Stone Circles

I have been drawn to visit a number of Stone Circles recently including Castelrigg, Arbor Low, Nine Ladies and Avebury.

 Nine Ladies

Nine Ladies

Nine Ladies Stone Circle is located on Stanton Moornear Youlgreave in Derbyshire. The site is managed by Englsih Heritage. I’ve provided a link below. It’s surrounded by Woodland including Silver Birch Trees. It’s possible to do some short walks including the stone circle. The land you pass through varies from heather moorland to spase woodland. I found the site to be relaxing and energising. There is a tenth stone 30-40 yards away. The rumor is that it was a man who turned the ladies to stone because they were dancing on the Sabbath day.

 Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

I have visited Castlerigg Stone Circle a number of times. It’s located in a large field not far from Keswick in The Lake District. On this occasion I came on the evening of the Summer Solstice. The energy was more intense than usual and there were still people drumming and enjoying the energies of the day.

Avebury

I visited Avebury Stone Circle last month and also had the chance to visit the Museum and the Manor House and Gardens. I was pleased to see that you could not only touch the items in the museum (apart from a few exceptions) you could also try om the costumes to see how they would look on you (as can be seen in the picture below.) The dresses made for girls weighed a surprising amount. From there I visited Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow. I was impressed by the scale of West Kennet Long Barrow. It stands out on the hillside. It is cool in barrow and you can get a sense of the world the creators must have lived in. I had hoped to see the white horse but I couldn’t see it from any of the ridges I was walking on. It will have to wait for another day.

 Avebury Stone Circle

Avebury Stone Circle

 Avebury

Avebury

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P1030563.JPG
 The Manor House, Avebury

The Manor House, Avebury

Arbor Low

Arbor Low is a Neolithic henge monument atmospherically set amid high moorland . Nearby is enigmatic Gib Hill, a large burial mound. It is sometimes referred to as the Stone Henge of the Peak District. It is surrounded by beatiful countryside and commands great views of Derbyshire scenery. Gib Hill, a large burial mound, lies two hundred yards south-west. The barrow consists of one mound on top of another. It is a Neolithic oval barrow with an Early Bronze Age round barrow superimposed at one end (Wiki). In 1824 William Bateman excavated the site. Findings included a flint and an item that was probably a polished stone axe. “The earlier long barrow was made of clay mixed in layers with charcoal and cremated human bones” (Derbyshire Heritage). In 1848 Thomas Bateman excavated the site. He found flints and oxen bones. When the work was nearly complete a stone cist crashed through the roof of his tunnel. It was reerected in the grounds of Lomberdale House but has since been relocated to it’s original site.

stone-circle-arbor-low-derbyshire-1300.jpg

Autumn and the Metal Element in Chinese Medicine

The Metal Element

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In Chinese Medicine the character for Metal (Jin) 金 represents something precious deep in the earth. It includes the character for Earth (see below). The Metal character has a sloping roof on top, representing something covered over. You could imagine it as a mine with nuggets of gold buried deep within the earth. Metal can be thought of like minerals in the body. Small but essential. In the body the Metal Element consists of the Lungs and Large Intestine. The Lungs take in air. In Chinese Medicine they take in the Qi from the Heavens. Exercises such as Qigong can help us to breath more deeply. Breathing meditations can be used as a tool to calm the mind. In dynamic meditation breathing can be used to trigger the emotions in order to express them and to get free and more detached from them (Osho, 1989). The Large Intestine lets go of waste material. On a more emotional level it's important to be able to freely accept gifts and compliments. To appreciate beauty in the world. It's also important to let go of things we no longer need. The Dhammapada (sayings of the Buddha) states "For see how the Jasmine flower releases and lets fall its withered flowers." So we must release the parts of us that no longer serve us rather than clinging to them. In Autumnal months the weather starts to get chilly and we would be wise to dress more warmly than the summer months. Summer salads should give way to more nourishing and warming foods such as soups and roasted vegetables. We should choose more astringent as well as heartier flavours and foods (Pitchford, 1993). Sourdough bread, sauerkraut, leaks, aduki beans sour apples and rose hip tea suit this season.

 Autumn

Autumn

Making space for ourselves

Autumn is the Season of the Metal Element. Trees freely let dead leaves fall to the ground. Similarly we should let go of people and objects that no longer serve us. I have been giving some books to charity. I am culling my Facebook friends list of people I no longer need and ofpeople I have been clinging onto. Now is the time to sever those connections. By clearing away these things we make space for ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally.

 Chestnuts

Chestnuts

Foraging

Autumn is also a great time to go foraging for nuts and berries. It is vital to avoid damaging wildlife habitats or rare species, so check you are allowed to forage in the area before starting to pick (Countryfile). Hazelnuts, apples, blackberries, hawthorn, blackthorn, rowan, sloe berries, bilberry, sweet chestnut, beach nut, raspberries, wild strawberries, giant puffball, chicken of the woods, rosehips and elderberries can be foraged this time of year. Some of them can be eaten raw. Others can be used to make jams, wines and autumnal treats such as scones and crumbles (the Guardian). Sloe berries can be used to make Sloe Gin. A pair of scissors, a good pocket knife and a reusable shopping bag or other container is all that is needed (andhereweare.net).

References

Hicks, Hicks and Mole, 2004, Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture, Churchill Livingstone, London

Osho, 1989, The Everyday Meditator A Practical Guide, Labyrinth Publishing (UK) Ltd, London

Pitchford, 2002, Healing with Whole Foods Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/sep/19/beginners-guide-to-autumn-foraging - accessed 07/09/2018

https://andhereweare.net/top-10-things-to-forage-in-autumn/ - accessed 07/09/2018

http://www.countryfile.com/countryside/top-10-foods-forage-september - accessed 07/09/2018

The Wood Element in Chinese Medicine and a Healing for Spring Time

 Lamb is Spring Time

Lamb is Spring Time

Spring in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Medicine Spring is related to the Wood Element. The power of Wood is birth and as you can see in the picture above new plants and animals are born is Spring. The character of the Wood element is mu (Weiger, 1965). The vertical line is the tree trunk  and root, the horizontal line the earth and the diagonal lines are the roots. It is clear that much of the tree lies beneath the earth.

mu.png

 

Spring is a time when the yang energy of warmth and the increased sunlight seeds begin to sprout and trees are growing upwards and outwards. Branches will bend towards the sunlight to help their growth. They are flexible.  

The Wood Element

In people Wood energy manifests as creativity, flexibility, determination, expression and growth, both physical and mental. Ideally the flow of energy is smooth like a flowing river. An example of this can be seen in the flowing movements of Taiji and Qigong. However sometimes like a growing tree we can become stuck and frustrated, we may have difficulty adapting. Though a plant or tree cannot shift it's location humans often need to change their work or living place in order to thrive (Hicks, Hicks and Mole, 2004).

Sound of Wood

The sound of Wood is shouting. A voice that is shouting may sound angry. The rising qi may give the voice forcefullness. It will either sound loud or certain words will have more emphasis than would be normal. If you can hear someone having a normal conversation from a distance they probably have an imbalance in the Wood Element (Hicks, Hicks and Mole, 2004).

Wind and the Wood Element

The climate of Wood is Wind. Wind is a potent force in Spring. Many people can feel unconfortable in strong wind. Other people find it bracing and exhilarating. Wind can invade the body causing symptoms such as aversion to cold, fever, sneezing. It can also becreated internally casuing symptoms such as irratability, cramps, dizziness and itching (Maciocia, 2005, p683-687).

Food and Springtime

Too many heavy fatty foods clog the Liver causing spring fits and fevers. Foods that help to stimlate the Liver include tumeric, cumin and black pepper (Pitchford, 2002, p326). Some foods such as beans can cause wind whilst others naturally decrease  it. These include fennel, pine nuts, peppermint and celery (Tan, 2018.)

Anger is the Emotion of the Wood Element

There are times when anger is the natural response to a hurt or injustice. If you are cut up in traffic or you see something you perceive as being wrong you may be angry. This is normal and natural. If the anger passes in a normal amount of time this is fine. However we may instead have no response to an injustice or get overly angry at a perceived. Frustration is another emotion related to the Wood Element. Frustration can lead to rage if the Wood energy is high or to resignation and apathy if it is low (Maciocia, 2005, p247).

Spring Cleaning

In the past spring cleaning often involved taking objects outside in the wind to air them and get rid of the dust and cobwebs. On a personal level Spring is a time that emotions come to the surface. It is a good idea if we can consciously release these feelings. It is a good time to face challenges and stop procrastinating (Marguilis).

Acupuncture and the Wood Element

Acupuncture can be used to help with the Wood element in people. It can help to reduce anger, clear frustration and to help smooth the flow of energy around the body. It can help to reduce the pain and the frequency of headaches caused by an imbalance in the Wood Energy (Russel and Koppelman). If a persons main imbalance is in the Wood Element 5 element acupuncture can be used to diagnose and treat this element. This would help to bring balance and all the other elements in turn (Hicks, Hicks and Mole, 2004).

Healing Session

 Looking Down on Ladybower Reservoir

Looking Down on Ladybower Reservoir

I've created a healing session to help with Spring Time and the Wood Element. To receive the healing you will need to call it in. This is done via intention. Here is how to do it: relax, and state your intention out loud or silently, to receive this Spring Time Healing from Geoff, for your highest good and highest healing. If you are visual you can concentrate on the picture above.

References

Hicks, Hicks and Mole, 2004, Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture, Churchill Livingstone, London

Maciocia, 2005, The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, Churchill Livingstone, London

Pitchford, 2002, Healing with Whole Foods Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California

Weiger L 1965 Chinese Characters, New York, Dover

Marguilis, Living with the Seasons https://www.chinesemedicineliving.com/nutrition/seasons/spring/

Acupuncture for Pain https://www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org/present-research/pain-2/

Tan, 2018, How to stay Healthy in Spring, http://straightbamboo.com/how-to-stay-healthy-in-spring/

 

A Healing for Chinese New Year 2017

Rooster

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival. Firecrackers and the colour red are used to scare away the mythical beast called Nian that was thought to eat villagers, especially children. In Chinese Astrology each year is associated with an animal and an element. This Chinese New Year is the Year of the Fire Rooster. Stephen Fry and Dawn French are famous Fire Roosters. People born in the Year of the Rooster are thought to be honest, punctual and healthy. They are talkative, sporty and self assured but they can also be sensitive stressed and moody. Lucky colours for Roosters are gold, yellow and brown. Lucky numbers are five, seven and eight.

The Fire Element

In Chinese Medicine the Fire Element relates to Summer, to heat, to the colour red, to laughing and to joy. Communication with others is how it manifests. When the Fire Element is in balance we can communicate freely and effectively with others. We will laugh and smile at appropriate moments. We will be able to recall pleasurable moments.

Healing Session

I've created a healing session to help with the Fire Element. To receive the healing you will need to call it in. This is done via intention. Here is how to do it: relax, and state your intention out loud or silently, to receive this Chinese New Year Healing from Geoff, for your highest good and highest healing. If you are visual you can concentrate on the picture above.

 

 

References

Hicks, Hicks and Mole, 2004, Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture, Churchill Livingstone

 

 

 

Summer Solstice and Full Moon Healing

Today is the Summer Solstice and also a full moon called the Strawberry Moon. The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year. The name Solstice means "sun stands still." A full moon in June was described by Native Americans as the Strawberry Moon since it was thought to mark the beginning of the strawberry season. Pagans and non pagans alike gather at mystical sites, such as Stonehenge, to celebrate sunrise on the solstice. Through the ages there was often dancing and bonfires, which were thought to keep the dark at bay. Pagans consider the solstice to be a day when the veil between this world and the next is thought to be at its thinnest.

 Stonehenge

Stonehenge

 Newgrange

Newgrange

 Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Healing Session

To receive the healing you will need to call it in. This is done via intention. Here is how to do it: relax, and state your intention out loud or silently, to receive this Summer Solstice and Full Moon Healing from Geoff, for your highest good and highest healing. If you are visual you can concentrate on the pictures above.

Sun and Wind Healing

Sun and Wind in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Medicine sun and Summer relate to the Fire Element, and Wind and Spring relate to the Wood Element. Wood is the mother of Fire. This can be easily imagined since wood can be burned to make fire. Sun is warming and yang in nature. Wind is dynamic and yang in nature. Some people of a Woody nature can find being out in windy weather to be exhilarating. As I write we are coming to the end of Spring, the Wood element and soon will be heading into Summer and the Fire Element.

Sun and Wind Healing

I was outside earlier in the week doing some exercises and stretches. I was in the sunshine but a fairly strong wind was blowing. I found that I was being warmed by the sun and cooled by the wind. I found that if I kept moving I was warm enough to stay outside. The combination of sun and wind was invigorating and it kept me out exercising longer than normal. I wanted to create a healing that gave a similar fealing, one of warmth and invigoration.

To receive the healing you will need to call it in. This is done via intention. Here is how to do it: relax, and state your intention out loud or silently, to receive this Sun and Wind Healing from Geoff, for your highest good and highest healing. If you are visual you can concentrate on the picture below: 

References

Hicks, Hicks and Mole, 2004, Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture, Churchill Livingstone

Healing the Earth Element

 The Character for the Earth

The Character for the Earth

Character

The Chinese Character for the Earth is tu (Weiger, 1965). The horizontal lines represent the soil and subsoil. The vertical line represents anything that grows from the earth. Seeds are planted in the earth in Spring. The season of the Earth Element is late Summer when the fields and harvested.  

 Harvest Time

Harvest Time

Harvest

In Europe in the middle ages there was a tradition of crop rotation which helps to reduce crop specific pests (RHS, 2015). Fields would be left fallow, i.e. uncultivated every few years. Animal and plant compost would be used to nourish the earth. Hedgerows that separated fields shaped the landscape and were places where animals thrived. In modern times this tradition has disappeared. Large scale harvesting is more common and chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used to produce the largest crop. However this system doesn't nourish the soil and yields may reduce.

Earth Element in Life

On a physical level we are what we make of what we eat. The Earth state of the earth can range from dry like a desert or damp like a soggy field suited to planting rice. On a physical level if we are suffering from "Damp" our digestion will be sluggish and we will be reluctant to move. On a mental level if our Earth element is strong we should be able to reap a harvest in our life (Hicks et al, 2004). If it is not our thoughts will circle endlessly and we may suffer from dissatisfaction. In Chinese Medicine humans are pictured as having their head in the heavens, where they can take in the Qi, and their feet on the earth, where they feel grounded and steady. Earthquakes like the recent one in Nepal lead to feelings of shock and instability.

Healing the Earth Element

To receive the healing you will need to call it in. This is done via intention. Here is how to do it: relax, and state your intention out loud or silently, to receive this Earth Element Healing from Geoff, for your highest good and highest healing. If you are visual you can concentrate on the picture below:

 Lyme Park

Lyme Park

 

 

References

Hicks, Hicks and Mole, 2004, Five Element Constitutional Acupuncture, Churchill Livingstone

RHS - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=124

Weiger L 1965 Chinese characters. New York: Dover

Healing the Fire Element

The Fire Element

 Chinese Character for Fire

Chinese Character for Fire

In Chinese Medicine Summer is the season of the Fire Element. Fire is hot, bright and lively. Sitting by a fire or being out on a hot Summer's day can bring us comfort and warmth. The colour red, laughing and joy are associated with the Fire Element. Heart felt communication, love and relationships are issues that test our Fire Element. If it is strong then these will be easy for us. We may be over or under active Fire Element. An overactive Fire Element lead to clowning about and opening up inappropriately. This might be considered manic behaviour. An under active Fire Element might lead to isolation and being emotionally closed off.

Healing the Fire Element

To receive the healing you will need to call it in. This is done via intention. Here is how to do it: relax, and state your intention out loud or silently, to receive this Fire Element Healing from Geoff, for your highest good and highest healing. If you are visual you can concentrate on the picture below.

Flames




Summer Healing

Summer in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Medicine Summer is regarded as the most yang time of year. Animals are generally at their liveliest and plants are in full bloom. People come out of their homes to sit in the sunshine, have picnics and build sandcastles on the beach. The warmth encourages people to be more chatty and have fun in the sun. This season relates to the Fire Element.

Summer Healing

To receive the healing you will need to call it in. This is done via intention. Here is how to do it: relax, and state your intention out loud or silently, to receive this Summer Healing from Geoff, for your highest good and highest healing. If you are visual you can concentrate on the picture below.

Lake District

Woodland Healing

 Tatton Park

Tatton Park

To receive the healing session all you need to do is read through the passage below and look at the pictures to help you visualize the events.

Imagine walking into a deer park. The path is lined with large beech trees. The deer roam freely through the park. The sheep are newly shawn. Rabbits scatter and run for their warrens as you approach. A light breeze blows through the trees. In ancient times stone age settlers camped by the lake. You feel a deep connection to nature. You wander through the park until you reach a mill pond. A swan move gracefully through the water. You sit on a nearby bench, close your eyes and listen to the sound of rushing water. You have a deep feeling of relaxation and stillness.

swan

 

You sit here for five minutes allowing your mind to wander gently. You feel transported back in medieval times. When you open your eyes you see that your clothing has changed. A wizard with a long grey beard dressed all in red leads you through the park to the lake. As he does so he imparts lost wisdom. Just being in his presence leaves you with a warm feeling inside. Crossing over a bridge you see a heron in the river searching for fish. The sun gleams on the water. You move through the trees and arrive at a large oak tree by the lake. The day is warm and you decide to bathe in the lake. You feel the water washing away your troubles. You sit in the sunshine to dry off. You feel energized with a new sense of purpose in your life. As you walk back towards the entrance you hear the sound of cars in the distance and realize you are back in the present day.

lake