Aloeswood / Lignum Aloes (Aquilaria malaccensis)
This has nothing to do with the aloes that most of us are familiar with. Instead, it comes from a knot that is formed by an evergreen tree when it is infected by a particular fungus. The tree produces a wonderfully scented resin, usually considered a Jupiter herb, as part of its immune response, and this resin permeates the wood. This substance is a classic in ceremonial magick. It has a very psychoactive scent. Chinese medicine uses aloeswood for obsessive thinking, nervousness, and exhaustion. In Ayurveda, it drives away evil spirits and helps clear mental illness. An aphrodisiac, when it is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, which gave it its name (from ahalim), it is in connection with sexuality, whether actual or spiritual--see the highly erotic Song of Solomon, for instance. Unfortunately, the harvesting of this type of wood has been so driven by greed that not only is the price absurd but many of the actual trees are gone. My Chinese supplier for the powder is no longer able to get any decent supply. The harvesting of aloeswood from other than government regulated plantations in Vietnam or the Philippines is the equivalent of strip mining, and I do not want to participate in that sort of trade, not to mention that such trade is illegal. I do have higher grade of aloeswood available that has been harvested ethically and lawfully. This comes from Japan and is in the form of small, thin pieces (see picture) or granules/nubs. It is, logically enough, much more expensive than the powder I was getting before, but it is high enough quality that it can release its scent by simple heating instead of burning. The higher the grade, the more resin the wood contains, and thus the more fragrance in the presence of heat. This aloeswood is great for special occasions or adding extra power to rituals. I have three grades available.
I have not yet made up my mind whether I want to continue to sell this substance, given the enormous amount of clear-cutting that is going on in ALL countries that have ANY aloeswood trees.
© 2006, 2016 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission