In Iroquois Native American culture, seasons were not about the calendar, but about nature. Things like climate, ripe plant foods, and harvests marked the changing of the seasons. In June, the Iroquois have long celebrated a strawberry festival to mark the summer season. The long-told stories say that the full strawberry moon signals that the season is upon us. Since we just had a rare full strawberry moon, I thought you’d like to hear the significance from the Iroquois perspective.
Strawberries were honored for their medicinal qualities. A strawberry tonic would be created for the thanksgiving ceremony, where there would be singing, dancing and celebrating. Strawberries signified renewal and hope. It was believed that they lined the path to heaven.
This marking of summer is one of many thanksgiving ceremonies the Iroquois had. In Native American medicine, the concepts of renewal and repeated thanks played a role in preventative medicine. Remembering, honoring, and continued thanks were believed to bring balance in the world and within communities and individuals.
Interestingly, in Chinese medicine, summer is also a time of renewal. To let go of old wounds and allow ourselves to expand and grow in lightness, brightness and creativity. The abundance of nature during summer is meant to remind us of the abundance we already have inside of us.
If you are using food as medicine, you might focus on the following…
- Ripe fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors
- Lighter cooking (quick steaming, sautéing, or simmering) or raw foods (if you can digest them!)
- Lighter foods and meals that don’t create sluggishness
Focus on Balance in Heart & Mind
This is a time to focus on your heart, joy, love, and laughter. It is a time to look for heart-mind imbalances, like a scattered mind, depression, anxiety, lack of joy, memory loss, circulation issues — all of these signify an opportunity to go within and listen to the symptoms. Allow them to speak to you, letting you know which emotions are wanting to be expressed. Summer is a time of releasing old emotional wounds.
Sometimes, we need to learn to trust ourselves and our intuition to recognize how to let go, so that we can move forward.
Summer Thanksgiving Meditation for Renewal & Hope
Each morning and evening, placing one hand on your heart and another on your 3rd chakra in the center of your abdomen, say these words or something like them….