By Scott Cunningham
Cunningham, probably more than any other author, was responsible for making
Wicca and the magickal arts available to, and attainable by, the average person. Had
he lived longer, his works and his continual research would likely still be a force of
change and even greater influence today. He is still one of the most influential authors,
and many who choose to follow a Wiccan path do so through his books.
Sadly, Cunningham died in 1993, but his works seem to remain fresh and relevant.
Tonight, we'll be taking a look at one of his later books. Magical Aromatherapy, the
Power of Scent, originally published in 1989, is still a popular title with Llewellyn.
Magickal Aromatherapy describes the use of scent and visualization to achieve magickal
goals. This book was written using original research, coupled with extensive studies
of previous works, going as far back as Pliny, or the 1st century CE.
The text of Magical Aromatherapy comprises three main sections. Part 1 deals with the
art and history of magical aromatherapy. It describes where the scents come from, what
essential oils are, how they are derived, and methods of using scents and essential oils.
Part 2 is some 100 pages detailing 100 natural aromatics - everything from herbs to
florals - essential oils to incense and woods. A great deal of emphasis is placed on safety.
Some plants and essential oils can be dangerous if taken internally, and some can cause
allergic reactions when applied to the skin. Some plant materials as well essential oils are
so dangerous that they should not be handled or touched.
The third part of the book consists of a number of tables. There are charts which describe
elemental, planetary and zodiacal correspondences. There are charts relating aromas to
various days of the week or to desired changes or magickal works. If you're looking for
a scent for a particular purpose, this is where you'll find it.
Magical Aromatherapy also includes a number of appendices. Some of these are unfortunately
out of date. Remember that the book was originally published in 1989, and some phone
numbers and such are no longer in service.
Appendix 1 included a list of distributors. Appendix 2, a list of plant and dried product
distributors. We'll be compiling a newer list and posting it on Paganfm.com For now though,
if you're in the Dover, NH area, Dover Natural Marketplace includes a good variety of dried
herbs and essential oils.
Magical Aromatherapy also includes a good glossary, as well as an extensive bibliography.
It's no wonder that it is itself, now, in the bibliography of many other books that deal
with this subject. Magical Aromatherapy was well-researched and well-written. While it
may not be the final word on the subject, it is definitely an important and seminal work,
which will likely not pass from relevance anytime soon.
© 2008 Deirdre A. Hebert