The Magick of Ivy

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Gort Ogham Ivy

Gort

Ivy! How I adore Ivy! You may be able to see that by the photos of our items in our Etsy shop. Most pictures will be adorned with a sprig or more of lush, green Ivy. Ivy is also a wood of the Celtic Birth Tree calendar, an Ogham tree. It is Gort, the 11th month of Celtic Tree calendar, 30th September – 27th October, and the 11th consonant of the Ogham alphabet.  It is not a tree, obviously, however, in England the vine can get very thick like a tree limb.  The Ivy person has determination, patience, and able to accept change. The Ivy person is your go-to source for attaching dreams with reality, just like Ivy wraps around our visions and helps us bring them into the real world.  The Ivy-born are good for creating healthy bonds with friends, family, and co-workers.

As you might tell from our shop photographs, there are many species of Ivy but for the Ogham, there are only two acceptable species, i.e., Hedera Helix [English Ivy] and the Australian species, which is confined to the southern Continent.  There is an Australian version of the Ogham and I have read there is also a Florida [US] version using species of trees indigenous to that area which are much the same in most cases as the original Ogham. You must work with what you have, sometimes!  Mind, most people can simply buy an Ogham set from a British maker unless they prefer making one out of their own indigenous trees.

Folklore / History /Magick

Ivy has been used for various purposes throughout history and is associated with Bacchus because it was supposed to grow all over his fabled homeland, Nyssa. Its leaves formed the poet’s crown, as well as the wreath of Bacchus, to whom the plant was dedicated, probably because of the practise of binding the brow with Ivy leaves to prevent intoxication, a quality formerly attributed to the plant.  It was said that the effects of intoxication by wine are removed if a handful of Ivy leaves are bruised and gently boiled in wine and drunk.  Please don’t try this at home. Ivy is poisonous if ingested.

English Ivy on

English Ivy on Celtic Cross in cemetary ~ dailymail.co.uk

Ivy wood is very porous, and the ancients thought it had the property of separating wine from water by filtration, an error arising from the fact that wood absorbs the colour of the liquid in its passage through the pores. On the Continent it has sometimes been used in thin slices as a filter.

In former days, English taverns bore over their doors the sign of an Ivy bush, to indicate the excellence of the liquor supplied within; hence the saying ‘Good wine needs no bush’.

In England it was once believed that if ivy refused to grow on a grave it meant the soul was unhappy in its other world.

If it flourished on a young girl’s grave, it meant she died of unrequited love.

Ivy crown

Ivy crown ~ courtesy of Google Images

Greek priests presented a wreath of Ivy to newly-married persons, and the Ivy has throughout the ages been regarded as the emblem of fidelity.

The custom of decorating houses and churches with Ivy at Christmas was forbidden by one of the early Councils of the Church, because its pagan associations, but the custom remains.

 

As Ivy grows in the shape of a spiral, it is considered to be of the Goddess.

Use ivy in fidelity and love charms.

Wherever Ivy is grown, it guards against negativity and disaster.

Ivy is magickally paired with Holly and is often woven together into crowns.

Correspondences:

Planet: Moon, Saturn

Element: Water

Symbolism: Fidelity and Fertility, Protection, Healing

Stone: Opal

Colour: Indigo

Bird: Lark, mute Swan, Swallow

Deity: Ariadne, Artemis, Arianrhod, Pasiphae, Dionysus, Bacchus, Osiris

 “Oh, roses for the flush of youth,

And laurel for the perfect prime;

But pick an ivy branch for me

Grown old before my time.”

~Christina Georgina Rossetti, 1862

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x

 

Sources:

Druidry.org

whats-your-sign.com

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The Faery Cross Stone, Staurolite

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

I can’t remember the first time I saw a Faery Cross stone, but I knew I must have one. At the time it was a terribly expensive stone, so I knew I would need to save my pennies or win the Lottery – the latter being a long shot to say the least – so saving pennies it was. All I knew was – I needed to have it!

Not only is it beautifully made by Nature, but it has so many attributes that suited me down to the ground. It’s a stone that looks as though it must be man-made…but it is not.

Staurolite

My Faery Cross ~ photo by i. macy

“Staurolite is best known for its distinctive, cross-shaped penetration twins, where two rectangular crystals intersect each other to form a perfect cross. However, its most common twinning habit is in bisecting crystals with a 60° angle that can appear in the shape of an “x” when the crystals are elongated. Although Staurolite does form in single, non-twinned crystals, the twinned habit is much more prevalent.” ~ minerals.net

 

Folklore

The twin crystals found on staurolite are sometimes referred to as ‘Fairy crosses’ / ‘Faery Crosses’ – as it was once believed to be created by the tears of the fae whom could not help but cry when they heard of Christ’s crucifixion. Staurolite is often called “faery stone” or “faery cross”. Since the first time it was worn, it has been considered a good luck charm as well as a charm that would protect children from evil spirits.

They also have healing attributes in the physical body. From historical tales, they were said to have been used during the crusades, to aid Richard the Lionheart to heal.

What Can Staurolite Do?

Firstly, it is a tremendous “grounding” stone. If you feel in need of grounding before spell work or during meditation, or for any reason, the faery cross is a perfect go-to crystal.  They are an aid to spirituality and making a stronger connection to Faery, the natural world, and with animal and plant spirit. The Faery stone is so calming and reassuring, you will feel it the first time you hold one. It is said they can aid in helping to put away unpleasant habits…mainly, I believe because of how de-stressing and calming the stone is.  Staurolite works well with Amethyst to aid in breaking addictions.  And, by keeping a Staurolite/Faery stone, not only will it benefit your own life but will also benefit the lives of those you are closest to.

Staurolite stones resonate a strong energy within the heart chakra and brings through a powerful energy of unconditional love for others and for the earth. And, of course, they are a base or “root” chakra stone for grounding, but are also very effective with the third eye chakra.

If you have lost something and want help to find it, faery stones are known to be able to help you to find lost objects, so this is a helpful aspect of their energy. They may also help you to make better use of your time.

Faery stones allow you to choose where you want to travel in meditation, and with whom you want to make contact. This is because they seem to have a specific energy, which I refer to as “helping your inner compass”. This means they help you to know where you are going in meditation and you will more likely end up there. They help to give greater clarity to what you see when in meditation.

Faery stones may be placed under your pillow if you would like their help to induce lucid dreaming, or to assist with astral travelling.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein.

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x

Sources:

The Crystal Bible ~ by Judy Hall

Minerals.net

Wikipedia.com

Experience

Posted in amulets, Amulets and charms, Chakras, crystal, Crystals, Dreams, Earth, folklore, healing, heart, Lore, Love, spell work, Stones | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hawk’s Eye, The Traveller’s Crystal

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Hawks Eye

Hawk’s Eye ~ photo by i.macy

Hawk’s Eye, also known as Blue Tiger’s Eye as it is sometimes referred to, is a very beautiful crystal.   It is blue-grey to blue-green in colour. It is so-named for its “chatoyancy” which reminds one of the eye of the hawk. Hawk’s Eye is a variety of macro-crystalline quartz. Hawk’s eye is a pseudo-morph of quartz. A pseudo-morph is one mineral that changes into another mineral over time and in the case of Hawk’s Eye, it began its life as crocidolite and was later transformed into quartz. Crocidolite is a fibrous blue mineral belonging to the riebeckite family of amphibole silicates. It is one of the several forms of asbestos. The transformation of Hawk’s Eye begins as quartz slowly becomes embedded between the fibres of crocidolite, eventually completely replacing it while retaining the fibrous shape of the original mineral.

Hawk’s Eye is not a blue Tiger’s Eye, although very closely related to it and Pietersite, as well.  Tiger’s Eye is formed from Hawk’s Eye. As blue crocidolite is dissolved by quartz, traces of iron oxide remain; less iron tends to result in the blue colour of crocidolite and if more iron is present, colour tends to result in the brownish golden colour of Tiger’s Eye.

Enough of the facts, yes? What about what can Hawk’s Eye do for you? Hawk’s Eye is believed to help those with a fear of flying. It is thought to be good for sight and vision, enhancing our ability to focus. Physically, it is often used for problems with eyesight, but it is also helpful for sinus congestion, as well as spine and neck problems.

Hawk’s eye is believed to be a stone of protection, often used by travellers. It can also be used to help protect against the negative energy of others. Its energy is known to help balance the brow chakra.

Use it to expand your horizons at work. It will help bring new opportunities at work or the possibility of transfer to a new location.  Hawk’s Eye is an excellent crystal for business-owners.

Hawk’s eye is the best stone for astral travel, clairvoyance, and remote viewing.  Anyone, such as myself, whom is a Hedge Witch or learning Hedge Witchery would do well to have these crystals on hand as we are considered travellers – of another kind.  It is also an excellent crystal for past-life regression.  Although I have not tried it for this purpose yet, I would imagine that it would be superb for lucid dreaming, as well.

With their ability to work well together with Angelite, I would believe that Hawk’s Eye would be a perfect crystal to use with Angelite when meditating to correspond with or “find” your Spirit Guide/Guardian.  And equally, as Sapphire is an excellent crystal to use whilst practising necromancy as in contacting the spirit of a loved one, Hawk’s Eye would be a perfect addition to this working for its ability to enhance the spiritual Sapphire.

Although for many years my main focus of interest has been on crystals and how they help heal as well as how they can help advance my magickal practise. Funnily enough, I have only recently learned about [and owned] Hawk’s Eye.  My little handful, as pictured, sends a wild amount of electrical charge pulsing through my hand when holding them. I always lay them down feeling much more optimistic than before. As a small-business owner, that can be a very helpful feeling, indeed!

 Correspondences:

Associated Crystals:  Angelite, blue quartz, and Sapphire

Candle Colour:  Mid-blue

Chakra:  Brow

Element:  Air

Flowers & Plants:  Mint, lupin, and larkspur

Herbs – Incenses – Oils:  Agrimony, aloe vera, rosemary, and sandalwood

Planet:  Jupiter.

Zodiac:  Sagittarius

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings

Sources:

healingwithcrystals.net.au/tiger-eye.html

The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall

Experience

Posted in amulets, Amulets and charms, Business, crystal, Crystals, gemstone, gemstones, Magic, Magickal, protection, spell work, Tiger's Eye, Witch, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Magickal Beech Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

tree ogham alphabet with phagos

Beech Ogham, Phagos is marked in red. 

The Beech tree, for the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar enthusiasts, will disappoint as it is an Ogham tree, but not of a particular month, but for the entire year.  The Ogham for Beech is Phagos [encased in red on the Ogham Tree chart] and is simply an additional consonant. Those whom are studying the Ogham alphabet will be pleased.  Beech is often called The Tree of Learning.

 

Beech-trees Daily Mirror

A stand of Beech trees – The Daily Mirror

Sadly, in Britain, The Queen of Trees since the Ice Age may be extinct before long due to global warming.  Research has revealed that the damage inflicted on Beech trees during the record breaking scorching summer of 1976 has impacted forests throughout the UK.  The effects of the 1976 drought have lasted to the present day and expect future changes to UK forests may be sudden and put many of our most iconic Beech woods at significant risk.

The King of Trees in the UK is Oak, by the way.

Beech trees have inspired the building of cathedrals, its leaves used for nourishment, and its seeds used to make coffee in Germany. A very important tree all round, but it seems not many people realise how magickal a tree it is.  Beech is linked with time, wisdom, and knowledge but especially written wisdom, as the Beech was used in thin slices to write upon and to form the very first books.  Whatever material words were inscribed upon, they took on the power and magic of the gods which is why the Beech tree was held in such awe. Writing made knowledge manifest into the physical world and therefore allowed that wisdom to be passed on to future generations. Beech can help us make wishes, by scratching your wish upon a piece of Beech and then burying it. Say a simple spell or prayer as you are giving it back to the earth and then it will begin to manifest in your life. Some say you should carry small pieces of beech bark in your pocket for luck and success and that a Beech wand will open channels of communication with the God/Goddess.

Medicinally, Beech is used for skin problems and the “tar” from Beech is in provenly effective remedies for psoriasis eczema.  Preparations made from bark could reduce fever.

Correspondences:

Planet: Mercury, Saturn

Element: Air, Earth

Symbolism: learning, knowledge, understanding, sustenance, preservation

Birds: Bluebird

Colour: light blue

Deity: Ogma, Thoth, Hermes,  Mercury, Odin, Cronos

Folk Names: copper beech, white beech

The tops of the beech tree

Have sprouted of late,

Are changed and renewed

From their withered state.

 

When the beech prospers,

Though spells and litanies

The oak tops entangle,

There is hope for trees.

excerpt from “Battle of Trees” by the Bard Taliesin,

interpreted by Robert Graves

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x

Sources:

Druidry.org

Battle of the Trees, Robert Graves

dailymail.co.uk

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The Magick of Broom

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Ngetal BroomWhat is Broom? Technically, it is not a tree…more of a shrubbery, and is sometimes referred to as “Reed” …still, it is considered in the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar as one of the thirteen woods which comprise the CBTC.  Broom [or reed] is the 12th month of Celtic Tree calendar, 28th October – 24th November and is the 12th letter of the Ogham alphabet – Ngetal.  If you were born on 31st October, Samhain, both the Broom and the Blackthorn would have great meaning for you.

People born under the Broom/Reed sign among the Celtic tree astrology signs are the secret keepers. You dig deep inside to the real meaning of things and discover the truth hidden beneath layers of distraction. When there is a need to get to the heart of the matter, most certainly the Reed sign will find the core. You love a happy story, and can be easily drawn in by gossip, scandals, legend, and lore. These tendencies also make you an excellent historian, journalist, detective or archaeologist. You love people because they represent a diversity of meanings for you to interpret. You are adept at coaxing people to talking to you, and sometimes you can be a bit manipulative. However, you have a keen sense of truth and honour so most of your scheming is harmless. Broom/ Reed people join well with other Broom/Reeds, Ash or Oak signs.

Broom_2009_06_12_GlenriddingHut_BBQ_203p5

Broom growing wild..as it does 🙂

The Broom seldom grows large enough to furnish useful wood, but when its stems acquire a sufficient size, it is beautifully veined and being hard provides valuable material for veneering.  As its name suggests, it was popularly used for making brooms and brushes, and was commonly used for basketwork, especially on the island of Madeira.  In the north of England and Scotland it was used for thatching cottages and making fences or screens.

A traditional rhyme from Sussex says: “Sweep the house with blessed Broom in May / sweep the head of the household away.” 😊

The branches of the Broom shrub are perfect for sweeping [but not whilst the yellow blossoms are standing at attention, wait till the flowers drop off – otherwise sweeping with Broom branches leads to very nasty luck as the fables warn]. Because of its handy household uses, flower symbolism of the Broom includes a sense of orderliness, cleanliness, and tidiness. Kind of like a “symbol of good house-keeping.”  It’s bright yellow flowers are likened to the gold of the radiating sun, and therefore conjure symbolic attributes of light, energy, vitality, and warmth.  The Broom flower as a symbol also hints to humility – it’s a simple bush…its needs are few [it can live quite well without much tending]. Those whom are drawn to the Broom flower as a personal symbol will be humble in his/her ways…. resourceful, too – making the best [and being happy] with simple things in life. Broom flower symbolism also points to matters of the heart; ingestion of the plant is known to affect cardiac function. Folk medicine cites Broom teas as a heart regulator [don’t try it at home unless you know what you’re doing, please]. The Broom is a bright reminder of how simple values can go a long way to balancing the heart.

Medicinal and Folklore:

The whole of Broom is medicinally valuable. The main medicinal ingredient in Broom is sparteine. When consumed in large doses it can cause excitability and hallucinations.  This has been speculated as the reason Broom is associated with witches flying around on brooms. I would imagine this would raise blood pressures to an incredible height so please don’t try this.  The sparteine found in Broom is now used for heart and circulatory disorders. Other preparations from Broom can help with gout, sciatica, joint pain, malaria, fever, kidney stones. I would think it best to leave this to the pharmaceutical companies to know how much and what part of Broom should be used.

broom flowers RHS

Broom flowers ~ Royal Horticultural Society

Flowers of the Broom were once used to concoct an elixir for gout and it was known that King Henry VIII drank the infusion of water with Broom flowers to “cure” the effects of his many excesses.

Before hops, Broom was added to flavour and enhance the intoxicating effects of beer.

 

 

My Nana insisted the broom be stored on its end, never on the bristles, to keep the magick from running out.

It is bad luck to loan your broom to anyone, even a friend.

A broom laid in a doorway would detain a witch from entering a cottage. For a witch would not cross over objects without first numbering the parts, and counting all the fibres of a broom would slow her progress. [Wales]

Stand a broom upside down – Marry soon. [Ireland]

Magickal:

Broom was hung up in the house to keep all evil influences out, and an infusion of Broom sprinkled throughout the house was used to exorcise poltergeist activity.  Sweeping the ground with a brush of Broom will clear the area of unwanted influences.

Banishing and releasing spell:

Bundle a handful of twigs to create a small ritual hand broom. Write the name of what you want to release or banish from your life on a piece of paper and burn it.  When the ashes are cool scatter them on the floor around your altar. Take the broom and sweep the ashes from the centre out to the edge of your circle. Gather the ashes and then scatter them to the wind.  [You can also sweep the floor as you burn the ashes, and then take a few pieces of your broom, burn them in your cauldron, and scatter them to the wind after they cool].

~Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

Correspondences:

Planet: The Moon

Element: Water

Symbolism: Royalty, cleansing, healing, psychic protection, astral travel

Stone: Opal

Colour: Blue

Bird: Geese, kingfisher

Deity: Mercury, Morpheus, Bacchus

Sabbat: Samhain

Folk Names: Scotch Broom

 

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x

 

Sources:

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

Whats-your-sign.com

In Worship of Trees, by George Knowles

Posted in Celtic Tradition, Celtic Tree Calendar, folklore, Lore, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, Samhain, spell work, spells, traditional witchcraft, Witch, Witchcraft, wood | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Samhain: The Magick of Blackthorn

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

treeid-blackthorn woodlandtrust

Young blossoming Blackthorn ~ photo by woodlandtrust.org.uk

It is the tree of Samhain. In the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar, Blackthorn is 31st October, beginning of Samhain and more recently associated with Halloween. Its ogham name is Straif, Chieftain tree.  It is not a CBT Calendar birth tree, therefore there will be no “zodiac” reading associated with Blackthorn, although some traditions believe those born upon this day to be born from something less than angelic. We shall lay superstitions and old beliefs aside to look at Blackthorn as the wonderfully magickal and protective tree that it is.

“The holy day of Samhain is, in the Celtic tradition, the first day of Winter: a time of sacrifice, divination for the New Year, communion with the dead, of endings and rest. On this night the world of spirits, ancestors and mortals might meet.

Within the mythic cycle of the Goddess as Crone, she deepens into Herself and enters the dreamtime, the place between the worlds where past, present and future exist simultaneously. The season invites you to enter a place of stillness and simply be where you are: not moving forward or backward but utterly present, suspended in the space between past and future. It is here that you may hear Her voice in the crackling fire, rain, and wind.

Review the year that has passed with introspection and retrospection. Commune with your ancestors and honour your beloved dead. Remember your sisters who perished in the Burning Times, and commit yourself to the struggle for justice. Divine and ask the Fates for blessings in the coming year. What do you leave behind in the year that has passed, and what do you wish to take with you? How will you prepare to listen to the Old Wise One within?” ~ Women’s Rites, Women’s Mysteries by Ruth Barrett, and We’ Moon

The Blackthorn tree is esoterically known as both the Mother of the Woods and the Dark Crone of the Woods.  It is found primarily in the British Isles and is generally part of hedgerows and in thickets. You’ll often find it alongside Elder and Hawthorn in the hedgerows bordering many farmlands. It is a very difficult tree…more like a shrub than tree, traditionally never becoming taller than thirteen feet in height…to physically come close to. And if you do, mind the thorns or “spines”…

sloe-dave kilbey photography

Sloe berries on Blackthorn tree ~ photo by Dave Kilbey davekilbeyphotography.co.uk

 

The Blackthorn does produce a fruit, called sloes, and is often made into sloe berry jam and sloe gin.  The berries have medicinal use as well which we’ll look at later.

 

 

 

Folklore

Blackthorn is generally depicted as an ill omen throughout Britain and even Europe, however, the Celtic people formed its most sinister reputation…a hard, cold winter would be referred to as a “Blackthorn winter” and the Ogham letter  straif is where the English word “strife” is derived from. Drawing the straif Ogham stave [made of Blackthorn wood, of course!] means the diviner is in for a thorny go of things. The drawing of the stave also indicates the actions of fate in your life, something that cannot be avoided but must be faced and dealt with. Blackthorn gives you the strength to accept and persevere in the face of adversity.

Blackthorn is associated with death quite frequently. Samhain is the death of the old year whilst hailing in the new.

In the Irish legend, the Pursuit of Diarmaid and Gráinne, a passage describes Sadhbh eating sloe berries and becoming pregnant as a result. She gave birth to a son who was born with a lump on his head. The lump turned out to be a worm or snake. The snake was eventually killed in sacrifice for another man. In The Sword of Oscar, sloe berries are part of a sacrificial theme as well. Blackthorn’s theme in traditional stories often indicate a warrior’s death in service to the High King or tribe.

In the Word Ogham of Cúchulainn Blackthorn is ‘an arrow’s mist’ and ‘smoke drifting up from the fire.’ These are both kennings for death.

Magickal Use

Blackthorn is used for purification, as well as protection, ridding the atmosphere of negative energy. It deals the issues on a Karmic level, which cannot be avoided. Meditating on Blackthorn can purify our minds of negative thoughts and impulses at the deepest level of our psyche. It can aid us in combating fear, depression, and anger. The thorns of the Blackthorn can be imagined lancing the built-up abscess of negative thoughts, and release the emotional toxins, which can then begin to heal. Using the gentler sister tree, Hawthorn, in conjunction with Blackthorn, can aid the process of healing.

Traditionally, Blackthorn is used in protection against evil, creating boundaries, purifying, confronting our own dark side. Blackthorn dispels negativity, toxins, old wounds, and impurities. It can be used in exorcisms. It is associated with chthonic and protective deities.

Blackthorn Spines

Two of my Blackthorn spines…one is 3″ long! Photo by i.macy

The spines can be used as pins to stick in a poppet. A wand or staff can be used for help in exorcisms or for protection from fire and for general protection.  A staff can be used to make wishes, and carrying the wand or staff protects one from evil. The wood makes a good divining rod. Often the Blackthorn wand is called a “blasting rod” for the power is so intense. An ideal wand for casting spells against enemies.

 

Protection Spell:

Carefully gather a few thorns from the tree.

On a piece of paper,

write the name of the person or situation

from which you seek protection,

and then wrap it around the thorns.

Bury this in the ground – if possible near the tree

from which the thorns were collected.

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

Medicinal Use

The fruit and leaves contain Vitamin C, organic acids, tannins, and sugars. Steep the flowers for a diuretic, tonic, and laxative. The dried fruits can treat bladder, kidney and stomach ailments. Boil the leaves for a mouthwash or to sooth the throat from tonsillitis or laryngitis.

Correspondences

Planet: Mars, Saturn

Element: Earth, Fire

Zodiac: Aries, Scorpio

Symbolism:  The inevitability of Death, Protection and Revenge, Strife and Negativity,

The Balance between light and darkness.

Stone: Black Opal, agate, bloodstone

Birds: Thrush

Colour: Purple, Black, Red

Deity: Morrigan

Sabbat: Samhain

Folk Names: sloe, sloe plum, wishing thorn, faery tree

Pronounciations:

Scots Gaelic: Draighionn

Irish Gaelic: Draighean

Welsh: Draenen ddu

Many thanks for reading.  Have a blessed Samhain and warmest blessings to all x

Sources:

Druidry.org

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

Women’s Rites, Women’s Mysteries by Ruth Barrett, and We’ Moon

Experience

Posted in Celtic Tradition, Celtic Tree Calendar, folklore, Halloween, Ireland, Lore, Magic, Magickal, magickal trees, Pagan, protection, Samhain, spells, Spirit, traditional witchcraft, Wands, Witch, Witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Magick of Aspen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

aspen tree

from aspentreeservices.co.uk

A friend on Twitter mentioned Quaking Aspen some months back and I said I should blog about it soon. So, today we’ll consider the magickal side of the Aspen tree, a British native, but far more common in the USA and Scotland. Much smaller in stature than the White Poplar, slender in growth on a tall, slim trunk, they spread easily by means of underground shoots and so are often found growing close together in little groves. The roundish toothed leaves sprout on flattened stalks, each one unusually long and flexible. These are a soft, rusty colour in spring before maturing to a uniform mid-green. Aspens seem continually on the move which gives the tree its nickname of the ‘Quaking Aspen’ or ‘Shivering tree’.  The Aspen, being closely related to the White Poplar, often the names of the two trees are used interchangeably.

Now, you know, Darren 😊

Also called the “Whispering Tree”, the Aspen is representative of the Autumn Equinox, 21st September and is the fourth vowel of the Ogham alphabet – Eadhadh, and it is the 19th Ogham of the alphabet.  The Aspen is not a Celtic Birth Tree Calendar tree, therefore there isn’t an “Aspen zodiac” reading. However, the Ogham itself has meaning and if you were born on the Autumn Equinox, it would be a special Ogham for you, in addition to your birth tree for your place in that month.

Lore and legend is associated with these quivering Aspen leaves, and it’s no wonder. When you have the first opportunity, observe the aspen leaves in action – loosen your body and mind and really watch these amazing trees. Their stark, white bodies ascending to their shimmery leaves will keep you spellbound.  It is, as many trees are, quite sacred to the Druids.

Folklore

The Aspen is felt to be a tree of rebirth.  It is also thought of as a tree of overcoming death. The writer, Nigel Pennick in Magical Alphabets sees the Aspen as a resistor of inhospitable conditions.  On the other hand, the Aspen is also seen as dark and evil as per its role in the Bible as the betrayer of Christ.  In France, it was a religious belief that the leaves shook with fear because Christ’s cross was made from Aspen wood.  In Germany, it was legend that the Aspen was the only tree that refused to acknowledge him, so Jesus had placed a curse on the Aspen – which caused the tree to tremble in fear. Any way you look at Aspen, it has a connection with death.

Early folk healers in England would tell a palsy patient to pin a lock of her hair to an Aspen tree and repeat:

Aspen tree, Aspen tree

I prithee shiver and shake

Instead of me.

They were to walk home in silence from there [or they risk breaking the spell, and the cure would fail]

Medicine

The bark of the Aspen tree contains an analgesic and early Native American women would brew a tea of the bark and leaves to relieve menstrual cramps, and other pains.

Magick

Burn incense made of powdered Aspen bark on charcoal disc at Samhain to protect you from unwanted spirits and to help you release old fears as you move forward into the next new year. Plant an Aspen tree on your property to prevent thieves from robbing your home.

Corresponces

Planet: Mercury

Element: Air

Symbolism: Ascent, Protection, Overcoming fear.

Stone: Black Opal

Birds: Mourning Dove, Swan

Colour: Grey

Deity: Persephone, Hades

Sabbat: Mabon, Autumn Equinox

Folk Name: European Aspen

“And the wind full of wantonness

Woos like a lover

The young Aspen trees

Till they tremble all over.”

~Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh, Light of the Harem

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x

 

Sources:

Magical Alphabets, by Nigel Pennick

Druidry.org

Wikipedia

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