First Posted June 2015
The festival of the summer solstice speaks of love and light, of freedom, and generosity of spirit. It is a beautiful time of the year where vibrant flowers whisper to us with scented breath, forests and woodlands hang heavy in the summer’s heat and our souls become enchanted with midsummer magic.”- Carole Carlton, Mrs. Darley’s Pagan Whispers: A celebration of pagan festivals, sacred days, spirituality, and traditions of the year.
The Summer Solstice is a time of renewal, to celebrate creativity, passion, and rebirth. The scents are lighter and greener; it comes from the herbs & flowers growing in my garden, the freshness of citrus & the scent of the sun-warmed earth late in the afternoon.The Summer or June Solstice is the longest day of the year and is considered the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere; it usually arrives on or around June 21, and it is when the sun is at its furthest point from the equator. Many cultures like the Druids, Egyptians, and Mayans, built monuments to honor the sun & this sacred time. Stonehenge, (the large “megalithic” circle of stones) which is located in Wiltshire, England, was built around 3100 B.C. & was considered a sacred shrine for worshipping the sun. “When the sun rises on the Solstice, it rises over the Heel Stone, outside the circle and shines into the centre, to the altar stone (1).” The Egyptians aligned the Sphinx so it gets enveloped in sunlight, as the sun sets between two of the largest pyramids, on the evening of the Summer Solstice. (1)
Ancient cultures all around the world celebrated the sun, the changing of the seasons, the changes in nature, as well as the planting and the harvesting of the crops. Many of the ceremonies would include drumming, singing and praying. “The Celts would light balefires on their land from sunset the night before midsummer until sunset the next day; During these celebrations, people would dance around these fires & some would leap thru the flames as a purifying rite.” (2) They would celebrate because after the Summer Solstice they knew that the days would shorten again leading them to the darker days of autumn & winter.
I love the earthy, essential oils that have had a chance to age. My favorite is Patchouli, (Latin name Pogostemon cablin). It is a perennial shrub with large green leaves and whitish- pink flowers. Patchouli, first became popular in the Western world during the early part of the 19th century, when Europe started importing textiles, clothing & carpets from the Middle East & India. “Crushed or ground Patchouli was sprinkled between the layers of fabrics to protect the precious cargo from moths & other insects”. (3) Patchouli is native to the tropical regions of Asia and is now grown in Indonesia, the Philippines, China, and India & is often used in meditation diffuser blends, due to it’s grounding properties, & it’s exotic scent. Patchouli is also used extensively to make soap, cosmetics, & perfume.
As the weather gets warmer I like to use lighter scented diffuser blends & room sprays. My “Summer Solstice” Blend is made from essential oils that remind me of summer; citrusy Tangerine, floral Ylang Ylang, the fresh & herbal scent of Rosemary, & earthy, exotic Patchouli…
Come summer, I like to stop & take a moment to just be. To honor the different seasons of the year & what they represent; it helps me to stay more present, to not get as caught up in future worries; to observe and honor the ever-changing cycle of life & of my life …
*** Patchouli is non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing when properly diluted before topical use. Avoid during the 1st trimester of pregnancy As always, if you are on medication, check with your healthcare professional before using Patchouli or any essential oil.
My Blog is for information only & is not meant to replace Medical Advice.
Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.
- Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition, The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003 (3)
- Davis, Patricia. Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion, an imprint of Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005
- Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002
- Tisserand, Robert, & Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition, Churchill Livingstone, 2014
Photos for this blog from http://www.canstockphoto.com & from my own personal collection. – CP