Florian and I met through aromatics and since we have been together, we have developed through a fusion of our experiences the AromaGnosis system of healing using aromatics as one of the principal tools alongside depth psychology and personal journeying. What we do is midwifery of the soul with essential oils.
Aromatic plants have been central to my life as a practitioner and plants person since I began this path. It wasn’t a conscious decision to work with aromatics, it just happened. It began with an aromatic garden that I created when I was a wine maker and grape grower in France. Before visitors came into our cellar to taste wine, we would take them on a tour to see the vines and my beautiful, aromatic garden, my haven, became part of the tour. I would get clients to close their eyes and smell the different plants, describing how they made them feel, what they smelled like, etc. It was the ideal preparation for a wine tasting session. I noticed how people, many of them men melted into a childlike place when they smelt certain plants.
As we work with the psycho/emotional/spiritual aspects of the psyche principally, it is vital that we use highly energetic, alive oils, as anything else will not work at the level we are trying to reach. We created Cathy’s Attars as a platform for these specially selected oils, all of which we use in our own work.
After working with these oils consistently in consultations, classes and on our own journeys, they resonate deeply within us. We know not just their smell but their resonance, their signature, and their medicine. The work we do with these oils we call ‘aromatic shamanism’ and it is basically midwifery of the soul. Our unique way of ‘seeing’ the person we are working with combined with the right oil at the right time accompanies the soul as it navigates the unconscious bringing necessary elements to light. The oils also help us to hold space and encourage someone to finally feel safe enough and ready to feel the emotions and sensations that are holding them back in life, be it from trauma, negative self-beliefs, cognitive dissonance. As in childbirth, this can only happen safely and effectively when the set and setting is optimum, this is up to us to create as soul midwives. When I was young and pregnant with my first son, I devoured the book Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. I remember her coming to the conclusion after following many women through their birth experiences that if someone who wasn’t creating the right feeling with their presence was in, or entered the space, the birth would not begin, or if it had begun it would stop. It is the same with soul medicine, which is why experience and intimacy with our own healing journeys and the oils is extremely important before embarking in this work with others.
As our work has developed, I (Cathy) felt the call to create individual blends for psychological balancing, centering and alignment. The blend is something people can carry with them and use in their daily life. The aim is that through smell, the subtle bodies feel their way into alignment and balance. I spent 25 years of my life living in France and am reminded of the French verb ‘Sentir’, which means both to smell and to feel. This is the key to the way we work with aromas at AromaGnosis.
The process of blending a psychological balancing, aligning and centering oil for an individual is a long and deep process. I work with the whole of the person’s psyche (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) as well as their connection with the collective unconscious. I blend using the whole of my psyche, too.
- Prior to blending there is a consultation that takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. We journey through all the aspects of the person’s psyche, what is happening in their lives, the past experiences and traumas that have affected where they are at now, and their intentions for moving forward, etc. At the end of the session, I pull a card for the client from the Brady tarot deck. Once the session is finished, I pull a card for myself and what I need to know while blending for that person.
- I then take all the information including a recent photo of the client and map it out on a large diagram of the anatomy of the psyche (see image). This becomes the energetic layout of the psyche as felt from our session. I tune into all the aspects and make connections between them. I feel into imbalances, places where emotions are blocked, traumas are held as well as where the energy wants to move forward.
- I then journey with my drum into the depths, feeling into and activating the map. I ask my healthy ancestors to accompany me and invite any helpful allies that want to come from the client’s side.
- I come back to my knowledge of the oils and for each aspect of the psyche, I choose possible oils and place them on the map.
- I start to blend possibilities. For each oil I smell, I tune into the person via the map and their photo and play my drum. I feel and listen to the sound of the drum that changes when the oil is the right one. I usually get the feeling of a tear behind my eyes when an oil is right, too. I remove those that are not needed.
- Once I have found the oils that are to be included in the blend, I go through the same process with the proportions.
- The final oil is always a beautiful, unique resonance with the client I have been working for and even though I usually have between seven and ten oils in a blend, when it is right, they are indistinguishable. They smell and vibrate as one whole oil.
- Finally, I send the client the process, a photo of their map and the intuitions that came to me when working on their blend. The precious signature blend arrives a few days later in the post.
I am reminded of our great friend and colleague John Steel who always says, “Think outside the perfume bottle.” These blends go way beyond a perfume, they resonate with and align body and soul. They become an ally, waking us up, connecting us with our essence and into an aware relationship with life. If you would like your own psychological balancing, aligning and centering blend you can find out more here.