Lavender - Integration of the past
Essential oils are profound medicine for body, mind and spirit. They have a long history of use dating back at least to ancient Egypt. My particular interest is the use of essential oils as gateways to consiousness, and over the years I have been mapping out the key psychic attributes of oils so that they can be used more effectively for psychic and spiritual wellbeing.
Latin names: Lavandula angustifolia
Part of plant used: flowering tops
Aroma character: herbaceous, floral, with woody-earth notes
Essential qualities: feminine, balancing, cleansing, protective
A grandmotherly medicine woman cares diligently for an ailing child in a homely little cottage by the edge of a forest.
I remind you that it is okay to stop from time to time, to take stock of your thoughts and feelings, and allow the natural process of healing to happen; the movement toward more balance and wholeness. My message is to encourage you to stay in present time, to let go of what is old, done and dusted. Why carry the unnecessary burden of unresolved past experiences? The wisdom of forgiveness, in itself a self-loving act of letting go and letting be, relieves inner tension and 'inner clutter' allowing more energy for the present. There are times when the power to feel better is wholly in our hands, all we need do is realise that the onus is on us to make the needed change. Often this change is an inner one, perhaps an adjustment of an attitude of mind, which will inevitably at some stage, appear as productive change in the outer-world.
The name lavender comes from the Latin lavare meaning to wash, because the ancient Romans used lavender to scent their bath water and for medicinal purposes. This is not surprising given the numerous health benefits the oil has to offer. In fact modern aromatherapy emerged during the second world war due to the efficacy of essential oils like lavender to effectively treat burns, rashes, and infected wounds. Lavender was used in ancient Egypt; in 1922, when the tomb of King Tutankhamen was opened, it is said that the lavender found within still retained some of its fragrance 3,000 years after the tomb was sealed. The herb has been cultivated throughout the middle ages, and English monarchs such as Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria as said to have favoured it.
The sweet fresh smell of lavender is both calming and elevating to the mind. It's constant use throughout the ages as a purifier is testament to it's cleansing action on the mind, body and spirit. Like sage, lavender is strongly connected to the Circle of Grandmothers, symbolic of both healing and ancestral wisdom. Lavender energy is soft, tenacious, yet strong; in her care we feel safe, nourished and purified; we are tenderly embraced by the enduring love of the 'Good Mother'; invited to mother ourselves in times of need, it evokes a gentle yet resilient power within us to ward off negativity by tuning us away from fearful thoughts. We are gently moved to a more inward orientation, the mind is calmed and emotions soothed, while overall we are elevated toward higher visions and ideals. In this sense lavender can take us to the threshold of the sacred as it coaxes us away from the mundane, drawing our attention to a wider view of reality, and in so doing offering us the opportunity to slow down, take a breath and take in the fullness of what is happening and what we are feeling in a given moment of time. This slowing down can also be seen as a release of pent up energy, where any frustrations and irritations are dispersed harmlessly. This release tends to happen at the mental level first, making lavender a useful ally when wanting to break habitual patterns, which often arise when a part of who we are is repressed or blocked in some way.