John Steele

John Steele
The Soul of Plants
Exploring the Tao of Smell and Fragrance

Keynote Presentation
7 – 8 pm Saturday, June 16

➢Introduction to a trans-disciplinary approach to smell and fragrance drawing on my background in archaeology, anthropology, English Literature, memory research and Eastern mindfulness traditions.

➢How I later became involved in aromatherapy, sourcing essential oils from all over the world and plant consciousness.

➢The many roles of plants in human life.

➢Relationship of smell to fragrance, odor and aroma.

➢An Atlantian past life reveals a sleeper connection to the “group souls of plants.”

➢A brief discussion of the soul of plants, a concept similar to what biologist Rupert Sheldrake calls a morphogenetic field, the energetic matrix holding the botanical intelligence of a plant’s life cycles and interactions with its pollinators, predators and environment, including soil and water.

➢The soul of plants will be illuminated in my other conference presentations on aromatic oils and hydrosols and also smell and fragrance in ancient Egypt.

➢Re-imagining plant awareness, plant-to-plant communication and plant/human communication.

➢Plants as the original alchemists. The plant metaphor for factories.

➢Plant Language is chemical, sensorial, non-linear, emotional and telepathic.

➢Exploring the basic functions of smell in human evolution.

➢Sensorial Anthropology explores how we perceive and construct a worldview through our senses.

➢The deep sense of smell is intuition , our sixth sense.”

➢Clairsentience as an expanded smell/feeling sense.

➢Dreamtime and linear time. An Australian aboriginal smell story.

➢Synesthesia as cross state perception, e.g. to smell a color or a sound.

➢Evolution of aromatic plants.

➢Fragrance in meditation and prayer.

➢The use of fragrance on visionary journeys with plant teachers.

➢Plant communion and “blossoming” (florescer, Portuguese) in Amazonian shamanism.


John Steele
The Sacred use of Smell and Fragrance in Ancient Egypt
9am -12pm Sunday, June 17

We will explore the conscious expanding use of fragrance in pharaonic Egypt through beautiful images which I have assembled over 25 years of research. During this era of antiquity, beginning from the Third Dynasty (2686 BC), perfume was a magical medium of communication between humans and the gods.

Nefertum, who was the god of perfumes and the soul of plants, will be introduced along with his divine parents Ptah the creator god and Sekhmet, the lion-headed goddess of protection and distillation.

Nefertum’s iconic flower was the Blue Water Lily (Nymphaea caerulea) that symbolized perfect beauty, rejunivation and eternal life. This flower was also used as a psychotropic passport, by pharaohs and temple priests, to the mysteries of life and death. For fifteen hundred years, the Blue Water Lily was an archetypal image in creation mythologies, temple art, jewelry designs and contemplative gardens of Egypt.

Another facet of our exploration will be the olfactory mysteries of smell in the human nose and its architectural embodiment in the design of ritual rooms in the splendid temple of Luxor.

My original presentation of the material was at the Psychology of Perfumery Conference (1990) at the University of Warwick, England. I consider this intriguing subject not as a finished piece of work, but rather as a continually unfolding work-in-progress as I discover new research from Egyptologists, botanists and perfume historians.