The New Moon is a time of new beginnings. You’ve shed unwanted habits, broken old alliances that no longer serve you and taken an intentional effort to rid yourself of negativity. You did this during the Dark Moon phase and now that it is the New Moon, it is time to welcome in the new beginnings, better opportunities and revel in the excitement of what is to come.
Juniper Berry represents the act of welcoming and resonates well with this time of the lunar cycle. When burned, the aroma of the smoke has a certain protective quality, the kind that protects the fragility of a seedling that just popped up out of the soil, or the frailty of a new idea that still needs time to grow into a plan of action.
Juniper Berry offers a gentle protection as in the element of air. It sets up a shield of air that spirals up and around you. And in that creation of motion, circling and protection, any unwanted energies get thrown off. It is like being in the eye of a hurricane. Juniper protection is not a brute force type of protection; it is lighter and gentle and is best used to protect delicate things.
Within the eye of the storm, the protective inner circle created by Juniper Berry, you can move freely within the calm and the peace. The swirling air offers a cocoon of protection.
Juniper Berry also promotes healing. It is the kind of healing that comes from moving away and leaving behind freshness, newness; it is the most needed exhale. The air leaving you expels the negativity or ailment. It is about a certain rising up and taking away on the breath.
The lighter, softer aspect of Juniper Berry is that it is an herb of mirth. It is about being joyful for the fun of it. It resonates with a state of being happy and lighthearted.
In Himalayan cultures, juniper is used for cleansing during spiritual rituals. Native Americans used juniper incense to greet guests and to support peyote ceremony.
When working with Juniper Berry, it is best to obtain them dried and in their whole state. You will need to use your mortar and pestle to grind them down and then put it through a sieve to separate out the stems and husks. You will want to work with just the dried meat of the berry.
When I choose Juniper Berry for a magical working, or as a component in a New Moon rite, I will use it the way I would a resin. I light a charcoal disc and place it in a heat safe container. Then, when I am ready, I sprinkle some of the ground Juniper Berry over the hot charcoal. The thick smoke rises and the Juniper Berry makes it’s presence known in the sacred space. Just as I sprinkle it over the charcoal, I state the following:
I make this offering as an act of welcoming.
- Aroma: warm, woody-sweet, balsamic, pine-needle like notes
- Emotional Attributes: strengthening, cleansing/purifying
- Element: Air
- Astrological: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Aquarius
- Planetary: Sun
- Seasonal: Summer
- Freshness, moving around, invigorating
- Strengthening, cleansing, purifying, healing
- Gentle protection of fragile things
- Good fortune of new things, not old things being enhanced.