Aromatic Rituals: Finding Yourself and Your Sacred Space

by Camellia Lee


With the winter solstice steadily approaching in the northern hemisphere, we find ourselves spending more time indoors. COVID and the unprecedented phenomenon of working and/or schooling from home has created the “perfect storm” for increased time indoors.

Isolation may become a pain point with not being able to spend time with loved ones, and this may lead to increased levels of emotional and mental duress, as well as trigger levels of anxiety and depression. This could easily ignite a cascade of issues such as insomnia, restlessness, lack of focus and symptoms of physical tension, such as headaches, migraines, back pain etc.

Such symptoms are a loop many of us can easily find ourselves circling in. Because we are spending an inordinate amount of time in our own physical space, we can look to find ways to shift the energy in our immediate indoor environment to bring harmony and balance. Then, a question that begs attention is, how may we create practices to change the energy of our space to impact a new state of mind? How do we make the current reality of “homeboundness” acceptable or at least tolerable?

What has been working for me is adding aromatherapy into my home and creating sacred space and rituals to help shift a new mood and state of mind. This notion of creating sacred space, is not a new concept and has been around throughout various different cultures since the dawn of time and advent of civilization.

So what exactly is meant by sacred space? We commonly think of sacred space when we visit a religious institution, such as a church, temple, or mosque. Within these walls there may be the hint of frankincense wafting through the halls or a vanilla cedar musk emanating from the altar in a monastery.These aromas, while a reverence for the divine, also facilitate a sense of calm and serenity and the capacity for transcendence from the mundane.

My introduction to aromatic ritual practice began with my grandmother’s Confucius worship of deities during sacred festivals. The set up began with an altar of food and wine as the offering, followed by the lighting of a sweet, woody scented incense to consecrate the energy of the room. As a young girl, I recall the feelings of calm sweeping over my entire being and in that instant the air in the room held a different quality.

Lately, when feelings of unrest and anxiety arise, I find it both helpful and necessary to clear my physical space with aromatherapy. By nature’s design, aromatherapy connects our olfactory senses directly with our brain and emotional center to foster an immediate impact.

According to Joseph Campbell, the wise philosophical mystic, “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” Creating a sacred space offers the ability to come back to your own core sense of wellbeing and balance.

And a respite to move away from fear and instability that may arise from the current torrent state of external affairs. There are many ways to create your sacred space by lighting your favorite incense, smudging with dried herbal bundles, burning resin, diffusing essential oils, or spraying an aromatic mister, such as my Root and Resin Ritual Mists, containing synergistic blends of essential oils designed to support grounding, uplift, and harmonize. Here is a suggested list of eight essential oils for use in a diffuser, either in an ultrasonic or nebulizer form, to disperse into the air:

  • Frankincense (Boswellia sacra) – contains a sweet, crisp green piney texture with a hint of orange note
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – contains a floral, sweet, herbaceous scent
  • Palo santo (Bursera graveolens) – contains a clean, woody aroma with a slight hint of citrus
  • Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) – contains a citrus, fruit scent and sweet with a warm spicy floral quality
  • Lemon (Citrus limon) – contains a bright, zesty, tangy/tart aroma
  • Black spruce (Picea mariana) – contains a radiant aroma with a warm, woody soft balsamic note
  • Balsam fir (Abies balsamea) – contains a sweet, rich, deep balsamic, evergreen aroma with a light, clean
  • Geranium – (Pelargonium graveolens) contains a fresh, penetrating rose-like floral scent with herbaceous note

If you have questions about how to use any of these essential oils to create your own sacred space and for customized diffuser blends and bundles, do not hesitate to reach out to me to discuss.

Aromatherapy is a valuable tool to create new energy in the environment, supporting mental and physical health along with immunity.

Certain essential oils have been scientifically researched to have antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties to benefit our physical wellbeing. If you are interested to know more, please go to Root and Resin’s website to sign up for my new Immunity essential oil blend for the winter cold/flu season.

While COVID19 is prevalent in our reality at this point in time, it is crucial for us to find our tools and resources to support ourselves and our loved ones to continue to maintain a baseline of wholeness and balance.

You can reach out to Camellia at rootandresin@gmail.com or through her website rootandresin.com