The Christmas Story tells of the gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Most people are familiar with gold, but what about the others? The holy oils? Both Frankincense and Myrrh are the resins – think “sap” – of their respective trees. In their raw state, these resins can be crushed or made into tinctures or oils for use in salves and creams. When steam distilled, they become the essential oils we use in aromatherapy care.
Both Frankincense and Myrrh have been fashioned into incense for use in prayer and spiritual practices. The ancient Egyptians burned Myrrh at midday, in praise of the sun god, Ra. It was also used in their Kyphi incense and in embalming. The Romans took a balm of Myrrh into battle, for use in the care of wounds sustained by soldiers. Its antibacterial, antifungal and strong antiseptic properties made it invaluable for wound and skin care. Today, Myrrh is a front-line oil for use with nasty fungal infections that just won’t quit! On a more profound level, Myrrh is the fragrance that resonates with the Wounded Healer – the wounds running deep, carrying the pain of others – for infinity. The fragrance helps one to realize the need to let go of this pain as it is past. And our future demands that we move forward from it (Valerie Worwood’s interpretation).
Frankincense was used to carry man’s prayers to the ancient gods and goddesses. It is still the incense of choice in the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches. Frankincense is said to have psychoactive properties that can help one transcend time and space, hence its use in spiritual endeavours. Physically, Frankincense has been used to expand lung capacity, which helps with better oxygenation of the blood and body. This ability to deepen one’s breath is also important when meditating as anyone who has done breath work can attest to. It is also noted for its ability to normalize fluids in the body, which makes it invaluable for skin and joint care. On a psycho-spiritual level, Frankincense is often called the Great Protector, for it will support your spiritual journey but will not let you go where you are not yet ready to go. It has the power and authority to ward off lesser energies which try to attach to or attack your energy field (Valerie Worwood’s interpretation).
Realizing the earthly journey awaiting the Christ child, these gifts made perfect “scents”.