Just as seasonal energies influence the natural world, so too are those forces at work in our lives, our spirits and our personal growth.
Human beings are also a part of nature. We are not separate from what is happening in the natural world, even though some of us pretend we have dominion over her. Just as seasonal energies influence the natural world, so too are those forces at work in our lives, our spirits and our personal growth. And Nature wants us to grow.
When our inner life is in tune with Nature and the seasons, it puts us deeply in tune with our authentic self, and Spirits purpose. So when you see abundant growth happening outside, in gardens and forests, that same growth, whether you can feel it or not, is happening right inside your own being. It’s a pan-human thing, which might be why every culture has ritual and celebration in place to honour Nature’s cycles, both outside and inside ourselves.
Tomorrow (August 1) brings Lúnasa, an ancient Celtic festival that marks the time of first harvest in the Northern Hemisphere. Falling midway between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox, the festival symbolizes the vibrant Yang energy of the summer season.
Back in the day, it was a time for communities to come together and celebrate the abundance of the land by giving thanks, reaping first grain harvest, making bread and breaking it together. As such, Lúnasa was a time of both gratitude and hope, as people celebrated the fruits of their labor and looked forward to the blessings of the coming months.
On a personal level, the most powerful harvests we experience are in our own personal growth and transformation, which are often hard to see or quantify. You may not think you’ve got anything growing in your personal garden, but, honestly, simply being a human being living through uncertain times, causes us all to stretch and grow in ways we may not even realize. Take time to pause, and just recognize your work and achievements.
The hot summer sun is very yang and action oriented. It is energy that we need to complete our growth and harvest process. It does take some consistent focus and clarity. So this is also a good time to ask yourself what steps can you take on your Dreams this month, and then take action
It is a time to protect and nurture what we have planted. The seeds that we plant requires loving care in order to blossom, grow and fruit. Lúnasa reminds us to take care of what we plant in our lives, that if we tend our garden well, protect and nurture it we will experience, expansive growth and a beautiful harvest. The key is consistent effort and perseverance.
Once you’ve done your part, the next teaching from Lúnasa is trust and patience that everything we are tending will come into fruition in right timing. You can’t rush or control the process. Just know that your rich abundant harvest is on its way!
And lastly, Lúnasa teaches us to self care throughout this planting to harvesting process. Yes, we have to put in the work but we also have to be really cautious and not let the hot summer sun burn us out. All this growth requires hard work, so it’s important to rest to recharge and to keep your own personal energies balanced.
So take some time tomorrow to take stock of your accomplishments these past few months, to honour your efforts and to give thanks to Mother Nature. We wouldn't be here without her.
When summer drinks hydrate and improve your skin health at the same time!
One of my favourite ways to stay cool through the summer is with a light, not-too-sweet Botanical iced Tea. This year the recipe came from Javid doing experiments at home for his job as an event coordinator at a local farm. We had a number of taste testing rounds and this one was the WINNER, hands down.
We used tea leaves in bags for the base and then added to them to tweak the taste. Green tea and mint are a Moroccan tea staple, which I also like to have cold and sweet in the summer time. The Raspberry Zinger tea we use comes from Celestial Seasonings. It is a blend of red raspberry leaves, roseships, hibiscus, and orange peel. The added herbs from my garden elevate the tea to the next level.
The herbs and florals - mint, lemon balm, rose petals and red raspberry leaves - can be used fresh or dried. They all come from my garden. I like to harvest and dry them throughout the summer so that I have some to use in the cold months. You can also add fresh fruit. Use the recipe as a base and then let your creative juices flow!
Ingredients that Improve your Skin health
Rose petals, lemon balm, mint, green tea, hibiscus, orange peel, lemon for skin, red raspberry leaf, and rose hips provide various bioactive compounds and phytonutrients that can offer potential health benefits.
Red Raspberry Iced Tea Recipe
The amount of ingredients used in the receipt is all to my taste. If you find the tea too weak, then add more of everything. If you find it too strong, just add water.
The tea also makes a beautiful, light tasting mixer with a neutral tasting alcohol like vodka, gin, tequila or white rum, for a light summer cocktail.
6 cups filtered or distilled water
2 tea bags of Green Tea (approximately 1 tablespoon)
2 tea bags of Raspberry Zinger tea or fruity tea of your choice
2 Tablespoons dried mint leaves or 4 sprigs fresh mint
2 tablespoons dried lemon balm or 4 sprigs fresh lemon balm
2 tablespoons dried red raspberry leaves
2 tablespoons dried or fresh rose petals
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/3 cup sugar or sweetener of your choice. Add more to taste
Put all the ingredients in a pot and bring it to boil. Turn off the stove when the rose petals have lost their colour and let the tea steep for a few minutes. Strain out the tea while it is still warm. Add sugar or sweetener and stir it in until dissolved. Now, put in in the fridge and let it cool down. Serve with ice, slices of lemon, sprigs of mint.