Botanicals

Why burn plants?

Before we had the technology to extract the essential oils from plants, burning leaves, flowers, roots and resins would have been the earliest and simplest forms of aromatherapy (the use of aromatic plant extracts for healing). The practice of burning dried plants has been carried out extensively across cultures, often but not always in connection with religious and spiritual practices.

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Wheel of the Year

Litha

The Summer Solstice also known as Litha falls between June 20th and 23rd each year and marks the longest day of the year and the beginning of the Summer season in the Northern hemisphere. As daylight hours reach their peak on this day, we begin our transition into the second half of the year. Light after the Summer Solstice slowly wanes towards the Winter Solstice, where we reach the shortest day in December.

Transitioning to the second part of the year can lead us to wonder how the months have gone, perhaps even more under the circumstances we have faced this year. Us humans commonly have a preference for daylight (not to mention the warmth) so thinking of its retreat is not always easy. However the earth, if we allow it, can be a good teacher of balance. Year on year we witness Summer and Winter rise and fall, giving way to one another through the seasonal cycle, always moving, always changing and always returning.

Being aware of what is going on in our outer world can help us to connect to and learn more about our inner worlds. In this article I will discuss how we can use the energy of the season to cultivate inner reflection and set intentions for the second part of the year.

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