The forest, even when saturated with sunlight, is ever-moving and alive within the continuum of light and dark. Shadows playing with the light, creating images that inflame our imagination. Offering dark places that are refuge for small things that want to be hidden from sight. For plants that can only grow in eternal twilight. The Siberian Fir in its lifetime can grow in excess of a hundred feet and live up to 200 years if left undisturbed. Creating homes for fauna and flora alike.
It's timber used to create homes and indeed heat these homes making it possible for frail humans to live in harsh environments. Theses deep forests encased early villages, towns, homesteads and indeed castles, within their vast reaches, the possibility of horror and being nurtured simultaneously existed. Much of our population is far more domesticated now and must travel to experience an unbroken forest that is not kissed with domestication – although it still evokes within us – the same sensations as our ancestors.
The forest holds very real physical dangers if one has not prepared to enter. Cold, wet, harsh weather, wolves, bears and wildcats. Lack of food if you do not know how to hunt or foraging without training the potential to be poisoned. The danger of getting lost and not finding your way out. While offering at the same time, the very resources we built civilization from.
Archetypally the dark forest and its exotic forces are 'outside' the inhabited constructs of daily life and thoughts. Situated on the edge of ones mind are magical forces. In fairy tales the protagonist living 'at the edge of a forest', are called to action with the appearance of an unusual presence from the forest or some enchanted animal or being calling you in as if in a dream. Here set free from past bearings the journey begins. Common themes are: loneliness, silence, entanglement, healing, regression, loftiness and obstruction, spontaneous growth, decay and knowledge. You may meet a kindly fairy, a devouring hag, a sorceresses, a libidinous satyr, the devil, wild animals, a wise magician or shaman, helpful elves, animals or plants and perhaps even an angel. Each cast in an important role as you traverse through uncharted territory.
We seek the forest when we are soul sick and in need of healing and a true path. We confront our fears, worries, and demons, by camping and hiking in remote places asking for answers to our most difficult questions. We go as a place of worship to be filled with divine-light, joy, beauty, and be taught by Nature. This quest can also take place purely on the subtle level.
Katherine Arden in her brilliant book The Bear And The Nightingale the heroine Vasilisa found refuge in the forest as a teacher with its many nature spirits, plants and animals, to learn how to escape a life that did not feed her wild-soul. Her community and her family to a degree, did not understand her, although she found her way and crafted a seemingly impossible life that was perfect for her.
“The Forest Was Quiet on the cusp of winter, the snow thicker between trees. Vasilisa Petrovna, half-ashamed and half-pleased with her freedom, ate her last half honeycake stretched out on the cold limb of a tree, listing to the soft noises of the drowsing forest. “I know you sleep when the snow comes,” she said aloud. “But couldn't you wake up? See, I have cakes.” 1 Her journey was an adventure she gladly undertook even filled with difficulties and set backs. But what hero/heroines journey is not? Her journey was blessed with grace and unexpected support as she jumped in feet first driven by faith, desire, and a developing 'knowing' that she must be doing what she was doing while not knowing what the outcome would be.
Many spiritual and psychological journeys begin, as Dante's did in the 'dark forest' of psychic wilderness. His had a difficult start being 'savage', rough', and 'stern'. Middle of the journey of his life, in a dark forest. It is horrible, tangled, and wild, and only the memory of it makes Dante scared. He did not realize what happened because his soul was sleepy and numb. Dante imagined a scary forest as a metaphor for sin. While he seeks a way out of the forest, he meets three beasts: a leopard, a lion, and a wolf. They force Dante back into the dark forest. The three beasts are allegories of three different sins: the leopard represents lust, the lion pride, and the wolf represents avarice.
Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
Ah me! How hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear.
– Inferno, Canto I
Dante Alighieri – 1265-1321
Because the forest has no set routs and is ever changing anything is possible. All questions asked can be answered. All problems can be resolved. All aspirations reached. As long as you forge forward. As Robert Frost said:
“The best way out is always through. / And I can agree to that, or in so far / As that I can see no way out but through”
The only way out is through -- which it is kind of like a birth, or re-birth. It is the path to a second half of life that is deeper, and about tuning out some of the noise of the outside world and listening to that inner voice in the quiet of the dark forest.
Siberian Fir essential oil has a unique chemical composition that is predominately bornyl acetate, which provides a majority of the calming benefits of this essential oil. Inhaling bornyl acetate may promote relaxation and reduce stimulation during stressful situations.
Physical Gifts: anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, anti- neuralgic, anti-viral, deodorant, decongestant, diuretic, disinfectant, expectorant, stimulant, tonic, and anti-fungal
Exceptional for: Arthritis, colds and flu, digestion, muscle recovery, pain, respiratory issues and stress.
Main chemical composition: tricyclene (3.1%), a-pinene (13.7%), camphene (28.4%), 3-carene (6.2%), b-phellandrene (6.3%) and bornyl acetate (37.6%).
PART USED: Needles
EXTRACTION METHOD: Steam Distilled Essential Oil
ORIGIN : Russia
NOTE CLASSIFICATION: Top to Middle Note
1. Pg. 22. The Bear And The Nightingale, Katherine Arden. 2017, Del Rey Trade Paperback Edition. Random House LLC, New York
(c) Candice Covington