This page is all about tree’s as I love them so much. Walking through woods and forests is one of my favourite things. Nobody can possibly fail to sense the magic, quiet strength and spiritual feeling when walking amongst them. As well as sensing their pain, sadness and feeling of despair in the air when they are felled. I really do believe trees not only communicate with each other, that’s obvious, but also with us, if we let them and want to listen to them and to their story. They may not be able to physically move but they too feel pain, joy, sadness and puzzlement.
It took me a while to remember bits I’d read about, some of the tree I’ve mentioned here. Little myths, healing, stories etc. and feelings I’ve personally experienced walking through woods, forests, or just one or two. Every tree has its spirit and soul and story. When you think that some trees are literally hundreds of years old, imagine some of the experiences and history they have lived through.
And, when you think about how loved, valued, and cherished all trees were to our ancient ancestors. Used for boats, homes, tools, food, healing, shelter for animals. How they were considered as sacred and living, adorned and blessed, decorated and praised. They must feel pretty unloved, under- valued and unimportant. Perhaps too, scared and vulnerable for their lives, as they are so cruelly and indiscriminately hacked down.
Associated with the goddess Venus, Aphrodite, Cerridwen and all goddesses of love and fertility. Apple tree is used in many love, healing, friendship, and magic spells. Its stories and myths go back literally thousands of years. An incredibly magical and gentle tree, its fruit, blossom and wood figure in so many stories, too many to include here. Along with other autumn fruits, apples are used at Samhain (31st October – see pagan festival page) Druids considered apples an important symbol of immortality and life. They would offer up the gathered fruits to honour and bless their dead at this time of year. It was also considered a gesture that would help those waiting for rebirth. Ancient Greeks believed if they carried an apple blossom branch together with the fruit they would be able to enter the underworld This is also true of many shamen and wise women, journeying into other (spiritual) realms, with the help and inspiration of this tree. It is also said that if you cut an apple widthways it always reveals the pentagram shape from its pips. The name Avalon is derived from the Welsh word Apple or Isle of Apples. The place where King Arthur was healed with the magic of apples as a tree of spiritual knowledge, or in the case of Adam and Eve, forbidden knowledge, both were banished from the Garden of Eden, when Eve offered Adam an apple, which he took. A wand made from apple wood is used for attracting all loving, healing and gentle energies. Apple blossom also symbolises love, harmony and friendship and can be used to honour the goddess. Bach’s flower remedies suggest crab apple to help with feelings of self-disgust, negative thoughts, feeling the need to cleanse yourself (symbolically)
A tree of healing, protection and for repelling negative energies. For helping to balance our inner energies, understanding and experiencing our magical world. In many cultures, our own included ash is considered a very spiritual tree. Sometimes known as the tree of enchantment.
Ash is ruled by the sun and traditionally burnt during the winter months and part of the winter solstice, by our ancestors, to bring good luck and prosperity. In Viking mythology ash was the world tree (Yggdrasil) which Odin hung in order to receive hidden wisdom and enlightenment. Also associated with the tarot card “The hanged one” Followers of Odin would honour him by using ash to burn their dead. Their ships were also made of ash. Druids also used ash branches and trees which were beautifully carved at midsummer and used in healing rituals. The Welsh god/magician carried a wand of ash for healing, protection and prophecy. Also witches brooms were ash, as many knife handles and tools. In folk-lore the ash tree was considered beneficial for childbirth, babies and also, children’s health. An ill child for example, would be passed through a split ash tree trunk and prayers would be offered up to the goddess of healing.
The goddess Nemesis (of divine retribution) carried a branch of ash to portray her role of justice and fairness. Other goddesses associated with the ash tree are Minerva, goddess of wisdom and Eostre goddess of spring. According to Norse mythology the first man was created from the ash tree. To sleep with ash leaves under your pillow, will enhance your psychic powers and help you to remember dreams. Ash is also associated with Neptune (water) and a small piece or sprig of ash carried whilst at sea, would protect the wearer from drowning.
"Mother of Woods" A sacred and special tree of the dark, waning moon Goddess and crone aspect, Also a very protective tree. The darker, shadow side of witchcraft. She is the tree of deep and dark secrets, the keeper of secrets also associated with Samhain, 31st October and the Goddess of winter. Morrigan, Cailleach etc.
During this festival, blackthorn must never ever be cut down. She is jealously guarded by fairies and they will not be pleased. Perhaps the best time is during a full moon as blackthorn is very much a women's tree but only then with permission.
It is said that when blackthorn grows beside her sister tree, hawthorn, then her magical energies are intensified. In the Christian religion, blackthorn was the crown of thorns Jesus wore at his crucifixion, from then on blackthorn has always bloomed on Christmas Eve. (Perhaps to remind us of man's inhumanity to man)
To ease a guilty
conscious or confide a deep, dark secret you should pick a blackthorn thorn,
for each issue, secret etc. you wish to unburden, bind these in a little bundle
and then stick each thorn into a fresh apple, a fruit of immortality, love and
forgiveness. Whisper your confessions and then leave the apple on the
earth. As the apple disintegrates, so too will your guilty conscience and
bad feelings. Blackthorn is associated with Karma and destiny and can help
banish negativity, fears and phobias. Ruled by Saturn, which help with
the unblocking of bad energy. The
blossoms were used in women's celebrations, especially fertility rites. Finally,
sloe gin is made using the gorgeously black blue fruits, picked in autumn and
generally by Winter Solstice/Christmas is ready to drink.
“Elder Mother” a tree spirit which lives within this tree and protects it. Elder Mother is said to haunt whoever cuts her tree down. It is, however permissible to carry a small twig for personal power. If you absolutely have to cut one down, then you must bow three times and recite a little blessing to the Elder Mother, so elder is a tree of strong magic and protection. A tree of the druids, ancient pagans, and the Mother goddess. It has always been strongly associated with the wise old women and witches. There are so many stories and legends as well as truths about this tree it would be impossible to list them all here. Anywhere where an elder grows was considered sacred. Wearing a crown of woven elder at Samhain (see pagan festivals) would enhance communication and inspiration with the other world spirits. The berries and leaves scattered will bless and protect against unwanted or bad spirits.
Ancients used elder in burial ceremonies and also because it is ruled by the planet Venus, was used in wedding ceremonies to ensure happiness and good luck. It was believed that witches could shape shift into an elder tree. It is a tree of the witches and where there are elders there is witch power. Witches used elder wands for their magic. Stories involving the elder tree, elderflowers and especially during a full moon or one of the pagan festivals – midsummer a favourite – enable a person to see and communicate with spirits and fairies. For healing and magical purposes it is best collected at Beltaine and at midnight when her power is at its strongest.
A large, bewitching and beautiful tree. The leaves in springtime are a lovely fresh, soft green and then later in the autumn time bearing edible nuts - food for wild animals and birds. The softly hanging catkins are where the fairy folk play and weave their magic.
Hazel tree is a sacred and magical tree, dedicated to many of the ancient Goddesses of fertility and birth. Young women would gather by this tree in springtime and offer up prayers to their chosen Goddess. It also possess inspirational, creative and artistic energies. Often described as the "Poets Tree". It's a tree of intuition, wisdom, sensitivity and fairy magic. In fact all positive, gentle and white magic.
Druids were said to be able to become invisible by using hazel tree magic. Magic especially powerful during midsummer festivals, where larger twigs and small branches were used for magical purposes, and also dowsing. And still used today for dowsing purposes. Also spells for protection and healing. Bunches of leaves and little twigs hung around the home for added protection
It is a tree ruled by the planet Mercury. And the energy of this tree is typically Mercurial. Quick, slippery, curious, with sudden flashes of brilliant inspiration. "Eureka" moments. Hazel tree guides, inspires and challenges positively. Asks us to question.
The rainbow salmon is closely associated with this tree - as the salmon is also a fish of wisdom and special magical powers and gifts. So, hazel has the key to all the world's knowledge and wisdom. The hidden mysteries of life.
A little spell/ritual for Samhain or any late autumn evening. Burn two hazel nuts together on a fire of natural wood, if possible. If the nuts burn together calmly, leaving little smoke and the ash remains clean and entwined, then a friendship/relationship will be lasting and strong. However if they sizzle and spit and fizzle out mid way, expect trouble, discord and betrayal.
A winter time evergreen tree, symbolising long life and immortality. Through the ages and including now, people have honoured this tree and brought into their homes for protection (decoration mostly these days) Druids would decorate their homes during the winter to encourage nature spirits to share their homes during the cold, bleak winter. Decorating the house also ensured guardians, spirits and fairies would protect their homes. Both oak and holly were associated with the two solstice’s summer and winter, which according to the ancient Welsh formed two pillars spanning a “rainbow river” which wiped away the sorrows, evils and brutality of the world. Holly protects against negative energies and attracts good luck. The holly rules the waning dark part of the year. She is the earth mother/goddess, symbolising autumn. In other myths “he” is holly king, guardian of life and nature, and again the dark part of the year. He is sometimes depicted having to fight the oak king and winning, this time of year. During the spring/summer the battle is reversed and the oak king wins power. In some cultures the holly tree was considered so sacred, special and magical it was called the holy tree. Holly is the masculine aspect, while mistletoe the feminine. This is why they are used so often together. A knife from holly wood is extremely magical and useful as it attracts and repels energies and strengthens the magic circle with powerful and yet gentle energies. To sprinkle a new baby boy or girl with holly water, which has been left overnight during a full moon, ensures good luck, health and happiness.
A sacred tree to our ancient ancestors. Beautifully clean and fresh scented, slim sharp needle type leaves, in a lovely dark mist green/teal shade and dark blue black berries. A tree of the sun - other sources say Jupiter - with healing, cleansing and protective energies.
Jupiter is thought to deeply enhance intuition and psychic awareness. Used on May Eve (Beltaine) as a cleansing and purifying herb, literally sweeping away all bad and unwanted energies, with a broom made up of juniper twigs/branches. (a bit like a spring clean). Small branches of juniper were hung over doorways and within the home to protect against all negative energies and ward off thieves. A tiny of sprig carried around with you will help prevent accidents. Dried berries were also used in conjunction with meditation, spell working and cleansing rituals.
Burning the leaves of juniper during childbirth would prevent fairies substituting the baby for a changeling. And also, burning during a funeral would deter bad spirits. Souls waiting for the moment to reincarnate would rest by the juniper tree - for it's protecting and guarding energies.
Juniper is associated with the Goddess Astarte - a Goddess of fertility and war (she was often depicted naked surrounded by lions).
In the Christian religion, fleeing from king Herod, with the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph sought sanctuary by the juniper tree. Many other stories tell of this tree's protecting and guarding energies. And of it's gentle and thorough healing abilities, both spiritually and mentally.
To dream of juniper is a sign of happiness and contentment and that difficult, sad and troubled times will soon pass.
It is considered bad luck to plant a rowan and a juniper tree side by side.
A tree of the sun and Jupiter associated with the goddess Cybele, Brighid, Rhea and many others. King of the trees. The feminine aspect Mother Oak, who opens her door to all who knocks for help, inspiration and wisdom. Many legends and stories are associated with this tree of magic, healing, fertility. The doorway to other realms, mysteries and spirituality. The Druids were said to always celebrate in the presence of this very sacred and special tree. The oak tree gods would be invoked, especially at the solstices and equinoxes. The oak tree mother for other festivals, such as Samhain, Beltaine etc. Winter solstice being an extremely important festival – the turning point of the year (see pagan festivals) they would also use the oak tree as a means of prophecy. By listening to the leaves rustling, they would receive messages and signs from the oak spirit. Burning oak leaves would also cleanse and purify as well as invoke magical and mystical qualities. Witches used the oak trees to meet and dance around during a full moon and to weave their magic spells. To honour the goddess of the tree and to receive blessings from her.During many of these festivals small oak branches or twigs were tied with ribbon, or similar, and placed in houses for protection against all negative energies. Acorns were also used and placed around the home or carried around to protect against illness and also fertility. Merlin reputedly had an oak wand carved from the top of a huge and old tree and performed all his magic with this and also within a grove of oak trees. The oak is an incredibly strong, solid and enduring tree. Some living for literally hundreds of years. The “As above so below” saying describes its roots stretching as far below the earth as it does above to the sky.
As with many evergreen trees, the pine tree is associated with the winter months and immortality. Its fragrance is warm, fresh and comforting. An old name for pine tree was “The sweetest of woods” Sacred to the goddess Cybele, who in Greek mythology spurned the love of a shepherd called Atys. So distraught at his passion not being returned he castrated himself beneath the pine tree. Druids would burn pine at winter time to call back the sun. This is probably where the custom originated from of burning the yule log. Branches were also used as a cleansing and protection from all negative energies and unwanted spirits. Winter being an important and powerful season for this tree. The fragrance of pine is used even now, in incense, cleansing and purifying spaces. In magic and spells it used for attracting happiness and peace. For returning hexes, bad energies and negative atmospheres. Returning these energies back to the sender in a natural and non-threatening way. Burning incense also clears and refreshes the mind especially when feeling emotionally cluttered and muddled, It helps banish negative and unwanted emotions such as guilt, depression, gloom. Pine helps to turn these feelings into positive ones and at the same time boosting confidence. Cones from the pine tree were often carried, by women for fertility and ensuring a healthy and happy birth. Spirits, fairies and elves live in pine trees and as long as humans walked in peace by the pine, then they would be protected by these spirits. Bach recommends using pine flower remedies for when you feel you have little joy within your life. When you suffer from guilt and self-blame and constantly feel the need to apologise unnecessarily.
A small tree which bears luscious, ruby red, juicy and sweet fruit. Ancient Roman brides would decorate themselves in pomegranate twigs. The blossom signifies happiness, joy and long life. Pomegranate is full of myth and magic and figures greatly in women's spirituality and mysteries. A well known myth is of Persephone - daughter of Demeter - who was abducted by Hades of the Underworld. Demeter was so grief stricken she almost pined away (winter). Meanwhile Persephone refused all food in the Underworld, except for six pomegranate seeds. Eventually she was released for six months of the year (summer) and for the other six months returns to Hades - and winter arrives again (Demeter in mourning).
The fruit of pomegranate is a symbol of both fertility and hope. The seeds are a strong protection for women. The red juice of the fruit may be used in spell writing and symbolises the blood of life.
A fruit of Samhain. Biting into a pomegranate on this day, you may make a wish. And eating three seeds to honour Persephone on her journey to the Underworld. There are many protecting spells for women which include pomegranate.
In the Christian religion a pomegranate held by Mary (Jesus' mother), bursting open symbolises her sons crucifixion, death and resurrection.
To dream of this fruit is a lucky omen and signifies that all your wishes will come true for you, very soon.
One of my favourite trees as it is my tree sign. January through to the beginning of February and taking in Imbolc (see pagan year) It is associated with Brigantia, the Goddess of victory and wisdom and also the planet Uranus. According to Norse mythology the first woman was created from the Rowen. Rowan is a tree of psychic powers and magic and believed to protect stone circles and all sacred places also called the witch tree in some cultures. Druids would plant rowan trees for this reason, as it was said that no evil or negative spirits or energies could cross a place where rowan was placed or grew. They would also burn rowan, to invoke their spirits, goddesses and gods. A tiny sprig of rowan, preferably in the shape of a cross carried with you is also a protection. Wands of rowan were used for both magic and again, to invoke the goddess for help and for blessings.
Ancient legends say the rowan is known as the “tree of life” and is guarded by a dragon (as this is also associated with the fire elements) The Celtic name for rowan is Luis, meaning fire and again, this links up to the festival Imbolc (Candlemass) Lighting candles, and Brigantia, symbolising light within the dark. Lammas is also an important festival for the rowan tree. 1st August and although it’s obviously strongly associated with January and February, during the Lammas period the rowan tree is at its most beautiful, dressed in her vibrant orange/scarlet berries and at the height of her magical power and mystery. A lovely story of the rowan tree is that it also sometimes referred to as the “whispering tree”, as according the legend the rowan would whisper all her precious secrets and wonderful magic to all that would listen to her. When collecting or cutting any part of the rowan (obviously with its permission) you must approach the tree and leave by a different route. And also leave a little gift of thanks. Finally rowan is also linked to women, moon and the rhythms of life. The blossom/flowers of rowan are sacred to the goddess of prophecy, magic and guidance.
A beautifully delicate, silvery tree, often referred to as the “Lady of the woods” Silver birch is a tree of Venus and in magic is used for gentle love spells and blessings. Moon magic and spells, for attracting soothing and calm energies and for beginnings and endings. Life- changing experiences, life phases etc. At Beltane (see pagan festivals) small branches were used for fertility rituals. Silver birch is associated with the maiden aspect of the goddess. Honoured, therefore especially at springtime and with the spring goddesses such as Bloeuwedd, Flora. Rhiannon as well as the spring gods, green man etc. The return of springtime – the ever turning wheel of life. Fairies and elves are said to live within the tree as they adore the silvery, sparkly leaves and bark. They are also the guardians and keepers of earth mysteries and natural wisdom. The white stag is also closely associated with silver birch. A guardian and spirit of the otherworld. He symbolises spiritual growth, regeneration and a messenger between the two realms. Small branches and twigs were often placed by the front entrance of a house to protect from all negative energies. Sweeping with a birch broom also sweeps away negative and potentially harmful energies.
In Celtic mythology willow was associated with the moon and the Cailleach, an aspect of the triple moon goddess, who sits beneath its roots in her beautiful, ethereal and watery world. It is also associated with Hecate, Persephone and particularly Goddesses of the Underworld.
A tree of enchantment. It is said to inspire poets, artists, writers and all those who wish to enter a mysterious and mystical realm. Wands of willow for gentle love and healing magic. Witches brooms were bound with willow. A willow wand is powerful in all moons to full magic, blessings, invocations etc and also to invoke psychic and spiritual awareness. To make a wish at a full moon or when the moon is in a water sign – Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces. Tie a silver ribbon lightly round a willow branch, silently expressing your wish or blessing and when your wish comes true you must return to the willow, giving your thanks and removing the ribbon as you do. The willow tree is a tree of spiritual protection and a few sprigs around the home, will attract calming, soothing and positive energies. Pagans worshipped and honoured the willow during many of their festivals, and especially at Beltane and Samhain (see pagan festivals) as they are so closely bound with the moon goddess feminine energies and women, they were used for fertility spells and blessings for women. Bach’s flower remedy, willow is used for helping alleviate bitter, ungrateful and resentful feelings. Or where you negatively feel the need to project blame on others for your own failings and where you always feel you are the victim.
A sacred tree of protection, immortality, reincarnation and psychic awareness. Do note that all parts of the yew tree are extremely poisonous. Both Druids and later Christians would build their place of worship by yew trees and especially near graves, as the yew was considered a powerful guardian and protector of all souls newly passed over and waiting for rebirth: Yew tree spirit helping to guide souls to rebirth. Druids also used yew tree wands to help communicate with and evoke their spirits and guides from the otherworld, particularly at Samhain (see pagan year)
Winter solstice too is an especially powerful time of the year for the yew tree and all evergreen trees, as they keep their green leaves, another symbol of immortality and everlasting life. Although to bring yew into the home during this time of year is considered unlucky. Also to cut down a yew is unlucky, at any time of year, as the spirit is said to remain within the tree.
In Christianity, yew branches were often used at Easter time, for decoration, to indicate rebirth, or more probably resurrection (Jesus on the cross)
Shamen and medicine women would use yew wood smoke for enhancing communication with their spirit guides and receiving dream messages. The yew tree is associated with the underworld, goddesses such as Hecate, Persephone, and Ereshkigal, and closely associated with Capricorn.