traditionally tobacco was smoked ceremonially in sweat lodges, helping the participant find clarity and truth at whatever point of their life they were in.
Bittersweet (II of Winter)
Blockage / Stalemate
Bittersweet grows strong and quick, taking over any obstacle in its way and smothering it. its a beautiful plant, but its lovely berries are delicious to birds, who also spread this invasive plant far and wide. you cannot go further. look at the reason why.
Bleeding Heart (III of Winter)
Heartbreak / Betrayal
the delicate heart shaped flowers remind us that our heart may not be as tough as we would like. one hurtful word or action can tear a wound we may nurse for what feels like eons. keep going. there is a beautiful strength that comes from every scar.
Birch (IV of Winter)
Look Inward / Rest
in the midst of winter there is a stillness, even though these trees still live. there is a beauty and necessity in this pause. it is a time to go inward, to reflect, and withdraw.
Mandrake (V of Winter)
the root of a mandrake resembles the human form. its for this reason that it was once used in magic rituals as a poppet. it is poisonous, and not much good can come from its use. but sometimes we need to destroy ourselves to get to the next state.
Spruce (VI of Winter)
Recovery / Joyful Times / Travel
more commonly seen as a christmas tree, the spruce reminds us that in the midst of the death of winter we must find the positive and celebrate it. find family, go for a trip, celebrate friendship or whatever may be a success in your life.
Beech (VII of Winter)
the beech tree is associated with knowledge, but more often than not knowledge can be hidden. is it you who is the keeper, or are you the one that it is being kept from? half the leaves are kept in shadow.
Lady's Slipper (VIII of Winter)
this delicate flower is an endangered orchid of the North East. as the world around it becomes built up, there is less and less space for it to grow. it becomes trapped in between shopping malls and endless cul-de-sacs. what is holding you here?
Belladonna (IX of Winter)
Dispair / Depression
a plant once used to make women appear to be more beautiful, belladonna has a ghastly side effect : death. it is a dark place you must be in, to see that this is an appropriate risk for beauty. look closely at your fears and anxieties while in this dark spot. after all, it is still a part of ourselves.
Hemlock (X of Winter)
Hemlock is an ancient poison, that at one point was even used on prisoners to bring about the end. while you may have hit rock bottom, know that we all must get here at some point in our lives, and albeit unpleasant, you have the strength within to rise above it.
Ash (Daughter of Winter)
it is thought that the sap from the Ash tree was fermented into the Norse Mead of Inspiration. it reminds us to look within, to use all our insight, because it is our greatest gift.
Locust (Son of Winter)
the Locust grows quickly, protected by thorns, and usually needs to be hacked back in fall, or else the tree would overtake the sky above, becoming top heavy and possibly be its own undoing. are you forcing matters too much? perhaps its time to take a step back, let go, and trust.
Sassafras (Mother of Winter)
the sassafras puts out several leaf shapes on one tree, keeping you on your toes as you try to recognize the tree dotted throughout the woods around you.
Oak (Father of Winter)
the oak is the last tree to turn, and can hold its brown papery leaves throughout the winter. it is steady, strong and reliable. a symbol of justice, and the king of the wood.