As we settle into the month of September and begin to embrace the transseasonal shifts around us, we are taking the time to tune in to how we feel in our bodies and engaging with mindful rituals.
A self care ritual can add a sense of structure, calm and ceremony to our days. With this in mind, we are looking forward to hosting a new workshop series at Glasshouse. Titled Elemental Aromatherapy, these workshops with Abi Titterington-Lough are rooted in exploring ancient rituals for modern times to nurture and restore the skin, body, mind & spirit. Every edition will be unique in order to explore the archetypes and aspects of each of the Five Elements. Each will be an opportunity to anchor into your body, elevate your skin and spirit and ultimately harness the energy and potential that each element has to offer.
The Five Elements are an ancient tenet of Chinese wisdom, utilised in everything from acupuncture and traditional medicine to martial arts, philosophy and feng shui. With the help of Abi, we will be diving into each of the elements in more detail over the course of these events and our journal series.
"For me, it’s a beautiful lens to view the world from and marvel at how intrinsically everything is connected. To observe the cycles of the seasons; the duality of how they compliment and contrast one another, while also recognising how the relationship between the elements and seasons is essential for maintaining optimal balance in both our mind and body," explains Abi.
The Five Elements represent energies that succeed each other in a continuous constructive and destructive cycle; Wood feeds Fire, Fire creates Earth, Earth bears Metal, Metal collects Water, and Water nourishes Wood.
Our first edition takes place on Sunday 24th September, upon the arrival of the Autumn Equinox. "Autumn corresponds with the Metal element, known as the “the alchemist”, symbolising renewal and transformation, honouring reverence and the art of letting go. Like the trees begin to shed their leaves to prepare for deep rest throughout winter, it is time to gently gravitate inwards away from the Yang of summer, into more Yin rituals and practices."
Below, Abi has outlined some of the key components of Metal, alongside some holistic self care suggestions we can all enjoy; "We can work with the elements in playful and practical ways; from tending to our physical bodies to our psychological queries, our skincare routine to our diet and daily habits."
Organs: Lungs (Yin) and Large Intestine (Yang)
Values & Virtues: Purity, Aesthetics, Precision, Receptivity, Reverence
Flavour: Sour, Pungent
Highest Expression and Negative Emotion: Courage and Grief
Physical symptoms of Metal imbalance: respiratory issues, catching colds and flus, congested nose, dry skin (particularly around nose, mouth & neck, fatigue).
Psychological symptoms of Metal imbalance: overly controlling or rigid, perfectionism, excessive sadness, fear of intimacy and/or spontaneity.
Seasonal Self Care / Autumn & Metal Element:
- -Breathwork, Qi Gong, gentle yoga
- - Gua sha or jade roller with a facial oil
- - Rosehip tea
- - Fermented foods like kimchi, kefir and sauerkraut, purple foods like aduki or black beans, plums, grapes and olives. The more sour, the better.
- - Amethyst crystal
- - Eucalyptus, cypress, fragonia, thyme essential oils
Release & Let Go:
"As we draw closer to the Autumn Equinox and enter into Metal, now is a time to 'let go'. As the trees begin to shed their leaves, and prepare for the deep hibernation of Winter and the Water element, we too begin to let go. It can be helpful to consider the duality in letting go of everything that no longer serves (releasing our leaves) and being grateful for all that remains (our strong roots, our foundation). The leaves we shed during the Metal element (Autumn) go into the earth and decompose to create new life and abundance when Wood (Spring) comes round again."
Reverence & Ritual:
"Energetically, Metal relates to intuition, protection and transmutation. Nicknamed 'the alchemist,' the lowest vibrational emotion associated with Metal is grief, while the highest is reverence. Brewing tea slowly and drinking it from your best cup, combing your hair with care, lighting a scented candle at breakfast time, how can you create little moments of reverence in daily life? Through your own unique rituals; engage the Metal Element values of solitude, virtue, boundaries and precision."
To explore this topic further, join us on Sunday 24th September and land into the new season by tuning into the breath, connecting to the metal element, creating your own nourishing facial oil and experiencing the power of touch. Through sensory exploration and self inquiry, the invitation is to release physical and emotional tension, clear stagnation and blockages and connect with our inner alchemist.
Book your place here.
Images: Natasha Marshall for 20A Aromatherapy.