Yule is the ancient festival celebrated at the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. In the Northern hemisphere that day falls on Wednesday 21st December. At this point, darkness has reached its peak after which the light slowly begins to expand once again as the cycle continues on.
Yule can be a good time to assess where we are at and what has supported us throughout these dark months. Are we feeling rested or frazzled? How can we introduce more nourishment into our lives?
In this post we will be sharing more about Yule and introducing our Yule Wild Jewellery collection…
Apple trees hold such rich symbolism in our culture and have inspired artwork, poetry, fairy tale and song throughout the ages. They are associated with the season of Samhain as their branches hang heavy with beautiful, nourishing fruits during this time.
From our native crab apple tree, over 6000 species of apple tree have evolved and their blossoms, leaves and fruits feed a vast amount of wildlife throughout the year.
Apple trees are a member of the very special Rosaceae family, that also includes Roses, Hawthorns, Rowans, Blackberries and Blackthorn. The blossom of many species within this family have 5 petals and if you have ever cut an apple in half horizontally you may have noticed the 5 pointed star at its core. This star is also present on the bottom of Hawthorn and Rowan berries and many believe that it is symbolic of the uniting of the 5 elements; earth, air, water, fire and spirit.
Yesterday we shared that we have created a small Wild Jewellery release in celebration of the energy of Samhain and introduced you to our pieces crafted from Blackthorn. Today I wanted to introduce you to some pieces we have crafted from Apple wood and the energetic qualities of this beautiful, sweet smelling wood…
Samhain can be thought of as the birth of Winter. Falling at the end of October/beginning of November in the Northern Hemisphere it marks the final harvest period and is the origin of the modern day festival of Halloween. If you are new to the Wheel of the Year (an ancient way of marking the passing seasons) you can read more about it here.
At this time of year the natural world prepares for a period of deep rest. Like a big exhale, tree sap descends back down the tree trunks to rest in the roots. The seeds of Summer blooms now lay dormant deep within the earth and animals prepare for their hibernation.
This time of year can bring with it a whole host of feelings for us too. For some it may feel like a cosy and nourishing time, an invitation to slow down and turn inwards. For others it may kindle feelings of sadness, grief, low energy or a mixture of both….
As we move towards Mabon, the festival marking the Autumn equinox in the Northern hemisphere, we leave behind the long days of Summer as day length slowly dwindles.
The word ‘equinox’ comes from the Latin word meaning ‘equal night’ and twice a year, on both the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, night and day length become equal. This can be a good time to pause and reflect on the balance in our own lives…
As we enter our third week here on our land, we have been busy working on what will be our main herb beds. We wanted the beds themselves to be beautiful spaces for us to spend time within and had felt drawn to circular designs from early on. Circles are rich with symbolism, a shape with no beginning or end, they are often linked with infinity, interconnection, protection, the feminine, flow and of course the Wheel of the Year.
Circular gardens and spaces have been created throughout history, from stone circles, to medicine wheel gardens and sacred spaces for ceremony, meetings and healing…
Sunflower Journal is an eco-friendly, independent print magazine that celebrates seasonal living and nature. Printed with vegetable inks on recycled paper, its pages are filled with a delicious mix of recipes, rituals, crafts and self care tips for each season.
It has become a seasonal self care ritual for me to sit and savour this beautiful publication, page by page.
You can imagine our excitement to have been asked to contribute an article for the most recent Lammas edition of the magazine about the ancient art of smoke cleansing, you can see a sneak peak below!
Lammas (also known as Lughnasadh) marks the height of Summer and falls between the Summer Solstice (Litha) and the Autumn Equinox (Mabon) each year. The festival is typically celebrated on the 1st/2nd August, but the energy of this period can be felt from mid-July to mid-August.
Traditionally Lammas marked the beginning of the harvest. Corn, Wheat and other grains have reached maturity and stand golden in the fields awaiting their harvest. Seeds and fruits are ripening. This is a time of abundance, gathering and taking stock of the year thus far.
Litha, the festival celebrated at the Summer Solstice marks the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere. Light reaches its peak. The days stretch long and this can feel both productive and/or overwhelming depending on how nourished we are feeling at this time.
This year, the Summer Solstice falls on Tuesday 21st June, so this weekend is a good time to make space for some rituals to connect with your self and the earth and fill up your well, if only for a short but mindful time.
The festival of Beltane is almost upon us and marks the peak of Spring in the Northern hemisphere. Beltane is a fire festival, with the word bel-tene meaning a ‘goodly fire.’ Fire has long been associated with transformation, cleansing and purification, burning the old down to make way and fertilise the new. At Beltane, Spring has reached its peak and Summer begins to emerge with a more direct and committed energy.
To connect with this, you may wish to light a fire, candle or burn incense over the weekend to help physically and symbolically clear the path for a new season. whilst observing the flame consider any or all of the following:
A practice I find incredibly grounding at this time of year is to get outdoors and gently gather some beautiful fresh Spring plants for a brew.
There are so many medicinal plants growing in abundance at this time of year that are perfectly aligned to help nourish and cleanse the body after Winter. Many even make their way into our gardens if we let them!