Sacred Scents Masterclass

Recorded on Saturday 10th July 2021.

In Sacred Scents, we explore the role of scent within cultural and spiritual practices, and examine how this relates to the way we use essential oils today. Researchers have always struggled to understand the complex role of scent within a cultural, psychological and spiritual context.

In this four-hour masterclass we will:

  • Examine why essential oils have always been used with spiritual practice

  • Explore the six key factors that contribute to the spiritual dimension of scent, biophilia, awe, sacred space, ritual, myth and neurobiology.

  • investigate the science and research underpinning these factors and learn how understanding these factors not only helps us gain more spiritual clarity, but provides us with a better understanding of the therapeutic role of essential oils.

  • explore the latest research into shinrin-yoku: the Japanese practice of forest bathing and biophilia. This research helps us understand why exposure to nature can have so many beneficial psychological and physiological benefits. What is most exciting about the research into shinrin-yoku is that the volatile oils emitted by trees are responsible for much of the therapeutic efficacy of forest bathing. What is even more exciting is that inhalation of only trace amounts of the volatile essential oil molecules in the air can have so many pronounced physiological and psychological effects, such as boosting immunity, reducing stress producing hormones and improving sleep.

  • examine how neurotheology can help us understand the benefits of essential oils within a spiritual context. Neurotheology integrates anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, neurology, psychology, and sociology; with beliefs, myths, religion, rituals, spiritual practices, spirituality and theology.

  • review a range of sacred essential oils that have played an important role in the spiritual practices of humankind and are important in the practice of subtle aromatherapy. These oils include benzoin, atlas cedarwood, cypress, frankincense, lotus, myrrh, patchouli, rock rose, rose otto, oud, spikenard, sandalwood, vetiver and yakusugi. We will conclude the session by exploring a range of techniques for working with the essential oils and created sacred blends.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction

    • Welcome to Sacred Scents Masterclass

  • 2

    Session 1

    • Incense

    • Recommended Reading for Session One: Incense

  • 3

    Session 2

    • Sesquiterpenes – the spiritual molecules?

  • 4

    Session 3

    • Spiritual dimension of scent

    • Activity

    • Recommended Reading for Session 3: Spiritual Dimension of Scent

  • 5

    Session 4

    • Sacred qualities of some commonly used essential oils in aromatherapy

    • Recommended Reading for Session Four: Essential Oils

  • 6

    Resources

    • Sacred Scents Article by Pamela Adelstein

    • How might contact with nature promote human health?

Presented by

Salvatore Battaglia

Salvatore Battaglia has been passionate about natural therapies for most of his life. He holds qualifications in natural therapies, herbal medicine, acupuncture and aromatherapy. Salvatore’s dedication to aromatherapy has seen him hold positions in professional associations and government committees to ensure that the educational standards of professional aromatherapy are maintained and improved. Salvatore has been teaching aromatherapy since 1988. He is often called upon to speak at international conferences about aromatherapy, running a holistic and ethical business and what it means to go natural and organic. Salvatore has been an advisor to hospital boards and nursing homes to establish aromatherapy clinical trials for pain management, intensive care and depression and for the management of dementia and aged care. He is the author of The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, which was first published in 1994. To date, more than 130,000 copies of The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy have been sold. The book is internationally acclaimed as a textbook and has now been translated into Japanese and Korean. In 1991, Salvatore created Perfect Potion, a manufacturer of certified organic aromatherapy products, natural skin care and essential oils, whose purpose is to naturally enhance people’s lives. In 2016, he was made an honorary member of the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA).