Cedar Trees, members of the Cypress Family, grow in many places in the world. Near the Great Lakes they grow as Northern White Cedar and go by the name Gisheek in Ojibwe, a local native tribe who holds them sacred. In Lebanon and surrounding areas, they grow straight and very tall, and amongst the Hebrew tradition people are often compared to a Cedar tree if they have upright and committed practices to heightening their expression in life through dedicated spiritual practices. Here in NM, we have Juniper Trees, or New Mexican Cedars (Junipers are also in the Cedar and Cypress family). Ours are small and often have much character in their gnarled and stout presentation. Some call them One Seed Junipers. Many native cultures say the Cedar tree represents protection and community. The “Timber of the Gods” is a common term in India.
Thuja Orientalis is one of my favorite in this family, next to the Texas Cedarwood that is closer to my home and that I use regularly for any skin issues, for moisturizing my facial skin, and for scalp and hair health. Thuja is excellent for respiratory issues, coughs, and is a wonderful CNS calming agent. When I use her I certainly feel a “reset” as cedars are known for clearing, and often the needles and bark are burned as smudge. Additionally, as the icing on the cake, I feel grateful for and love to eat juniper berries in stews or with meat dishes and they are wonderful when made into a reduction sauce….(note: only eat a small amount as they can cause stomach upset - they are quite powerful and add a concentrated flavor to any dish)