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August 31, 2022
Scents-ibility for September: Aromatherapy by Star
Once again, we stand on the threshold of Autumn, and hopefully, cooler weather. Just as Lughnasadh marked the beginning of the harvest season, the Autumnal Equinox and Mabon mark the midpoint and second harvest of the season.
It’s a great time to take stock of successes and failures, and to offer gratitude. Sometimes being grateful for catastrophes and disasters that did not happen is every bit as important as being thankful for all the good things that did.
Gratitude and balance are the touchstones of September for me, personally. Finding the balance point can be done at any time of the year, but the closer the wheel turns to the equinox when daylight and nighttime hours are evenly matched seems to highlight the task.
Magically speaking, weighing the balance of personal practice and recognizing the areas that need adjustment can be key as the shift towards the more reflective and shadow time of the cycle approaches. It is a good time for defining the aspects of practice that need to be emphasized, like expressing gratitude, rest, and renewal, while reducing those that are not as likely to require as much attention, like encouraging or enhancing new growth.
The Autumnal season seems to be naturally inclined towards helping us find the balance point with work and play, too. Scent and aromas can play a distinct role is how that balance is achieved.
While there are traditional fragrances associated with autumn, everyone has their own personal affiliations that are tied to the season through memory and past experiences. The correct scents are the ones that resonate for each individual when it comes personal practice. Autumn for me reflects the dry and spicy scents of freshly fallen leaves, the dark and slightly pungent aroma of earth, the sweet crispness of fresh apples at the market, and the slightest wafting of licorice from goldenrod lazily bobbing in the late afternoon sun. Those are the images and scents my memory brings to life when I think about this time of year.
I’ve outlined some of my choices for blends below. As always for the more adventurous, you can create a cold diffusion by placing the plant matter of hard to get or costly oils, like rose or carnation petals in a base oil for several weeks allowing it absorb the scent.
Blessed Mabon and Second Harvest to you all!
Blend for Mabon/Autumnal Equinox:
6 drops of Lemon (Citrus limonum) essential oil
4 drops of Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides) essential oil
2 drops of Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) essential oil
2 drops of Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) essential oil
Blend for Balance:
6 drops of Bergamot (Citrus aurantium var. bergamia) essential oil
4 drops of Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium) essential oil
3 drops of Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) essential oil
To use as an oil:
Blend with one ounce of base oil, like sweet almond
To use as a linen spray:
16 oz of distilled or filtered water
½ oz of witch hazel or alcohol
Add witch hazel or alcohol to spray bottle, then drops of oil, and finally water.
Shake well before each use.
A note on safety and how to conduct a skin patch test
As with all essential oil blends, a skin patch test should be done before topically applying. Simply apply a small amount of the blend to the inside of the upper arm. If no irritation develops after 24 hours, then it is safe to use. If at any point during a skin patch test if irritation develops, the application area should be immediately treated with either a dairy-based product like milk or yogurt to halt the irritation. Then the testing area should be and thoroughly washed with mild soap and water and cleaned of the substance applied.
Please note that no matter how safe and natural you believe essential oils to be, they are not recommended to be applied straight or “neat” directly on the skin. There are a few exceptions for regular use, but even those should only be used that way under the advice of a certified or registered aromatherapist. Young children, the elderly, anyone with a comprised immune system, and those who are pregnant may require a formula that is much reduced in active ingredients. Essential oils of any variety should always be cautiously used around pets, and never used on cats or in any way that would allow them to ingest it—like breathing in vaporized spray or licking it off of their fur.
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