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.
The ancient Sumerians saw forests of Cedrus libani as the home of the “Divine Ones”. Enlil, “Lord of Wind” protected these sacred Cedars of Lebanon as temples were built throughout Egypt and Mesopotamia.
In 950 BCE these “trees of the Lord” were used to build King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.
In 620 CE the Prophet Muhammad experienced his visionary Night Journey (Mi’raj) and met the Heavenly Lote Tree (Sidr), which 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 Bible.
Himalayan Cedar, Cedrus deodara, derives its name from the Sanskrit word devadaru meaning “tree of divine ones”. Deva is the root word of “divine” and “deity”. Daru means both “tree” and “true”.
These stories remind us that trees were our faith keepers and their forests were 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 to know our spiritual self.
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 associated with trees in the Cupressaceae (cypress) family, including; Juniper – Juniperus (eastern red cedar), Arborvitae – Thuja (western red cedar & northern white cedar) and Siberian pine – Pinus sibirica (Siberian cedar) as well as some Mahogany species. When European explorers began identifying these ancient and sacred trees growing in the America’s as “cedars”, this became its official English name. In truth, all trees have functioned as faith keepers throughout the world, regardless of their name. The aroma of burning cedar, pine or cypress has been used for thousands of years in ancient ceremonies to clear and bless sacred space. Cedar teaches us that faith isn’t defined by words, but by the spiritual essence we sense 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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