EDITOR’S NOTE: Since Gary Young’s passing, we have been taking stock of the tremendous contributions he made to the world by revisiting his presentations, such as this fascinating multipart blogpost series called The Twelve Oils of Ancient Scripture. In it, Gary examined the historical significance and traditional uses of frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh, onycha, spikenard, rose of Sharon, myrtle, hyssop, galbanum, cypress, cedarwood, and cassia.
In the last installment, Gary Young discussed the history of cassia and highlighted the importance of learning about these unique essential oils.
One of the oldest known spices, cassia oil was distilled from the leaves and twigs and was a highly prized aromatic very similar to cinnamon bark in fragrance and in chemistry.
How was cassia used for its spiritual purposes? We don’t know exactly. The Egyptians believed in multiple gods, so they adorned themselves with multiple oils to please their gods. We know that these oils were so treasured that they were also recognized for their powerful ability to help increase spiritual connection and awareness.
We also have to keep in mind that in ancient times the majority of people did not have access to written records or have the ability to read or write.
This is why they communicated through touch and scent. Cassia, myrrh, and sandalwood were some of the oils that were used in mummification or burial. They believed that essential oils preserved the body, carried it into the afterlife, and prepared them for their journey back. Some people even believed that the oils created a fragrance trail that could be followed back to the present world. Perhaps this is why these oils were regarded with such high esteem. But there are still many aspects that we don’t understand at this time.
If we derive physical benefits from these oils, we may also derive spiritual benefits as well. I have traveled the ancient lands and gone to these ancient places, from the shores of the Arabian Sea to the Red Sea. I have traveled the vast wilderness of the desert to the lost city of Ubar, the Atlantis of the sands, to Petra, Jordan, to the Judean desert, Masada, Qumran, and Ein Gedi. I have studied the ruins where long ago precious resins such as balsam and frankincense were distilled to make essential oils. Then I traveled into Egypt following the history of these aromatics and oils that were given to us in the very beginning of time.
I believe that there was a very profound purpose for the gift of these oils and resins. Only today are we beginning to appreciate the immense value of aromatics and essential oils.
My desire is that you have an understanding of how these oils can improve your life and also the lives of those around you.
Essential oils are truly the missing link of modern health and perhaps they are also a missing link in helping to heighten your spiritual connections. I hope they inspire you and empower you to improve your life in every way.
(Originally published February 16, 2010)