from Orchids and Neurons


catch up on these writings:

what does the soul look like?

from generation to …

I believe …

these three writings follow on this page…

And if you feel up to reading some heavier stuff on the soul, here you go: https://soulblog.ca/thoughts-on-zukav/


AROMATHERAPY established itself in the 1990’s as a marriage of sense and sensibility, a union of skin care and self care.  There were many providers of the good, the true and the beautiful in aromatherapy, and there were almost as many who stretched the truth in their packaging.

Aromatherapy is the use of the essential oils of botanicals for their healing and aromatic properties.  Extracting the essential oils from the plants is an intricate process of pressing and distilling, with low yield.  Pure essential oils, then, range from those at reasonable prices to those that go into the hundreds of dollars per one hundred millilitres.  Exotic jasmine, neroli, frankincense and rose are amongst the highest in cost.  Because they evaporate rapidly, essential oils are secured in carrier oils which allow the healing oils to be used in mists, soaps, bath oils, creams and related products.

An essential oil, then, is the soul of the botanical – precious, unique, healing and lovely.

In my two devotions of being driven by soul-learning, psychotherapy and soap-making, I was privileged to work with souls – the essences of people and the essences of plants.  Psychotherapy and aromatherapy are related, I’ve found, and they teach lessons to each other.  And this is where the alchemy comes in.

In approaching aromatherapy or psychotherapy, the purpose, the end result, the desired healing, must be clarified first.  For instance, essential oil of ylang-ylang would be chosen where soothing and luxurious skin care were in order.  In psychotherapy, a Rogerian positive regard would be applied to the psyche suffering from wounded self-esteem. Wise and caring creation of context and ongoing assessment are essential to each domain.  Finally and most importantly, results must be seen and felt!

What should the consumer insist on experiencing in aromatherapy and psychotherapy?  I suggest that there are three kindred essentials:  oasis, perfume and wellness.

The oasis is the place and the time that are yours and that contain what you need in terms of beauty and awakening of the senses in the unique manner that defines ‘you’.  The perfume is the fragrance that comes from the essence of the botanical, or the fragrance that comes from the healing psyche that you place in trust to the psychotherapist.  The aromatherapy perfume is the olfactory that we take for granted too often in the physical framework.  The psychotherapy perfume is the sixth sense realm that we have to develop in a more spiritual sense.  And, finally, the wellness is the subtle and growing glow that we feel in our body and soul.

Like shrouded footprints left within a forest, there are also intangible trailings of the fragrance that emanates from the depths of our bodies and souls.  We need to learn how to see the trailings, to touch them, embrace and care for them.  We need to come to our senses!

Tactus Vocal Ensemble & Jan Overduin

She was lying in the holiest green field of basil.  Its mystical, pungent aroma infused her soul.  As she continued to look up, she saw a sky as blue as the Madonna’s skirt.  Her senses luxuriated in the abundance of the sights, the textures and the most sacred of aromas.”  Antonia, in Antonia of Venice

the white hydrangea is the starburst giving
birth to a new galaxy –
light and design overriding
darkness on the Horsehead
Nebula, and looking, breathing closely
the brain
perhaps the soul

from generation to…

Recent research indicates that children often don’t know where their food comes from – with one survey finding that more than one in 10 of those aged 11 to 14 didn’t know that carrots and potatoes grew underground. More: www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/21/britain-faili….

credo: i believe

credo from Bach’s Mass in B; Andrew Parrott; Taverner Consort

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Credo (plural Credos) noun (from ENCARTA):  statement of principles: a statement of principles or beliefs, especially one that is professed formally  [12th century. From Latin, literally ‘I believe’.]

1. statement of Christian beliefs: the Apostles’ Creed or Nicene Creed, both of which are ancient statements of the basic doctrines of Christianity

2. musical setting of the Credo: a musical setting, especially in a Mass, of the Credo

You have one, you know – a personal Credo. We all have. Unfortunately, all too often we form it fuzzily and semi- or un-consciously, failing to be aware of it, never having been taught to pay attention to “I believe”.

It could well be that one’s Credo is the single most important construct built during a sojourn here on earth.

I’ve been thinking frequently about mine over the past few days. Not having come from a liturgical church background, I’ve been fortunate in meeting the credo concept face-to-face in music. There cannot be a more wonderful way to begin to take in the wonder of a Credo than by singing the words to music that has stretched from Mediaeval to Modern times. Music loosens us up to the spiritual and frees us from having to think exclusively in words.

But I digress! Blame it on music. After all, Vivaldi is playing on my DVD player, and those close to me know my current writing obsession to be with Vivaldi.

So, I’ve been thinking about my credo while I listen to Vivaldi and while I’ve been on the treadmill. The treadmill functions musically, if you will, freeing up the right brain and allowing me to wander into the holiness of the non-verbal.

All this wandering around and into my credo culminated in the crystal-clear awareness that I need to put my credo out there – to you – to anyone when appropriate. You see, today, I told someone who vehemently disagreed with me, finding me too watery in my faith, that I believed that I could die for what I’ve come to believe in. I actually said that. I said it evenly, with thought and with conviction. And then, I sat down with myself, took a deep breath and scrupulously examined what I had said.

That’s the question that has been bubbling along inside me since the eleventh of September this year, 2001. Would I, could I, die for what I believe in? Isn’t that what many, if not all, of us have been struggling with? Isn’t that what times like these draw out of people? And don’t we either face the question or flee? I’ve been taking many deep breaths since I sat down with myself. I’m taking one now – while Vivaldi’s ‘Nisi Dominus’ accompanies. Of course, I sit here in freedom and luxury while I ask myself these questions.

Well, then, deep breath – here’s my credo. I share it with you in the hope that you will read it, abandon judgment and work on your own if you need to….

I believe:

  •           that we chose to come Here from Elsewhere
  •           that we have a purpose to find, healing to carry out and Soulwork to do
  •           that we forget our genesis as we move through early childhood
  •           that we feel the call to remember throughout our adulthood through dim, non-verbal, cellular memories
  •           that we name this call Emptiness, Longing to Belong, Why, Homesickness, Quest, Thirst… until we begin to identify it as Homecoming or Soulcoming
  •           that we are unconditionally loved by the Almighty
  •           that we are personally accountable for our lives, no matter how we got to be where we are
  •           that we must “work out our own salvation in fear and trembling”
  •           that all our answers lie within us
  •           that we dream our lives into being
  •           that we are capable of great creativity

I acknowledge that there are Seductive Traps along our Journey Home. Amongst these traps are:

  •           righteousness
  •           greed
  •           piety
  •           the abuse of power
  •           ownership, especially of how we conceive God
  •           competition
  •           repetition
  •           sanctimoniousness
  •           blind fear
  •           and others

I leave my Credo before you. Handle it with care. It is about my soul. And all souls must be handled with care.

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rooms and roses

rooms and roses

in my daughter’s garden
are many rooms and
roses and fragrant herbs, her
green thumb a green hand, her
privately revealed.

after all, that’s what gardens are, the
revelation of the gardener’s soul.

in this one, the maintenance of per
haps the first garden, say close to
eighty years ago. “typically Toronto!”
The shed, tidy and well
kept like a mother in a granny flat, a
very old mother. is she still in there?

against the new privacy fence, necessary
because the old neighbours loudly
quarrel in Italian with a touch of
English, is the old,
still working Portuguese cooker.

a carefully laid stone path wends its way down
the centre from here to the shed, and the garden on
either side is filled with flowers and bushes and
vegetables… I’m waiting for luscious


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