New Candle, Show This Weekend, and Some Updates
I guess the hematite ring I mentioned in my last
newsletter is still working as I have been extremely busy working
on several projects. Throw in the holiday shopping and decorating and
you can see why this newsletter is a few days after the dark moon. Since
I missed the last dark moon (it was right after I sent out the Samhain/Halloween
newsletter), I will try to make this one twice as interesting :
First, I want to announce our new Shamans
Offering Magickal Gel Candle. We actually made this one in November
and it debuted at the Holistic Festival. The idea for the candle has
been with us for over a year but it took time to get the ingredients
just right. We were inspired when we attended a Shaman class last
winter that is offered by Phoenix Honka through Sacred
Sage. It was an awesome experience and I would highly recommend
this class if you are interested in Shamanism. There are so many facets
to the practice of Shamanism that we could create several candles
to go with the energies. The drawback is that gel candles are not
like solid wax candles and should not be burned for long periods of
time. So we decided to create something that held the overall energies
of Shamanism that one could use when practicing at home or for group
rituals/meditations that were less than 2 hours long. The candle includes
four sacred plants: tobacco, sage, sweetgrass, and blue corn.
There is a Botswanna agate in each candle that has been
drilled so once the candle is gone, it can be added to sacred jewelry
or items used by the practitioner. Go to the Shamans
Offering page on our site for more details.
I have decided to do the Holistic Festival this weekend at Gibraltar
Trade Center in Mt. Clemens. Originally I was not going to do it
but the Universe seems to be giving me the OK as all my shopping is
done and decorating will be done tonight, very unusual as most years
Brian and I are out at the stores the weekend before Christmas finishing
up. So far the weather looks to be decent and that is the deciding factor
as I drive from Novi to Mt. Clemens all three days. And to be honest,
in this economy I need to take every opportunity to make some cash.
There is not another show until February and who knows what the weather
will be like then. Also at Gibraltar this weekend is the Gun & Knife
Show and the Sports Card Show so there is something for everyone.**Altho
everyone said their profits were down, we did have fun. I enjoyed talking
to many people who came to the festival.
My last dark moon newsletter was about hematite. I have added pictures
of my hematite to the archive
page so be sure to check them out.
While reading one of the Natures
Gift newsletters, I saw a link to an article
about frankincense and cancer. If you have been reading my newsletters
for a while, you may remember I wrote the Lughnasadh
2009 one about frankincense and my experience with skin cancer.
Its nice to see some research supporting this and I hope it will lead
to more awareness of natural cures.
As many of you may know, I am a freelance web site designer. I would
like to announce a new site I have created for a friend who owns Dearborn
Wig here in Michigan. The store is small but she has hundreds of wigs
in many different styles and colors. She specializes in helping medical
patients to keep that natural look if their treatments result in loss
of hair. Wigs have come a long way and I was surprised at how natural
they look and feel. If you or someone you know is looking for quality
wigs, please direct them to Dearborn
Wig in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Or just take a look to see my
web-weavin skills : )
Firs and Pines and Spruces....oh my!
So I thought Id write about the properties of the Christmas/Yule
trees that we bring into our houses at this time of year to decorate
and honor through the season. Not an easy thing when you look closely
at the Latin names of these evergreen trees. Those pines, firs and spruces
are the same and yet they are different. They all belong to the Family
Pinaceae, but have a different Genus and thus
their uses and energies can vary.
Ill start with the Firs, since
my tree is usually a Balsam Fir. Fir trees belong to the genus
Abies, which is made up of about 50 species of large conifers.
Silver Fir, abies alba, was the original Christmas tree. Balsam
Fir, abies balsamea, is my person favorite for a Yule tree and
one of the first essential oils I purchased. It is not only aromatic,
but an astringent and antiseptic oil that stimulates circulation and
acts as a diuretic. It has been used in commercial mixtures for diarrhea
but in excess it is purgative. Can be used in a mouthwash and is excellent
in a bath for rheumatic pain. Oleo-resin from this tree is known as
"Canada Balsam" or "Spruce Gum", which
is used for chewing and in traditional North American medicine for chest
infections, venereal disease, wounds and burns. This oleo-resin is used
as a food flavoring and as a lens cement and sealing agent for mounting
This year I had to get a Fraser Fir, abies fraseri, as
there were not any balsams to be found. One source suggests that Fraser
and Balsam are essentially the same species that has evolved according
to their climates as they do not grow in the same areas. Its uses are
very similar to the Balsam but are not used as much due to the difficulty
in harvesting trees. It grows naturally only at elevations above 4,500
feet in the Southern Appalachian Mountains from southwest Virginia,
through western North Carolina, and into eastern Tennessee. A number
of stands occur in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its highest
native habitat is Mt. Mitchell, North Carolina (6,684 feet) which is
the highest U.S. point east of the Mississippi River.
The Silver Fir, abies alba, is also called European
silver fir as it is native to the mountains of Central & Southeastern
Europe. Used internally as a diuretic and expectorant, found in many
cold and cough remedies. Irritates the tissues, causing greater blood
flow to the area. Externally it is used in rubbing oils and liniments,
bath extracts, and for rheumatism and neuralgia. This fir is the source
of honeydew honey which is regarded as a tonic in parts of Europe. Inner
bark has been made into bread by Lapps and Eskimos. Source of oil of
turpentine which is an important solvent in the paint industry. The
residue is known as "rosin oil" and is used in the
manufacture of varnishes, lacquers and carbon black (for pigments and
Now lets discuss Pine trees, which belong
to the genus Pinus. This includes about 120 species of
evergreen coniferous trees and shrubs which occur in northern temperate
regions like Central America, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. Various
pines have been used medicinally from the earliest times. All are rich
in resins and camphoraceous volatile oils which are strongly antiseptic
and stimulant. Pine oil is extracted from the needles and branch tips.
It is widely used in massage oils for muscular stiffness, sciatica and
rheumatism and in vapor rubs for bronchial congestion. Pine also produces
an oleo-resin of turpentine which is distilled to produce oil of turpentine
or spirits of turpentine (not to be confused with petroleum based turpentine
Caution:Some pine oils can be toxic. ALWAYS check the Latin/botanical
name to be sure you are using a safe oil. Dwarf Pine, pinus pumilio,
is poisonous! NEVER ingest any essential oil or herb without doing
in-dept research or consulting a herbologist.
Scots Pine, pinus sylvestris, is also sometimes called
Scotch Pine here in the US. This tree has also been called a
Scots Fir or Scotch Fir but it belongs in the pinus genus.
Most pine essential oil is pinus sylvestris. This oil is bitter,
aromatic, and warming, it acts as a diuretic and expectorant, improves
blood flow locally, and has a tonic effect on the nerves. It is strongly
antiseptic. Used internally for urinary and respiratory tract infections
and gall bladder ailments. Externally for arthritis, rheumatism, sciatica,
poor circulation, bronchitis, mucus, sinusitis, asthma, pneumonia, acne,
fatigue, and nervous exhaustion. The oil and tar from this tree are
added to disinfectants, bath preparations, detergents, and preparations
to stimulate hair growth. Caution: Can irritate sensitive
skin and should not be used on children or the elderly. Avoid using
this oil if you have high blood pressure as it can increase blood flow.
I was able to uncover some interesting facts about Scotch Pine, pinus
Was used in religious ceremonies in ancient Greece, Egypt, and
Needles were burned to clear away infections and insects
Ancient Romans ate pine kernels in bread as a restorative
Pine needle mattresses are still used as a remedy for rheumatism
in the Swiss Alps
Native Americans used pine needles in bedding to repel lice and
They also mixed pine twigs with cedar and juniper for use as
a purification incense.
Refreshes a tired mind, alleviates fatigue, nervous exhaustion,
and overcomes feelings of weakness and self-doubt
Spruce belongs to the genus picea,
which includes about 35 species. Spruces are large trees, from 2060
meters (66200 ft) tall when mature. Scientists have found Norway
Spruce in the mountains in western Sweden, nicknamed Old Tjikko, which
at an age of 9,550 years are claimed to be the world's oldest known
living trees. Spruce is one of the most important woods for paper
uses, as it has long wood fibers which bind together to make strong
paper. Spruces are cultivated over vast areas for this purpose. Also,
spruce is useful as a building wood, used for many purposes, ranging
from general construction work and crates to highly specialized uses
in wooden aircraft and many musical instruments called tonewood, including
guitars, mandolins, cellos, violins, and the soundboard at the heart
of a piano. The Wright brothers first aircraft was built of
spruce. Because this species has no insect or decay resistance qualities
after logging, it is generally recommended for construction purposes
as indoor use only (ex. indoor drywall framing). Spruce wood, when
left outside can not be expected to last more than 1218 months
depending on the type of climate it is exposed to. The resin was used
in the manufacture of pitch. Native Americans in New England also
used the sap to make a gum which was used for various reasons, and
which was the basis of the first commercial production of chewing
gum. In survival situations spruce needles can be directly ingested
or boiled into a tea. This replaces large amounts of vitamin C.
White Spruce, picea glauca, is native to Alaska and most
of Canada, and can be found in parts of the US including Northern Michigan.
It is also known as Canadian spruce, skunk spruce, cat spruce, Black
Hills spruce, western white spruce, Alberta white spruce, and Porsild
spruce. It is mainly used for paper-making and for lumber.
Black Spruce, picea mariana, can be found in the same
areas as white spruce. It is a smaller tree and is used mostly for making
Blue Spruce, or Colorado Blue Spruce, picea pungens,
is found in Colorado, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, and Wyoming.
It is the state tree of Utah and Colorado.
Red Spruce, picea rubens, is found in eastern North America,
from Quebec down to Northern Carolina. It is used for Christmas trees
and paper-making. The wood is used to made higher-end acoustic guitars.
The sap can be used to make spruce gum. Leafy red spruce twigs are boiled
as a part of making spruce beer. It is the Provincial tree of Nova Scotia.
My herbal books do not have spruces in them. After researching, my
guess is because spruces do not seem to be used medicinally. Thus
I would advise all of you to NEVER take spruce oils internally.
Yes, I realize the sap is used for gum and the needles can be made into
tea, but the lack of more info makes me err on the side of caution,
especially as essential oils are higher in concentration.
I So how do we use these trees in rituals, spells, and magick? First
we need to know the metaphysical properties of each.
Balsam Fir - element Air, planet Mercury - clarity, prosperity,
Evergreen - element Fire, planet Sun - calming, clarity, comforting,
healing, prosperity, money, protection, purification, strength
Pine - element Fire/Air, planet Mars - banishing, cleansing,
healing, love, fertility, prosperity, money, protection, purification,
regeneration, strength, physical and magickal energy
Spruce - element Earth, planet Saturn - love, fertility, protection,
psychic protection, strength
*The only fir I have references for is balsam. Evergreen is a separate
entry in Magickal Oils by Moonlight, most likely because some oils are
Since I have used these for prosperity, Ill start with
that. Needles from any of these trees are a perfect addition to your
prosperity incense, herb pouch, or even put a few (3, 9, whatever number
is strong for you) in your wallet or checkbook to draw money to you.
This is the time of year to find pine scented candles so stock up! I
purchased 50 green pine-scented tea lights at Walgreens for only $4.
They have cinnamon too, another good prosperity herb. These are great
for money spells as they burn down in one night. Do not worry if they
are artificially scented, you can always anoint them with pine/fir/spruce
oil when you use them if you are not sure. Most are probably true scent
as the oils are not that costly to use, and they come in all shades
of green. Add essential oils of any of these trees to your prosperity
oil blend creation or use the oil by itself. You can infuse your business
cards, phamplets and other paper material by placing them in an air
tight box with a cotton ball that has a few drops of oil. Best not to
let the cotton ball touch the papers or there might be a stain, just
having it in the container should infuse the scent. For extra oomph,
place them in the box on the night before the full moon and leave them
in the moonlight the night before, of, and after the full moon. As this
oil can irritate the skin, do not anoint yourself with the oil alone.
Always add a carrier oil when creating an anointing oil.
Just setting up the tree into your house will bring protection.
If you feel you need to do more, you can burn some of the needles in
a censor and carry it through your house (this works for purification
too). Save some needles for use throughout the year, they burn better
when dried. If you do not want to burn stuff, or if they are too fresh,
you can put a cutting from the tree in each room to bring the energies
through the whole house. Either incorporate them into your decorations
or place in a hidden area if you live with people who do not recognize
the energies and would think it weird. I like to add pieces of the tree
to the potpourri in the house. Hang a wreath of fresh branches on your
door to ward away those who would bring harm. In the past, I have weaved
fresh trimmings into the cords for the lights on my porch.
All of the protection uses can also bring purification, just
set your intent. If you cleanse your house with sage or incense, you
can use a small branch from your tree to sweep the smoke as you go.
Put a few drops of essential oil in a burner and as the scent fills
the room it will purify the air. Put a few drops of oil in your bathwater
for a purifying and healing bath.
For strength, healing, clarity, calming, and the other uses,
any aromatherapy technique will work. Just walking into your house
and smelling the fresh pine/fir/spruce scent will uplift your spirits.
Add some drops of the oil to freshen up your potpourri. If you have
to use an artificial tree, you can purchase pine scented ornaments
and things. I would not recommend adding essential oil directly to
your artificial tree as the oil may react with the plastic or other
materials. If you decorate your tree with ribbon, create a spray using
distilled water and a few drops of essential oil and spray the ribbon.
Let dry before putting on the tree. This would work with any fabric
ornaments you use. You could buy some cheap fabric ornaments and put
some drops on them. If you dont like them, hang in the back
of the tree, the scent will still come through. Then you can throw
them away after the season if the oils ruined them.
There are many uses for the parts of your tree and the essential oils.
Get creative and soon your protected, purified house will smell like
a pine forest, bringing you comfort, strength and health.
**I added this info in a short newsletter sent on December 22:
Right after I sent the newsletter last week, I went to the post office
and found out they are selling evergreen stamps! These are the Forever
stamps and they are very pretty. I'm thinking there has to be a way
to use these to increase prosperity. Maybe use these stamps when mailing
out invoices to clients or when paying bills. Use them if you do promotional
mailings. You can share the prosperity by using them whenever you
mail to your favorite business (I don't know why you might snail-mail
when you can e-mail... but work with me here!) and be sure to
use them when sending out holiday cards to spread the energies to
friends and family.
While catching up on e-mails today, I found this tip in the Daily
Feng Shui newsletter by Ellen Whitehurst, you can sign up at Astrology.com.
"As well, green promotes peace and plenty, while evergreen
itself is said to be able to absorb any negative vibes lingering around
the house. Hanging an evergreen branch or bough above the door at
any time of year has long been believed to keep negativity and evil
at bay while allowing peace and prosperity to enter. "
I saved the trimmings from my tree and now I know just what to do
with them: I'll be creating a nice evergreen door topper this afternoon!
Since Yule is next week and I not only have my day job and computer
work but I went insane and decided to do Gibraltar and I have to plan
and clean for our Yule ritual next week.....there will not be a Yule
newsletter. I invite you to read my Yule
2008 newsletter. I might have time between Christmas and New Years
to send one out but if not....
Have a Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Peaceful Kawanzaa,
Joyous Saturnalia, Festive Festivus! (did I miss any??)
~~~~Rhiannon Rose @--^--