These holy days of honoring our ancestors always make me a little sad. I have lost a lot of loved ones (two and four legged) and my altar usually overflows with pictures and names of friends and family that have passed over. I am in San Diego this year so my altar is small and sparse, with only my medicine bag, some gemstones, and a few oils and elixirs I like to travel with. Although I can’t honor them the way I normally do, I still thank them for all the wisdom and love they have given me.
In Chinese medicine, many aromatic plants have the ability to “open orifices.” This means that they can expand our consciousness and open our heart and mind to new thoughts and experiences. Aromatic plants also transform dampness, which can bring us more clarity of thought and action. While the opening and transformative powers of aromatic plants help connect us to our own spirit, they can also help with communicating with our ancestors and other spirits as well.
There are a few aromatic plants I call upon when I want to deepen my insights, meditations, and communication with the spirit realm.
Marigold– the aroma of Marigold is the only flower that the dead can smell; opens communication between earthly and spirit realms
Clary Sage– brings clarity of thought and feelings; increases visionary awareness
Rose– transforms all grief and heartache, helps to see the beauty of life
Frankincense– opens chest and lungs, reduces constriction caused by loss and grief
Cinnamon bark– warms and invigorates, strengthens gate of fire, provides grounding for deeper meditation
I hope you find the aromatic plants that call to you and discover all they have to offer.
May you, and your ancestors, be nourished.
For the love of plants,
when energy flows, wellness grows