Pine Resin Magic. A Spell

The burning of tree resins has been known as a sacred activity, an offering to the gods, ancestors, land and the great spirit as a way of seeking communion and blessing.

After a short hike from Tineo to Borres, Asturias, Spain on Camino Primitivo in preparation for a next day elevation to the Hospitales route, some real magic has happened. 

I arrived to albergue early on the 8 of July and decided to go out for a walk hoping to find a spot to write and meditate. First, a wooden fence called for me, but I found its concrete floor perhaps for parking unwelcoming, I then deviated to a side path that took me onto a small field of a freshly cut grass surrounded by pine trees. 

I came up to the first pine but then heard the call of the neighbouring one. Sat down underneath its might called for help of my family ancestors behind me, dragons to the left and right hand sides, invited my guides, angels, archangels, fairies 🧚🏼‍♂️to help me heal and overcome limiting patterns installed in my system, as things were heating up for me on Camino. Like a dormant virus that flares up unexpected, when you thought it has been 

I wrote, amazed by the ever beautiful landscape being changed before my eyes- the returned farmer kept rolling the hay into stacks one by one.

After a few good hours I was about to leave, when medicine was revealed to me. It was not coincidental that I choose to sit under that tree. First, it spoke to me, actually since being on Camino, I have deeply connected to trees and started seeing them differently, feeling their nature, particularity of their character. The next day I even started to ask the right of passage from the trees as they stood at the entrance and exit gates of the Hospitales way. Second, the medicine was in easy reach on this specimen compared to the first one and most importantly, I grew up surrounded by Siberian firs, pines and cedars, my ancestors clearly heard and guided me.

The giveaway was at the bottom of the pine where it meets the soil. Two feet-like roots were covered in yellow gooey substance. I followed it with my eyes up the trunk to find several spots where the pine was ‘licking its wounds’ by exuding protective resin, a response to injury, insect assault, and fungal or bacterial stress typical to all evergreens. In Russian it is called ‘живица’, direct translation of which is gallipot or sap/resin but the meaning is the ‘one that heals’. 

Medicinal women when collecting resin would speak to it in a rhyme: «Живица, живица, помоги исцелиться: от огня, от воды, от любой беды, от злобы, от сглазу и от всех хворей сразу» - Resin, resin help to heal from fire, from water, from any trouble, from negativity, evil eye and all ailments at once. They believed that within it contains all power and might of the majestical conifer that can cure. Siberian healers claim that is able to quickly heal purulent wounds, boils, ulcers and burns. The locals brewed gum cakes from the turpentine sap that perfectly coped with the treatment of inflamed and bleeding gums.

Amazed that I could collect it there and then without getting a flight to Russia or cutting the bark, I took enough for my individual use.

This miraculous resin contains many biologically active substances that work as anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agents. It is these substances that give the sap a bitter taste. This bitterness stimulates the activity of the spleen, and the oil consistency increases the formation of bile secretions. All this helps the body to effectively deal with parasites, that settle in the human body and suppress immunity and much more.

Salve Recipe 

After making it over the mountains the next day and as soon as we passed the hydroelectric dam across the Navia Riverthe to the Gradas de Salime I fell down the cliff rolling, only to be stopped by 3 trees. My right leg was seriously damaged, scratches everywhere- not a pretty sight. Doctors said I pulled the ligament which would take at least 2 weeks to heal. 

Guess what used for my swollen knee. Here is the remedy:

Place your collected resin into the jar inside the boiling pan of water. Add beeswax + oils (one carrier and combination of essentials) It was a last minute situation for me, so I added what I had. Keep the lid to hold in the terpinene vapour. Stir, letting for it melt. You will see how it will separate. Leave any crud in the original jar.
Pour into a container. Keep the jar with leftovers for further use. Apply as needed and stay healthy.