Initiating the Future

If there’s one thing we are not short of at the moment, it is green. Lush green abundant plant life springing upward, so green its almost shocking! Filling all the desultory gaps that had been so drably waiting for life to return. Or perhaps it was me that was waiting, pretty impatiently if I’m honest. Nevertheless I have been rewarded, and I can’t help smiling, and breathing more deeply as I pass the thickets of nettles, cleavers, wild garlic & cow parsley. The blossoms of hawthorn, cherry and apple bursting into daylight also lift my spirit, but it’s the pure green richness that I want to rave about. This year I have really noticed the sensational effect of green, between wonder, satisfaction and stimulation all at once. I have been filling my field of vision with green as often as I’m able and also stuffing as much green as I can into my diet. The bitter earthy green of nettles has found its way into plenty of my meals and bushels of sweet grassy cleavers into my water jug. These plants are clarifying and so supportive of the liver in its job of flushing the system, that it seems they arrive on the scene perfectly placed for a timely spring clean.

Green is the colour that corresponds to the Element of Wood, which resonates with the season of Spring and the organ of the Liver. The liver has over 500 physiological functions that we know of. Many of these involve creating, storing and releasing essential substances to enable all kinds of vital processes that regulate the body: vitamins, minerals, sugars, amino acids, albumin & bile to name but a few, and filtering the blood as it returns from the gut.  It is an incredible powerhouse creating & maintaining order and health in the body. Some of the greenest foods have antioxidants and phytochemicals that help the liver to clear toxins & deal with fats efficiently. Spring has inspired me to love my liver with these green gifts.

Liver functions are described in Shiatsu theory as those governing storage and distribution. Metaphysically, healthy Liver function enables the planning and carrying out of projects. Making our visions real, optimum use of energy, intentional action, adapting to changing circumstances. Co-operating in community. Busting barriers with determined acts and constructive aggression. Healthy Liver powers us up to go forward, determine what’s between us and our goal and confront it. It makes me think of truth telling, the end of hiding and equivocating. Growing into mature attitudes and getting real. Green means Go Forth! This spirit speaks directly to spirit of the festival ‘Beltane’.

Seasonally, here we are in the earliest days of May, we may be missing the warmer brighter weather that usually announces it, but May Day, known as Beltane has only just passed. May Day is maybe the most famous & enduring of the pre-Christian festivals in this country. You can still see the odd May pole being decorated & danced about in schools & villages. It’s a festival of fertility and a celebration marking the moment when abundance has returned with certainty. The central myth tells of the coming together of the May Queen, representing the essential life-energy of the Earth & the Green Man, representing all manifest life on earth. The story expresses the material & spiritual unions that leads to transformation & new life. It has been a traditional time for pairing up with a lover, dancing into the dark, jumping over the fire for luck and heading off into the woods to make love. Or holding a hand-fasting ceremony to commit yourself to a partner for long enough to start a family. For an individual it can be a time to mark an inner marriage between aspects of the self, leaping into an inner congruence of vision, purpose and action. In all these ways it is a festival of initiating the future. A fire always signals the shearing away of one phase of life and making space to welcome the next. Jumping the fire is a rite of passage into maturity & productive life, as the year circles out of it’s youth. We are jumping off from our springboard of young green Wood with our eye on the prize, and launching towards the next phase – the Fire phase when our lives find full expansion & expression.

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