The Magickal Spindle Tree

Originally posted on 23/11/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

I have a theory about Sleeping Beauty’s fateful finger prick on the spindle in her 15th year of life – besides the one in which I think she was far too young to be kissed by princes – is that the spindle was poisonous by Nature. And, this is true of the Spindle tree…it is quite a poisonous tree, mainly the leaves and berries but I wouldn’t want to prick my finger on the wood, either…just incase!

How was the Spindle tree so-named? From my research it seems the major consensus it that William Turner concluded, this being from The Old English Herbals, by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde, 1922:

I coulde never learne an Englishe name for it. The Duche men call it in Netherlande, spilboome, that is, spindel tree, because they use to make spindels of it in that countrey, and me thynke it maye be so well named in English seying we have no other name. … I know no good propertie that this tree hath, saving only it is good to make spindels and brid of cages ” [bird cages].

Woodland Trust

The Spindle tree, and it’s leaves and berries, has been used over the centuries for many medicinal purposes. Everything ranging from appetite stimulants to nits [head lice], and horse/cattle mange. As before mentioned, the tree and its parts are very poisonous, so it would be better left in favour of other, safer options for these ills.

It has also been used for many household items in addition to its namesake reason, spindles, and other items such as bird cages, and even toothpicks.

The Spindle tree is found in many countries – albeit, named differently in each, I am sure. To America it was brought from England several centuries ago to be used in gardens and eventually became known as the Arrow Tree. I can only imagine it was as useful for making arrows there as it was for making spinning wheel spindles in Britain and other parts of the world. The Spindle tree is found mainly in hedgerows in Britain but has become very useful as an ornamental tree as well.

Spindle is also one of the trees of the Ogham alphabet. It is not one of the Celtic Birth Tree Ogham, but one of the five extra Ogham. It was declared there were not enough sounds to cover all human speech from the other Ogham, therefore, OI or TH, from the Irish Oir, was created. In the diagram of the Ogham, you’ll see it encased in red. It is the 22nd letter of the Ogham. OI represents the Spindle tree. It is also associated with lightning. It has been said it eases the pain of labour and birth. In modern times it has come to be associated with wealth and inspired knowledge.

According to authoress Sandra Kynes, Whispers from the Woods, Spindle is a symbol of magic in the Norse Pagan tradition. Another name for the constellation Orion was “Freya’s Spindle”. Spinning is associated with the Goddess Athena because she is credited with being the inventor of spinning and all womanly arts. The spindle was the tool of the Fates, daughters of the Goddess, Necessity [the Mother of Invention], who fashioned the destiny of humans.

Magickal:

Can be used effectively in cleansing rituals to heal old emotional wounds. Spinning and weaving spells that bring people together. Confronting one’s “shadow self” or when facing difficulties. Spindle tree wood makes an excellent pendulum for divination.

Correspondences:

Element: water
Deity: Athena, Frigg/Freya, Minerva, The Fates
Energy: feminine
Sabbat: Imbolc
Attributes: attaining quests, cleansing, divination, honour, inspiration, spiritual work, feminine power, seeking true self, community spirit
Other names: Spindleberry, Pegwood


Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
The Old English Herbals, by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde
Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes
Druidry.org
Wikipedia
Woodland Trust

Orthoceras ~ The Magickal Fossil

Originally posted on 23/11/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Orthoceras means “straight horn”.   It is a fossil, as many know, and seems to be primarily from regions such as Baltic states, Lithuania, Ukraine, Estonia, and Sweden, but from time to time, they do wash ashore of Great Britain. And, I should think that is due to the relative proximity of Great Britain to Sweden. However, they were found in the North Devon area, as well, and documented as early as 1846.  If you can’t find one naturally, you can always buy one, and they are relatively inexpensive…unless you buy a huge specimen.

orthoceras
My Orthoceras collection by i.macy

I could tell you much more about the science of Orthoceras [yes, with the “s” is the correct name, not randomly making it a plural word!], but if you’re anything like me you would rather know how you can use these gorgeous fossils in your magickal work. I am happy to tell you, as I am a proud owner of a few of these lovelies.

When I first found the Orthoceras, I had a challenging time finding much in the way of information about what they can do. Time and research found a way, as it does. Reiki Healers and Pranic Healers have both said they use the Orthoceras as it has such nice energy working with the Mooladhara Chakra, or as we know it, the Base or Root Chakra. Seems it is a good thing to use when treating the spine! I think I should give this a go myself.  It is also said to be excellent for treating atrophy, skeletal system disorders, especially hands and feet and back; and in treating fatigue, digestive disorders, and rheumatism.  Many Healers say the Orthoceras is a favourite for helping older patients with superior results. The Orthoceras is fabulous for reducing anxiety and stress…I don’t need a Pranic Healer to say so…I can feel this by holding one! Other physical healing capabilities include stimulating the thymus and increasing the elimination of toxins.

Just as useful as the Orthorceras is in physical healing, it also is for business. I have not personally made the attempt yet in using my ones for business enrichment, but they are said to heighten and supplement one’s accomplishments in business and to instil quality and excellence within one’s environment.  Orthoceras is said to open the mind and increase confidence, therefore promoting pride and accomplishment in one’s work. It can be utilised in the workplace to assist others, regardless of how you may feel about them personally. Orthoceras also induces recognition by others for your accomplishments as they will also allow you to recognise and praise the accomplishments of others.

Lastly, Orthoceras is an excellent tool for accessing past life information.  It can be used to release fear related to getting old and reminds us that in the darkness changes can occur so that we can be reborn when we chose to change and to come back to the light of day.

Correspondences:

Chakras: Base, Solar Plexus

Element: Storm, Earth

Zodiac Signs: Capricorn, Virgo

Number: 8

Colour: Black with silvery-white

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:

Wikipedia

Reiki and Pranic Healers names not being disclosed

Memoirs of the Geological Survey of England and Wales (1846) ~ reprinted

Blessed Mabon 2021

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

Wishing all my dear readers a happy and blessed Mabon 2021.

It is finally Autumn Equinox! My favourite season, next to Yule/Winter Solstice, obvs.  I have always loved this time of year when it begins to get very dark, very early.  My parents weren’t fans because it was too dark to send me out until an hour before bedtime! Still, I was a good child [ahem!] and always found a good book to read or busied myself drawing fashion designs.  No, I never made good on that old dream. 

The Autumn Equinox [also called Alban Elfed],and also called Mabon, is a Pagan celebration, originating from the Celts, who once [and still] populated Britain and much of Northwest Europe before the march of the Romans.

This tree-loving, Druid-led tribe celebrated nature and the progression of the seasons by dividing the year into eight segments, at key turning points, creating eight festivals.  Because Druids and Pagans love a good festival!

I doubt I need to explain how the quarterly and half-year Sabbats were divided and why they were, so I shall leave you with this , the “Wheel of the Year”, which has been so-called since the advent of Wicca. It’s a good name so we use it.  Besides, I don’t recall what the old Pagans would have called it.

wheel of the year
by unpublishedzine.com

How will you celebrate Mabon?

Think second  harvest.  As you know, the first harvest was Lughnassadh, the wheat/grain harvest.  During Medieval times, Christianised European peasants celebrated the Autumn Equinox as the Feast of the Archangel Michael [also known as Michaelmas].which actually falls later on 29 September. In the lunar cycle, September marks the Wine Moon, which is the time for harvesting grapes. On the back of this we use the last harvest for other fruits like apples. So, now you have your bread from the first harvest and now you have your wine and cider from your second harvest.  You are set for a long winter!

Considering this, wine and cider should be served if you feel comfortable hosting a Mabon celebration with friends and family.  And obviously, bread and pastry should be served if you want to follow the old one’s ways.  Lots of different kinds of nuts would also likely be served and savoury meat pies!  I’m getting a bit peckish writing about it!

Decorating can be as lavish or as simple as you like.  Making bowls full of potpourri from dried fruit skins, ginger, and other fresh spices will fill the air with that Autumnal feeling.  The scent of freshly baked breads will go a long way in making your mini-festival feel cosy and warm.  If you have left-over “corn dollies” from Lughnassadh, these will look very nice hanging about the house.  And, of course, the dining room sideboard can be decked out a bit like a Mabon altar.

Whatever you choose to do for Mabon, I hope you and those you celebrate with, enjoy.  Please do stay safe.  Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

The Magickal Sycamore Tree: My First Tree Love

Originally posted on 21/11/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

sycamore01
Sycamore tree ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

The Sycamore tree is a member of the Earth’s oldest family of trees – found to be more than 100 million years old. They can live to be around 600 years old and can sometimes grow to be over 100 feet tall. The Sycamore is an extremely fast-growing tree…and this I know from experience. In Britain they are also known as Plane trees, more specifically American Plane.

In Greek history, according to Herodotus, the Greeks owed some of their military success to the charm of the Sycamore. In 480 BC, an invading Persian king, Xerxes, camped his army in a sycamore grove. Xerxes was so taken by their beauty that he decided to stay camped there, putting off his march for a few days. It was said that this delay cost Xerxes the war, and Greece went on to build the Athenian Empire.

In ancient Egypt, the “Holy Sycamore” was believed to connect the world of the living with the world of the dead, but this information is due to a mistranslation; Sycamore has been mistakenly credited with being sacred to the Egyptians. And the Sycamore tree is mentioned many times in the Bible, so I’ve read.

Sycamore symbolises development, perseverance and vitality. They are often able to grow where no other tree can; represents versatility and symbolises coldness. It is believed to promote relaxation and harmony, whilst at the same time raising energy levels and banishing lethargy. It is good for any magic to do with prosperity, love or longevity. It is said to bring success and abundance, but also to teach humility. Also said to be good for using in healing potions. Sycamore is an air and water element tree.

More correctly called Great Maple, in North America, the Native Americans used the sap from Sycamore for wine-making and syrup! In healing remedies, it was used for wound dressing and a variety of medicinal purposes, including cold and cough remedies. It was also used for dietary, dermatological, gynaecological, respiratory, and for gastrointestinal problems.

To past Native-American cultures, the Sycamore was equivalent to the Oak, as Holy trees go. It is fairly water-resistant and can adapt itself well to grow nearly anywhere. It even grows hardily in the cold, rain-drenched, acidic soil of the North Highlands of Scotland.

In Britain you never hear about the mystical qualities of Sycamore. It would seem the witching world never give it a second look when thinking of wands or other magickal charms made from wood. As a young girl, I was lucky to have been moved from the big city to a life relatively in the country at an age when my little witchy wings were forming. We had a massive Sycamore tree behind our detached house, right outside my bedroom window. There were four Sycamores, in truth, planted in a row behind our house. The largest of all was outside my window…they had all been planted at the same time…I would know, my father, planted them. And whilst three grew at a normal-ish rate, the one in front of my window grew so fast I was able to climb it very soon! Mind, they weren’t little trees when first planted – my father always planted semi-grown trees around our house. Dad was such a Druid when it came to trees. He had at least one of everything and if he found the room, he had at least two of every tree…It wasn’t long before we were living in a veritable forest.

My Sycamore tree was everything to me for years. I climbed high up in it…I could sit on a large branch for hours just thinking. As I sat, many times fat squirrels would venture up in hopes of a treat, or a bird would light close by and give me a wary side-ways look, as they do. My favourites were the visiting Owls at night and the Crows and Ravens in the morning. And, naturally, my first wand was a Sycamore branch. I didn’t carve it into anything special, I just carried with me most places around our gardens or into the woodland behind us…well, if you could tell where our property ended, and the natural woodland began, that is! It was broken a bit by my parents veg garden – the size of several allotments; my Dad was over the moon! – and my Dad’s kennels for his beautiful English Setters, as he was a Quail hunter. Then, the “real” woodland began and there were small streams, tiny ponds, loads of different trees to learn about, but truthfully, my first tree love was the giant Sycamore.

I think it fitting now that I look back, that a Sycamore tree would be my first tree love…it is, after all, a tree of Ancestral and Earth Wisdom. Many of you whom have read my previous blogs know that I am a Hedge Witch…not the neo-Hedge Witch but the one who rides the Hedge and walks between the Worlds…mainly to speak with my ancestors primarily during All Hallows Eve. And, as a Taurus, I am very much an Earth Girl. This could also have much to do with loving to help my Dad when he planted in his gardens, the smells of rich Earth being turned to accept our little seeds to grow a lovely harvest of many healthy delights. I spent hours as a young girl playing in the soil, quite literally, and the most soothing thing to do at times, when my little girl life became fraught from the dreadful things that could happen from time to time, was to sit and dig my hands into the warm, fragrant Earth, feeling cosy and calmed by the connection.

And, I could always sit in my Sycamore tree…perhaps it is when my ancestors began working my life through that tree. Do you ever wonder why you make some of the life decisions you make? I can clearly understand nearly every one of mine by tracing through my ancestry. I believe it began with that tree, if I’m honest. And I am grateful for it.

So, yes, I think that a Sycamore has a lot of magickal value. It is definitely a tree perfect for any sort of ancestral workings. I have no doubt that it promotes relaxation and harmony. I can safely say it banishes lethargy and raises energy levels. I can not attest to whether it does anything for love spells, prosperity spells, or longevity spells, but it couldn’t hurt to try. As for success and abundance…perhaps it has done. I feel I’ve been very successful with nearly all things I’ve gotten stuck in and determined to do, as well as through lean times and all other times, I have had an abundance of what was needed to get by. And, we were certainly not rich growing up, but abundance was always ours. We never went hungry and the bills were paid. I can certainly see how Sycamore teaches humility…try acting stupid whilst half-way up one and see how quickly you land on the hard Earth! Lastly, I haven’t been on the receiving end of any Sycamore healing potions, but I do know Sycamore heals the soul…it feels like a loving parent. And I have days when I would give about anything to climb up into my old friend’s arms, or limbs, I should say, and snuggle up on my favourite limb and let its wisdom and love fill my soul and heart with hope again.

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:

druidry.com

Trees of London

Woodland Trust

Wikipedia

Experience

The Magick of Ivy

Originally posted on 16/11/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @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 to all whom this way wander x

Sources:

Druidry.org

whats-your-sign.com

The Faery Cross Stone, Staurolite

Originally posted on 14/11/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @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

Hawk’s Eye, The Traveller’s Crystal

Originally posted on 09/11/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @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 I, 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

The Magickal Beech Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Originally posted on 07/11/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

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.

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.

Beech-trees Daily Mirror
A stand of Beech trees – The Daily Mirror

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 has been proven effective as a remedy 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 to all whom this way wander x

Sources:

Druidry.org

Battle of the Trees, Robert Graves

dailymail.co.uk

The Magick of Broom

Originally posted on 02/11/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Ngetal Broom

What 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

The Magick of Aspen

Originally posted on 26/10/2017 via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @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 US 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 to all whom this way wander x

Sources:

Magical Alphabets, by Nigel Pennick

Druidry.org

Wikipedia