Hunkering down for the winter

Are you feeling the call to slow down? The energy of winter pulling you inwards? How easy is it to listen to the call at this festive time?

As winter solstice falls upon us, we may find ourselves searching for warmth and enduring comfort. On the day of the longest darkness, it’s a time to gently sow idea seeds and intentions, readying for emergence as the light gradually returns.

What’s the nature of your internal landscape though? Are you in your inner winter and menstruating in sync with the winter solstice? It’s a beautiful opportunity to offer your blood back to the earth as your set your intentions and sow those seeds.

Are you in your inner summer, ovulating and craving an expansiveness that may be hard to reach on a wintry day?

Breathe into the qualities of your internal terrain in the solstice darkness.

Hunkering down, you may feel yourself called to aromas that act as a balm to your needs. So, to ease you through the winter months, here is a selection of essential oils and a resin that will nourish and offer comfort; your very own blanket of aroma care!

Cedarwood – cedrus atlantica

Atlas cedarwood is a woody, sweet, slightly balsamic and deeply nourishing oil; it offers a softness in it’s aroma that you just may want to welcome with open arms during the winter.

But, don’t underestimate the softness of this healing oil, it’s one that offers solidity and stability. According to Valerie Ann Worwood “It has qualities which are often needed when the spirit is weakened by living too much, loving too much, and being unable to forgive” (The Fragrant Heavens, Valerie Ann Worwood)

It’s the perfect oil for menopause “It encourages the strength we need to continue on our pathway, and urges us to hold fast to our dreams, helping bringing our hopes to reality” Valerie Ann Worwood

As a physical support, winter coughs and colds can also be supported by atlas cedarwood, with it’s warming expectorant and anti-spasmodic actions.

It’s considered a powerful tonic, according to Gabriel Mojay “The oil is tonifying to the kidneys and spleen-pancreas and may be used for general lethargy, nervous debility, lower back ache and poor concentration” (Aromatherapy for Healing The Spirit, Gabriel Mojay)

Delicious oils to blend with cedarwood for winter nurturing are, frankincense, petitgrain or orange.

Ginger – zingiber officinale

Spicy, pungent sometimes sweet tones, but ever so warming.

Ginger is a perfect companion during the festive season, with its digestive qualities; useful for nausea, bloating and flatulence.

With ginger’s ability to stimulate circulation, add it to a massage blend over the abdomen to relieve not just digestive, also menstrual disturbances.

This is another oil that encourages strength, according to Valerie Ann Worwodd “Ginger is a fragrance of valour and courage”. (The Fragant Heavens) P Holmes agrees “It is recommended for conditions associated with loss of motivation, will or inner strength, especially when these present apathy, listlessness, indecision, confusion and disconnection” (The International Journal of Aromatherapy)

When blended with sweet orange, you are gifted with a warming chocolate orange aroma. One you may quite happily envelope yourself in all winter!

It blends beautifully with all other citrus oils, or introduce some fun into the long wintry nights with aphrodisiacs such as ylang ylang, rose or patchouli.

Geranium – pelargonium graveolens

As Valerie Ann Worwood proclaims: “Geranium resonates with Mother Earth. It signifies the archetypal energy of goddess culture, and encompasses the energy of the feminine, of reproduction, of birth and rebirth” (The Fragrant Heavens)

With an aroma that is sweet and floral (even though it’s the leaves of the plant that hold the essential oil), it is soft, green with ever so slightly citrus notes.

Along with deeply feminine qualities, geranium is regenerative and an anti-depressant, as Gabriel Mojay shares: “Clearing heat and smoothing the flow of Qi, geranium, like lavender is able to relax the mind, calm agitation, and ease frustration and irritability”. (Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit) It has PMS support written all over it.

Geranium blends well with citrus oils, but as a menstrual support it’s beautiful with clary sage and lavender.

Benzoin – Styrax benzoin

The balsamic, warming sweetness of Benzoin allows it to act as a deeply holding oil. It takes seven years for the tree to be ready to share the resin, giving it an energy of maturity and groundedness.

Supportive in winter with it’s anti-infectious and expectorant properties. And peaceful for the soul as an anti-depressant, with it’s calming and reassuring aroma.

Gabriel Mojay in Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit comments that “…it is recommended for those who pursue “spiritual journeys”, as it helps to steady and focus the mind for meditation”. Supportive in those moments when you can escape the festive throng.

There is a low risk of skin sensitisation with Benzoin, so use well diluted. Only 2-3 drops are needed in a blend to experience the comforting warmth and sweetness of the resinoid.

For a tender, yet uplifting blend, benzoin with frankincense and orange creates a perfect aroma blanket.

Enjoy the oils and blends with care, remembering less is more when using essential oils. If in doubt please contact an Aromatherapist for advice.

All my body work treatments include a blend to meet your needs on the day. For more information on how I work and the treatments on offer, check out the link here.

Winter Solstice blessings