✨Uses for yucca in witchcraft✨
🌵 as fiber rolled into thread for knot magic, witches ladders, and binding
🌵 a single spear/leaf as athame, wand or ritual knife
🌵 spines or sawtoothed spears in witch jars, protection magic, and curses
🌵 soap yuccas in cleansing magic. Yucca soap as spell ingredient akin to Rosemary or salt.
🌵 flowers in spells involving protection, luck, dreams and the astral
🌵 Joshua tree yuccas in strength/survival magic. Also for spells fueling change
🌵 yucca gathered from graveyards (common urban use, for some reason) in death magic or spirit work

Hiking today on a new trail with awesome views

Pioneertown Mountains Preserve is located north of the Town of Yucca Valley, California, adjacent to Pioneertown, California. (Yep, there is such a place.) The Preserve was devastated by the Sawtooth Complex Fire in 2006, which burned 61,700 acres, including most of the Pioneertown Mountains Preserve. Almost eleven years later, the land is recovering. Baby Joshua trees and Mojave yucca are growing, and most of the traditional desert plants are healthy. However, the locals are confident that the pinyon pines are gone, and the junipers will be struggling to recover, if they do. Part of the recovery of the land and the Preserve was the restoration and rebuilding of the Indian Loop Trail in the Preserve, which was done by Preserve staff and AmeriCorps last summer. I hiked that trail today.

If you don’t do the spur to ascend Chapparosa Peak, the trail is 7.5 miles, with a 1,000 feet elevation gain, but with an aggregate elevation gain (adding the ascends) of about 2,500 feet. Right now, I’m feeling everyone of those 2,500 feet!

I’m going to post some of the landscape views that I photographed from the various high points. Over the next few days, I’ll post other photos of the land.

All photos by rjzimmerman February 11, 2017.

Flat Top Butte on the left, Black Mesa on the right. A few weeks ago, I posted photos from my climbing with a group to the top of Flat Top and of just of a few of the estimated 2,000 petroglyphs at the top. The local Native Americans consider the Flat Top Butte as sacred. Both the Flat Top Butte and Black Mesa were included in the Sand to Snow National Monument that was created by President Obama a year ago this week.

Rugged landscape. The mountains in the front are the Sawtooth Mountains. In the distance, beyond the valley, is a range of mountains that marks the northern boundary of Joshua Tree National Park.

This landscape is reminiscent of Joshua Tree National Park, which is located not far (maybe 10 miles) to the south of where this boulder complex is situated. The boulders are monzogranite, as are many in Joshua Tree National Park.

A lava flow on the peak of a rise along the trail, with the Sawtooth Mountains in the near foreground and Joshua Tree National Park in the far foreground. This area is seismically active and is the location of several volcanic eruptions that happened long ago. I believe we traversed four lava flow fields before we rain across this pile.

Another view of the Sawtooth Mountains and the monzogranite formations.

Another view of the Flat Top Butte (on the left) and the Black Mesa (on the right), as the trail approached them.

While ascending Indian Canyon, the view backwards shows a huge wash. Off in the distance, shrouded by clouds, is Mt. San Gorgonio and Big Bear. But before you get there, and if you’re a hard hiker, you can visit an old onyx mine on the left of the mountain on the far gap. The onyx on the walls of Los Angeles Union Station was from this mine.

Once we arrived at the top of the canyon walls, this view greeted us. In the distance are the San Jacinto Mountains, which is part of the western boundary of Coachella Valley.

The sun was dancing out of the dark storm clouds today. Not much rain, just a drizzle, but the mountains behind us received quite a bit of rain last night. All good news for the desert and the California drought.

Finally, this is Roamer, formerly a rescue pup now the companion of one of my hiking friends. He hiked the entire distance, loving every minute. The purple blotch on his tongue is because Roamer is part Alaskan Malamute.

Ostara, 2016- The smell of dry juniper bark, creosote, granite. The hot Mojave sun on my skin, big pale-blue sky. Welcomed eerie silence. My bare feet pressed to the desert floor and dust in my hair. Happy Spring Equinox.


Yucca brevifolia is in the family Agavaceae. Commonly known as the Joshua Tree, it is only found in the Mojave desert of California, Nevada, and Arizona. The Joshua Tree is one of the fastest growing desert plants, able to grow up to 50 feet tall and produce roots that reach dozens of feet down into the soil. Individuals can live for hundreds of years and flower multiple times throughout their life. The production of flowers at the apical meristem causes the Joshua Tree to form branches in order to keep growing, giving this plant its iconic shape.


Light wind blowing a blooming yucca plant in the California high desert (not often you get a good view of a yucca in open bloom like this)