Tree lore is a
suspected ancient school of knowledge with roots stretching back into
our earliest symbolic imaginations.
The Tree is a common universal, archetypal symbol that can be found
in many different traditions around the ancient world. Trees are symbols of physical and
spiritual nourishment, transformation and liberation, sustenance,
spiritual growth, union and fertility. The tree is a spiritual motif
and framework, a map of conception and consciousness that brings
together the temporal worlds of time, space and consciousness.
Trees are the places of birth and
death; they are used as sacred shrines and places of spiritual
pilgrimage, ritual, ceremony and celebration. Sacred trees are found
in the Shamanic, Hindu, Egyptian, Sumerian, Toltec, Mayan, Norse,
Christian traditions. The World-tree is described in The Upanishads as
“a tree eternally existing, its roots aloft, its branches spreading
The Symbolism of Trees:
The Herder Symbol Dictionary says,
“Psychoanalysis sees in the tree a symbolic
reference to the mother, to spiritual and
intellectual development, or to death and
rebirth.” It also notes that the fruit, shade,
and protective nature of trees have caused them
to be seen as feminine or maternal symbols; yet,
at the same time, the erect trunk is a phallic
symbol. Perhaps this is why, for Carl Jung, the
tree symbolized the Self, androgyny (integration
and equality between the masculine and feminine
principles), and individuation.
'...A tree is one of the best examples of
a motif that often appears in dreams (and
elsewhere) and that can have an incredible
variety of meanings. It might symbolise
evolution, physical growth, or psychological
maturation; death (Christ’s crucifixion on
the tree); it might be a phallic symbol; it
might be a great deal more. And such other
common dream motifs as the cross or the
lingam can also have a vast array of
symbolic meanings...' – Man and his
Symbols by Carl Jung
The Ogham script consists
of twenty-five simple strokes
centred on or branching off a
central line. It is similar in
purpose, but separate in origin from
the Nordic runes. The Ogham
characters were inscribed on stones
or written on staves of wood. As a
method of writing it is laborious,
but as a language of symbolism it is
powerful. It is probably pre-Celtic
in origin, although most of the
existing inscriptions have been
dated to the fifth and sixth
centuries. Whether Celtic or
pre-Celtic we can sense that it
carries with it some of the very
earliest of Druid wisdom. Amongst
our sources of information about its
use, we have The Scholar's Primer
from Scotland (transcribed from the
oral tradition in the seventeenth
century) and O'Flaherty's Ogygia
from Ireland [published in 1793].
But it was the poet Robert Graves
who, in modem times, brought the
Ogham into public awareness once
again, with his publication of The
White Goddess in 1948.
The Original Irish Ogham
Script With 20 Phonetic Letters.
Ogham is sometimes
called the "Celtic Tree Alphabet",
based on a High Medieval Bríatharogam tradition
ascribing names of trees to the
individual letters. The earliest
example of Ogham comes from the 4th
cent AD, although it is generally
accepted that the Ogham alphabet
script was modelled on an
already existing script.
(2) In Early Irish
literature a Bríatharogam is a
two word combination which
explains the meanings of
the names of the letters
Ogham alphabet. Later Medieval
scholars believed that
all of the letter names
were those of trees, and
attempted to explain the
that light. However,
modern scholarship has
shown that only eight at
most of the letter names
are those of trees, and
that the word-oghams or
kennings themselves support this. (1)
Each stroke of the Ogham corresponds
to a letter of the alphabet, which
is in turn associated with a tree. It is most commonly read from bottom to
top. Although we know the letters that each stroke
represents, and can translate the ancient Ogham inscriptions
accordingly, we cannot be so confident when we come to associate the
trees with particular months. There has been much controversy as to
whether the Ogham really was used as a calendar by the Druids,
linking each tree and letter of the alphabet to a moon month, as
suggested by Robert Graves.
The Ogham Alphabet and the Association to
The Modern concept of Ogham was largely derive from
the theories of Robert Graves in his book The White Goddess.
In this work Graves took his inspiration from the theories of the
Ogham scholar R.A.S Macalister (see above) and elaborated on them
much further. Graves proposed that the Ogham alphabet encoded a set
of beliefs originating in the Middle-east in
Stone Age times, concerning the ceremonies surrounding the
worship of the Moon-goddess in her various forms. Graves' argument
is extremely complex, but in essence he argues that the Hebrews,
Greeks and Celts were all influenced by a people originating in the
Aegean, called 'the
sea people', who spread out around Europe in the 2nd Millennium
BC, taking their religious beliefs with them. At some early stage
these teachings were encoded in alphabet form by poets in order to
pass on their worship of the goddess in a secret fashion,
understandable only to initiates. Eventually, via the druids of
Gaul, this knowledge was passed on to the poets of early Ireland and
Wales. Graves therefore looked at the Tree Alphabet tradition
surrounding Ogham and explored the tree folklore of each of the
letter names, proposing that the order of the letters formed an
ancient "seasonal calendar of tree magic".
Ogham and the Lunar Calendar:
Following along the
same line of thought, Graves proposed that the Celts used a Lunar
Calendar that consisted of 13 months, each 28 days in length. Each
month of the Celtic Lunar calendar bears the name of a tree, which
also stands for one of the consonants in the Celtic ‘tree alphabet’.
There are basically two different versions of this Lunar calendar:
the Beth-Luis-Nion (which begins on the Winter Solstice) and the
Beth-Luis-Fearn (which begins on Samhain). It needs to be emphasised
that the concept of an Ogham Lunar/Tree Calendar was single handedly
inspired by Robert Graves in his book 'The White Goddess', and he
used Roderic O'Flaherty (1629-1718) as his source. Much of what
Graves wrote has been elaborated upon further since, but the idea
that of a Celtic/Druidic Ogham-Lunar-Tree calendar ever actually
existing is strongly contested.
Fabrication of Celtic Astrology, By P.B. Ellis. (1997) (Quick-link)
The Lunar Months.
Birch, 1st Moon of the
Celtic Year – (Dec 24 – Jan 21)
Rowan, 2nd Moon of the
Celtic Year – (Jan 22 – Feb 18)
Ash, 3rd Moon of the Celtic
Year – (Feb 18 – March 17)
Alder, 4th Moon of the
Celtic Year – (March 18 – April
Willow, 5th Moon of the
Celtic Year – (April 15 – May
Hawthorn, 6th Moon of the
Celtic Year – (May 13 – June 9)
Oak, 7th Moon of the Celtic
Year – (June 10 – July 7)
Holly, 8th Moon of the
Celtic Year – (July 8 – Aug 4)
Hazel, 9th Moon of the
Celtic Year – (Aug 5 – Sept 1)
Vine, 10th Moon of the
Celtic Year – (Sept 2 – Sept 29)
Ivy, 11th Moon of the Celtic
Year – (Sept 30 – Oct 27)
Reed, 12th Moon of the
Celtic Year – (Oct 28 – Nov 24)
Elder, 13th Moon of the
Celtic Year – (Nov 25 – Dec 23)
Regardless of any metaphysical connections, there exists
a special relationship between trees and humans, as we
both produce the gasses that enable the other to exist:
They produce the oxygen that we need to breathe, and we
produce carbon dioxide which trees breathe. Tree worship
(dendrolatry) refers to the tendency of societies throughout history to worship or
otherwise mythologize trees.
Trees have played an important role in many of the
religions, and have been given deep and sacred
meanings throughout the ages. Human beings, observing
the growth and death of trees, the elasticity of their
branches, the sensitivity and the annual decay and
revival of their foliage, see them as powerful symbols
of growth, decay and resurrection. In folk religion and
folklore, trees are often said to be the homes of tree
spirits. Historical Druidism as well as Germanic
paganism appear to have involved cultic practice in
sacred groves, especially the oak. The most ancient
cross-cultural symbolic representation of the universes construction is the
The Tree of Life
According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the
tree of knowledge and the tree of life, are both forms
world tree or cosmic tree. (4)
The image of the
Tree of life is also a favourite in many
mythologies. Various forms of
trees of life also appear in folklore, culture and
fiction, often relating to
fertility. These often hold cultural and religious
significance to the peoples for whom they appear. For
them, it may also strongly be connected with the motif
of the world tree.
Tree of Life in Myth: Extract From (5):
'Buddhism tells of Sakyamuni’s birth
and a flash of light that travelled around the world
that sparked the first growth of the Tree of Perfection
– a sacred fig tree that it is said to have been four
hundred feet high that bloomed with flowers and fruit
that glowed and glistened. It is said that the Buddha
was born, received his enlightenment, preached his first
sermon and died all under the Bodhi tree. Some say he
sat under the tree for six years protected by the tree
while he was enlightened.
In Judeo-Christian parable in the
Book of Genesis there are actually two trees, the Tree
of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. A tree planted by God
in the Garden of Eden that Adam and Eve are commanded
and warned not to eat from (it is the Tree of Knowledge
that God explicitly warned them about) but are tricked
by a crafty and cunning serpent who promises that they
will become as wise as God, that they will know
knowledge and wisdom (consciousness of duality) and
never die if they eat. They indulged in its fruit and
they were cast out and banished from the garden. The
prophet Enoch describes the tree as bearing like grapes
with a beautiful fragrance. Talmudic scripture suggest
that Eve made wine from the fruit. It is the Tree of
Knowledge that Christ is said to have been crucified
Sumerian Clay tablet is dated c. 2,500 BCE. The
original Sumerian (Indo-Iranian) concept was that
wisdom is likened to a tree whose fruit endows those
who eat it with health and longevity. The symbol of
an elixir of life had already been well established
in antiquity by the Indo-Iranian cultures long
before Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other
cultures had the opportunity to recognise it. This
4,500 year old clay tablet shows a man and a woman
seated below the Tree of Life. Behind the woman is
seen a serpent allegedly ‘tempting’ the woman.
In Norse mythology Yaggdrasil is the
holy Ash World Tree surrounded by nine worlds. It is
said to connect the Underworld to Heaven with its
branches and roots. Odin is said to have hung on the
tree for nine days, self-sacrificed so that he could
bring the wisdom of the runes to his people. Once again,
from the symbol of the tree flows human awareness and
In Egypt the Holy Sycamore is said to
stand on the threshold of life and death, connecting the
worlds. It stands at the Eastern gate of Heaven from
which the sun rises each morning. A number of different
types of trees had different functions and were sacred
to different Egyptian deities.
In alchemical traditions the Arbor
Philsophica is another tree that is said to bear
alchemical symbols representing the seven planets and
the processes of alchemy. These planets correspond to
the seven metals gold, silver, copper, iron, mercury,
lead and tin which were all said to grow on the tree.
The tree is said to grow from the ground or sometimes
from the body of man. Jung speaks of a dream where he
sees a tree with branches of gold, silver, steel and
mixed iron which he realises corresponds to the Arbor
Philsophica and symbolises growth and illumination'. (5)
Other examples of trees featured in mythology are the
Banyan and the
Peepal (Ficus religiosa) trees in
Hinduism, and the modern tradition of the
Christmas Tree in
Germanic mythology, the
Tree of Knowledge (Kabbalah) of
Christianity, and the
Bodhi Tree in
folk religion and
folklore, trees are often said to be the homes of
tree spirits. Historical
Druidism as well as
Germanic Paganism appear to have involved cultic
sacred groves, especially the
oak. The term druid itself possibly derives
from the Celtic word for oak.
A sacred grove is a
grove of trees of special religious importance to a
particular culture. Sacred groves were most prominent in
Ancient Near East and
prehistoric Europe, but feature in various cultures
throughout the world. They were important features of
the mythological landscape and
cult practice of
polytheism, and were also used in India,
West Africa. Examples of sacred groves include the
Greco-Roman temenos, the Norse
hörgr, and the Celtic nemeton, which was largely but not exclusively
Druidic practice. During the
Northern Crusades, there was a common practice of
building churches on the sites of sacred groves.
ancient Greeks and Romans, trees were thought to be
inhabited by female spirits called Dryad (in oak trees)
or Meliae (in ash trees). In Greek drys signifies 'Oak'
from an Indo-European root *derew(o)- 'tree' or
'wood'. In Scottish folklore a friendly tree spirit,
called the Ghillie Dhu, helps lost children find their
way home. Japan is home to a rich tradition encompassing
various tree spirits, generally called Kodama.
Traditionally, foresters made offerings to the Kodama
before cutting a tree down.
characteristics of the trees often reflect the lore that surrounds
the tree itself: bows made from the poisonous yew as bringers of
death; the sweet scented apple wood as a symbol of love; the strong,
straight ash that was believed to form the central axis of the
Sacred Trees and their
(Collected from various sources)
ALDER: (Alnus spp.) - This tree was
sacred to the Druids and is generally associated with protection and oracular powers. The pith is easily pushed out of green
shoots to make whistles. Several shoots bound together by cordage, can be trimmed to the desired length for
producing the note you want and used to entice Air elementals. The old superstition of "whistling up the wind"
began with this custom. The oily water resistant wood has been used extensively for underwater foundations and pilings in Venice and elsewhere. It is
used in dairy vessels and the branches in making whistles. It is associated with Bran, as he used his body as a bridge to span
dangerous waters. It is used in the construction of bridges. Bran's Head was oracular.
APPLE: (Malus spp.) -
In Norse myth, Idunna was the keeper of the 'apples of immortality' which kept the Gods young. The 'fruit-bearing tree'
referred to by Tacitus in his description of Norse runic divination may have been the apple. Apple indicates choice, and is useful for
love and healing magic.
ASH: (Fraxinus spp.) - A Druid sacred
tree. Druid wands were often made of ash because of its straight grain.
The Ash is one of the sacred Druidic three: 'Oak, Ash & Thorn'. The Ash is associated with
applications in magick for sea power, ocean rituals, karmic laws, magical potency, healing and health,
protection, love, women's mysteries, prophetic dreams, prosperity. The European variety (Fraxinus excelcior) was referred to in the
Eddas as the species of Yggdrasil - the 'World-Tree". The first man, named Ask, was created from an ash log. Ash was commonly used to
make spears because of its 'springiness' and straight grain. In North America, strips of black ash were split along the grain to
make splints for baskets and hoops. It is used in weaver's beams. Women would weave cloth and intermingling threads together in a
tight pattern as the microcosm and the macrocosm are united. Ash can be used in spells requiring focus and strength of purpose, and
indicates the linking of the inner and outer worlds. Put fresh ash leaves under your pillow to stimulate psychic dreams.
and Thorn were called the 'Fairy Triad': Where they grow
together it is said that fairies live...!
BEECH: (Fagus spp.) At one time Beech tablets were used as writing
surfaces. Beech and book have the same word origins. Beech is concerned with ancient knowledge as revealed in old objects, places
and writings. Beech indicates guidance from the past to gain insight which protects and provides a solid base upon which all relies.
BIRCH: (Betula spp.) -
associated with fertility and healing magic, new beginnings, purification, protection, creativity, fertility &
birth. It was known as ‘The Lady of the Woods’.
Birch twigs were used to bestow fertility on cattle and newlyweds, and children's
cradles were made from its wood. Birch is one of the first trees to grow on bare soil and thus it births the entire forest. Criminals
were at one time birched to drive out evil influences on them, to renew them for the new year. Birch is an incredibly useful tree -
nearly every part of it is edible, and it's sap was an important source of sugar to Native Americans and early settlers. The inner
bark provides a pain reliever and the leaves are used to treat arthritis. It's bark was used for everything from paper to canoe
hulls, and axe handles were also made from Birch.
BLACKTHORN (Prunus spinosa)
- Blackthorn is a winter tree.
Blackthorn is used for purification & protection, ridding the atmosphere of negative energy. It aids in combating fear, depression
and anger. Associated with inner work and assessment, grounding and protection.
It represents the strong action of fate or the outside influences in life.
The wood is used in the cudgel shillelagh and Blasting Stick. Its thorns are used to pierce waxen
images. Blackthorn indicates strong action of fate or outside influences that must be obeyed.
ELDER (Sambucus spp.)
- The Latin name sambucus is derived from a Greek word for a wind instrument made from elder. Also known as Ellhorn, Elderberry,
Lady Elder. Sacred to the White Lady and Midsummer Solstice. The Druids used it to both bless and curse. Standing under
an elder tree at Midsummer, like standing in a Fairy Ring of mushrooms, will help you see the "little people."
Elder wands can be used to drive out evil spirits or thought forms. Music on panpipes or flutes of elder have the
same power as the wand. The pith can easily be removed from the small branches to make a flute. Elder re-grows damaged
branches with ease and can root rapidly from any part. A tea for purifying the blood can be made from the flowers and wine from the
fruit, but in general the tree is poisonous. In Norse mythology, the Goddess Freya chose the black elder as her home. In medieval times
it was the abode of witches and it was considered dangerous to sleep under its branches or to cut it down. Sticks of Elder were used as
magical horses by Witches. Elder indicates the end in the beginning and the beginning in the end. Life in Death and Death in Life.
'Elder is the Lady's Tree, burn it not or cursed ye be'!
ELM (Ulmus spp.) -
Elm is often associated with Mother and Earth Goddesses, and was
said to be the abode of faeries, explaining Kipling's injunction; "Ailim be the lady's tree; burn it not or cursed ye'll be". Elm wood is
valued for it's resistance to splitting, and the inner bark was used for cordage and chair caning. Elm adds stability and grounding to a
FIR (Abies spp.)-
Fir is a very tall slender tree that grows in mountainous
regions on the upper slopes. Fir cones respond to rain by closing and the sun by opening. Fir can see over great distance to the far
horizon beyond and below. Fir indicates high views and long sights with clear vision of what is beyond and yet to come.
Also known as the Birth Tree. The needles are burned at childbirth to bless and protect the mother and baby.
HAWTHORN (Crataegus oxyacantha)
- Hawthorn is associated with protection, love & marriage, health, prosperity, fertility,
purification, fishing magic, purity, inner journeys, intuition, female sexuality, cleansing, and happiness. The fey (Earth spirits/Fairy
Folk) are said to especially like Hawthorn since it is sacred to them.
The wood from the Hawthorn provides the hottest fire known and wands with the greatest power.
The blossoms are said to be highly erotic to men. Its leaves and blossoms are also used to create a tea to aid with anxiety,
appetite loss and poor circulation. The Greeks and Romans saw the hawthorn as symbolic of hope and marriage, but in medieval Europe it was associated with witchcraft and considered to be unlucky.
HAZEL (Corylus avallania) -
Hazel, The Tree of Immortal Wisdom has applications in magick
done for manifestation, spirit contact, protection, prosperity, divination-dowsing, dreams, wisdom-knowledge, marriage,
fertility, intelligence, inspiration. Hazel is a tree that is sacred to the fey Folk and a wand of hazel can be used to call
the Fey. In Celtic tradition, the Salmon of Knowledge is said to eat the 9 nuts of poetic wisdom dropped into
its sacred pool from the hazel tree growing beside it. Each nut eaten by the salmon becomes a spot on its skin. The Hazel tree
provided shade, protection and baskets. In Europe and North America, hazel is commonly used for 'water-witching' - the art of finding
water with a forked stick. Magically, hazel wood is used to gain knowledge, healing, wisdom and poetic inspiration.
Forked sticks are used to find water or buried
treasure. If outside and in need of magical protection quickly draw a circle around yourself with a hazel branch. To enlist the aid of
plant fairies, string hazelnuts on a cord and hang up in your house or ritual room. Magically, hazel wood is used to gain knowledge,
wisdom and poetic inspiration.
HOLLY (Ilex aquifolium) -
Holly is associated with the death and rebirth symbolism of winter in both Pagan and
Christian lore. Holly is also associated with magic for protection,
prophesy, healing, animals, sex, invulnerability, watchfulness, good luck, Holiness and consecration. It is also said to have the
ability to enhance other forms of magick. In Arthurian legend, Gawain
(representing the Oak King of summer) fought the Green Knight, who was armed with a holly club to represent winter. It is one of the
three timbers used in the construction of chariot wheel shafts. It was used in spear shafts also. The qualities of a spear shaft are
balance and directness, as the spear must be hefted to be thrown the holly indicates directed balance and vigour to fight if the cause is
just. Holly may be used in spells having to do with sleep or rest, and to ease the passage of death.
A bag of leaves and berries carried by a man is said to increase his ability to attract women.
LARCH (Larix europaea) - Larch is one of the few conifers which sheds its needles in the
winter. It plays an important role in Sami (Lapp) and Siberian mythology where it takes the place of the ash as the World-tree.
Their shamans use larch wood to rim their ceremonial drums. The smoke from burning larch is said to ward off evil spirits. Larch may
be used for protection and to induce visions.
MISTLETOE: - Also known as Birdlime, All Heal and
Golden Bough. It was the most sacred tree of the Druids, and ruled the Winter Solstice. The berries are poisonous. Bunches of mistletoe can be hung as an
all-purpose protective herb, also for kissing under. The berries are used in love incenses.
OAK: (Quercus spp.)
- The Oak is one of the sacred Druidic three: 'Oak, Ash & Thorn'.
In general, Oak is associated with spells for protection, strength, success and stability, healing,
fertility, health, money, potency, and good luck. Oak has been considered sacred by just
about every culture that has encountered the tree, but it was held in particular esteem by the Norse and Celts because of its size,
longevity, and nutritious acorns. The oak is frequently associated with Gods of thunder and lightening such as Zeus, Thor, and the
Lithuanian God Perkunas. This association may be due to the oak's habit of being hit by lightening during storms. Specific oak trees
have also been associated with the 'Wild Hunt', which is led by Herne in England and by Wodin in Germany. Oak galls, known as
Serpent Eggs, were used in magical charms. Acorns gathered at night held the greatest fertility powers. The Druids and Priestesses
listened to the rustling oak leaves and the wrens in the trees for divinatory messages. Burning oak leaves purifies
the atmosphere. In general, oak can be used in spells for protection, strength, success and stability; the
different varieties will lend their own special 'flavour' to the magic.
In addition to being at the geographic junction of three
county borders (Hereford,
Gloucester and Worcester), the proposed centre of John Michell's
'Great Decagon', and therefore, a hub for Britain's ancient 'Perpetual
Choirs' and sitting almost exactly on the 52nd latitude, the importance of
this seemingly invisible village is only now seen in its name.
Whiteleaved Oak was suggested by John Michell to be the exact centre of
a huge geometric alignment of ancient sites he called the 'Great Decagon'
which includes both
Stonehenge. These three sites
(at least), are accurately aligned to within 1/1000th part tolerance, suggesting
the outline of a decagon in its completed form, and supporting the idea of an extended prehistoric
landscape, connected by geometrically aligned 'sacred' monuments.
(More about the 'Great Decagon')
(More about Whiteleaved Oak)
PEAR (Pyrrus spp.) -
The Roman author Tacitus described how the Germanii would carve runes into the wood of a fruit tree. This is often assumed to be the
apple tree, but may well have been the pear which is considered by some to be of the same genus as the apple. In the 5th century,
Constantius told of a pear tree which was honoured by the North-men. The pear tree is also mentioned in literature and folklore connected
with love and temptation.
PINE (Pinus spp.)
- The Pine tree is an evergreen, its old title was "the sweetest
of woods". Its needles are a valuable source of vitamin C and can loosen a tight chest. The scent of Pine is useful in the alleviation
of guilt. The Bach's flower remedies lists it for dealing with feelings of guilt. Pine indicates issues of guilt within you.
It was known to the Druids as one of the seven chieftain trees of the Irish. Mix the dried needles with equal parts of
juniper and cedar and burn to purify the home and ritual area. The cones and nuts can be carried as a fertility charm. A
good magical cleansing and stimulating bath is made by placing pine needles in a loose-woven bag and running bath water
over it. To purify and sanctify an outdoor ritual area, brush the ground with a pine branch.
POPLAR (Populus spp.) -
The White Poplar flourishes beside rivers, in marshes and in other watery areas. The pith is star shaped. The upper leaves are
green, the underside is silver. The wood was used in the making of shields. Leaves move with every puff of wind. It is commonly
referred to as the talking, whispering and quivering tree. The Anglo-Saxon rune poem seems to refer to the poplar as being
associated with the rune berkano. Heracles wore a crown of poplar leaves when he retrieved Cerberus from Hades, and the upper surface
of the leaves was thus darkened from Hades' smokey fumes. In Christian lore, the quaking poplar (aspen) was used to construct
Christ's cross, and the leaves of the tree quiver when they remember this fact. The Poplar's ability to resist and to shield, its
association with speech, language and the Winds indicates an ability to endure and conquer.
ROWAN (Sorbus aucuparia) -
The Rowan tree (also called Mountain Ash and 'Witchwood') is long known for aid
and protection against enchantment. It is also associated with divination, astral work,
strength, protection, initiation, healing, psychic energies, working with spirits of the dead, psychic powers, personal
power, and success. Sticks of the Rowan were used to carve Runes on. It was also used in the art of metal divining. Rowan
spays and crosses were placed over cattle in pens and over homes for protection. The berries have a tiny pentagram on them. The pentagram is the ancient
symbol of protection. The Rowan tree indicates protection and control of the senses from enchantment and beguiling.
The Rowan was sacred to the Druids and the Goddess Brigit. It is a very magical tree used for wands, rods,
amulets and spells. A forked Rowan branch can help find water. Wands are for knowledge, locating metal and general divination
WILLOW (Salix babylonica) - The willow is a water loving tree,
associated with Moon Magic, the Willow is used for enchantment, wishing,
romantic love, healing, protection, fertility, magic for women, femininity, love, divination, friendship, joy, love, and peace. Willow bark contains Salicin which is used in the treatment of rheumatic fever and
various damp diseases. Her catkins, which appear in early spring before her leaves, attract bees to start the cycle of pollination.
In western tradition it is a symbol of mourning and unlucky love. The Latin name for the weeping willow refers to the psalm in which
the Hebrews mourn their captivity in Babylon by the willows. Willow indicates cycles, rhythms and the ebb and flux.
The willow is a Moon tree sacred to the White Lady, Its groves were considered so magical that priests, priestesses and all types of
artisans sat among these trees to gain eloquence, inspiration, skills and prophecies. For a wish to be granted,
ask permission of the willow, explaining your desire. Select a pliable shoot and tie a loose knot in it while expressing
what you want. When the wish is fulfilled. return and untie the knot. Remember to thank the willow and leave a gift.
YEW (Taxus baccata) -
used to enhance magical and psychic abilities & to induce
visions. Transformation, reincarnation, eternal life and
immortality sum up the attributes of the Yew tree. It has been
associated with death, rebirth,
and regeneration. All parts of the tree are poisonous except the fleshy covering
of the berry, and its medicinal uses include a recently discovered treatment for cancer. Long associated with magic, death, rebirth and
the runes, there are some convincing arguments for it being the original 'World-tree' of
Scandinavian mythology. In Europe, yew wood was used for making bows, while on the northwest coast of North America, the Pacific yew
(Taxus brevifolia) is used by the Haida and other tribes for making masks and boxes. Yew may be used to enhance magical and psychic
abilities, and to induce visions.
Another important tree to
the Winter Solstice and the deities of
death and rebirth. The Irish used it to
make dagger handles, bows and wine barrels. The wood or leaves
were laid on graves as a reminder to the departed spirit that
death was only a pause in life before rebirth.