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An Aromatic Wheel of the Year

While to some people the use of essential oils may seem more New Age or pop culture than Pagan, oils come from plants— and down through the ages Witches and Pagans have used plants for magic and ritual. Using essential oils is a way to hold tradition while extending our practices and giving them new depth. li!e to refer to the "lending of oils for magic and ritual as #aromatic alchemy,# "ecause we transform the power of plant aromas into magical messengers for our purposes. usually avoid the term #aromatherapy# when using oils for ritual or magic "ecause the word #therapy# implies that something is "ro!en and needs to "e fixed. We are not providing therapy to our magic, rituals, or divination when we use essential oils. nstead, we are using the oils to aid us in transforming our practices and "reathing life into our intentions. $hrough the alchemy of scent, aromas can retrieve a total experience of feelings, imagery, and sounds. %ssential oils provide immediate access to a rich storehouse of memory and emotion, which are the deeper parts of the self that reach into the soul. &ust as scent can trigger memory, using specific fragrances for ritual and magic helps us to return to a certain level of consciousness where we can pic! up where we left off. t can help us "uild on our ritual experiences and deepen divination, psychic, or shamanic wor!. While the ancients may not have understood the mechanics of the olfactory system, they understood how to wor! with it. $he use of scent in ritual and religious practices cuts across cultures, traditions, "eliefs, and time. $he purpose of incense in the earliest of rituals was to communicate with deities as well as the spirit world. $he most "asic reason to wor! with essential oils is that they !eep us in touch with the natural world, no matter where we live—even a 'anhattan high(rise. With essential oils we use the very essence of plants—their core and spirit—which ma!es them valua"le for magic wor!. While we can "oost the effectiveness of our spells and rituals with the life essence that these oils carry, using them in our homes for mundane applications also helps !eep us in tune with the turning of the seasons. n ritual and magic wor!, we often use various parts of plants "ecause of their sym"olism, which in turn enhances the energy and power of our intentions. t doesn)t ta!e any stretch of the imagination to see that using an essential oil or "lend of oils in place of an actual piece of plant wor!s *ust as well. n addition to covering three standard methods for "lending oils in my "oo!, 'ixing %ssential +ils for 'agic, introduce my own method, which is "ased on the various parts of plants. Wor!ing with oils from specific plant parts can also help us create seasonal scents. $hin! of it as an #Aromatic Wheel of the Year.# While we may thin! of flowers as providing fragrance, scents are produced in many other parts of plants. ,or example, sandalwood oil comes from the wood, "ar!, and roots- *uniper oil from fruit- lemon "alm from leaves and flowers- and fran!incense from the oleoresin. +il also comes from stems, twigs, seeds, and nuts. ,or my personal practice and in my "oo!, too! into consideration the plant parts used for producing oil and came up with nine categories. •,lowers •,ruit •/eaves •/eaves and flowers 0some oils are produced from a com"ination of these1 •2esins 0which includes oleoresins and gums1 •,oots 0which includes rhi3omes 4a type of root51 •6eeds 0which includes nuts and !ernels1 •$wigs and leaves •Wood and "ar! ,or an Aromatic Wheel of the Year, assigned these categories to the seasons.

•6pring. ,lowers, leaves, flowers and leaves, resins, seeds •6ummer. ,lowers, leaves, flowers and leaves, fruit, roots, seeds, twigs and leaves •Autumn. ,ruit, leaves, wood and "ar!, seeds, twigs and leaves •Winter. ,oots, wood and "ar!, seeds and the leaves and twigs of evergreens
7uite naturally, there will "e some overlaps, "ut li!e the seasons this creates a flow of scents. n spring the earth awa!ens and life "ursts forth from seeds that have "een cradled in the soil. 2esins give an earthy smell in the spring and reminds us that the soil is ready to "e planted. As energy 8uic!ens and flows, so do the resins, which thin! of as the life "lood of plants. $he other categories that include for spring are leaves and flowers. As we move into summer more flowers and leaves green our gardens accompanied "y fruit and seeds, and the growth of twigs and roots. n autumn fruit and nuts are a"undant, "ut leaves "la3e into their final glory and then fade revealing more of the wood and "ar! of trees and roots. ,inally the 8uiet of winter descends with seeds tuc!ed into the ground once again among the roots. +f course there are exceptions, especially around Yule, as there are many aromas that we associate with the season. ,or example, citrus and clove oils are reminiscent of the orange pomanders.

. sage 0leaves1. respectively. $he following seasonal ta"les provide listings of popular oils according to my plant part categories and are intended to provide you with a starting point. /avender carries the sweetness of summer. t spea!s of "rilliant fall days and chilly nights as it imparts a co3y feeling of evenings "y the fireplace. and orange "rings the delight of a"undance.however. 6pring +ils Flowers cananga catnip chamomile 0=erman1 chamomile 02oman1 clove helichrysum hops *asmine lavandin lavender 0spi!e1 lavender 0true1 neroli oregano peppermint rose 0<amas!1 rose 0'aroc1 spearmint ylang(ylang Other Flowers *asmine peppermint neroli rose lavandin chamomile 02oman1 lavender spearmint clove rose spearmint ylang(ylang lavandin lavender *asmine clove lavandin neroli Leaves citronella eucalyptus 0"lue gum1 patchouli tarragon allspice lemongrass myrtle "irch citronella sage patchouli patchouli citronella eucalyptus 0"lue gum1 palmarosa patchouli eucalyptus 0"lue gum1 "irch Leaves and Flowers lemon "alm rosemary mar*oram clary sage rosemary lemon "alm lemon "alm clary sage thyme rosemary clary sage clary sage rosemary mar*oram lemon "alm clary sage "asil lemon "alm sandalwood cardamom "en3oin sandalwood sandalwood dill fennel 0sweet1 fennel 0sweet1 storax storax elemi fran!incense opopanax coriander caraway la"danum Resins la"danum myrrh "en3oin fran!incense cumin nutmeg cardamom nutmeg coriander Seeds cardamom .As a new season "egins. n summer. A list of !eyword will do. and comforting.or autumn. and fruit. pic! a few oils with which you are familiar to create a scent. and *uniper 0fruit1 provides a com"ination that is deep. <on)t thin! a"out it—feel it. $hese ta"les also provide information on the oils that "lend well together. try a com"ination of lavender. Now comes the fun part. $a!e your time and experiment to find the oils and com"inations of oils that spea! to your soul and provide that aromatic alchemy for your magic. let intuition guide you. and then write down your impressions. and orange. which come from flowers. warming. pine 0twigs and leaves1. leaves. patchouli has the rich fullness of warm earth. create sacred space and sit in front of your altar. :isuali3e what the current season means to you. Pic! a few that sym"oli3e or echo the sentiments of the !eywords you have written. patchouli. there are many others that also "lend well. loo! at the listings of oils "y seasons. 9efore em"ar!ing on your aromatic *ourney into a season. What are the emotions and sensations that it evo!es.

6ummer +ils 0includes the spring oils1 Flowers cananga catnip chamomile 0=erman1 chamomile 02oman1 clove helichrysum hops *asmine lavandin lavender 0spi!e1 lavender 0true1 neroli oregano peppermint rose 0<amas!1 rose 0'aroc1 spearmint ylang(ylang vetiver ginger ginger vetiver lovage vetiver vetiver ginger Roots Fruit Twigs and Leaves sandalwood "ergamot lime lemon "ergamot sandalwood grapefruit vetiver litsea lemon mandarin lime lemon orange orange "ergamot lemon "ergamot "ergamot mandarin "ergamot tee tree Autumn +ils Leaves allspice "irch cassia cinnamon citronella clove dill eucalyptus 0"lue gum1 fir 0"alsam1 lemongrass myrtle palmarose patchouli sage 0common1 sage 06panish1 tarragon eucalyptus 0"lue gum1 cedarwood 0any type1 fir 0silver1 Other Leaves patchouli clove clove clove sage 0common1 cassia lemongrass sage 06panish1 tarragon dill clove clove allspice amyris sandalwood cedarwood 0any type1 cedarwood 0any type1 cedarwood 0any type1 cedarwood 0Atlas1 cedarwood 0any type1 sandalwood spruce pine "ay petitgrain ca*eput cypress tea tree "ay Wood and Bark Twigs and Leaves "ay pine Fruit orange *uniper grapefruit orange "ergamot grapefruit orange lemon *uniper "ergamot lime coriander caraway coriander nutmeg cardamom anise coriander Seeds coriander eucalyptus 0lemon1 tea tree tea tree ca*eput tea tree pine petitgrain "ay petitgrain pine peitgrain pine niaouli eucalyptus 0lemon1 eucalyptus 0lemon1 eucalyptus 0lemon1 grapefruit cardamom fir 0silver1 pine pine pine "ergamot lemon *uniper *uniper carrot angelica .

Winter +ils Roots angelica galangal ginger lovage sandalwood sna!eroot spi!enard turmeric valerian vetiver spi!enard ginger vetiver vetiver ginger cedarwood 0any type1 sandalwood angelica sandalwood cypress pine cypress coriander dill nutmeg vetiver Other Roots Wood and Bark cedarwood 0any type1 cinnamon sandalwood Twigs and Leaves pine pine Seeds coriander parsley coriander celery .