Many essential oils used in aromatherapy are believed to encourage loving feelings and to exert an aphrodisiac action. For instance, jasmine oil has long been used in love sachets and incenses not only to enhance romantic love but spiritual love as well. The Sufis revere jasmine as a symbol of both romantic and spiritual love. Kama, the Hindu god of love, tipped his arrows with jasmine flowers so they would have the power to infuse the heart with desire.
Rose oil is another example in this reference. Since ancient times, rose oil has been consistently classified as an oil of love, femininity and emotional feeling. Roman brides and bridegrooms were crowned with roses, as were the images of Venus and Cupid, and rose petals were scattered on the marriage bed. When Cleopatra invited Mark Antony to her palace, she had the floor covered with roses because of her fervent belief in the romantic power of the rose’s scent. And among some American Indian tribes, braves gathered wild roses for the hair of their brides.
A wealth of other examples can be provided. For instance, some of the “magical” purposes for which vetivert oil has traditionally been used include love spells and overcoming an aversion to the opposite sex. Ylang ylang is considered to be an aphrodisiac specific for impotence and frigidity. The name ylang ylang is translated by some as “flower of flowers.” Ylang ylang is also called perfume tree. In Indonesia, its flower petals are often strewn across the marriage bed as a symbol of love.
Neroli oil, distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, is associated with romance and sensuality. A bride and groom of Crete are sprinkled with orange blossom water; in other countries, young brides traditionally wear a wreath woven from orange blossoms. In days past, orange blossoms were fastened to the horns of oxen pulling the cart of Sardinian honeymooners. After reading the above anecdotes, one might come to the conclusion that there’s a great deal of congruence among these essential oils regarding the sphere of romantic love. However, they present only a top-layer perspective of the oils.
Soul-Nature and Spiritual PhytoEssencing
Plants are alive, and everything that lives has a soul. An essential oil is the carrier of its plant’s soul; in order to fully individualize the use of an essential oil so it can act deeply, even constitutionally, one must first identify its unique soul-nature. Then, the oil needs to be matched with the soul-nature of the individual for whom it is intended. Spiritual PhytoEssencing is a synthesis of certain aspects of aromatherapy, herbal medicine and folk medicine, Kabbalah, Chinese medicine, classical homeopathy, modern physiology, depth psychology, gemstone healing, color therapy and anthroposophical science. The soul-nature of an essential oil, rather than its chemical action, is emphasized.
Though not accessible to our ordinary intellectual consciousness, this soul-nature is the key determinant of the character of the oil. Every living cell must be animated by a vital force, or “ensouled,” and it is this incarnation of higher forces into living tissue that lends each organism its tangible expression. Kabbalists refer to this as the “descent of soul into matter.”
Founder of anthroposophical medicine Rudolf Steiner notes: “Matter is most spiritual in the perfume of the plant…When the spirit most closely approaches the physical earth, then we have the perception of fragrance.” The Kabbalah teaches that while the taste of a fruit such as an orange nourishes a human being on a conscious level, the scent of its oil provides sustenance for one’s spiritual dimension. According to the Kabbalah, the human soul contains plant, animal and human soul components. Thus, each of us has the ability to relate to plant souls on a soul-to-soul level. Hence, an essential oil, the bonding medium for the soul of the plant, is uniquely suited to act as the physical entity that can facilitate an interface between plant and human souls.
The plant soul is not encumbered by ego, so it has the qualities of purity and infinity. Thus, the individualized plant soul combination within a customized essential oil blend, when proffered to a specific human soul, is eagerly received and infuses the latter with an impetus to move beyond limitation by changing its orientation from the finite to the Infinite. The key to moving the soul in this way is the formulation of an oil blend which accurately reflects an individual’s true essence. Just as no two snowflakes are alike, each soul is completely unique.
While essential oils of jasmine and rose appear similar at first glance-both are known for their enhancement of romantic love and lovemaking-they are really very different. The following discussion of these oils from a soul-nature perspective, as elaborated by the Spiritual PhytoEssencing synthesis, highlights their differences.
Jasmine Oil Type
One of the keynote symptoms of the jasmine oil individual is fear of losing self-control. The jasmine oil type strives with might and main to retain control over an existence whose fabric is fragile and easily rent. She is a coequal mixture of passionate, noble sentiments and emotional hypersensitivity and vulnerability. Her weaknesses are resistant to eradication because she is consumed with the need to hide them, and thereby avoid insult and humiliation. Also, the jasmine individual is very much a prisoner of parental suppressive influences which dominated her early years. Although within herself she can sense the nobility of her individuated soul-nature, these remain haphazard glimpses that cannot be woven into a consistent pattern because she subconsciously continues to enforce the restrictions placed upon her at an earlier time by others. Hence, the jasmine oil type is an unstable mixture of feelings of nobility and low self-esteem, unsatisfied urges and impulsive actions.
In the realm of sexuality, she will either demonstrate extreme control manifesting as prudishness, lack of spontaneity or even frigidity, or else a lack of control manifesting as obsessive sexual fantasies, excessive masturbation and/or promiscuity. Here, we see not only the issue of control but also the theme of an inability to develop individuality, for the jasmine oil type is inherently romantic and passionate. Thus, in the case of the sexually repressed jasmine individual, there is no outlet for her unique admixture of romanticism and sexuality. Regarding the lascivious jasmine individual, the dominance of the more animalistic aspect of sexuality precludes the expression of a truly romantic nature.
Rose Oil Type
A keynote of the rose oil individual is the feeling of there is always hope. In fact, the central theme of rose is: If I find true love, everything will be okay. The Beatle’s tune “All You Need Is Love” is a perfect theme song for this type. Despite a record of love-interest disappointments and sorrow, an ember of hope continues to glow within the rose individual. She thinks: If only he will change this about himself, we can have the loving, intimate relationship I yearn for.
Also, this person is prone to fantasies about finding “Mr. Right.” She holds out hope that any trip she takes, any party she attends, any new job she takes, etc. offers the possibility of meeting her soul-mate. She may even believe that someday her one true love, perhaps her high school sweetheart that she broke up with decades ago, will reappear in her life and they will begin anew where they left off. In other words, the secret love she has revisited in her mind countless times magically returns to rescue her from the humdrum of an ordinary relationship. The rose oil type has a strong desire to travel which stems from fantasies about passionate romance in exotic locales rather than from a pronounced interest in other cultures. The rose oil picture also features the symptom: impulse to run. In some cases, the rose individual will impulsively leave a romantically unsatisfying relationship that’s safe and secure for a romantically charged one, even if it proves volatile and risky.
Sexual Love and Soul
Romantic love is a part of the flame of higher love which is always aglow in the human heart. Couples will, from time to time, encounter challenges that threaten their love. But rather than destroying a relationship, such challenges should refine it until it ascends to the very essence of Divine Love. In this reference, the great Kabbalist Abraham Isaac Kook writes: “Who can restrain the light of higher love that stirs in the heart…It beats like a gentle wind filled with delightful fragrance, at the same time roaring like the waves of the sea.” Kook’s comparison of higher love to a “delightful fragrance” is very telling regarding this discussion of Spiritual PhytoEssencing. True love between two people not only enhances the connection to their higher selves, but also serves as the foundation for a meaningful life and the realization of one’s full potential.
Sexual attraction in humans is so strong that it’s one of the few influences to offset the natural tendency of the human ego toward self-centeredness. Sexual love can help to overcome the power of egotism and inspire spiritual transformation, or individual “rebirth.” When sexual activity is merely a mechanism of delusional feelings or of submissive supplication, the soul cannot gainfully contribute to cultural or spiritual life. Hence, for an essential oil to be able to encourage true healing in the realm of love and intimacy, one must first assess its relevance for a particular individual by examining its innermost domain.
Copyright 2006 by Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc.