|Cypress is a tree associated with graveyards, grief and eternity. In Aroma Genera, the therapeutic system developed by British aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood, there is strength found in its fragrance. She describes its characteristics to include wisdom, strength, protective, righteous and direct. “It is a symbol of eternity – directing itself to the heavens and answering to no one but the Great Spirit.” Not surprising, it is a fragrance that can assist with grief, sorrow, losses, fear, regrets and emotional tiredness.
In her book, The Fragrant Heavens, Valerie Ann Worwood continues with the psycho-spiritual description of Cypress.
Loss of any kind can trigger a sense of great sorrow. When this sorrow becomes so entrenched that daily life is disrupted and one cannot shake out of this sorrow, it is said to be “pathological”. In the broadest sense, this means that our emotional state is causing significant health and relationship issues and if not corrected, we are endangering our life; hence the term “pathological”. In mind-body-spirit philosophy, we understand that if one part of the triad is in turmoil, the rest of the triad suffers, too. What can we do to move through the sorrow and return to a healthy, happy, balanced life?
Aromatics have been used for thousands of years to help resolve and release emotional trauma. The plants were burned to help send prayers and requests for healing to the heavens. Ointments and elixers were used to help soothe the mind, body and spirit during times of great distress. Walks in the forests and gardens were prescribed for relief of a “heavy heart”. Temples and churches used aroma in the form of incense to help calm and focus the mind so one could come to understand and accept the meaning of life, death and rebirth.
How can we use aromas today? When mindfully used on the body and as inhalations, they help us acknowledge and handle the painful emotions we are experiencing. The person, situation or memory causing us distress can’t be changed – it’s now history. But our attitude and approach to handling the distress we feel can be changed. Moving from a feeling of helplessness or hopelessness to a sense of empowerment is one of the gifts of aroma. Anchoring the new shift in our attitude and approach is another gift of aroma. And moving onward with life is yet one more gift.
As the saying goes, “We can’t change our past, only our reactions and responses to it”. By using Cypress essential oil, you can find your way back from grief and sorrow and move on to living and fulfilling your life. It is what the world needs you to do.
It is what you need for yourself, too.
|Article written by Pat Antoniak, Registered Nurse – Registered Aromatherapist and owner of the Natural Comfort Wellness Centre in Tsawwassen, BC.|