In Salvatore Battaglia's latest book, Aromatherapy and Chakras, lies the captivating chakra collage art by Jill Psenitza. We sat down with Jill to talk about the inspiration behind her unique artwork, the chakras, meditation and more.
Perfect Potion (PP): How did you originally come to know of Sal and his work?
Jill Psenitza (JP): I came to know of Sal and his work by stumbling across aromatherapy and becoming a customer at the original QVB shop in Sydney only a few years ago. I was working in retail at the time while studying an Advanced Diploma to become a Meditation Facilitator and wanted to combine those different modalities into all of what I do. So I applied for a position at the QVB store and spray-painted a Buddha onto my resume to get the Area Manager’s attention, which must have worked because shortly after, I was part of the amazing Perfect Potion QVB team. That is where my journey into aromatherapy and subtle energy began!
PP: Have you read any of Sal’s other books? If so, what insights did you gain from them?
JP: I started to work for Perfect Potion just before the release of Sal’s Complete Guide to Aromatherapy 3rd Edition book, which all staff received, and I used it to really start to understand each individual oil and its benefits for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. It is so detailed and precise. I would find myself always looking up the personality and subtle energy of an oil: that’s what absolutely fascinates me and I am truly excited for the release of the next book about subtle energy, the psyche, and aromatherapy.
I've also read many chapters of the Aromatree, which to me is another visual of the chakras. In a way, it’s all so interconnected…from the roots to the flowering crown…
PP: When did you first discover the chakras, and since then, how has this discovery inspired you in your life and work?
JP: I have always been fascinated by chakra art and drawn to the colours and the visual representation of the energy points in the body, like a road map of our physical existence. I began to discover the chakras in more depth when I began studying meditation and we learned different practices to focus on our chakras. Since then, my connection to the chakras and studies have taken me deeper and deeper, whether through Art, Aromatherapy, Reiki or my personal meditation practice. Even though I am interested in many other modalities, like Ayurveda or TCM, I keep coming back to the chakras. To me it’s like a tool kit to help us gain better understanding of ourselves, of others, of life and to actively create more balance within. My journey through the chakras took on more of a ‘felt experience’ over just studying and learning about the subject once I began to work for Perfect Potion. That was like an initiation into subtle energy…
PP: What inspires your artwork?
JP: My artworks are inspired by my personal life experiences, and by nature. I am also a huge fan of the work of Carl G Jung and can relate to his way of seeing the world through the lens of myth, metaphor, story and archetypes. I like to tell stories through my collages that address our common human experience here on this planet. Recently, I have discovered the world of Mandala and now there is no turning back for me, my whole world has become a Mandala.
PP: What was the creative process behind your artwork in Aromatherapy and Chakras?
JP: The process began once I started working for Perfect Potion two years ago. I was inspired to create a collage based on the chakras because of an image I saw on Pinterest, and I simultaneously fell absolutely in love with Sal’s Chakra Essential Oil Blends Kit. It was the product I invested in with my first pay cheque. I remembered the other day this journey started when I was only just a customer.. Before working for Perfect Potion, all I would ever buy was the Chakra Balancing blend for the root chakra and still to this day, this blend is my most favourite of all by far!
The process of creating this artwork was not linear. It took two years and had many twists and turns and times where I literally abandoned it and did not work on it for many months… It was such a visual representation of my own inner healing journey that I started two years ago - coming across blocks and resistances along the way and learning more about myself as I went through a big process of letting go of a very painful phase of my life, and of a man I loved dearly. Even though I did struggle with the artwork and with myself throughout the process many times, I did always come back, and I did finish it. This piece taught me how to let go. It taught me to surrender, work with divine timing and above all it taught me non-attachment.
PP: If any, what are your favourite yoga poses for balancing each chakra?
JP: Oh yes! So many come to mind… For the base chakra, I like static poses, like a Yogi’s squat or even just Child’s pose. That’s where it starts, that’s our beginning, our base, our roots. I actually like to dance to balance the Sacral Chakra, or a nice, juicy flow will do as well. To strengthen the solar plexus, I like to practice bridge pose or wheel pose. The heart: a standing backbend or even just a very opening upward-facing dog. The throat: definitely fish pose and also plow pose. To balance the third eye chakra, I like to rest my forehead on the mat like in child’s pose again. And for the crown, my all-time favourite: a headstand! Also great to get your heart over your head once a day. Love it.
PP: Do you incorporate chakras into your meditation practice? If so, how?
JP: I focus on the base every time I practice. That’s my way of getting into a meditation, is to imagine roots coming out of the base of the spine and legs and feet, and visualise them growing down and into the planet. Ever since I saw an image of the roots of Vetiver grass at one of Sal’s events, I often see those coming out of my feet and that gives me an instant feeling of stability and security. When I sit long enough, they turn into thick, big, chunky roots growing deeper and deeper down into the planet.
I also focus on breathing into space between the solar plexus and sacral chakra a lot as I learned in the meditation course that this is where the seat of the ‘gate to the entire universe’ sits within each and every one of us.
And of course the heart… It’s like a big, lush rose garden I hang out in as often as I can. That’s been a place that felt numb for a long time and painful to visit, but with gentle persistence and compassion and lot’s of rose essential oil, I now like to make this the place I operate from. To come out of the head and into the heart as often as I can in my day to hopefully live there permanently one day and always be consciously connected to the heart.
PP: Finally, what role do essential oils and aromatherapy play in balancing your chakras, and in your daily life?
JP: As mentioned, Chakra Balancing blend is still my favourite, I am so in love with Patchouli and Vetiver. The heavier the better. Essential Oils play a HUGE role in balancing the chakras as they bypass our logic and connect to our subtle energy body. If we pay attention and allow our body to tell us what it needs, it will do exactly that! The vibrational energy of the oils can be used to release blockages and allow energy to flow again. For me it was always the base, the sacral and the solar plexus which needed most attention and still to this day are the scents I am most drawn to and use in my personal practice. They give such instant comfort and a feeling of bliss, of coming home.
One more aspect that really appeals to me and my German heritage is how practical Perfect Potion's Chakra Essential Oil Blends are. It is a subject one could study for years and years, but the oils and even just the little booklet within the kit allow this exploration to become a felt experience. It gives such practical insight into how the chakras relate to different aspects of our life, like relationships or physical ailments. This will be with me for life as there is always something to learn.
See more of Jill's art over at: @embody.yourself.au