Piñon Pine: how a new helping spirit gets my attention!

During my self-healing retreat to Arizona, I met and worked with many new Helping Spirits.  Raven and Red-Tail Hawk have been friends for years, but Rattlesnake and Piñon Pine were very new! Here is the story of how I began working with the Spirit of Piñon Pine...

(from WikiCommons, public domain image)
A little over a month ago, I stopped by my local Pagan shop to purchase incense and candles. I always love working with Frankincense and Myrrh, as they help to clear out my Healing Room and materials after each client. As I went to purchase a few bags, I saw something labeled "Pinyon Incense."  There was no description on the label, but I thought it might be neat to try a new scent, so I purchased one bag of it.

Throughout the following weeks, I would light a stick when I was answering clients' emails, or writing my book. It was sort of a subtle smell of "freshness,"  but I didn't really feel one way or the other. I finished the bag, and promptly forgot all about it.

Last week, when I traveled to Arizona, I brought with me a "Desert Tree/Shrub Identification" booklet. It didn't have all of the different plants that I encountered, but it did identify the Piñon Pine as one of the more common trees at around 5,000 feet above sea level. I started seeing it everywhere, as it usually grew near Juniper and Mesquite Trees.

During one of my first hikes in the Red Rock desert, I found a Piñon with some of its limbs chopped off. Resinous sap was actively dripping, and I leaned in, wondering if it smelled as strong as the Pines on the East Coast...

(c) Lonely Coyote, 2016
I almost fell over with amazement! It smelled nothing like its East Coast cousin--a powerful, spicy-lemony-piney-fresh scent. It was such a strong and uplifting smell, that it completely invigorated me. I started actively looking for it on my many journeys. I was stunned by its powerful presence; one smell would re-energize me for another hour of hiking.

After two or three days of getting to know the physical aspects of the Piñon, I sat near one and prepared to Journey to meet the Spirit. When I work with the Pine Trees near me (mostly Loblolly Pine), I receive messages of focus, concentration, mental clarity, and purification (many of us know the wonderful smell of Pine from memories of walking in forests, and its sacredness is memorialized within the Irish Ogham). I had no idea what sort of information I would receive about the Piñon Pine, but I was excited to find out!

The Spirit of Piñon was incredibly welcoming and loving, and worked with me for my own heart-healing. It spoke of using the resin in healing ceremonies, and its ability to clear negativity (especially the "stickiness" of Miasma, a Greek word that is used to describe the spiritual substance that surrounds land/home/animals/people as a result of spiritual intrusion and/or dangerous & unethical works). It gave permission to harvest a very small amount of resin, and I responded by offering it the rest of my water and cornmeal.

In the week or so since I've returned from the Desert, I've worked with Piñon daily. It has helped me to release some particularly painful and tricky emotional thorns, and has had a powerful effect during healing ceremonies with my clients.

Yesterday, I visited the Pagan shop and purchased new bags of incense. I specifically tried to find more of the "Pinyon" bags, since I now knew more about the Helping Spirit. Sadly, there was very little left, and it wasn't quite as strong-smelling as the resin from the desert. When I asked the staff member about the possibility of ordering more, or a different variety, she responded very helpfully, but mentioned that almost no one requests it, and it hardly ever sells. It was such a wonderful and serendipitous event, to find the incense when I did, that I wonder if Piñon Pine was giving me a Two-by-Four and letting me know we'd be working together!  I give great thanks, and look forward to learning more about the Spirit of Piñon in the coming weeks.


  1. Wonderful post! You can get pinyon incense through amazon.com but i don't know if the quality is good. There is also an incensewarehouse.com that has it. Not sure if i spelled that correctly.


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