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Saturday, 24 December 2016

The Use Of Sandalwood In Rituals

Although not truly an herb, but a wood, sandalwood is an item found often in modern Pagan rituals. In fact, “sandalwood” is an entire class of wood, found in trees that are part of the flowering Santalum family.

Sandalwood has been used for thousands of years in a ritual context. It appears in Buddhist and Muslim rituals, and was one of several fragrant plants used by the Egyptians in embalming rituals. In China and Tibet, its antiseptic properties make it a valuable part of folk medicine. In India, the wood is used for intricate carvings that adorn shrines and homes; figurines and mala jewelry are also crafted from sandalwood. In addition, a paste is sometimes made that can be used to anoint the forehead of the faithful in Hindu temples.

Sandalwood has a number of magical applications, and they tend to vary depending on which religious group you’re looking at. In many traditions of modern Paganism, it is associated with healing and purification. In Hindu rites, sandalwood paste is often used to consecrate ritual tools before ceremonies. Buddhists believe that sandalwood is one of the sacred scents of the lotus, and can be used to keep one connected to the material world while the brain wanders off during meditation. In chakra work, sandalwood is associated with the seventh, or root, chakra at the base of the spine. Burning the incense can help with issues related to self-identity, security and stability, and trust.

In a few Neopagan traditions, the actual wood of the sandalwood is burned as incense - sometimes mixed with other woods or resins, such as myrrh or frankincense. A few forms of folk magic associate it with both business and protection magic. You can also use pieces of the wood in spellwork - write your intent on a chip or stick of sandalwood, and then place it in a brazier to burn. As your sandalwood burns, your intent, or wish, will be carried up to the heavens on the drifting smoke...read  more>>>...