Summertime. The word Solstice means “pause”. My shamanic teachers have offered wisdom to me about this time of year as not a waning but a widening, an expansion of the earth’s energies and a great time of manifestation. At Summer Solstice, the energy of the earth is fully activated from the deepest parts of the earth up and out to the deepest reaches of the cosmos, connecting us with our ancient past and our ancestors and also into our infinite future. This energy is most activated between mid-June and the beginning of August.
There are three plants, that I utilize, that bring their most potent medicine at Summer Solstice.
St. Joan’s Wort, Hypericum perforatum, connects us with the soul of who we are. She is a most precious nervous system nourisher and healer and a plant teacher. Plant teachers are those plants that will heal anything and everything. St. Joan’s Wort is one such plant. Nervous system, liver, immune system, energetic system, healing thoughts, emotions and spirit. The beautiful yellow flowers reveal within them, a deep magenta-red substance who’s smell calms and who’s medicine is like no other.
We have a native Artemesia plant here on Whidbey Island, Artemesia suksdorfii. This powerful plant’s fragrance is intoxicating and calls me over whenever I am in the garden the last few days. I utilize her for bringing focus to my dreams. I will gather the flowering stalks now to dry and make smudges and to place under my pillow. I won’t use her indiscriminately though. She is powerful enough that I use utmost integrity and intention when I evoke her magic.
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium grows wild on the beaches here on Whidbey and in my garden wild, from plants I transplanted from my beach home. Yarrow is utilized by wise woman who want to stop excessive bleeding and flooding during menopause. She also is a native healer for the immune system and a wound healer. I call upon her to transform my entire being, bringing new manifestation to my world. I dreamed of her years ago… a phoenix in a garden burst into flames and was reborn as a yarrow plant.
Yarrow ~ Expanding the Soul’s Offering ~ Shamanic Exercise
This exercise is best done without too much thought. Abandon your desire to analyze and figure out how to do it, just begin and allow the momentum of your intention to take over.
- This exercise is best done with the native yarrow, but any yarrow will do.
Sit or stand near the yarrow.
- Breathing with Yarrow, 7 breaths. Breathing in its oxygen, breathing out offering your breath.
- Allow what isn’t needed anymore to burn away, so that your soul’s offering can expand. Is it the yarrow burning it away? the phoenix? the sun?
- Breathe into your soul field. Breathing and listening.
- See if Yarrow has a song to share with you.
- Offer gratitude when this is complete, to yarrow and to your soul.
Crafting with Summer Solstice Plants
St. Joan’s Wort is best crafted into tincture or infused oil. I harvest the buds and the flowers right into a jar and make the medicine as soon as possible after gathering. The tincture relieves pain, uplifts the spirit and calms the nervous system. The oil does a similar task when applied topically.
I craft infused oil with Artemesia vulgaris every year. I harvest the flower stalks, cut them
up and pour organic olive over them. From the very beginning of my life as a shamanic herbalist, this herbal preparation has been the most potent I have concocted. It will actually deepen the affect of other oils when used with St. Joan’s Wort, Dandelion Flower, Cottonwood and others.
Yarrow can be crafted into tincture, oil and vinegar. Along with its uses described above, yarrow herbal preparations can be a guide for deeper soul connections.
May you pause and widen your life to welcome your most potent and expansive self.
May it be in Beauty.