Using resin, plant, herb and tree medicines have been around since the dawn of humankind in every culture world wide for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and well being. Each plant and tree have their own unique “signature,” “personality” or purpose. There are different ways of utilizing them, but for our purposes here, we will focus upon them for their emotional, mental and primarily spiritual or magical uses. Towards that end, many of the plant and tree friends we will be discussing in the following pages can be utilized in charm bags worn about the neck or placed in the car, home or at the bedside, burned as incense whether in a shell, clay censer or other dish made of natural materials, sprinkled around doorways and windowsills or placed with salt in dishes. People utilize plants, trees and their subsequent resins for various reasons, including (but not limited to): protection, cleansing, clearing, good health, prosperity and wealth, happiness, peace, tranquility, fertility, sexuality, balance, magic, spiritual contact with source and wholeness.
Plants and Trees
1.Cedar: Utilized for cleansing, preventing nightmares, encouraging confidence and strength as well as for energizing psychic abilities. One of THE premier items to smudge with for protection and purification on all levels, including from extremely negative or unwanted energies or spirits. Aids one in releasing heavy, pent up emotions. Beautiful for blessing a new home before you fully move in.
2. Lavender: Burn to attract love, ecstasy, gentleness, tranquility, relaxation, peace, spiritual healing and happiness. Excellent for the removal of energetic blockages in people and places. Stabilizes the Etheric field, neutralizes disharmonious frequencies and eases fear. Used to attract and protect relationships and love. Lavender makes excellent offerings to ancient god/desses and spiritual guides.
3. Mugwort: Used most often to consecrate ritual divination and scrying tools (such as crystal balls, mirrors) and to increase their effectiveness. Incredible for purifying and protecting weakened spaces. Has been used quite often in sleep sachets to bring about or increase prophetic dreams. Clears the mind.
4. Palo Santo: The name translates as “Holy Wood” or “Saint Stick.” Palo Santo is a tree found in Central and South America and belongs to the same family (Burseraceae) as Frankincense and Myrrh. It holds strong energetic cleansing and healing attributes similar to Sage and Cedar, and as a spiritual purifier is an incredible forest friend for getting rid of persistent negative energies that are not able to be cleansed out via other methods. It is used extensively by holy people in the regions that it is found in to purge negative thoughts and emotions, imprints, spirits and misfortunes away from the energetic field and bring in love, sweetness, good spirits and good fortune.
5. Pinion: Pinion is a type of Pine Tree that grows in the Southwest United States and Northern Mexico. The wood, needles and resin are all used ritually. Clears negativity of all kinds from spaces, people and objects. Excellent for providing healing, protection and strength to the user. Pinion is also used to bring financial abundance, fertility, compassion and amplification of psychic abilities.
6. Sage: Clearing, protecting and balancing for mind, body and spirit – a “Spiritual House Cleaner.” Can be used to purify sacred spaces and magical tools. Brings wisdom and clarity to the user and signals to Creation/Universe/God a need for aid. Used to clear away disharmony, “bad luck,” personal difficulty and to bring the soul back into wholeness. Brings health, longevity, wisdom and a happy home to the user. Sage has a very gentle energy and is often used in smudges for pets and children.
7. Sweetgrass: Sweetgrass in excellent for attracting good energy and good spirits into a space or towards a person. Where Sweetgrass resides, no negative spirits will take root or “hook,” and in fact it has the energy of “undoing” the power of negative energies/spirits. Used often after a space or person has been cleansed with other plants, resins et cetera.
8. Yerba Santa: Yerba Santa is an aromatic shrub that grows in the Western and Southwestern regions of North America and Northern Mexico. A sacred plant, it is excellent when used for dressing altars and in charm bags to increase divination and/or psychic ability. When burned in a room where people or animals are ill, it helps to carry away the negative energies and/or spirits potentially involved in the sickness. Healers and Lightworkers of all kinds often carry it as part of their “portable” or traveling kits, as it drives out negativity and creates a strong boundary of protection around people and places. Yerba Santa aids in releasing pent up emotional pain (often found stored in the lungs and heart area) that impedes the proper flow of soul energy.
Resins from trees are often gathered via placing cuts into the bark of a tree and gathering what flows from it after it hardens into a waxy-type substance.
1. Benzoin: A resin obtained from the Styrax Benzoin tree, this is a species native to Sumatra in Indonesia. Benzoin is burned for good luck, generosity and prosperity and is particularly excellent in attracting business when burned in conjunction with basil, peony and/or cinnamon. Used to sanctify and consecrate areas and places. Fantastic for cleansing, blessing and protecting new homes. On an emotional level, Benzoin is often burned or put into charm bags for easing tension, anger, stress and anxiety and bringing in energies that are stimulating and uplifting.
2. Copal: Copal is a type of resin that often comes from members of the genus “Copaifera.” ALL varieties of Copal can be burned for purification, consecration, making contact with spirits and other planes of reality, getting rid of unwanted spirits, asking for “divine favors” and protection. Copal is considered to be the “Food of the Gods,” and is used in offerings to gods/ddesses and spirit guides. It is often burned as offerings to ancestral spirits and to help them find their way home if they are lost. Also, each color of Copal has additional or “amplified” qualities:
(White) Holds a very light scent. Often utilized for drawing love, and in rituals involving the heart. Used for inspiration, attraction, happiness and to promote spirituality especially when working in upper planes.
(Gold) Said to have the sweetest scent of all the copals, it is often used to enhance creativity and the imagination, and said to be “warming” to the spirit. In ritual, Gold Copal or Copal Oro can be utilized to induce trance states. Burned often by those seeking to rid themselves of negative energies and entities, sickness and misfortune.
(Black) Sometimes called “Night Copal,” it is associated with the evening and grounding forces. The black variety has the heaviest fragrance of all the Copals. Used in rituals to attract good fortune and luck and communicate with spirit guides. Aids in connect with your deepest purpose and inner spirit, and in letting go of what is no longer serving your highest purpose and highest good.
3. Dragon's Blood: This resin is obtained from the tree Daemomorops or Dracaena Draco, also known as the Dragon Tree, Draconis Palm or Dracaena Cinnabari. Dragon's Blood is often used to “power up” or empower other resins, plants or trees in a smudge mix, making their inherent powers even stronger and increasing their potency and effectiveness. Excellent for protection, banishing, courage, sexuality and love.
4. Frankincense (Olibanum): A resin obtained from the Boswellia Sacra Tree and other closely related trees. It is said that no bad energies can exist where Frankincense is burned. Used for psychic protection, banishing, magical defense as well as offerings to spirit helpers and guides. Also excellent for centering, connecting to spirit and meditation. Opens the Crown Chakra and is known as a consciousness expander. Frankincense will also elevate and create a space for personal and spiritual love and sexuality that is utterly divine.
5. Myrrh: This resin is obtained from several species of tree in the Commiphora genus. Wonderful for purification, consecration, protection, focus, spiritual opening, spiritual growth, offerings to spirit guides and helpers (in particular Egyptian Deities) and the release of negative unwanted spirits from a space or around a person. Myrrh has also been used over the centuries extensively in funeral rites, and the fragrance itself is excellent for helping to cope with grief, bringing a sense of tranquility and serenity. Excellent for breaking or busting up negative energetic patterns that are placed on you by another. Additionally, Myrrh, like Dragon's Blood, will amplify and increase the effectiveness and potency of any other resin or plant that you pair it with.