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For a more detailed discussion of these and other desert herbs visit our blog . Note that by doing so you will be leaving this site. You will find links back to this site at that one.






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Mesquite



Mesquite is generally associated with water by websites which list it. We believe this is one of those cases where somebody made a suggestion and other sites have repeated it without question or research.
We do not know what this association may be based on except, perhaps, for the fact that a grove of Mesquite indicates the presence of groundwater. There are other trees which are better indicators such as Willow, Cottonwood and Desert Willow
The best known modern use of Mesquite is as a fire wood, especially as a barbecue wood. Therefore we believe that fire is a more proper association.
Note also that at least a couple sites suggest Mesquite for ritual fires. We, of course, agree with this application.



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Tobacco



is most often associated with masculine, fire and Mars. We will return to this momentarily.
First we want to point out that the tobacco sold in stores is specially bred to produce as much as nine times more nicotine than most wild varieties. As many as 600 chemicals are added in the curing process. And that doesn't even count the chemicals which are sprayed on the plants while growing.
We gather the wild Tobacco of our area (Desert Tobacco - Nicotiana obtusifolia) which, obviously, has grown as naturally as possible. We air dry it naturally; as a result it dries green. The smell and taste are more herby than commercial Tobacco. This could take some getting used to for the usual Tobacco smoker or, perhaps, even for the person who is accustomed to using commercial Tobacco in ritual. We believe that this more pure form of tobacco is better fit for use in ritual




Juniper


Juniper is traditionally associated with fire and we see no reason to disagree.
There are two varieties here; one of which grows on the desert floor and the other which grows in the hills with the Oaks and Pinyon Pines.
The sap and the needles of both make excellent incense.



Barrell Cactus


So far we have found no site which lists metaphysical properties or applications for this plant.
The main quality we would point to in making associations is the way this plant almost always leans to the south. It appears to be bowing, we say, to the lords and ladies of the south.
Throughout much of the year it also wears a "gold crown" of fruit.
We believe this belies a special relationship with south though we haven't worked out specific uses yet.





More to be added soon.