Are you looking for a way to celebrate the official start of summer? While we consider late June to be the kickoff to the season, it's also—perhaps confusingly—called midsummer. That's because it technically is the middle of summer if we live by the two equinoxes. Defined as the time around the summer solstice, midsummer has been historically revered as a cultural celebration of love, connection, nature, and spirit. Literary references abound; perhaps Shakespeare described midsummer best:
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”
Roses, thyme, lavender, and many more aromatic plants bloom during this time of year, giving us the gift of their most intense aromas. Midsummer is associated with fresh starts—the opportunity to revel in nature’s majestic scenes and set your sights on a new adventure. Many Pagan traditions associated this time around the summer solstice with the presence of wicked spirits. And to ward them off, they often sported crowns and garlands of herbs and flowers as safeguard.
In fact, before Judeo-Christian traditions rose to predominance, it’s believed that midsummer was the ideal time to engage in rituals that bring about transformation. If you’re looking for some midsummer magic—whether you want to manifest a new job, heal relationships, or just want to deepen your summer self-care, try these four contemporary aromatherapy rituals that pay homage to midsummer’s ancient practices.