Free domestic shipping at $50 & every online order plants a tree in our national forests. Local pickup now available in Santa Cruz.

Riding the Natural Rhythms

It's hard to imagine that just a few months ago, we were still mostly staying home and unsure how and when things would open back up. The silver lining of this was the opportunity to slow down, look around and take stock of our lives. These days, things seem to be moving at almost breakneck speed again. So how can we take the lessons we learned during the last year and put them into practice in our overly busy society?

One way is through ritual. A ritual is a routine that has been elevated with creativity, driven by intention and imbued with meaning. Rituals give us a way to be here now, in the present moment, and can be simple things like lighting a candle, journalling, making tea, meditating and stretching in the sun, or as involved as giving yourself a scalp-to-toes oil massage (Ayurvedic abyanga is absolute magic if you haven't tried it).  

I've found following the rhythms of the earth works for me, as they're reflected in my body. I mean, can we talk about menstruating for a minute? Having a menstrual cycle that corresponds with the cycles of the moon gives women a deep, intuitive understanding of the cyclical nature of life. And what's amazing is that we're all able to give birth in many different ways in this endless cycle of creation and release, regardless of gender. Masculine and feminine energies are both needed.

 

Lunar Cycles

As the moon orbits our planet, its gravitational pull governs our tides and its cycles influence all of life on earth. While there is much we still don't understand about its complete influence, it's very simple to reconnect with its rhythms to rewild our minds and bodies.

There are many different ways to work with all the various phases of the moon. I personally like to observe the following five moon phases within each full cycle:

  • Dark Moon (modern new moon): a phase of introspection, examination, peeling back layers and finding your deepest truths

  • New Moon (modern waxing crescent): a phase of opportunity, hope and pure potential for the seeds you've planted

  • Waxing Moon: a phase of growth, nurturing, expression and change: giving birth to your dreams

  • Full Moon: a phase of happiness, vitality, strength and celebration, with heightened senses and awareness

  • Waning Moon: a phase of letting go, decluttering and recycling energy from that which is no longer needed

 

The Wheel of the Year

Because of my ancestry, I most closely identify with the Celtic tradition. In this, there are eight great festivals of the year. Four are of the stars: the solstices and equinoxes, and four are of the earth: the seasonal observations.

  • Samhain (ancestors): a reflective, quiet time when the veil between worlds thins to access the wisdom of our ancestors

  • Midwinter Solstice/Yule (rebirth): a time for gathering with loved ones and celebrating the return of light and energetic reawakening

  • Imbolc (beginnings): a time of the maiden, of freshness, youth and renewal, and of rediscovering hope and tenderness

  • Spring Equinox/Ostara (growth): a time of blossoming, growth and rebirth, and of the balance of day and night before tipping into light

  • Beltane (fertility): a time of sensuality, passion, and fertility; a celebration of love and the sweetness and bliss of life itself

  • Summer Solstice/Litha (light): a glimpse of light and life in all its perfection, a time to seize the day and the magic of the present moment

  • Lughnasadh (harvest): a time of peace, sharing, looking back and learning, while planning for the winter and darkness ahead

  • Autumn Equinox/Mabon (descent): a brief moment of balance, stillness and tranquility before entering the darkening womb of winter

 

As we just hit the peak of the Summer Solstice and the moon is waxing, I've been riding this golden streak of opportunity and our entire shop has been updated—we have quite a few new seasonally wildcrafted goods and soaps in store!

We've also introduced a new collection called Intentional Living, currently housing two moon phase candles made with local beeswax, scented only with organic essential oils, and a nontoxic and sustainable wooden wick that gently crackles in a portable tin. I'm sensitive to most candles but use them for my rituals so I decided to create my own. Maybe they're something you're looking for too!

And on the note of waxing and waning, I will be taking a trip to visit family in Washington and forage along the way, so orders will not be shipping between June 26th and July 10th. They will ship when I return in the order received. Catch me before I go at the Felton Farmers' Market or at the Event Santa Cruz Midtown Block Party Friday night! See our events page for more info. And if you can't make it, get your order in by the 25th so I can ship it to you before leaving.

Solstice Blessings to all!