Sale : Sacred Scents of the Season-part two (ended 1/28/2018)

December 7, 2017 by Micah  
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Note that this sale has expired; we’re leaving the post up so that the information about these Spagyrics is available. To see what’s currently on sale, click here.

In part one of this article, here, we talked about the role evergreens and their terpenes play in the winter holiday season, and about a few of the Spagyrics we have on sale for work with the Solstice’s winter energy. In this part, we continue with a few more resins which are on sale right now- click here to go right to our sale page, or read on for more information.

Agarwood trees grow throughout the tropical regions of southeast Asia, where they are revered for their spectacularly fragrant resin. As with other plants in this sale, Agarwood produces resin to defend itself from attack, as it lives in a very mold-promoting ecosystem.

The resin that Agarwood trees produce is dense and heavy, leading to its Japanese name jin-koh, meaning “sinking incense”. In a besieged tree, the resin eventually replaces the wood of the tree as it rots away, creating beautiful sculptural forms that are revered and priced as treasures. This resin is then called Oud, and is the form of the tree used as an incense and oil in meditation and prayer.

Wherever Agarwood trees grow, and Oud is produced by them, they are considered the most sacred aromatic plant, their scent bringing users to a high devotional state of contemplation and peace. Each type has its own energy and gifts, and we currently offer three to choose from.

Our Sumatran Agarwood Initiatic is quieting and clarifying, and I consider it a Shen tonic on par with Waterfall Calamus or Sacred Lotus. Sumatran also opens the respiration, and facilitates the flow of breathwork, spoken prayer, and chanting.

The Initiatic we created from Laotian Agarwood is even more calming, even sedative in nature, quieting and emptying the mind to create a profound stillness. Try it with Zen-type meditation, or for drifting off to a peaceful, open sleep state.

Our Malaysian Agarwood Initiatic is all about the middle, centering the mind and thoughts, and bringing energy and awareness to the Middle Pillar of the spine, connecting the base and crown chakras as a column. It is more enlivening to the mind than the other two, and supports devotional movement such as dance or Yoga.

In keeping with our winter holiday theme, our next aromatic tree, Sandalwood, is related to the European mistletoe, and grows in a similar semi-parasitic way. Sandalwood taps into the roots of nearby trees, on which it is dependent for water and nutrients as it grows. Once the Sandalwood tree has matured, it is harvested, roots and all, for oil extraction, with older trees giving the most high-quality oil.

Both the wood and its oil are used in spiritual practice throughout the Eastern world, and the scent of Sandalwood incense in temples is said to calm the chattering of the “monkey mind” and promote peaceful contemplation. Our Sandalwood Initiatic and Magistery both carry this quieting energy, expressing a bit differently in each.

Our Sandalwood Magistery is calming in a clarifying way, settling racing thoughts and leaving the mind less muddled and more focused, with classic Mercurial tonic effects. The Sandalwood Initiatic takes this to a much stronger level, emptying the mind to a nearly blank state, useful as a mental “reset” for new perspectives or insights.

Our final group of resins are old favourites of ours- very, very old!

One of the important principles of Spagyric work is that all natural things, whether plant, animal, or mineral, are made up of the same inner subtle levels of being, and all levels play the same role within that being. This allows us to target our processing work so that our Essences affect the Body, our Spiritualized Essences work on the Spirit, and our Magisteries balance the Soul. It also means that, just as plants have essential oils we can extract for healing, so do minerals.

Amber is a very interesting substance, as it is between the plant and mineral realms. Chemically, it is the fossilized resin of any of several now-extinct prehistoric trees from various parts of the world. Energetically, it has the deep intelligence of a mineral, having spent many thousands of planetary cycles on the earth, but at the same time, it has some of the faster, more responsive intelligence of a plant.

Medicinally, Amber is used in many traditional healing systems. Chinese medicine reveres it as solidified tiger blood, and considers it a tonic to Shen, the peaceful well of strength that rests in the heart. This is in keeping with our experience of Amber, although each of the types we work with varies in its expression of Shen toning properties.

Our Baltic Amber is the first one we worked with, the most ancient at 44 million years old, and the most versatile for healing. It creates a protective sphere of peace and strength around you, so that even as you interact with people, you don’t pick up their energies, moods, or imbalances. This Amber is also very supportive to healing work, both for healer and patient.

Somewhat younger is our Borneo Amber, which is “only” 24 million years old! Borneo is uplifting to the heart and overall energy, and is the perfect tonic if stress and Shen imbalances tend to leave you depressed and down.

Chiapas Amber, used ritually by the Maya, is a beautiful stone which flashes green under some light. This Amber shows the strongest electrical energy of all the Ambers we work with, activating the flow of Kundalini and Prana/Qi. This is a good choice for use on acupuncture or acupressure points to open the meridians to the flow of treatment.

Finally, the baby of the group, our Kenyan Amber is just one million years old, and is more closely tied to the plant side of its plant-mineral duality. Kenyan is earthy and sweet tasting, and protects the Shen from the center, creating a core energy that is solid and cannot be drawn off of by people or situations around you.

All of these Amber Spagyrics, along with their kin Spagyrics of other trees and resins, are wonderful supports to meditation, ritual and spiritual work, and for celebrating the special energies of the Solstice season. We will be working with many of them in our holiday traditions, and we hope you will incorporate some of them into the wheel of your year, as well!

Blessed Yule to you all!

Sale : Sacred Scents of the Season-part one (ended 1/28/2018)

December 7, 2017 by Micah  
Filed under Uncategorized

Comments Off

Note that this sale has expired; we’re leaving the post up so that the information about these Spagyrics is available. To see what’s currently on sale, click here.

In honour of the vibrant evergreens that scent our homes this time of year, we are having a sale on sacred aromatic trees and resins. These special beings star in the decor of the season, and Spagyrics of them are a lovely way to connect to the spirit of the Solstice holiday. Click here to go right to our sale page, or read more about these Spagyrics in the article below, and the companion article here.

As the holiday season marches on, the stores and squares become more festive, and private homes, too, share in the cheery decorations traditional to the season. Twinkling lights everywhere seem to shine in defiance of the winter darkness, currently still increasing, yet about to start its yearly retreat on the Solstice. Red and green (a colour combination I am quite fond of all year!), bells and candles, holly, pine, and evergreens deck the halls and lift the spirits.

Many ancient cultures honoured and worshiped trees of all kinds, and in the winter season, evergreens were especially loved as symbols of eternal life. As far back as ancient Rome, the winter holiday of Saturnalia was celebrated with wreaths and swags of evergreen, and Germanic people honoured Odin with decorations of evergreen branches, holly, and mistletoe wreaths lit with candles.

Besides the colour they bring, evergreens warm the house with their bright, fresh scent, and this is my favourite reason to bring them inside! This scent comes from aroma chemicals called terpenes, which are common throughout the natural world. Terpenes are protective chemicals, released by the tree in a cloud of cooling sunscreen in hot climates, acting as an antifreeze in cold areas, and warding off bugs and protecting trees from damage in all ecosystems.

Many plants which are high in terpenes are used medicinally. Rosemary sharpens and uplifts the mind and acts as an antioxidant to brain tissues due to its high content of pinene and limonene. Sage and Cypress are high in terpinolene, which has a calming and anti-inflammatory effect, and spicy beta-caryophyllene gives painkilling effects to Black Pepper, Tulsi, and Lavender. Cannabis plants express multiple terpenes, which act synergistically with cannabinoids to create the strain-specific healing effects that research is just starting to understand.

Ritually, terpenes are important constituents of many incenses and sacred plants. Frankincense is very high in terpenes, as is Myrrh, and both trees exude terpene-rich resins in response to heat and physical and insect damage. Terpenes can be seen as signaling molecules, mediating the relationship between plant and environment, each affecting the other reciprocally.

Perhaps this is why incense also has an ancient use for mediating our interactions with the divine, its smoke carrying our meditations and prayers up to the archetypal realm of the infinite. Taken internally, many of these plants can be used to elevate the inner spirit to higher realms of insight and consciousness, and it seems natural to work with this practice during the dark, inward time around the Solstice.

Our Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh Somalixir is a natural partner for the season, based on the three treasures that the wise astrologers brought as gifts for the newborn Yeshua.

Gold is an obvious treasure, used to buy one’s way through the material world. Myrrh, exuded to protect the tree from damage, represents the gift of learning from one’s trials and pain, integrating the bitter difficulties of life into deep lessons that bring lasting insights. Frankincense represents connection with the sacred source of life, and with one’s own divine nature within. Together, these three substances carry all the intelligence and support that the three wisest men in the world knew would be needed for the important life of the baby they brought them to.

Myrrh by itself is an important healing resin in its own right, and appears at two later points in the Bible- in the vinegar offered to Yeshua at the crucifixion, and in Mary Magdalene’s healing kit when she visits the tomb and finds it empty. Mary Magdalene was a healer, an herbalist working with the aromatic and physical properties of plants, and Myrrh’s multi-layered support of body and soul would have made it a valuable ally in her repertoire.

Physically, Myrrh is drying and astringent, and like most resins, an excellent anti-microbial. Our Myrrh Spiritualized Essence is detoxifying to the body and to the mind, removing stagnant infection as well as stuck thought and energy patterns, which is also its gift to the formula Abra-Melin, a classic incense combination and one of our most popular Somalixirs.

The formula for Abra-Melin is based on incense from a 14th century magickal text, used as part of a complex ritual for contacting the Holy Guardian Angel. The ingredients in this incense mirror those in Biblical formulas, including the holy anointing oil of Exodus.

Our Abra-Melin Somalixir has proven to be a powerful support for receiving insights, guidance, and wisdom from a more elevated perspective, whether its gifts are invoked in a ritual or meditation, or just carried through the day for moment-to-moment connection.

As ancient as the Abra-Melin and anointing oil formulas are, there is some debate as to their exact ingredients. Some of the plants used, like Cinnamon and Myrrh, are agreed upon, but others are debated because of plant name translation differences. One resin that some sources, but not others, consider important to the formula is Oud, also known as Agarwood. This may or may not be a canonical part of the original, but when we added it to our Abra-Melin Somalixir many years ago, we were very pleased with the effect it brought the whole.

We also work with several types of Agarwood as individual Spagyrics- to read more about them, as well as the other resin Spagyrics in this sale, see part two of this article, here.