It’s the most wonderful time of the year! A season of cool days, cold nights, thin veils, and magic. As the temperatures fall and we head further into the underworld, we look for ways to feed the fire within us. There are many ways to accomplish this – one of which is tea.
I love tea. I turn the mundane practice of picking the type, brewing, steeping, and consuming tea into a sacred by setting aside time to create ritual.This is in no way a new tradition or practice that I have developed. Tea practices and rituals are a long held tradition of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and many other cultures. If you are interested in their practices I highly suggest you find an elder or practitioner and study under them. Here, I’ll be sharing how I built my own practice as an example to assist in building your own.
There are two components of creating a tea ritual that I would like to focus on today – the why and the how. Why are you developing a tea ritual? What do you intend to achieve from this practice? Once we have fleshed our why behind the ritual, then we can look into developing a plan to support this intention.
I love tea. It is a delightful soothing beverage which I have found can illicit various emotional responses. What I love most about incorporating tea into my rituals is the ability to tailor what type of tea I consume to my desires and needs. For example, as I work full time and am working on some personal goals, I can be very stressed. This effects my sleep, physical and mental health. When I feel very stressed I have a cup of my favorite tea- green jasmine. This immediately makes me feel calmer and a bit happier. I believe this is because I have created a positive association between green jasmine tea and relaxation.
These associations can be created with any type of tea while also utilizing the already assigned meanings associated with different herbs and flowers. For instance, lavender and chamomile have long been associated with creating calming soothing reactions. Citrus, peppermint, and other stringent teas can help energize you and wake you up. Bitter herbs such as stinging nettle and dandelion root can help with digestion and elimination. Ginger for soothing an upset stomach. I bet you can think of some association you also know right now off the top of your head. Here are links to seasonal herbs and foods for your convenience: spring – summer–fall–winter.
To begin building your tea ritual ask yourself these questions.
- Why are you interested in creating a tea ritual?
- What is your intention in creating a tea practice?
- What types of teas can assist in meeting your intention?
This is it for part 1. I’ll see you next week to share how utilizing planning to develop a tea ritual I enjoy and can maintain.