previous blog about the Energetics of Spring, I mentioned that spring has a tremendous UPWARD energy – things are popping up out of the ground, new leaves are forming, we are coming out of our winter hibernation, etc. Everything is bursting up at the same time. Now, in early summer, the upward energy has turned to OUTWARD energy as things begin flourishing in early summer and expanding to fill the world with green, and our gardens with food.
Early summer is ruled by Fire with keywords being Maturity; Passion; Awareness; Warmth; Partnership; and Joy.
These words are a sample of the gifts that we can learn to access and embody in ourselves and call forth to others. Summer is also ruled by the Heart (a drastic change from the Liver emphasis of Spring). Circulation is key during this time. During the months of summer, we are often confronted with considerably larger projects and responsibilities. In the past, this was the busiest time for planting, tending the land, being with family, traveling and otherwise flourishing from our efforts in the spring. If our heart is not fully in something, we feel empty. We are expanding our energy to tend to all others and be with all others with more activities which can be a very joyous time! However, we can become so fired up that we burn out quickly. It’s important in this season to build an internal fire that can be sustained and nurtured. Do not over exert yourself…pulse this new expanding energy to sustain you for several months and remember to take time to relax. Vacations are an excellent idea in early summer!
Late summer is ruled by Earth with keywords being Harvesting; Transformation; Giving/Receiving; Abundance; and Gratitude.
As I’m sure everyone has noticed, late summer (August and September) is a harvest time, a dying back of the abundance of early summer and a quieting of boisterous months preceding. We all have a tendency now to store and prepare for the long months ahead – we are retracting our energy more inward and accepting the death of the vibrant life of summer. This is the time during the year to reflect – have you harvested the gifts that have been offered this summer? We must work hard to bring about abundance, and when the harvest is there, do we have the ability to slow down and process (like canning)? Can we appreciate all that we have, even when it is temporal in nature? Ultimately, this is a lesson in gratitude. I consider sweetness the attitude of late summer – the capacity to nurture and nourish one another. Savory + Storing + Giving away is the true sweetness of the late summer. This is a practical thing, not a charity. It is an acknowledgment of abundance and that death is just around the corner (being the season of Fall).
What kind of person would reside in this season? Well, primarily caregivers (those of us who are the most generous and sweet). When out of balance, these are the people who give and give (rarely receive) and become depleted (i.e, “have nothing left to give). This is a negative consequence of living in late summer for too long. For example, the mother/child relationship. If we are going to nourish a chid we must first nourish the mother (so be sweet to yourself!).
So as the summer solstice comes upon us this week, take some time to make plans for the upcoming expanding energy of summer. What new experiences and projects are in store for these flourishing months? For me, I decided to take a trip up to Maine for a friends wedding on the solstice and while I’m at it, travel around New England for a little while, visiting new places and seeing old friends. Summer will also mean a great deal of time in my backyard garden and learning how to can and preserve all of the vegetables we will need for the fall and winter. I’ll be starting to take new continuing education courses, embarking on challenging new practices (more on that later) and traveling quite a bit. All the while, making sure to take the time to relax, reflect and offer gratitude to this abundant season!
For further reading on the energetics of the season, check out Tom Balles’book, “Dancing with Ten Thousand Things: Ways to Become a Healing Presence”.
Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN HealthCoach@EllwoodThompsons.com