Small and gnarled, the wise myrrh tree features prominently in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and is native to arid regions of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The resin was employed in Egypt for embalming purposes, and it has even been found in ancient Celtic tombs. Please note that in this entry, we’ll use “myrrh” to discuss the closely related trees in the myrrh family (or Commiphora genus) that produce the famous resin.
Myrrh resin is considered extremely useful in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Western healing traditions. This should not be surprising, as the tree exudes milk (which eventually congeals into resin) as a means to support his own healing by protecting against insects and bacteria. Employed to heal and support the kidney, stomach, uterus, skin, mouth, teeth, and blood, myrrh resin is also included in herbal healing mixtures for arthritis, excessive bleeding, laryngitis, bronchitis, and menopause, and modern research has indicated that it may be an effective therapy against cancer.
Myrrh is aligned with the Great Mother Goddess and all her many healing abilities. The incense was burned in the temple of Isis and is also aligned with the powerful mother goddess Astarte. Myrrh incense and resin are highly appropriate for any magical work involving physical or emotional healing.
With a scent that is peculiar in its simultaneous strength and sweetness, myrrh helps smooth the harshness associated with all forms of transitions, including birth, death, changing residence, changing jobs, ending or beginning a relationship, and any form of rebirth or painful loss. Myrrh was employed in Egypt for embalming and for incense honoring the dead, and it is referred to in the gospels surrounding transitions no less pivotal than Jesus’s birth, crucifixion, and death. Clearly, myrrh softens the jagged edges of even the most challenging of transitions by lending his pleasant fragrance as well as his heart-healing and grief-soothing properties.
Another aspect of myrrh’s expertise at smoothing transitions stems from the fact that the scent is extremely calming and brings one into the present moment so that we can be steady and strong even in the midst of enormous change. For support with any challenging transition, try burning the incense or anointing yourself with a scent blend containing essential oil (oleoresin) of myrrh. If possible, spending quality contemplative time with a myrrh tree would also be an excellent idea.