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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