Healing ourselves and connecting to our surrounding forest

We come from nature. We want to connect ourselves to nature. This is one of the most important visions of DYCLE. However, when one asks how to do this in daily life, most of us have difficulty to find proper examples.

Recently I learned about wonderful natural incenses at a Christmas market. They are called “smudging sticks”. Probably some of you may know it. The seller who made the sticks explained to me that it has the effect of healing our physical, mental and emotions, as well as cleansing spaces and negative energy. With my blog friend Christine from “Plant Five for Life”, both of us explored surrounding forests and made several smudge sticks during the christmas holidays. Christine visiting in Spain and Ayumi in Nagasaki, Japan.

Cedar, Pine trees, Hinoki trees in afforestation

These three species I found the most abundant in the nearest forest of my neighbor in Nagasaki, Japan. They were mainly planted through an afforestation program by Nagasaki City. Next to them, there was a planted cedar forest owned privately and mixed forest with more biodiversity. I learned that the two-thirds of national land of Japan (66%, 2.500.0000ha) is forest. However, self-sufficiency in the woods is quite low around 30% (in 2015). We still rely on importation of foreign wood from Canada, USA and several European countries. The prices for Japanese wood has been high in the last decades and the forest industry has been economically depressed. The phenomenon of under-population in rural areas accelerates the unharvested and unused forests., I will write more stories of this background in the next blog.

Ethical wild-harvesting is a great way to observe species of our forests and the landscape. It was a surprise for me to hear birds singing and to find traces of wild-pigs during winter time. After binding the harvested branches in sticks, I dried them for several weeks. If you cannot wait, harvesting already dried leaves from the bottoms of trees and binding them is also possible.

I experimented also with the perfume of the cedar stick. I recommend preparing it in a big bowl with vase of water around you. The perfume was amazing and mystical! My mother came out to our garden and said. “Wow…. I know this perfume… Perfume of temples...”   

Each plant has an effect in their purification. Making sticks is quite simple. I felt it almost meditation to use our hands at home.

Would you like to make smudging sticks out of your Christmas tree? If you are interested in making your own smudging sticks, this blog post by frugallysustainable may help you. I am happy to hear your story of surrounding forest and your smudging stories!  

Japanese Cypress (Hinoki)

Japanese Cypress (Hinoki)

Japanese Cedar

Japanese Cedar

Pine tree needles
Pine tree needles

Japanese mugwort (yomogi)

Japanese mugwort (yomogi)

 

 

 

 

Japanese cedar stick

 

 

 

07.01.2018 - 18:45

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