One of the hallmarks of spring is the blooming of the vibrant and colorful dandelion. Emerging as soon as the coldest of the temperatures ease, the blooming of the dandelions affirm that the long, dark winter is indeed over and summer is just around the corner. In today’s post, and in honor of the Spring Equinox and the incredible dandelion, I offer a spring tonic and meditative journey to celebrate the Spring Equinox and learn more about the mysteries of the dandelion. This is one of my monthly AODA-themed posts, so I hope you enjoy it and have a blessed spring equinox!
About the Dandelion
The blooming of the dandelions is a special time of year. For us here in Western PA, dandelions bloom just as the final frosts are easing, and are a sign that we can start planting some of our more tending crops in the coming weeks. Then it is dandelion blooming week, where every dandelion growing in an area will bloom. You will see the most amazing fields of dandelion blooms–and then the next week, they will all turn to beautiful seed puffs and scatter to the wind. If you want to make dandelion wine or dandelion jelly, you have a short window in which to collect copious amounts of dandelion flowers before they all turn to seed and scatter.
Dandelion is one of the most widespread plants in the world; it was native to Europe and Asia and is now naturalized throughout the globe. Dandelion was spread far and wide by peoples migrating from Europe and Asia for the simple fact that it is an incredibly rich source of nutrients as a healing food and also it is fantastic medicine. Dandelion is very rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, and low in calories, making it a very good green to integrate into your diet regularly. They are particularly high in Vitamin K and A, and also contain good amounts of Calcium, Iron, and Vitamin C. It also has a range of medicinal benefits–it is known as a bitter herb, diuretic, and supports the detoxification of the body. In many parts of Appalachia, including here in Northern Appalachia in Western PA, people would brew up a spring tonic to help “thin the blood.” What these tonics actually did was help support the liver (Sassafras) and Kidneys (Dandelion, Nettle), flush these organs of toxins, and promote more healthy elimination. Thus, this is another reason that Dandelion is a great springtime healing herb.
Dandelion Meditative Journey
The following meditation can be used as part of a solo or small group ritual for celebrating the Spring Equinox or any other time. This meditation focuses on exploring the dandelion’s mysteries and connecting you to the great energies of the universe.
Optional Interaction: Plant meditations work best when you have interacted with the plant in the physical world in some way prior to starting your journey. This puts you in touch with both the. This could be greeting a plant outside, eating some dandelion greens, or drinking a dandelion root spring tonic tea prior to the start of the ceremony. I’ve offered two dandelion tea recipes at the bottom of this post.
The Meditative Journey
Begin with opening up a sacred grove, doing smoke cleansing, or anything else that will help prepare and protect you for the journey to come.
Slow your breathing down and do the four-fold breath: breath in for four counts, hold for four counts, breathe out for four counts, and hold for four counts. As you breathe, feel yourself relaxing into this time and space.
As you continue to do the four-fold breath, imagine the deep green of the dandelion leaves in the air around you. As you breathe, breathe in that green energy, allowing it to sink within you.
You are standing before a field. As far as your eye can see, the field is covered in blooming dandelions. The warm spring sun is high in the sky, warming the earth. A smiling man with dandelion gold hair walks toward you. He greets you and says, “I and my tribe welcome the sun back to the earth after a long and cold winter. The sun’s rays, full of solar energy, bless the land and energize it for the season that is to come. It seems that you, too, have experienced the darkness and cold of winter. Come now, and lay in the field, and allow the solar current to infuse you with the joy and light of the sun. The sun’s rays will prepare you for the journey ahead.”
As the field is so inviting, you lay for a time, and bask in the sun. You feel the sun’s rays come down upon you, nourishing you, vitalizing you, and filling you with vitality and energy for the coming season. Take a moment to Listen for any other messages or feelings you might have as the solar energy imbues you with light.
When you are finished, you stand and your guide greets you once again. He says, “The Dandelion is unique that it is one of the few plants that offer true balance–the flowers of the dandelion, which I represent, are solar in nature and welcome back the sun. Dandelion flowers can aid you in times of darkness by bringing back the light. However, the dandelion also basks in the light of the moon. Let us now meet another spirit of the dandelion and continue our journey.”
As you walk closer, you see that one cluster of dandelions grows larger and larger, until it is taller than the tallest tree. Next to the stem cluster, you see a young woman. She is silver-haired with brown skin and has fine features. She smiles and greets you, “I and my tribe welcome you to journey deep within the mysteries of the dandelion. The roots of the dandelion go deep into the fertile earth, drawing up the rays of earth energy that runs through the land. The telluric current offers strength, grounding, and purpose and allows us to shed that which no longer serves you. Will you enter and experience the blessing of the telluric current? ”
She steps back and lifts a small green leaf to reveal a door into the center of the dandelion stalk and down into the root. The two of you enter. As you journey into the root of the dandelion, you see a green-gold pool full of telluric energy welling up from the roots of the dandelion tree. She smiles and says, “Now that you have been energized and blessed with the solar current, you are ready to shed your weary burdens. The long and dark months of the recent past have added to your burdens. Shed that which you no longer want to carry. Take only what you want to take forward. When you are ready, we will be waiting for you.”
As you shed your burdens and stay within the dark roots of the dandelion for a time, feel the energy of the Telluric current welling around you. When time has passed and you are free of your burdens, you return to the door to be greeted by both the solar and lunar avatars of the dandelion.
As you exit the door, you see that night has fallen. The moon reflects in the starry night sky, and you look upon the great field full of dandelions. All of the dandelions have gone to seed and the field appears as though thousands of full moons are there upon the earth.
Both guides come to stand together, holding hands. “You have received the blessing of the solar current, from the sun and the turning wheel of the stars above you. The solar current has revitalized you from the weariness of the dark half of the year. You have received the blessing of the telluric current of the spirit that resides below, of the nurturing heart of the earth, cast your burdens. Now, we send you off on your journey to seed the future what is to come.”
You see a glowing child who is frolicking with a seed pod in their hands, far off in the field. They laugh and begin running towards you, with dandelion seeds spiraling up into the warm sprint air. The child says, “We children know that when you blow on a dandelion, you make wishes. If the seeds fly far enough, wishes come true.”
After you answer, they hand you a seed pod. “Put your intentions into this pod. Think about what you would most like to bring into being this coming season.” As you meditate on this intention, you see the green-gold energy of the telluric current welling up below you, and the golden energy of the solar current coming down from above. The lunar energies swirl into your seed pod, adding energy to your intention for the coming season. The child nods and blows their own seed head, and beckons for you to do the same.
As you blow, the child says, “Watch the seeds as they blow in the wind and see what messages they have.” You do so, pausing for as long as necessary.
The child smiles and says, “The seeds are off on their journey, but they will need your help to bring your intention into reality. Think about what you might do as the next sun rises to help you on your new journey.”
The three aspects of the spirit of the dandelion come together to stand with you and the four of you watch as the full moon sets and as the sun rises with a brilliant splendor. As the sun rises, the dandelion seeds continue to spiral around you, and you are filled with joy and purpose.
Your guides leave you with parting words, “By bringing together the energies of the earth with energies of the sun, we come into a place of balance and the lunar current is born. And it is in this sacred connection that offers us the spark of Nywfre, the life energy that allows all things to come into being. Through the power of the sun and the moon, through the power of the heavens and earth, the dandelion will aid you on your journey to come.”
You can close your grove in the usual manner. Finish the journey by having a cup of dandelion and other herbal tea.
About the Symbolism in the Meditative Journey
In my work with the dandelion over the years, I have always been fascinated by how this incredible plant can hold such potent solar and lunar energies. Through these meditations and work, this journey was born. The symbolism in this journey uses the Druid Revival concepts of the solar current, the telluric current, and the lunar current, or the three aspects of spirit in a seven-element system. In the Druid Revival, it is the synthesis of the solar current, the light coming down from the sun and heavens, with the telluric current, the light rising from the earth, that allows the spark of life, Nywfre, and the lunar current to be born. For more on these concepts, consider checking out this post! This system is used by the Aas our core energetic system.
Dandelion Spring Tonic Tea
If you’d like to supplement this guided journey, you can make either of these delightful teas:
Roasted Dandelion Root “Coffee”
Dandelion root tea is a very rich and warming tea that helps support the body’s natural cleansing with a specific alterative action (which supports the liver’s healthy functioning). Roots are best gathered in the fall and early spring before the dandelions have started into flowers. Dig your dandelion roots and put them in a bucket of water. Let them soak for a bit, and then swish them around, and repeat a few times. This will get most of the dirt off of them–the rest can be scrubbed off. Dandelion roots can be finely chopped and roasted for about 30 min in a 350-degree oven. They are done when they brown nicely. Then, you would make this like any other root tea–boil for 10 minutes with the lid on, add honey if you’d like, and enjoy.
Dandelion Flower and Leaf Tea. Dandelion leaf also helps cleanse the body, with specific support for the kidneys, with diuretic action. Pick fresh dandelion flowers and leaves and simply pour over boiling water, let steep for 5 min, and then enjoy. Dried leaves actually make a better tea (dried herbs have the plant cell walls ruptured, so they are easier to extract the medicine). Be aware that dandelion leaf is a diuretic (makes you pee).
Enjoy a cup of either tea as a spring tonic and a way to begin or end your meditative journey with the dandelion.