Whatever your Passion or Profession…Essential Oils Can Work With You!

The basic nature of essential oils is to be in harmony and to bring harmony.  They are also wonderful additions to a surprising number and variety of professions or practices.  I think you will be surprised at the interesting and powerful ways our Essences are enhancing all sorts of business endeavors!  But first, a few announcements:

Level 1 Certification Class in Medicinal Aromatherapy

Lev. 2 Hopi TestersI will retire from teaching group Level 1 classes at the end of this year.  My last Level 1 Class will be held September 10-11, 2016 at my Shining Sun Aromatherapy studio just north of Santa Fe, NM. To qualify for the early registration price of $450, I must receive the full amount by August 10th.  After that date, the price goes to $475, and must be paid in full at the time of registration. I have room for about 5 more people; right now, I have no more auditor openings, but if you have your WOTE Level 1 certification and want to audit in September (and you have not already registered with me), please send me an email noting your interest, and I will put you on the “waiting list”. Life does happen, as we all know.  Details about the Level 1 Foundational course are available on my website, www.shiningsunaromatherapy.com/level-i-classes/  I am still doing Skype classes, mentoring, and private Level 1 classes.

Voices of Light, Voices of Love…Messages from the Plants and Trees by Audre Gutierrez, Barry Kapp and Cynthia Olivera de Kapp

Audre Barry Cyn book pic sittingHas a plant or tree ever spoken to you, or moved you to a deeper place of self-knowing? This book shares the transformational experiences of our students as they journeyed with an essential oil of their choice as part of the WOTE Level 1 Medicinal Aromatherapy certification process.  By their own account, these students have been forever changed by their experience. By sharing some of the heart-touching messages and profound wisdom they received from 19 different essences, our hope is that you will be, too!   Priced at $29.95; it will also be available on Amazon.

We are grateful for the support we have received from honored colleagues in the global aromatherapy community. For example:

 …For those who wish to retrace the intimate steps by which the authors have explored…their relation with essential oils, this book is a treasure trove. – Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD, Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy

 Many gifts await you in this beautiful book that can be read over and over again…Your heart will be nourished by this unique and loving interpretation of plants and essential oils. – Robbi Zeck, ND, Author of the Blossoming Heart, Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation

This is unlike any offering we are aware of in the aromatherapy literature, and we are very excited to bring this information to light!  I am currently accepting pre-publication orders of this beautiful and moving book; we expect delivery of a limited first run in August or September.  Please call or email me if you are interested in securing one or more copies.

Voices of Light Book Cover

July’s Essential Thought from Shining Sun Aromatherapy: “Works Well With Others”

Growing up, I always heard the phrase “Plays well with others” as a way teachers and caregivers described children who were able to get along and function well in groups; when I got older, the phrase changed to “Works well with others”, which was important in both college and in employment. As a practicing aromatherapist and educator in the field of aromatherapy, I see how pertinent both of these concepts are in truly understanding how essential oils work with humans on all three levels…physical, emotional and spiritual.

Essential oils have a very unique and powerful ability to facilitate and enhance other modalities without overpowering them.   As is their nature, they work in harmony with each other, and with other ways of healing, supporting and creating. This is something that I find very special about the essences, but not much is said about it in the aromatherapy literature.

I am often asked “Is it ok to use more than one essence at a time? Won’t they conflict with each other?” Or, “If I use more than one essence, how will I know which one ‘worked’”? These are ways of understanding the world that bear little resemblance to nature or to how healing with natural medicines occurs. While there are some limited situations where essential oils may be “contra-indicated”…that is, they are not recommended for use with another treatment type or with a certain condition or with a certain pharmaceutical drug…for the most part they work remarkably well with each other, and with many diverse modalities and practices, as well.

Working Well Together

Our philosophy with regard to using multiple oils at one time (layering) to treat a condition or situation is that they work very powerfully and effectively together; typically, the essences selected the essences address both the presenting symptoms, as well as known or suspected contributing factors or root causes. For example, say that an individual experiences migraine headaches shortly before or during their menstrual period, and has done so for years. I might suggest Marjoram (cineole) and Peppermint for headache pain (both are anti-spasmodic and analgesic (pain-killing) in nature, and I might suggest Geranium and Clary Sage for hormonal balance. These would all complement each other and address the migraines from different angles.

We also use multiple oils at the same time to address a variety of concerns; a person might be working with Birch (Yellow) and Spike Lavender for their sprained hand, Cardamom Seed (Green) and Basil (Sweet) for digestive issues and Myrtle (linalool) for balancing their thyroid. I have seen people literally be aghast at the thought of using all of these essences at the same time, or within a twelve-hour period. We, as a culture, have been so conditioned by western medicine to think of drug interactions, the idea of different plant medicines working harmoniously with each other, as a general rule, is hard for some people “to wrap their heads around.” And yet, serious drug interactions (which I had personal and frightening experience with many years ago) are a reality, and are not well-understood or well-managed in western medicine.

medicines in shoeboxWhen my father was alive, he used to have a shoebox with 10-15 different drug bottles in it, prescribed by four or five different doctors. I know for a fact that his doctors did not confer with each other on how harmoniously these drugs would work together. Now, that is something to be aghast about. And I was. But when I tried to address this situation with my father, my concerns fell on deaf ears. My father refused to question his doctors, for in his mind, everything they said was “gospel”.  Also, he would never have “bothered” the doctor to ask if a newly prescribed medication was compatible with the laundry list of drugs he was already taking, prescribed by other doctors in other practices. I think his trust was outsized and misplaced.

Complementing Other Modalities/Professions

It is literally fascinating to see the beautiful symmetry of the essences with so many other modalities or practices. I did a “laundry list” of situations I am personally familiar with where essences have been successfully integrated with other professions, and here is what I came up with (we’ll start with the more obvious ones first…so stay with me…there are some pretty creative and exciting combinations here):

  • Massage:  Essences can be used directly on the areas of concern, and integrated into the massage… not just drops on a face towel or in the massage lotion.
  • Yoga:  An essential oil can be diffused in the practice area; many instructors apply an oil like Frankincense or Lavender on participants’ feet or crown chakras during savasana — Corpse pose —  at the end of a yoga session.
  • Chiropractic healing: Essences can be used during a session to help relax tense muscles and facilitate  manipulation and/or after a session to relieve any soreness or tightness.
  • Sound Healing with a didgeridoo:  The essence can be dripped into the bottom opening; the aroma then emanates from the instrument when it is blown in a sound healing session.  One of our clients does powerful healing in this way, and his choice is Wild Chamomile for its calming, soothing effect.
  • Sound Healing with crystal bowls or gongs:  Essences which are heart-opening or calming in nature can be applied to the participants and/or diffused in the room.
  • Vibrational Healing with Tuning Forks or Reiki: The vibration of the essences, in concert with the vibration of the forks or Reiki, is really profound. A local healer recently shared at my Aromatherapy Meet Up about the amazing reaction a client had to her use of the tuning forks with appropriate essences on each meridian.
  • Meditation:  The essences facilitate and enhance the experience of the person meditating; they can be diffused into the room or, preferably, applied to the participant.
  • Acupuncture: Suitable essences (i.e., those whose properties support the healing intention) can be applied to the area where the needle will be inserted, or the needle can be dipped in the essence before insertion.
  • Natural creams and salves: One of my students has a beautiful line of personal care products that she has created. While, at first, she wondered how moving to a higher grade of essences for her products would impact her bottom line, she was excited to tell me that she could use significantly less of our essences in her products, because they are so pure and powerful.  Also, her clients reported better results! The higher quality really made a positive difference in the effectiveness of her products, and actually made them less costly to produce!
  • Physical Therapy: Essences can be used during a session to help relax tense muscles or after a session to relieve any soreness or tightness.
  • Hypnotherapy: Essences can relax the person being hypnotized and facilitate a deep trance.


The following collaborations may be a little less “obvious”, but they are working very well for the owners of these businesses:

  • Space Organizer/De-cluttering: One of my students is an excellent personal and business organizer…she expertly helped me clear out my “junk” room and made my hall closet functional again! Many of her clients have emotional attachments to the things they have finally decided to “let go”, so she finds essences like Mugwort, Lavender, Peppermint and citruses really good for helping them with the letting go part, reducing the stress of the change, and uplifting them up mentally and emotionally.
  • Artistic Creation:   Music, painting, sculpting, dancing, pottery making, writing, etc. are enhanced by using essential oils to help open the heart, access our higher self, or access our inner child. Essences can also be used in the material…paint, clay, etc….to minimize any toxicity in the substances used and to leave the finished piece with a special energy and aroma (which recedes over time…the energy does not) that can enhance the experience of the person viewing or using the piece.
  • Nutritional Counseling: A number of the essences can be used for the emotional side of eating too little or eating too much; other essences can be used for their high satiety value.  For example, Black Cumin is 21% protein; it helps satisfy hunger and is energizing. Spearmint essential oil topically applied or in water helps curb cravings.
  • Jewelry: A friend who creates wonderful jewelry combined her love of our oils and the benefit she has received from them with her passion for jewelry-making. She now makes a variety of necklaces that gently emanate an essential oil of the wearer’s choice.
  • Psychotherapy: A friend and student who is an excellent therapist has greatly enhanced her practice by working with essences chosen to help with particular emotional issues experienced by a client, as well as relaxing and soothing them to enhance the benefits of an individual counseling session. She has found many essences, including Bergamot, Cardamom (Green), Laurel Leaf and Frankincense, to be greatly beneficial. The progress of the clients is accelerated, and many choose to purchase essences so that they can use them between sessions.
  • Candle-making: A woman who was interested in creating a line of natural candles asked to consult with me about essences she could use to give the candles aromas that would achieve certain goals like Clarity, Joy or Peace. She mentioned that she was going to make all of them colorless, as she hadn’t found any dyes that she felt comfortable using. When I showed her essences like Blue Tansy (beautiful dark blue in color), Blood Orange (brilliant red-orange color) and Emerald Cypress (deep green color), she was excited to realize she could facilitate a particular emotional state as well as have beautiful, natural colors for her candles.
  • Aesthetician: A student of mine is an aesthetician in Sedona; one of her “signatures” is to finish her facials with a couple of spritzes of our Neroli (Orange Blossom) Hydrolat. It is heavenly!
  • Personal/Business Coaching: One of my Santa Fe friends is a Coach to many incredibly successful and interesting people; she uses the essences to support them in changes they wish to make in their lives and careers…helping them get clearer on their goals, easing the difficulty of significant change, and relieving the stress of very high-powered career choices.
  • Hospice work: Essences can greatly ease the transition from this earthly realm for both the person transitioning, and the person’s family/caregivers. Frankincense, Sandalwood, Rose, Laurel Leaf, Blood Orange and Ocean Pine are a few of the many that are so effective for this sacred journey.
  • Channeling/Spiritual Guidance/Animal Communication: Essences are highly effective at increasing our ability to communicate with the unseen world, and to access the guidance of the Angelic Realm, the Plants & Trees, the Animal Kingdom, etc. Those who provide this service to others find that using the essences at the start of a session greatly enhances the connection between them and their client, and facilitates their ability to receive information from other sentient beings and the unseen world.
  • Nature Adventures/Exploration: One of our advanced students takes clients on a journey with the dolphins; he has found that using the essences greatly enhances the sacredness and depth of this profound experience.


Believe it or not, this list is not exhaustive, but I’m sure you get my point. As I tell my clients, when they callwoman questioning with question mark and say “Is there an oil to help me with X condition?”, “It is better to think of it as ‘What oil or oils will help me with X’ ”…because there is always some essence that will offer benefit or resolution in any situation. To extend that idea, there is probably some way essences could benefit any healing modality or profession, if we are just resourceful and creative about considering the options.

Now it’s your turn! I would love to hear from you about other wonderful collaborations with the oils that you have personally experienced or are familiar with. I am sure this already comprehensive list can grow even more.  Send me your thoughts, and I will post them on my Face Book page to continue the conversation!

Much love to you,

Audre Gutierrez, Owner, Shining Sun Aromatherapy



The Identity Crisis in Aromatherapy

I have been getting a number of calls and emails regarding recent statements concerning aromatherapy in social and other media.  They vary in content from “myths about essential oils” to “research on essential oils” to blanket generalizations about essential oils.  I will discuss what I am calling the Identity Crisis in Aromatherapy later in this newsletter, but first, I would like to share an important announcement regarding my Shining Sun Aromatherapy practice and some upcoming events that I hope you will be able to attend or share with others who might be interested.


Retirement from Level I Teaching after 2016

I will be retiring from teaching the Wisdom of the Earth Level I Certification program after my three classes scheduled in 2016.  It is time for me to leverage myself more effectively…so I will continue to teach the 5.5 day WOTE Advanced Aromatherapy Retreat (“Level II”) with Barry and Cynthia Olivera de Kapp which is offered twice a year at our Wisdom of the Earth facility outside of Sedona, AZ; on-line classes and seminars…some to be developed…as well as the Skype Level I, which I have done for some time; and I will do more writing, which I love, including finishing my book on Meditation and Essential Oils and other projects I have considered for some time.

I will miss the joy and enthusiasm of the Level 1 classes, whether at my studio in Santa Fe or at Northcoast Essentials in Arcata, CA.  However, I have been teaching Level 1 for over 15 years, and I know our incredible Level I faculty (listed on the Wisdom of the Earth website) will continue their amazing classes that get rave reviews from students all over the country and in Japan.  Any of the certified students I have taught will be able to audit Level I classes taught by these WOTE contracted teachers — all of whom have received their Level I and Advanced Retreat certifications, and who are senior members of the WOTE family.

A heart-felt thank you to all of those over the years who have entrusted their training in medicinal aromatherapy to me.  Your trust and commitment mean the world to me, and I have been honored to be your teacher.  Here are two of my wonderful classes in Santa Fe…I wish I had been more consistent in my picture-taking, as I do not have group pictures for most of my classes!

May 2013 Level 1

level 1 outside








Upcoming Level I and Level II Classes

March 12-13 Level I in Arcata, CA (Humboldt County, northern CA):  I will be teaching the Level I Certification class at Northcoast Essentials Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13, 2016.  Times will be the standard times, 9:30-6:00 both days.  For more details on the Level I class, please visit my website and read the description and testimonials.  There is a registration form you can download, if you decide the time is right for you!  Please let me know ASAP if you want to register.  I have extended the Early Registration discount until midnight, February 20th.  https://www.shiningsunaromatherapy.com/level-i-classes/

April 12-17 Level II in Cornville, AZ, just outside of Sedona at Wisdom of the Earth.  Please see my Shining Sun Aromatherapy website for details.  https://www.shiningsunaromatherapy.com/advanced-classes/  This is a life-changing immersion into the heart and soul of aromatherapy.  Still room for a few more students!

Level 2 April 2015

Level 2

Level 2 pouring station






June 4-5 Level I in Santa Fe, NM  9:30-6:00 both days.  For more details on the Level 1 class, please visit my website and read the description and testimonials.  There is a registration form you can download, if you decide the time is right for you!  Early registration discount ends May 4th.    https://www.shiningsunaromatherapy.com/level-i-classes/

September 10-11 Level I in Santa Fe, NM  LAST  LEVEL I I WILL BE TEACHING  9:30-6:00 both days.  For more details on the Level 1 class, please visit my website and read the description and testimonials.  There is a registration form you can download, if you decide the time is right for you! Early registration discount ends August 10th.    https://www.shiningsunaromatherapy.com/level-i-classes/

The Identity Crisis in Aromatherapy

While I may be engaging in hyperbole just a bit with this title, I do not think that it is an overstatement to say that there are many schools of thought that have co-existed for some time in the world of Aromatherapy.  But, like much of American culture these days, what seems to be happening is that these schools of thought are becoming more polarized…that is, “my/our view is right…the others are wrong”.  And that is saying it much more politely than I have sometimes seen or heard.  Why do I think this?

There seem to be a lot more “declarative statements” now than before.  By that, I mean, generalizations stated as fact, with little or no room for other views on the same subject.   “Never use an undiluted oil on your skin.”  “Never use Mugwort…it is dangerous.”  “Never use oils during a pregnancy.”  None of these specific “black and white” declarations are substantiated by my training or experience, so I disregard them while still exercising prudence and respect for the power of the oils.  Kurt Schnaubelt, an internationally known aromatherapist, scientist, and one of our teachers and mentors, observed in his book The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils (pg. 76) that ” ‘even the safety of essential oils during pregnancy discussion’ seems to abate due to the stubborn absence of reports of any adverse effects.”

Cat for ETBasically, I think that many of these safety arguments come down to a love versus fear paradigm. There have always been articles circulating the Internet like those that said that Lavender was causing breast development in young boys (my bet is on the growth hormones in so much of our milk and meat products), and that you couldn’t use essential oils on cats because it is toxic for them (tell that to the cat Barry saved who had had a stroke…which the vet was treating with antibiotics).  But there seems to be more of it now, stated with greater certainty.   To share another quote from Kurt’s powerful book:  “To get out from underneath these layers of trumped-up concerns, the whole safety and toxicity discussion needs to be turned upside down.  Instead of perpetuating mantras about imaginary dangers, the inherently benign nature of essential oils needs to be recognized.” (pg. 75)  I couldn’t agree more.

I don’t think the scientists and non-scientists need to be at odds, with lines drawn in the sand.  While science isn’t my “thing”, I believe there can be value in well-designed, well-executed and properly interpreted research on essential oils and their effectiveness with various health conditions.  However, sometimes science doesn’t give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Take the gentleman who came to our Wisdom of the Earth booth years ago at a Holistic Health show…he was doing research at the NIH on Frankincense, as he proudly told us, but, in the name of objectivity, had never smelled Frankincense, nor had he ever experienced it personally (i.e., applied it to his skin).   It truly made me wonder what sense he was going to make of the data collected.  Also, he said that their research goal was ultimately to find the isolate in Frankincense that made it effective so that it could be patented, synthetically produced, and mass-marketed.  He looked at us like we were crazy when we explained to him our view that Frankincense would not work the same in the body if it weren’t in its wholeness, and certainly not if it were synthetic.  He shook his head, packed up his things and stormed away from our booth…and we looked at each other and shook our heads as well. Time to agree to disagree.

Or, when you have no idea of the purity of the essence being tested (I have honestly never seen this addressed in an essential oil research report), or even if it truly IS the essence said to be studied (one study I saw years ago used the terms Melissa and Lemon Verbena interchangeably…even though they are totally different plants/oils…they were likely referring to the common name for Melissa, Lemon Balm, but it was incorrectly stated throughout the article); well, such issues raise doubts in my mind, and I, for one, am not going to view the results as gospel.  So, I look at everything, including scientific “evidence” to see if it resonates with me; to see if it makes sense, relative to my experience, intuition and training; and to see if it passes the “Audre’s truth” test.

That leads me to another oft debated or denigrated aspect of essential oils, namely, their consciousness, or, as some might describe it, their “aliveness”.  Recently, an article by essential oil chemist Rob Pappas which “debunks” a list of “myths” regarding essential oils, has been circulating the Internet.  One of these myths concerns those who believe that the essences are alive.  As he says: “Sorry to disappoint, but essential oils are not alive.  I would like to see anyone go through a 212+ degree distillation process for a few hours and come out alive at the other end, LOL.  The plant material is certainly not alive after the distillation, so I am not sure how anyone could believe the the oil is alive.”

Level 2 student bonding with treeBasically, this conflict of views comes down to science versus spirituality, in my humble opinion.  And, despite the sometimes acrimonious nature of this “identity crisis”,  I do not care to get into shouting matches about whether the oils are sentient beings or not.  I do not care to try to convince even one disbelieving person that the plants, trees and essential oils talk to me…and to others.  It all comes down to whether we can hear them, and whether we believe what we have heard.  I have seen enough of our students have life-changing experiences from meditating with the essences, or spending thirty minutes bonding with a tree or plant, or feeling “called” by a particular essential oil to know that my profound experiences with the oils and the Plant Kingdom are not limited to me.  They are repeated time and time again across people, plant species, and geographic locations.


Our (my, Barry and Cynthia’s) forthcoming book, Voices of Light, Voices of Love…Messages from the Plants and Trees offers an incredible array of transformational experiences with the essences/plants and trees that some of our Level I students have documented in their certification papers over the years.  These are the kind of accounts you couldn’t make up if you tried…and I know that they were life-changing experiences shared from the truth of their hearts.

While these experiences may not be “fact” or “truth” to some people…they certainly are to me.  And I need no one’s approval of that or confirmation of that.  It just is.  And it is beautiful, and it is life-changing.  And it is an honor to engage in cross-species communication with the plants/oils, just as it is with a precious dog or a wild animal.

While some feel the need to hold others hostage to their truth concerning the dangers of essential oils and numerous prohibitions regarding their use, I am happy to take my lead from the plants and trees, my own study and experience, and my own intuition and higher guidance. I believe in honoring the views of others, even if I don’t agree with them, or even if those views do not mirror my experience over the years.  I believe in respect and reasonableness, and that is how I will continue to operate.

Wishing you introspection, deep love for the plants and trees, and a respect for the views of others…

Audre Gutierrez
Owner, Shining Sun Aromatherapy & Partner, Wisdom of the Earth Essential Oils
www.shiningsunaromatherapy.com   shiningsunaromatherapy@gmail.com
Please respect my ownership of the information contained in this post.  I would welcome you sharing it, as long as you give me and Shining Sun Aromatherapy attribution.  Thank you!


Making a “GO” of It: Essences to Support Moving Forward & Announcements

I recently had a consultation with a client that was replete with insights and information that I think all of us can benefit from…getting “off the dime” and moving forward toward goals and dreams we have been thinking about for a long time.  Whether that requires that we “get past something” or “move toward something” (what stops us from moving forward is often a bit of both!), the essences are there to help us take that first step toward the vision of ourselves we hold in our heart.  First, let me make a few announcements and then let’s get to it!


NEWLY ADDED LEVEL 1 CLASS IN SANTA FE:  I have scheduled a private Wisdom of the Earth Level 1 Medicinal Aromatherapy Certification Class for Thursday and Friday, December 3-4, 2015 at my Shining Sun Aromatherapy studio in Nambe.  The hours will be 10 am to 5 or 5:30 pm both days.  The client is open to having a few other students join us, so if you were one who was disappointed that my next available class is next May…this may be an opportunity for you!  For more details on the Level 1 class, please visit my website and read the description and testimonials.  There is a registration form you can download, if you decide the time is right for you!  Please let me know ASAP if you want to register.  https://www.shiningsunaromatherapy.com/level-i-classes/

NEWLY ADDED  LEVEL 1 CLASS IN ARCATA, CA (Humboldt County, northern CA):  I will be teaching at my son’s aromatherapy practice in Arcata, Northcoast Essentials, Saturday and Sunday, March 12-13, 2016.  Times will be the standard times, 9:30-6:00 both days.  For more details on the Level 1 class, please visit my website and read the description and testimonials.  There is a registration form you can download, if you decide the time is right for you!  Please let me know ASAP if you want to register.  https://www.shiningsunaromatherapy.com/level-i-classes/

The SUMMER/FALL Words of Wisdom newsletter was recently posted on my site.  It is a beautiful issue with articles on Davana (the featured “Medicinal Angel”), Laurel Leaf, St. John’s Wort, Hyssop, Blue Yarrow, Mugwort, Eucalyptus Mint and Goldenrod.   Here is the link…happy reading!  Words of Wisdom Summer-Fall 2015 color

SANTA FE AREA AROMATHERAPY MEET UP:  I have two Aromatherapy Meet Ups scheduled to close out 2015.  The November 17th meeting is about the extremities of the body…the arms/hands and legs/feet.  These are areas of the body that get lots of use and abuse!  So, we will focus on caring for them with the oils.  December 8th we will discuss the skin…the largest organ of the body….and how essential oils can maintain the health and vitality of the skin, and also address many common skin problems.  Here is a link to our Santa Fe Aromatherapy Meet Up page:  http://www.meetup.com/Santa-Fe-Area-Aromatherapy-Group/events/226525194/  We meet from 7-8:30 pm at my friend Peter Murphy’s APG office, which is near the Community College of Santa Fe. There is a $10 meeting fee.  Details are in the Meet Up posting.  Hope to see you there!

Making a “GO” of It

confused womanSo…maybe you are not where you want to be at this point in your life.  Or, you have held a dream in your heart for years…but don’t seem to get any closer to realizing it.  Or, you seem on the brink of “something”…but you don’t know exactly what it is, or how to actually bring it about.  Or…something similar.  Several “themes” came up in this particular consultation that seemed to be themes many of us deal with and find difficult to move beyond.  Maybe some insights and some essences will help you make your dreams a reality.

The client came with two key issues…motivation and confidence.  As we delved into each of them, we found that part of the issue with motivation was lack of clarity on the actual goal, or steps to get there.  With regard to confidence, it was revealed that she had been criticized throughout her childhood for not being good enough, or doing well enough, so, although she feels called to a certain profession, she has not been able to muster the energy or vision to make the change from her current work to her calling.   She stated that she felt somewhat trapped in her current job, which is not very interesting or fulfilling to her, because she has a lot of debt she feels she needs to clear before she can really feel justified in embarking on creating her own healing practice, with, at least initially, a less predictable income stream.  The two words that kept ringing in my mind as she spoke were CLARITY and COMMITMENT.

We talked about getting clear on the multiple goals of career change and debt reduction/elimination.  Did one havemultiple goals to occur before the other could be realized?  Was her approach of trying to move forward on all of them part of what was keeping her stagnant?  I felt that clearly defining and prioritizing her goals would be beneficial, that is, clarifying them and and their order of priority, and then deeply, honestly committing to that decision.  I feel that commitment drives action (and lack of commitment drives inaction).  I suggested Fragonia and Mugwort for getting clarity around her multiple goals (importance, confirming her continued interest in/passion for each goal, etc.) and letting go of any goals or interests that did not directly support achieving the chosen goals.

I suggested Marjoram and Laurel Leaf to help strengthen and anchor her commitment to these goals.  I stressed the importance of keeping our word to ourselves!  That, if we say something is a top priority, then we have to stick to the steps it will take to make it happen.  What do they say…Fortune favors the prepared “?  (L. Pasteur)  Well, Marjoram and Laurel Leaf motivate us through the sometimes tedious process of preparation/laying the groundwork, and hold us accountable for the commitment we made.  Over the heart or over the solar plexus…great places to apply “encouragement” essences!

The other themes that came to me were SILVER LINING and PERSPECTIVE.  With goals clearly envisioned, even the things we have to do that we would prefer NOT to…such as staying in a job that no longer motivates us because of the income and benefits it provides…can been seen and experienced from another perspective when we look at them in the context of their role in getting us where we want to go.  We can transform the “I no longer love doing this”, negative feeling, to “Before, I would have done this job for nothing!  I no longer feel that way, but I do love that it is a means for paying off my debt, which will free me to do what I love!”  Same situation, different perspective.

all or nothingOne additional point on this…I reminded her that by prioritizing goals, that didn’t mean that one had to be accomplished 100% before addressing another.  Since the financial goal was a key one for her, I suggested that substantial progress should be made on that before bringing other priorities into the equation.  But, as she made solid progress, she could begin introducing efforts and choices to begin to move ahead on her other goals.  All or nothing is one way to look at things…or you can set milestones on the most important goals that, when reached, signal that you are ready to broaden your approach.

Finally, having observed this client interact with her peers, I had seen, first hand, how supportive and encouraging she is.  She demonstrates a true compassion for uplifting those around her and cheering them toward their goals.  I mentioned to her that this is the “silver lining” of the difficult and hurtful experiences she had as a child, because her mother’s style was not to encourage, but to belittle.  While that type of feedback motivates some people (“I’ll show her and succeed!”) for many, it is discouraging and ends up eroding their self-confidence, making it hard for them to silver liningtry new things or take other types of risks.  The positive result (silver lining) it DID have, was for her to naturally and lovingly offer others the support she did not feel she received as a child.  What a gift!  So, with that perspective (and also the help of Miss Mugwort), she could begin to let go of the hurt from her childhood, and acknowledge and embrace the gift of her experiences.   I suggested Violet (over the heart) for helping release the hurt and find her strength and the silver lining in it all, and Mexican Lime, for the comfort and encouragement that she desires.

So, whether you need to get past something to move forward, or just “get off the dime” and become more active and persistent in pursuing your goals and dreams, I hope these snippets from a recent consultation will offer some ideas, direction and encouragement for you.

Much love, Audre

This content is the property of Audre Gutierrez, but I welcome you sharing it if you give attribution to me or Shining Sun Aromatherapy.  Thank you for respecting my work.




Ready, Set, GROW! Expanding Your Horizons with Essential Oils Plus, Important Announcements

 What a fitting title for this Essential Thought…Ready, Set, GROW!  Pure Plant & Tree essences have the inherent ability to not only help us to grow…but for some, they literally serve as a springboard to exciting new levels of thought, experience and accomplishment.  In this Essential Thought, we will discover essences that are particularly adept at getting us to take that first step, or helping us to see the bigger picture…or helping us transform our lives, if that is what is called for.

It is fitting because I was shocked when I began to write this post and realized that I had not published an Essential Thought for over three months…but what a three months it has been, LOL.  I and both of my businesses…Shining Sun Aromatherapy and Wisdom of the Earth Essential Oils…have really been in a growth mode!  So I will take a few minutes of your time to make some important announcements…and then we will delve into those incredible personal growth coaches…the essences.

Shining Sun Aromatherapy’s NEW E-commerce feature is up and running! 

If you have been on my siteaudre ssa sign recently, you may have noticed that there is now a shopping cart function for my customers and Level 1 Students.  We were still working out some “kinks” over the last month, so I didn’t formally announce it until now.  This feature will allow you to order any time of the day or night, if you are familiar with our products.  If you haven’t ordered from me before, I would encourage you to contact me if you have any questions before placing an order.  Email is best, but sometimes you can catch me in my office, too!  Email:  shiningsunaromatherapy@gmail.com; office number is 505-438-0855, and my cell is 928-300-5090.

Please Note:  If you are a retail customer already ordering WOTE essences from one of our Distributors, I want to honor that relationship, and would ask that you continue to place your orders as in the past.  In the same vein, WOTE Certified students who took their Level 1 class from one of our other WOTE teachers should continue to order through their teacher.

If you are planning to place an order for oils, hydrolats and/or AromaKits, please visit the site and give our new ecommerce feature a try!  For those of you who prefer personal communication, you are always welcome to call or email me with an order, just like before.  My Level 1 Certified WOTE students can get their discounts by contacting me via Email for Product Discount Codes that can be entered at check out.

September 12-13,  I will be teaching the WOTE Level 1 Certification Class in Medicinal Aromatherapy at my Studio in Nambe, NM, just north of Santa Fe. Early Registration Discount expires midnight, August 11th

The tuition is $450 if you sign up before August 12th; it is $475 after that.  Also, the full tuition amount will be due at the time of registration for any student registering on or after August 12th.  Before that, you will be able to register with a $225 deposit, with the balance due the first day of class.  I accept credit cards, checks and PayPal.  Please visit the Classes section of my website for details and a registration form you can download.  www.shiningsunaromatherapy.com/level-i-classes/

Talk about personal growth…this has been a life-changing experience for many, many people.  If it is YOUR time tolevel 1 class large pic go deeper with the Plants & Trees, experience their transformational power, and arm yourself with the knowledge of their medicinal properties and ancient wisdom, this may be the class for you!  I would also invite other WOTE Level 1 students to consider auditing with me…I still have room for one or two more auditors.

For those long-term planners in the audience…here are the 2016 dates for the classes to be held at my studio in New Mexico:  May 21-22 and September 10-11.  Please note:  Starting in 2016, all tuition monies will need to be paid in full by 30 days prior to the class date.


Last but not least, I am excited to announce that “Books Abound at Wisdom of the Earth!”  

Early this month, Barry released the updated version of the Wisdom of the Earth Reference Guide.  It is now over a hundred pages, spiral-bound, and includes all of the new essences that we have added to our portfolio over the past few years.   It is $25 and can be ordered under the Books & Services section of the Shopping Cart.

Also, we are in the final writing/editing stages of the new book that Barry, Cynthia and I are writing about the essences.  We are hoping to have it available by the end of the year.  What a beautiful, expansive journey to meditate upon the essences to be included, and then to read all of the papers submitted by our students on those essences for the past decade, and then to share excerpts from many of those papers that allow you to hear the voices of the plants and trees as they generously shared their wisdom and insight with our open-hearted students.   I will keep you posted as to a final title and release date!!

Essential Thought:  Ready, Set, GROW! Expanding Your Horizons with Essential Oils

A student recently submitted her Level 1 Certification paper on Blue Yarrow.  It was thoroughly and beautifully done…and it left me with the indelible feeling and understanding of the power of these beautiful essences to expand our personal world in ways we can hardly imagine.  Let me share an excerpt from her insightful and inspiring paper to give you a better idea of what I mean.

In my first meditation, I had the experience of seating into my body and a settling and opening of my chakra channels down to my root chakra.  I felt both expanded and grounded.  I had the vision of the yarrow stem growing until the top of the florescence was up in the cosmos, as though the umbels were reaching for the stars.  I could see her roots wrapping about the Earth’s circumference.  I experienced these phrases:  “extension and expansion”;  “astral exploration”; “above and below”; “reach, reach, reach”; “seated and grounded”; and “open”.  In subsequent meditations, I was the being that grew and extended between Earth and the cosmos.  Always, I would see my legs and feet on the earth, and the rest of me would grow and climb until I was looking down from the cosmos.  I felt spacious, grounded and expanded.  The following sensations came forward as what Blue Yarrow offers:  perspective, a sense of your never-ending capacity/your ability to expand and be bigger.  She does this for all plants/beings.  She offers the experience of growth potential.                    ~Robin, Level 1 Student from MT

So, that is Blue Yarrow’s gift, if we are open to hear and receive her guidance and encouragement.  Other essences that help us to expand and fulfill our purpose and potential are Spikenard, Frankincense, Angelica Root, Blue Chamomile, St. John’s Wort, Myrrh/Sweet Myrrh and Neroli.

Technology and IndustryIf you are still at the “Ready, Set” stages of personal growth, there are essences that are wonderful to lay the important foundation that allows us to “reach for the stars”.  To ready us, to assure us that there is more, way more, than we may currently be experiencing, I would suggest Cistus (Rock Rose), Geranium, Exotic Basil, Oak Moss, Fragonia, Spearmint, Black Spruce and Champaca.  These help us attain the spiritual awareness and clarity, soul alignment, and grounding in our true self through the heart/mind connection that provide that foundation.  To take those first steps, or perhaps to continue on the journey after setbacks or disappointments, essences like Mugwort, Clary Sage, Tangerine, Texas Cedarwood, Ginger, Eucalyptus (Mint) and Laurel Leaf give us the courage, stamina, energy, encouragement or will necessary for the next step…and the step after that.

Thank you for being on MY personal journey with the Plants & Trees.  This month (July 29th) I celebrated 66 wonderful years on this planet (where did the time go???), and I can honestly say I have treasured every moment, good and bad.  I feel that what lies ahead is exciting — a combination of the new and the familiar/loved.  The essences have expanded and blessed my world in ways I could have never imagined and I look forward to many more adventures with them!

Much love, Audre

This content is the property of Audre Gutierrez, but I invite you to share it if you give attribution to me or Shining Sun Aromatherapy.  Thank you for respecting my work.


Our Body, The Doctor: EOs that Help the Body Heal Itself

Welcome to another Essential Thought!  Before we delve into the role of essential oils in helping Dr. Body do what it does best…heal itself…let me mention a couple of quick announcements:

Upcoming SantaFe Level 1 Certification Class in Medicinal Aromatherapy:  Still time to register for the Wisdom of the Earth (WOTE) Level 1 Certification Class I will be teaching at Shining Sun Aromatherapy, May 9-10.  The Early Bird discount ($25 off of the $475 seminar fee) expires April 9th, so please contact me soon if you would like to be a part of this life-changing exploration into the beautiful and profound world of natural Plant Medicines.  During this full, fun weekend, we will look at the practical, spiritual and deeply personal ways in which we are blessed by the Plant Kingdom, via pure essential oils, with health, healing and wholeness.  Please visit my website for a full description of what the weekend (https://www.shiningsunaromatherapy.com/level-i-classes/), and the certification by WOTE, entails. I can be reached at shiningsunaromatherapy@gmail.com or 928-300-5090 for questions or to secure your place with a 50% deposit.

Santa Fe Aromatherapy Meet Up:  Thursday, April 2nd, I will be holding my Santa Fe Aromatherapy Meet Up at the APG office, 50 Oshara Blvd., in the southern part of town (near the SF Community College).  We meet from 7-8:30 pm, and explore a topic related to medicinal aromatherapy with 10-15 like-minded, lovely people!  The subject this time will be “What’s Eating You?”…factors affecting digestion, including stress, diet and digestive system disharmony.  I will bring a number of essential oils for us to explore and learn more fully about.  Hope to see you there if you  live in, or are visiting the Santa Fe area!  Call me to register, or go to http://www.meetup.com/Santa-Fe-Area-Aromatherapy-Group/      $10/person, payable by check or cash at the meeting.

Helping the Body Heal Itself via Pure Essential Oils

tree woman“If anybody in the world can heal you, it is your own body.”  Most of us know this at some level, but do we really, deeply understand it?  And, importantly, do we give our body the tools to heal?  This quote is from a spectacular book by Victoria Boutenko, Green Smoothie Retreat…a 7-Day Plan to Detox and Revitalize at Home.  The title gives insufficient indication, I believe, of the wealth of profound information it contains on the body, what we put into the body, and the consequences, good or bad, of that.  She is a straight talker, and highly knowledgeable and passionate about the effects of the sea of toxicity we live in on our health and happiness.  I want to share just a few definitions and some of her wisdom with you, and then talk about essential oils that can give the body the tools it needs to heal.  The emphases shown in the points below are mine.

  • Toxicity (from the Greek toxicon, meaning poison) is the ability of natural and synthetic chemical compounds, in doses exceeding normal pharmacological levels, to induce the disruption of normal, vital processes.
  • The natural balance when all parts of the body work in unison is called homeostasis.
  • Similar to every living organism on our planet, the human organism is programmed to repair itself on a cellular level according to its intricate blueprints.  
  • If you are deficient in vital nutrients, it might be challenge for your organism to heal itself. For example, to heal any bone disease, the body needs magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins D,C, & K, and other nutrients.
  • Another major problem is the high level of toxicity in the environment and inside the human body.  Toxins interfere with the normal functions of organs (see first point!) and make the process of healing hard or even impossible.
  • There are only two main underlying causes for all illnesses in the world, toxicity and deficiency.  If your body is poisoned with toxins and deficient in necessary nutrients, it simply cannot maintain homeostasis.
  • People inevitably develop stress if they do not follow their dreams.  For those who do not know how to manage it, (or who refuse to make the necessary changes to alleviate it – AG) stress can become the third cause of disease.  
  • Our bodies are dedicated to our survival, not our death.

If we go back to the point that the key components that negatively affect the body’s ability to heal itself – toxicity, deficiency and stress – we can look to the Plant Kingdom for essences that detoxify, nourish and reduce stress.

Detoxification:  I could go on and on about the essential oils that support detoxification, there are so many…and you will see a common thread that many of them are also digestive healers.  Here is a short list, with a brief notation if they are noted for a particular type of detox: Vetiver, Patchouli (heavy metals), Red Pine (emotional toxicity), Santolina (kidneys, gall bladder, liver), Ginger Lily (liver), Fennel, Rhododendron, Ginger, Black Pepper, Rosemary, Juniper Berry, Cypress, Laurel Leaf, Peppermint (liver, intestines), Balsam gurjun, Calamus (liver), Sweet Basil (liver) and Turmeric.

Nourishment (physical):  This is an area we rarely see discussed with regard to essential oils.  I will mention several that are known for their nutritional components, but I expect that there are MANY more that contribute to the body on this level as well.

Black Cumin (nigella sativa):  We use this as a general tonic…I personally take about 30 drops a day, and can black cuminREALLY tell if I forget to take it.  Black Cumin is wonderful for increased energy and stamina, as well as mental clarity.  Black Cumin contains 21% protein, and is an excellent source of EFAs (essential fatty acids), which are necessary for cell maintenance and the stabilization of class membranes, and help metabolize cholesterol and fat in the blood.  The EFAs’ linoleic acid and gamma linolenic acid are used by the body to produce prostaglandins, vital hormone-like substances that regulate many body processes. (Nutritional information from the book Black Cumin, the Magical Egyptian Herb for Allergies, Asthma and Immune Disorders, by Peter Schleicher, MD and Mohamed Saleh, MD.)

Rose Hip Seed Oil (rosa rubiginosa): The dried form (rose hip fiber) contains Vitamin C, with about 1700 to 2000 rose hip seedsmilligrams per 100 grams in the dried product. In contrast, an orange contains 50 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams and a kiwifruit 90 milligrams per 100 grams.  Rosehip seed oil contains retinol (vitamin A). It is also high in the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and linolenic acid (omega-3), as well as the antioxidant lycopene and beta-carotene. Wisdom of the Earth offers two types of the oil – “regular” Rosa rubiginosa, and Rose Hip Lycotop, which is made from only the red seeds (which contain greater amounts of lycopene).  We also have the Rose Hip fiber (mentioned above) which is great to put in smoothies, and some people make a tea of it.

cucumber seedCucumber Seed Oil:  Rich in Vitamin C and B1, cucumber seed oil is a powerful antioxidant that can prevent the onset of premature aging caused by free radicals. Cucumber seed oil is also high in Omega 6 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory.  I love to use this to calm and soothe my skin after using a mild exfoliant (our Rose Hip Seed exfoliant).  When chilled, it is very cooling and soothing to sunburns, along with Lavender essential oil.

Stress:  I loved the author’s simple observation that “people develop stress if they do not follow their dreams”.  The way we usually describe it at Shining Sun Aromatherapy and Wisdom of the Earth is that people are not being their “authentic selves”.  Something that is rarely discussed with regard to how pure essential oils affect humans, is that they bring you to your authentic self.  Period.  Sometimes this happens after one occurrence (hard to believe, but I can vouch for it personally), but usually it occurs over time, once someone is using pure essences on a daily basis with  consciousness and intention.

So, my point is that, simply using the essences will bring you to your authentic self…minimizing stress greatly (though the process of getting there may initially cause a great deal of stress!).  However, there are some individual essences that are also excellent at reducing stress:  Violet (fear, vulnerability), Vetiver, Blue Chamomile, Blue Yarrow, Lavenders (particularly Highland and Albanian), Wild Chamomile (anxiety, worry), Scotch Pine (overwhelm), Red Spruce (confusion, consumed by “what ifs”), Sandalwood, and White Spruce.  As my dear friend Uqualla, a Havasupai wisdom keeper says, “Let Heart Lead,” which, to me, is another way of saying “follow your dreams”.

So, to supplement your efforts to eat fresh, whole foods, minimize the toxins in your environment (e.g., laundry products, cleaning products, yard care) and secure pure drinking water, the Plant Kingdom has provided these wonderful essences that support the detoxification and the healing processes…all the while bringing you to a much healthier, calmer place in your life…living as your authentic self.

Until next time…

Much love, Audre

This content is the property of Audre Gutierrez, but I welcome you sharing it if you give attribution to me or Shining Sun Aromatherapy.  Thank you for respecting my work.


Blue Spruce, Nutmeg & More…Making New Year’s Resolutions “Stick”

framed clean slateIt is a bright, shiny new year…definitely one of our culture’s most enduring symbols of a “clean slate”. It is a great time to rededicate ourselves to self-improvement, more commitment to others (partner, family, friends, community), and goals such as having more happiness or contentment in our lives.  Some, however, have given up on this “exercise” of creating New Year’s Resolutions, as they never seem to be able to make them “stick”…that is, they fail to follow through on manifesting them in their life, even though they sincerely believed in the value of this new direction, attitude or behavior.

So, what happens between formulating a resolution and allowing it to fade into oblivion?? In my experience, I see a few things contributing to this…some may resonate with you, some may not be so pertinent, as I think that has a lot to do with our personality, our situation and our path. But, it might be helpful to consider some of the factors, and essences that can help us stay true to our New Year’s intentions.

Clarity of Intention

 Sometimes, we have a general notion of what we would like to accomplish, or what we would like to change in our raindrops on stemlives. Now, this is where my corporate background helps me a little…when I used to teach goal-setting to executives, one of the things I stressed was how important it was to be clear and specific on what we wanted to do, and to have some behavioral component to it. I found that, if people did those two things, they were much more likely to be successful in achieving their goals.

So, for example, you might wish to be healthier in 2015. It is good to break that down into more specific goals, such as eating healthier, exercising, losing weight. Any one of those, then, can be brought to a behavior level, like (for eating healthier)   buying only organic food, eating at home at least five nights a week (you can see where MY weakness lies on this one!), reducing sweets, going gluten-free, etc. This will depend upon what would represent “healthier eating” for YOU, but you can see where I am going with the action-oriented nature of clarity.

An essence that really helps us to be clearer is Fragonia…I love to apply her to my crown chakra and over my heart. For being more action-oriented, I especially like Nutmeg or Juniper Berry (Berries Only). Nutmeg is a great chi warmer and mover. She supports us in finding a “new way of being” and staying the course, until it is “our” way of being. As far as Juniper Berry is concerned, berries are seeds…the drivers of creation, the beginnings of things. So, Juniper Berry essence carries that energy and sense of new beginnings.

 The Power of Voice

power of voiceI, personally, have found that, if I speak my intention, resolution or goal to others, that is, share them publically, I am more likely to follow through with them. Maybe it is a “Leo” thing, but once I have committed publicly to something, I feel more compelled to accomplish it. It works so powerfully with me, that I remember, years back, announcing to friends and family that I was going to get a Masters’ Degree, so that I would actually follow through and do it (and I did!).


An excellent essence for supporting the speaking of our goals is Blue Spruce, applied over the throat chakra.

 Clearing out “Old Baggage”

And, something you hear a lot, but may not have considered relative to keeping New Year’s Resolutions is “you need let it go in pinksto clear out the old to make space for the new.” As I think about it, the old adage concerning the New Year — “Ring out the old, ring in the new”– is quite apropos!   So, rather than layer new commitments, in the guise of New Year’s Resolutions, over old ones, this may be the time to let go of responsibilities that no longer serve you.

A good “trick” to discern which you wish to let go of and which you wish to keep, is thinking about your current commitments and identifying the ones which “feel” like obligations. That means your heart isn’t in in. Maybe you need to let them go or delegate the responsibility to someone else.  Another “clue” as to ones to let go include those where the “energy” seems to have gone out of the commitment. Maybe you and a friend decided to be “weight loss buddies”…but recently, she never returns your calls, or takes days to answer your email or FB post about your weight loss efforts…maybe this is a commitment whose “time” has come…let it go.  Once you have created additional “space” in your life, you will find honoring your new commitments much easier.

A great essence for clearing things out is Kanuka. She helps you honor your past decisions and actions, but motivates you to let them go, and clear the way for new ones.

Honoring Boundaries

 Last, but not least, is the important idea that many of us resist change…and many times, those close to us resist lady in boundaryOUR changing in any significant way. I was shocked, when I chose to lose weight some years ago, how many of my friends and family tried to pressure me, via guilt or camaraderie, to eat something that wasn’t on my diet. “Oh,” a friend would lament, “I made this just for you!” Or, ‘Oh, everyone is having dessert! Don’t be a party-pooper!” Luckily, Weight Watchers had warned me about this, so I had practiced my “boundary setting” replies to such pressure!

And, that is what it is all about. Boundaries. Whether we have trouble honoring our OWN boundaries (“I know I said I wouldn’t eat “fast food”, but I am in a hurry this afternoon, and I don’t see any other option.”) or setting boundaries with others, this is a very important aspect of keeping our New Year’s Resolutions, because, after all, what are they about but change??

Our beautiful new Cork Bark Fir essence is a gem when it comes to helping us honor boundaries. She reminds us that boundaries do serve a purpose, and that it is important to clarify what ours are…and to honor them.

So there you have it…my thoughts on barriers to keeping (or even setting) some powerful intentions to take advantage of the hope and new beginnings represented by a new year.

Upcoming Events

Wisdom of the Earth Level 1 Medicinal Aromatherapy Certification Class ($475; early registration (30 days in advance) $450

January 17-18, Arcata, CA (Northern CA) at Northcoast Essentials.  Only room for 1 or 2 more students.  Thank you for the great response!!

February 7-8, Sedona AZ (with Cynthia Olivera de Kapp, WOTE Education Director)  Focussing on students from  Arizona, as we seek to build a stronger community in our “home” state!

May 9-10, Santa Fe, NM   One of two classes (other is September 12-13) I am offering at my Shining Sun Aromatherapy Studio this year

Monthly Aromatherapy Meet Up Gathering in Santa Fe

January 6, February 17, March 17, April 2, May 5, June 23.

We meet at the APG office in 50 Oshara Blvd., 7-8:30 pm

Topics to be announced via http://www.meetup.com/Santa-Fe-Area-Aromatherapy-Group/events/219029082/

Hope you can join us…it is a wonderful, warm group of people who believe in the plant essences and enjoy learning with and from each other!


Happy New Year to you, and thank you for your interest in and support of Shining Sun Aromatherapy!  Please share this Essential Thought on your FB page, with your mailing list, or your friends, if you feel they would benefit from and enjoy the content.


Audre Gutierrez, Shining Sun Aromatherapy

EOs: Bringers of Light – Essential Thought from Shining Sun Aromatherapy

Pure Essential Oils – “Bringers of Light”

In her certification paper, one of our students described our Mexican Lime essential oil as “the light bringer”.    She went on to say that Lime, for her, had been a “light through the clouds”, and had lifted the cloud of depression.  I thought about her observation over the next few days, in the context of something we impress upon students in our Level 1 Certification Class in Medicinal Aromatherapy…that the essences imbue us with light, as they, themselves, are filled with light.  With darkness arriving earlier and earlier these days, I am also sensitive to those who find themselves depressed and/or confused, due to the dearth of light during the winter…those affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.  I often suggest that they try using Bergamot, a beautiful, light-filled essence, to reduce or eliminate those symptoms, and I have received excellent feedback on Her effectiveness.

The concept of light is a powerful one in our culture, especially for those who pursue a spiritual path.  Light & Dark…Good & Evil.  The “light bulb turned on”…creativity, new ideas.  Light Workers. Enlightenment.  The light within.  Light as “Truth” —  As St. Thomas Aquinas observed, “Intellectual light is nothing else than a manifestation of truth”.   I could go on and on, but I am sure you get the point.

So, how do these precious representatives of the Plant Kingdom, the essential oils, bring light to us?  While mostascension teaching of photosynthesis would bore us to tears, the transformation of light into glucose (sugar), and then ATP, the “fuel” for all living things, by the Plant Kingdom, is nothing short of alchemical magic.  We also acknowledge the significance of all of the light taken in by the plants…not just sun light, but the light from the moon, the stars — the cosmos.  So, Plants have a special role to play as they are the light messengers of our planet…and we experience the light not as just physical/corporeal food or fuel, but also as spiritual food or fuel.

While the citrus oils…such as Mexican Lime and Bergamot…are some of the most “light-filled” essences available, orange high aldehydeothers, such as Helichrysum (any of the varieties we offer), Mugwort, Melissa, Mimosa, St. John’s Wort and Lemon Verbena are also very powerful in this regard.  Because the citruses can be skin-sensitive for many people (with Grapefruit being, typically, the least skin-sensitive and Lemon being one of the more skin-sensitive), I would suggest applying them, neat, to the soles of the feet, to access their light-giving properties.  Helichrysum and Melissa are amazing over the heart and/or crown chakra.  Mimosa brings light to a heavy heart…a few drops over your heart in the morning or before bed will begin the process of bringing joy to your heart again. St. John’s Wort is also very effective over the heart or on the solar plexus.  Lemon Verbena might be another best applied on the feet, due to the citrusy chemotypes that contribute to her characteristic lemony aroma, but you can definitely do a test patch on yourself, to determine what works for you.

So…how might you benefit from more light in your life?  Are you experiencing emotional heaviness or darkness?  Lack of mimosainspiration or creativity?  Seasonal depression or confusion brought on by reduced daylight?  Spiritual struggling or lack of clarity regarding purpose or direction?  Difficulty manifesting your desires?  All of these situations will benefit greatly by applying essential oils with intention.  And, if you find that such issues have been a pattern with you, or are difficult to transform, try some of the essences I’ve listed above that are especially powerful Light Bringers.  Use them with intention, positivity and consistency, and I know you will see nothing short of transformation in your life.

Enjoy this beautiful winter season, which offers us a time to go inside, literally and figuratively, and begin creating your vision and plans for a light-filled life!


Upcoming Wisdom of the Earth Certification Classes

Level I – Taught by Audre Gutierrez, co-owner of Wisdom of the Earth.  Tuition $450 early registration (30 days prior to class) & $475 regular registration

Arcata, CA (at NorthCoast Essentials) – January 17-18, 2015

Santa Fe, NM (at Shining Sun Aromatherapy) –  May 9-10 & September 12-13, 2015

Level II (Advanced Retreat at Wisdom of the Earth, near Sedona, AZ) – Level 1 Certification is a pre-requisite.  Taught by Audre Gutierrez, Barry Kapp and Cynthia Olivera de Kapp.  Please contact Wisdom of the Earth, 928-649-9968 for details.

April 8-12 & October 7-11, 2015


Audre Gutierrez, Shining Sun Aromatherapy

audre file pic



EO Quality: Is it Real? Or is it Memorex?

Maybe you remember the old Memorex advertisements (in the days when people still “taped” things)…where theshattering glass  singer’s high vibratory tone shatters the crystal glass.  The question was…was it his singing that did it, or a tape of his singing?  The message was that a recording on Memorex-brand tape was equal to the live performance, at least as far as vibratory resonance was concerned. Scientists and engineers (and marketers) often want us to believe that a man-made version of something is as good as the real thing.  I personally doubt that this is true in any situation, but I know it is not the case in medicinal aromatherapy.

I remember many years ago, when Kurt Schnaubelt (owner of the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy), an organic chemist and a wonderful mentor of ours, announced to a class I was in that he had been fooled by a batch of Birch that had been synthetically produced in the lab.  Because of the distinctive aroma of birch essential oil, it has long been an easy target for those wanting to create a man-made version of the oil.  Kurt began to dig deeper into the quality of that batch once he began hearing from his healer client base that it wasn’t working like the “old” (i.e., real) birch did…that is, it wasn’t reducing pain or inflammation.  I always gave Kurt a lot of credit for telling his clients about the synthetic essence he had unwittingly acquired…it ended up being a great “teaching moment” for all of us.

The truth of the matter is that, once humans start “monkeying” with the perfect composition of an essential oil that Nature has created, the profound healing ability of that essence is negatively affected.  This desire to modify nature’s creation may be motivated by greed…that is, “watering down the soup”, or passing off a less costly, adulterated  version of an essence as “the real thing”, and charging for it as though it was.  It can also be motivated by the desire to minimize the variation inherent in Nature…offering truly natural products often requires an education of one’s clientele so that they will accept the “real thing” without lots of questions or concerns.  A good example is the use of natural fabrics in the production of clothing.  They often prominently display a notice or label that says something to this effect:  “The variation in this sweater’s texture is due to the natural variation in the hand-made yarn used to make it and is part of the natural beauty of the material.”  Basically, “Don’t worry, it is supposed to be like this because we did not alter the raw materials!”   It takes a lot of education to help people programmed to think that sameness equates to quality  to expect and appreciate the variation that is inherent in all things natural.

egg-carton-whiteI can hugely identify with the consternation that can arise when presented with Nature’s variation!  Ten years ago, I looked at commercially produced eggs, totally uniform in size and color, as an indication of purity and nutritive value.  Variation spoke to me of lessened quality…this box of eggs was the epitome of quality control!


Today, as the proud owner of 18 beautiful chickens of numerous types, I look at the incredible variety in color, shapeNambe eggs and size of the eggs gathered daily as indicative of the rich flavor, high nutritional value and natural environment in which my chickens are raised.  I now know that those white, “perfect” eggs are most often produced via hormones, antibiotics and cruel and unnatural living conditions for the chickens, and I shudder when I look at them.  No amount of marketing in the world will ever convince me that they are natural, because I now know better.

I want to close with an example I recently saw on the Internet, when I was researching essences for Lyme Disease for a client.  There is a protocol we have often used with positive results, but I thought I would look to see if there was any new thinking on oils that alleviate this condition.  What I found on one woman’t site literally stunned me.  I will not mention the name of the company that she was representing because, believe me, there are many, many companies that think and act this way.  But, I will admit, I have never seen it used so prominently as a marketing tool.  Here is what it said:

“I do not recommend the use of any other essential oils other than “Brand X”.  Only “Brand X” certifies every liter of their oils to ensure their purity, consistency and potency, which is all extremely important when trying to manage your Lyme with essential oils.  ”

OK…I can handle this so far…except for the “consistency” claim.  That is causing me to raise my eyebrows a little.  Then the “zinger” sentence appeared.  “Every single bottle is certified to be exactly the same as the bottle you used last or the ones you will use in the future.”  (emphasis, mine)

This claim, if true, is basically announcing that these essences are chemically stabilized…another way of saying that humans have intervened to mitigate Nature’s variation…another way of saying that they are not natural.  As we say in our Level 1 Class:  Only the chemist can attempt to produce certain essential essences which remain the same from year to year.  Nature changes always.  No essential oil is the same all of the time.   We always acknowledge the wine industry for the great job they do of educating the public that every vintage is different…even if the wine is made by the same winery, using the same grapes, grown on the same land, using the same process…it will vary from year to year (sometimes even substantially) because of weather conditions and the variety inherent in Nature.

So, the bottom line is, if you are turning to Mother Nature for your healing and to enrich your life through pure essential oils, you must embrace the change, the variation, that is part of her DNA.  It is proof that the essence is “just as it came from the plant or tree — no additives, no subtractives”…something we always are proud to say about our Wisdom of the Earth essential oils.

Love Mother Nature as she is…not as some humans think she should be!  As Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

Addiction Recovery: You’re Not In It Alone! Plus, Announcements

While pondering the question of which essential oils would support someone recovering from a drug addiction,  I realized that almost anyone, including me, sometimes engages in behaviors that are “against my better judgment”.  It is when these choices begin to dominate your life, and cause problems in your relationship, your job or your health that you have become addicted.  Wouldn’t it be great to recognize these behaviors for what they are before they get to the addiction stage?  The question was also a chance to look at the situation as aromatherapists always look at physical or emotional  issues…what are the underlying causes?  If you don’t address those, you are just putting a bandaid on the situation instead of truly addressing it.

So I answered her question with some essential oils that would not only address the drug rehabilitation aspect (e.g., physical withdrawal, toxicity, anxiety, to name a few), but also some typical underlying causes (feelings of emotional and/or physical pain, feelings of isolation, fear, anger, a need for comfort…again, to name a few).

sandalwoodThe initial question also posed whether Sandalwood would be helpful in addiction recovery.  It was not an essence that immediately came to my mind, but upon reflection, I felt very positive about it.  Sandalwood is very grounding and centering…calming without being sedating.  When you feel that you are out of control, these are properties that could be very beneficial to bringing you back to yourself.  Sandalwood is also gently analgesic…she addresses PAIN.  While that initially means physical pain, to most people, we always tell our students to look at the physical and apply it to the emotional and spiritual.  So…Sandalwood also helps to assuage emotional or spiritual pain…pain that we may not even be aware of on a conscious level that is driving our addictive behavior.  Sandalwood also helps to align our physical, emotional and spiritual bodies…an integration that is critical to someone who is addicted to a substance or feeling.  When we are truly “in” our bodies, feeling our feelings, experiencing a level of grounded awareness of our physical sensations, not sugar-coating anything, but honestly being fully in the moment — good or bad –we are much more able to withstand the allure of the things we are addicted to.

The other essence I suggested was Laurel Leaf…her ability to help us find our strength, our courage, when the goingsandalwood yasi is tough, is something that will benefit the person going through rehab, or the person individually confronting an addiction.  Laurel Leaf’s detoxifying properties will also help the body flush out the toxins associated with substance and food addictions…and as we just discussed…flush out the energetic toxins associated with emotional addictions.  Laurel Leaf is also hugely about being our authentic self…and so many times, the addicted version of ourselves is not our authentic self, and may be the result of not knowing who we truly are or not accepting or loving who we truly are.    Coming to that place of self-acceptance and self-love can represent years of inner work for some people, and Laurel Leaf can be a guide and an mentor on that journey to self.

inner childCitrus essences are wonderfully helpful to address addiction or “pre-addiction” choices:  Tangerine helps clear the drug residue from the energy field; this powerful essence also helps clear anger and trauma to your Inner Child.  Lemon helps you move through your pain to a deeper spiritual connection. Orange supports renewal and purification…physically and emotionally.  Grapefruit gives you hope when you have felt hopeless, and direction when you have felt lost.  She is an incredible comfort to us, renewing our optimism and helping us to see the silver lining in the cloud.

So, these are some thoughts on essences to support behavioral & cognitive change…essences that facilitate making different choices, even when old patterns are deeply established; essences that deal with the physical challenges of making that change; and essences that address the underlying emotional and physical issues.  There are, of course, many, many more essences for this purpose; years back, we put together a list of essences that address dependence issues for a conference in Flagstaff, AZ.  If you would like a copy of that list, please just email me, and I would be happy to send it to you.

I will close with a story about a student of mine who, after decades of substance abuse, told me that the final step in her recovery process had been to get off of prescription anti-depressants.  She had accomplished this formidable process with the help of our essences, the Twelve Step Program and yoga.  I will never forget her words: “For the first time as an adult, I will be looking at life through my own eyes…not the chemical filter of alcohol or of pharmaceutical drugs.  I have not done that since I was 14 years old.”  It was truly like she was being re-born.  It gave me chills to hear her say that, and an incredible sense of gratitude that we have the support of the unseen world and the natural world to aid those on this difficult, but transformative, journey.


Level 1 Wisdom of the Earth Certification Class in Medicinal Aromatherapy – September 6-7, 2014 at my Shining Sun Aromatherapy Studio in Nambe, NM (just north of Santa Fe)  $475 (early registration $450)  PLEASE NOTE:  The early registration cut-off has been extended due to my extensive travel this summer and the resultant lack of communication about the class :).    If you register and pay your 50% deposit by AUGUST 15th, you will receive the $25 early registration discount.

It is our belief at Wisdom of the Earth that the connection between human beings and the natural world is an ancient, vitally important one, and that separation or isolation from nature has a deleterious effect on the human psyche and health. The use of pure essential oils for health and well‐being is an important component of natural health remedies and aids us in deepening our relationship to the natural world. 

May 2013 Level 1The Level 1 Certification Seminar addresses topics related to the production of pure essential oils; their use for common ailments and for maintaining physical and emotional well­‐being; an in‐depth discussion of over 35 foundational essential oils; the production and use of hydrolats; discussion and demonstration of numerous  application methods; toxicity issues; and a “hands‐on”, closing exercise where students work on each other using the essences and hydrosols, and incorporating the essence information and application methods introduced in the class.  It is truly a life changing experience that opens you to a whole new way of thinking about and experiencing the plants and trees, and empowers you to take greater responsibility for your health.

Please contact me at shiningsunaromatherapy@gmail.com or 505-438-0855/928-300-5090 for information or to register.

SSA: What if you applied a couple of oils….and your pain vanished?

grey haired lady with shoulder painThat is exactly what happened to me last night!  My left shoulder, and the muscle from my neck to my shoulder joint, had ached all day.  Did I take a few minutes to put some oils on?  Nooooooo!  Too busy!  But, just before bed, I checked out the tray of oils on my bedside table and found Albanian Lavender and Sweet Birch. I was looking for Cornmint, but couldn’t find it.  I put about 5-7 drops of each on the shoulder area, and got into bed, ready to read to my hubby…a practice we began about a year ago that we really look forward to each night.

A couple of minutes later,  Leonardo announced…”I found the Cornmint!” and he handed it to me, so that I could use it, as well.  Funny thing, though….I honestly had to stop and think…”Now, which shoulder was it that was hurting?”  The pain had completely disappeared…so I literally had to stop and reconstruct my day to remember that it was the left shoulder that had been bothering me so much.  Of course, like the good Cornmint addict that I am, LOL, I put a little over the area “just for good measure”.

This experience came to mind twice today, first, as I answered a woman’s email about pain and inflammation, and then later, when a caller asked which oils would be good for joint pain and inflammation. Seems like a topic that is of interest…maybe it is the gardening or summer outdoor activities causing the flareups.  Maybe, but for some people, it is pain they have lived with for a long time.  One of the women who contacted me said that she could not use over-the-counter pain medications, and was seeking a natural solution.

Birch (Sweet) Essential Oil

That comment hit close to home, as Leonardo absolutely cannot take Tylenol…it makes his blood pressure soar.  So, he is truly happy that we have Sweet Birch back in stock again, to layer with a lavender, conifer and/or Cornmint.  Yes, you heard (read) right!  Wisdom of the Earth has Sweet Birch essential oil again!!  Our new Birch is absolutely beautiful…a little more subtle than our previous one, but equally effective and more gentle on the skin.  The aroma is delicious! And, we are able to offer it for the same price as our previous Birch…$47 for a 15 ml.

So…to get back to the caller’s question about pain and inflammation…those mentioned above are great to address these common problems.  I shake my head when I think of all of the people on anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers; all they need is beautiful Lavender, and essences like Red Pine, Black Spruce, the “Blues” (Blue Chamomile, Blue Tansy), and Cajeput (White Tea Tree).

So there you have it…10 drops of two essential oils and my shoulder pain disappeared and has not come back.  Now, that is a happy ending!


Certification Training:  I will be holding my last Level 1 Certification Class in Medicinal Aromatherapy for 2014 on September 6-7 at my Shining Sun Aromatherapy studio just north of Santa Fe, NM.  The “early bird” tuition is $450 for the two day class, and after August 7th, it is $475.  We ask for 50% down to register, with the balance due the first day of the class.  We also offer a discount when couples or two or more family members register together.

“Audre has the ability to transcend any preconceived notions about aromatherapy and essential oils.  Audre is masterful in her story telling. Her students explore and experience in such a way that the innate healing and healer emerge. Audre’s respect, guidance and heart-felt intelligence is a gift to anyone who finds her/himself within her community.”  Lynn Getz, Integrative Medicine Institute & recent Level 1 Student

Santa Fe Aromatherapy Meet Up:  Santa Feans!  Join us this Tuesday night, July 8th, at 7:00 pm for our monthly Aromatherapy Meet Up.   Topic – Aromatherapy’s Fire Crackers!  In other words…we will be exploring the “hot” essences, such as Oregano, Ajowan, Thyme and Mt. Savory.  Should be a lot of fun!  We have a great group, with one or two “new-comers” each time.  The suggested contribution is $10, but all are welcome, even if they cannot afford the fee.    Here is a link to the Meet Up site for information about the meeting, or to join Meet Up and register for the meeting:  http://www.meetup.com/Santa-Fe-Area-Aromatherapy-Group/

Thank you for your interest in Shining Sun Aromatherapy!  Your feedback, as well as suggestions for future Essential Thoughts topics, is welcome.

Warm regards,  Audre