Sunday, June 21, 2009

The quality of your mind & everything is a ceremony!

You can be excited, ruffled, halted in your tracks, made horribly sick, sweetly sent to sleep or even coaxed into a place your other senses are telling to stay far away from… all in a whiff of whatever scent is floating by you in the moment. This is all about the quality of your mind. How so? How you feel, what you think, quicksilver memory, distant shores and access to brilliant moments come along on invisible tendrils of scent, the ethers (the fifth element) of change. It’s my job to blend botanical oils with the goal of guiding the quality of your mind. The lens I work through are the cultures of the planet, of Home. A long time ago I was encouraged to understand who I was and why I was here by studying my Ancestors. My teacher, Joseph Campbell, excited a curiosity in me that brought illumination to my desire for understanding what the dynamics of eternity could be. I studied para psychology, because it was the value of my own self description. I studied religion so I might better challenge what surrounded me that seemed so quagmired in dogma. I studied contemporary terrorism because I wanted to write the news. I studied aromatherapy on my own for a couple of years and the went to Britain to be adequately trained and instated. I learned much hands on in the UK, but I had a vaster knowledge of the history and application through my own studies. I’m still collecting knowledge and experience with help of cultural shaman, daykeepers, authors, healers and spiritual diplomats of the new age. This is me in a nutshell.
To me, Sweetgrass is the most sacred herbe. It is braided in the Nations with purpose and energy. In ceremony they pile it up in fire to create clouds of sweet smoke for you pass through…and your Spirit is quickened within…a healing. I adore it’s innocent scent and healing touch. Sweetgrass can bring you up, lift you from the fear you carry or simply give you hope in it’s penetration of goodness. I adore it. I gift it every chance I get. And only I can do so, because I am the only maker of a pure Sweetgrass Oil [that I am aware of, in the marketplace].

The story of how the Sweetgrass Oil came to be is a story about Spirit. It was in my own awakening to what surrounds me on other levels of consciousness that I found myself hearing the teaching of ‘how to’ do certain things to create it. The story goes that after Brother Beaver covered Turtle’s back with the sea’s soil, GrandFather Sun nurtured it with the sweetness of new life…Sweetgrass. The Ojibwa People call it the Earth Mother’s first plant child. Native Peoples think that Sweetgrass ‘calls only good spirits’. And it does do that. Hanging Sweetgrass braids above your doorway arch in a cross protects the house from mean spirits. Brewing a large tea of it and pouring it into your bath water is an ancient ceremony that cleanses bad spirits from your body and mind, opening up your Spirit! Among the Nations, traveling the ‘Sweetgrass Trail’ describes the way to follow our Medicine Wheel of right intentions and actions. In taking risks and facing challenges we grow with a sweetness of heart. When we listen to our friend, family and Elders, we learn a valuable sweetness of mind, wisdom. While we search for the guidance of our Ancestors in prayer and intentions, we carry a true sweetness of Spirit to gift to others when they are in need of it. Is it any wonder that the Blackfoot People use this Medicine to cleanse the Sun Dancers? For purity of intention…reach for Sweetgrass! Sweetgrass was my beginning on my bench.

“The real truth that dare not speak itself is that no one is in control, absolutely no one. This stuff is ruled by the equations of dynamics and chaos. There may be entities seeking control, but to seek control is to take enormous aggravation upon yourself. It’s like trying to control a dream.” McKenna

Terrence McKenna_ a true connoisseur for morphing his quality of mind. Capable of endless morph-mentality in corresponding his way through the cosmic puzzle, eternity, and our unique Self portion in it. His league, meaning all of them like him, have so much more loft than ever The Beast-Trickster (Crowley, another master corresponder) could embrace. Paradigm Shift!? Conceptually, Terence understood the ground rules observed in this poly-sci-spirit commotion. He’s a personal hero. A well known ethnobotanist playing the part of my guide, sure footedly for a tender foot, into the more hazardous penetration of them warrens loosely suspended below my sober mind; my subconscious. He always applied a radical sense of humor as he described and demonstrated the mechanisms of human instinct vs refined intuition. [Ethnobotany (from "ethnology" - study of culture[1] and “botany” – study of plants) is the scientific study of the relationships that exist between people and plants. Ethnobotanists aim to reliably document, describe and explain complex relationships between cultures and (uses of) plants: focusing, primarily, on how plants are used, managed and perceived across human societies (eg. as foods; as medicines; in divination; in cosmetics; in dyeing; as textiles; in construction; as tools; as currency; as clothing; in literature; in rituals; and in social life.)]

Ethnobotany is the first discipline I practice when I begin to blend. It’s the first step I take towards a concrete I have to define fragrantly for a successful result. And I should declare that I will refine an existing formula as I learn and grow empathetically to a culture and it’s Traditions. But_ introducing Terrence: a master guide for the journey who offers me a discipline to reveal core relationships between Nature and Culture. Invaluable. Yet, Terrence would freak at the use of a term like ‘discipline’. Terrence taught me something more; that approaching the choice of my ingredients in formulation had several steps. I began to distill these steps as motions of separate and unique ceremonies, meaning each step I take in formulation is part of a gradual, natural elevation of my mind and Spirit to union with the goal – fragrantly defining a sacred Tradition.

“The Beliefs of a Witoto shaman and the beliefs of a Princeton phenomenologist have an equal chance of being correct, and there are no arbiters of who is right. Here is something we have not assimilated. We have been to the moon, we have charted the depths of the ocean and the heart of the atom, but we have a fear of looking inward to ourselves because we sense that is where all the contradictions flow together.” McKenna

The quality of scent and the quality of mind and the true expression of culture:
The first thing you do when approaching a ceremony is preparation. You prepare your tools, your goals and finally, your quality of mind because this is the most essential ingredient. All of this is done so you might marshal your energy towards a specific conclusion or goal. And that being said, it’s really up to you to do the ultimate corresponding that makes a truthful expression. Exception taken: everyone has a unique experience to scent. How do I account for this in my formula? I trust my inner guidance to capture the specific bouquet. No matter how much you study, you ‘travel to the mountain’ in seeking the cultural experience with whatever integrity, the final result must be a balance between your mental instinct and emotional intuition. Sometimes it’s not such a balance, but a compromise because of the conflicting nature of a Tradition…like perhaps ‘rebirth’. Often approached culturally through ritual suicide. So, you adapt your instinct using your intuition complimented with a good education of the Tradition and the People who have developed it, made it in some way, sacred. The value of exploring your subconscious to establish your resource, is the ultimate authenticity or the closest I can find to it. That takes practice. Practice brings perfect, as the saying goes, but how it does in my process is in those steps I was speaking of. Each one is a meditation, a step closer into a final ceremony where the fragrance becomes a balance of intention, education, experience, integrity and then viola! It is Warrior Heart combining tree bark, citrus rinds, spices and roots. Or White Buffalo Woman, gathered in flowers, adorned with woods, cooled with leaves. Perhaps Kuan Yin, rising in exotic florals, grounded again in salty winds brushing sweet earth. Even a discipline of Eastern Ayurveda cleansing can be captured when expressed through citrus blends companioned with fertile herbs and tree saps.

So, the first step in beginning to blend is to educate yourself. Correspond the quality of mind you are hoping to stimulate through your education. Take it easy, as in relax into it with a confidence that your subconscious can ultimately guide you. Meditate or simply imaginate what you need to know beyond the education and experience and above all, allow your nose to have a say in it!

“It’s strange — you know, the Net is denounced as austere, the product of the engineering mentality, so forth and so on. It’s the most feminine influence that Western civilization has ever allowed itself to fall under the spell of. The troubadour's of the fourteenth century were as nothing compared to the boundary-dissolving, feminizing, permitting, nurturing nature of the Net. Maybe that’s why there is an overwhelming male preference for it, in its early form, because that’s where that was needed. But it is Sophia, it is wisdom, it is the penetrating archetypal female logos of the world-soul, leading us away from what was very sharp-edged and uncomfortable and repressive to our creativity and our sexuality and our relationships to each other and to the Earth.” McKenna
And Happy midsummer Solstice!

No comments: