Merkaba Warrior Etsy

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Sacred Wood Mala Bead Properties

My very first bracelet designs incorporated both semi precious stones with sacred and aromatic woods. Using types of woods has long been a part of the making of prayer beads and Malas of many different traditions. There are even more woods available these days and it can be a little confusing. I have created this guide to give you a bit more background, history and properties of the woods I use and have used in the past.



White Sandalwood

 

White Sandalwood

AKA: Sandalwood, Indian Sandalwood, Santalum album

Colour: Light Golden Yellow, Golden Brown

Aroma: Rich Spicy, Creamy Wood

Sandalwood is highly prised and has been used for wood carvings, incense and fragrant oils since ancient times. India, China, Tibet and many places and traditions consider it sacred and divine. Both Hindu and Buddhist Malas are often made from this fragrant wood. The scent is considered to be fit for the Gods.

The scent of Sandalwood is said to bring you closer to the divine. It attracts positive energy, its soothing aroma is used to support meditation, spirituality and calms the mind. As the scent can be quite strong I only use a small amount of these precious beads in my bracelet designs so they are not overpowering. To help keep the fragrance of your beads keep them in a box, to reduce the scent leave them out for a while.

Note: There are several other types of Sandalwood trees from the same Santalum family, plus many fragrant woods are traded today as types of 'Sandalwood' which can cause confusion. Please see the other entries below:


Red Sandalwood

Colour: Dark Red

Aroma: Light Woodsy

Traditional Red Sandalwood is used for Malas and incense in India where it is considered the feminine form of Sandalwood and offered to the Goddesses. Red Sandalwood has hardly any fragrance and does not smell like White Sandalwood. Despite this Red Sandalwood is often incorporated into Tibetan Incense for its spiritual properties. It is used to connect with the Goddess or feminine power, brings mental clarity and release from attachments.

Note: Some Red Sandalwood beads may actually be dyed red Verawood or possibly Rosewood, the scent may help determine this. Please see below for Red Verawood.



Green Sandalwood

 

Green Sandalwood (Verawood)

AKA: Verawood

Colour: Brown, Earthy Green to Dark Green

Aroma: Light Rich Spicy, Woodsy Slightly Smoky

This is not traditional White Sandalwood (See Above) but actually the aromatic hardwood of a tree that grows in central and South America. Green Sandalwood also known as Verawood has become popular in recent years as an alternative to Sandalwood. Green Sandalwood is being used for making prayer beads and due to it being much harder than White Sandalwood it can be engraved with images and symbols. This exotic wood is also known for its curious colour changing ability. When exposed to sunlight the wood turns a deeper shade of green, over time Green Sandalwood can become a dark forest green.

Similar to Sandalwood it attracts positive energy, its soothing aroma can also be used to support meditation, spirituality and calms the mind. As the scent is more subtle than White Sandalwood, it is not really noticeable unless you wear a bracelet or necklace that is made from lots of Green Sandalwood beads. The light rich aroma is released with your body heat.



Black Sandalwood

 

Black Sandalwood

AKA: Ebony?

Colour: Black

Aroma: Woodsy, Slightly Smoky

This is not traditional Sandalwood but may actually be black Verawood or some other type of Ebony. As the scent is more subtle than traditional Sandalwood, it is not really noticeable unless you wear a bracelet or necklace that is made from lots of Black Sandalwood beads. The light woody aroma is released with your body heat.



Red Sandalwood (Verawood)

 

Red Sandalwood (Red Verawood)

AKA: Red Verawood

Colour: Dark Red, Burgundy

Aroma: Light Rich Spicy, Woodsy Slightly Smoky

This is not traditional Red Sandalwood (See Above) but most likely to be dyed red Verawood (aka Green Sandalwood) an aromatic hardwood tree that grows in central and South America. Green Sandalwood has become popular in recent years as an alternative to Sandalwood. It has been used for making prayer beads. Verawood has been used for making prayer beads and due to it being much harder than White Sandalwood it can be engraved with images and symbols.

Similar to Sandalwood it attracts positive energy, its soothing aroma can also be used to support meditation, spirituality and calms the mind. As the scent is more subtle than White Sandalwood, it is not really noticeable unless you wear a bracelet or necklace that is made from lots of Black Sandalwood beads. The light rich aroma is released with your body heat.


Olive Wood

Colour: Light Brown with banding

Aroma: Light Woodsy

Olive Trees thrive in the Mediterranean area of Europe and the Middle East. Renowned for its fruit and long life, some trees have been living for thousands of years. The Olive Tree was considered sacred to Pagans since ancient times and was only later adopted by Christianity. The wood has been carved into Gods and other religious items, the beads are used in Prayer Beads and Rosaries.

I have only ever sourced my Olive Wood beads directly from Israel where only the branches trimmed for pruning the Olive Trees are used for making beads. Olive Wood is said to bring peace and longevity, helps with your communication skills and accessing your inner wisdom.

 

Tiger Ebony

 

Tiger Ebony

AKA: Kamagong Wood, Tiger Kamagong, Iron Wood

Colour: Medium Brown with Dark Brow Banding

Aroma: Woodsy, Slightly Smoky

Tiger Ebony is from an exotic hardwood fruit tree which grows mostly in the Philippines. It is from the same  family as Ebony. Just like its darker cousin Ebony its wood is famous for its superior strength. Protected by Philippine law only a small amount of wood is used in the making of furniture, Martial Arts implements and beads. Ebony has a long history of use with some carved pieces being found in Ancient Egyptian Tombs. Ebony is said to be a protective wood and gives strength to the wearer.



Tulsi Wood

 

Tulsi Wood

AKA: Holy Basil, Tulsi, Tulasi

Colour: White, Cream

Aroma: Sweet, Mild

This is the white wood of the Tulsi plant which is considered sacred in Hindu belief. The plant is believed to be a living Goddess which is where it takes its name, Tulsi is the consort of Vishnu. The plant has been used in Indian Ayurvedic Medicine for its healing properties for thousands of years and it has long been used for making Mala beads. Tulsi Wood is healing and believed to offer divine protection to the wearer, it also clears the aura.



Rosewood

 

Rosewood

AKA: Rose Wood

Colour: Red, Reddish Brown 

Aroma: Pine Like, Woodsy

This is commonly confused with the wood of the Rose flower but is actually the name given to various redwood trees. Rosewood is used for many purposes but has become popular in creation of Mala beads. It is commonly glazed with a colour enhancing glaze to bring out its colour. Rosewood relieves stress and tension, strengthens the aura and protects you from negative energy.



Aloeswood


AKA: Agar, Agarwood, Aloewood, Jinko, Wood Aloes, Oudh, Oud

Aroma: Licorice, Camphor like, Medicinal, Earthy

Aloeswood is a sacred wood known under many names with a long history in many parts of the Asia, it is also mentioned in the Vedas and was once used to make the coffins of ancient Kings. Worth more than Gold to the Arabs, Aloeswood or Oudh is used in creating the most expensive Incenses and the perfumes in the world. It is actually two types of trees which are found in many mountainous parts of Asia. The trees only become Aloeswood when they release a fragrant resin when they come under attack by a certain type of mold, making this a rare and hard to find wild wood.

Precious Aloeswood is also used in Chinese Medicine and other and has been used to make special Malas and religious statues. The wood and its mysterious scent is said to be a highly spiritual, clears negative energy, is deeply relaxing and supports meditation.



Cedarwood

AKA: Cedar, Cedar Wood

Colour: Golden with light pink banding

Aroma: Fresh Woodsy, Medicinal or Incense Like

Cedarwood is believed to have been used to build King Solomon's Temple. This fragrant wood was once used in Ancient Egypt for creating royal coffins and the oil was used in the mummification process. Renowned for its resistance to decay and ability to keep insects away Cedarwood was used for carving statues by the Romans and is sacred to the Native Americans who burned it for purification. Fragrant Cedarwood is used in Tibetan incense and has been used for prayer beads, essential oil and wooden chests.

There are quite a few different varieties of Cedar trees, not all have a fragrance and some may have a different aroma to others. Cedarwood is protective, cleansing, grounding and it is believed to give inner strength.





You can find all these designs and much more at my shop Merkaba Warrior on etsy, I ship worldwide.

Enjoy,
Ivan ॐ








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