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Ponderosas were my first love in the family of Pines. Many summer days played in the shade of their forest. As a child I climbed the branches of smaller trees near our house. Marveled at old growth deeper in the woods, so tall I could only imagine the shape and detail of their crowns. Whispers to home Pines that they would someday grow that tall.

Ponderosa Pines share the scent of my youth, notes that nudge my memories. When I visit Pine forests I breathe deep the sweet, sharp aroma. Press my nose into the contours of the bark to inhale outer skin. Walk barefoot on dried needle paths scented by the Sun. Collect resin and needles for medicinal potions. Taking into me the fragrance of harvests to play with dreams past.

I have potent love and respect for the plants that share the familiarity from my youth. Yarrow, Wild Roses, Serviceberry, Arrow Leaf Balsam, Paintbrush, Aspens. Ponderosa Pines stand tall on this list. They continually support and stabilize me with strong tap roots, know the growth rings of my soul. For this is my root medicine. That which connects me to the depth of home, my ancestors, where I stand firm before moving forward.

Aromatics of Pine

Activated aromatics used to enhance ceremony and healing. These are the traditions and rituals that have been passed down by the ancestors of the world. Following those who also lived in the North, I bring the fragrance of the evergreen forests inside during winter!

Water: Steaming with Pine supports our respiratory health. It cleans by moving congestion and emotions associated with lung and throat. Cut needles and woody branches, cover with water and heat to a steam. Lean over and inhale deeply!

Pine needle tea is especially delicious on cold days as it stimulates circulation. Use fresh needles! Other herbs that compliment this tea - Rose Hips, Dried Berries, Cinnamon Bark, Cardamom, Orange peel or Lemon peel.

Fire: My favorite way to burn Pine in ritual is from pure resin. For a more delicate burn I’ll add dried needle power and form incense cones. It’s really quite simple!

Incense Dough = Base + Binder + Aromatic + Water

The base is typically a wood powder and helps the incense cone stay lit and burn smoothly. Binder holds the form. Aromatics carry the fragrance! Add water with slow drops until a crumbly dough consistency forms. Play with your own recipes and ratios, adding other aromatic herbs that compliment your choice of base.

Incense Dough

2 tsp Base (Pine Needle Powder)

1 or 1/2 tsp. Binder (Marshmallow Root Powder)

3 tsp Aromatic (Pine Resin Powder) *

Kind of 1 TBSP Water

*Collect dried resin, never from the wound on the tree but where it has dripped and hardened. This helps protect the health of the tree and is easier to powder.

My friend Ponderosa Pine, the smell of home. Who is the plant that stirs your scent memories?


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