Monday, June 24

Do not dismiss the power of symbols

People have always saved scraps of their experience to help remind them of a magical time in their lives.  We save a shell from our vacation at the beach where we fell in love.  Perhaps a ticket stub from the championship game when the Cubs won the world series.

It doesn’t make ‘intellectual’ sense.  It’s more of the lucky charm concept.  A feeling that there is some mysterious mojo, buzz, aura, ‘divine intervention’… something with a spirit beyond explanation that we believe exists outside our normal perception of space and time.  We just “feel it.”  It’s an awareness that there is something, a force that operates unseen.  How else would the dice answer our plea to toss seven at the craps table!

In that rabbit foot is something we’re sure will bring us good fortune.  The power in that furry paw is invisible, but it is there. That’s what makes symbols important, their connection to ‘unseen power.’   That’s why we put a horseshoe over the barn door, always with the ends pointing up.  (Do it otherwise and you’ll wind up in the dreaded realm waiting below).

Sometimes, when I’m meditating, I use an aromatic dispenser that puts out a fragrant mist.  It’s not so much the fragrances that waft into the room, but what the scents conjure up in my relaxed state of mind.  A kind of mystic aura. Something different in the atmosphere: eerie; other worldly.  As if I’m connecting with a time beyond the past, to the ancient history of the early world.

Throughout the centuries, swamis, shamans, and holy men have used essential oils to stimulate our awareness of the invisible energy reservoirs within us, the textures and scents igniting our senses to help us connect to the spiritual side of our lives. 

Essential oils refer to substances extracted from roots, stems, bark, flowers, or any part of a plant.  Many common essential oils, such as eucalyptus, chamomile, frankincense, lemongrass, and lavender are used for cosmetic or healing purposes.  Some have been even been associated with treatment for anxiety and depression.

Does it work?  If it makes you feel better… it works!  Try this if you’re feeling a bit down.  Rub a few drops of Rosewood directly over the heart (where unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion reside).  Work the oil into the center of the chest in wide circles and inhale the scent with deep breaths.  Feel the love that resides there!  Do you feel better?  Then it works.

Seriously?  Well, in 2014, Germany approved lavender as a legitimate medicinal substance for treating anxiety.  And some studies have indicated that lavender-oil massages can lower blood pressure and ease headaches.  Here’s more “proof:” Aromatherapy with Orange essential oil was used on children aged six to nine before undergoing dental treatment.  It had positive results in reducing stress and anxiety.  And Bergamot oil, derived from its bitter fruit, was shown in a 2011 lab test to be calming and mood-elevating (Disclaimer: the 2011 test was performed on rats!)

Stones, like oils, can hold ‘the unseen power that lives within us.’  It is said, “If you truly hold a stone, you can feel the mountain it came from.”

Green Jasper, known at the Bloodstone because of the traces of iron rust resembling drops of blood, is the stone of courage.  Warriors of ancient times carried them to defeat enemies and stop bleeding when wounded.  Apparently, it calms anxiousness and drives away negative thought, which would be a good thing if you’re about to go into battle! 

Another stone basic to a rockhound’s collection is the Sunstone.  It’s said to bring good luck and abundance and to dispel fears and phobias of all kinds. It’s also said to be helpful in contacting animal or spirit guides.  So it might be a good idea to keep one handy if your dog is prone to run away.

It’s easy to make fun of the so-called healing powers of oils and stones, but I view them in this light: as mirrors of our feelings.  They call into existence all that is within us and around us; they bear witness to the impenetrable mystery of life.

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