Caravanserai Astrology and Aromatherapy by Laura Lynne Crandall
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The Caravan traveled in the summer and moved at night under the stars to avoid the heat of the scorching sun. The sky and constellations  were the caravan traveler’s map and calendar.  The changing constellations revealed the season. The new and full moon indicated the distance to the next serai (inn or shelter). Planets, stars, eclipses, comets and novas predicted profound changes and events in the world and in lives.

 

 

Join us at the caravanserai as our travelers hear stories of the powers and romance of Perfume and essential oils

"Sweet to ride out at evening from the wells, 

as shadows pass gigantic in the sand,

and softly in the silence beat the bells, 

along the golden road to Samarkand."               

James Elroy Flecker (1884 - 1915), British poet.

Hassan, act 5, sc. 2 (1922)

Caravanserai 

Caravanserai: (Ancient Persian to Old French; camp and palace) an inn or hostel along the ancient Caravan trade routes; along the Silk and Spice Road, a shelter where travelers and traders sold and exchanged  perfume and essential oils, herbs, spices, ideas - stories of their lives and traditions; shelters from the harshness and danger along the caravan route.

The Caravanserai site takes you along a journey back through the centuries - when perfumery and use of herbs and essential oils for healing and romance first began.

We will use the stars to navigate across the seas of time to learn these ancient arts . The stories about our travelers are well researched and the information on this site, except for occasional poetic license taken by our caravan mistress (Lynne), is all true.

The hypnotique effect of incense and perfumed oils have been a part of romance since the beginning  of history, and it all started along the caravan routes.  The exotic essential oils that we know today may have come from far off corners of the world.  The famous explorer, Marco Polo, (the explorer who was the first to travel to Kublai Khan's China) talked of the famous Frankincense Trail.

"Dhofar is a great and noble and fine city.  Much white incense is produced here and I will tell you how it grows."  Marco Polo 1285

How the scent of Jasmine changed the course of history

The great writer Plutarch describes the scene when Cleopatra soaked the sails of her ship in Jasmine to scent the air and seduce Marc Antony as her ship sailed into Tarsus on the Tarsus river: 

"Cleopatra" by John William Waterhouse

"…the barge was line with the most beautiful of her women, attired Nereids (sea nymphs) and Graces, some at the rudders, others at the tackles of the sails, and all the while an indescribably rich perfume, exhaled from innumerable censers, was wafted from the vessel to the river banks." Plutarch, from eye witness accounts of Cleopatra's arrival into Tarsus.

"On the deck (of Cleopatra's barge) would have stood a huge incense burner piled high with kyphi--the most expensive scented offering known to the Egyptians compounded from the roots of Acorus and Andropogon together with oils of cassia, cinnamon, peppermint, pistacia and convolvulus, juniper, acacia, henna and cyprus; the whole mixture macerated in wine and added to honey, resins and myrrh. According to Plutarch it was made of 'those things which delight most in the night' adding that it also lulled one to sleep and brightened the dreams" (Stoddart 1990:142).

The romance of scent and perfume has captured the imagination of writers throughout the ages. 

The great Bulgarian writer, Ivan Vazov wrote of a famous valley in the Balkan Mountain Range,  where the most beautifully scented roses in the entire world grow.  The Rose Oil produced was referred  to as liquid gold, later the most famous perfume houses in Paris and Moscow, and throughout the world  would use this precious  essence.

 

Ivan Vazov (1850 - 1921) in his epic novel about Bulgaria, Under the Yoke,ewrote about this valley in 1886.

" How beautiful this valley is! As far as the eyes can see, glistening green meads and tender velvety  swards, Rose Gardens in blossoms spilling fragrance, clear mountain springs murmuring through fresh meadows, tufts of chestnuts, walnuts, plum-trees, cherries, cornel-trees and apples in flowers across the wonderful green panorama, among copses of willows and whispering elms, the young Toundzha meanders in wonderful curves. At the background one can see Stara Planina: a range of giant peaks, basking in the blue sky…and fifteen days later, some enchantress will sprinkle dewy roses upon these tender greens and  the air will be flooded by this fragrance and by the songs of the dark-eyed women rose-gatherers with  freshly-picked roses in their hair..."    

 

According to Bulgarian legend, these Roses were the source of the golden oil taken to Christ by the three wise men. Everyone reported that the gifts were Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh, but the gold was really a golden oil known to work miraculous cures and scented like the breath of angels. 

Pliny the Elder called the nectar of this five petal rose "liquid gold" in the year 57 AD and claimed that it cured 32 diseases and a number of other ills.

The Caravan Route is our Map; the sky is our Calendar

contact Lynne at 517-371-8495 or email us at lynnecrandall(at)caravansrai.com  

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Please contact us with any questions or requests about our services.  Lynne Crandall - Astrologer and Aromatherapy Consultant 

Tel: 517- 371- 8495                 

lynnecrandall(at)caravansrai.com                        

     lynne(at)crandallpress.com                                

 

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