What is Mercury Retrograde?

You may have heard of using Essential Oils to survive Mercury Retrograde--but what does that mean?

Striking fear in the hearts of many, Mercury Retrograde heralds a time of email glitches, power outages, miscommunication, lost paperwork, snags with fine print and so on. However, you can not only successfully navigate these dreaded periods, but also use them to your advantage. More on that in a bit.

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Because this fleet-footed planet completes its orbit around the Sun in only 88 days, Mercury becomes retrograde three or four times in a calendar year, for about three weeks at a time.

The term "retrograde" means "backwards". Obviously, no planet actually goes backwards! However, from our perspective here on Earth, all of the planetary bodies (except for the Sun and Moon) appear to move backwards. Imagine that you're driving down the road parallel to a set of railroad tracks. A train is speeding along to your left, and you pass the train. It appears to be going backwards, but what is really happening is that you are going faster.

Mercury is a mental planet and governs all forms of communication, including writing and speaking, as well as methods of communication such as computers, phones, faxes, and the mail system. Yes, it’s true that messages often get lost during this time and misinterpretation abounds. In fact, it's a good idea to check all the fine print in legal documents during this time, as well as back up computer files.

Mercury is the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Hermes. Both were considered trickster gods, so couple this mischievous nature with messages and communication and you can guess what may happen! Some examples would be leaving a message on an answering machine, only to have the recipient's child accidentally erase it. Or, addressing a letter to your beloved aunt who lives on the other side of the country…but accidentally writing your own zip code instead of hers!

For those of you who like to talk behind people's backs, a Mercury Retrograde period may find you accidentally emailing the person you're dishing on rather than your best friend who was the intended recipient. Ouch.

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Despite the fear that often surrounds Mercury Retrograde periods, it’s possible for us to work with the energy by taking the time to tie up loose ends. Consider Merc Retro as an opportunity for course correction—or for “do overs” for rectifying mistakes, sloppiness, mediocrity, offenses or poor decisions from earlier in the year.

Essential Oils can support us during these periods by enhancing focus, mindfulness and contemplation, as can meditating with certain crystals.

On a practical level, we can actually use the "backward" energy of Mercury to our advantage. To get the most out of Mercury Retrogrades on a practical level, concentrate on activities beginning with the prefix “re-“. Here are some examples:

Re-do
Re-write
Re-pair
Re-call
Re-examine
Re-new
Re-decorate
Re-schedule
Re-view
Re-organize
Re-negotiate
Re-think
Re-address

When you focus on these types of tasks, slow down, take extra care and release your expectations of perfection or things going “right”, I think you’ll find that you’ll not only survive Mercury Retrograde periods, but also complete or achieve more than you could imagine.

If you feel you'd benefit from a Mercury Essential Oils rollerball, energy spray or diffuser salts, visit the Mercury Retrograde section at AromaPower.Etsy.com to get some energetic support.

Merc Retro Set


How Do I Make Blends with Essential Oils?

Well, good blending is an art--with some basis in science (especially when making a therapeutic blend--i.e., an essential oil blend that addresses a specific physical, mental or emotional issue).

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When making my AstroBlends, I largely depended on my knowledge of Astrology--as well as my intuition and sniffer. Some aromatherapists specialize in addressing the emotional and spiritual roots of unease (and dis-ease), so I consult their texts for these types of essential oil blends.

Right now, at the request of a customer, I'm creating an anti-anxiety essential oil blend (I'll be making various blends that address various issues--as well as Chakra Blends and Tarot Blends. Stay tuned!).

On the science side, there's over a dozen essential oils that help with anxiety. Some are nervines (having a beneficial effect on the nervous system, which connects to stress relief), some are sedatives (soothes hyperactivity in the body's symptoms), some are soporifics (promotes sleep), while others uplift and invigorate the senses.

So which ones to choose?

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I've narrowed the oils down to six and may add more. I selected the six based on:

  • Cross-Referencing Respected Aromatherapy Texts (including those by Dr. Robert Tisserand and Valerie Ann Worwood). I read all the entries that may remedy anxiety, as well as the symptoms.

  • Personal Experience. I've been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder( GAD, to be exact), so I'm including essential oils that have worked for me, personally.

  • Scent Preference. As much as I acknowledge that Lavender is a powerhouse that addresses multiple issues, including anxiety--I am no fan of the scent. Turns out, there are quite a few people out there that don't like the smell of Lavender! So I'm not going to put an essential oil into an anti-anxiety blend that smells "icky" to me, even though it may have therapeutic qualities, because the power of aromatherapy is tied to the brain. When it comes to emotional and mental issues, I feel that scent preference matters. (But if I get a minor burn? I'll run to use Lavender, despite the scent!)

  • Intuition. Healers have used their intuition for millennia--then science came along and validated what they felt or knew. When I create a blend, some essential oils just "call out" to me--as if they are volunteering (or insisting!) that they're the best oil for the job.  For my anti-anxiety blend, which I'm going to call Chillaxin (thanks, Tricia!), Bergamot was one such oil saying "Me! Me! Me!". (I totally believe that plants, herbs, flowers and trees have consciousness...do you?)

So as you can see, formulating essential oil blends--especially for topical and therapeutic use--takes a good amount of time.

And a lot of it is just as much an art as a science.


Lucky You! Aromatherapy Set

Loosely translated, Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger once said Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. I concur. I also believe that part of preparation is mindset--believing that you are "lucky", and are just as likely to attract lucky breaks, as anyone else.

Enter my new Lucky You! Aromatherapy Set.

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My one-of-a-kind Lucky You! Aromatherapy Set includes a 24 inch shamrock necklace with refill pads, lava bead diffuser bracelet made by moi, 10 ml rollerball to wear the Lucky You! scent and 5 ml Lucky You! blend for putting on lava beads or in a diffuser.

So...are you feeling lucky? If so, see some more images from this lucky essential oil set here.


15 Questions for Aromatherapist Dori Topholm - Aroma Power Interviews

I'm so happy to introduce a new feature on the Aroma Power Blog called The Aroma Power Interviews: 12 Questions for an Aromatherapist! An Aromatherapist is someone who uses Essential Oils for their physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual therapeutic properties. Some even create their own oil blends, body-care products and perfumes!

My first interviewee is Dori Topholm, who does all of the above. I'm thrilled to introduce you to her!

DFL Dori

1. How did you get involved in Essential Oils?

I grew interested in essential oils while I was in college and I looking for a more natural approach to my skincare, aromas around my home and for my health in general. I was enthralled with all the options that essential oils offered. Shortly after graduating, I became a new mom and I wanted to provide my family with the safest and most effective body and health care products. I soon thereafter began creating and building my own skincare products to suit our needs.

2. What is your favorite Essential Oil company (and why)?

In 2014, I was introduced to Plant Therapy Essential Oil Company and I fell in love with their oils, their transparency of their procurement and testing, and the fantastic customer service. I am blessed to live in the same city as well, so it is always so fun to pop over to the store to see what’s new, get advice, and visit with the Plant Therapy crew!

3. What is your favorite Essential Oil based on scent?

I would have to say Rose Absolute is my favorite essential oil based on scent. It is so calming and uplifting all while evoking a feeling of comfort and fond memories of my late Grandmother.

4. What is your favorite Essential Oil based on therapeutic use?

Frankincense Frereana is my favorite essential oil based on therapeutic use. It is such a wonderful, versatile oil that is so great for your skin, your immunity and your sense of well-being. The scent is so pleasing as well!

5. What is your favorite diffuser blend?

My favorite diffuser blend would be Bergamot, Patchouli, Frankincense Carteri, Cedarwood Australian, and Rose Absolute. It is my happy, relaxing blend and my whole family enjoys it.

6. In your opinion, what is the best decade--and why?

This decade is the best! It is fresh and full of opportunity, potential growth, wonderful uplifting occurrences that could take place and it is now. I am a big fan of living and loving THIS moment. Not to be taken advantage of but enjoyed and lived to the fullest!

7. What is your favorite color?

My favorite color would be sage green. It is calming, natural and reminiscent of my home state.

8. Forest, Beach, Mountains or Desert?

The mountains would by far be my favorite place to be. I just love the sounds, smells and feeling of being grounded and connected with nature and the feminine divine while in the mountains. It is like home to me!

9. What is your favorite style of music?

I enjoy and can appreciate all kinds of music. My favorite though would be alternative music.

10. What is your favorite TV show?

I don’t watch much TV but I have seen every episode of Friends, possibly more than once! Or I have at least heard it while working on projects…

11. What is your favorite movie?

I would have to say Breakfast Club. It is a classic and I just love it!

12. Who is your favorite author?

My favorite authors are Tom Robbins and Elizabeth Gilbert.

13. What is your favorite quote?

“What others think of you is none of your business.” I am not sure who said this, but it has stuck with me since my adolescence and it sure rings true.

14. Who is the most inspirational figure you can think of right now?

My daughter is the first person that popped in my head. At the young age of 6, she is so full of kindness, novel ideas, creativity, and excitement to do anything that I am doing. She is and probably always will be an inspiration to me.

15. Best advice you ever received regarding Essential Oils?

Don’t drink the oils! Safety in general is the best advice I think that anyone can receive and hopefully use regarding essential oils. They are wonderful but they can be dangerous if not used responsibly!

Dori Topholm lives and loves in Twin Falls, Idaho, with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys spending time outdoors fishing, hiking, and playing with her daughters, as well as reading, creating oily recipes and striving to meet each day with gratitude. You can find her aromatherapy products--energy sprays, face serums, body butters, lip balms and more--at DFLnaturals.com.


It's Aquarius Season! Essential Oils for Aquarius AstroBlend

Happy Birthday, Aquarius!

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For those who weren't born under the sign of The Water Bearer (which, despite its nickname, is actually an Air sign), the dates for Aquarius are between January 20 and February 18.

Keywords for this airy sign include Original; Rebellious; Inventive; Friendly; Inspirational; Independent; Collective; Humane; Different; Eccentric; Futuristic; Organizational.

One of the ways you can celebrate yourself is by getting a one-of-a-kind Aquarius Essential Oils AstroBlend that I've formulated, intuitively, just for you!

Even if your Sun sign isn't in Aquarius, you can benefit from the different Essential Oils I've incorporated for this AstroBlend--and it can be especially helpful for those with an Aquarius Moon (like me!) or Aquarius Ascendant (Rising Sign).

What essential oils did I choose for Aquarius (and why)? 

Clove
Clove by Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) - Grounding; Soothing; Aids with Keeping Composure; Promotes Reasonableness; Counteracts Lethargy; Helps with Mood Swings; Encourages Lucidity; Restorative; Invigorating; Ameliorates Touchiness; Aids in Decisiveness; Helps with Assertiveness; Promotes Contentment; Combats Burnout

Clove Bud (Syzygium aromaticum) - Aids with Creativity; Helps with Expressing Anger Constructively; Combats Feelings of Worthlessness; Promotes Contentment; Encourages Self-Awareness

Ho Wood (Cinnamomum camphora) - Supports a Positive Outlook; Calming; Uplifting; Comforting; Relaxing; Promotes Peace; Reduces Stress; Helps Dispel Agitation; Aids in Breaking Up Unhealthy Emotional Patterns

Mandarin Green (Citrus Nobilis) - Revitalizing; Promotes Tranquility; Helps with Sympathy; Encourages Gentleness; Inspiring; Aids with Acting with Integrity; Ameliorates Feelings of Dejection or Emptiness; Calms Anxiousness; Promotes Fulfillment

Not only can you get this specially-formulated Aquarius AstroBlend in roller ball form--but you can also get it in the form of Himalayan salt to use in a tealight diffuser. 

I have to admit--of all the AstroBlends, this is one of my favorites!


Physician, Heal Thyself (And Thoughts on the Wounded Healer)

From theology to personality systems, Tarot to alternative medicine, from-scratch cooking to aromatherapy--everything I've ever done has been to understand and heal myself, first.  

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And, I've always been obsessed with interested in root causes, not merely treating symptoms. Sometimes, though, we just can't figure out the source--and trying to do so results in over-thinking that paralyzes and, in some cases, breeds self-blame (or worse, the castigation of others). 

Obviously, that doesn't help.

One of the things I love about Essential Oils is that they treats symptoms on a molecular level--but can also ameliorate or even neutralize them...even if we don't know the "why" of what's happening (e.g., spams or inflammation).

A few hours ago, I had severe spams in my midsection from twisting a certain way. I get them every few months. (Yes, I know about possible dehydration--or deficiencies in potassium, magnesium or calcium--definitely things to tackle when it comes to root causes!). 

Yikes do they hurt!

So I created an Essential Oil formula I call Easing Spasms that includes Peppermint, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary 1,8-Cineole and Lavender Fine. Sure, this was after the fact--but because of the anti-spasmodic properties of those four oils, I believe they will help soothe the sore area, as well as help to prevent future spasms.

Back to the title of this post: the phrase Physician, Heal Thyself actually connects to one of Aesop's Fables The Frog and The Fox--which was later quoted by Jesus in the New Testament.

Frog_turned_physician
An etching of Aesop's fable of "The Frog and the Fox" by Samuel Howitt

This sarcastic phrase is meant to chastise "hypocrites"--those who are lame or sick dispensing health advice or remedies to others.

Which is ridiculous, if you think about it.

I mean, would an oncologist be any less effective at their job if they were diagnosed with cancer? (For example, one of my classmates is an OB/GYN who appears to have conquered breast cancer). Or, would they be even more understanding of the effects such a disease has on a whole person?

It's a bit like a never-married (or never-partnered) lecturer presenting teachings on how to maintain long-term, intimate relationships!

In her book Sacred Contracts, and on her website at the Gallery of Archetypes, Caroline Myss has this to say about the Healer Archetype:

The Healer archetype manifests as a passion to serve others in the form of repairing the body, mind, and spirit. It expresses itself through channels other than those classically associated with the healing of illnesses, and so you need to look beyond the obvious definition of what you “do.” You can be strongly guided by this archetype in any occupation or role in life. Some people, by their very nature and personality, are able to inspire others to release their painful histories or make changes in their lives that redirect the course of their future. Essential characteristics include an inherent strength and the ability to assist people in transforming their pain into a healing process, as well as having the “wiring” required to channel the energy needed to generate physical or emotional changes.

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Then she goes on to say this about the Wounded Healer Archetype:

The Wounded Healer is initiated into the art of healing through some form of personal hardship–anything from an actual physical injury or illness to the loss of all one’s earthly possessions. Regardless of the shape of the wound, the challenge inherent in this initiation process is that one is unable to turn to others for help beyond a certain degree of support. Only the initiate can ultimately heal the wound; if it is an illness or accident, it will frequently be one for which there is no conventional cure. The Wounded Healer archetype emerges in your psyche with the demand that you push yourself to a level of inner effort that becomes more a process of transformation than an attempt to heal an illness. If you have successfully completed the initiation, you inevitably experience an exceptional healing, and a path of service seems to be divinely provided shortly after the initiation is complete.

I would argue that this type of healing need not be purely physical, but can also be mental or emotional, as well.

And then there is Chiron, the centaur of Greek mythology that's often known as The Wounded Healer. In fact, in Astrology, the placement of Chiron in our natal charts is said to be the focus of our greatest challenge--the area we feel "broken". (Lucky me, my Chiron is sitting right on my Ascendant in Aries. Ack! Talk about an "identity wound"...)

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The Education of Achilles by Chiron, fresco from Herculaneum, 1st century AD

In Collected Works, Vol. 16, p.115-116, Carl Jung noted:

Freud himself accepted my suggestion that every doctor should submit to a training analysis before interesting himself in the unconscious of his patients for therapeutic purposes…. We could say, without too much exaggeration, that a good half of every treatment that probes at all deeply consists in the doctor’s examining himself, for only what he can put right in himself can he hope to put right in the patient. This, and nothing else, is the meaning of the Greek myth of the wounded physician.

Especially when it comes to psychological therapy--but not limited to that modality--having "unfinished business" (i.e. unhealed wounds) could actually cause harm to a patient or client.

Personally, I don't think we need to have our shit together 100% before try to help or heal others. But I do think that, as healers, we have an obligation to always be learning and applying our wisdom to our own issues first--before we attempt any full-on healing of others.


Inspire Diffuser Blend

I don't know about you, but anything with Orange, Mandarin or Tangerine Essential Oils inspires and uplifts me! Here's a blend I created to promote feelings of Inspiration. Let me know how you like it (and feel free to pin on Pinterest or in your favorite oily group)!

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Fun Fact: Orange Essential Oils are immunostimulants, which means they're supportive to a healthy immune system.

-- Janet


Welcome to Aroma Power!

Hi there! Welcome to my new blog, Aroma Power. My name is Janet Boyer. To know more about me, just Google me. ::smile::

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I've started this blog to share my love for Essential Oils and Aromatherapy--especially for holistic wellness, personal growth, emotional balance, safe DIY creations, diffuser blend recipes and easy-to-understand information.

I am not a member of a MLM, so I'll not be pushing or selling individual oils to you. ::collective sigh of relief::

I do have an Aroma Power Etsy Shop, though, where I sell handmade items made with Essential Oils, aromatherapy jewelry, printables and innovative products (like my AstroBlends, which is a uniquely formulated blend for every sign in the Zodiac). I'll definitely tell you more about them in this blog.

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So, fellow oily folks--grab your favorite beverage, sit back, relax and take some time to smell...well, whatever you want!

Thank you for joining me. If you want to see something specific here, by all means get in touch or leave a comment here.

-- Janet

P.S. My husband drew and colored that image of me. Cool, huh? You can see his art at our Chez Boyer Etsy page here.