“Every human being has a light in heaven. When two of them meet, the lights fuse, and a new light shines out of them. This is called a begetting and the new light is an angel.” —Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz (18th century Hasidic master) in Tales Of The Hasidim. Collection of tales compiled and translated by Martin Buber
The fear of intimacy may be the product of a diverse array of causative factors. Thus, jasmine oil is not relevant for all cases of psychospiritual disharmony in which this particular fear is intricately woven. However, this oil does have specificity for fear of intimacy when it is the product of one, or both, of the two following causative factors: 1) history, not only of sexual suppression, but suppression of one’s unique authentic soul-nature in general; 2) the experience of sexual abuse that has led to trepidation and inhibition regarding sexual relations.
Jasmine oil is often described as being an aphrodisiac. However, this aphrodisiac action does not involve the oil’s direct stimulation of the sexual sensitivity. Instead, in many cases, it is the product of jasmine oil’s ability to assuage the fear and psychical tension, and soften the inhibitions, of those who have experienced pronounced suppression of sexuality and individuality when growing up and/or were the victims of sexual abuse.
Thus, if a couple uses jasmine oil with the intention of heightening sexual interest which has waned, not because of fear or inhibition, but simply because the two individuals have grown apart and are tired of one another, the oil will exert very little in the way of an aphrodisiac action.
On the other hand, if two romantic partners have not historically experienced suppression or sexual abuse and are seeking to enhance their intimacy within the context of romantic and spiritual love and purity of feeling, jasmine oil may prove of good service. According to Hindu lore, Kama, the god of love, tipped his arrows with jasmine flowers so they would have the power to infuse the heart with desire. To the Sufis, jasmine is a symbol of both romantic and spiritual love. Jasmine has long been used in love sachets and love incenses; it is used not only to enhance romantic love but spiritual love as well. Thus, borrowing from Rabbi Pinchas’ above quoted observation, jasmine oil can help the lights of these two lovers to fuse, encouraging a new light to shine and emanate from this union.
In this article, I will focus primarily on jasmine oil’s potential for helping those whose lives have been strongly influenced by suppression and/or sexual abuse to overcome their fear of intimacy.
The name jasmine derives from the Persian word yasmin. Jasmine, a member of the Oleaceae, or Olive, family (native to India and Persia) is an evergreen-climbing shrub (Jasminum officinale) or creeper vine with delicate, and very fragrant, star-shaped flowers. The flowers bloom from June to October and are found primarily on young shoots. The stems of Jasminum grandiflorum and Jasminum sambac are feeble and require support to remain upright.
The star-shaped flowers are signatures of the plant’s celestial connection. The predominance of blooming on young shoots is also significant. It should be borne in mind that the flower is the sexual organ of a plant. It will contain either male or female sexual organs (stamens or pistils), or both. This jasmine flowering pattern suggests that, in youth, the jasmine individual was sexually “in bloom,” but various circumstances caused her to ultimately become sexually inhibited.
The weakness of the stems indicates that the jasmine oil individual, as a result of historical suppression of her authentic self and/or fearfulness related to the experience of sexual abuse, has difficulty standing on her own, especially when moving into the white waters of persistent stress. Thus, she may be drawn to a partner who, although perhaps not a perfect fit, brings a reliable strength to the relationship that, like a stake for a plant stem, enables her to remain upright as she is buffeted by the winds of life.
Jasmine flowers are generally picked at night, because, due to changes in the plant’s internal chemistry, they emit scent most intensively after dark. For most adults, night is the most common time for sexual intimacy. After all, people work and/or take care of their families during the day. So desire realizes its opportunity in the dark of night, when the day’s activities are completed and the house has fallen quiet. In this reference, the jasmine plant is known in India as the Queen of the Night or Moonlight of the Grove.
The flowers continue to emit odor for several days after being harvested, a property that makes jasmine oil a good candidate for extraction via effleurage. Jasmine oil is most commonly distilled by the process of effleurage, which involves the absorption of the flowers’ essential oil content by a fatty solvent such as purified lard or olive oil. When the jasmine flowers are placed on a layer of lard or olive oil-soaked cloth, they continue to produce fresh oil as the solvent removes the oil which was originally present. The scented fatty oil then yields jasmine absolute via maceration in alcohol. Jasmine oil is very expensive, because the effleurage process requires a huge amount of jasmine flowers but ultimately yields a relatively small amount of essential oil. Some jasmine oil is also produced via steam-distillation of the absolute, but this production method is far less common as it yields much less essential oil and the product is more expensive. Fine jasmine oil has a preternaturally lovely, sweet and captivating floral scent.
In India, jasmine is one of the best-loved flowers. In Rigveda, one of the earliest Vedas (ancient Hindu scriptures), jasmine is referred to as the Parama atman, meaning an embodiment of the power of God. The jasmine flower is revered for its pure white color, which symbolizes life’s fragility as well as its lush fragrance that correlates with the eternity of fruit.
The Vedas relate: ‘Along with the creation of Man on Earth, God created ‘devas’ or His ‘helpers’ in the Heavens. They were His means of ‘communicating’ with His creations. There is a little deva present in all Creation. Residing within the sublime invisible power of the created, these devas assume forms and functions as vast and awesome as the physical forms that surround us. Some potent, others petite, they explode star clusters, move ocean tides and make perfume in Jasmine, Champaca and Parijata (coral jasmine) flowers. However, it is the Jasmine that was favored by the devas and hence was given the titles of ‘king of flowers and Flower for the Gods’ with its outstanding fragrance, color and lightness.”
In South India, young women commonly wear a small garland of jasmine flowers in their hair. The Indians associate jasmine with the theme of purity. Thus, its use as an offering at a temple or to the guru is thought to assist one’s efforts toward spiritual purification. Similarly, weaving a garland of jasmine into one’s hair, or decorating one’s home with the flowers, is thought to attract higher vibrations of purity.
We see here the complex interweaving of three themes within the jasmine oil picture: love, spiritual love and a sense of purity. As we will see, the inner conflict associated with the failed state of the jasmine oil individual prominently features a complex intermingling of these three themes.
Jasmine is a leading oil in aromatherapy and is thought to be potentially useful in the treatment of the following symptoms: nervousness; anxiety; fear; feelings of vulnerability; paranoia; deep emotional suffering; depression; post-partum depression; pessimism; lack of confidence; nervous debility; apathy; indifference; difficult breathing; insufficient secretion of breast-milk; impotence; low sperm count; premature ejaculation; frigidity; sterility; vaginal infections; pelvic congestion; uterine spasm; dysmenorrhea; difficult labor with pain during delivery.
Keeping the previous discussion in mind, we can now read the above aromatherapy symptoms picture with a greater understanding of what underlies their presentation. We now have a much clearer sense of the root causes and complex orientation regarding general symptoms such as nervousness, anxiety and depression. This is corroborated by more specific symptoms such as feelings of vulnerability, paranoia and deep, emotional suffering.
Inhibition of expression is a common thread that runs throughout this selected set of symptoms. In this reference, the following symptoms demonstrate that this inhibition has diffused beyond the realm of sexual intimacy to various other physiological functions: post-partum depression; difficult breathing; insufficient secretion of breast-milk; impotence; low sperm count; frigidity; sterility; dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods); difficult labor with pain during delivery.
It is also important to note the prominence of symptoms associated with sexual organs and pelvis, including: impotence; low sperm count; premature ejaculation; frigidity; sterility; vaginal infections; pelvic congestion; uterine spasm; dysmenorrhea; difficult labor with pain during delivery. The conflation of jasmine oil’s apparent affinity for the pelvis and sexual organs with emotional symptoms such as nervousness, anxiety, fear, feelings of vulnerability, paranoia, deep emotional suffering, depression and lack of confidence, substantiates the hypothesis that the oil has unique specificity for fear of intimacy related to being the victim of sexual abuse. Of course, this is further corroborated by the fact that, on a psychospiritual level, jasmine oil is thought to: counteract repression and enable one to receive affection and sexual pleasure.
According to body/mind theory: fears and conflicts having to do with our security and that of our loved ones, fear of survival and fear of losing ground or control are seated, in part, in the pelvis. The pelvis is the pivot of the body from where we go out to meet the world, and react to the challenges the world directs at us. Perhaps no area of the body is as guarded relative to the threat of invasive assault as are the sexual organs.
Jasmine and the Homeopathic Remedy Staphysagria
Jasmine oil has a unique synchronistic relationship with the homeopathic remedy Staphysagria. While jasmine is neither botanically related to Staphysagria nor a precise alternative for it, both remedies frequently prove relevant for the same individuals. I have observed that individuals who require Staphysagria commonly have a coequal affinity for jasmine oil. On the other hand, Staphysagria is relevant for only some of those who have a strong affinity for jasmine. Therefore, if after reading this article, you are strongly drawn to jasmine oil, this does not necessarily infer that you have a coequal affinity for Staphysagria. This is something that an experienced homeopath can help you determine.
Therefore, Staphysagria is not a substitute for the jasmine in clinical practice, nor vice versa. Instead, they frequently act synergistically, and so this relationship enables us to use selected portions of the Staphysagria picture, which experience has shown me to be relevant regarding the jasmine individual in order to more fully elaborate our understanding of the inner nature of that individual.
Suppression is the primary theme of the Staphysagria picture. Suppression involves an introversion of sexual and creative expressions initiated and enforced by another individual, most often a parent, while repression implies a self-enforced introversion of similar expressions.
The great homeopath J.T. Kent writes: “. . . [Staphysagria] is suitable in cases where complaints come from pent-up wrath, suppressed anger, suppressed feelings.” The underlying cause of illness in the Staphysagria individual is suppression. Some of the keynote symptoms of Staphysagria relevant to the jasmine oil individual are: ailments from suppressed emotions; fear of losing self-control; unsatisfied urge; often a history of sexual abuse; extreme sensitivity to touch; constant swallowing; complaints originate from anger or insults that have been swallowed; speechless from insult; talking to himself out loud; patient hangs on to terrible marriage using spiritual rationalizations; constant sexual fantasies; often shy and unable to actively seek out sexual partners; confrontation is difficult; accepts authority to an extreme degree; feels guilty or ashamed where a normal reaction would be anger; remedy for wives of abusive husbands and children of abusive or aggressive parents; submissiveness; bladder infection after sexual intercourse.
Clearly, the theme that runs through these symptoms is suppression on a sexual level as well as other directly and indirectly related levels. At times, all these pent-up emotions erupt in the form of volcanic rage. The Staphysagria individual often throws things when angry. She is also subject to anxiety, depression and feelings of shame and indignation, all outgrowths of the suppression process.
Jasmine correlates with Staphysagria in that it is one of the primary oils for sexual suppression. It warms and releases the emotions, builds confidence and reduces paranoia. It helps one come to feel safe, to receive tactile pleasure and to develop a greater connection with the body.
Jasmine is a specific for depression due to restraint or repression and ameliorates thoughts of sexual inadequacy or undesirability. It counteracts inhibition of sexual expression due to fear, anxiety, depression or feelings of vulnerability. The locking-up of the sexual impulse inhibits creativity as well. Part of jasmine’s effectiveness regarding creativity, or “mental fertility,” derives from its connection to the fertility aspect of sexual function. Jasmine helps to develop creativity and encourages self-expression.
Like Staphysagria, the themes of sexuality and suppression run throughout the jasmine oil picture. Staphysagria individuals are prone to frequent masturbation and strong sexual fancies as an outlet for suppressed sexual expression. Jasmine is often noted as a remedy for frigidity or impotence. However, these may not be due to absence of sexual feelings as much as to suppression of them, and so, frequent masturbation may very well be a factor for the supposedly frigid or impotent jasmine type.
Other Staphysagria symptoms relevant to this discussion of jasmine include: depression; ailments from grief; low self-esteem; ailments from suppressed anger; ailments after insults or humiliation; loss of voice from anger; yielding, mild; conscientious about trifles; grieves over consequences of her actions; feelings of guilt and shame; very apologetic; sensitive to all external impressions; hypersensitivity on both emotional and physical levels; sensitive to rudeness of others; easily offended; very romantic and easily disappointed within the context of a romantic relationship; sentimental, writes poetry; great nostalgia for the initial romantic phase of a romantic relationship; sexually minded; craves sweets; high sexual desire; insomnia accompanied by sexual thoughts; nocturnal seminal emissions; benign prostatic hypertrophy; prostatitis; testicular tumors; impotence; general aggravation from masturbation; vaginal growths; pain in ovaries after coition; contractions in the uterus during menses.
The Staphysagria type is commonly a sweet child and/or devoted spouse who is dominated by her parents and/or marriage partner. In some cases, she will choose a marriage partner who has some form of physical handicap or emotional instability in order to make herself indispensable. In such situations, she is particularly vulnerable to being abused or taken for granted. She may suffer this mistreatment without complaint or even assume that she deserves it. However, though she is aware of the injustice of her situation, she may choose to avoid confrontation and stick her head in the sand because she does not want to face unpleasant truths.
Hence, the Staphysagria type becomes a prisoner of her fears. She develops a polite, smooth manner in public and keeps her fears in check by staying in an unsatisfying but safe relationship. She is nevertheless very romantic and fantasizes about turning her mate into the ideal mate of her dreams. If she is fortunate enough to actually connect with a man who is loving and attentive, she will freely and disproportionately return this affection and devotion. However, even in this ideal situation she may continue to have difficulty standing up for herself, partly because of her fear of rejection. This fear, along with a hesitancy to upset anyone, often makes the Staphysagria type indecisive despite her possession of a fine intellect and sharp powers of assessment.
The following Staphysagria symptoms are highly significant: constant swallowing; complaints originate from anger or insults that have been swallowed; speechless from insult; loss of voice from anger. When considered in concert, they suggest great restriction of the fifth (or Throat) chakra.
The fifth chakra is considered to be the center of communication, especially speech. It is the vortex of the need to express what you know and what you have experienced. Thus, on a psychological level, the throat chakra plays a key role in the development of self-discipline, personal initiative and responsibility.
This chakra is considered to be a purification center as creative expression is a form of release. The ancient yogic texts teach that the awakening of the throat chakra helps to purge disease states and exerts an anti-aging effect. When open, the throat chakra encourages vitality, creativity and self-esteem.
In body-mind work, problems in the throat (which contains the larynx and is the locale of the fifth chakra: the chakra of divine communication) often stem from the swallowing-back (as a result of suppression and/or repression) of thoughts that need to find expression via vocalization.
Communication of both emotional feelings and knowledge is one of the most crucial issues for the spiritually creative soul. Creative souls want to share what they know, and for their knowledge and understanding to be recognized and openly valued. Furthermore, the healthy expression of emotion not only enables one to establish his or her personal identity, but also, to exert an influence on shaping one’s outer reality.
The Staphysagria individual is emotionally hypersensitive, and this hypersensitivity makes her prone to deeply imprinted feelings of guilt, indignation and humiliation. However, she has an essence of nobility about her, so she strives to maintain an aura of dignity and honor despite the wrongs she has had to endure.
She feels she must live up to a high code of dignity and honor and always sustain firm self-control. Thus, in the realm of sexuality, the Staphysagria type is likely to feel embarrassment regarding the expression of her sexual nature, so said nature is fully expressed only in her sexual fantasies.
She fears discovery of her true sexual nature because she feels this will engender a loss of honor. This fear in particular, often in conjunction with some of her other fears, encourages the development of an intense anxiety, somewhat paranoiac state, wherein she is constantly searching for evidence in others that suggest her “secret” has been uncovered.
While the importance of sexuality in the jasmine picture will vary (from repressed, almost prudish, to lascivious and even promiscuous), the one constant among all jasmine types, as with Staphysagria individuals, is the theme of concerns about personal honor and respect, and the feeling that she must exert a constant effort to control her public relations in order to preserve her high reputation.
After reading this, you should now have a deeper understanding of the inner nature of jasmine oil and the jasmine oil individual. Whether the inner life of that individual operates from a success state or failed state will depend upon how they deal with the fear and sense of vulnerability that became ingrained in them at an early age.
In Freedom From Fear, psychologist Robert Sardello, Ph. D. writes: “Fear is the only thing that can eat through the cast-iron layers of the false self and take us to our core where, if it is met with intensified soul consciousness rather than given in to, its transformation into virtue can begin. . .The corrosive effects of fear can bring about a free and open soul life, oriented toward care and service, and a deep feeling and knowing of love; it can also make us into mere shells of human beings. The difference seems to lie in whether, in the presence of fear, we open more to the soul or become closed to the depths of our existence.”
Jasmine oil can play an important role in helping those whose core individuality has been suppressed, and/or who have experienced sexual abuse, to overcome the fear of intimacy by opening to the soul rather than continuing to remain estranged from the depths of his or her existence. Of course, intimacy has its risks, but when one encounters another human being on a soul-to-soul level, whatever challenges may ensue, ultimately becomes a part of one’s personal compendium of knowing rather than a potentially mortal blow to one’s sense of self.
In The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran alludes to this: “If you love. . .let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody at night [recall that jasmine flowers emit scent most intensively after dark].
To know the pain of too much tenderness;
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully;
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.