Five Elements: Fire

The Five Elements principle comes from ancient Chinese tradition, teaching us that all life energy also corresponds with the Five Elements of nature: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood.

Come with me as I quickly walk you through my personal encounters with the Elements.
The first time I learned about the Five Elements was through Chinese astrology.
I was curious to learn the corresponding Chinese zodiac signs of my family members, lovers and friends. And I still am, it tells me a lot of their character and the possible compatibility in our relationships!
Find your Chinese zodiac sign through the same link as above (just scroll down the opening page).

Then, much later I came into contact with the Five Elements again via Touch For Health.
I learned that the energy lines in a body – the meridians – are connected to organs, moods, the Five Elements, times in day, and yin/yang energy.
At the same time I was studying herbal medicine, as in Western herbal medicine and Ayurveda.
The Five Elements correspond also with the moods or temperaments of a constitution, and have their most (and least) compatible herbal remedies.
It’s all intertwined in a deeply logical sense, but also so much information that I’m still (forever) in the process of integrating it to my practice.

And now most recently my Tai chi tao teacher revisited the Five Elements in her Fire element workshop.
Only there I learned that this principle originates from a deep study of nature and its laws over countless generations, adding up knowledge and practices as the tradition developed.
With a renewed enthusiasm and respect I’m diving into the wisdom of the Five Elements, in yet another cycle in my life.

 

FIRE

Summer, at its hottest, brightest and lightest, belongs to the element of Fire.
This is the season of ‘bathing in nature’, either literally in wild waters, or figuratively during a walk in the woods, meadows and along streams.
It is a time of song, dance and merriment, sharing good times with friends and family, getting together with the ones we love.

Outward-going (expanding), highly transformative and intense, this is the time to burn away the useless things of the past, shine a light into the shadows and dance wildly just because you can.
Step forward, express yourself, share your talents, participate.

Too much: as with all things in Life, it is also very well possible to over-do this energy.
The result will be a feeling of being overwhelmed, it’s all “too much”, and if you have a sensitive nose, you can smell a slight scorched scent. Too much fire!

the wisdom of this moment:
The Path unfolds,
unfold with it.

 

What are your associations with this season and its element? Do share in the comments below!

 

Your Spirit Animal

I recently bumped into a Facebook post (on a shamanistic group page) in which someone was saying that elements of shamanism are being ‘borrowed’ and used to market things, as shamanism is now “hot and sexy”.
Woo-hoo!! Finally I’m doing something hot and sexy 😀

No but seriously folks, time is something that passes, and anything that is related to time (like hot and sexy fashion) will pass.

What counts is what do you do with the time that is given to you.

I’d suggest you go for that which resonates with you truly.
Not just entertainment with the upper layers of your Mind/Ego, but stuff that shakes your Soul and makes your Heart skip a beat or flutter faster.

For me that would be the wonderful world of the Spirit, as weird and unconventional it might seem.

An aspect of the (shamanistic) Spirit world is the company and assistance of our Spirit Animal.
“What’s my spirit animal?!” an eager explorer might exclaim.
Hold your horses buddy, first you need to know why you want to know your spirit animal.

A spirit animal is: transport, safety, communication, information, signs. And more.

I’ve made a little document for you to download and print out about it. I hope you enjoy it!

(Just in case you need some guidance in gearing your attention from the busy outside to the different realms of the inside, here’s a little meditation audio to get you going.)

 

 

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Midsummer and flowers

This is the most potent, magical, energetic time of the year in the Northern hemisphere.

Whether you’re celebrating midsummer on Litha (or actually the eve before 21st of June – tonight!) or this coming weekend (‘the weekend after’ Litha = Midsummer, as in my original home country, Finland), take notice of the most extreme expansion of Light – the longest day – in the wheel of this year, and celebrate it in your unique way.

I have been missing in action online, since I was in action out in the green. Harvesting and drying herbs for herbal infusions to be enjoyed later in the year, making elder flower champagne, trying to organize my overfull city garden and having my own inner pondering conversation about how much green is too much and should I introduce more flowers into my garden or not.

After the colour explosion of this spring, the garden is now very green. Even though it’s my favourite colour, I’ve decided to turn my focus on flowers for a while.

 

Lots of green – and tomato plants. Later in the season you’ll see red spheres between the support poles…

Being a Healing Garden type of girl, I always considered flowers as a pretty extra bonus. But now, on the earthly level, two things in my life are pointing towards flowers: the welcoming of Bees very recently, and a colleague at the medicinal herbs garden where I volunteer, who is missing flowers in all that green. (Seems that my own healing garden is not the only one suffering a mild fatigue of flowers!)

Comfrey flowers

Flowers

The reproductive organ of plants. A celebration of Life, in the plant-kingdom-way. Their interaction with Bees. Their beauty and fragrance. I mean – how fantastic is the whole spectrum of different kinds of flowers and fragrance, and the ‘fitting’ pollinators? There is something very special and magical about flowers.

Lavender in bloom

Did you know that in flower essences, the energetic essence of a flower is captured in pure spring water, using only three (or four) elements: the flowers, water and sunlight, and the intentional focus of the herbalist?
To conserve the mother essence one preserves it in organic brandy.

The flowering of Sage is over, St.Johns wort is still in a tight yellow bud.

And in aromatherapy we use the essential oils of fragrant plants. The essential oils are vaporized out of the plant material and collected via a cooler into a receiver vessel, where you’ll find the hydrosol (fragrant water) and the essential oil floating on top of the hydrosol. Both matters can be utilized for healing purposes, one plant usually having several actions it can support in a human body. And several plants sharing some of the same actions with each other.

At the beginning of my herbalist career I was confused in the land of such abundance – what is the use of having multiple plants one could use for balancing out one discomfort? But now I know. It’s all about the energetics – the energy of a specific plant and its compatibility with a specific human being. Fascinating, complex, rich and abundant!

Talking about aromatherapy and essential oils…Finally the summer edition (2017) of my soul support scents is ready – just in time! You can find it here.

 

 

 

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Ayahuasca and Bees – a lot of silence and gratitude to share

How does one write a blog post when there are no words to describe this?
(Then don’t. Be quiet.) But I can’t, my Heart wants to share so that others might catch the flame as well.
I’ll try it in small bite-size bits.

 

Ayahuasca

It is about five years ago I heard about this Plant Spirit for the first time. Since then it has been circling around my attention and interest, slowly getting closer. A year ago I almost went for it, but not quite. This year, after a shamanic ceremony a short time ago, suddenly the time was ripe.

I prepared myself for the encounter for weeks, dropping alcohol and coffee early on. The last ten days I was eating a bland diet, which I thought would be extremely boring, but it actually proved to be interestingly tastebud-enhancing. I was so still, empty and ready as I could be.

The setting was warm, welcoming and supporting, and I felt very privileged to being in the situation of the whole experience. It was a private ceremony, with two wonderful people to watch over me.
(You can find them here)

I expected to be grabbed for a wild rollercoaster ride with important lessons and messages to take to Heart. Can you imagine my surprise (and that of the organizers) when, after having ingested quite a lot of this mighty plant ally, I looked my mentors in the eyes and said “it’s quite subtle”. As if expecting to go to a heavy rock concert that would last the whole night, but instead, getting four teachings whispered softly in your ear, with long silences between each one. Beautiful teachings. Empowering, affirming, magically wonderful teachings, but oh so very softly that I had to keep my focus on them, laser sharp and steady as a rock or I’d snap out of it.

Expectation vs. reality. I love the quirky nature of Nature, it absolutely cracks me up 😀
But even though the experience was so fine and subtle (exquisite!), it kind of simmers on… And although I immediately ‘got was I was there for’ (to get ‘clean’ and ‘to stand in my Power’) the re-set is still materializing as I’m writing this, still simmering on, as if it would be rippling through time and space, endlessly, solidifying…this, the experience and the knowing. See? Words are failing me here.

And to you, dear reader, I want to say: Thank you for reading this far. Follow your joy, your inspiration, your happiness. What ever you do, do it from this perspective of your own pure Soul joy, and it will form your Life to according to your specific perspective, slant, angle, niche… And the elements within that ecosystem of your joyous Life will fit together seamlessly and function beautifully in a symbiotic manner, creating and abundance of good and healthy Life, to you and your loved ones, and for the Planet, all by itself.

All you need to do is to get clean, clear and choose with your Heart. Your Heart is the ruler, your Mind the servant. Life provides you – with all the lessons, tools, allies and materials you need. Trust. Love. And have fun!

 

Bees

“When the bee guardian is ready, the bees will come” – that’s approximately how the words of my (biodynamic) beekeeper-mentor would translate to English, when I was asking his opinion on buying bees.

I’ve got my top bar hive in place for a little over two years now, waiting for an eager swarm to find it. And finally, we called a local beekeeper and agreed on a date when he’d come with a bee colony for my hive.

The day before the agreed date, our dear neighbor came half-running of excitement to our door “Nina, there’s a swarm in our garden!”. I dropped everything and hurried behind him to the spot. And indeed, in the middle of the garden, in a small tree or a large bush, at a very convenient working level, a swarm was gathering together.

To cut a long story short, these were the sweetest, most patient and forgiving bees. It took me four attempts to catch the cluster with the queen (and keeping her), but catching and eventually transferring the swarm from our neighbors’ garden to my hive was a success, and now they are settled and I adore them. There is absolutely no fear, no tension, just a blissful being-ness when I spend time with them. Pure joy of living, unconditional Love and a strong sense of belonging emanate from the bees and I’m so incredibly grateful to be allowed to offer a home to them.

The catch: no matter how long it takes, it’s so worth the wait. Have faith, have patience. When the time is right, it will come – and it’ll be sweet.

Post Scriptum

Life is in a fast-forward mode now. After all that winter sleeping time has kind of erased itself out of my experience (what a relief!) and things are rapidly rushing into manifestation. What a joy! What a relief!
I have no idea if this blissful state will continue or not, we shall see.

I’m sharing this because perhaps you are experiencing some mind-bending changes in your Life patterns, manifestations and reality. As always, check in with your Soul, it will know. Make your decisions with your Heart. Use your Mind as a tool, but don’t listen to it too much 🙂 Meditate more. Love.

Be well.

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Personal blossoming

Everything in Life has its time, its seasons. So does the multiple, ongoing unfolding of You.

After a long wintersleep my attention gently got kissed awake by the sprouting seeds that I had planted. My attention and awareness steadily grew together with the seedlings, destined for the new gardening season.

As I was tending to the new growth of green, somehow the nurturing and care got mirrored back to me as well – inside of me, processes were taking place, forming petals inside of a bud if you like, to allow blossoming later in spring.

And now the buds are opening, the blossoming is here, in its natural time.

It is the sensory knowing through my body (and not the perceptions of my mind) that intuitively checks in to the flow of this moment, right now, and accordingly follows the natural rhythms of action and rest, interaction and solitude.

This is so effortless it is hilarious: the contrast with all the struggles of trying to accomplish things at the wrong time is obvious, huge, grotesque. Information is now seeping to every cell in my body, saturating every minuscule particle of every cell. I AM. Not the body. Not the mind. But This. Self. Consciousness.

“The information” is intuition, skills, abilities, connectedness, knowing… I’m trying to describe with words a state of Oneness that I had experienced before for shorter periods of time during satsang and retreats, but then it got covered up again with the chaos of Life. Now it’s as if, ever so gently, one sentence (“Perhaps you’ve been searching in the wrong direction”) and admitting the Truth of it, flicked a switch. A gentle, soft…”click”.

And I’m on. Consciousness inhabits me truly, it flows right through me and radiates out of me. Life is effortless. I still carry groceries and cook of course, I do my things and search my mind for words when writing this blog. But the pressure, frustration, pushing, forcing…is gone.

From experience I know that I might forget that I always already knew. But then I can re-read this post 🙂

There is a time for everything.
Trust me; if it doesn’t work out now, then this is the time for something else. Relax. Go with the flow of Life.
Rest when you’re tired, eat when hungry, play when you feel like it. Enjoy Life.

PS. I’m SO excited to announce that I’ve found a wonderful space to give the Ayurvedic massages at!
Find out more on this page -> Ayurvedic massage: deep relaxation and increased energy

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Out of balance – an alternative Mothers’ Day post

Earth, our Planet is our Family and Home. You and me and the whole human race – we are the children of this Earth.

But we’re cranky, unwell. Like angry teenagers, we’re cutting ourselves off from the support net round us, from our Planetary Family (Mother Earth, our uncles and aunts the Plants and our brothers and sisters, the Animals) and we’re feeling agitated, lost, insecure, stressed out and very, very confused.

“When I get into that mind-state, that paradoxical dilemma where I feel stuck and frustrated…it feels as if my head gets six times as big as it should be. And my chest becomes all clouded, dirty and troubled.”, I told my dear sparring sister on Skype.

She adviced me to make a drawing of that state, and then, after that would be finished, to add a loving Mother to the picture.

So I followed her advice, and the clarity came as I was drawing.

As soon as I spend too much time in the artificial world of computers, smart phones, asphalt and media obesity, I get this feeling of being separate, cut off from belonging, my mental actions run rampant and my (energetic) head swells up to extraordinary proportions. I get grumpy, hard and negative.

But all I need to remember is that Mother (Earth, Nature) is there – always. She lovingly embraces me even when I don’t notice it.

I’m like that stubborn teenager. I need to soften, relax and open up. To rest in the arms of  this omnipresent Love and re…calibrate. Come back to my own Nature, to my own balance and my pace. Return to my calling, my flow, my way.

And from there I can participate in Life in a meaningful way again.

 

Find your ceremony of re-balancing. Remember to return to it regularly. I call this ‘mothering myself’.

Help others to do the same. Refill your well of inspiration, then see what participating there is for you to do in this interconnected global Family of Life.

Get rooted, in you. Get Loved, by Nature. Open up and belong.

 

 

 

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Enhancing the chances – part 2 of Nature spirits

nature spirit
my little one, dressed up and naked at the same time – with some Photoshop magic he’s turned into a nature spirit 🙂

Let’s pretend you’ve warmed up to the thought that nature spirits exist, and you now want to attract them into your surroundings – because you like a touch of magic, enjoy the thrill of a possible encounter, or you want to enhance the energy of nature (any nature!) around you…or all of the above. Nature spirits as neighbors? I like that.

So how does one go about attracting nature spirits into the garden? Or the backyard even?

Anything that beautifies a place, by sound, light or carefully placed natural elements is pleasing for us and for the nature spirits.

Faeries like bells, so a wind chime with bells with a high tone would be appropriate. Wind chimes with bamboo, low bells, shells or stones have their own ‘vibe’ and will attract their own kind of folk.

Water is an attractive thing to nature spirits. A natural stream would be ideal, but a shallow bowl with clean water is also beautiful and effective. You could consider creating a nature altar, with a water element with it.

Spirals, labyrinths, small constructions with natural materials will all work.

Attractive stones, erected or piled on top of another work well as a focal point for nature spirits.

Small caves in rock and hollows in wood are natural altars that one can beautify further as a warm welcome for nature spirits.

And they do like friendly attention. Leaving a self-made gift, a flower-gift or some food and drink are thoughtful tokens of attention, and will be appreciated.

You can also walk/dance/meditate in your garden and call to the different wind directions:”Spirits, you’re welcome! Come, come!”… ringing bells, rattling rattles, drumming or playing a flute as you do it.

(I found this last option ‘a bit too much’ until very recently – but then I experienced it myself in a shamanic ceremony and found it magical and mighty powerful, so yes, do what you need to do!)

Below you can find some visual inspiration, harvested for your creative impulses from Pinterest. Enjoy!

 

Pan playing flute to the animals (artist unkown)
Japanese buddhist shrine
altar in garden
Inga Hunter; Four Amulets
Milli Vedder; Balance

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Nature spirits

Nature spirits, do they exist? Or is it just a fairy-tale, told to children to grab their attention? If they do exist, why don’t we see them or hear from them?

Elves, gnomes, nymphs and their kin do exist, but we don’t see them because they’ve withdrawn to another dimension that is parallel with ours (vibrating at a higher level than ours) since we humans stopped believing in them – we’re not interacting with them nor showing respect to their presence and homes.

You can read about a meeting with a water nymph here.

If you want to see (or sense) nature spirits, you need to tune in with your attention to the place you’re at – it’s a bit like turning the dial on a radio. Our everyday activity-driven mind is too noisy, fast and skipping on the surface of things in order to notice these subtle beings.

But when you quiet yourself down, open your senses to your surroundings and approach the natural world and/or old buildings with a gentle curiosity you just might find a world that has been unseen for the most of us for some time…the length of that time depends on your cultural back ground, I guess.

I can imagine there are people who want to know why one would connect with nature spirits – why bother?
Because they’re a part of the web of life, just as we are – and the rest of the organic World; the plants, animals, stones and stars.
We can communicate with nature spirits in order to help them, to ask them to help us or to consult them before we do modifications in their living habitat, and to enhance a natural space energetically.
And so, in connecting with nature spirits, we strengthen the bond between the human race and the rest of  the natural world, and help healing us and Gaia, our home planet.

So, do go out there and find your spot of faeries (most likely to be found around hawthorn and elder), water nymphs (you might see them even when you don’t see water since underground wells are invisible to us!), gnomes, tree dryads, elves of specific pieces of land (guarding a garden or a meadow for instance), air sylphs and so on. But stay away from trolls and neck since they are up to no good for us human folk.

You can read more about nature spirits in this book.

As always with spirit-work, protect yourself first, be curious but not foolish and stay away from trouble.

And if you need any help, I’m available for interspecies communication – also with nature spirits!

 

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The alchemy of duality

(Part two of …balancing of two)

We often experience Life through the lens of duality. We either like or dislike things. We find something attractive or not. Tasty or unappetizing. Simple, daily stuff.

But then; we want to hold on or change something, like, now. We love passionately, yet are attracted to our freedom. We’re attached to a certain image of ourselves, and get hurt when others challenge it. Pleasure/pain, joy/sorrow, excitement/bleak boredom. Duality 2.0 .

You can use the dis-ease to identify that what is troubling you (before it energetically works on your body and becomes a disease).

A universal fact is that everything changes. Life flows like water in the river of our lives, and trying to freeze a beautiful moment because we want to hold on to it is as foolish as it is frustrating.
If you can find the calm and peace to just observe that what is, you can begin to see the (apparent) reality for what it is, without mental judgement or upsetting emotion. In fact, all that matters is here, in the present moment.

From this calm place of just being and observing you might choose to start exploring your restlessness again. What caused you discomfort? When? And most importantly, why?

Universal fact number two: you can’t change anything else but yourself (without being violent). Let’s pretend I’m out in the forest and sit down without first checking where I’m sitting, and land my butt on an ant colony. Uncomfortable. Now if I’d be shouting at the Universe that someone had better move that ant colony since I’m in discomfort…? So again, observing and acting accordingly are the way to go.

But sometimes everything is just too much and we feel pain and discomfort and are too tired and/or emotional to act (wisely).

Here’s a little clue from Eckhart Tolle: pain is an alarm clock in order to awaken you.

Something needs to change. It could be your perception (of the situation, its nature and/or yourself), a call to action (stand up from the ant colony!), a small adjustment or a total game changer. Enter: the alchemy of duality.

When you stop fighting pain or discomfort and allow it to enlighten you, you have the potent, active power to change the idea, situation, viewpoint, outcome and your feeling about it. Talk about some powerful alchemy!

I encourage you to playfully investigate the challenges that Life throws at you. It’s all for the good of your evolution and thus for the evolution of the Planet. Let’s play!

 

 

 

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