Chaparral

Greetings Fellow Magicians,

Your third box for Seven Magicians should be arriving anytime now

as a matter of fact… it may already be in your hands.

In this box there are five items:

  • 9 ml RainDance Perfume Blend

  • 4 oz RainDance Beeswax Candle in Apothecary Glass

  • 15 ml Chaparral Flower Essence 

  • 1 oz Chaparral Salve

  • 5 ml Chaparral Tincture

As you may have guessed from the labels; this month I would like to introduce you to my friend Chaparral.  

Chaparral goes by many other names including Creosote, greasewood, gobernadora & the botanical name is Larrea tridentata.  

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Chaparral is one of the most abundant plants of the Sonoran desert lowlands.  It is the plant that gives us that characteristic desert scent, especially in the Summer monsoon season.  The plants will form large clonal colonies that are incredibly efficient at gathering what little precipitation falls in their native habitat.

In the rainy season the leaves have a thick sticky coat of resin that prevents evaporation. This is the season I prefer to gather creosote, when the fleshy leaves are deep green and covered with resin.  As you might imagine, the rains are unpredictable in the desert and so it took a while longer than planned to get this box to you.  I needed to wait until the plants were just right and then I had to wait for everything to brew.  

Chaparral is on of my go to desert medicine to clear & dissipate stagnant energy.  It does this through a curious mechanism, more like dilution or dispersion than outright elimination.  For this reason I like it for those time where things are hard but when the situation is likely not to go away quickly or easily.  The times where shouldering things on my own is too much and I can use support.  

I think of it like praying for rain, when you need it & when you know it is on the way.

For example, I have been burning this candle on my Ancestor shrine when I have been going to them for help for an ailing family member who’s dementia is worsening.  It is a situation that is feels like too much for most of my family and there is no easy fix.  I subtitled this blend and collection “energetic re-distribution network” think of it as a kind of like a safety net.

Chaparral has taught me that we are all better when we support one and other and share our burdens, our joys & our resources.  

The other interesting note I want to share about Chaparral is that in many of the Native cultures that work with this medicine it is seen as a bit of a panacea; used for all variety of aliments from cuts and scraps to cancer and STDs.

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The RainDance Botanical Perfume is a remix of an OG (Original Gatheress) blend of the same name.  The base is Chaparral infused Jojoba Oil with a blend of lemon, Orange, Bergamot, Ylang-Ylang and Cedar essential oils.  I wear this oil as a reminder that help is on the way.  The rains do come, even when the drought is hard and long.  I also wear it when I want to tap into the energy and wildness of the Desert Monsoon.  That petrichor note is my very favorite and it will forever fill my heart.

The candle was poured with Beeswax, Chaparral infused Olive Oil and the RainDance Botanical Perfume Oil.  I sprinkled a bit of dried Chaparral, a quartz point and just a touch of gold mica with green glitter.  As mentioned earlier, this candle has become my “I need help” candle for hard and slow to resolve problems.

The flower essence was collected from a plant in the wild part of my backyard.  This is the essence I work with when I need some back up and when doing it alone feels too hard.  It helps me to tap into my deeper resources so I can stand tall and confident knowing that ‘my team’ has my back even when I really want to hide in the corner.

The Herbal Salve was created from Chaparral infused Olive Oil and Beeswax. This salve is a healing ointment that is my go to for applying to bug bites, cuts and scraps.  Chaparral has antibacterial properties that help to reduce the possibility for infection and the emollient quality of the salve help to keep the skin noise so it can heal.  I also love using this as a balm for my feet, especially when my heels get dry and cracked from a Summer of wearing sandals.

The Chaparral tincture was made with fresh plant material infused in Vodka.  This gives the truest capture of this plants aromatics and I wanted to be sure to include a bit for you to experience.  It is potent stuff and a little goes a long way, hence the tiny bottle. I sometimes layer this with the Raindance oil to amp up that petrichor note.  I also dab it on my skin when I feel the tingle of a fever blister coming on.  If I get it in time, I almost never get a break out.  The tincture is also an excellent materia for anointing sigils and other objects you would like to imbibe with a little extra oomph. 

I hope you enjoy getting to know Chaparral.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

The next package will be headed your way the second week of October. It has come to my attention that my email messages and notes about each package have not made it to everyone so next month they will be included in the boxes again. Just incase you missed something I set up this “blog” on my webpage with the notes (http://gatheress.com/seven-magicians-blog).  I may sprinkle in a couple updates here as I prep the next box as a little experiment.  

Sending you blessings from the desert’s edge.

Shelley



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Ocotillo

Greetings Fellow Magicians,

This month I would like to introduce you to my friend Ocotillo.  

The botanical name for this plant is Fouquieria splendens

Ocotillo is my go to desert medicine for many things... 

•               to increase vitality, wildness & life-force

•               to set clear and firm boundaries while keeping the heart soft and open

•               to connect with flow and reduce stagnate energy

•               to build bridges between rooted purpose & flourishing passion

•               to connect with elemental fire, specifically the way that fire needs to breathe & feeds on the air

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The botanical perfume oil was named “The Wild Heart of Rooted Fire”.

I see this particular plant magician as wild, alive, vibrant, joyful, and connected.

I wish that I could teleport you to my favorite stand of Ocotillo because sitting in this place I feel the heartbeat of the life so deeply and that is a somewhat tricky thing to find in the desert.  

The photo below is taken in this spot but from the vantage point of the Ocotillo so you do not see the stand of plants behind me.  I now realize how few photos I have taken here because this is the best I could find and there is only the one plant in the foreground but it gives you a hint of what I wanted to share with you.

The other thing you cannot make out from this image is the cliff to the left. Ocotillo typically grows on rocky slopes and hillsides.  A perfect place to take in all the fiery energy and warmth of the sun but also to catch the air and wind that is common at this elevation.  Ocotillo is a fire plant but air is essential to sustaining that energy and it comes as no surprise to me that it prefers to put it’s roots down where the wind will shake it’s branches.  

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Ocotillo is not an especially aromatic plant. The plant material does have a somewhat green fresh scent to it, kind of like cut grass.  You may actually be able to get a sense of the scent by holding a couple drops of the Elixir on your tongue. The perfume oil as you may imagine has no actual Ocotillo in it except for a small dried flower that I placed in the bottle.  

Because the scent of Ocotillo does not convey the power of this plant wanted to convey a sense of the terroir where my favorite Ocotillo grow. It is my hope that this energetic reminder of the hills and bajadas where ocotillo are found so it can root you into that experience allowing you to connect with it and grow your own inner fire from it. 

The aromatics that contribute to The Wild Heart of Rooted Fire are Juniper wood, Sandalwood, Angelica, Jasmine, Wild Orange and a mélange of spices Pink Pepper, Coriander, Cardamom, Clove & Cinnamon. 

The rolled beeswax candle has been anointed with the perfume oil as well as both the flower essence and the elixir of Ocotillo.  I advise burning it on an appropriate fireproof vessel. This would be a helpful tool for that moment when you are feeling depleted and you want to magic up your energy & vitality.  It would also be useful anytime you want to connect with elemental fire (hence the fire proof vessel).

 The vial of dried plant materia is small and intended to be carried in a pocket or mojo bag.  Carry it when you want to connect with Ocotillo’s magic.  Ocotillo comes with me almost everywhere because we have been working together closely for the last year and I consider it to be one of my dearest friends.  

Just a note:  Consider these small vials an amuse bouche, enough for you to say hello and to know if you want more. If you are ever called to have a larger amount of the plant material, I am happy to send something your way.  These plants are abundant here and I am happy to collect more for those that want/need it but I also do not want to be wasteful. Please just drop me a note if you would like more of something.

The flower essences are one of my favorite ways to connect with plant energies.  They offer us an energetic dose of the plants medicine.  Typically I will just take a few drops from the bottle or I will add them to a small glass of water.  I like to say a quick prayer of invitation & communion to the plant as part of my process.  I will take a few drops when I want to call in a certain energy in that moment or if I am working with a plant closely, I will do this a few times a day. I also really love to take a drop or two before bedtime to call the plant into my dreams.

When working with the Ocotillo essence I focus on times when I want to increase my energy or vitality or when I begin a new creative project. I also really appreciate this essence for boundary work, for when I feel too sensitive or when my empathic tendencies get the better of me.  It is something that keeps my energy contained but also allows me to be receptive and open without picking up on everyone’s stuff.

The Elixir is from spring-harvested flowers that have been infused in Alcohol and a local desert wildflower honey for 3 months.  It is not a medicinal tincture of Ocotillo, which is often made from the bark and leaves.  I work with elixirs in much the same way as a flower essence.  Sometimes I will take 3 drops on my tongue and other times I will anoint myself (or an item) with a drop or two. 

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I hope you enjoy getting to know Ocotillo.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Shelley

gatheress@gmail.com

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