The intentional use of aromatics to effect changes in the ambience and personal atmosphere has gone on for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs revealing recipes for Kyphi, a popular perfume, as well as images of celebrations during which cone shaped mounds of tallow, infused with aromatics, were worn on the heads of the attendees, attest to this. The cones would melt during the course of the celebration and thus anoint the wearer with scent and oil to replenish and protect the skin which was subject to intense sun exposure. Frankincense and Myrrh were revered throughout the ancient world and among nomadic peoples these resins were burned as a gesture of welcome to visitors.
This resource rich planet of ours has a plethora of wondrous plants that impart luscious aromas which can both stimulate and calm the nervous system. One theory has it that when humans began to cluster in tribes and learned to make fires for warmth they noted how certain materials, when added to the fire, released a pleasant fragrance which, along with the warmth of the fire, brought about a sense of harmony among the tribe. It is also thought that women discovered the pleasant scent from the berries they picked for consumption could mask their own scent, thus enabling them to get from point A to B without having to involuntarily copulate. At the same time, once back in the circle of their tribe, the same pleasant fragrance added to the ambience of their chosen activities.
The intentional use of aromatics can be best applied by those who delve into the underlying universal principles which govern our life here on the planet. I will add that they are studied not out of idle curiosity, but for an understanding as to how they affect our efforts towards voluntary evolution, an evolutionary movement which transcends the organic.
There is evidence that some ancient cultures in Egypt were built around the possibility of such evolutionary movement. In more general terms, ancient peoples led lives that were much more attuned, by necessity, to the planet and the forces of nature. The segregation of one’s essential self from the existential self was not what we now know. This same segregation can be seen as playing a big role in the present day exploitation of the planet and its resources.
I mentioned in my previous blog post the possibility that there may have been tampering with the human DNA. This is said to have had the effect of removing circuitry which would have facilitated evolutionary advancement that would have made possible a far more cooperative, harmonious existence. I do not know the source of this tampering nor at what point this disruption occurred, but there are allusions to this in some doctrines and stories.
I first encountered a form of this concept in the book “Initiation” by Elisabeth Haich, which is fictional, but contains ideas that seem well founded. The storyteller chronicles her various lifetimes and her evolutionary movement through them as a world worker, someone who works for the benefit of all beings. It has been years since reading it, but if I recall correctly there is suggestion of the disruption of our DNA as having taken place during the character’s existence in ancient Egypt. There are some who look upon pre-dynastic Egyptian life as having been more advanced in terms of integration of spiritual intelligence than the dynastic. The perfection of the art and the mathematical exactitude – not to mention the logistics - of their structures remain a mystery. Their use of materials point to a precision of knowledge, emphasis upon universal laws of harmony, and application of these laws to effects beyond our present understanding.
Operating in me is a feeling of necessity to use this lifetime for the re-establishment of circuitry in order to live integrally, which implies service to the greater whole. I seek understanding of underlying principles for the purpose of an alignment conducive to an integral life, characterized by “undiscriminating virtue”. My wish is for freedom, and my observation has been that we are imprisoned by the limited scope of our present perceptual experience. I have found that the more aligned I am to what I am calling the “Creative”, the more I seem to be led to understanding and ability to apply that understanding to harmonious existence.
I also mentioned resonance and conductivity. It strikes me that perhaps of the two, resonance has more room for vagary. It is a term that is used in mechanics, in sound, in physics, and in describing psychological phenomena. Here are two definitions that offer a cross view of what I have in mind when speaking of resonance in relation to the use of aromatics.
Resonance describes the phenomenon of increased amplitude that occurs when the frequency of a periodically applied force (or a Fourier component of it) is equal or close to a natural frequency of the system on which it acts
Resonance is being able to evoke emotions or the condition of being full and deep in character. An example of resonance is old pictures that have emotional attachments.
When speaking of both resonance and conductivity, Vibration and Polarity come to mind. The brilliant little book titled “The Kybalion” offers a good discussion of these two concepts, referring to them as Hermetic laws or principles.
Vibration is a constant universal phenomenon and the basis for what is referred to above as frequency. Differentiation of rate can render a state of being, a condition. The density of different forms of matter can be viewed from the perspective of different rates of vibration.
The principle of vibration also applies to our daily existence. There is a vibratory reality happening constantly despite our lack of awareness. Awareness can help us to use the law of vibration to an advantage, seeing that higher rates of vibration are associated with more integral states of being. The density of our most entrenched conditioned negative states tends to yield predictable results that at their extreme polarity can be violent, destructive. The field of possibility is narrowed the more we trend towards this negative polarity with its corresponding rate of vibrational existence.
It takes an act of Will to change the polarity of psychological states. Periodicity is inevitable, there is no getting round the fact of its existence. Self-knowledge, knowledge of universal laws like that of Polarity, can be applied such that the effects of this periodicity can be transcended. The law of Polarity states that things of like existence can be changed by virtue of this law. In other words, given the Will, Presence, and Attention that is available for voluntary use, a negative state can be moved into its polar opposite. As long as there is correspondence, this law applies. And this is where such tools as Essential Oils and Incenses can serve as assisting factors. In and of themselves they have been shown to have measurable effects on atmospheric conditions.
The discussion of what constitutes atmospheric conditions relative to our experience could likely run into volumes. But for the moment I will say our personal atmosphere is largely the results of the blended vibrational rates of our three main operant “centers” – the mind, the heart, and the moving instinctive aspect of the body. This blended rate of vibration, the communication and synchronistic function of these three parts collectively, will produce a personal atmosphere. This in turn interfaces with the “outside” atmospheric components such as temperature, barometric pressure and general ambience.
While showing people how to work with essential oils I encourage observation of the general ambience, and the expansion of awareness of all that can be discerned as comprising that ambience. What we can come to find is that our awareness of this ambience, along with our interpretation of its components, is greatly influenced by our personal atmosphere. When the mind is at odds with the body and feeling is disengaged our perceptual range is limited and at best, distorted.
Aromatics can open up the possibilities inherent in a cooperative system. The skilled application of aromatics can alter the personal atmosphere, providing a window of resonance to a higher vibrational modality. When accompanied by the right sounds and activities the disjointedness of our body/mind/feelings can be brought into new relationship, one of cohesion, and this can happen collectively as well, which produces an even greater spectrum of possibilities.
Scent can be a tool for the application of one’s will to a worthy goal. We can find different “correspondings” in such systems as the Qabala, or the Chakras in classical occult literature. These correspondings, which include scents, colors, numbers, and other symbols, can be used in the intentional work with the universal Hermetic law “As above so below, as below so above.” This relates to resonance. As an example, Frankincense is considered by some to be a Solar fragrance. It is associated with the sphere of Tiphareth in the Qabala. Ritualistic endeavor associated with this sphere might be well supported by the use of Frankincense resin and its resonance with the archetype represented by that sphere. It is thought that the smoke or even the scent molecules of an essential oil can serve as a medium for energetic exchange. Scent also has a psychological effect which bypasses the limiting structure of frontal brain processing.
There is a wealth of material available in the realm of Magick and the Qabala. While it has been useful to be acquainted with tables of corresponding elements, I have found effort toward the ongoing exposure of my intuition to be invaluable to the process of alignment implicit in work with the law of “as above, so below”.
Intuition is a form of intelligence, a higher intelligence aligned to a more integral, thus holistic plane. Perhaps it is even connected to the circuitry of our original human blueprint. It is distinct from Instinct to my view – I will say that intuition can relate more to the realm of voluntary evolution, while instinct is more aligned to the organic. The intelligence of intuition, when allowed full expression, will have a precision of corresponding to your immediate moment, the set and setting of your specific all. It is this quality of intelligence that can make optimal choices even without the level of study one would associate as being necessary. One can study a system of knowledge of correspondence for years, but if one is operating solely from a frontal brain perspective, the resulting operation is unlikely to be as effective as what intuitive movement can facilitate.
Our culture does not support intuitive development. Except perhaps in providing the resisting factor needed in development of any duality based endeavor. Because it is a quality of our deepest integral nature, access to the intelligence of intuition is quite possible and a worthy endeavor. I am reminded of how smart thieves robbing tombs in ancient Egypt, would gather the jars and vessels of essential oil macerations and unquents, bypassing all the gilded regalia of the entombed. Why? Because therein was the magic that would make potent all of their other pursuits.
In like manner, the development of access and practice of applying intuitive intelligence will serve our various pursuits, not least of which is that of evolving our latent higher faculties voluntarily.