Kathleen and Rochana discuss the “fifth season” of Late Summer from both the Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic perspective. As we switch from the expansiveness of summer to the drawing in energy of fall, stress and worry can be exacerbated as the heat of the season starts to penetrate the field of the energy body. Flower Essences can support you in this time of inner and outer change.
Flower Essences discussed during the show:
- White Chestnut – Healing Herbs
- Jade – Alaskan Gem
- Pearl – Alaskan Gem
- Flora Corona color essences
- Red Chestnut – Healing Herbs
- Himalayan Chestnut – Flora of Asia
- Sweet Chestnut – Healing Herbs
- Yarrow – FES, Alaskan Essences
- Pink Yarrow – FES
- Golden Yarrow – FES
- Snapdragon – FES
- Aquamarine – Alaskan Gem
- Gentian – Healing Herbs
- Oregon Grape – FES
- Mimulus – Healing Herbs
Rochana Felde: [00:00:10] Welcome to The Flower Essence podcast and join us on an exploration of the healing wisdom of flowers.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:00:16] With combined decades of experience in the study and practice of Flower Essence therapy, I, Kathleen Aspenns and co-host, Rochana Felde guide you to reconnect to nature with these potent vibrational remedies.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:00:42] Welcome back to the podcast. We took a little summer vacation and now, we’re back in the late summertime. It is sort of a swing season between the summer and fall. And it’s recognized in Chinese medicine as its own season. And Rochana and I were both talking a little bit about the differences and similarities between the ideas of this season in Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. So we thought we’d do a little podcast talking about that and talking about some essences that can support you in navigating this season. So welcome back.
Rochana Felde: [00:01:21] Hey, yeah, good to see you again.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:01:23] Indeed. We were talking a little bit about how in Ayurvedic– now, you were telling me that this is its own season, the late summer, or is it a bridge season?
Rochana Felde: [00:01:36] Well, it depends on who you read or how deep you go into the Ayurvedic information. Really, in general, it’s considered to have three seasons that correlate with the three doshas of Pitta, Vata, and Kapha. And so that sort of starts at the beginning of I think May, and then the more in-depth information about the Ayurvedic seasons, we’ll break that down into 6 seasons and then even 12 cycles. And they get very in-depth and complex because it’s not just about looking at the seasons and how that interacts with a person’s individual constitution, but it’s also the transition time between the seasons and the transition time even between those six segments of the wheel of the year. So there’s a lot going on there. But in a nutshell, the transition times are the ones that you see more disease taking root. And the late summer or is kind of akin to early fall, I think, is how we’re matching it up between TCM and Ayurveda. And so that’s what we’re looking at today, is this late summer, early fall time in Ayurveda, it’s July 15th to September 15th.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:03:12] Yeah. And like you were saying, that premise that the season itself is one thing, but the shift between seasons is the part that the body gets stressed a little bit. And when the body is stressed, the mind and the spirit are also a bit stressed as well. So to be able to support ourselves, to support our entire beings as we navigate these changes and shifts, I think that that’s really what’s useful for bringing in some essences and to kind of talk about the conceptual underpinnings of how we help ourselves navigate these changes with flower essences. And I mean, there’s so much change going on right now in the world and then we have seasonal shifts as well. So the fall seems to have kind of come a little bit early to my mind, in the emotional tone of what’s going on in the world right now. It seems like there’s a lot of loss, a lot of sort of feelings of grief surrounding the pandemic and surrounding the economic situation. And I think that’s kind of just the wave is just starting to come upon us. But I think we’re all feeling it underneath. And what can we do to help navigate these changes and be as stable as we can possibly be throughout them?
Rochana Felde: [00:04:41] Yeah, absolutely. The what’s going on and the global consciousness is such a huge part of it, and then we have these energetic influences from the seasons. And what’s really interesting about early fall, late summer is that with the different doshas or constitutions in Ayurveda, each one has times of the year that they’re more aggravated than the others. So, for example, the Pitta dosha might be more aggravated by the heat of summer, but all the doshas, all three of them are aggravated at this time of year, and it’s the only time of year that that happens.So I think that’s a really interesting thing that there’s fall. We’re transitioning from this outward summertime to things starting to decline and the light starts to change. And there’s just an interesting feeling in the air that’s hard to describe. And there’s good parts. It’s not just all bad, of course. But it can be aggravating. The energies of it can be aggravating, especially combined with the energy of what’s going on in the world. And I really see that happening this year. Obviously, there’s a lot of concern about COVID and the economy and finances and getting back to work. And there’s so many things to worry about as far as the peace and things that are happening around the globe. It goes on and on. The news cycle is endless. It always is. And it’s especially just on steroids more now than I think I feel like ever in my life.So there’s this inflammation and irritation happening in the energy of the world, and that can definitely be a part of this aggravated feeling that is happening personally to us. That’s also being aggravated by the weather or by the seasons and the changing of the light.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:07:07] Right. And the Chinese Medicine energetic in the summertime, it’s very expansive and outward and all that Heart energy, all that fire energy, and then we shift into the season of fall, sort of as we’ve passed the solstice where that energy was peak and outward, and then the energy starts to shift and turn back inward. And so when the energy is going outward, it has a certain sort of protective quality because everything that’s outside stays out because the energy is pushing outward. But when it shifts and starts to come back inward, then it brings everything in with it. It brings environmental heat with it. It can bring pathogens in with it. In general, the tone and the mood of the world kind of comes back in there with it as well. So we’re encountering a lot of these heat aggravations and just, it’s this miasm of the trouble of the world and the strain of the world right now that’s really coming in and touching us in the center of our being. And that’s where we can look at supporting. I know that with my clients, I’m having these conversations again and again with, “Okay, this is what we need to do to help support you. And these are also some practices that you can apply in order to help stabilize yourself,” because we can’t change what’s going on in the world, at least not to a great extent. But we do have a lot of control over what we do ourselves and how we interact with our inner spaces, let’s say.
Rochana Felde: [00:08:50] I like what you say about that energy that’s outward kind of turning back and coming in and getting all of that directed towards you because it corresponds with what Ayurveda looks at. They talk about called impressions. So whatever is aggravating is reduced by modifying or reducing the aggravating impression. And those impressions are what come into the consciousness through your senses. And so that’s going to be everything that you see, everything that you hear, touch, taste, feel, and part of working with that to reduce the aggravation is to adjust what you see. So in our modern-day world, I would liken that to mass media and what you’re watching and what you’re consuming every day on TV, on social media, that is an impression that is getting into your consciousness and feeding the fear and anxiety and the worry. And if in order to reduce that, going on a media diet is a really great thing to do right now, but it’s all the senses. So it’s what you’re hearing, what kind of music you’re listening to, how you can just control your environment to make things more peaceful for you and cultivating an awareness of that.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:10:39] Sure. Yeah, that’s an interesting– I’ve never heard it framed quite that way, but yeah, that’s exactly– it is taking charge of the inputs to the degree that you have and really managing your media consumption. And whether that media is news, whether that media is entertainment or what have you, but managing that for your mental health is really important. And you can do a lot to calming your nervous system, into keeping yourself centered and grounded by managing what you let in, what you decide to read or to watch or to be exposed to. So that’s an important balancing factor. Let’s not wait until you’ve gone completely over the edge of freaking out. Let’s back away from Facebook a little bit or back away from cable news because they’re designed to keep you going. The media companies are really, really smart at feeding your lizard brain, at feeding the fear, at feeding your desire to want to just keep scrolling and to keep watching and they’re selling that to the highest bidder. So step away.
Rochana Felde: [00:12:04] It becomes addictive. It’s feeding that dopamine or whatever that brain chemical is that is you’re getting some sort of feedback from it that makes you want more.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:12:17] Yeah. And I’ll start throwing in the season of relationship to the Chinese Medicine approach that the late summer is the season of the Spleen. And I clearly remember the first time I was talking to somebody, a practitioner, and they were talking about Spleen, and I’m like, “What? The spleen? What are you talking about?” But it’s really quite interesting. And the Spleen is not– when we say Spleen, usually we use capital, capital S, Spleen. And it’s not just the organ, the spleen, but it’s an organ system and its relationship with all of the body’s systems. And the spleen is considered to have a spirit. One of the aspects of consciousness resides in this organ system, and that spirit is called the Yi, and it’s the energy of your intellect. And this fits in with that media diet concept with if you’re using a lot of your mental energy in processing 24 hours of news, that’s probably kind of putting a pressure, let’s say, on your Spleen, on that energetic that’s helping you to think about things and synthesize concepts and bringing ideas together. And when that Spleen gets stressed, when the Spleen is out of balance, then the emotion affiliated with that is going to be worry. And I don’t think it’s too hard to figure out how spending a lot of time watching cable news or doomscrolling on Facebook is going to make you start to feel worried. And then it’s the essences, obviously. You can start seeing how essences can start fitting in and supporting the energetics that we’re talking about and helping to work with kind of building up your reserves, building up your discretion, your focus, and your ability to decide to disengage because what happens when you worry is you get caught in this rumination, in this just spin cycle that you just cannot let go of. And that’s usually one of the first– it’s certainly a lot of times the starting place with a lot of clients as well ask, “How do you sleep?” When you try to go to bed, when you try to sleep, does your mind just start going into the spin, spin, spin, worry, worry, worry, create lists, all of the things that we all know and love. Very familiar. And that’s a White Chestnut situation, which it helps you to balance out and help you kind of come off of that hamster wheel of worry and anxiety and just that uncomfortable, unpleasant spin that it is what happens when your spleen gets a little bit weak. I’m sure you’re familiar with this also.
Rochana Felde: [00:15:17] Oh, yeah, and the chestnuts or just that whole family has something for this time. Yeah. So I would add maybe some Jade elixir thinking about it from that Ayurvedic standpoint to get that peace and cooling and calming energy, also grounding because it’s a stone. This Pitta time of year, which is still hot and aggravating in that way, talks about the Pitta imbalance of the mind and that mental-emotional work that is also helpful is cultivating peace and compassion, courtesy, releasing anger, resentment, frustration, practicing non-judgment and acceptance, and listening to other points of view. So this is where we see– we’re talking about the media cycle and the social media and people have very strong points of view. And it’s easy to get caught up into this duality of sides, or holding on to your belief system, and not seeing the other points. So cultivating surrender about what’s going on and some receptivity to other points of view and then really spiritually praying for peace or putting the energy for peace out there into the world. So I see that fitting in with what you’re talking about with worry, because this worry about the world, this feeling of not being able to control, being out of control, really goes hand in hand with this need that I see right now to cultivate this energy of peace and that works really well together. So it’s really interesting, these two different lenses that we’re seeing it through and the Jade essence would be a perfect complement with the Chestnuts and so would some of the other gem elixirs, I think like Pearl. In the Pearl essence, the Alaskan essence that I use, they talk about how it dissolves built up layers of irritation, which here we go again. We’ve got all of this irritation built up, especially right now from all these months in the pandemic and inflexibility, this mental inflexibility. And Pearl is actually traditionally classically used as a gem elixir in Ayurvedic medicine, where it’s used to calm the mind and emotions and promote love and peace. So I think that’s a really lovely way to see that the traditional use and they make gem elixirs by soaking the gems in a strong alcohol. And sometimes for as long as a month or so depending on the gem. So it’s a little bit different than the way the essence, the gem elixirs are made. But the energy of the stone is coming through either way.