All Articles

5 Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Mandala

As we welcome the Summer Solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year, we encourage you to let the ethereal warmth of these summer days fill your heart.

In many cultures, this day represents a time of celebration — to embrace the heat of the sun, the warm nights, the fragrance in the air, fresh, vibrant food, and our connection to nature. Plants have often played a role in honoring the change of seasons, but herbs have traditionally been prevalent in solstice events as many of our favorite herbs are at the peak of their growing season.

However you choose to honor it, it’s a special moment in time, and the perfect opportunity to surround yourself with the power, playfulness, and abundance of this season.

Host a solstice picnic
Invite friends to a beautiful sunny outdoor spot, and ask them to bring a dish that embodies summer. We like harvesting edible summer flowers to add to a fresh salad topped with our Spring Green Goddess Dressing. For a hot day, Ginger + Hibiscus Watermelon Pops or Cup of Sunshine Raspberry Sorbet are favorites for this time of year. Sip on herbal iced tea or chilled wine in the sunshine, and savor the heat of this joyous time of year.

Make plant mandalas
The word mandala means “circle.” A mandala represents wholeness, a diagram that reminds us of our relationship to something greater, extending beyond our bodies and minds. As plant lovers, we can’t think of a better way to appreciate and experience the beauty of nature than with a creative project made from the plants we love.

Collect herbs, branches, twigs, blossoms, grass, blooming flowers, crystals, and stones. Use what you can find around you, or take a trip to a local flower shop. Set them into a layout and pattern that makes sense to you. Sit in silence as you do this, and take the time to think about your intentions on these bright days, and which aspects you want to take with you into the coming year.

Spend time in nature with a meditation
Find a quiet spot, somewhere in nature; under a tree in a park, in your backyard, or near a running creek. Stretch out and salute the sun, then settle into quiet stillness to give thanks and gratitude. Slow down for 10-20 minutes and notice the sounds, scents, and views around you. Savor this particular moment in time as you breathe deeply and soak up this summer day.

Take a cold plunge or a cool bath
If you are new to the idea of hydrotherapy, a warm summer day is an ideal time to start this practice. Cold therapy is thought to encourage systemic rejuvenation and renewal and is a lovely tradition to invite into your wellness routine.

If you don’t have access to a cold creek, use your shower or tub at home, or introduce this practice following a daily shower. Allow yourself to experience a burst of cold water, standing in it for as long as you can, breathing deeply, allowing yourself to experience the sensations that arise. Once finished, give yourself a little time to rest, either by laying down for 5 minutes, or starting your day a little slower than usual.

Make Summer Solstice cordials
Preserve the sweetness of peak summer with your favorite fruit and herbs. Perfect for special occasions or as a delicious dessert!

The simple version of a cordial recipe is equal parts simple syrup, fruit and herbs, and a solvent, like brandy or vodka.

A favorite this time of year is Strawberry Lemon Balm Cordial:

Strawberry Lemon Balm Cordial

Preserve the sweetness of peak summer with your favorite fruit and herbs. Perfect for special occasions or as a delicious dessert!

Servings: Makes 1 quart. Serving size is 1 oz.

Ingredients:

  • About 1 quart of fresh strawberries
  • 10 Traditional Medicinals Lemon Balm tea bags
  • 1-2 cups simple syrup (a 2:1 ratio of honey & water)
  • 1-2 cups alcohol preference; brandy or vodka is most popular.

Directions:

  1. Make a simple syrup by simmering on the stovetop 2 cups of honey with 1 cup water.
  2. Cut and chop the fruit, filling a mason jar ¾ of the way.
  3. Cut open the tea bags and empty the dried tea into the jar.
  4. Fill halfway with simple syrup, and then fill the rest of the jar with alcohol.
  5. Let the cordial sit on your counter, occasionally shaking for about 4 weeks.
  6. Once done, strain and preserve the liquid in an airtight bottle.

This will keep for a year in the refrigerator. Enjoy as is, over ice, or save for the dark days of winter when you need to bring out a little summertime energy.

For more inspiration surrounding the solstice, read our article on Herbs and the Summer Solstice.

Posted in Inspiration on June 15, 2019