summer, fire, spirit

Summer, Fire, Spirit

by Tamara Watson, Tofino


Summer is very close. Vitality is suffusing all of our senses: sun warming our skin, vegetation scenting the air, voices and laughter resounding, seeing more people hovering around Sobo’s, savoring the creations of ripe flavors. Summer Solstice marks the official beginning of summer when the sun is farthest North, the Earth’s axis is tilted closest to the sun, and the longest duration of light occurs between sunrise and sunset - this year 13 hours and 1 minute on June 20th at 17:56. In other cultures also called Litha, Hefin, Leth, Midsummer’s Eve, St. John’s Eve..., it is a time for celebration. According to Chinese Five Element Theory, summer is the time of the fire element. The Inner Classic, or Nei Ching says:

The supernatural forces of summer create heat in the Heavens and fire upon Earth; they create the heart and the pulse within the body… the red color, the tongue, and the ability to express laughter... they create the bitter flavor (dark chocolate!) and the emotions of happiness and joy.

Summer and fire are associated with the heart, home of spirit. Ruled by the heart meridian, spirit is like an emperor/ empress. It is the seat of wisdom, truth and beauty that resides within us. When the heart is balanced all other organs and processes function as they should. The Chinese word for heart is xin, which is translated as heart-mind. In addition to governing our physical bodies, the heart also affects our consciousness. Spirit is our connection to the Tao, or Oneness, and is equated metaphorically with light. It is the divine spark within us, insight, awareness on all levels: mental, emotional, and physical. When our decisions, speech and actions are made in accordance with our spirit we are healthy and at ease with ourselves. Life is effortless, an adventure unfolding, a place of infinite possibilities. Our imagination is our only limitation.

It sometimes happens that we doubt our intuition and disassociate from our heart. We react instead according to learned ideas and emotions triggered by fear and experiences we may not even consciously remember. This disrupts the energetic flow within and interferes with the clarity of our spirit’s message. Sometimes energy blocked in another element will cause an imbalance of fire energy, which upsets the balance of the heart.

Summer is about celebration. It is the time to express oneself creatively and with passion, to be all that we dream, and are. When our hearts are open, fire energy expands and radiates outward like light. There is a natural awareness and caring about others. We want to reach out, to share in the delight of life around us. Paul Pitchford in Healing with Whole Foods says:

Those with healthy hearts are genuinely friendly. They are also humble, not out of convention but because they actually feel small in comparison to the wonders they perceive with their open hearts and aware minds. Clarity is a central attribute of those with a harmonious heart-mind. They seem to see effortlessly through problems to arrive at brilliant solutions.”

When you encounter someone who has lost touch with their spirit, whether they are withdrawn and contracted or scattered and frantic, listen to your inner voice and let spirit direct your actions. Energy is magnetic. The simplest of gestures can ignite or stabilize another’s heart. Celebrate summer, express your spirit, radiate outwards...

To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu

Tamara Watson is a registered Jin Shin Do & Shiatsu Therapist, certified in traditional Thai & Hot Stone Massage. She has a private practice in Tofino and will be teaching a Jin Shin Do” Neck & Shoulder Release Workshop in June (see Community Calendar. Phone her at 250.25-3976;
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Tofino health: Tamara Watson explains the concepts of xin and summer, fire, spirit in traditional chinese medicine.

tofino time june 2004

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