FEP49 The Five Elements as Soul Medicine with Lindsay Fauntleroy
We are absolutely thrilled to have Lindsay Fauntleroy as our guest this month!
Lindsay is an educator, acupuncturist, director of The Spirit Seed, and maker of Elementals Essences. She gave an amazing presentation at The Flower Essence Conference, so we just knew we needed to have her on the pod.
Our conversation centered around the five element system as a process for understanding our own cycles, as well as where we are collectively in this moment and what beautiful flower essence is coming forward.
We talk about Lindsay’s new book, “In Our Element: Using the Five Elements as Soul Medicine to Unleash Your Personal Power”, and the inspirational way she combines flower essences, yoga poses and music playlists as medicine for the body, mind and soul.
We love how she joyfully weaves together Eastern medicine, western psychology, and African ancestral principles of spirituality in a modern way that is easy to understand, actionable and accessible.
Lindsay’s book: In Our Element: Using the Five Elements as Soul Medicine to Unleash Your Personal Power: www.inourelementbook.com
Lindsay’s website: www.TheSpiritSeed.org
Lorie Dechar book: Five Spirits: Alchemical Acupuncture for Psychological and Spiritual Healing
Francis Weller book: The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief
Rochana Felde: [00:00:41] Hello friends and welcome to this episode of The Flower Essence Podcast. Today, we are absolutely delighted to have Lindsay Fauntleroy join us as our guest. Lindsay was a speaker at this year’s Flower Essence Conference, and she had an incredible presentation about attuning to magical consciousness to support our work with flower essences. We were so impressed with her work that we knew we had to invite her to the podcast.
So, for those of you not familiar with Lindsay, let me tell you a little bit about her. She’s a medicine maker, an educator, and an acupuncturist. Her new book, In Our Element, is a self-help guide that integrates acupuncture theory, flower essences, yoga, and ancient spirituality. Lindsay is a certified instructor for the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, as well as a facilitator of the Flower Essence Society’s Global Practitioner Certification Program. Lindsay’s approach to soul medicine emerges from over 15 years of clinical practice, her PhD studies of Indigenous and African diasporic psychology, and her commitment to community wellness. She’s the founder of The Spirit Seed, a community that offers personal and professional development courses rooted in ancestral understandings of health, humanity, nature, and the cosmos. Lindsay’s Five Element flower essence remedies, The Elementals, are available nationally and internationally. Welcome to the podcast, Lindsay.
Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:02:24] Thank you so much for having me here.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:02:26] We’re so glad that you’re here.
Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:02:28] Same.
Rochana Felde: [00:02:30] There’s so much in your book that as I was reading through, we love the five elements, the way that you were able to present it in such an accessible way and you have such a beautiful way of weaving together and synthesizing information from different cultures and different philosophies and then putting them into really actionable steps. And I’d love to get into that more with you. But first, I just want to kind of step back and find out more about you, your origin story. How did your journey with all of this begin?
Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:03:15] I’m standing in a moment right now where I feel like I’ve come full circle, this back to where I began because I was introduced to both flower essences and acupuncture through trying to get pregnant. I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure and I was told that I couldn’t conceive. And that was when I first was introduced to flower essences, and those flower essences were really a catalyst for bringing in all of the supports that I needed to heal my body. But what I often don’t talk about is how the flower essences were also a catalyst to my life work and the work that I’m doing now. Because when my daughter was around 3, I was feeling really lost. In retrospect, I’m sure I had postpartum depression and didn’t know it, but I just felt like I was supposed to be doing something else. I was doing social justice work in a non-profit organization, and I was like, There’s something else out there for me. And so I started working with Wild Oat flower essence, and I kept hearing this little voice that said, Go to acupuncture school. So I start looking up acupuncture schools. And acupuncture schools at the time are like $70,000 and it’s a 3-year master’s degree. And I’m like, No way, not doing that. Sorry, little voice, give me something else. And that voice just kept coming back. And so likely inspired through the Wild Oat, I found this book called Alchemical Acupuncture, and this book by Lorie Dechar, who later became my teacher and mentor, was looking at more of the classical roots of acupuncture. And initially, acupuncture was a spiritual medicine. It was a medicine for aligning and rooting the spirit into the body. And so, as I was reading her book, I was thinking, well, I’m not going to acupuncture school, but if I were going to go to acupuncture school, this is how I would want to practice.
And so as it turned out, I was looking online and there was an acupuncture school that was having an open house that night. And as I looked a little deeper, Lorie was one of the teachers at that school. And so, that coincidence, that meaningful coincidence that we know is part of our work with flower essences, I was like, well, I’ll just go and listen, right? I’m not going to go to acupuncture school, but I do want to hear a little bit more about it. And so, I went to the open house and I was hooked. I was like, okay, this is what I’m going to be doing. But the program didn’t start for another year. And so, in that time, I went out to Terra Flora with Flower Essence Society to do my flower essence certification and really started weaving together my ideas around how the elements and the flower essences are in conversation with one another.
And so, when I finally met Lorie about two years later, I already had my flower essence practice at that time, and I had written up this 2-page document of each of the elements and the flower essences that I thought spoke to each of those elements. And she was so gracious and kind because I was like a little student puppy, so excited and starstruck. And she looked at it and she said, This is a book. And now, 13 years later, today actually, there’s a book that brings these two worlds together. So, it does feel like this full circle moment that’s happening.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:06:58] That’s quite an alignment of the stars for you where these things came together and you had the opportunity before you started your acupuncture training to go deep into the flower essence certification process and really immerse yourself. So, it’s almost like the two streams came together. I’m so excited that you’re bringing this book into the world because this is such a great moment to be talking about these aspects.
Can you tell me for our listeners who are not as familiar, kind of what is this Five Element theory thing? Like, can you give us the basic instructions of what to be even thinking? Like, what are we talking about when we say metal? Like, what does that even mean?
Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:07:44] I think the easiest way to think about Five Element theory and acupuncture theory in general, just to take a few steps back, if we can remember that it originated out of the same time period of humanity as flower essence therapy. Both of these medicines originated during a time where humans and nature were intrinsically connected and aware of each other in that connection. I don’t think we’re less connected now. I think we’re just less aware of it.
And so, when we’re talking about Five Element theory, we’re really looking at nature as a metaphor for the psyche and the soul. And so I think of these five elements and what we see in the classical literature is that we look at each of these elements, as reflected, we could even use the metaphor of a life of a plant.
So when we’re talking about the water element, we’re talking about the seed. We’re talking about when something is incubated and beneath the soil and in that mystery and not yet becoming. And that introverted quality of being a seed in the soil.
When we talk about the wood element, we’re talking about a sprout. We’re talking about that earlier stages of beginning to push towards change, push towards the sun, that determination and vision that that little sprout has to go against gravity and come into light.
When we’re talking about the fire element, we’re talking about a flower blossom. We’re talking about that magnetic, radiant, joyful quality of the soul that is full of light and reflecting light.
And then when we’re talking about the earth element, as it follows the cycle, the organic cycle, we’re talking about the fruit of a plant and that aspect of the plant that is giving nourishment to the human family, to the earth.
And then, finally, we come to the metal element, which is the season of the soul that is about composting and letting something shed and letting some things die so that something new can be born of it.
And so really, these five elements are the seasons of the soul. Each of the elements relates to a season. Each of these elements relates to a color, and they each relate to an aspect of what we’re trying to birth into the world and who we are becoming as humans in the different phases and changes that we go to, which is why the flower essences align so beautifully with them because they’re both about becoming and realizing our fullest human potential with the wisdom of nature as a guide.
Kathleen Aspenns: [00:10:22] That’s a great introductory explanation for someone who hasn’t experienced it before. I’ve been meditating on this topic a little bit myself lately, and for me, I see the difference in the way we see the world from a Western point of view and a Chinese medicine point of view, or that aspect. In the Western thought, we see things as nouns, right? It’s an object, it’s a thing. And the Chinese medicine perspective is it’s a process. So it’s like in this concept of the element, it’s not the noun ‘metal’ or the noun ‘water’. It’s like the verb water, ‘to water.’ What is to water? And so looking at these things as processes brings them into this organic realm of change, and isn’t that what essences are? We can’t nail them down because they’re not nouns, right? They’re a process.
Lindsay Fauntleroy: [00:11:21] They’re a process, they’re dynamic, they’re sentient, they’re responsive. And even the name, Five Elements, is a common translation. But if you go back into the language, what Wu Xing actually means is five changes, five transformations, five phases is a more accurate description.
And one of my favorite sci-fi writers is Octavia Butler. And in one of her books, she opens with this scripture that says, “Everything you touch you change. Everything you change changes you.” And that’s really the sentiment that I feel with both the flower essences and the elements. It’s a language of understanding and aligning with the process of change because nothing is static, that we live in a dynamic, responsive, loving universe.
Rochana Felde: [00:12:21] And that’s why it makes sense that these elements are often connected with the seasons and the wheel of the year and the way that things change and transform during the year. And where would you say that we are right now?
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.