Our nature

Our nature
Jacqui van Heerden

According to the ancient science of Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, all the elements that are contained in nature are in us. In nature there is a rhythm, a pulse that keeps things in harmony.  When this rhythm is broken, either through man’s intervention or a disturbance, there is discord – nature bounces back and always starts building again, if we allow her.

We can also see this play out on a piece of land when it is disturbed. The pioneer species of the area first come in to do their work and make the ground more suitable for other plants and so on and so on and this is succession.

This rhythm is visible to us in the seasons around the world where there are certain timings of things which serve as an indication for various plants and animals to behave in certain ways – to sprout, bloom, seek a mate or hibernate.

The moon is a clear rhythm from which nature takes its impulse, with plants adapting their sap and root growth in cohesion with the waxing and waning of the moon.

In nature there is a time to seed, to bloom, to die and be reborn. Nature rests too.

Birds and creatures are regular with their patterns of waking and sleeping in time with the sunrise and sunset of a day. You don’t see many unhealthy birds as they follow this rhythm, their nature. Animals know when it’s optimum for them to eat, drink, rest and move.


Our ancestors through the ages have looked to these timings of nature and taken their cue to thrive and survive. Often, they would rise with the sun and head inside with the fall of the sun and plant their crops and harvest with the moon cycles and seasons.


Over the years we have removed ourselves more and more from this natural rhythm and possibly if we find our way back to these timings and align ourselves, we might live more in harmony, suffering less discord and disease.

Likewise, if we can tune ourselves more into nature and follow her rhythm we will feel more in harmony with our surroundings.

The first step is to have a rhythm, a regular time of rising and going to bed, regular eating of meals.

The practice of Ayurveda and Chinese medicine recognises that our bodies’ energy and organs are activated at different times of the day and that certain hours of the day correspond to certain organs in our bodies. 

Following the natural rhythm of our own body enhances health. Going against the natural rhythm of our body decreases health.

The moon and solstices have long been a guide for humanity to stay in rhythm.

Since our body contains a big percentage of water, we are influenced by the pull of the moon in the same way that tides and plants are. The moon goes through eight phases in its cycle of 29-and-a-half days.

Each phase of the moon has unique characteristics that are significant to the rhythm of life that is within each of us, and we travel across different emotional, and energy states the same way the moon travels around the earth.

If we are attuned to these phases, we are better able to understand others and ourselves. 

During the new moon, the moon phase brings with it themes of new beginnings as well as clean slates and fresh starts.  This is the time to unplug and turn away from draining energy.

The waxing crescent moon represents hope; it’s a time to plant your desires and intentions.

During the first quarter moon, we start to feel a call to action and decision-making.

The waxing gibbous moon sees the moon almost entirely illuminated and this phase brings with it themes of refinement, adjustment, and editing.

During the full moon, emotions may run high, and we may need to seek balance. 

The waning gibbous moon signifies gratitude. Themes of gratitude, enthusiasm and sharing are strong. This is a good time to be giving back to those around you. 

During the third quarter moon, it is a time for release, forgiveness and letting go, a great time to cleanse and get rid of emotional or physical clutter that has accumulated.

The waning crescent moon sees the last fraction of the moon illuminated in the final phase before the new moon. The feelings surrounding this phase are surrender, rest and recuperation. 

Our ancestors have had many celebrations and rituals timed around the various solstices and equinoxes.

More and more as we realise, we are not separate from nature, what beats within her beats within us, there is an invitation to tune our rhythm to hers and know our true nature – living in rhythm and wellness. •

Nature waits patiently for us to join her.

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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