By Marian Connor
I was thinking how amazed I was at forgetting to write a blog last week, yep, completely slipped my mind. We have been extremely busy lately. The last month or so has seen a lot of preparation and delivery of presentations and workshops and I hold my hands up and say I forgot, but then who hasn’t at some point, we are all human.
Anyway we are on the approach to Mid Winter and Christmas so I thought we would revisit some of my favourite items from last year’s Winter Cabinet of Curiosities and add some new stuff on the way.
Between now and the New Year I think we should have a weekly hit of Winter Wonderful so I shall begin.
So what does a poinsettia have to do with Christmas? One interpretation of the plant is as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem, the heavenly body that led the three magi, or wise men, to the place where Christ was born. A Mexican legend tells of a girl who could only offer weeds as a gift to Jesus on Christmas Eve. When she brought the weeds into a church, they blossomed into the beautiful red plants we know as poinsettias, known as Flores de Noche Buena in Mexico, Spanish for “flowers of the holy night”.
The Poinsettia is not only a beautiful plant that grows naturally in Central America but a little strange as its bright scarlet ‘flowers’ are not really flowers but leaves that change colour when exposed to prolonged sunlight.
The plant is named after the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced America to the Poinsettia in 1828. While it wasn’t initially embraced, as a result of its legend and midwinter bloom, it soon became one of the most popular Christmas plants in the USA and now increasingly well liked in the UK.
On the 5th December 1791 Mozart died, aged 35 years. He composed ‘The Magic Flute’ which includes the aria, ‘Der Holle Rache.’ Here is a spirited rendition by an 8 year old.
Der Holle Rache is often referred to as ‘The Queen of the Night’ aria, so I give you Whitney.
Micha Christmann, our 8 in the Universe, Aromatherapy expert wanted to share some Winter Oils.
As the days get shorter and the sun becomes less intense, for many people their overall mood seems to diminish. However, there are some essential oils which can come to the rescue of ‘winter blues’ and depression. Many essential oils possess the properties which make us feel more uplifted and more ‘normal’.
Smell is one of our strongest senses. When we breathe in an aroma, scent molecules travel through the nose to the olfactory membrane. The receptors there recognize scent molecules and send messages to the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system holds involuntary emotional responses, and we assign emotions to the aromas we breathe in.
Some essential oils which help with the ‘winter blues’ include:
All the citrus oils
Rose/ Rosemary/ Cinnamon/ Clove/ Sandalwood/ Frankincense
Myrrh/ Cypress/ Pine/ Juniper/ Ginger/ Lavender
“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.”
Ain’t that the truth, speak to you next week.
Image Tile/Header – Poinsettia – RF Royalty Free Image
YouTube – 8 year old girl sings the Queen of the Night (Der Holle Rache) – duration 00:03:08
YouTube – Whitney Houston – Queen of the Night – duration 00:03:04
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