Frankincense and Myrrh ~ Father and Mother
Frankincense and Myrrh ~ Father and Mother
I love essential oils and I have loved learning about their uses and applications. Essential oils fascinate me, both from a science and physiology standpoint and from a spiritual/emotional/energy systems standpoint, but even that comes back to science in the end. I love learning it all. Two oils that are particularly amazing to me in their characteristics are frankincense and myrrh.
Frankincense is known as the king of oils. It has the amazing ability to enhance the effects of other oils when used together with them. It is a powerhouse oil that has such a diversity of constituents that it can address a huge range of issues. Some of those uses include inflammation, cancer, and depression. But energetically/emotionally, it is the oil of truth. It helps people to let go of negativity and spiritual darkness. It connects the soul with light and truth. My favorite thing about frankincense is that it supports a spiritual attachment, both with God and our earthly father. It is a powerful oil that protects while also being a gentle nurturer. It reminds us that we are loved and dispels sentiments of abandonment.
Myrrh is a wonderful antiseptic. It cleanses and purifies. It’s particularly good for healing and pain. Midwives often use it on the umbilical cord stump of newborns. It’s also used as a mouthwash because it’s great for the mouth, gums, and throat. Energetically/emotionally, myrrh is the oil of Mother Earth. It nurtures our relationship with our biological mother, our mother earth, and our Heavenly Mother. It supports and repairs a damaged mother-child bond and promotes a sense of safety and security. It fosters trust and dispels fear. Anytime there has been a division or lack of attachment with our mothers, myrrh can bring us back to a place of trust, safety, and nourishment.
“Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness. . . . All thy garments smell of myrrh . . . whereby they have made thee glad.” Psalms 45:8
When I learned about the spiritual powers these two oils posses, I was overcome with awe. It gave new meaning to the gifts of frankincense and myrrh that the wise men brought to the baby Jesus as He left the premortal world and His Heavenly Parents to walk among men during His earthly sojourn. We too can use these oils to draw closer to our Heavenly Parents as well as our earthly parents.
“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11
Many parents anoint their newborns with frankincense at birth to ease their transition into earthly life. Myrrh would be a reasonable choice as well, particularly in cases where mothers were unable to have a good bonding experience in the first hour of their child’s life or for families that grow through adoption.
I love the powers these two oils possess together and I love to see them work in my family. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has provided these gifts for us to use while we are here on this earth struggling through our mortal existence without Him quite so close to us as He was before we came. As a mother, I love that I can draw nearer to my Heavenly Father and Mother when I need help knowing how to raise these children and cope with the difficulties that come as a part of our mortal life experience.
So What Are Frankincense and Myrrh?
People in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula have produced frankincense and myrrh for some 5,000 years [source: Michie]. For much of this time, these aromatic resins were the region’s most important commodity, with a trade network that reached across Africa, Asia and Europe. Today, demand for frankincense and myrrh has subsided, but numerous Chinese, Greek, Latin and Sanskrit sources remind us of their past importance.
Frankincense and myrrh were desired for personal, religious and medicinal use. In a time before daily bathing, people would use the sweet smoke from the resins to make themselves smell better. Egyptian women utilized the ash of frankincense for personal use as well, mixing it into their eye shadow. These substances were also widely used in religious ceremonies and burials. According to the Greek writer, Herodotus, the Egyptians used both frankincense and myrrh in the preparation of animal sacrifices and human mummies. Hebrews and Christians incorporated them into their ceremonies in the third century B.C. and fourth century A.D., respectively. Frankincense and myrrh also had medicinal uses. In the Papyrus Ebers of 1500 B.C., priests recommended both resins for the treatment of wounds. Other ailments they were once reported to cure include hemlock poisoning, leprosy, worms, snakebites, diarrhea, plague, scurvy and even baldness!
The high demand for frankincense and myrrh created a booming trade in the Middle East lasting several hundred years. In the first century, around the height of the trade, Pliny the Elder claimed that Arabia produced approximately 1,680 tons (1,524 metric tons) of frankincense and around 448 tons (406 metric tons) of myrrh each year [source: Simpson]. One of the most important trade centers surrounded the Shisr oasis in southern Oman. This outpost exported frankincense across Mesopotamia, India and China from about 300 B.C. to the third century A.D. The ruins of the settlement remain as a UNESCO World Heritage site known as “The Land of Frankincense.”
Clearly, frankincense and myrrh were widely available when the Magi visited the baby Jesus around 5 B.C., and would have been considered practical gifts with many uses. The expensive resins were symbolic as well. Frankincense, which was often burned, symbolized prayer rising to the heavens like smoke, while myrrh, which was often used in embalming, symbolized death.
So scholars think that frankincense was presented to the infant Jesus to symbolize his later role as a high priest for believers while myrrh symbolized his later death and burial.
Is your nose still itching for facts about these aromatic resins? Visit the next page for more information.
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