Essential oils have been widely used for thousands of years, most likely more, to deliberately enhance spiritual practices. From their use in traditional ceremonies to supporting personal spiritual practices, meditation, for example, essential oils help to support spiritual growth and attainment. Let’s explore more about how essential oils can benefit you in your spiritual practice.
Promoting The Pursuit of the Spirit
The most common way essential oils have been used, dating back thousands of years, is to help create a more relaxing environment to support more connected praying rituals. Essential oils as fragrances directly affect our mind and emotions, helping us focus while also helping us connect to more positive emotions, which in turn, allows for more impactful praying.
Historically, oils such as frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon, cedarwood, and rose have been used in religious ceremonies as a way to help support calm breathing, focusing of the mind, and a sense of intent - all very important aspects of a more profound religious ceremony.
Another example is that the use of incense in ancient times was common, especially in religious ceremonies where it was used to keep demons away. In Judaism, incense burning was included in the thanksgiving offerings. According to the Bible, the Lord instructed Moses to build a golden altar for the burning of incense, which was placed in front of the veil at the entrance of the meeting tent where the ark of the covenant was kept. You may already be familiar with the image of incense burning in a Catholic Church. This is theorized to be where it stemmed from.
Enhancement of Mindful Practices
As stated above, essential oils affect the way we feel and can be some of the best tools to help us be more mindful and lift our spirits. Oils such as lavender, elemi, and bergamot can be specifically used to enhance focus during mindful practices such as meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques. In fact, studies show that using these oils often results in people feeling much more relaxed, connected, and spiritually well than when meditating with nothing.
Not only do oils help with mindfulness, they deeply help with an overall sense of well-being. Research clearly shows that people who use aromatherapy consistently are reporting that they experience more restful sleep, improved memory, more creativity, less anxiety, deeper compassion, clear thinking, and greater happiness.
Oils with Energy and Chi
In many traditional practices, essential oils are used to clear blockages in the chakras, which are centers of energy that directly relate to specific glands and organs. Chakras are known to be connected by meridians, which are described as channels through which vital energy (chi)flows. Blockages in these areas are thought to lead to poor health in that specific part of the body.
The crown chakra at the top of the head connects to the inner self and oils such as frankincense, rose, jasmine, lavender, and elemi correspond with this area.
The brow chakra, just above the eyes, connects to memory and mind, and oils such as myrrh, sandalwood, and jasmine can be used to help with blockages.
The throat chakra covers the area of the throat and the thyroid gland, communication, and oils such as lavender, chamomile, clary sage, cajuput, peppermint, geranium, and rosemary help to treat this area.
The heart chakra, located at the heart and upper body, affects general well-being, and oils such as rose, bergamot, lemon balm, chamomile, neroli, sandalwood, and palmarosa can connect you more to this area.
The solar plexus includes organs in the upper abdomen and is connected to self-esteem, and oils such as helichrysum, manuka, coriander, lavender, marjoram, and orange can help treat this area.
The sacral chakra is located in the lower abdomen and is linked to the reproductive system, and oils such as sandalwood, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, orange, and geranium can help treat this area.
Lastly, the base chakra, at the base of the spine, connects to our ability to feel grounded, and oils that help to heal here include myrrh, cedarwood, patchouli, petitgrain, benzoin, carrot, and vetiver.
There are so many oils to choose from, but remember, the most important thing when beginning a practice using these tools is to follow your intuition and be open to trying many different things.