Monday, October 19, 2015


photo courtesy of Leslie Kirchoff/Refinery29
Aromatherapy is touted to be a systemic tool   in my recovery + prevention protocol—creating immediate results through sensory revival. Here is the alchemistress Desirée Pais of Benshen to guide us through her pick of the illustrious cabinet . . .

F A R M A C Y   |  T H E   A L C H E M I S T R E S S ' S   D E N

The art of aromatherapy has so many intricate layers to it. Maybe its taking a scientific approach to understanding the chemical makeup of the molecules in each oil and the constituents. Or to developing the depth of the olfactory system to comprehend the complexities of each offering. Or my favorite, the magical and esoteric qualities of the oils. As we live in the present and focus so much of our attention to the new discoveries of the feature, we tend to forget about the beautiful simplicities of that past, which actually were much more profound and vast than they appeared to be. With more of a connection to the cosmos and the magic of the Natural World, alchemists could tune into the more magical qualities of each essential oil. 

In his book, Magical Aromatherapy, Scott Cunningham describes magic as “the movement of subtle, natural energies to manifest needed change…In [magical aromatherapy], the practitioner visualizes a specific, needed change such as a loving relationship or business success. The visualization is maintained while inhaling the fragrance of aromatic plant materials or essential oils…To create and internal change, this aroma-charged energy is allowed to permeate the body and/or the two minds (conscious and psychic).”

I absolutely love this. When we can begin to co-create with the oils, with flowers, with sage, with herbs, then we are actively participate in the manifestation of our desires. This to me has always been the more empowering way to work with plant medicine.

h e l i c h r y s u m 

One of my favorite oils to work with is the powerfully healing Helichrysum, also known as Immortelle. The flowers are a beautiful golden yellow and receive their latter name for their resilience in life force and do not die easily. It’s one of my most adored oils as Helichrysum, derived from the Greek building blocks of helisso, to turn around, and chrysos, gold, embodies the internal alchemical magic that occurs within when we begin to turn inwards with meditation and yoga. The power of the strength of the flowers activates within us the strength and courage we need to make it through challenging times. As the petals do not wither easily, it activates the parts within ourselves that find the power to stay strong when we no longer feel able to. 

m a g i c a l   a r o m a t h e r a p y 

Take your seat as if to meditate. Sit up nice and tall, spine is straight. 
I / Sit quietly, breathing in and out. Settle yourself, ground yourself, connect to the subtle energies around and within you.
II / Take a cotton ball and a drop a few drops of Helichrysum onto the cotton ball
III / Visualize whatever challenge you are trying to over come, whatever obstacle where you feel like you need more power to face it.
IV / Take the cotton ball to your nose and inhale the beautiful, earthy scent of the Helichrysum and see yourself with being victorious
V / Repeat a few more times
VI / Close by bringing your hands to the heart and thank the plant medicine for guiding you.