FEP18 The Spring Season

Most of us enjoy the energy and enthusiasm of spring, but there are challenges as well. In this episode, we discuss the season from the perspectives of various world traditions, how to support detoxification of your liver in spring, what to do about grouchiness and irritability, and how to maintain focus and momentum to accomplish your goals.

Flower Essences discussed during the show:

Resources and Suggestions:

Show Transcript

Kathleen Aspenns [00:00:41] Welcome, everyone. This week we’re going to be talking about spring. Spring is for a lot of people a favorite season, but it’s also very challenging. There’s a lot of elements to spring that push a lot of energy through. There’s all this growth energy, and this energy combines into these forces within us that if we have any blocks or any stuck places, that spring energy can really push up against it. So there’s so many pieces about spring that I’m looking forward to talking about. And Ro, I know you have some elements that you want to share about your understanding of spring. So between the two of us, it’s going to be a conversation all about spring and flower essences. 

Rochana Felde [00:01:25] Yes, sounds great. And it’s a pretty dry spring here in northern California in the northern hemisphere. So we don’t have the rains and yet hopefully we’ll get them. But the sun is out and the birds are singing. And there’s a lot of signs of growth happening, which is always exciting after the long winter. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:01:46] Yeah, maybe not so long here in California as it is in other places. 

Rochana Felde [00:01:52] It’s really true. We had a really early, very heavy, wet winter and then it just stopped all of a sudden. I know to the north they’re having a lot more rain and even to the south are having more rain. But somehow we in northern California right now are getting a block of sunlight. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:02:08] And one of the plants that I’m watching blooming right now is the Cherry Plum, the wild growing Prunus cerasifera, which, as far as I know, was essentially brought here by Luther Burbank, as one of the plants that he used as a rootstock for growing plums. So a lot of our old plum orchards that used to be in Sonoma County, the birds took seeds and there’s little seedlings of these cherry plums all over the place on hedgerows and by the side of the road. And so I get to look at the cherry plum, which reminds me of Dr. Bach’s work. And I kind of say hi to it every springtime. 

Rochana Felde [00:02:46] Yeah, that’s right. I’ve got a few flowering around me as well, and I didn’t know that. Luther Burbank, who’s big here in Sonoma County for those who don’t know you. You know, with the celebrity horticulturist long past, but still a celebrity. I didn’t know he was responsible for that. I’ve actually just cut down some extra cherry plum trees. They can get a little out of hand. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:03:12] Yeah, they’re very comfortable in this area. I believe they’re native to China, as far as I recall. And they were really efficient and effective rootstock for a lot of the commercial plums. As you might know, orchards are asexually propagated and grown on rootstock so that they have reliable disease resistance, or just that it’s a known quantity as far as the rootstock goes. And the cherry plum was used as rootstock. 

Rochana Felde [00:03:44] Well, we’re already getting started on the nerdy stuff. Yeah, we’re just going so nerdy these days. I love it. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:03:52] Let’s talk about spring since we’re here to talk about spring. 

Rochana Felde [00:03:55] We’re here to talk about spring. So in the wheel of the year, neo pagan wheel of the year based on pre-Christian traditions, we start the year, the springtime with February 2nd, which is Imbolc or Brigids Day. That really is about a festival celebrating the passing of the winter and the first signs of spring. It symbolizes a time for purification and spring cleaning in anticipation of the new life for the new year and towards the middle of the spring. We have the vernal equinox, also known as Astara, and that will be when light and darkness balance once again, and then light will start to rise in the year. And that typically aligns in symbolism and timing around Easter. And then a May Day is basically the end of that season and the beginning of when summer will start, that’s Beltane, which is all about fertility and the power of life and fullness. So it’s interesting to compare some of these different indicators of spring and different philosophies. And Western herbalism is one, you know, that looks at springtime as a time to detox, and to help support the body’s detox processes, through the liver, the lymph and the skin. And there’s a lot of excellent spring herbs that are growing right now and that are used for bitters and digestive formulas. And in ayurveda, it’s a similar concept. It’s time to lighten up the diet from heavy fats and oils and start having foods that are more clearing and cleansing and detoxifying. Just simple, though, not anything too much for the body. It’s all about balance and just eating for the seasons. What is the general thought in Chinese medicine, Kathleen? That is about the spring season. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:06:15] Well, yeah, I don’t think I can pull up any dietary recommendations like you’re talking about, because I was just thinking about that element of Chinese New Year celebrations. That is considered the beginning of spring instead of how Western culture celebrates New Year’s on December thirty first or January first, Chinese New Year is all about that starting with that rising springtime energy. So you can look at that New Year’s celebration as being essentially the beginning of the new growing season, the beginning of the new year. And then the spring equinox becomes mid-spring, really. And so the systems are very aligned because they’re more focused on our environment rather than on an external form of a calendar. So the ayurvedic and the Chinese medical tradition is coming from the perspective that we are immersed in the seasons, in the cycles, rather than an external cycle imposed upon us in the form of a calendar. That’s the thing that really resonates for me, where you’re really paying attention to what’s in season around you. What energies are happening around you and recognizing that your body is responding to those things, not just your body, but your spirit also is also responding to those things as the cycle moves. I like what you bring to it, too. It’s really very interesting because it’s very much the recognition of cycles, recognition of movement, constant movement and cycles. 

Rochana Felde [00:07:49] Yeah. I think when we see the calendar and it says that this beginning of spring is on the equinox. The vernal equinox is typically how it shows as the first day of spring in the modern calendar, and the modern calendar never resonated with me the way that it shows that. So once I started seeing how these systems and traditions think about the seasons, it made a lot more sense and I believe the way that it’s shown in the calendars astronomical season. And then what we’re doing, what we’re looking at is the light. I think I like the way that these traditional calendars look at not just the weather, but the light in the sky. And so many plants aren’t just responding to weather like is it raining? Is it not raining? But they’re responding to, you know, the light. What’s happened? You know how much light is happening in a given day and when that sunrise and sunset is. Don’t you agree? 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:08:55] Oh, absolutely. And the funny thing is, is that somebody like me, who’s perpetually around animals and with animals and animals are a big part of my life. Certainly every horsewoman knows when spring or fall is coming because their horse will start shedding like crazy. You’ll see their coats start to change. And it happens with the dogs, too. In my experience, and certainly the birds will start changing their feathers, their plumage will start changing out. So all of a sudden you’ll start to see even in house animals, you’ll see these little indications of, oh, there’s a new season headed our way. So that’s kind of a funny little detail. But that I think is interesting. And it’s quite strange that I haven’t noticed anything in humans as far as shedding. But wouldn’t that be interesting if we were putting on a new coat for whatever season it is. I guess we have clothes for that. Bring out your spring outfits because your dog is letting you know that spring is on the way. 

Rochana Felde [00:09:58] Yeah. And I always was confused about, well, why is my dog shedding if it’s not hot? You know, like I’d thought it was about temperature at first. And then I again realized it’s just so much more innate than that. Just like the plant cycles are so much more innate. I mean, just as an aside, you know, the timing of things like bulbs sprouting out of the earth, like. I mean, it’s incredible. Right now, the daffodils are coming up when people and I always kick myself every year because I didn’t put my down daffodil bulbs in the ground. I’ve had this bag of daffodils for like five years. I’m like, I’m gonna get to putting those in the ground. But by the time I think about it, they’re already popping up. So it’s just amazing how they have these internal clocks that do their thing when the time is right. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:10:52] Yeah. And it’s the energetics that start to come, rising up out of the earth or, you know, whether you see it as being part of these planetary cycles or other things. It’s just it’s such a large force that we as modern humans pretend is no longer relevant. And yet it is really relevant to your day to day life. It’s really relevant to recognize that if, like me in the last few weeks with this rising spring energy, I’m feeling like I have so much to do and I get really frustrated and even a little crabby. (Imagine me getting crabby once in a while.. It happens) and finding myself just on edge. And that is Wood, Liver energy rising. And to recognize, that’s just part of the process. And so I’ll take some essences for that. Like Beech and Impatiens are really good essences to help you with those feelings of irritability that arise in the spring. And then I definitely do my acupressure and just try to be mindful of the energy right now. We don’t want to blow up on anybody, but just to recognize that it’s there and allow it to pass through. So Beech is one of the Bach essences and the shorthand for it is when you’re feeling “beechy”, it’s really good for irritation, irritability, general crabbiness. Also, some people feel like it’s useful for different types of skin eruptions and things like that, but you can see it as being heat in the system, and Beech helps to soothe that. And then Impatiens, which I mentioned earlier. Another Bach essence, really good for that rising energy where you start to feel impatient and irritable. And it’s like the world is not going at your pace and things are not working the way you want them to work. Impatiens can be a nice ally to help you settle into “OK, well, this is what’s happening.” And find a way to relax into it. 

Rochana Felde [00:13:09] Yeah. And I feel that Liver energy rising very intensely this spring. I mean, for me, it manifests with a lot of overthinking. I’ve got so many ideas and thought processes happening and projects that I’m starting, or in the middle of. I’m just going full throttle in my brain. And so I’m getting that mental overwork, burnout. That is interestingly a Liver symptom. So, yeah, I’m really feeling that. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:13:51] The Liver is considered the general of the body, and the Liver is in charge of making plans, executing plans, visioning plans. And so it’s really revved up right now. And like you say, it can use a little mediation sometimes where it’s like, “OK,  all of that but maybe not all of it right now. Let’s push out our plans for a little bit.” 

Rochana Felde [00:14:14] Yeah. And then what? Let’s look at what’s helping your physical liver. So we’ve been talking about the, you know, energetic liver. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:14:24] The capital L Liver from Chinese medicine. 

Rochana Felde [00:14:27] And then the physical liver also is working harder because it’s trying to clear all of this excess accumulation from the winter. So that’s why in all these forms of herbalism, there’s some sort of spring detox or detoxification assisting herbs that are employed. And I find it interesting that one of the major ones, Dandelion, is also a great flower essence energetic for the spring. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:15:07] For sure. I love it, it’s just so cool that like every tradition around the world knew this is the time to take these tonic bitter herbs, to enjoy green things, to start to help move things out of your system after the winter time. I love dandelion greens  sauteed with burdock. They’re wonderful. But the flower essence of dandelion is such a symbol of spring to me. Living in the city, you can see them popping through cracks and sidewalks and that energy of a seed dropping into a crack in a sidewalk and going, fine, I can do this. And it just punches through and just survives no matter what. It is so much that spring energy, that forcefulness. It’s grounded, it’s real. You know, it throws down a really deep root. So those who try to pull them out of gardens have a fun time with that. But that green leafy energy that pushes through that little crack to grow and then thrive and then turn into a beautiful flower – that is such the symbol of spring. Do you find that you use it for, you know, primarily that tension that arises when you’re trying to push? 

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[00:42:04] This podcast is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not physicians and do not diagnose, prescribe or treat medical conditions. Please consult with your own physician or healthcare practitioner regarding the suggestions and recommendations made by the hosts and guests of the Flower Essence Podcast. 

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