Summer has finally arrived here in the Northern Hemisphere with the celebration of Summer Solstice a few weeks ago, marking the longest day of the year, the most active time of year, the day with the most solar energy, and masculine or yang energy.
With the warmer temperatures we look to change some of our daily habits, including our eating habits as we transition from the spring season to the summer season. As we enter this summer season – I wanted to give you some ways that I like to honor this season and connect with the changes and evolution of Mother Nature.
We transition from spring, which was a rebirthing, reawakening, that occurs not only in our lives but all around us with nature. This season in Chinese Medicine is ruled by the liver/gallbladder organ system or the wood element. Spring is a season where we might encounter some anger and frustration (as these emotions are ruled by the wood element), the seed just starting to come out from the earth and break its way above ground. In Ayurveda a portion of spring is seen as the Kapha element (water + earth).
With solstice we are officially in the season of summer. As we were just starting to welcome and feel the solar energy and yang energy emerge in spring, summer is the time of year where yang (active, solar, masculine) energy is in full bloom. This is the most active time of year. Looking to nature you can see this symbolized when a flower fully blooms before the petals start to fall off. You can also see this with other plants and trees in nature too! We can also see the summer energy by noticing that people are starting to spend as much time out in the sun, more time outdoors versus indoors like fall and winter.
Summer in Chinese Medicine is ruled by the heart organ system. With the entrance of solstice, we might have noticed an imbalance if we weren’t as welcoming with the shift from spring to summer. From that of liver/wood element to heart/fire element. The emotion that rules this organ system is one of joy. I noticed not only within myself but with my clients, friends, and those around me that we might have been stuck in that transition from wood (anger and frustration) to fire (joy). We might have been easily angered during this time or had gotten “overheated” both internally and externally.
Alternatively in Ayurveda this season is ruled by the Pitta Dosha (the elements of Fire + Water). The Pitta Dosha rules our digestive fire, our digestion. During this time of year it is very easy for this dosha within our systems to literally get overheated. That is why I believe it is so important to understand not only this summer season and honor it, but also ways that we can make subtle shifts in our lives and lifestyle to walk hand in hand with this season and not let it burn us.
Summer, the fire element, and the Pitta dosha are all represented by the color red. This is the color of summer. Think about all of the solar energy we encounter and how too much can literally turn us red. Turning to nature, this is the time of utmost strength, vitality, stamina, and energy. In the span of our life summer is seen between our 20s – 40’s – the “summer of our lives”.
Animals that represent summer include horses and lions. Lions and the cat lineage were considered the protectors and guardians of the sacred temples. Lions also are very active animals; they work with nature in the summer in the sense that they rest when it is hot and hunt when the weather cools down. Lions are the warriors.
Looking to lions, they remind us to nurture and balance our inner warrior and inner fire that we have in each one of us. This may come in different forms for all of us and in different moments during this summer season. I always like to remind my clients that we are different in every moment.
In this summer season where the heat internally and externally can be intense. I want to remind you to remember to take breaks and let yourself rest when needed as it is easier to become overworked and burnt out. Balance your inner warrior – just because this is the time of solar energy, and the masculine does not mean that you should let your inner/divine feminine go to the wayside. Both need to be in balance and allowed to be present in our lives to create harmony and equilibrium.
Out of balance we can come across as angry, aggressive, and violent. We can be quick to anger, harsh, and ready to blow at any given moment. On the other side of the spectrum, we are just as easily out of balance when we lack a voice, or willingness to stand up for ourselves, have a hard time standing in our power, lack the ability to feel joy/happiness/pleasure, feel hopeless, can’t accept love, have low fire or chi.
It is just as important to calm our inner fire and warrior just as at times it can be time to embrace our inner fire and warrior.
Now that you have a better understanding of this season here are some of the ways I like to work with this season and bring myself back to balance. As I mentioned earlier – it is very easy for our internal systems to take on too much heat. Diet is one way that we can change our internal systems and often times we can see results here the quickest.
One thing I love to do is make “spa water” and this is so easy! I put a slice of lemon with a slice or two of cucumbers in my water. Not only does this enhance the taste of your water, cucumbers are also cooling to our system. You might also want to substitute lemon juice for lime juice as lemons are naturally heating to the system while limes help cool our system down.
Make friends with the mint family – whether that be in the form of teas, essentials oils, or adding mint to your favorite salad dressing or sauce. The properties of mint help us detox and release what no longer serves us. It is also very cooling to our system. I love working with peppermint and spearmint. Chia seeds are also part of the mint family – not sure if you knew that! This is a great way to work with the mint family in a creative and fun way. Don’t love mint? Feel free to incorporate cilantro instead.
Speaking from experience if you are someone that is quick to anger, eliminating peppers including sweet and bell peppers from your diet is immensely helpful. Just ask my family! I like to say that I have enough internal heat or fire where I don’t need to add cayenne peppers and spices to my food. This is also a great way to help me stay levelheaded. If you are someone that needs to increase the fire in your system, help you be more motivated and assertive this is a great way to easily assist you.
Other ways to honor the summer system and the heart organ system is to drink tea with roses, work with the rose essential oil, or purchase rose flowers in the color red (or the color that inspires you in the moment). Roses help mend a broken heart, bring the heart and heart chakra into balance, assist people with the ability to love not only themselves but others, and open the heart chakra. If rose isn’t speaking to you – schisandra may be an alternative, you might be interested in. This is great to assist with balancing the heart whether this has been expressed too much or not enough. Hibiscus and chamomile are also great alternatives during this season.
Don’t forget about bringing the magic of summer to your home or office. Diffusing essential oils or working with essential oils are very supportive and therapeutic. I love working with bergamot, grapefruit, lime, rose, and peppermint essential oils during this season. This will also help to break up the energy in your spaces! I love a good space clearing plug!
Color is another way to honor this season. It’s so fun and easy to change up what is all around you. The natural color for the summer season is red. Red also correlates to the root or the 1st chakra. Like the warrior, red is a great color to help you exude confidence. Other colors that are good for the heart chakra are pink and green as these are the natural colors of these chakra. Feeling a little too much summer heat in your system? Then start incorporating blue to help bring in cooling tones, peace, and calming energy. White might be an alternative as well as it’s a color of purity and cleansing or try purple as it is a color of harmony – a balance of the feminine ray of blue and the masculine ray of red.
You might also be inspired to light a red candle and stare into the flame of the candle to take on some of the heat from the flame. This is also a great way to take some time for you and connect with the element and spirit of fire and the fire spirits.
With this being the season of the South and the southern direction, you might want to call in ArchAngel Michael during this summer season and see how your life transforms. He is the protector, he rules the Southern direction, and his element is fire.
As a crystal healer, I would be remise not to include some crystals to help you with the summer season and the heart space – feel free to check out some of my other content in more depth regarding the heart chakra. You can’t go wrong with the OG of crystals for love – rose quartz. I also love working with red tigers eye, lepidolite, citrine, red jasper, red aragonite, and carnelian.
Some questions for you to ponder during this summer season include – how are you honoring your inner fire and warrior? How are you balancing your masculine and feminine energies during this season? What are you normally doing during the hottest part of the day? How do you feel? Is this serving you or is this something that you could be doing during a different part of the day?
With this – I leave you to have a wonderful summer season. Remember each season serves to teach us, help us grow, and expand into who we are ready to be in that moment.
As a remember I am not a doctor, please plan to do your own research or consult your physician for some of these methods brought up in this article/post.