Who Is
The Fragrant Muse?

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Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm a Creative Soul and Happy Person. I have a passion for my Family, Aromatics, Fairy Gardens, Pugs, SoulCollage, Miniature Worlds, Visual Journals.

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All contents Property and Copyright(c) of Liz Fulcher/The Fragrant Muse.
All rights reserved.
Please don't use my written word, photography or art without my permission.
Thank you.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's Been Nearly One Year

It has been nearly one year since my last post here at The Fragrant Muse.   My energy and creativity has been spent creating and building my school, and subsequent website and blog, Aromatic Wisdom Institute, School of Creative Aromatherapy.

So now the question is, do I continue to blog here?  I miss my non-business ramblings, my friends,  sharing about fairies, journals and other creative expressions.  I wouldn't necessary put those things in my school blog,

If anyone actually SEES this post, can you just drop a line if you think I should continue here? 

If so, what would you like to see?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Woman's Day Fragrant Affirmation

These beautiful women of Aromahead
are stepping out in the world
and embracing their purpose as rockin' Aromatherapists!

Fragrant Affirmation for Tuesday, March 8th:
INTERNATIONAL WOMAN'S DAY!
"I was born naturally creative and resourceful with my own special gifts.
  It is safe to let go of what I don't need and
step out into the world and embrace my purpose!"

Supporting Essential Oils: Rose and Bergamot for love, Vetiver for trust, Black Pepper for courage.   Now go make yourself a beautiful blend, step out into the world...and embrace your purpose!

That's me stepping out into the world as Nana
so that I may share my gifts with The Bean.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wishcasting My Perfect Home

It's been ages since I've played at Jamie Ridler Studios but I couldn't resist today's Wishcasting Wednesday prompt: 

What do you wish for your home?

Years ago I learned that writing out desires helps clarify exactly what you want and assists the subconscious mind in manifesting it.  So today, I'm sending out my order to the Cosmic Kitchen and letting the Universe begin to create the perfect home for me and my family!

Here are some components of my perfect home:

A wood or long home with one floor living (no more upstairs/downstairs)
My home has an attached teaching space OR....

  ...the teaching space is in a charming cottage behind the house.
The school has a large island in the kitchen where students create
aromatic body butters, lip balms, candles etc.
The space includes a "cold room" for essential oil storage.

My home has a large kitchen/family room
for fun gatherings of friends and family.
I must include a fireplace for cozy winter naps on the couch!
My dream home has a creative space full of natural light
where Musie and The Bean can be creative.
Here we write, paint, soulcollage and make joyful messes!




There is certainly a babbling stream or brook.
I love the sound of moving water.


And I have a colorful garden where I grow aromatic herbs and flowers and sometimes hide and have quiet time with my books.


                   .
..and so it is.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kaleidosoul Tele-Class Tonight!

I am SO excited!   I've been invited by Anne Marie Bennett of Kaleidosoul to present a one hour teleclass tonight on Aromatherapy and SoulCollage®.   The call will be at 7:00 p.m. EST and it's called:  Discover your Fragrant Muse™: Celebrating Aromatherapy and SoulCollage®

I will be sharing simple techniques for connecting with plant energies and ideas for creating and using aromatically-inspired SoulCollage® cards. 

The call is free for Kaleidosoul Kindred Spirit Members, but only $10 for non-members.    If you miss the call, don't worry, Anne Marie records all her tele-classes!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Starting 2011: My Ten Core Values. Repost with Yours!

DSC_0075

After reading this post from Donna Maria's Indie Business Blog, I felt inspired to write my own list of personal core values.  Identifying your deepest values can give you a "life-direction compass"and help you determine if you're on the right path or way off.  If you're spending time and energy on activities that are not in alignment with your list of core values, you'll end up feeling burned out, resentful and exhausted.

What are personal core values?  A value is a principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable.  In a nutshell, what you hold important in your life. 

How about doing a repost with your list of personal values?   Declaring them a good way to get clear about what you hold important - especially if you're setting goals for the New Year. 

MyVisionPortal.com gives a good Personal Core Value List which you may find helpful if you need some guidance in finding out what your personal values are.     Many people don't know because they've never thought about it.  That's okay.  It's never to late to learn.
  1. Gratitude to my Higher Power.  Without gratitude to my Higher Power (Spirit, God, Goddess, Grandfather) nothing has meaning and the door to abundance and good would slam in my face.  How can you have more when you don't appreciate what you already have?  Stop right now, look around the room and quickly list 10 things you're grateful for that you've been taking for granted like electricity, your vision, your spine, your computer, light from the sun, etc.
  2. Family.  I need to belong to a tribe.  It doesn't have to be huge like my Italian friends have with their 30-something cousins and aunts and uncles, but without my husband, my sons, my grandson, my mother, even my pets, my life would have an unbearable void at the center. My family is my sun around which everything in my life revolves.
  3. Creativity.  I can't not be creative.  I have to inject creativity into everything I do.   If I were trapped in a cave (*shudder*) and waiting for release, no doubt I'd pass the time building dirt snowmen, stacking rocks in patterns or painting on the walls with bat guano.  Creativity is my breath and without it, life would be dull dull dull.
  4. Independence.   I spent the first half of my adult life working for "the man" and the other half working for myself.   There is no comparison to the freedom I feel working at what I love on my own terms.   I don't have to wait for a vacation day or settle for the income they decide my work is worth. Being self-employed is hard work to be sure, but so very rewarding.
  5. Humor and Playfulness.  This heading could also have been "Honoring My Inner Child" Most people I meet take themselves and life waaaay too seriously.  I find humor in my classroom helps learning and makes the day fun no matter what we're studying.   When was the last time you did something playful, spontaneous and utterly ridiculous?  Go on, dance in your front yard today in celebration of the New Year.  Who cares what the neighbors say.  They'll be peering from behind the curtains wishing they had the courage to be so free.
  6. Achievement. I have to agree with Donna Maria on this one.  Setting goals and achieving them are addicting.  I love the validation of kudos from colleagues and family and I love the feeling of obtaining something I set my sights on.  Even if I miss my mark, I usually get something else equally cool or better!
  7. Passion.  Yet another that Donna Maria and I have in common.  If you are living a life without passion for what you are doing - work, education, service - you must stop and begin to do the thing that makes you jump out of bed in the morning with excitement and sets you on fire!
  8. Learning.   Education and learning can come in many forms, from formal schooling to taking online classes to simply keeping a journal to increase awareness of yourself.   When we stop learning, we stop growing.

    There are others, but these were the main ones I wanted to share with you today.

    Now, I'd love to read YOUR list of Core Values!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Interview with Seena Frost, Founder of SoulCollage®


Seena Frost, Beloved Mentor and Creator of SoulCollage®

Readers of this blog may remember a post I wrote earlier this year entitled Aromatic SoulCollage® in which I shared my great love for this amazing creative process.

Seena Frost has just completed her second book on SoulCollage®, entitled "SoulCollage® Evolving".  You can read more about her book here and order it here.

Yay Seena!  Those of us who are in love with this work have been hungry for another book. 

When I learned that Seena would be doing a blog tour, I jumped at the chance to interview her and ask some specific questions that had been rattling around in my head.  Her answers were, as was expected, very insightful and soulful.


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Liz:  Thank you for joining me today Seena!  It's an honor to have you as my guest here at The Fragrant Muse and a delight for me to pick your wonderful brain!  How about we start with the basics:  What is SoulCollage®?
Seena:  SoulCollage® is both a creative celebration of the complexities of Soul and, at the same time underneath this complexity, is the honoring of our Spirit’s unity with Source. It’s a process emphasizing Both/And; Spirit and Soul; One and the Many. To honor the forever-evolving, amazing dance of our Souls, we create many collaged cards using found images to depict our unique parts. We give names to these parts, dialogue with them, and embrace them, even the ones that are shadowed and acting out. Giving a card its own name and allowing it time to say what’s wrong and what is needed often helps these inner parts heal. The inner part is able to find new ways to express its special energy so it has a positive place.

Liz:  Tell us the story of the origin of SoulCollage®.
Seena:  Many roots in my past eventually joined and grew into the blossoming and above-ground “plant” we now call SoulCollage®. These are too numerous to identify here, but in 1989, there came a moment at the end of a three year program with Jean Houston, when an integration occurred, and I made my very first cards. I called them Neter cards and these were all cards that now would be in the Community Suit of my deck because they were all for people. Over the years, and with input from others, this first project eventually evolved into people creating cards in the four suits, symbolizing the Manyness of our Souls, and one card, the Source card, as a symbol for the Oneness of all created forms.

At first I used these cards as a therapeutic tool in clinical support groups; then, because everyone loved creating them and found much inner wisdom through them, I introduced the process into other kinds of community groups. It can still be used as a therapeutic tool by licensed therapists, but it also can be used individually as a spiritual practice and in groups as a transformational ritual.

Liz:  Do you see a specific personality type in the people drawn to SoulCollage®?
Seena: This is an interesting question, and I’ve given it some thought. Actually, if there is a SoulCollage® type, it’s a person who is visual and who is interested in looking inwards at their own Soul. As to the Jungian personality types, there are parts of the process that appeal to introverts, especially the silent and intuitive choosing of images. And there are parts that appeal to extroverts—the speaking aloud from the images. In readings I’ve found that extroverts find it hard to be silent witnesses while introverts find that easy; but then extroverts can go on reading from an image forever. Sensates like sitting and doing the collaging part. Thinkers have to be patient and wait their turn, but it does come after the Feelers have had their time to feel out the energy of an image. Intuitives obviously love most all of it.  So, I would say there is some activity in the process to please all the types, but, at the same time, there is a stretch for what Jung calls our inferior parts that need exercise to grow stronger.

Liz:  Though SoulCollage® has a wide audience, it seems to have a strong appeal to women over 40.  Why is this?
Seen: You’re right about that, thus far in our history. Let me talk about the gender issue first and the age issue second. There is no doubt that women are more naturally drawn to collaging images, and to diving into their inner life to examine and work with it. And women are drawn also to share this inner exploration with others.

Men are usually more externally active, preferring to participate in action sports or watch them. Men like to work with solutions and goals and products that have overt value or significance in their world. Generally they do not want to dive into their inner life issues unless there is a huge reason like a mental or marital problem. Thus, the idea of sitting and collaging images, and then pretending to be the image may seem silly to men. And gatherings to do this in groups might seem a waste of time. Not for all men of course, and men, when they experience SoulCollage®, often are intrigued. It can be as if they just entered an interesting, foreign land.

Part of the reason for the age difference is that the process began with older women (like me!) and so spread most quickly among us. Probably another factor is that women over 40 are no longer chasing little children all over the block, or just trying to break into careers where their masculine aspects must be emphasized and their feminine aspects minimized. At mid-life, there comes a yearning for more time, and a new freedom to be more feminine (not like the ads tell us to be), which is to be creative, intuitive, empathic, collaborative, supportive, noncompetitive, and loving. And also there often is a yearning to explore the inner life so as to find more balance and purpose and happiness. 

I truly believe that we who are doing the process now will reach out to younger women, and also to men as time goes on. SoulCollage® is a practice that can produce changes in the Souls of all people, changes that our world needs right now. In fact, without change towards more heart language, more collaboration and more learning to listen and empathize and imagine, we won’t make it. Young women, especially those who are stepping into leadership positions all over the world, could use this practice. It does not need to be very time-consuming, to honor (alongside their masculine ‘find the solution and act’ aspects), those feminine aspects of their psyches that are so needed to change how we deal with each other and the natural world. And men who come into our community may find help in discovering the value of their own feminine aspects and vital ways to integrate them with their masculine aspects. Let’s see if we who are women over 40 can be inclusive enough to make this happen.

Liz:  As you know, in my own personal SoulCollage® deck, I've added a unique suit to honor one of my life's passions, essential oils.  I call this my Aromatic Suit
Neroli SoulCollage® Card
Liz's Neroli SoulCollage® Card

Each card honors a specific aromatic, the significance it has for me and my personal story with that essential oil as well as it's energetic or therapeutic value.  I use these cards frequently in my work as an Aromatherapist.   What are your thoughts on expanding one's personal deck beyond the standard 4 suits to honor a unique passion?
Seena:  I think this is a fine thing to do as long as each of the oils has a personal significance for you, is a Neter of yours and can speak to you from its special energy. If there were just a couple of oils that were important in your psyche, I would suggest having them in one of the four suits, perhaps as Council archetypes. However, since you are an Aromatherapist and every oil is unique and important in your life story, then a new suit is appropriate.

My problem with adding extra suits to the four basic ones is that it may complicate your deck beyond what is helpful. Sometimes people decide to make a new suit and put in it all the Neters that are traditionally listed in some category, such as the archetypes of the Major Arcana or all the Nine Muses. Doing this gives one’s mind the job of choosing who to include in the deck, and does not leave the choice to the Neters themselves. Each of us is unique as to the collection of Neters that are in our decks, and no external list should dictate our choices.

Sometimes we will recognize the activity of a Neter in our lives… “Aha… that voice was my Advising Self, or that action was from my Warrior archetype, etc” …. and so we set out intentionally to find images and make a card for this Neter. This is perfectly fine too, but the Neter is the one whose energy has alerted us to its presence within our Soul.

Liz:  What advice would you give a SoulCollage® Facilitator who has an individual that regularly meets with a card-making group, enjoys creating the cards but doesn't want to participate in the "inner work" of interpreting the cards, journaling or doing readings?  Is the person still receiving value from the SoulCollage experience?
Seena:   If the person comes regularly, collages cards, listens to others doing their processing, then certainly some inner work is already happening. Resistance to going further with the process is the Neter in charge just now and is to be respected.  Encourage her or him to make cards for all their inner voices that are instructing about when and how to participate. Certainly encourage her to continue. Let him know how valuable to everyone a good listener is.
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Thank you so much Seena for taking the time to answer my questions.  Your new book is fabulous and I can't wait for others to discover the life-changing adventure known as SoulCollage®!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Little-Known Fact about Santa

We began setting up our holiday village last weekend.  Bean "helped" of course.  In fact, he helped so much that Santa lost his right hand. 

I disappeared to fetch glue and when I returned hubby was wearing a suspicion grin.  "What?" I asked. 

He glanced at the lake and said "Apparently, Santa can't swim".

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Inspires You to Write?

The Fragrant Muse blog was born in April of 2009 with no particular purpose other than to put my many thoughts and interests into writing.

Initially, blogging was like falling in love.  I jumped out of bed in the morning anxious to create and share stories of the world around me.  My writing came easily, was spontaneous and fluid.  My mind was full of post ideas.   I began making friends, following blogs, having followers and a new creative community began to form around me.  I was enamoured with the whole blogging experience.

In the past few months, this glow has faded a bit.  Recently, when a friend remarked, "Your blog is getting boring", I was taken aback, but also felt the truth in her words.  I haven't felt inspired to write.

Upon reflection, the shift occurred when I began putting restrictions on my posts and blog content after reading gobs of material on "how to build a better blog."  I bought books, magazines and read loads of web material on how to be a better blogger.  I subscribed to CopyBlogger and ProBlogger to learn what makes a blog readable and interesting.
One message I found over and over was "keep your blog uncluttered and tightly focused on one subject."  Since my primary personal and professional passion is essential oils, I decided to keep my blog limited to aromatherapy-related posts. 

I began to de-clutter my blog by eliminating such topics as The Bean (my grandson), art journaling, massage, Sassy the pug, my fairy garden, miniatures, my family and random day-in-the-life-of-Liz stuff.  And you know what?  I miss writing about these things that color my world so vibrantly!   I've considered a second blog for all my non-aromatherapy interests - and I may someday - but for now, the idea of maintaining two blogs feels daunting.

So I'm going to go back to writing about all my interests and pull from my creative right brain.  I'm going to post on everything that interests me and inspires me; everything that makes The Fragrant Muse who she is.  Certainly, essential oils will still be my main focus, because that is also the case in my life; however, I'll also include a generous sprinkling of other shiny bits of my life.

I'll save my rational left brain for paying the bills and doing my taxes.
 Photo 

Because the truth of the matter is this:   My world and all that fills it is multi-faceted with many interests and I love sharing my life and all that colors it.  If I lose followers or folks find The Fragrant Muse too random then this is what I have to say:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Climbing the Emma Tree


Emma Tree Blog
In the 18 months I've been traversing the blogging world, one unexpected delight has been meeting and making friends with talented writers, artists and the most fascinating creative people.  D. Smith Kaich Jones of Emma Tree: Tales of Art and Anxiety is one of those folks.  Debi writes of experiences of daily life and describes them in such a rich and exquisite way that you can't help but connect and get what she says as well as feel understood, yourself.  I stop there for a visit when I need to refill my inspirational cup.

This is her poetic description of living in East Texas
"It is not Paris. 
It is not Morocco. 
It is not even Oregon or New Mexico. 
It is here, it is Texas, and even then, it is not West Texas,
it is Northeast Texas,
a church on every corner and a taqueria on every block,
feeding your soul and feeding your belly."


Debi's writing talents have earned her three articles in an Authentic Living series for Somerset Magazine and a place in the the Autumn issue of Artful Blogging: Visually Inspiring Online Journals.  Both magazines are published by Stampington & Co: Arts and Co, your one stop shop for creativity. 

I have many favorite posts by Debi, but below are three I wanted to share:
Night Spring where she writes about her beloved cat Maggie, that we all fell in love with
Empty House, Full Heart After Maggie's passing (still makes me cry)
Sign Day  All women should read this one!