Have you ever felt “out of your species”, as if you “lived in your head”, “without foundation” or if you were firmly attached to concepts, ideas or goods? This can be a sign to start tending to the roots of your private garden, your root chakra. It is an energy vortex at the base of your spine and sits at the perineum; your figurative anchor to the earth. Although our gardens are nourished by both spiritual and earthly practices, it is often necessary to fortify the root chakra with tangible earthly things that we can feel.
Can you imagine or even feel your sciatic nerves? These large nerves come out of the lower body plexi and descend along our legs, allowing us to ebb, flow and resonate with the electromagnetic field generated by the Earth’s molten core. This molten iron core is metaphorically like the iron needed to make up each heme group in our blood cells. (A heme group binds oxygen (O2) blood). Oxygen could not easily flow through our body without the heme group). Even more symbolic is the way the color of the root chakra is red, synonymous with life-giving blood.
Root-earth energy is associated with matter, the ultimate expression of ideas put into action, often called manifestation. I like to associate this with what I call “getting the job done”: cooking, cleaning, eating, washing and sleeping. An often quoted Zen proverb says: “Before the Age of Enlightenment, cut wood carries water, after the Age of Enlightenment, cut wood carries water.” Yep. We must always “do the work” to support ourselves.
The energy of the roots is very human. Things we can hold and touch. It is “yin”, wet, heavy. Associated with the pelvic floor and perineum, it is linked to things such as birth, diet, digestion, elimination, sexuality and sex, letting go, death. If we feel safe, we can let go, if we don’t feel safe, we can hold on, grab or unleash. The root energy supported allows us to believe that the Earth will provide us.
Fear and anger can dominate when our basic selves are not secure in basic and inalienable rights such as housing, food, clothing and LOVE. This is rightly so – these are fundamental rights of which every human and sensitive person is worthy. If these needs are not met, the body and the soul cannot thrive and grow. It’s a big thing – not having enough. It’s not about being dissatisfied with not having the new gadgets. It’s about having enough security to live to your full potential and loving yourself enough to let go and just BE. When life is messy and disorganized, and it often is, one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is routine, as small as it is. The structure is our vessel and our support container. As a tool, aromatherapy can create touch points and gaps for creative self-care routines.
Essential oils are tools that can inherently help reconcile our mind-body connection, connect with nature, interact with our own vulnerable and messy bodies. They open the door to a little bigger and wider self-care, inviting us to pause, notice and maybe pause and notice again. Here are two suggestions for synergies of essential oils mixed with the intention of supporting cleansing, rooting and manifestation. You can consider using them (and modifying them if you wish) in the “Root Ritual” routine suggested below.
I created this blend to help eliminate fear and anger and bring soothing love.
- 9 Nagarmotha drops (Cyperus scariosus)
- 14 drops of patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
- 3 drops of Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
- 6 drops Moroccan Rose (Rosa damascena-Absolute)*
- * Note: I chose to use Rose maroc because it is a washing application.
- 9 drops of benzoin (Styrax tonkinensis)
This blend combines soothing and balsamic qualities with warm, vanilla heat. It’s deep, grounded and settling – perfect for relaxing at the end of the day.
- 3 drops of angelica root (Angelica archangelica)
- 8 drops of sandalwood (Santalum Album)
- 3 drops of “Rhu khus” vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides)
- 4 drops of Peruvian balm (Myroxylon pereirae)
- 2 drops of cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum verum)
To be honest, choose one or more essential oils that will make you feel comfortable, safe, at home, and in touch with yourself. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, start exploring the essential oils obtained from aromatic roots. You may notice that vetiver, angelica root and nagarmotha are fundamental oils in the synergies shared in this article: roots for the root chakra.
Aromatic root ritual
Here is an aromatic routine that I invite you to try for the next four weeks. I do it every Monday evening, but you can choose to do it more often (for example, 2 to 3 times a week). Routine is a key word here. It is difficult but important to establish a relationship with yourself and your rituals, otherwise they will not work effectively. Honoring your body with rituals like the one below is honoring your flesh, bones, blood, nerves and all other parts of your body that are the vehicle of your entire being.
What you will need:
- Yourself! It can be fun to exchange foot massages with a partner, but time alone is just as precious.
- 15-20 minutes. Yeah, you have time for that. Believe me.
- A container for soaking the feet (for example, a bucket, I use a copper tub) that can hold enough hot water where the water level is at least a few inches above your ankles.
- A cup of magnesium chloride or Epsom salt
- Optional: half a cup of hydrosol (I keep it simple and I usually use rose or lavender because I always have it on hand)
- Towel, cozy blanket and cozy socks
- The two essential oil synergies described in this article (“Loving Security” and “Grounding Warmth”)
- Keep “Loving Security” in an easy-to-use bottle with an orifice reducer (or another mixing bottle of your choice) to use “clean” as “friction”
- Add 20 drops of Grounding Warmth to a base product (eg walnut / seed oil, aloe butter or jelly) that you apply to your feet and legs after soaking
Choose a time when you can reserve 15 to 20 minutes. I do it around 8pm with my partner when we watch the “Antiques Roadshow”.
Take off your shoes and socks. Now. Seriously. Literally on the ground with the ground to take its low vibration and to the ground and feel it support you. Note: you don’t have to go out to do this! It’s winter as I write this. Instead of going outside, I like to walk barefoot on the wooden floors of my apartment. If you’re warm enough, keep your feet bare while you prepare your aromatic routine (your feet will thank you).
Set up your foot soaking area with the materials listed above and fill your soaking container with lukewarm or hot water. A hot foot bath stimulates circulation from the lower abdomen to the feet.
Once the water level is where you need it, add the salts and optional hydrosol. Bring the soaking container to your living room area, put your feet up and cover your legs and container with the blanket. Make sure to turn your feet to disperse the salts and the hydrosol.
Sit for 5 minutes and relax by feeling your feet touch the container. Breathe. Breathe again. Deeply. Imagine the energy of the earth and the water that inspires in your entire body and the breath that releases tension and fear in the ground below you.
After about 5 minutes, place the blanket on the side and open your “Loving Security” bottle. Place 2-3 drops on one palm, rub your palms together and massage the oil on one leg and one foot, using water to add slip. Enjoy it for a good 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg and foot.
Wipe your hands on the towel, then cover your legs and the soaking container with the blanket. Sit back and relax for another 5 minutes.
Recording: How do you feel?
Take your time, remove the blanket and wipe your feet and legs with the towel. Set the soaking container aside. Take a small amount of your Grounding Warmth massage product and massage it on the bottom and top of each foot and each leg. Take your time.
Wipe your hands on the towel. Put on your comfortable socks and enjoy the lightness of your feet. How do you feel? What is the first word that comes to mind? Write it. Make an appointment with yourself to start this routine either at the same time next week or even earlier. Just be consistent.
You are important and have the right to be here. Your body is your home. Take care of it. I don’t know about you but I have to remember it often enough. The practice does not need to be developed. Chop the wood, transport water, heat the water. Soak and massage the feet with aromatic goodness. Pause. That’s enough. But do it enough, often enough, to make it a habit. Call it a ritual if you wish. Either way, continue the practice of honoring your right to be here. To do work. Chop wood. Carry water. Soak.