This is part two of an article series I wrote to follow up on my presentation to Caroline Casey’s Trickster Training Council. You can read part one here, or read on for the rest of the list of supportive Spagyrics for the season.
In part one, we talked about some Spagyrics to support a mindful state of non-attached awareness of thoughts and emotions, as well as how to quiet the mind for contemplation. For an even more peaceful and elevated mental state, we like to work with the sacred resin of the Agarwood tree.
This tree grows in the tropics of the East, and is revered as sacred wherever it appears. From Arabia to Southeast Asia, the warm, woody and sometimes funky scent is said to deepen meditation, still the mind, and bring a stronger connection to the Divine.
The resin of Agarwood is created by the tree in response to injury, much like the other sacred resins of Myrrh and Frankincense. The Agarwood resin forms and collects in solid structures in the tree, replacing the wood with its heaviness, giving it its Japanese name, “jin-koh”, or “sinking incense”.
The intelligence of Agarwood is also like a sinking, a soft falling into watery depths of contemplation and bliss. In that open state, the power of the subconscious can be called on to energize and actualize prayer and meditation, and we have found our Agarwood Initiatics powerful allies for seeing a more perfect world and envisioning that as a possibility.
Agarwood supports meditations in which the mind needs to be collected and clear, but also active so that its power can be directed. Try it with visualizations such as contemplation of mandalas or Thangka paintings, or with chanting, mantra, or prayer. We work with several kinds of Agarwood, each of which is special and unique- find them here.
Sacred speech and sounds also require good breath control so that the flow of the meaning is supported by respiration. Here, too, we are helped by a sacred aromatic plant in the form of the Sweetgrass in our Prana Somalixir.
Sweetgrass is native to the plains of the United States, where it is revered by First Nations as the flowing hair of the divine Earth Mother. It is braided like hair and burned as a cleansing and offering, its soft vanilla scent bringing peace and comfort. Its sweetness inspires the lungs to breathe more deeply, and in our Prana formula, it creates a rolling, effortless quality to the breath that helps it, in turn, support chanting, Yoga, and other movement practices.
To energize your Yoga practice even more, we created Asana, a Somalixir with Turmeric for its anti-inflammatory and opening qualities, as well as Calamus, to open the subtle channels that feed the energy body of Yoga. Together, they help you stretch deeply without resistance so that tensions and blockages are released.
To further support the foundation of the body and its needs for health and energy, the Ayurvedic adaptogenic root Ashwagandha is a wonderful tonic. Unlike some energizing herbs, Ashwagandha is not stimulating- it actually slows the release of adrenaline in the body. At the same time, it builds real vitality and energy that lasts and does not deplete you over time, helping you act from a place of strength, not fear.
We work with Ashwagandha in two levels of Spagyric: an Essence, which is not sedating as such, but can be taken at bedtime to balance the sleeping-waking cycle, and a Spiritualized Essence, which makes an uplifting and energizing morning tonic, and is also useful any time you are so tired that you’re also wired and edgy.
Once your physical state is in better balance, it becomes a foundation that supports working towards higher connections to the self and the Divine. Here, again, we can work with aromatic plants and resins, using them internally and as scents and incense to surround ourselves and build focus on our goals.
We’ve long worked with Frankincense in our Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh formula, which we created as an homage to the three treasures that the wise men brought the infant Yeshua. Gold represents earthly treasure, Myrrh is the gifts that come from our sufferings, and Frankincense brings the treasure of connection to the Divine intelligence. Together, they were presented to the infant as support for his journey, and our Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh Somalixir is a beautiful way to connect with the sacredness of this story and time of year.
In many cultures, the smoke of Frankincense was believed to carry prayers up to the heavens, and modern research shows that some of the resin’s aromatic molecules activate anti-depressant and anti-anxiety channels in the brain. This aspect of Frankincense calls to mind the Ayurvedic idea that depression is merely the state of having forgotten one’s magnificence, which can be brought back through herbs and practices that re-connect the personal self to the perfect Divine being.
In our new Frankincense Magistery, we wanted to magnify that uplifting effect through focusing the Solar energy of this plant, which rules the heart as an organ, and brightness, courage, and cheer. This Magistery clears tightness in the chest and lungs, and also lifts the heart out of worry and weight. The breath is slowed and deepened, bringing literal and figurative inspiration to the whole being. This Magistery is a good support for sacred singing and liturgical chanting, in which the breath is the vehicle for the sacred, flowing in, out, and through.
Myrrh, the other resin of the Three Wise Men, plays an important role in our final featured Spagyric, our Abra-Melin Somalixir. Taken from a fifteenth-century magical text, this formula was originally used as an incense in a ritual for calling on one’s Holy Guardian Angel.
Rich with Saffron, warm from Cinnamon, and just a bit bitter from Myrrh and Agarwood, this Somalixir can be used in the formal ritual practice of the Holy Guardian Angel, or for day-to-day support. Taking our Abra-Melin and sitting with it a moment brings clarity and confidence in times of change, creating a sense that your decisions and actions will be aligned with your higher purpose.