Cedar – Hierophant – Faith
Genus: Cedrus – Family: Pinaceae
Cedar supports our spiritual quest by exploring the mysteries of faith. By searching for truth, we will find ourselves.
To ancient Sumerians, the cedar forests of Lebanon, Cedrus libani, were “Home of the Divine Ones”. Enlil, the Sumerian “Lord of Wind” protected these cedar forests until humans cut them down to build temples. In 950 BCE, the Cedars of Lebanon were used to build King Solomon’s Temple and the House of the Forest of Lebanon in Jerusalem. Both were places of worship and faith.
Around 620 CE, the Prophet Muhammad experienced his visionary Night Journey. He saw the Heavenly Lote Tree (Sidr) standing over the ruins of King Solomon’s temple, which marked the seventh heaven beyond the boundaries of existence. Lote and Sidr are both Arabic words for Cedrus and Ziziphus trees.
Himalayan Cedar, Cedrus deodara, derives its name from the Sanskrit word devadaru, meaning the “tree of the divine ones.” Deva is the root of the words “divine” and “deity” while daru means both “tree” and “true”.
These stories remind us that cedar trees were seen as wisdom keepers and their forests were our temples. Cedar offers insights into the ancient mysteries of faith. For some, faith has evolved into religions that interpret the natural world for us. Blind faith asks us to trust without facts or truth. Cedar reminds us to seek truth and that our greatest teacher is within us.
“True” cedars, Cedrus, belong to the Pinaceae (pine) family. They are evergreens that feature long straight needles and a complex cone structure resembling an egg. Cedars can reach heights of 130ft. True cedars are indigenous throughout the western Himalayan Mountains and Mediterranean region. Cedrus in Greek and Latin means “trees with aromatic wood”.
Atlas Cedar, Cedrus atlantica is the source of cedarwood essential oil, used for heightening our spiritual senses.
In 1753, Carl Linnaeus began the process of separating the pine and cypress families. The name “cedar” continues to be associated with “false cedars” in the Cupressaceae (cypress) family.
These so-called “false cedars” are also sacred and beloved trees native to North America, such as: Juniperus – Juniper (eastern red cedar), Thuja – Arborvitae (western red cedar & northern white cedar). Both “True” and “False Cedars” have been honored as faith keepers and used in ceremony by indigenous peoples throughout the world. Cedar smudges have been cleansing, protecting and blessing people and sacred spaces for thousands of years.
Cedar teaches us that faith isn’t defined by words, but by the spiritual essence in our soul.
Message: This is a time of spiritual expansion when we are being asked to go within for guidance. By staying true to ourselves everything will sort itself out. By living in a world of absolutes, we limit our ability to see the bigger picture or appreciate the opportunities that may become available to us. If we are doubting our self we must spend time in nature to reconnect to our truth.
Challenge: Lack of faith in yourself or others. Exhibiting controlling or hoarding behavior. Having a scarcity mentality that nothing will ever work. Focusing on the negative in the positive.
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