it is no secret, if you’ve peeped at the products in my shop, that i love to incorporate cedar into pretty much everything i can, in some way.
the reason for that is it is just a really damn all-around amazing substance when it comes to protection, abundance, healing, clearing, banishing, recovery, love, and even spiritual growth.
cedar has long been used by countless peoples for all those purposes and more, as far back as written history has recorded. and its popularity is justified. this tree is super high vibe and, quite frankly, pretty fucking magickal.
cedar belongs to the pine family, and has a scent that is similar, yet a little softer on the olfactory senses, not quite as sharp. all four varieties of cedar trees are coniferous and evergreen.
they tend to grow in mountainous regions, and can be found throughout earth’s regions where those mountains have formed.
cedar trees can be found as revered, sacred, or holy trees in places like the pacific northwest of the US, the middle east, and the indian subcontinent, where you can find their likeness on flags (e.g. lebanon) and in religious ceremonies (e.g. to the god Shiva, who was said to frequent cedar forests).
cedar forests in mesopotamia were said to have been fought over as living places by gods and demi-gods, and even gilgamesh was said to have built his city of cedar wood.
cedar has been used the world over to make everything from tools, to buildings, canoes and ships, to clothing fiber, textiles, food, and medicine, to name a few.
cedars are known for their incredibly long lifespans – thousands of years if left undisturbed by humans and industrial expansion.
it is because of this incredible longevity that they are said to confer prosperity and long, healthy life on those who worship or hold them sacred.
the entire part of the tree has been harvested by humans for millenia and used for medicinal and spiritual purposes, including the wood, bark, roots, branches, and leaves.
native peoples in north america used cedar for smudging*, a practice of burning dried plant matter to remove negative vibes, evil spirits, or to purify the energy in a space.
both cedar wood and cedar branches/tips can be used to burn as incense or smudging, or, if you are not of native american heritage, you can refer to the practice as cedar clearing, or simply clearing.
*its important to note that the term smudging is specific to practices used by tribes and indigenous peoples of the americas, and should not be used to refer to all practices of burning herbs or plants for the same purpose, unless it is done by native peoples, as this is culturally appropriating a practice from native peoples
antimicrobial and insecticidal:
cedar wood and leaves are antibacterial and antifungal. the essential oil of cedar can be applied to surfaces or even skin (please dilute it appropriately- pure essential oil on skin may cause chemical burns if applied incorrectly). it can clear up infections and nail or skin fungus. it can even be applied topically to warts to gradually remove them!
burning cedar incense or wood/leaves can also clear microbes and mold spores from the air in a building.
you may also notice that a number of all natural pesticidal products are popping up these days with cedarwood essential oil in them, among other ingredients, as it repels insects, spiders, and other unwanted indoor pests. (i actually purchased one of these and it. really. works. the scent is quite powerful initially, but it dies down after a day or so, and then you can’t smell it, but the insects definitely can!).
in the clinical world, the term autophagy (auto: self; phagus/phagy: eating) is used to refer to the process in which some of our immune cells (macrophages) consume other cells, usually our own dead, aging, or diseased cells that need to be removed and cleared out.
autophagy is a necessary process and keeps us functioning smoothly, taking out the cellular trash, if you will, on a regular basis. a number of things can impair autophagy, though, and anything that uses up or otherwise takes up the time and attention of our macrophages (infections from bacteria, yeast, and viruses; toxin exposure; excess toxicants from food and environment) can make this system less efficient.
over time, those dying, diseased, or aging cells can become cancerous, and, without enough macrophages around to chew them up and take out the trash, can lead to tumors and other forms of malignancy.
cedar tea or cedar tincture can be used to stimulate macrophage activity and increase our body’s ability to take out that cellular trash.