Imbolc, Liver Health, Glutathione, and the River


Brigid’s Cross made for Imbolc, a Celtic observance

With the many rites of the coming spring in full force (Imbolc, Lunar New Year, Groundhog Day, Candlemas, etc), the warmer weather has me feeling…not only revivified…but also thinking, carefully, about where my energy goes as we enter this new cycle.

Just like a archer aiming her arrow, I think about what I want this arrow to launch itself toward…now that I’ve drawn back my energy (the bow) during these winter months.  Habitual ruts of energy output begin to give way to new ways I can design my life.  If it worked last year…or the year before…it doesn’t mean that it will work this year.

Some things will stay.  Some things will fall away.  Even the simple things that are let go of need to be grieved if even with a flash of the heart.  Even the things that don’t work anymore and may have even caused harm to self or other need to be grieved…for it is still a parting.  Even some of the comforting, cozy things need to be let go of…for even they keep us from raw truths and experiences of our perfectly-imperfect life journey.

And so, I hold that arrow steady…drawn back…against taut bow strings…and scan the horizon with its pointed tip…one eye open…

“If we were to abuse our children, Social Services would show up at our doors. If we were to abuse our pets, the Humane Society would come to take us away. But there is no Creativity Patrol or Soul Police to intervene if we insist on starving our own souls. There is just us. We are the only ones to watch over the soul-Self and the heroic animus.”
~ Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves

Apparently, I’ve been feeling contemplative, lately (imagine that).  I’d like to speak to matters of the soul and the creative life and its relationship with systemic inflammation and liver health (because, oh!, isn’t spring-time all about liver health, the ability to spring forth, grow another ring in our tree, and regenerate?).

On a metaphorical level or symbolic level, I think of about what Dr. Clarisa Pinkola Estes writes about in her book Women Who Run with the Wolves — the river below rivers — which is our creative juice…our personal life wizadry that we draw on for insight and innovation in our daily lives and creations.  When this river gets polluted by inner and outside forces, we start to wither.  The earth truly mirrors this reality.

Kayaking down a local creek just yesterday, I understood the common journey we faced together, this waterway and I.

The steady, committed, heartening work of cleaning up the river is real.  It is reflected in our bodies and in the earth body.

trash and creek

A trashed creek.  All too common in this day and age.

The trash…the muddied water…the disregard for flow and life…the low level our soul-lives and creative-lives are pushed into…for the sake of production, money (oh, truly difficult to find a good balance in this world), and a false sense of security.  Our waters reflect this.  And, so do our bodies.

Let me explain.

I relate all of this to what happens when the powerful antioxidant, glutathione (found in our liver and is used to remedy oxidative stress), gets suppressed due to trans-generational trauma (epigenetics and methylation issues).  Environmental toxins, stress, relationship stress, viruses and bacteria, processed foods, and anything that depletes our enzymes…puts a burden on glutathione.

And then I think about our “muddied river” and how this effects our life force and creativity.  It effects our life force in the same way compromised liver function effects our energy levels (here is a great article on glutathione/methylation and Chronic Fatigue).

Sometimes we just have to get still, go inside, carve back things assaulting our river below rivers and our creative juice (inside and outside) and let the good love of healing energy give us clarity…so that we can begin cleaning up the river.

I’ve seen this pattern over and over in my life… muddied… clear… muddied… clear…  No matter what, I return to the water and begin the steady, determined clearing of all things the hinder the flow.

This is my current working analogy for what happens when the powerful antioxidant, glutathione, is suppressed in the body.

Hope you got something from that.

A good summary of what glutathione is

A great article on whole foods ways to increase glutathione levels

Another well-written article on glutathione and ways to support it

Key herbs for liver (and glutathione) support => burdock root (decoction, food), dandelion root and leaf (decoction of root, tea of leaf, leaves are food), milk thistle (capsule, whole seed ground), tumeric (powder)

With all of that said…  I do want to share that I am doing well.  My energy is up and my eyes do sparkle.  However, the intense car accident last fall definitely took its toll on my body and its ability to handle stress.

I have been experiencing racing heart every now and then in response to foods I was fine with before-hand.  Gluten triggers me and is officially out of my diet.  What happens is that I experience rapid heart rate as I go to bed after consuming it allowing me to see that it is, indeed, stressing my body.

This was an issue for me back in 2001, during my health crisis.  But, I had largely addressed that with diet, lifestyle adjustments, and herbs.  It would occasionally resurface in periods where I was experiencing significant, on-going stress.

For the past year, the symptoms have increased to levels I recall from 2001.  Not nearly as bad, but the closest I have been to that symptom-pattern of that time in awhile.

This has been a good teacher for me.  To see how trauma and stress really exacerbate our underlying genetic and epigenetic predispositions (check out this article on epigenetics and methylation).  I deeply understand where people are coming from…those with auto-immune disorders, thyroid imbalances, diabetes, cancer, mental health issues, and heart disease.  I understand.

Because of the recent increase of racing heart, I have decided to cancel the Spring Women’s Retreat in late March as I was the lead organizer.  There were so many women looking forward to it!  It was a hard decision to make, but I need to prioritize my health and not require myself to hold space for others right now.

I need to go into spaces and be held right now ❤

I also need to be conscious of where my energy is going.  I will be teaching and going to market as I have done the past three years…but picking and choosing with a lot more care…and spacing things out better so I have time to birth some creative projects.


Lioness art.  Lioness is about fierce protection and nourishment of energy.

Some words that jumped out at me this morning was in a blog post on anxiety.  The words were SACRED SELFISHNESS.  Oddly enough, I was just talking to a friend about what I would call “positive selfishness,” but I like this term better.  Like a lioness…yet again…it’s time to be fierce about my energy use and what I’m allowing into my life…as well as what I am keeping out.

To those of you with chronic inflammation in your system…the struggle is real!  I send you many blessings!

An informative chart on methylation patterns and mental health profiles

2 thoughts on “Imbolc, Liver Health, Glutathione, and the River

  1. Thank you. Very informative.

    Madhupa Maypop wrote: > a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; } /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ madhupamaypop posted: ” With the many rites of the coming spring in full force (Imbolc, Lunar New Year, Groundhog Day, Candlemas, etc), the warmer weather has me feeling…not only revivified…but also thinking, carefully, about where my energy goes as we enter this new cycle”

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