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Behind Temple O Flora

Aromatics, Alembics and Alchemy

I'm Sunny, and Temple O Flora (TOF) is a confluence of  the deepest loves in my life - plants, art and healing -as well as a distillation of many years of listening to and learning from the animate forces of nature.  I have felt a deep kinship to plants as long as I can remember. Both of my parents shared my love of all things plant related, and some of my earliest memories are of sitting and listening to the grape hyathinths in our yard as a toddler, and wandering through greenhouses with my mom as a young girl.  At the age of 10, I carefully designed and planted my first herb garden, and have continued to deepen my relationship with the green people throughout my life. 

I chose the name Temple O Flora to represent the holy nature of plants and my desire to create a space of devotion and service to them. The goddess Flora is the embodiment of all nature and plant life. She gives fragrance to blossoms and teaches us to honor growing things, both inside and outside ourselves. She invites us to pay attention to pleasure, beauty and new life. 

For most of my adult life, I have been working with herbal medicines, primarily through the lense of Ayurveda. But when I began learning the art of distilling and engaging with aromatics, I found my true love and deepest healing . Aromatic plants have a way of helping us find our way back to our animal bodies because they allow us to connect with the most sensual and ancient aspects of our being.  Aromatic molecules are innately molecules of connection. They bind to receptor sites throughout the entire body and literally "touch" us.  We evolved alongside plants, and smell is the only sense which is directly linked to our limbic system, bypassing the thalamus and accessing the most primal part of our brain. It is intimately connected to our emotions and memories, personal and collective, and forms a bridge to the unconscious parts of Self and to the unseen animate realms.  Partnering with aromatic plant allies is one of the most powerful tools I have found in individual healing.  But, as my work evolves, I am deeply interested in how aromatic plants can facilitate a deeper connection to a greater animacy, beyond individual healing process, through ritual and ceremony.


My hope is that by sharing what I have gathered and learned along the way, I may guide you in your own exploration of plants, primarily through the mediums of fiber and fragrance. And that by developing a greater appreciation of their magic and medicine, you will cultivate deeper connection and personal relationship with the plants and the natural world as a whole. This is "viriditas", the green vitality in plants, which they may generously impart to us, making healing possible.

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