History of The Wreath:
Today it’s more widely known as a common decoration for the Holidays or Solstice in our households. We put them on our Christmas trees, over our fireplace mantels or hang them from our front doors. The meaning can vary based on the cultural influence. For example, to this day a wreath will still be hung in countries like Poland to symbolize the Harvest festival. The Scandinavian harvest wreath will usually be made of wheat, berries and nuts. In eastern Europe there is quite a tradition that is performed based upon the symbol of the wreath and it pre dates Christian culture.
Some believe it to represent the circle of life and wreaths are often laid at the place of a burial. for a person lost at sea, a wreath is placed in the water and floats off as part of an old Navy tradition.
In pagan rituals wreaths are made from flowers, branches and leaves and are associated with fertility. In the Middle Ages, saints were crowned with wreaths and seen as heroes. Then there is the Mayday or maypole festival where unmarried men climb to the top of the pole to capture the wreath to become crowned and declared The Mayday King!
The Midsummer wreath was believed to be magical. It could only be harvested in the very beginning of the morning and the essence or “magic” of the plants in the wreath were said to evaporate with the morning fog or dew. From what I understand this celebration is still observed to this day in Countries like Germany.
In the Renaissance period wreathes represented a political or religious alliance. The Puritans saw wreaths as pagan and the enemy of healthy Christian morality. All wreaths were collected and destroyed in Oxford on Mayday 1648 to make a demonstrative point against its associated Pagans.
In Sweden, celebrations for St Lucia’s Day is represented by a crown made of a brass wreath holding candles.
So as you can see there is a deeply varying history behind this ancient symbol.
It really couldn’t be more different from the above reasons why I chose to make one. I appreciate the image of a full circle because it makes me think of something as whole and in harmony with the movement of nature. Yes, I’m a lover of nature and I consider this a small token or reminder to be connected to nature. I grow many herbs in my garden and I choose Sage, Rosemary and Lavender. These plants also have some meaning of their own. They represent wisdom, peace, the removal of negativity and happiness. I also have some African Blue Basil in my yard that I recommend you grow next season. It’s amazingly abundant! I added some of these flowers as well, but they’ll likely have to be removed after a week and eaten in some homemade Pho because they will wilt way before the other herbs will. In fact the other herbs should dry on the wreath just fine. You can also take a dry wreath and hang it in the bathroom. The steam from a bath or shower will release the aroma therapy throughout your home.
Moving along to the visual instruction: