Essentially Ostara By Stephanie Mathivet
I love this time of year as the wheel turns away from the darkness of winter into springtime, when I wake up in the morning and its light, so I don’t have to get up in the dark anymore. I look forward to changing the clocks to BST and once more enjoying those light evenings and as the warmth returns, I can take out the garden chairs from their hibernation ready to enjoy peaceful moments in my garden where I can inhale that smell of spring in the air.
All around now are the blossoms that precede the foliage on the trees displaying their pastel shades and delicate shapes, their stamens offering the dear pollinators delicious pollens and nectar. At this beautiful time, the great rite of Nature gently beckons playful participation in the early greening of spring. The pastel tones of yellow, pink and mauve of crocus, daffodil, hyacinth and narcissus releasing exquisite subtle aromas into the air around.
Ostara is here, dancing her way through the land, the streets and playgrounds that are now coming alive with the sounds of children’s play (if they only free themselves from their Nintendo’s). And with her return, we too feel as if we are coming back to life, unfurling ourselves from winter coats, hats, gloves and thick boots. How we yearn to be free of all that restriction so that we may walk unhindered and literally put spring back into our steps.
And as we loosen all the winter hibernatory coverings from bodies it’s time to think about refreshing them so that we may feel that we too are blossoming, fresh and revitalised, as we prepare ourselves for the activity of the warmer months. Skin brushing and salt scrubs are great to bring our skin back to life, exfoliating accumulated dead skin cells, opening the pores, stimulating the lymphatic system, releasing toxins and bringing glow to our skin’s tone. Salt scrubs also add oil and other added nutrients to the cleansing process. Our systems can become sluggish during the winter months so waking them up with the addition of citrus oils, such as Sweet Orange, Bergamot, Lime or Grapefruit, to the scrub brings the benefits of giving us a bit of a kickstart.
At this point you may be remembering the New Year’s resolutions you made at the start of the year to get walking or going to the gym, take up swimming, go on a diet – or whatever your preferred torture might be. Yes, those resolutions that did not last the first week because it was too darned cold and your hibernating nature called you back into the warm for just that bit more comfort food. I think we break these resolutions because it is the wrong time to get active. Now is the time, the right time, to go with the energy of the season to revitalise and get moving or shedding the unwanted pounds.
There are some wonderful essential oils connected to this season. The spring florals of Linden Blossom, Hyacinth, and Narcissus are treats indeed as they are very pricey. The absolute diluted at 2% in a carrier is more affordable and these really are oils to use sparingly. I love to use Linden Blossom and Narcissus in facial treatments as they bring a heady aroma in their own way, gently reminding the receiver of their own ethereal beauty.
For freshness, the citrus oils are just wonderful, with a clear fruity aroma that stimulates the digestion. Spring is the perfect time to use citrus oils, not just because of their fresh aromas, but because there is a lower level of ultra-violet rays in sunlight which can cause a reaction. Citrus oils are ‘phototropic’ which means strong sunlight reacts with them and can cause sunburn. They blend well with floral oils – Sweet Orange with Rose Geranium for example, or Grapefruit with Jasmine. Many people have heard of the Petitgrain oil made from the leaf of the orange tree, but recently more Petitgrains have been added to the citrus leaf range. Bergamot Petitgrain is sweeter than the rind oil and blends wonderfully with Orange Blossom Absolute, which has a heavier, smokier aroma than Neroli essential oil. There are also Petitgrains of Clementine, Grapefruit or Lime to try too.
These oils are wonderful to use in your massage following on from your skin brush or salt scrub. Brushing and scrubbing brings the small blood corpuscles to the surface of the skin (causing slight reddening) which means that the essential oils are more rapidly absorbed into the body. The stimulation to the lymphatics is promoted further with the addition of citrus oils to the massage and the addition of some Jojoba to the carrier base ensure that the lovely exfoliated skin is nourished and left smooth and blooming!
In the Goddess House we are offering two lovely Equinox experiences. We have the gorgeous Ostara Special treatment comprising of brush or scrub and massage with blessings of her springtime magic. Just book with Reception at the Goddess House. £80 for 90 minutes
We are also continuing our aromatic journey around the Goddess Wheel with Essentially Ostara on Friday 22ndMarch from 5-7pm in the Artha Room. This is brought to you by Stephanie Mathivet (House Aromatherapist) and Karen Elliott (Fragrant Earth International) Experience a visualisation with a special aromatic blend made from our chosen seasonal oils which include our spring florals, citrus and petitgrains. You will have the opportunity to sniff test the oils individually and learn more about them. Should you wish to purchase, a 10% discount is available on all Fragrant Earth Oils. Book with Reception or come along on the day. Just £5.