Wellbeing, Wheel of the Year

Beltane

The next festival in our Wheel of the Year journey is Beltane or May day, celebrated From the evening of April 30th to May 1st in the Northern hemisphere. Beltane is the peak of Spring, a celebration of fertility and the height of the earth’s growing energy. At this time of year we begin to see the very first signs of Summer emerging.

This is a time of abundance, union and life force. Flowers are blooming, new life is being born and the Sun’s strength is increasing. This is a fertile time in the natural world, and can help us to ignite projects, cultivate new actions and reflect on what we need to bloom. This increase in active energy, can leave us feeling a little worn out at times, so it is good time to ensure rest, self care and nourishment is established to balance this busy time.

Our Beltane Seasonal Wellbeing guide is available now with journal prompts and guided practices to help you connect with the energy of the season.

Beltane blessings!

Wellbeing, Wheel of the Year

Spring Equinox

In astronomical terms, the Spring Equinox marks the beginning of the Spring season in the Northern hemisphere. This year; in 2021 the Spring Equinox falls on Sunday March 21st.

The word ‘equinox’ comes from the Latin word meaning ‘equal night’ and twice a year, on both the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, night and day length are in balance. The light has slowly but surely been increasing from it’s lowest point at the Winter Solstice in December. It will now continue to expand, overtaking the hours of darkness, until it reaches its peak on our longest day at the Summer Solstice on June 20th.

In the natural world the Spring Equinox heralds a time of birth, renewal, new beginnings and an increased energy. As the light increases, the days warmer conditions become more favourable for life to return with vigour. The time of year can be symbolic for us too as a time to shake off the Winter and welcome new ideas and energy.

Being aware of what is going on in our outer world can help us to connect to and learn more about our inner worlds. In this article I will discuss where we are currently in the seasonal cycle and suggest ways in which we can use this to cultivate inner reflection and growth.

Element: Air

This time of the year is associated with the element of air. The energy of air can encourage movement, change, new beginnings and a freshness in ideas or perspective. It can bring lightness into our mind and bodies and dissolve the stagnation that may have gathered over the winter months.

As with all the elements, air can possess more and less helpful qualities. When in balance this energy can feel like a ‘breath of fresh air’ in our lives. It may feel cleansing, stimulating and renewing. When out of balance this energy may leave us feeling rushed, unsettled, overwhelmed and with racing thoughts.

Outer observations

The word that resonates with this season for me is growth. This time of year is a feast for the eyes, ears, heart and soul. It is impossible to spend time outdoors and not witness signs of colour and life bursting out. Green rushes back into the colour palette, filtering its way through the ground and out through unravelling leaf buds. The energy of birdsong alerts us to a new season and as the first flowers open, their delicate yet vibrant petals uplift and expand.

Other words associated with this time of year include: birth, renewal, life force, opening, expansion, growth, new beginnings.

Inner reflections

The time of year can be a guide for inner reflection. It may help to spend some time in nature, and just notice and observe the season that we are in. What words would you use to describe it? Be aware of what feelings it brings up for you. This will be different for us all, depending on where we are in our journey.

Our Spring Equinox Wellbeing Guide is now available to download for free. It contains journal prompts, and a guided mindfulness practice to help you to connect with the energy of the season.

Foraging

Spring Greens!

Eating seasonally is one of my favourite ways of feeling more aligned with earth’s cycles and come Spring I really start craving fresher, zingier and lighter meals with lots and lots of greens. And just as if Nature intended, our gardens and woodlands are bursting full of Spring greens, that nourish and cleanse our bodies after a heavy winter.

After consciously gardening to keep and enjoy wild edibles over the years, there has been plenty coming up over the past few weeks. They have filled our teapot and topped most of our dishes and both my mind and body are starting to feel lighter and clearer after the long Winter months.

One of our favourite ways to enjoy wild greens is in a pesto. It is simple, quick and delicious. We use it to dress salads, vegetables, pasta and potatoes. We don’t follow a recipe and embrace it varying each time but start by popping a big handful of greens into a blender along with a squeeze of lemon, some seeds (or nuts) a glug of olive oil, salt and pepper and I often add a handful of peas to give a nice freshness and sweetness.

We also add chopped greens to the top of almost any dish, or into soups, salads and pasta dishes.

Some are wonderful enjoyed in a fresh spring tea or cold water infusion. My favourite for this are Cleavers and the Nettles.

As with everything, once you get your eye in, identifying plants becomes almost second nature but it takes time to learn, we are always cautious, avoiding anything unless we are sure – there are poisonous lookalikes out there so cross reference, learn from someone and take your time – it is worth it. We still enjoy adding a few extra plants to our repertoire each year.


Here are just a few greens I use on a regular basis as they are local and abundant to me. They are often an important nectar source in early Spring so we only ever take a small proportion of what is growing leaving lots for the wildlife who depend on them. There are lots of other tasty greens not listed here and getting to know those in your garden is a good place to begin.

Wellbeing, Wheel of the Year

Samhain

Samhain is a seasonal festival that falls roughly half way between the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice. It is the third harvest festival (following Lammas and Autumn Equinox) celebrating the time to collect the last of the year’s berries and nuts. Samhain is the end of the growth part of the cycle and the origin of Halloween. It can be thought of as the birth of the Winter and dark half of the year.

As the light wanes, this time of year is associated with an increase in darkness, a time where the seed has now fallen deep into the dark earth and rests before it begins a new cycle of life. Trees and plants let go of their old growth and we may feel a call to honour people and things that have been lost.

We can sometimes find this time of year somewhat uncomfortable. Generally society and us humans have a preference for the warmth, light and growth. Death and decay, whilst essential can be painful and something we may wish to avoid.

Aligning ourselves with the seasons, is to learn the lessons of the natural world. To practice letting go of things, allowing them to nourish new parts of us and our lives.

Connecting to the cycle of the seasons can help us to reflect on changes in our own mood and energy which naturally ebbs and flows. We have created a new seasonal guide for the Samhain season that runs from 31st October up to the Winter Solstice on 21st December. You can download it below. It includes a mindfulness practice and journal prompts that can be used at any time throughout the season. If you do find this helpful, or wish to share any insights you have whilst using the guide we would love to hear from you.

Samhain blessings

Wellbeing, Wheel of the Year

Autumn Equinox

As the Wheel of the Year reaches the Autumn Equinox on September 22nd, day and night length reaches equal balance once more as we pass through the doorway to the dark half of the year. After this point, the balance tips as hours of darkness increase and day length shortens. This heralds a time to begin slowing down, give thanks for what we harvest, release the old and turn our gaze inwards.

In astronomical terms, the Autumn Equinox marks the beginning of the Autumn season in the Northern hemisphere. The Autumn Equinox is thought of as the second of three harvests of the year; the fruit harvest. This time is also referred to as the festival of Mabon.

The word ‘equinox’ comes from the Latin word meaning ‘equal night’ and twice a year, on both the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, night and day length are in balance. The light has slowly but surely been declining from its highest point at the Summer Solstice in June. It will now continue to decline, until it reaches its lowest point on our shortest day at the Winter Solstice on December 21st.

At this moment of balance between the dark and the light, it can be a good time to pause and consider the balance in our own lives. Energy being extended to others compared with the energy being spent on ourselves. Focus on our outward goals and future, compared with our internal world and present.

The is also a good time to pause and take stock of our year so far. What has gone well? Where may we need to clear out or make space.

In general the darker colder months can be thought of as a time to rest and restore. Return to our roots. Focus inward. carving out some time and physical space where you can build a meditation or journal practice to support you for the winter, make your surroundings more cosy, and let go on anything no longer needed in the months ahead.

Connecting to the cycle of the seasons can help us to reflect on changes in our own mood and energy which naturally ebbs and flows. We have created a new seasonal guide for the Autumn Equinox season that runs from 22nd September up to Samhain on 31st October. You can download it below. It includes a mindfulness practice and journal prompts that can be used at any time throughout the season. If you do find this helpful, or wish to share any insights you have whilst using the guide we would love to hear from you.

Mabon blessings

Wellbeing, Wheel of the Year

Creating a space

One of my earliest indicators that Autumn is nearby is my desire to retreat. Woodland walks followed by cosy, quiet evenings, warming foods and the urge to make my space feel cosier and more relaxing.

In my previous post about transitioning to Autumn I discussed how typically this time of year can bring with it a more quiet and reflective energy that guides us inwards, as opposed to the bright and expansive days of the Spring and Summer months just ending.

As well as the call to make my general environment feel cosier at this time of year (blankets, candles, slippers at the ready) I also find myself wanting to create a more dedicated space where I can connect to my inner self through yoga, meditation, reading, reflecting or journalling. Having a dedicated space to quieten the mind can help us to strengthen and commit to our practices, especially if it feels soothing and inviting to be there and doesn’t require setting up each time.

Some people use the word ‘altar’ to describe a focused sacred space, but it can be whatever feels meaningful to you. I have been lucky enough to have a whole summer house as a dedicated meditation room in an old house. Now whilst we are staying with family I have a chest of drawers in front of where I place my yoga mat. I have also used a shelf or a windowsill to put things that are meaningful to me. The key is the intention that your space holds. Things precious to you. Things that have meaning and support you to practice self care. Things that help you to reflect, quieten your mind and encourage you to return often and feel safe.

I would love to hear about any pulls you have as Autumn approaches, and also whether you find having a space supportive. We will be continuing to share suggestions to help you connect to our new season ahead, in the run up to the Autumn Equinox.

Wellbeing, Wheel of the Year

Lammas

Lammas (also known as Lughnassadh) falls on 1st August and is the midpoint between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox in the northern Hemisphere. By Lammas we are into the second half of the year and may refer to this time as ‘high summer.’ The days are still long and the sun’s energy is strong yet active growth is waning. The earth is abundant and many of our grain crops have ripened and await their gathering, full and golden.

Traditionally Lammas is thought of as the first of 3 harvests; the grain harvest. This is followed by the second harvest of fruits at the Autumn equinox and the final harvest of nuts and berries occuring at Samhain.

Despite the suns waning energy, this time of year is often marked by celebration; festivals, fairs and gatherings that honour local produce, celebrate the remaining light and acknowledge the ease of abundant times.

Being aware of what is going on in our outer world can help us to connect to and learn more about our inner worlds. In this article I will discuss where we currently are in the seasonal cycle and suggest ways in which we can use this to cultivate inner reflection and growth.

Element: Fire + Water

This time of year is associated with the energy of both fire and water elements. The seeds of the grain to be harvested hold both the ignition and transformation of fire energy and the nourishment and fullness provided by water energy.

As with all the elements, fire and water energies possess more and less helpful qualities. When in balance they can encourage transformation, growth, nourishment, fulfilment and fullness. In excess these elements can bring an intensity or chaoticness to our emotions and feelings of overwhelm and heaviness.

Outer observations

The word I have chosen to summarise this time of year is: abundance. All around us, the earth is reaching fullness. Our fields have transitioned from the vibrant greens of Spring and early Summer to rich golds and yellows that signal ripe and readiness. Animals are fledging,  blossom has given way to fattening fruits and there is a sense of ease and ‘enough’ for all in the natural world.

Inner reflections

The time of year can be a guide for inner reflection. It may help to spend some time in nature, and just notice and observe the season that we are in. What words would you use to describe it? Be aware of what feelings it brings up for you. This will be different for us all, depending on where we are in our journey.

You can download our Lammas Wellbeing Guide with journal prompts and reflections to help you connect with the new season here.