Crafting your own summer solstice incense adds a uniquely regional touch to your Midsummer or Litha celebration.
Combining herbalism with the zen-inducing art of aromatic magic, the act of blending herbs for the purpose of sacred ritual dates back to the earliest roots of our human heritage.
So grab a pair of pruning shears and let’s take a walk in the wildflowers!
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Just before Midsummer, the wildflowers in my region explode. They vine their way up abandoned houses and burst through the cracks in the sidewalk, lighting up the landscape in jewel tones gone rogue.
I love it.
I gather them by the basketful to make floral smudge wands, fill every vase available and, of course, make incense and casting blends.
A Few Notes
The recipe below is a rough guide. Feel free to customize it to your region according to the plants available.
(As long as you know them well! This is much easier if you have an herbalism practice in place).
Garden and kitchen herbs make excellent substitutions for any flowers or herbs not easily accessible.
The point is to create something unique to you, your practice and the natural landscape around you.
Obviously, if you live in the Midwest or the tundra, your local wildlife varies considerably from ours here on the East Coast, so absolutely use what you know and what is seasonal.
I don’t include exact measurement in this recipe because the strength of herbs and flowers varies so widely. I encourage you to “sniff it out” until you come up with a combination that suits your needs. That said, I listed the herbs in order from most to least here to give you some idea of where I was more heavy-handed, and where I went lighter.
Okay, here we go!
The freshest herb in the garden, I clipped some mint from stash in the back yard and let it dry upside down for tea and other projects. A pinch of this in my Solstice Blend symbolizes the vibrant abundance of high summer.
This one I snagged from an organic tea bag. If you grow it, even better!
Known to dispel the naughty or mischievous spirits that notoriously scamper about on the night of Midsummer’s Eve making lighthearted trouble, chamomile welcomes friendly summer “faeries” (or whatever you call positive energy).
I love the smell of thyme in the garden this time of year. If you “upset” it (by rustling the leaves or stepping on it—it makes great groundcover, by the way) it releases an unmistakable warm, rich “green” aroma.
Thyme is ruled by the Element of Water, which symbolizes a relationship with water (pools, lakes, oceanfront) during the summer months and welcomes the aqua energy) and is a particularly nice addition for someone with a sea witch practice.
The crown jewel of the summer garden, include dried roses in your summer solstice incense to encourage “enchantment” on the night of the Litha.
I included chicory for its bright blue, playful color and its native, seasonal bloom during the month of Midsummer in my region. I encourage you to substitute a flower local to your region and easily foraged during the week leading up to the Solstice. If nothing else, it gets you out into nature!
A sun symbol, daisies make a nice inclusion in summer solstice incense to honor the power of the sun on the zenith of its power during our journey around it.
Essential Oils (optional)
Chamomile, lavender, lemon or rose oil are all appropriate.
Make sure all your ingredients (except the essential oils) are very, very dry. The drier they are, the better they burn.
It can take up to a week to air dry them, or you can pop them in the oven at about 200 degrees for 5-6 minutes to speed up the process. If you use the oven method, watch it very carefully. Essential oils in plants can flare if they get too hot.
Fill the base of your cauldron with salt or sand, then add a charcoal disk specially made for incense on top. Light the disk and sprinkle the dry ingredients on first, adding a few drops of essential oils if desired.
I’m missing something important, I think. How do you actually make the incense? Are you burning anything? What is the white stuff in your little cauldron?
I edited the post to add a full description under the heading “Instructions.”
No problem, thank you!
Ooh, I love wildflowers, they show so much strength in their persistent growth! Thanks for sharing!
Yes, they are pretty awesome!
I’m used to burning dried St. John’s Wort on Litha, but this sounds lovely. I’m going to try this next year 🙂