I think I’ve always known that there is a 5th season without really knowing it. I’ve felt it… mostly in that time between mid-August to the autumn equinox in late September. It’s always felt like this strange – not summer + not quite fall – time. Undefined, but, oh so sweet. And “Indian Summer” has never really felt like the right way to describe it. This year, however, information about a 5th season appeared in my Instagram from various accounts I follow. Finally! Yes! It’s true – there is a 5th season and it is everything that we need, y’all.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are 5 seasons – not just 4. And this 5th season is known as Late Summer. It’s not just a random ending to summer, but it is an energetically super important time of the year. Late Summer falls directly in the middle of the Chinese calendar. It is the transitional season that is the center of the cycle of the universe + the rhythm of nature.
A 5th season is mind blowing to me. It is soooo perfect. It makes complete sense to me.
Late Summer is, of course, a shorter season. But, perhaps the most important one. It is the time of shifting from the active yang energy of spring + summer to the restful ying energy of autumn + winter. It is the 4-6 week pause between the expansive, rising months of the year to the inward, descending months.
After the first week of August, I’ve almost always had a longing to “come home”. And now I know why. As we enter 5th season, the high of summer begins to give way to the pause of Late Summer. It is that time when we begin to settle down from the height of summer’s energy, we start to return to routine, and find ourselves perhaps even feeling a bit of melancholy + fatigue.
It will do us good to listen to our body, our emotions, and our intuition during this time. As the center of the rhythm of the year, the 5th season is meant give us a chance to begin to slow down as we prepare for the descent down into the dark, restful energy of autumn + winter.
Also in Traditional Chinese Medicine the element associated with the short 5th season of the year is earth. And this also makes so much sense to me. Earth is full, bursting, and slowing down herself. We see nature heavy, lush, and thick with dark green leaves – some even with twinges of muted, autumn colors. It easy to even feel that all of nature is ready for harvest as the fruits + vegetables hang low, ripe, and ready for picking. Apples, honey, corn, squashes, and berries are perfect foods for these weeks. The very beginning signs of a change are in the air as the days shorten and the nights slowly cool. The sun sets earlier, the colors reflecting the warm, golden, orange colors of the season. This is the season, the time of year, that initiates the harvest season. It is a time of plenty, of reaping + digesting (literally + spiritually) all that we have worked for throughout the year.
If we want to set the tone for the months ahead + the year that is to come, then this season of settling in, slowing down, and pausing as the year cycles on offers us the perfect moment for grounding work. Observing + understanding the rhythms of nature is one way to help us also understand ourselves. These plentiful, in-between weeks before the onset of Autumn are meant for us to take some time to contemplate our present self and we we are going.
This is an earthy, home-y, transitional season… perfect for long, slow pauses to help us recenter ourselves between the activity + growth of the previous seasons and the inward rest of the seasons to come. It is a time to soak in the last of the sun, to bask in her warmth + those last warm summery days. It it a time to enjoy the abundance of the natural world. And, it is a time to consider just how much we have grown so far this year.
So, sink down into this season + welcome it into your own rhythms of life. Tap into the energy of wildflower honey + the setting sun. Slow, warm, sweet, earthy. Welcome to the 5th season, loves.
A few other random updates from my 5th season:
This chick got her Swedish driver’s license – a super hard, long process. But, I kicked ass. And now I’m back out on the roads!
Announcing a new blog + IG series!
Beginning September 1, I am starting a new series that I am so excited about. It’s actually a little more like a school or course. But, I’m doing it here on the blog + on Instagram.
I’m dropping even deeper into the rhythms of nature by offering a monthly guided journey. I will begin each month setting the mood, move into the medicine of the month, and then close out the month with a message of how to bring it all into everyday life.
Each month I’ll follow the same pattern, posting 6 times throughout the month as I move through each monthly cycle. It is a way to really sink into the moon of the month + harvest the energy of the season. Basically, a way to make living slowly in rhythm with nature a reality.
Posts will be on the 1st, 6th, 11th, 16th, 21st, and 26th. My intention is to also share this on Instagram as well.
I hope you’re as excited + intrigued as I am! I’m so freaking excited that I’ve already planned most of everything through the end of the year!