Pairing Essential Oils with New Year Rituals

What are your favorite rituals for welcoming the New Year?  Do you purge old papers and reorganize?   Do you clean every surface then burn sage?  Maybe you retreat to a quiet room to perfect your strategy for conquering the world.  Whatever you do, having a ritual is a great way to mark the energetic shift of leaving behind one year and welcoming the next.

Adding a fragrant element can deepen the significance of our New Year routines.  The scent of essential oils (more  than fragrance oils IMO) offer a way to connect to the feelings behind our chosen rituals for welcoming a new year.

Choosing Essential Oils to Pair With Your Ritual 

  • For rituals that involve cleaning house, detoxing the body, or purging unwanted stuff (material or otherwise) we want oils that offer a feeling of cleanliness of course but also of clearing, expansion, and new beginnings.  Suggested essential oils:  Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Juniper, Bergamot, Lemon, Grapefruit, Cypress, Frankincense 
  • For rituals that involve planning and goal setting we want essential oils that bolster our strength, courage, discipline, will-power and focus.
    Suggested essential oils:  Ginger, Black Pepper, Laurel, Thyme, Sandalwood, Atlas Cedar, Rosemary, Pine 
  • For rituals that involve relationships and connecting with others we want oils that soothe and calm, oils that help to generate a sense of loving kindness towards ourselves and everyone we meet.
    Suggested essential oils:  Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Rose, Lavender, Neroli, Jasmine, Palmarosa, Orange 

It’s important to remember when using essential oils for spiritual or emotional effects you should always default to your personal preferences.  That means if something about grapefruit makes you want to sit down and work, go ahead and use that oil during your goal setting ritual.  If black pepper makes you feel like socializing, use that before going to a party.  Everyone is unique when it comes to how our brains interpret a scent.

How To Use The Suggested Essential Oils

Inhalation is the fastest way to experience the mental benefits of essential oils but application to the skin allows us to inhale while also offering a physical effect.

For simple inhalation adding your favorite essential oil or blend of essential oils to a diffuser is ideal.  Avoid diffusing black pepper as it can be potentially irritating to nasal passages.  If you’re throwing a party I recommend Bergamot, Lavender, Grapefruit, Laurel or Frankincense.  If the event is for adults you can add more grown up elements like Sandalwood, Jasmine or Ylang Ylang.  Always test in your diffuser first before unleashing a scent blend onto a group of people.  Make sure it’s not too heavy or unpleasant, the scent should enhance your space without being intrusive.  Click here for more on scenting a room.

For skin application or bathing be sure to dilute oils properly.

For body oil or lotion keep the dilution under 2%.  This means no more than 16 drops of essential oil per 1 oz. of carrier oil or unscented lotion.  For potential skin irritants like ginger, thyme, black pepper, rosemary or pine keep the dilution even lower than 2%.  Add these essential oils in 2 drop increments and test after each round.  Stop adding EO when you get the desired effect (stimulating, warming).

For baths the best way to use EO is to first mix into salts for bathing like epsom salt or dead sea salt.  A 1/3 cup of bath salt is usually enough.  Mix in 6-10 drops of your selected essential oil.  Ginger, black pepper, and thyme should be avoided in the bath, especially if you’re new to using essential oils.  You want to use bath salts to keep the oil evenly dispersed throughout the bath water, otherwise the EO floats on top causing your skin to be in contact with undiluted EO and hot water; not ideal.

A fragrant element can give New Year traditions deeper meaning by helping us experience the emotion behind hope, new beginnings and optimism.  Try it this year and let me know what you think.


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