The Power of Essential Oils

The Power of Essential Oils

Smell is by far one of our most important sensory functions. It can bring us to different states of mind as well as elicit emotional responses in a way that not many of our other senses can. Combine this with the aid of powerful plant allies and it’s easy to see why essential oils are becoming more and more looked at as a useful tool for the mind, body, and spirit. Although they have risen in popularity, there has been recorded use of essential oils for around 5,000 years, so there’s definitely something to this.

But before we jump in too deep, what exactly are essential oils? Very large amounts of plant matter go into making these concentrates, which aids to their effectiveness. For example, it takes around 242,000 rose petals to make just 5 ml of rose essential oil! Steam distillation, solvent extraction, CO2 extraction, maceration, enfleurage, cold press extraction, and water distillation are all different ways that these oils can be processed.

So now that we know what these oils are, how can they help us? One of the most important and unique ways that they can affect us is their ability to interact with both our internal and external cellular makeup. Because of their small molecular size and lipid solubility, they are able to pass through the blood brain barrier (which is the most secure membrane in the body) to directly influence our state of being. For example, have you ever placed lavender in a diffuser or on the skin with the help of a carrier oil and immediately felt more at peace? Below are a few ways to enjoy these herbal blends in a safe way.

A NOTE ON WORKING WITH ESSENTIAL OILS…

Due to their HIGHLY concentrated nature, they should be used with great respect and care. A few drops is all that will ever be needed when working with these allies. We never recommend applying them to the skin without a carrier oil, and especially to NEVER INGEST THEM INTERNALLY. Also, some oils may cause sensitivities and or be toxic to be used around young children and animal companions. Whenever you bring new oils into the home, double check the safety for all members of the home.

Diffusion

Whether you have a mist diffuser or a variety that releases the scent of the oils from a candles heat, filling the air with scent is one of the easiest ways to welcome the benefits of the plants into your routine. Diffusion is excellent to relax before bed, when cleaning the home, or to create ambiance in your space at any time.

Add them to cleaning supplies!

Need some energetic cleansing while you go about your chores? Try adding a few drops of sage, lemongrass or cedarwood into your cleaning supplies to move both energetic and physical debris. These oils would also be a great addition to any homemade cleaners as well. Lemon essential oil is one of our favorites to add to any DIY (do-it-yourself) blends for it’s crisp, clean scent.

Body Care

Essential oils are very easily incorporated into either pre-made or DIY body care products through the use of a carrier oil or carrier substance. Commonly these botanicals are blended in with other butters and oils such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, almond oil, hemp seed oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, or aloe vera and applied topically to the skin and hair. Not only does this make you smell like flowers (’cause who doesn’t love that?) but traditionally, these oils have been mixed to potentially provide health benefits as well. Some oils like Tea Tree for example, will have antimicrobial properties, and other oils such as ginger may have an anti inflammatory effect on the skin. These blends can also be placed in roller balls or sprays as a personal fragrance.

Spellwork

Looking to invoke a particular deity? Performing a spell? Essential oils are an ideal way to take your magic to the next level. They are easily placed on altars, added to mojo bags, and act as an excellent way to supercharge candles by anointing them with a corresponding oil. They can also be diffused during a ritual for a smoke free substitute for traditional incense.

Although everything listed here is a great place to start with these oils, this only scratches the surface on all of the possibilities of use. The more you work with them, the more in tune you will inherently become with their potential. Let the plant communication begin!

Review: Smith-Waite Borderless Tarot

Review: Smith-Waite Borderless Tarot

Smith-Waite Tarot TemperanceBy now, everybody is familiar with the images in the Rider-Smith-Waite Tarot. After all, they’re the images that cemented the symbolism of tarot, and virtually every other deck since has used those cards as a basis for its own images. But no matter how well you know the Rider-Smith-Waite (RSW) Tarot, you’ll see them in a whole new light in the new Smith-Waite Borderless Tarot from US Games.

For this deck, US Games has sought to depict the images as accurately to Pamela Colman Smith’s original work as possible. It might seem hyperbolic to call the end result “transcendent”, but that’s really what we have here. The artwork here is pristine and clear, avoiding the overly-mimeographed quality that can sometimes come from the standard RSW. There is almost no color bleed here, the lines and text are cleaner, and the overall color palette is warmer and more muted. The images possess a timeless quality while also having a kind of charming antiquity. The cards could easily be used as a prop for a high-budget period film right out the box.

Smith-Waite Tarot BackOne of the nicest elements of the deck is the card backs. Instead of the harsh, crisscrossing lines of the standard RSW deck, the Smith-Waite has a rich green back with a white rose in the center. Astute observers will note that it’s the same white rose from the flag on the Death card. In the corners of the back are Smith’s signature, giving the deck a distinct ownership. Waite may have told Smith what to illustrate, but this deck is more hers than his.

But no matter how beautiful the cards are, what’s important is how it reads, and the Smith-Waite reads beautifully. Even for those of us who don’t necessarily connect with the RSW, this deck reads very easily, having an accessible and open kind of energy. The lack of borders also helps to bring the artwork front and center, emphasizing the composition and structure of the symbols on each card. The one drawback to reading with the deck is the cardstock. While sturdy and fine, the cards are rather thick and slick right out of the box. You may need to do some extra shuffling to loosen them up and read on a good, velvet mat to make sure the cards don’t slide around.

Smith-Waite Tarot DuetOne of the deck’s most interesting features is the addition of four cards depicting other artwork by Smith. Several of these were included as postcards in US Games’ previously-released Smith-Waite Commemorative box set. The Little White Book inside the deck does not assign a divinatory meaning to any of the cards, and they are not given a number or place in the deck itself. However, there’s no reason that they can’t be incorporated into the deck for readings. Each of the cards’ art was inspired by a corresponding piece of music or theatre from sources as diverse as Schumann, Stravinsky, and George William Russell. Like the rest of the cards in the deck, these four pieces have multiple layers of meaning that can be explored. The meaning of each card is therefore left up to the reader, giving an extra personal edge to any readings done with them.

Smith-Waite Tarot King of PentaclesThe Smith-Waite deck is, frankly, a gorgeous addition to any tarot enthusiast’s library. While it may initially seem to be just another variation on the most common and popular deck of all time, it is in reality its own thing. Softer, but somehow more resonant than the original, and equal parts nostalgia and reinvention, it’s a great deck for beginners and veterans alike.

New Moon in Aries, April 15, 2018

New Moon in Aries, April 15, 2018

By Thraicie Hawkner

The New Moon of April 15th is in Aries. Our key word is “dynamic”! We are apt to be more action-oriented than usual for the few days surrounding this dark moon. New Moon is always a good time to start something new, but this one is particularly prone to instigation.

Be aware that Mercury is also in Aries and has been retrograde. It will just be stationing direct, at this point. Don’t rush into anything crazy. There may still be some frustrations and hiccups. But do expect more successful forward-motion with your efforts in the days to come. Our Van Van oil, spray, and candles are designed to remedy any remaining difficulties.

Mars is still in Capricorn, as we discussed in the last newsletter. The key words are “Strategy” and “Purpose.” If we can stay focused on the goal and stay on plan, success is assured, especially with all this Aries power behind us! This week, there are also some powerful aspects that bring an emphasis on deep spirituality, awareness of use (or misuse) of power, and some serious consideration of religious beliefs and political & financial philosophies (Mars sextile Neptune and Jupiter sextile Pluto).

Shungite is a particularly good stone for this time. It is as dark as the New Moon, and helps to conduct/focus your intentions toward powerful manifestation. Consider combining it with Yarrow herb, to help overcome any fears or sense of weakness, that might be undermining your success.

Stop by the Eye of Horus today, or visit our online store, to pick up your New Moon supplies today!