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The Use of Essential Oils For Rituals and Ceremonies

Updated on December 23, 2015

Introduction to Ceremonial Oils

The use of essential oils has been persistent for several years and centuries. Therefore, the current application of essential oils in aromatherapy is merely a modern rediscovery of an ancient tradition. But in addition to the therapeutic benefits that can be derived from the use of these natural healing oils, they are also known for the spirituality it brings to the experience. Hence, it is a common item at rituals or spiritual ceremonies.

In the ancient Egyptian times, essential oils were made into wax and that is used on the headdress of temple dancers during spiritual ceremonies. The process of melting the wax gradually releases the aroma of the essential oil into the air that realize the process of anointing. Other ancient communities also use essential oil for spiritual activities such as Syria and Mesopotamia. Essential oils were always present in most spiritual and majestic ceremonies such as anointing kings, vanquishing demons, and wedding ceremonies. This same quality persists even with the use of essential oils in aromatherapy today.

Aromatherapy History

How Are Essential Oils Used?

Those who use essential oils for rituals consider the act of touching the oil as sacred. It is beyond just a physical happening but a spiritual and symbolic encounter. On an external level, transformation begins as the body acquires all the beneficial properties from the oil. But once you are “anointed” with the oil, it penetrates into your core and affect you internally. This could mean either improving internal functions of the body for an overall healthy system, or altering your spiritual body to facilitate in this spiritual journey.

It is also for this same reason that essential oils are commonly used during meditation, which is another spiritual journey in yoga. It starts off with deep relaxation, awakening of your internal senses until you are able to achieve the optimum spiritual benefits.

Wedding Ceremonies

A wedding ceremony symbolizes the union of two individuals as one before a Higher Being. Hence, it has a lot of spiritual significance. The use of various essences from aromatic herbs and plants help bring that spirituality into attention and nourish the spirit of the couple as they enter life together in union before the eyes of God.

Even during ancient times and until today, the spiritual ceremony in weddings are held up in sanctity. Therefore, utilizing specific essential oil aromas that emit the kind of emotion that is meant for this important event in the lives of two individuals and their families will reinforce the feelings of passionate love and intimacy.

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Baptismal and Christening

The birth of a child is an important milestone in the lives of the parents and their families. But this is also considered as a spiritual activity knowing that a newborn is a gift from God. Hence, rituals and ceremonies are held as form of thanksgiving for the gift of life and to seek guidance from the Divine Being to provide proper nourishment to the child while growing up.

After birth, the child then enters the stage of baptismal that enables them to be recognized as a part of the Christian community. This is another spiritual observation in the life of an individual, which is why it is included in the 7 sacraments. Essential oils are also utilized during this act of spiritual devotion.

Recovery From Illness

The healing properties of essential oils are widely known and the use of herbs for medicinal purposes has had a long history. But essences from aromatic oils are also utilized for ceremonies that are intended to call on out to the gods and spirits to help in treating various ailments suffered by an individual. The demonic abominations are done to get rid of those evil spirits present in a human body, which causes the disease.

There are different rituals or ceremonies performed by folks during ancient times to cast out the evil spirit and bring about healing. This method developed to incorporate more modern approaches, but the use of essential oils still persist.

Blessing House or Building

There is an ancient belief that claim people who live in their houses leave the spiritual persona behind. Hence, people moving into a new home perform ceremonies or rituals for house blessing or clearing. This activity will cast out the spirits of the house's former occupants such that the people moving in will achieve inner sense of peace, without being bothered by the emotional disturbances left behind by the people who previously occupied the house. This is quite common during the ancient times wherein several hauntings and evil spiritual presence are detected in new homes.

Using Essential Oils During Meditation

Focusing one's mind and achieving the proper state of mind during meditation proves to be more difficult in practice than in theory. Therefore, several yogis employ the use of essential oil aroma to facilitate the right mood and attitude needed to help you in the practice. There are a few essential oils such frankincense, sandalwood, vetiver, and atlas cedarwood, which are best recommend for meditating.

All of these essential oils act as natural sedative that calm both your body and mind to achieve relaxation. Some can also produce enlightenment such that it becomes easier to establish a spiritual connection with the Divine Creator. The essential oils are typically placed in a diffuser or vaporizer, or simply use aromatherapy candles to allow the gradual release of the essences into the air.

Common Ceremonial Oils

When conducting your own rituals or ceremonies involving the use of essential oils, here are some of the common ceremonial oils that offer their corresponding effect on the body:

  • Mandarin oil is highly recommend for rituals of spiritual nature due to the uplifting effect for your mental and spiritual body. The ability to balance your mind is useful in creating harmony between your senses so you can be internally at peace. On the other hand, it is known to produce positive vibes that make you more capable of blocking out distractions.
  • Marjoram is ideal for wedding ceremonies due to the sweet and pleasant aroma that it emits, which signify intimacy and happiness.
  • Olive oil is ideal for rituals involving ease of passage since it provides a feeling of contentment and inner peace.
  • Patchouli oil is commonly used today in the perfumery industry, but during ancient times it is a popular choice of essence for making love potions or spells.


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