Cedar – Faith
Genus: Cedrus – Family: Pinaceae
Cedar supports our spiritual quest by reconnecting us with our earthly roots. As we seek answers that seem to be beyond our reach, we are reminded that we are the one who is reaching.
Ancient Sumerians saw the Cedars of Lebanon, Cedrus libani as the home of the divine ones. Enlil, Lord of Wind, was the protector of these sacred forests. Temples were built of cedar throughout Egypt and Mesopotamia.
In 950 BCE these “trees of the Lord” were used to build King Solomon’s Temple in the Hebrew city of Jerusalem.
In 620 CE the Prophet Muhammad experienced his visionary Night Journey, known as the Mi’raj, and met the Heavenly Lote Tree where the temple once stood. This Lote tree marked the seventh heaven beyond the boundaries of existence. Lote and Sidr are Arabic words for Cedrus and Ziziphus trees.
Cedar is mentioned 72 times in the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible. Himalayan Cedar, Cedrus deodara, is named for the Sanskrit words, deva daru meaning “divine wood”.
These stories remind us that trees are faith keepers and their forests are our temples. Cedar offers insights into the ancient mysteries of faith and our intrinsic connection with nature. For some, faith has evolved into religions that interpret the natural world for us. Cedar reminds us to reconnect with nature as a spiritual experience.
In 1753, Carl Linnaeus began the complex process of classifying trees by family, genus and species. Cedrus, native throughout the western Himalayans and Mediterranean region, was placed in the Pinaceae (pine) family because of its long straight evergreen needles and upright cones.
In Latin, Cedrus means “aromatic wood”, which caused it to be associated with other aromatic evergreens including cypress and citrus trees. Atlas Cedar – Cedrus atlantica was the original source of cedarwood essential oil, which is native to Morocco. Today, “cedar oil” is made from a variety of conifer trees.
Due to its aromatic nature, the word “cedar” was erroneously applied to trees in the Cupressaceae (cypress) family by European explorers, who didn’t know the difference between pine and cypress. Cypress species that are commonly known as “cedars” include:Eastern redcedar (Juniperus), Northern whitecedar (Arborvitae/Thuja), Western redcedar (Thuja plicata), Incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), Port Orford cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsonea) plus some Mahogany species.
The burning of “cedar”, whether its pine or cypress, has been practiced for thousands of years in ceremonies for clearing and blessing sacred space. These trees are our faith keepers. They teach us that faith isn’t defined by words, but by the spiritual essence we feel deep within 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 struggling, we are being reminded to spend time in nature to renew our faith.
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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One Comment Add yours
This was an excellent read! I am interested in learning more about the various plants, woods, and stones that I use for my altar and this article was very informative. I will be sure to link it in my upcoming altar post. Thank you!
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