Intuition in the spiritual domain As mentioned earlier, intuition may

I nt ui t ion
Intuition in the spiritual domain
As mentioned earlier, intuition may be considered to be
an integral part of the spiritual experience within many
different religious and esoteric philosophies. In some
traditions intuition is associated with the concepts of
transcendence and spirit – a going beyond oneself to a
higher realm. In other traditions, as well as within the
ideas of Jung, intuition is regarded to be transformative
and is considered alongside individuation – the striving
to find ‘wholeness’ within oneself or to be united with
God or another spiritual source. Intuition tends to arise
as a flash of illumination – the Aha! moment – that
can be seen as an intervention, or a gift, from divine
providence, perhaps to stimulate the evolution of
consciousness and spiritual insight. Such illumination
offers a link between earthly knowledge or insight
derived from religious practice and the higher spiritual
There is a common assumption and acceptance that
intuition cannot be judged or interpreted by logical
reasoning, nor by empirically verifiable scientific criteria,
but this in no way detracts from the validity of the
spiritual intuitive experience. In fact, in some spiritual
and esoteric traditions psychic and psycho-spiritual
phenomena such as intuition, visions, out-of-body
experiences, speaking in tongues and so forth are actively
encouraged, and are celebrated when they occur.
All the different religions offer spiritual practices that
facilitate the development of intuition, although this is
often considered as a by-product rather than the main
aim of religious practice. Nonetheless, it is from the
spiritual practices of prayer, contemplation, devotional
acts, ritual and meditation that we as aromatherapists
can learn to enrich and extend our innate intuitive
abilities. You do not have to become ‘religious’ or adopt
all the tenets of a particular religion (unless you want
to) to benefit from prayer, meditation, etc., although
it is helpful to appreciate the values that underpin the
religion. These values have a particular and individual
expression in each religion, but are essentially universal;
love, compassion, humility and the desire to be of benefit
to and serve others are values everyone can espouse
without necessarily having ‘belief ’ in God or another
divine being.
Developing intuition
Most aromatherapists will already have cultivated and
developed their innate intuitive abilities to a greater or
lesser extent, as the intimate nature of aromatherapy
massage lends itself to such an approach. For many of
us intuition is part and parcel of how we work; it is not
something we need to think about consciously, nor strive
for. We simply intuit information about our clients, their
needs and desires and the essential oil blends with which
to treat them, as well as massaging intuitively according
to what we ‘feel’ and ‘read’ from the client.
However, as someone who meditates daily, and has
done for many years, I suggest the regular practice of
meditation can help strengthen intuition and reinforce
‘being present’ with the client. For the experienced
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aromatherapist it can be easy to slip off into reverie
and extraneous thoughts while working with a client,
as I know only too well myself. But by not being
fully present with the client for the duration of their
treatment, we may miss the subtle cues and signs the
person unconsciously manifests that we may otherwise
intuit information from and then act upon.
Unless I can be fully present with the person I am
working with for the duration of their session, then I
feel I am short-changing them in some way, even if
the aromatherapy treatment is deemed successful and
the client is happy with the outcome. Significantly, I
have found meditation to be a wonderful and effective
practice to help me remain fully present in each and
every moment – and thus to be able to use my intuition
to the fullest advantage. In the next chapter we will
explore meditation and techniques that can benefit the
aromatherapist, not only to help stay fully present with
the client as much as possible, but also to use meditation
to stimulate and develop our innate intuition. And having
full recourse to our intuition, alongside our theoretical
knowledge and understanding, and experience, helps us
to be truly holistic aromatherapists.