We are midway through the month of May, and it’s been a strange one for folks around the world in quarantine. And yet, perhaps you were able to feel a shift in the temperature of the winds, or get out into the warming sun and witness some blooming flowers. April showers are said to bring May flowers and in this month we celebrate the fertility of nature in many ancient traditions, and Mother’s Day in our current calendar. As parents, one way to reconnect with our bodies and with our children is to investigate the flower. Flowers are the reproductive organs of the plants around us, they contain both traditionally masculine and traditionally feminine biological aspects and while some plants can self-fertilize, most plant life needs an outside pollinator like birds, bees, and other insects. These creatures work in concert to bring pollen, which is the seed, into the womb space at the depth of the flower where the nectar lies. Flowering trees ripen into fruits, which they give of freely to all creatures; aquatic flowers oxygenate the water for the entire ecosystem within, and wild flowers provide fresh food, nectar and seed for animals while preventing soil erosion, and they often provide medicine for the human mindbody and spirit as well. The flowers that we curate in our gardens and homes create the ecosystem that we live within, and when they bloom, they reflect our own beauty and creative capacity.
We are coming off of the energy of the full moon in the sign of the scorpion, which may have been very intense for some people, as it was for me. I needed some processing of all that came up during that time (it was exact on Thursday May 7), and some resources to work with, as it went deep and dark. I work to not be afraid of the dark inner spaces that can emerge in relation to the scorpion, but to practice self-awareness to increase my own healing capacity and to integrate aspects of my self that I may have been pushing away. This process of integration is the basis of personal growth. The scorpion is known for its poisonous sting, which causes great change and even death in its victim. Yet the venom of this much maligned insect has been used since ancient times as medicine and is being rediscovered my modern biomedicine for its healing powers as well. Scorpio is the sign of the zodiac where we face transformation, it is the realm where we are initiated into a new way of being.
This initiation mirrors the process of becoming a parent where certain aspects of the self must be released in order to come into balance with the sweet life force of your new baby. We must change in order to become parents, and we have nine months to prepare for that change, but we can also continue adjusting as we learn more about ourselves as parents, and as our children develop into their own unique flowers. The more resistance we have to that change, the more we might feel challenged during the postpartum period; which while medically considered to be two years after the birth of a child is actually an active phase of new emotions, hormones, and intuitions that continues until menopause.
Outside of the realm of parenthood, all creation involves the accessing of parts of the self that we may not have engaged with, and big projects of works of art can be just as much a process of birth and release as the bringing of a human into the world. The Scorpio full moon has offered us a chance to see who we have become, and to pivot away from habits or reactive patterns that no longer serve us in our role of becoming who we want to be in this world. Much may have come to light for you, and I offer this meditation to help you work through it.
While the sun remains in the earth sign of Taurus, we have the continued opportunity to connect with our fertility, our inner creative force that not only makes new life but brings all types of beauty into the world through the work of our heart, mind, and hands. We connect with the joy of this creativity through our senses in how we perceive the world around us and also through our sensuality in how we interact with our own bodies and selves. We can bring the two together by connecting physically with the energy of our Mother Earth and experiencing the abundance of her many manifestations. One flower among many which can help to facilitate that focus is the poppy.
The gorgeous red of poppies is ripe with connotations in popular culture and mythology because the poppy is a powerful sedative medicine and has been connected with its relationship to sleep, or death. Again, another source of healing that has been forgotten and abused in modern culture. Poppy is what is called a pharmakon, the Greek root word that brings us pharmacology, which means a substance that is both a poison and a cure. All remedies are, depending on the dosage. The healing power of the poppy latex has been co-opted for its addictive qualities, and yet the unprocessed seed remains a useful home remedy.
In Ayurveda, the poppy seed is used as a gentle and warming sleep remedy, as well as an antispasmodic to calm the nerves and the smooth muscle for relief of cramping, spasm, and cough. Its astringent nature also makes it a tasty and soothing remedy for diarrhea. It has a healing effect on the blood, plasma, muscles, and nerves. On a spiritual level, the bright red of the poppy connects us to our root energy, brings us back to our mother earth and allows us to go deep within to confront some of our deepest blocks. An exploration of the calming energy of poppy can bring about deep healing, which is shared in the meditation below. We choose to take our healing into our own hands, instead of waiting for the much more dramatic sting of the Scorpion to do it for us.
The Scorpio full moon offers a unique opportunity to release stagnation deep within our identities, lifestyles and habits, to create space for the flowering of our inner selves to continue. Every full moon is truly an opportunity to celebrate our successes and to adjust our perspectives to see what hasn’t worked so well for us during the lunar cycle. This one is special for its deep power to penetrate into the depths of the mindbody and soul, and the effects of whatever was revealed will be working on us at least until the Scorpio new moon in mid-November, and possibly beyond.
While this meditation aligns with the season, we have the opportunity to continue release these patterns that no longer serve us every month when we release blood from the womb, and during every dark moon cycle. While it has been called a curse by some, the shedding of blood is truly a deep gift for detoxifying the mindbody and spirit towards inner and outer growth. In Ayurveda, the menstrual cycle is explained as the reason why women tend to live longer than men, because they are doing a natural monthly detoxification! This meditation can be used at any time to connect to that process within, and it is deeply tied to the feminine energy. Those who do not identify with the feminine can use this meditation to begin to connect to their inner feminine energy, and to the deep red core of Mother Earth. Enjoy your flowering self, for you nurture the world!