Ah, August, how quickly you've come around again...
The last full month of Summer, this time of the year can sometimes feel a little melancholy as the evenings start to draw in more quickly and the first hints of an autumnal chill creep into the air after dark. But August is truly a gorgeous month! Abundant for foragers and full of gloriously long, hazy days, time for fresh morning walks and gathering around a fire at dusk with friends.
The start of the month sees us in the waning crescent phase of the Moon where only a small edge is being illuminated, the last stage before a new full Moon. This phase is particularly beautiful when viewed a couple of hours before sunrise, it really is worth the early start! The surface of the Moon is also easier to observe (especially with binoculars) thanks to the incredible, long shadows cast by it's craters. Spiritually, a waning crescent is a LOW ENERGY phase and is a time of reflection, to sit back and explore where you are with yourself right now. Explore any stress or negative thoughts and how you might begin to change these and make a fresh start as the new Moon makes its arrival. This is a good time to SET INTENTIONS for the coming weeks.
Historically, August was known as 'Harvest Month' due to it's abundance of plants fruits and vegetables. The Anglo Saxons however referred to August as 'Weed Month' or the month of long grasses! On the first day of August, Lammas Day was celebrated in Britain as a thanksgiving for a bountiful crop where it was tradition to bringing a loaf of bread (often shaped into animals or plants) made from the new wheat crop to church for a blessing.
The vibrant Gladiolus and Poppy are the August birth flowers - pinks, reds and purples - a stunning array of colours and the true embodiment of Summertime!
SoulNatural - the SoulSimple Guide to the Natural World
For the month of August we have decided to explore the bountiful blackberry as our celebrated plant.
Blackberries, along with raspberries, belong to the genus Rubus. There are over 300 species of blackberry and they have been used in Europe for thousands of years for both food and medicine. The Native Americans used blackberries as a dye for animal skins, the same gorgeous colour which stains the tips of your fingers when picking the berries from the hedgerows!
Farmed crops of blackberries start appearing in the shops around June time but the best wild berries don't start until July ripening through August and into September which is the optimum time for foraging. An English folklore however warns against picking blackberries after Michaelmas Day on September 29 when the Devil was said to poison any of the fruits left on the bushes!
Both the berries and leaves of this plant are extremely potent and, just in time for picking the ripest fruits, we will share with you some of our favourite recipes and methods for using them in foods, medicines and rituals.
SoulWoman and SoulTouch: Nurturing Yourself at Home
Throughout July, we explored Sacred Self Care, what it is and how it can improve the wellbeing of your body, mind and soul. As we continue our journey, we are starting to look at ways we can nurture ourselves at home - something we call SoulWoman.
Our SoulWoman Retreats focus on deep relaxation and renewing, taking time to re-center and re-connect in an incredibly busy and stressful world. As women, we carry many titles; daughter, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, friend, and all of these come with responsibility and time that we must dedicate to each relationship. In this, it is easy to become negligent of our own bodies and needs and put aside the same energy for ourselves which we give to others. We encourage all of our guests to spend their time here truly focusing on their own bodies and listening to their own needs. Self Care is not selfish and is completely necessary for in order to achieve a more complete sense of wellbeing. Taking time to work on being the BEST VERSION of yourself will, in turn, benefit others around you and your relationships with them.
SoulWoman is also about celebrating and finding joy where it is sometimes over-looked, about trying to live a more MEANINGFUL life. This of course means something different to everybody but we hope to invite you to spend some time considering what this might mean to you and how it can enrich your life.
Join us throughout August as we learn more from Vittoria, the founder of SoulSimple, and her team with their teachings on meditation, crystals, breath work, yoga, movement and nature in order to help nourish and heal our bodies....
SoulSource: Lifelong Healing - Introduction to the Lymphatic System
All day long, everyday, your whole life - you have this body. Through our Retreats, classes and this blog we’re inviting you to become intimate with it. Get to know it - so you can have the VERY BEST experience of life. Even now, whilst you're reading this, try placing your hands somewhere on your body and acknowledge the POWER of your incredible body.
The more you understand your body the more you can embrace the miracle of being here.
We want to talk to you about an incredibly important part of our bodies that is almost always over-looked and definitely not taught about enough - the LYMPHATIC SYSTEM. In this post we will explore exactly what our Lymphatic System is and what role it plays in our bodies.
The Lymphatic System is a network of tissues and organs and is an extremely important part of our immune system. It is made up of many different parts including the appendix, tonsils, lymph nodes, bone marrow and the largest, the spleen, which all play a vital part in supporting our health.
Inside your lymph nodes which can be found in your neck, armpits and groin, are white blood cells which attack and break down bacteria, viruses and damaged cells. Lymph fluid then carries the waste products and destroyed bacteria back into the bloodstream for the liver or kidneys to remove from the blood. It is an incredibly efficient and complex process which keeps our bodies healthy and well!
The Lymphatic System is the least understood and most undervalued of all the body systems, yet Lymphatic fluid runs everywhere that blood flows throughout your body, even within your organs and bone marrow! Without it, we wouldn't be able to survive which is why it is so important to help keep it as healthy as possible, something we will venture in to through the coming weeks.
SoulScapes: Painting your emotions and why creativity is so important
As children we spend so much time exploring our creativity, drawing and painting, collecting leaves and flowers and using them to stencil, making colourful collages and writing poems and stories. This is so important not only for brain development but as a way of expressing ourselves and visualising how we are feeling right now, good or bad.
SoulSimple doesn't believe creativity should stop at childhood! We encourage you to keep exploring, every day. Start today by cooking something you haven't eaten before, try a crafting project or paint some colourful rocks or pots to add to your garden... we are always surprised how this focus on the process of creating can take us away from ourselves and relax our minds and bodies in a way that can be hard to achieve otherwise. You might even discover a new hobby or interest that you didn't realise you enjoyed until now.
We run dedicated SoulScapes Retreats which invite our guests to spend the day painting from their HEARTS AND EMOTIONS, fuelled by their environment and feelings in that moment. It is an incredibly intuitive way to create something and express yourself. We also include a guided meditation session and angelic Reiki sound bath relaxation to truly immerse yourself into the experience.
Our upcoming Emergent Arts Project will be an extension of this and we hope to run workshops and events to encourage more people to discover this exciting art form.
Until next time,
The SoulSimple Family x