Spring Sale : Equinox (ended 5/27/16)
Note that this sale has expired; we’re leaving the post up so that the information about these Spagyrics is available. To see what’s currently on sale, click here.
Next weekend marks the Spring Equinox, one of two times in the year when day and night length are the same, pivot points of balance between the cold, short-day half of the year and the long days of summer.
In our climate, the yearly seasons seem to connect better with the Celtic calendar, in which the Equinox is the mid-point of Spring, rather than the first day of it as more commonly observed in the US. Here on the southern Oregon coast, Imbolc at the beginning of February brings lambs, daffodils, and fruit tree blossoms to the farms around us, and by the equinox, we are well into our Springtime gardening cycle.
We’re lucky to live in a place temperate enough (if not always dry enough!) to plant so early in the year- the fresh greens of Spring are a welcome change from the winter squash and roots we’ve been eating for a few months now. Many of the plants we grow in our garden not only love the cooler early-season weather, they don’t grow well unless they’re planted before the days start growing longer.
Many plants are exquisitely sensitive to day length, which can be manipulated for human purposes, or just cooperated with for best harvest. In our garden, it seems that Bok Choy especially hates being planted after the equinox, as it bolts right into straggly flowers when we’re even a few days late with sowing.
Observing and following these schedules in the garden naturally leads to connecting with the same ebb and flow of energies within, as the dark side of the year retreats from the growing sunlight of the coming summer; and in a few months, feeling our own energy pull back inwards and down as the garden comes to a rest for winter (except for the kale, which is unstoppable!).
Right now, at the hinge point, day and night are nearly equal- this is the root of the word “equinox“, which means “equal night” in Latin. We spend equal time in each half of the day right now, receiving balanced gifts from the dark, nurturing dream world of night and the bright, lucid and active day.
To support your own explorations of these two sides of the same cosmic coin, we’re having a 20% off sale on Spagyrics for day, night, and the balance between them. These are what we will be playing with in the next couple of weeks, and we hope you will explore them, too! Click here to go right to our sale page, or read on for more information.
For a bright awakening into clear-headed energy and vitality, our Rise & Shine Somalixir is the perfect tonic. Rosemary and Rhodiola bring blood flow and oxygen to brain tissues and awaken mental function, while Ashwagandha and Prince Ginseng support the body in a vitalizing but not overstimulating way.
The complement to Rise and Shine is our Chill Somalixir, with our local Northwest Valerian bringing a peaceful clarity to the mind, Parrot’s Beak and Passionflower releasing the body’s tension, and Amber creating a protective field around your bubble of serenity.
If your yard looks at all like ours after a stormy winter, you’ve got a lot of work to do out there, and Schizandra is a great herb to support healthy energy and physical endurance. In many studies, this sour Chinese berry supports stamina and strength, while acting as a tonic to the adrenals so that the extra work does not come at the cost of your long term health. Our Schizandra Essence is a popular Spagyric, as it expresses these properties in a wonderful way.
At the end of the day, if you’re tired but too sore or amped to sleep, our Hops Essence can help you drift off to restorative rest. The extra-sedative qualities of some beers are due to Hops more than the alcohol content, and the bitter components that add flavour are also antispasmodic to the digestive system. This all comes together to make Hops a good choice if tension or indigestion are keeping you awake.
Another bitter tonic herb, but on the stimulating side, is Gynostemma- known as “magical grass” in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This plant has some of the same tonic constituents as Ginseng, but directed more specifically towards digestion and metabolism. Our Gynostemma Spiritualized Essence is a good quick pick-me-up when you need it, and also helps the body’s metabolism and oxygen use work more efficiently so that vitality is increased over time.
From the other side of the world in the South American tropics, Mulungu is a tree used as jewelry and medicine. The bark is used to calm all kinds of upset, from the emotional agitation of anxiety and insomnia to overstimulated physical conditions like spasmodic cough, inflammation, and heart palpitations. Long-term studies have supported Mulungu for anxiety and chronic insomnia.
Our bodies need sleep to repair and rejuvenate, but our minds need it to work through the day and integrate our experiences in the form of dreams. Calea is an important herb from Mexico which is used to enhance the duration, intensity, and usefulness of the dreaming state. Studies have shown that use of Calea brings dreamers into REM state much more quickly, and out of sleep into wakefulness as the dreams subside. This pattern has been widely reported by customers using our Calea Alchymical Initiatic, and although it is not a restful way to sleep, it can be very helpful for those who do not remember their dreams, as it brings the sleeper into consciousness while the dream is still fresh.
Another herb associated with dreamwork is, paradoxically, Guayusa, consumed as a stimulating morning tea in Ecuador. Like its relative Yerba Mate, Guayusa tea is an excellent beverage for waking up to greet the day, which to the Kichwa people includes recall and discussion of the previous night’s dreams. Like the tea, our Guayusa Initiatic supports the recall of dreams, considered by the Kichwa to be the first step in planning the day’s activities, since dream insights are often directly related to daytime events and can guide us from a higher level of wisdom.
In addition to working with different Spagyrics for the Solar/day and Lunar/night energies, we can also add Spagyrics which are naturally poised between those two states of energy. These herbs or formulas encompass seemingly disparate directions of effect, but brought together intelligently within the plant, they bring dynamically balanced qualities to our being.
Lavender is the classic Western herb of balance, loved as an oil for its pleasant scent and ability to both calm and uplift as needed. As a Magistery of Mercury, this balanced intelligence is also present, making it a good ally to have on hand for almost any situation. Depressed moods lift with just a small dose of this powerful Spagyric, while overstimulated mental states are brought to clarity by its gentle calming effect.
Melissa, also known as Lemon Balm, is another herb which naturally encompasses both uplifting and calming effects. Many of you have heard us describe this herb’s effect as bringing the energy of “a fat and happy baby”, and that is the image we always see when we work with this bright and delicious Spiritualized Essence. It is a great herb for children when they work themselves into red-faced, tight states of anger and frustration, and it can also bring us grownups down from that ugly place, too!
Working from a deeper level of tonification, Ashwagandha is perhaps the archetypal embodiment of a balanced herb. Recommended as a boost to energy but also a support to sleep, these opposite effects come from deep balancing of the same energetic coin. Taken at night, our Ashwagandha Essence supports deep sleep, and its effects continue into the next day as better energy, vitality, and stamina. Once bedtime rolls around again, another dose of Ashwagandha lets the adrenals know it’s time for rest, and over time, a healthy sleep-wake cycle is established.
The gifts of both the awake and aware Solar energy and the deep, unconscious Lunar space can also be brought together in a formula of different ingredients, and that is what our Midnight Sun Somalixir was created for. The day-blooming Blue Waterlily, which looks like the sun in a clear sky, supported by the electric energy of Amber, come together with the white Lunar expression of Sacred Lotus and moony Pearl. Together, these herbs and minerals integrate the energy circuits of the body. Useful for Tai Qi, Qi Gong, and the Taoist energy rotation technique the Microcosmic Orbit, Midnight Sun is a powerful adjunct to any practice where complementary energies need to be accessed together.