Last year a heavy rain and wind storm ripped through the valley. The big Madrone, aka Arbutus menziesii, at The Catbird Seat lost several branches, and I was lucky enough to receive them. My first intention was to build a perch for Kikko, but in our little house we just don’t have the space for such extravagance. When my man wanted to burn the Madrone branches in our nightly bonfire, I was appalled. I didn’t know why I felt so strongly, but I didn’t need to. I banned the burning of those branches post haste. It turns out that was a really good choice. The Madrone is a Sacred tree to the native peoples of the Pacific coast.
According to Salish legend, the Madrone saved the People during the great flood in Ancient times. When the flood came, the Madrone was the one with the strength who offered to hold their canoes fast amidst the swirling, surging tides. Considering the amount of rain we get out here, I bet the flood was real. Regardless, considering the strength of the Madrone’s root system, I can easily see how this graceful tree could be connected with such mercy and compassion.
When I choose to cut pieces from those Madrone branches for this year’s Solstice ritual, I hadn’t yet discovered that the Madrone is associated strongly with the sun and fire. To the Salish people, the Madrone symbolized the balance between light and dark. Its habit of twisting and turning to find the sun may well be why. Certainly, that ability to find sunshine even amidst the fast-growing Douglas Fir giants that dominate most of our forests coupled with Madrone’s ability to survive forest fires when all her neighbors have succumbed is why the Madrone is recognized here as the Tree of Knowledge. Madrone knows how to find the light and how to survive even when the light becomes waaay too intense for most. For Solstice ritual, Madrone is absolutely perfect. I love when the magic comes together like that.
Other Madrone projects:
- Runes, carved with clear intention, these runes should be particularly good for making light of any situation.
- Madrone mojo bag for lighting the way and providing guidance on your journey.
- Magical wand, for Solstice ceremonies, initiation rituals, and for deaths and births.
- Mardone leaves in tea for dressing wounds.
- Incense blend for initiations, births and deaths, Solstice rituals, and for drawing light and knowledge to dispel darkness and ignorance.
- Key chain guardian to ensure you won’t lose your keys.