As we prepare to leave the Red Rocks of Sedona, I imagine what I will take with me to remember this land. Yes, the visual memory and the photos; but something tangible.
Wanting something “useful”, I eye our mama juniper tree in our front yard. I suddenly have a new appreciation for her berries, and gather them to support this journey, and to remember this place by. This tree; she has protected our home, watched us come and go for 8 years now, even getting to witness events like Rumi’s birth, been only 15 feet from the room I labored in (and more accurately, she got to witness the ambulance arriving in the middle of the night to take us off to the hospital; not coincidental, sprigs of juniper branches decorated my birth room weeks in advance of this). She has seen a lot, and asked for little.
I bring the little girls outside with me while Rumi sleeps, and we bring a bowl to collect the juniper berries. I choose most of them off the ground, and ask for permission from mama Juniper to gather a few from the branches. There are so many, and all differing shades of blue and purple. I pop a few into my mouth, and they are sweet and crunchy. Cove stirs them with a spoon (making an imaginary soup) and we dig our feet into the dirt, avoiding the ants who also live nearby.
When we get inside, the girls play a little bit more with the berries until I take them away (no more can leave the bowl!) and choose some for a tea. True helps crush them with a mortar and pestle and I put hot water over them.
Juniper tea is the medicine; in the words of my mentor, whatever grows on our land is what we need. And I do. Juniper is a great cleanser of the blood, also good for skin, digestion and allergies (truthfully, many of us here in Sedona seem to have developed an allergy to juniper) which we can alleviate with the allergen itself (making tea or taking a bath in juniper).
(Another memory surfaces; of all the babies I have witnessed be born in Northern Arizona, the name “Juniper” holds special meaning. Many people here choose this beautiful name for their daughters, and I am reminded of one sweet baby in particular who graced this Earth with her sweet soul for just 13 months. Since then, I never say “Juniper” without thinking of this little Junie:)
On a different but similar note, I have not been able to get enough of the juniper essential oil I have; I LOVE the smell (it’s a weird one) and it’s known for relieving stress and promoting sleep. It is also a very spiritually protective oil and gets rid of negative energies and entities. Its is also said that Juniper helps us face our fears, and look at beliefs that can be difficult to be honest with ourselves about.
Other magickal facts about Juniper include:
– Corresponds with the Fire element and Sagittarrius (I’m Sag Moon and Rising)
– Helpful in raising vibration, manifestation, good fortune, good health, love, clarity and protection
I feel so grateful to be called to this plant, and have so much gratitude for the gifts Sedona has given me. I will hold mama Juniper in my heart fondly, and remember her in all her plant wisdom.
If you love this kinda stuff, join my “Witchery 101” series of classes!