DIY herbal blends to tend to yourself
Many of us are itching for those leisurely outdoor moments that summer is made of. While seasonal plans have been adjusted and undergone sudden maintenance, we might be feeling an absence of the naturally calming magical influence we've relied upon year after year. A simple introduction to herbs is one of the most readily available ways to invite them into your home, body, and life.
Most herbs are easy to grow as an indoor potted garden, basking in the sun of a window sill, or outside in a simple plot. They can be grown in full or part sun, making them comfortably flexible with our ever-changing lives. Because of this, herbs offer us great magically bonded friendships. They ask very little other than to be tended to, reflecting a kind of nurturing we can offer ourselves as well. Herbs can mostly be planted together, further denoting their friendly capacity. Some are more enthusiastic than others (I'm looking at you, mint), but overall enjoy each others company. When we feel this kind of laid back relationship with our environment, we are much more likely to feel it within ourselves and vice versa. Inviting leisure into your life can easily begin with a few new herbal buddies, blending them together for variation and delight.
Some of the most profoundly magical herbs are also the simplest to grow and cultivate. As hinted at, mint (for joy and spritely mental clarity) will take off no matter where it's planted, and quickly too. Mugwort (for dream magic) also climbs rapidly once in the ground, similar to lemon balm (for the union of heart and mind) is another brightly scented powerhouse, ready to grow nearly anywhere. Herbs such as rosemary (a powerful memory enhancer and supporter of wisdom), lavender (for inner calm and conflict resolution) and sage (resilience and emotional intelligence) are tolerant to most climates, as well as difficult soil and even drought. A leisurely watering schedule won't be an issue with these allies, but they do require plenty of time to grow. If you're not necessarily looking to start a garden, you can likely find a stable herbal source while walking through your neighborhood - especially living in the pacific northwest - and perhaps cultivate a new relationship with a neighbor. Many people are more than glad to have someone to help them lighten the load on their overgrown rosemary, or out of control lemon balm.
Herbs of all kinds naturally support relaxation, as long as we're willing to develop a true relationship with them. By interacting with these natural and often forgiving companions, we learn to be kinder to ourselves, offer the basics through new healthy routines, and incorporate sweetness to our day-to-day. From watering, harvesting, and utilizing - leisure resides in each and every step. Once you've decided how to source your herbs, whether it's to garden, forage, or visiting a farmers market, you can begin to incorporate them into your magical practice with the leisure that summer naturally supports. Take time to blend herbs into a bowl, lightly crushing them with your fingers, the back of a spoon, or a mortar and pestle. See what the aromas of lavender and mint do to your senses when combined. Perhaps add some rose petals or chamomile and continue to gently explore the experience of smell. Continue to tinker, creating combinations that surprise and excite. This can be done with either fresh or dried herbs. To dry, simply bundle and hang upside down in a well aerated and dry spot until they become noticeably crunchy to the touch, typically requiring a few weeks.
Over time, you'll be sure to develop your own simple blends which you can revisit especially during moments of needed leisure. These can be slowly sipped as a hot tea in the morning, or infused as a sun tea for a sweet summer drink. You can also roll them up to partake in a personalized and magical smoking blend, or allow yourself to steep in their magic during a ritual bath. These herbs are always here for us, from season to season, encouraging the thoughts to unfurl out, and the senses to thoughtfully drink in. When we notice the simple brilliance of these herbs, we are capable of noticing our own - from the simple and humble, to the luminous and rare.
Here's a recipe to try at home:
Summer Daydreams Garden Tea
You will need:
- Lavender - about 3 stalks/1 tablespoon
- Mint - about 2 sprigs/1 teaspoon
- Rosemary - about 1 sprig/1 teaspoon
- A large tea mug and tea kettle (or large glass mason jar if making a sun tea)
These three herbs are a powerhouse trio for conjuring your natural sweetness and bright-minded groundedness. Combine these herbs - either fresh or dried - and allow to steep. If using them fresh, simply pop them into your tea pot and add hot water (or cool water for a fresh sun tea), stirring in honey to taste. If using dried, use a tea ball or bag and allow to steep. As they do, allow their magic effects to permeate your senses through energy and aroma. Create designated space for this moment of casual ritual, inviting in the sunny energy that these herbs provide. Before pouring and drinking, stir or spin your tea three times. Each time, say your intention aloud or quietly in your own mind. This is a lovely offering to share with trusted friends for an outdoors social distant hang-and-sip.
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