Preparing for the Summer Solstice

Petites_maraudeusesMy heart and mind are preparing for the summer solstice. The brightest day of the year. I feel my life is bright in its own way, full of dreams and potential for wonderful things. I feel a responsiblilty to bring my dreams into the world, like it’s not just about me anymore. What if I could help people somehow, in some way? I would love that.

I’ve always wanted to connect with the earth and the stars. I felt there were teachings to be discovered by observing nature, by looking at the constellations. Maybe there’s a purpose to everything, even the smallest of flowers, or the tiniest of insects.

The summer solstice was always special to me, even as a little girl. In a way I grew up celebrating it every year.

In Norway we still hold onto the pagan tradition of having a big bon fire on the eve of June 23, which is not actually the Summer Solstice, though I did not know that as a child. I was told we were celebrating the brightest day of the year by building a fire.

Anyway, we call it St. John’s day and I find it fascinating. I feel it’s a connection to a distant, and much more spiritual past. Now we play games and eat food around the fire, but perhaps in ancient times it was more about the connection with the divine.

June 23 is also my birthday. And of course as a child I loved that I got to celebrate during the day by opening presents, eating cake, and then in the evening to gather with other people from our town around a huge fire, playing games and indulge in more good food.

This year I will get up before dawn on June 21, and be in nature as the sun rises. I will wear yellow and carry yellow flowers to symbolize the sun. Beyond that I want to connect with something deep within myself.

I think many of us have celebrated the Solstices and Equinoxes in past lives, and perhaps we remember something. There’s a feeling, a special longing which we can’t put into words. I want to feel what I need to do, what it is that I yearn for. Perhaps I will sing, pray, or just be in silence.

Do you celebrate the summer solstice? If you do, how do you celebrate it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ayurvedic morning massage – Abhyanga

960116_spa1In the morning at the crack of dawn, or when the sun begins to fade in the evening, I retreat into the bathroom to cover my body in oil. Abhyanga is an ayurvedic morning massage that really can be done any time during the day. I’ve fallen in love with this ritual and it’s recommended in ayurveda one of the most basic practice to stay healthy.

I see it as a way to take care of myself.
Physically, mentally and spiritually.

I take some time to myself. I light a candle and perhaps some incense, sometimes I listen to music. There is also something special about paying attention to my body and being kind to it. I rub oil all over myself from top to bottom and it’s the most amazing feeling. It is so grounding, calming and suddenly I can hear myself think and feel again. I remember who I am. After I’m done I like to sit for a bit and focus on my heart or my breath, or just studying my body and bathroom in detail. Being present. I’m here. I’m alive and it’s wonderful. Then I take a shower.

At times I’ve felt like crying when I allow myself to be good to myself, to feel love. Why is it so easy to be our own worst enemy?

Some benefits of Abhyanga

  • Calms the mind
  • Gives beautiful hair
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • gets rid of toxins
  • promotes good sleep
  • strengthens the immune system

 

It is said in ayurveda that if you do abhyanga every day you will never have arthritis, or any other dry condition in your joints.

 

How to perform abhyanga

Warm your oil. A good way is to let the bottle float in hot water for a few minutes. I just leave mine in the sink while I get ready. Then stand or sit on an old towel that you don’t mind getting oily, and begin by drizzling warm oil onto the crown of your head. Proceed by rubbing oil into your scalp. It’s good to allow some time on this as it is a blissful experience. Continue to massage down your body. Go in a circular clockwise motion on your stomach, hips and especially knees. Also spend a few minutes taking care of your feet. I love rubbing oil between my toes and spending a little time focusing on each one.

Meditate for 10-15 minutes, or how long as you have time for, before showering. I also brush my teeth while letting the oil sink deeper into the skin.

Below is a video that explains how to do abhyanga.

 

What oils to use?

The most common oil to use is cold pressed sesame oil. Personally though I prefer to use almond oil as it has a much milder scent. I like to add essential oils to mine to further enhance the effects of the treatment. My favorite is floracopeias vata oil which I find to be especially grounding. Though I must warn you that the scent might take some time getting used to, at least it did for me, but now I love it. Floracopeia has a line of ayurvedic massage oils specific for each dosha (body type).

Ayurveda recommends various oils for different doshas. Sesame works for all, but pitta can also benefit from the more cooling coconut oil. Almond is wonderful for vata.

You can take a quiz to find your dosha.

 

If you’re a first time customer with Floracopeia, visit this site and type in FrostyRose to get a 25% discount!

My experience and final thoughts

Interestingly I’ve found that after starting doing abhyanga, I’ ve less cravings for comfort food. Perhaps it’s because I allow myself some sweetness through abhyanga, and that it also makes me feel more grounded and present. I can tell my body really doesn’t want potato chips or cheap chocolate. Going to bed before 11pm has also helped me eat better.

I also find it beneficial to massage my body and feel where there is a lot of tension. I can release pain that way, and be aware of where I hold onto a lot of stress.

I hope you find some time to give yourself the gift of abhyanga. It’s of course most beneficial to do it every day, or even twice a day, but even a few times a week would be excellent. Try it out and let me know how you find it. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice has always held a sense of mystery with me. Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to celebrate it but I never knew how. It was a little frustrating because something inside of me told me that it was a very important event, somehow a way to connect to both the earth and the universe, and yet I had no way of practicing what I felt in my heart.

This year everything changed. I got to attend a very sacred ceremony on the Winter Solstice that has touched me deeply. I have written more about it in my other blog.

Do you celebrate the Winter Solstice?

Smudge Bundles

Tonight I made rosemary smudge sticks. I’ve always been drawn to the magic of burning herbs though I’ve never really researched the deeper purpose of it.

I can sense how each plant or resin has its own energy that is released through smoke. The groups of mystics that I am part of often burn incense, especially frankincense before doing practices together. The scent of the incense really transforms the whole place and inspire spiritual feelings.

I’ve made smudge bundles before. The one I had the deepest connection with was mugwort as I wildcrafted the plant myself and spent time tuning into it. Mugwort is very magical to me and burning it really brought me in touch with my intuition. I remember doing a meditation practice after burning mugwort and somehow the practice flowed much better than normal, perhaps because I was able to let my intuition guide me through it instead of being stuck in the mind.

Rosemary is not new to me, but I feel I need to spend some more time getting to know her. Smudging in general is said to clear the energies, but I have no experience of this. I do know that burning white sage makes me feel very good, and the scent is amazing. And it makes me happy to do magical things that connects me to the mystical sides of life.

I wonder if smudging rosemary will kill germs in the air. Does anyone know?

I’m eager for my smudge bundles to dry so that I can start burning them and they look so pretty and witchy hanging in my room.

It is past midnight and it’s time to end this somewhat scattered post. Below is a video on how to make smudge bundles.

Autumn Equinox Ceremony

As promised, here is the video of the Autumn Equinox Ceremony that I took part in. There was a lot of work done beforehand to make it happen, and the learning I went through was intense and beautiful at the same time.

Here are two articles that explain the spiritual meaning behind the ceremony.

A Ceremony to Celebrate the Autumn Equinox

The spiritual meaning of the Autumn Equinox

I am the girl holding the picture of Mary, or rather the Divine Mother. This was a sacred event to honor our Divine Mother who fights for us and who is with us always.

Celebrating the Fall Equinox

This weekend I gathered with a group of friends to celebrate the Fall Equinox. It was an amazing ceremony that we held on Friday evening at sunset, and the days following were life changing. To tell the truth the whole week leading up to the Equinox were really hard for me and I had to face a lot of fears. Interestingly facing my own darkness seemed to go hand in hand with what the Fall Equinox is all about.

Here is an article on the esoteric meaning behind the Equinox. Ancient Sacred Sites Reveal Their Esoteric Message at the Autumn Equinox.

I love celebrating the Equinox and the Solstices. It feels like being in touch with the earth, the universe and the secret mysteries of life.

I hope to post a video from the ceremony soon. Did any of you celebrate the Equinox?

My Sweet Palo Santo. Get 25% off on your first order.

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I love palo santo. I love the way it smells and I like to light it like incense and let the smoke fill my apartment with a scent of wood and rose.

I had never heard about palo santo until a little more than a week ago when I found it at Floracopeia . The name palo salto means sacred wood or holy wood. It has been used by the Incas for centuries in rituals and sacred practices. They felt it has a purifying and cleansing power and could also get rid of evil spirits.

It comes in different shapes and forms such as sticks (incense), essential oil, massage oil and hydrosol. I decided to get the incense or the sticks because it’s very easy to use and also fairly cheap. The sticks apparently will last a long time because they burn slowly.

I’ve been using palo santo a lot because it helps soothe my nerves and ground me. The scent is amazing and I love to lie down and just breathe it in and feel myself relax. I’m generally a very tense person but this incense helps me let go of what troubles me. When I first burned it I could feel a cool tingle in my scalp as tension just left it without me even really trying.

I will also use it when I do my yoga practices in the morning of evening. Usually though I burn it whenever I feel the need. It can be nice to breathe in the scent even while doing the dishes! Anything can become a sacred practice of enjoying life in the moment.

Healing properties of Palo Santo

  • This holy wood eases tension and headaches.
  • Palo santo improves digestion
  • It inspires spiritual states and moods.
  • It relieves pain in muscles and joints.
  • It improves the immune system
  • It purifies the aura
  • It soothes the nerves and brings clarity and focus.

It’s important to get palo santo from a sustainable source as the tree is endangered. That’s why I get it from Floracopeia as they harvest the chips from the ground, and they also have extremely high quality products.

Right now there is also a sale on a combined package of palo santo wood chips, essential oil, hydrosol and massage oil.

But you can also just get the more inexpensive wood chips (or sticks as I call them).

Enjoy creating sacred rituals and spiritual moments, whatever that should mean to you 🙂

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