Family: Cupressaceae (The Cypress Family)
Deities: Nana Buruku, Oya
Bald Cypress trees are native to the East Coast and Southern U.S. They are large trees that lose their leaves in the wintertime (hence “bald”). It is said that the Bald Cypress likes to keep its feet wet in reference to the fact that they grow along river and lake banks. These trees produce odd-looking woody outgrowths called “knees” that grow above the water line. Some researchers believe that these knees provide extra oxygen to the roots of the tree.
Spiritual Uses: Bald Cypress trees occur in high numbers in temperate swamps and wetlands, hence the reason they are associated with Nana Buruku, owner of the swamp. These trees are also important to Oya. The energy of Cypress is protective and cleansing and so they are excellent at clearing unwanted emotional garbage. They will also help keep you safe during your spiritual travels. Cypress essential oil is made from a different species of cypress but has similar energy properties. If you live in an area where Bald Cypress trees are found, collect some needles or cones (after asking permission and leaving an offering in return) to take home.
In the swamps of the Sourthern US, it is tough to find a bald cypress tree that doesn’t have Spanish Moss growing from it. Spanish Moss, Tillandsia usneoides, is not a parasite, it only uses the tree for space to live. Since these 2 plants are so commonly found together, you should research Spanish Moss also if you want to learn more about the Bald Cypress. Also, Junipers (Juniperus spp.) are in the same family but have a much more airy influence. Junipers and Bald Cypress share the cleansing and protection traits.