Monday, April 4, 2016

C is for Cedar...

Dear Littler B,

Hello again! I am keeping up with the theme that my last 3 letters have been to me and trying to beef up your knowledge so that when you become the woman and teacher I was a little over a decade ago, you may have a packed tool box to work with.

Also, this is helping me to step away from Toby's stroke that I told you about in the letter of our Unexpected Vacation.

Today's letter in the A to Z blogging challenge is C - so here goes:

is for Cedar...

Today I am going to talk to you about Cedar. While cedar is not technically an "herb" for the mundane society, it is revered in many cultures so I will be using trees for this exercise.

Origin & Identification

When I say I am going to talk to you about cedar, it is a very large subject so you will only be getting the highlights. There are many different types of cedar trees and they are spread all around the world from the North Americas to Lebanon, Alaska to New Zealand. They are all variations within the cypress family which are similar to an evergreen. The types that I am the most familiar with being from the Eastern US are the Eastern Red Cedar and the Rocky Mountain Juniper.  It is usually dense of foliage and at times does not get larger than a bush. Though under better soil conditions grows to a large tree.

Practical Uses

Cedar, besides being used frequently in landscaping due to its hardiness, has many practical applications as well. The parts of this coniferous tree that are used the most are the wood and oil (extracted from its roots usually).  Cedar oil has been known to be used as an insect repellent due to it's strong odor. In the pine barrens, at one of your favorite campgrounds there is a lazy river that we swam in and floated on. The water was a bizarre red hue, tinted red by the cedar trees that grow along the bank. The best thing about that river is that we never seemed to get bit by the New Jersey State Bird...

It also has preservative qualities and is one of the mix that has been used in preserving bodies in mummification processes.

The lumber made from the cedar is frequently used in making quality furniture that is built to last. It is one of the most durable woods for such purposes.  I am sure you remember sneaking into an attic or two and opening an old cedar chest full of memories of a day gone by. The rich red colored wood emits an odor that is unforgettable and smelling it even in a wood shop or store takes you back like a time machine in your mind. 

 Metaphysical Uses of Cedar

Cedar has long been held sacred by many cultures. The ancient Celts (our ancesters) called this tree, the Tree of Life. In the Torah of the Jewish faith, this tree is mentioned more than any other. It is believed to be this tree that was used to build King Solomon's Temple. In my faith, the Druids consider this to be one of the 9 sacred woods. In Cherokee belief it is one of very few other earthly things to have reached a 7th level of sacredness, they used it in such high reverence that they used it exclusively to carry their honored dead.

Cedar is known as a masculine entity tied to the Sun and the element of fire. It is known in the magickal arena for it's healing, purification, protection and money drawing powers.  Cedar smoke is often used in purifying ceremonies and is the only thing burned here as a second to sage. Native Americans use cedar sticks in sweat baths for its purification power. 

Cedar planted near the home carved into a tri-pronged shape protects the home and those within.

A small piece of cedar carried in a wallet or purse is known to attract money. Due to it's preservative nature, cedar oil and wood is good with any workings where there is a need for longevity either of a person, situation or intention.

Well, that's about all I have for you today. You know me (since you are me, just a little younger), I could go on and on and on. At least this is a good start for you to go to work with.  

Wise - but never wise enough,

Bigger Little B


  1. WOW! Just amazing. I learned several things that I would have NEVER attributed to cedar. Being part Native American and having Celt in my ancestry this truly hits home for me.

  2. I bet you didn't know the state bird of NJ was the mosquito either! :-) I always love cedar for its purification aspects. I hadn't realized the ancient Celts even used the cedar oil to preserve the heads of their enemies. Always learning.

  3. What a great blog--excellent theme. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed it.


  4. Thank you so much Sati! I am trying to keep up with everything going on with my husbands stroke a couple of weeks ago. I am determined. Will have 3 posts out tonight to get me back on track. Where there is a will with me, I will make it happen! :-)

  5. So sorry to hear about your husband. Look forward to more posts, but take care of yourself & family first!

  6. Thank you Sati for your encouragement. We are doing the best we can here. This has been my only therapy in the situation so at times I HAVE to write. Sometimes it's not so easy but I do what I can for the love of my man. :-)