Patchouli – unassuming and earthy. While well known for its scent, as a moth repellant and hippie deodorant, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Patchouli has a sweet, gentle energy. It seems that she is often judged before being met in the flesh! So many associations of patchouli oil being overpowering, either forming love/hate perceptions seem to precede her.
Unlike the essential oil, the scent of the actual plant is beautifully subtle. The flowers are delightfully fairylike and smell divine. While it’s well known as an aphrodisiac, antiseptic, antidepressant and tonic, that’s never enough for me! I want to know Why?!
When we decided to make a spagyric of Patchouli, we had no idea it would take so long. But it is ruled by Saturn, so I guess we should have expected it. Five years down the track and I am only just pulling the notes together of this interesting Herbal Alchemy. Here are some of her teachings.
Grounding and Calming in the Heart
Patchouli grounds and calms, while at the same time uplifts. It is earthy and warming and great for the overthinker or worrying types, those a bit too in the head and out of touch with their body. It brings us down to earth and into the earthly delights of the body, while at the same time tapping us into our lightness of being.
“Be the light in your heart.” These words were repeated often, and I would say are very close to the core essence of Patchouli. It evokes the simplicity of being yourself, nothing else. No one to please, nothing to do, just to be yourself. A great peacefulness and joy in this. Unassuming, no need to impress, just purely expressing self exactly as you are. There is an embracing of imperfection inherent in this. Being our authentic selves, no bigger, no smaller.
When we tap into this space of being the light in our hearts, then all our guards can fall. There is no need for protection. This heartspace is the only protection we will ever need. So for those with strong armouring, Patchouli can help us get back in touch with what really keeps us safe – our vibration, being our true selves, resting in our heartspace.
Patchouli helps us get back in touch with who we are at our core. Stripping away constructs that we may have formed around us. Patchouli is about giving more space to who we really are. To being the light in our heart, to being the essence of who we are at heart.
“Lighten up, don’t take things so seriously.” This was another energetic theme. When we’re overly serious, when there’s a lot of resistance arising, Patchouli can help us be with it and uplift us into our divine state: the incredible lightness of being.
Divine timing. “Only infinite patience yields immediate results”
Throughout the alchemy, there was a sense of wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, now GO! or go, go, go, go, then STOP! Patchouli helps us remember there is a time for everything. If we race too far ahead, then there will be obstacles in our way to make us stop and wait for the timing to be right again. In truth, there is no time. When we get into timelessness, all happens at the perfect time, in this very moment! She helps us come back into divine flow. A reminder that there’s nowhere to get to, we are already there!
The shadow of lightness and divine flow, is heaviness and resistance. This also played a large part in the alchemy, Saturn themes.
Patchouli is a cell regenerator. This repeatedly also came through. Patchouli body oil is a beautiful nourishment for the skin.
Patchouli strongly relates to Candlemas or Imbolc. At the time, I’d never even heard of this, yet it kept coming through! But there you go, now I know lots about the Cycles, (time and cycles are also ruled by Saturn) and this is the phase when we come out into the light after the darkness of winter, when the first shoots sprout through the earths surface. This is the moment of birth.
There is a time to be deep within the earth, and a time to shoot out into the light. It is common to feel a bit of resistance as we go through a transition. Think of the resistance the sprout must feel as it pushes on the earth in order to come into the light, and the incredible lightness of being that is felt when it does!
This article first appeared at the authors blog @WildFlowerWalker and is used with permission.
Heidi Wedd runs various circles and online courses in shamanic herbalism, herbal alchemy, plant spirit communication and flower codes. Author of ‘Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track’, she is passionate about reawakening and deepening our innate connection with Nature. Her history is deeply embedded with plants, herbalism, homeopathy and midwifery. www.wildflowerwalker.com