By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Do you ever think you know it all? Some of us older types do that sometimes. So, there I was, thinking the Cherry tree came from Asian countries such as Japan and I find the UK has a native, yes native, Cherry tree all along! The Prunus avium, or Wild Cherry, is a native of the UK, no ties to Asiatic countries. Well…knock me down with a feather! Never too old to learn, I say.
The most important Cherry tree in my life was from a child, when visiting my Nana’s farm and helping her pick cherries to put on a Victoria Sponge or to make tarts with. I was never much help as I ate more than I collected. Still, she never failed to make a special tart just for me with the cherries I picked….I’m surprised that could have amounted to much, ha ha…she most likely added some of her own to my pitiful lot, as a good Nana will do.
In the Victorian Language of Flowers, white flowers from the Cherry tree meant deception.
In Highland folklore, Wild Cherry trees had mysterious qualities, and to encounter one was considered auspicious and fateful. In fact, in the Highlands it was once taboo to use Cherry wood, as Cherry trees, were regarded as being so magickal in Highland culture. They were also a bit rarer in the Scottish Highlands as the Cherry tree grows best in the more southerly regions of the UK.
When using Cherry wood or any part of the Cherry tree for spells, please note it is best to do these rituals on the day of Venus [Friday] during the hour of Venus for best results.
Cherry stones have been used as talismans to attract love. According to Tess Whitehurst, authoress of such books as You are Magical and The Magic of Trees, Cherry blossoms are for divine love, forgiveness, gentleness, remembering one’s primal innocence, romance, and weight loss, although from my research the only one I find matching would be love. Still, many witches do find new reasons for certain things working for them that no one else has done.
Any part of the Cherry tree can be used for spell work and for incense making [bark], oils, sachets, witch bottles, poppets, and the branches are well-suited to becoming magic wands. The Cherry wood wand is best for healing and love spells / rituals.
Regarding the Cherry tree, Nicholas Culpeper wrote: “The gum of the Cherry-Tree, dissolved in wine is good for a cold, cough, and hoarseness of the throat”. The gum, I would presume came from within the bark of the Cherry tree, as most cold and cough remedies even to this day, use the bark of Cherry trees to silence coughs due to cold and to help expel phlegm. Not only was the bark of the Cherry tree used in England and surrounding countries during this time but across the pond, Native Americans also used the bark of Cherry trees in the same way. And, I am quite sure they did not consult Mr Culpeper’s writings, although it may be possible that returning Englishmen from North American travels may have passed round the knowledge about Cherry trees and we in turn began using this information for ourselves.
Other attributes of the Cherry tree’s fruit, by Mr Culpeper are the ability to “provoke urine” and also “mends colour in the face, sharpens the eyesight, provokes appetite, and to expel gravel and wind”… do I want to know what he means by ‘expel gravel’? Probably not… it is enough for me to know cherries will most likely make you fart.
Element[s]: Fire, Water
Zodiac: Aquarius, Aries
Powers: Love, Wisdom, Money, Luck, Inner Peace, Healing, Divination,
Deity: Morrigan, Artemis, Persephone, Herne, Mars, Pan, Thor, Vertumnus, Yaya Zurkurai
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The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper, c1702
The Magic of Trees, by Tess Whitehurst
Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes