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July 31, 2022
Scents-ibility for August: Aromatherapy by Star
As the droning on of summer heat continues this month, you may find yourself feeling lethargic and in need of rest. August holds the first of the harvest holidays, Lammas or Lughnasadh, and generally reflects the bounty of the season and bears the fruits of our labors.
Metaphorically and spiritually speaking, is your personal harvest all that you wanted or expected? How did your endeavors and goals for the year turn out?
Wherever we find ourselves at the first harvest, there is the need to acknowledge that while some aspects of where we are simply need accepting but also that there is still time to tweak some of the things on the path before us.
As the wheel of the year turns, I always find myself somewhat surprised by the quality of the light and how it changes as we approach each sabbat. I think that even without a calendar, or any way of knowing what month or day it was, I would know exactly when each sabbat was approaching just by the shift of the light. Celebrating the first harvest can be a feast for the senses, and especially those in the scent department. Despite the often dreadful heat of August, the month somewhat straddles the seasons of summer and autumn. Often by mid-to-late August the sense that autumn and cooler temperatures are on the way is pervasive—though in some cases it can also just be wishful thinking!
August is a month for counting our blessings, enjoying the results of where we have applied our efforts, and generally just celebrating and relaxing.
What scents and smells do you associate with the first harvest? What smells make you feel like celebrating? What scents do you associate with the blazing heat of summer and August?
Some of the oils I chose for the recipes that are listed below contain oils that can be a tad spendy or hard to get—like rose and carnation. There are a variety of good synthetic fragrances available that can be substituted.
For the more adventurous, you can create a cold diffusion by placing the plant matter, like rose or carnation petals in a base oil for several weeks allowing it absorb the scent. If you are really ambitious, you could try using a process known as enfleurage—a quick internet search will tell you how.
Blessed First Harvest to you all!
Blend for Lammas & Lughnasadh:
6 drops of Orange (Citrus Sinensis) essential oil
4 drops of Rose (Rosa damascene) essential oil (fragrance oil is viable substitute)
3 drops of Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) essential oil
2 drops of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) essential oil
Blend for Celebration and Motivation:
6 drops of Carnation (Dianthus carophyllus) essential oil (fragrance oil is viable substitute)
3 drops of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oil
2 drops of Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) essential oil
To use as an oil:
Blend with one ounce of base oil, like sweet almond
To use as a linen spray:
16 oz of distilled or filtered water
½ oz of witch hazel or alcohol
Add witch hazel to spray bottle, then drops of oil, and finally water.
Shake well before each use.
A note on safety and how to conduct a skin patch test
As with all essential oil blends, a skin patch test should be done before topically applying. Simply apply a small amount of the blend to the inside of the upper arm. If no irritation develops after 24 hours, then it is safe to use. If at any point during a skin patch test if irritation develops, the application area should be immediately treated with either a dairy-based product like milk or yogurt to halt the irritation. Then the testing area should be and thoroughly washed with mild soap and water and cleaned of the substance applied.
Please note that no matter how safe and natural you believe essential oils to be, they are not recommended to be applied straight or “neat” directly on the skin. There are a few exceptions for regular use, but even those should only be used that way under the advice of a certified or registered aromatherapist. Young children, the elderly, anyone with a comprised immune system, and those who are pregnant may require a formula that is much reduced in active ingredients. Essential oils of any variety should always be cautiously used around pets, and never used on cats or in any way that would allow them to ingest it—like breathing in vaporized spray or licking it off of their fur.
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