TREES


Types and Uses



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ALDER

The Alder is the tree of fire. In the battle of the trees, the Alder fought in the very front line. It is described as the very "battle witch" of all woods; the tree that is hottest in the fight. From the alder, you can make three different dyes, red from its bark, green from its flowers, and brown from its twigs. This symbolizes the elements of fire, water and earth. Whistles may be made of this wood to summon and control the four winds. It is also the ideal wood for making the magical pipes and flutes. To prepare the wood for use, beat the bark away with a willow stick while projecting your wishes into it. The Alder is a token of resurrection.

ASPECTS: Controlling the four winds, banishing and controlling elementals, resurrection. Making magical dyes.

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ALMOND

Almond has a very sweet natural being. Aids in self protection.

ASPECTS: Fruitfulness, virginity

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APPLE

It is an old English custom to drink to the health of the Apple tree with a good glass of cider all in hopes of encouraging the tree to produce a good crop next year.

ASPECTS: Fertility

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ASH

The Ash was sacred to Poseidon and Woden. The Ash is considered to be the father of trees. The Ash is the tree of sea power, or of the power resident in water. Special guardian spirits reside in the Ash; This makes it excellent for absorbing sickness.

ASPECTS: Sea power, karmic laws, magical potency, healing, protection from drowning.

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BIRCH

With the exception of the mysterious elder, the Birch is the earliest of the forest trees. The Birch is used extensively in cleansing rituals. Throughout Europe, Birch twigs are used to expel evil spirits. Birch rods are also used in rustic rituals to drive out the spirits of the old year.

ASPECTS: Controlled by the Lunar influences. Birth, healing, Lunar workings, and protection.

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COCONUT

The Coconut is feminine and very fertile. The shell represents the womb, and the milk, fertility.

ASPECTS: Protection from negative psychic forces.

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ELDER

A waterside tree, the Elder has white flowers that bloom to their peak in midsummer (as is also true for the Rowan). The Elder is also said to be the crucifixion tree. The inner bark and the flowers have long been famous for their therapeutic qualities.

ASPECTS: Witchcraft, banishment, magical art, waters of life.

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FIG

The Fig is androgynous. The fruit representing the feminine and the triple lobed leaves suggest the masculine force.

ASPECTS: Balance

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HAWTHORN

The Whitethorn or Hawthorn or May Witch takes its name from the May. It is a generally unlucky tree and its name, translated from the Irish Brehon Laws, had the meaning "harm". The Hawthorn blossom, for many men, has the strong scent of female sexuality and was used by the Turks as an erotic symbol. The monks of Glastonbury perpetuated it and sanctified it with an approving tale that the staff of Joseph and the Crown of thorns were made of Hawthorn.

ASPECTS: Purification, enforced chastity, male potency, cleansing.

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HAZEL

The Hazel is a tree of wisdom. In England, all the knowledge of the arts and sciences were bound to the eating of Hazel nuts. Until the seventeenth century, a forked Hazelstick was used to divine the guilt of persons in cases of murder and theft. We have retained the practice of divining for water and buried treasure.

ASPECTS: Wisdom, intelligence, inspiration, wrath.

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HOLLY

Holly means "holy". The identification of the pacific Christ with the Holly is poetically inept a it is the Oak king, not the Holly king that is crucified on a T shaped cross. The Holly has many uses form making a dye from its berries to being used as an aphrodisiac.

ASPECTS: Holiness, consecration, material gain, physical revenge, beauty

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IVY / VINE

The Ivy was sacred to Osiris as well as to Dionysus. Vine and Ivy come next to each other at the turn of the year, and are jointly dedicated to resurrection. Presumably, this is because they are the only two trees that grow spirally. The Vine also symbolizes resurrection because its strength is preserved in the wine.

ASPECTS: (VINE) Joy, Exhilaration, Wrath, Rebirth. (IVY) Fidelity, Constancy, Love, Intoxication.

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MISTLETOE

The mistletoe was sacred to the Druids and to the Norse. It was considered to be the great healer and has both male and female qualities. It was so well regarded by the Norse (because it was sacred to Freya) that they refused to fight in the vicinity of Mistletoe. The custom of hanging Mistletoe in the house to promote peace comes from this. Generally regarded today as a symbol of love and purity.

ASPECTS:

Love, fertility, sexual potency.

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OAK

The oak tree is the tree of Zeus, Jupiter, Hercules, The Dagda (The Chief of the Elder Irish gods), Thor and all other Thunder Gods. The royalty of the Oak needs no enlarging upon. The Oak is the tree of endurance and triumph, and like the Ash, is said to count the lightning flashes. The Oak is a male wood. The midsummer fire is always Oak and the need fire is always kindled in an Oak log.

ASPECTS: Endurance, triumph, strength, power, dominion, prosperity, sacrifice, guardian, liberator.

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PALM

Is regarded as particularly powerful because of its incredible durability and because it is self renewing, never changing its leaves. Aids in rejuvenation.

ASPECTS: Resurrection, and the cycle and matrix of life

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PEACH

The Peach is an emblem of marriage.

ASPECTS: Abundance, fruitfulness, happiness.

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PINE

External symbol of life and immortality. It is one of the few trees that are androgynous. It was also worshiped by the ancients as a symbol of fire because of its resemblance to a spiral of flame. It is regarded as a very soothing tree to be near.

ASPECTS: Strength, life and immortality, rejuvenation

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ROWAN

The Rowan is seen as the tree of life. It is also known as Mountain Ash, Quickbeam, The Witch or Witch Wand. In the British Isles, Rowan is used as a protection against lightning and magical charms of all sorts. In ancient Ireland, the Druids of opposing forces would kindle a fire of Rowan and say an incantation over it to summon spirits to take part in the battle. The Rowan is also used for many healing purposes. The "Quickbeam" is the tree of quickening. Another use was in metal divining. In Ireland, a Rowan stake was hammered through a corpse to immobilize the spirit.

ASPECTS: Divination, healing, astral work, protection.

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WHITE POPLAR

The tree of the Autumn Equinox and of old age, is the shifting leafed White Poplar, or Aspen, The shield makers tree. Heracles bound his head in triumph with popular after killing the giant Cacus (the evil one). The Black poplar was a funeral tree sacred to the Mother Earth. Plato makes a reference to the use of Black poplar and Silver Fir as an aid in divination. The Silver Fir standing for hope assured and the Black Poplar for loss of hope. In ancient Ireland, the coffin makers measuring rod was made of Aspen, apparently to remind the dead that this was not the end.

ASPECTS: Hope, rebirth, divinations.

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WILLOW

The Willow was sacred to Hecate, Circe, Hera, and Persephone. The moon owns it. Female symbol. It is the tree that loves water most and is sacred to the Moon Goddess who is the giver of dew and moisture, generally. The Willow is the tree of enchantment. Can be used to make wishes come true.

ASPECTS: Moon magic, psychic energy, healing, inspiration, fertility

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YEW

The Yew is known as the death tree in all European countries. Sacred to Hecate in Greece and Italy. Yew wood makes excellent bows, as the Romans learned from the Greeks. This strengthened the belief that Yew was connected with death. It's use in England is recalled in Macbeth where Hecate's cauldron contained:"... Slips of Yew, slivered in the moon eclipse." The Silver Fir of birth and the Yew of death are sisters. They stand next to each other in the circle of the year and their foliage is almost identical.

ASPECTS: Destructive workings concerning death.



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