When you have surrendered to the flow of the process,
when you let go of your perfectionism and control,
when you just show up to the creative call -
it becomes unclear whether you are creating the journey
or whether the journey … is creating you.
After many years of working with essential oils, I thought I knew all the ways to connect with this amazing plant medicine. Then, quite unexpectedly, I discovered a new and creative way to deepen my relationship with aromatics.
In 2008, my husband and I attended a creativity retreat in Massachusetts hosted by our friend Jill Badonsky. It was at this retreat I discovered – and fell in love with – a fun tool for creative self-expression called SoulCollage®.
What is SoulCollage®?
Originated by Seena Frost, it is a process for accessing your intuition and imagination to create your own personal deck of collaged cards with deep personal meaning. It is a powerful form of creative self-expression.
How do you do SoulCollage®?
Following simple directions, your hands move fragments of cut-out pictures around a piece of mat board, fitting them together and gluing them down. Cards containing the images you select – or images that select you – come from your Soul, bypassing the mind.
Who can do SoulCollage®?
Anyone! It is a multi-level creative process which anyone can do! No artistic ability required. You just need a good pair of scissors, pre-cut mat board cards, and images you can cut out from magazines, greeting cards, personal photos, postcards, catalogues, and calendars. You can work individually or in organized groups.
How My Aromatic SoulCollage® Cards were Born
As I began creating cards and building my personal deck, I considered how I might include essential oils into my deck since they’re such an important part of my life’s story.
I decided to make one card to represent all the oils, but as I cut out random images from magazines and started moving them around, I began to see one specific essential oil emerge. It honestly felt like the card was creating itself! I was unknowingly creating a card for Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea), one of my favorite essential oils.
After you’ve finished your card, journaling it’s message to you is an important part of the creative process.
This is what Clary had to say to me:
I Am One Who ushers in joy and laughter.
I Am One Who awakens your creativity.
I Am One Who opens the sixth chakra, allowing you to experience
greater intuition and inner vision.
I Am One Who soothes the beasts of anger and fear. I
Am One Who offers peace when you are overwhelmed.
So began my collection of Aromatic SoulCollage® cards!
How I Create My Aromatic Cards
Before I create one of these special cards, I consider the distinguishing characteristics of each essential oil, such as its energetic properties or therapeutic benefits. In particular, I try to include images that represent our aromatic history together and any special significance that the oil has for me. I spend time quietly sniffing its aroma and connecting with the color and viscosity by putting a drop in my hand. Sometimes I just hold the bottle and ask the oil what message it has for me.
As for the images, if I see a photograph somewhere that pops out at me and shouts, for example, “Lavender” or “Tea Tree” I’ll tear it out and place it in a file for that oil. Frequently I have to hunt for a specific image that I envision for the card. While making my Juniper Berry card, I wanted an image of St. Michael since I associate Juniper with that Saint. For my Patchouli card, I wanted a strong image that conveyed the first chakra and pored over books and magazines until I found the image that spoke to me.
How I use My Aromatic Cards
As with all SoulCollage® cards, there are many creative ways to use aromatic cards to assist in your life’s journey. One of my favorite methods is to normal my morning by asking the cards to show me which oil I need for that day. I draw one card and then set it out next to a bottle of the corresponding oil. I’ll diffuse the oil in the air, make a room spray, or simply put a drop on a tissue and stick it in my pocket; all these methods strengthen my bond with the oil. In my massage practice, I might have a client choose a card or two and make a blend for their session. Sometimes I’ll turn to my aromatic cards for guidance in solving a problem Before pulling a card, I might ask “Which oil will help me with…?” or “Which oil has some wisdom to shed on this issue…?” After I draw the card, I consider the energetic qualities of the oil, the chakra with which it has an affinity, or how it might help my body or mind. I’m amazed at how often the perfect essential oil shows up.
Like the aromatics themselves, creating SoulCollage® cards for essential oils has been an unexpected delight in my life and has become an integral part of discovering more about my aromatic companions and myself. If essential oils aren’t your passion, perhaps you have a fondness for herbs, flowers, homeopathic remedies or gemstones
Whatever your interest, I recommend making a card honoring each individual “member” of your collection and even, if it feels appropriate, creating a special suit. You’ll find your knowledge on the subject will grow and your passion shifting to a deeper level.
You can see the cards I’ve made so far on my Pinterest Board called Aromatic SoulCollage®