Midsummer Magic…

 

canstockphoto3207862The Summer Solstice is a time of renewal, to celebrate creativity, passion, and rebirth.

The scents are lighter and greener; it comes from the herbs growing in my garden, the freshness of citrus & the scent of the sun-warmed earth. The Summer 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.

Ancient cultures all around the world celebrated the sun, the changes in nature and of the seasons, as well as the planting and the harvesting of the crops. Many of the ceremonies would include drumming, singing and praying. During Solstice celebrations, the Celts would dance around balefires that were lit on their land and some people would leap thru the flames as a purifying rite.

Monuments were built 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.  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.
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Winter Solstice

I love the scents of the season from times past, as we make preparations to celebrate the Longest Night of the Year…

Winter Solstice is a 101_0256celebration of the new solar year and the completion of a cycle. In ancient times, the Romans honored the god Saturn with a “Saturnalia” celebration using some familiar traditions such as exchanging gifts, feasting and decorating with mistletoe, holly, and pine cones. (Early Pagans used  “The Holly and The Ivy”  to represent the masculine and feminine energies).

I love the scents of the season, whether from burning candles or from diffusing essential oils. The holiday scents of Mandarin, Cedarwood, Pine, and Juniper Berry are some of my favorites.

Juniper Berry (Juniperus Communis) is an evergreen shrub that grows to approx. 6 ft. tall. It has bluish-green needles with small white flowers Juniper berries change to a dark blue color after 2-3 years and steam distilled to make the crisp smelling essential canstockphoto0127780oil. Most of Juniper Berries come from France, northern Italy, Austria, and Croatia.

Juniper Berries were burnt as incense by the ancient Greeks and Tibetians; North American indigenous people burned Juniper in their cleansing ceremonies. The Europeans thought of Juniper oil as a cure-all for cholera and typhoid. Juniper Berry was also used in the 10th century by the Vikings to make beer and by the Dutch in the 17th century to make gin.

Juniper Berry adds a crispness to the sweeter floral and citrus essential oil blends. My Winter Solstice blend has traditional holiday oils like Scotch Pine, Cedarwood, and Frankincense, but the addition of Mandarin and Juniper Berry that adds a freshness that balances the blend.

This time of year brings out the best in people, as we give of ourselves to our family, our friends, and to our community. It is also important that we take a moment to nurture our own spirit. To find the balance…

If you are feeling stressed, anxious or a little run down check out the properties of Juniper Berry essential oil.

  • Juniper Berry is contraindicated if you are pregnant, or have kidney issues.

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.

References:

  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition, The   International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
  • Davis Patricia.  Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion, an imprint of Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005
  • Tisserand, Robert, & Rodney Young,  Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition,      Churchill Livingstone, 2014
  • Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002

http://thehealthyhavenblog.com/2010/12/21/suggested-uses-for-juniper-berry-essential-oil/
http://www.thewhitegoddess.co.uk/the_wheel_of_the_year/yule_-_winter_solstice.asp
http://www.altogetherchristmas.com/traditions/hollyandivy.html
http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/food.shtml
http://www.ginvodka.org/history/ginHistory.asp
http://www.posbeer.org/oppaat/sahti/history.php
http://www.westcoastaromatherapy.com/
http://www.webmd.com/…/ingredientmono-724-juniper.aspx?…724…juniper