Sustaining the soul

This week in Oregon, we expect to see our third heatwave with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees of the summer. While we are lucky not to be trapped under a blanket of wildfire smoke at the moment, the forests and fields here are bone dry. Even my garden bed soil–composted, mulched, and watered daily–has turned to dust.

Our honeybees are now in the season of “summer dearth,” a time when available nectar sources have dried up and there is little to nothing to feed the colony. When summer dearth hits the honeybees hard and long, as it has this year, they have to dip into their reserves to feed the colony through the summer. This means they will not have sufficient honey stores to make it through the winter.

After this next heatwave, I will start feeding “bee tea” (a sugar solution steeped in herbs used in biodynamic farming) to the bees on a regular basis through October. Feeding the bees in a parched and dry landscape is a long-term commitment, but it is also a tangible way of praying for the healing of the honeybees and Gaia alike. With the help of bee tea, our honeybees now overwinter successfully about 80% of the time.

Here in North America, we humans are experiencing a summer dearth of our own. Nectar for the soul is in short supply this summer as the extreme temperatures cook fruit on the vine, wildfires ravage the land, and death tolls mount from the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Living through colony collapse is heart-rending enough, but doubly so when our sources of sustenance and solace for the soul have dried up, flooded, or burned to the ground.

We are not without resources, however. The more we avail ourselves of the hidden nectar of Spirit inside our hearts, the more we can become like stubborn, blooming flowers in a parched and dry land. 

Together, let us seek to return some measure of the beauty, blessing, and delight that we have received from the world back to the world. 

It’s our turn to feed the honeybees and Gaia alike. In so doing, we just might find that our souls are fed more richly than ever before,


We will be journeying to see which practices we should double down on to feed our souls in harsh times.

I am finding that cultivating community and using rituals inspired by journeys are helping me to feel more zest and joy in life.

What do you need to help sustain your soul in this season of summer dearth? Gaia Shamanism’s free journey circle this week is dedicated to exploring this question. 


If you hope to attend this free online journey circle on Wednesday, August 11, from 4-6 pm PDT email anna “at” gaiashamanism “dot” com.  All skill levels welcome

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