The State of Your Animal StorehouseJan 26, 2022
How goes your winter dreaming, friends?
I feel summer close despite diving deeper into the dark waters of the season. My dreams have been of rusty-patched bumblebees and their most beloved prairie clover and anise hyssop. Of days when you can tell time by the flowers opening and closing. Of days with that certain kind of light that sparkles through the long grasses, numinous and unruly.
These are not dreams of escape or longing, but of what waits deeper beneath. Even in these days of icy eyelashes and subdued sunrises, summer holds the hand of winter deep in the ground, more intertwined, less separate than we thought before.
The lands we are traversing are getting stranger by the day. Apprenticing ourselves to the fluid medicine of the Water element feels particularly helpful in these polarized times. Water is yin, it is yang, it is feminine, it is masculine, it is a beginning and an ending. It knows how to smoothly move around obstacles. It exists beyond our compartmentalizing, bringing harmony beyond seeming opposites.
Water held us in the womb, when we were just small slick fish, developing in our mother’s darkness. Here, water nourished us, resourced us in the development of our spine, our limbs, our brains. Here, water cradled us in the in-between, the liminal dreaming of moving from spirit to form. Here, water taught us about safety, peace, the power of gestation, the good of deep rest.
It was with a rush of water that we emerged into this world, ready to express our own unique expression of beingness. We left water but it lives in us still: not only in the pulsating fluids of our spinal column and brain, our bone marrow, sexual fluids, hormones, lymph and blood but also within our souls. It goes deeper, to the unseen, primal, instinctual, non-verbal aspects of our nervous system, linking us to the embedded ancient knowing within our “reptilian brain,” the inherited wisdom our animal selves.
The Water element is associated with the Kidney meridian, which is the sacred holding ground of our bodies. Kidney energy relates to how we use our vital essence, our fire, our genetic codes. It reflects how we age, how we adapt, and how we understand our limits. When in balanced alignment, our drive, desire, and ambition is linked with the soul needs of our being.
Easier said than done, in my experience. I don’t know if I believe in the existence of some perfect balance—life is too damned nuanced for that. And there is an essential learning we gather in the struggle to discern the limits of our inner resources. There is something to this tussle to know ourselves better.
Putting one hand on your lower belly, one hand on your lower back, breathe into this space between your palms.
What is the state of this animal storehouse for you?
What do you want to give your life’s energy to?
How have your practices (spiritual and otherwise) buoyed you—or not— during the last couple years?
What is the soul of the matter, both personal and collective?
These are questions worthy of returning to over and over again. What plucky, creative (but simple) ways to strengthen our reserves may we need in these cracking, crumbling times?
Offerings of summer flowers to brighten your journey.
January 2022 Newsletter