I realize that with Independence Day barbecues and vacation plans just on the horizon, it’s hard to consider that in 2 short months, signs of winter will be in the air. Yet as sure as the wheel turns, the days are subtly shorter. As a follower of a nature based path, this fact means I have to savor the opportunity to be in nature while I can. Despite the frequent thunderstorms this time of year, I try to take a walk every day. Soak up the sun and spend time in my garden. Try to buy or pick as many fresh flower bouquets as possible.
Something else that this time of the year is great for is working with herbs. This time of year is when most herbalists begin producing freshly dried herbs. As a result, herbal practitioners will be buying or drying product that is as close to hand picked as it’s going to get. Therefore, this is the best time of year to create balms, tinctures, infused honey and oils, loose incense, tea blends, and herbal baths.
The biggest theme to take away from the months of July and August, the times between and around the Summer Solstice and Lammas, is taking in nature to get through the winter months.
© Ariadne Woods
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere and have not started spending time outside, you are missing out. Nature is blossoming. And while I am all for impromptu trips, in the case of outdoor Litha rituals or wildcrafting there are a couple of items that you can through in your bag to aid your experience.
- Sunscreen, Sunglasses, a Wide Brimmed Hat, etc.: Sunburns suck. Consider also carrying a natural bug spray, especially if you live in areas where insects frequently carry West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease.
- A Pocket Knife: Especially good for wildcrafting. Or for collecting Queen Anne’s Lace to remind you about the transformational aspects of your ritual. This object can also become a makeshift athame.
- Libation or Offering: This happens to me all the time. I’m on a walk and I feel the Goddess and want to give something back to her and I’ve got nothing. If you’re like me, you probably like to be prepared for these kind of impromptu moments. When you are working out, it’s a no big deal because you can carry water. In other cases, you can also make offering stones or spell stars specifically for offerings in nature.
- A Field Guide: If you live in the US, your local wildlife service can provide you with a booklet of local plants and animals. This is great if you are a wildcrafter or if you want to make ure you don’t come into contact with poisonous plants.
What NOT to Bring:
- Your Cellphone, iPad, etc.: Unless you are going on a lengthy hike in a risky location, leave all forms of technology at home. Be with the God and Goddess. Possible exception: a camera.
© Ariadne Woods