From Beltane 1st May, or shortly after as the heat waves catch up with the increased light waves (14th May), until Lammas 1st August, we move into early summer.
”In the western world, we are familiar with the four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter. However, in the Taoist understanding of time and change they devised five seasons. They are spring, summer, late summer, autumn and winter.” Michael Hetherington
Image from the golden age of illustration fb group
Summer is associated with the Fire element in the Taoist tradition.
In The Complete book of Oriental Yoga Hatha and Taoist Yoga for the Seasons, Michael Hetherington details the Organs, Meridians and Emotions associated with the season.
“The fire element is the only element that consists of four organs and one of those organs is technically not even an organ (San Jiao). In order to simplify, we will focus on the two primary organs in the Fire element which is the heart and small intestine. The heart has great significance in Oriental medicine as it is often described as the home and sanctuary of the mind and the spirit.
The emotions associated with the Fire element are love, joy, excitement and hate. When inspiration flows, love and joy also flow. Summer is the time to feel inspired, joyful, loving, compassionate and open to life in all its expressions. It’s time to dream big, to have fun, to motivate and connect with others and support their dreams and visions. It is an exciting time and a great time of year to get out more and party, to stay up late dancing during the warm nights. However, when there is a disturbance in the heart energy, hatred and intolerance replace the flow of inspiration.
Summer is the perfect expression of yang energy and because of the nature of yin and yang, when any extreme is experienced, as exemplified by the intense summer yang days, the tendency is to seek out yin activates such as eating cooler foods and seeking shelter from the sun as a way to restore some kind of balance. Also in summer there is a tendency not to eat as much food because there is already an excess amount of energy and heat in the environment, therefore the body doesn’t require as much energy from food.
heart supports speech and appropriateness and taurus lunar cycle highlights the throat chakra
Heart and Small intestine Meridians
the eyes and the arms. Open eyes, take in all the abundance
the muscles – heart shoulders ,small intestine abdominals and thighs Grounded so as not to be thrown off by intensity of summer energy
Practice open the front body, strengthen the core to have inner stability, security, support to open front body
Named after the month in which it blooms and a sign that spring is turning to summer. The pale green leaves of this hedgerow staple are often the first to appear in spring, with an explosion of pretty pale-pink blossom in May. It simply teems with wildlife from bugs to birds.
Mythology and symbolism
Hawthorn is a pagan symbol of fertility and has ancient associations with May Day. It was the ancestor of the Maypole and its leaves and flowers the source of May Day garlands as well as appearing in the wreath of the Green Man.
Hawthorn was never brought into the home. It was believed that bringing hawthorn blossom inside would be followed by illness and death, and in medieval times it was said that hawthorn blossom smelled like the Great Plague. Botanists later learned that the chemical trimethylamine in hawthorn blossom is also one of the first chemicals formed in decaying animal tissue, so it is not surprising that hawthorn flowers are associated with death.
Its blossoming marks the point at which spring turns into summer, and the old saying ‘Cast ne’er a clout ere May is out’ almost certainly refers to the opening of hawthorn flowers rather than the end of the month.