A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Sixteen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Ogham Ailm
Ogham Ailm ~ photo by i.macy

The Silver Fir is the main tree for which the Ogham Ailm represents, however, in some other circles the Elm tree is also marked by Ailm.  To confuse the issue further, Silver Fir is not mentioned in my first blog [see Sources below the link] regarding the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar and the representation of each tree’s Ogham alphabet.  One chart uses Pine in the place of Fir. The Ailm Ogham, all the more confusingly, represents all three trees:  Elm, Fir, and Pine.  For our purposes, should we create an Ogham set for ourselves from the twenty woods needed, it seems the prevailing wood for Ailm by the Druids is Silver Fir.  Ailm is the Ogham for the 23rd of December, the beginning of Yule.

While Silver Fir is not, as stated, a Birth Tree, it is called “The Birth Tree”.  It is used in protection spells for mothers giving and having given birth.  One of the ways is by burning the needles in the birthing room.  An excellent way to bring this into the 21st century is to create a loose incense with the Fir [or Pine] needles to burn on a charcoal block. Fir is also one of the Nine Sacred Woods.

Representations:  Far-sightedness, Beginnings/Endings, Pregnancy/Birth, Understanding, Intuition, Psychics,  Manifestation, Epiphany

Ogham Letter:  A

Number:  16

Colour:  Piebald – spotted/black/white/speckled

Tarot:  The Tower

Animals:  Lapwing

Plant:  Fir,  Pine, Elm

Divination Meaning:  You must question yourself again… What work am I starting? How am I being initiated?  Ailm is the Ogham of beginnings and endings combined. As one comes into this life, so is one born into the next.  You must study the part[s] of your life going through transition and look ahead into your own future.  You will be able to see what is beyond and what is coming.   When Ailm appears in divination, a new thing is coming into being.  Someone you know may be about to give birth, or you are beginning a new project; you are full of excitement and creativity, an epiphany is about to happen. It could also indicate that your spirituality is about to experience a great growth spurt. But no matter what is coming, you must realise that it is going to happen.  How it happens is largely up to you as to whether you will drag your feet and make it painful or whether you will open yourself willingly to the change and go through it with grace.

How to Mend the Problem:  The chthonic current of Ailm is life and death… the oceanic current of Ailm is being on the threshold of something new and exciting; being on the brink of discovery – on the verge of the “aha moment”.  You are standing at the threshold of a very important passage in your life.  You may be about to give birth to a baby… or perhaps a brand-new idea… or you will learn that you have acquired the spirituality you have worked so dedicatedly for.  Perhaps you will make a discovery which can help all of mankind.  Here, you and you alone must see into your own future and decide what it will be. Your intuition is going to be necessary.  The Universe feels you are ready for the passage.  You would do well to trust the Universe and in yourself for you have learned all you need to know at this point to make this passage. But do understand, the passage itself cannot be rushed, nor can you stop it; this is not in your hands.  Take your time and savour it. It will be worth it.

One further note, if you are pulling three staves in a reading, and pull the Ur stave along with Ailm as one of your three,  it will have to do with Death… and do remember that to pull the Ur stave, just as with the Death card in tarot does not always, and rarely means, physical death. Always make note of where it falls…Past, Present, or Future.

The Tower
The Tower ~ photo by i.macy

The tarot card with goes so well with Ailm is The Tower.  Of that I’m aware, there are no “upright” or “reverse” meanings in the Ogham.  Your stave will represent both sides of the coin, as it were.  Your foresight into your situation will tell you whether the meaning is fabulous or not so much.  Still, as previously mentioned, the Universe feels you are ready for this.  The Tower card in the Upright position means to expect the unexpected – massive change, upheaval, destruction and chaos. It may be a divorce, death of a loved one, financial failure, health problems, natural disaster, job loss or any event that shakes you to your core, affecting you spiritually, mentally and physically. There’s no escaping it. Change is here, but trust me, it’s for your Highest Good. In the Reversed state, The Tower suggests that you are undergoing a significant personal transformation and upheaval. This differs from the experience of the upright Tower where the change is often because of external circumstances and may even feel forced upon you. After a Tower experience, you will grow stronger, wiser and more resilient as you develop a new perspective on life you did not even know existed. These moments are necessary for your spiritual growth and enlightenment, and truth and honesty will bring about a positive change, even if you experience pain and anxiety throughout the process.

The Ailm Ogham does the same for you.

You can catch up the first fifteen blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, Part Twelve, Part Thirteen, Part Fourteen, and Part Fifteen by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog and warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x


The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Fifteen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Ogham ruis
Ogham Ruis ~ photo by i.macy

We shall now delve into the mysteries of the Ogham, Ruis, which is of the Elder tree, a Celtic Birth Tree for those born between 25 November and 23 December.  The Elder tree represents the Dark Half of the year and is associated with the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess. But the focus is on its Ogham, Ruis, which loosely means “red” from the Irish Gaelic word, “Rúad”.  And, as you will read, Ruis will make you “see red”! And, it will help you to learn not to. Those born in the Elder lunar month are very passionate.

Representations:  Passion, Jealousy, Sexuality, Guilt, Envy, Love, Love of Life, Devotion to Deity, Healing

Ogham Letter:  E

Number:  15

Colour:  Bright Red, Light Red

Tarot:  Judgement

Animals:  Black Horse, Pheasant, Raven, Rook

Plant:  Dandelion

Divination Meaning:  What am I passionate about?  How do my passions help or harm me? These are the questions one must ask themselves if they draw the Ruis Ogham.  We are now delving into the emotions that may either help or harm, depending upon their use. What happens to arouse your emotions to guilt and frenzy?  These are the symptoms of a wider desire and you must suss out the source to begin “training” them to do good or to eliminate them from your life.  You are the judge and jury.

How to Mend the Problem:  Like Passion itself, Ruis can be steeped in joy or hatred. Jealousy and Rage are part and parcel to this Ogham’s energies; however, they can be turned to passionate love as well.  This pertains to any extreme emotion you may feel you’re having a problem with.  You can turn extreme hatred into love… whatever the emotion, you can control it with the power of Ruis and your own intuition and mindfulness. However, the chthonic current of Ruis is a difficult one as most of its meanings are emotions which people find hard to face. Still, there are also positive passions found with Ruis and because of this, as we can learn from Hinduism, we can turn our anger [insert emotion of choice] into cleansing through self-reflection and examination and thereby turning a societally harmful emotion into one of social activism and a deep desire for Justice, or expressing that emotion through healing work.  Ruis gives powerful focus and energy to overcome difficulties.

Shadowscapes Judgement card ~ photo by i.macy

In examination of what Ruis means, I find the Judgement tarot card comes to mind strongly. This is because Judgement calls upon us to rise and embrace a higher level of consciousness for the service of our Highest Good.  Both Ruis and Judgement indicates that you need to make a life-changing decision, and they tend to show up when you are close to reaching a significant stage in your journey.  This is the time when you will review and re-evaluate your past experiences and have learned from them. All the pieces of the puzzle of your life are finally coming together to form one, unified picture of your life story. This integration has healed deep wounds, and you are now able to put the past behind you. You have found your absolution, having cleared any wrongdoings or regrets, and releasing any guilt or sadness about the past. This purging process will leave you refreshed and ready to take on any new challenges.

You can catch up the first fourteen blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, Part Twelve, Part Thirteen, and Part Fourteen by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog.  Warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x


The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Fourteen

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Ogham Straif
Ogham Straif ~ photo by i.macy

Blackthorn is a winter tree and it has black bark and vicious thorns, or “spines”. It has delicious berries called sloes which only ripen and sweeten after first frost.  It is a formidable tree and yet, it is a protective tree, a tree of authority and strength. It is wise not to go up against Blackthorn for it will always win. Blackthorn’s Ogham letter is called Straif, which sounds much like ‘strife’. It is not a Birth Tree Ogham, but it is the Ogham for the dark half of the year and its date is 31 October.  If you were born on this date, you could easily call it your birth tree.  Be forewarned though, the meanings of Blackthorn and Straif may not be ones you wish to be associated with. Or again, perhaps you do. Straif’s chthonic current speaks of secrets and the preservation of secret knowledge.  It can refer to magickal or occult mysteries and to a depth of magickal and spiritual practise. Straif reminds us to expect the unexpected.  Sudden reversals of fortune are possible. The spiritual direction is to use divination in whatever manner you get best results from to help lead you through the journey of change and your intuition will help guide your discernment.

Representations:  Authority, Control, Protection, Strength, and Truth

Ogham Letter:  St, SS

Number:  14

Colour:  Dark Purple, Grey, White or Yellow

Tarot:  Wheel of Fortune

Animals:  Bees, Butterfly, Thrush

Plant:  Houseleek

Divination Meaning:  Pulling the single stave, Straif, means unexpected change, plans altered, plans ruined.  Always be prepared for the unexpected with the appearance of Straif.  You must question yourself:  What part of my life needs a total change?  How am I being transformed?

How to Mend the Problem:  Change can be managed through spiritual work when Straif is an influence. Straif gives the ability to transform attitudes in healing. Despair can become hope. This Ogham is good for work with the emotions and for transforming deep-seated issues that have strong roots in the past, changing things without destroying the vessel.  Leave off any negative view you may have.  Clinging to old ways and facing challenges with anger, resentment, and stubbornness will only hurt you more. Accept the changes and move on with grace. Realise your life has changed dramatically and emerge reborn.

Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune ~ photo by i.macy

Many wrongly assume the Death card in tarot would be most likely the partner for Straif.  Not at all.  Yes, of course, you must “die” to some old ways so that you can rebirth to new and healthier ways. The Wheel of Fortune card is the best partner to Straif.  The upright Wheel of Fortune card asks you to be optimistic and have faith that the Universe will take care of your situation in the best way possible. Meditation and visualisation can reinforce your intention to bring increased abundance, good fortune and prosperity to you. Your life is about to turn in more positive directions if you are willing to grow and expand. Keep your mind open to all kinds of synchronicities and signs from the Universe. The magick of fate and destiny is behind you, and miracles are happening. However, when the Wheel of Fortune is reversed, your luck and fortune may take a turn for the worst. You may experience unexpected change or negative forces could be at play, leaving you feeling helpless. You have a choice: you can do nothing, and hope things will get better, or you can act to improve your situation. See this moment as your opportunity to take control of your destiny and get your life back on track.  So, like the wheel, what comes round goes round… and refer to the upright to fix the upside down.

You can catch up the first thirteen blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten, Part Eleven, Part Twelve, and Part Thirteen by clicking on these respectively.

Many thanks for reading my blog. Warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x


The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Eleven

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Muin Ogham ~ photo by i.macy

This week we shall look at the Ogham, “Muin”, which is the Ogham for Vine.  Not all “birth trees” are exactly trees as you may have learned already. Vine has been around in Britain for a very long time, possibly brought by the wine growing Romans. Because of the effects of wine loosening the tongue, it is thought of as the inducer of truth and Vine is also related to prophetic powers.  Muin / Vine is the Ogham / tree for those born between 2 September and 29 September per the lunar calendar adopted by the early Celtic peoples.  It is the eleventh consonant of the Ogham; however, it is the tenth lunar month of the Celtic Tree Calendar.

Representations:  Protection, Peace, Intuition, Truth, Communication, Re-birth, Reincarnation, Prophecy, and Inspiration

Ogham Letter:  M

Number:  11

Colour:  Pink, White

Tarot:  Temperance

Animals:  White Swan

Plant:  Ivy

Divination Meaning:  When you draw the Vine Ogham stave [or card, or piece of paper], use your intuition to delve into yourself to find the deep level in which you must act to deal with an issue.  Only you can know what your issue is, but you do know what it is. You know that you already know the answer, but you must justify it within yourself and bring about a satisfying agreement between your head and heart.  You already have that peace within you. Your intuitiveness, which has been growing stronger, will help you mend this problem… it will be all about truth now.  Truth to yourself.

How to Mend the Problem:  Allow your senses to speed your inner developing intuition and place your trust into this knowledge when it is acting strongly.  Open yourself to harvest and gather all signs and omens that you’re capable of understanding.  Every problem can not be repaired by reasoning.  You are learning that when reasoning fails, it is time to rely on truth and intuition.  The more you use it, the stronger it becomes… like any talent or gift.

I choose the Tarot’s major arcana card, Temperance, as a companion reading to the Muin ogham. The Temperance card is the Tarot’s way of indicating that peace will not be arriving, because you already have it within you, just as the Muin ogham does.  Both signal to you that the only way to solving your dilemma is to find that peace and figure out what is the proper way to attaining it.  If you look to the signs around you, they will guide you… your intuition will know them and help you settle upon the right decision.

You can catch up the first ten blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, and Part Ten by clicking on these.

Many thanks for reading my blog.  Warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x


The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Ten

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Ogham Quert
Ogham Quert stave and oracle card ~ photo by i.macy

One of my personal favourites this week – Apple.  Apple, as in the Ogham, “Quert”, which is not a birth tree in the Celtic Tree Calendar [though some schools of thought vary] but is the 10th consonant of the Ogham and is the tree / ogham representing the light half of the year, from 2nd May until 31st October.

As was during the time of the first couple, Adam and Eve, the apple was about choice.  Choose to eat the apple and have boundless knowledge or choose not to eat the apple and live all their days in the bliss of a perfect garden. There have been many stories regarding the apple and choices since, however, the thing you must always remember when drawing the Quert stave, card, or paper, is that you will need to make a choice.  What you find and what you feel must be done is ultimately down to your own intuition.

Representations:  Choices, Protection, Generosity, Regeneration, Prosperity, Strength, Communication, Knowledge, Love, Beauty, Attraction

Ogham Letter:  Q

Number:  10

Colour:  Pink, Yellow Green

Tarot:  The Lovers

Animals:  Butterflies, Cedar Wax-Wing, Grosbeak

Plant:  Calla Lily

Divination Meaning:  Choice is to be made.  Delve into yourself and find that one very important choice you know you have been putting off… you have put it off because you are unsure of what to decide, although you do know what the choices are.

How to Mend the Problem:  You must finally bring this choice out and dust it off. Take a good, long look at it.  Think with your head, if you must, but at the end of the day, you must rely upon your intuition.  You already know what to decide, you only need now to commit.

Many paths of learning are open to you on your journey.  Choose one and commit. It is better to be Master of one than Master of none.  This may include your path in witchcraft or a career choice or even a choice of suitors. When you master a path, others will follow.

The Major Arcana card, The Lovers, correlates heavily with Quert in divination. The Lovers is very much about choice – determining values and struggling with choices.  Though it can be romantic in nature, it is not necessarily so. Your intuition will bring out the meaning for you.

You can catch up the first nine blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, and Part Nine by clicking on these.

Many thanks for reading my blog and warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x


The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Nine

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Ogham Coll
Hazel Coll Ogham ~ photo by i.macy

The ninth lunar month of the Celtic calendar is from  5th August to 1st September.  The tree for this lunar month is Hazel and Hazel’s Ogham alphabet is “Coll”, which is also the 9th consonant of the Ogham alphabet.  Nine is a very sacred number to the Coll Ogham and to the Hazel tree.  This number will come into your divination with the Ogham frequently.  There is a tale of the Secret Salmon [the salmon being one of the animals sacred to the Hazel].  This legend see the salmon swimming under the overhanging Hazel tree, and he ate the nine nuts of poetic wisdom. He had nine spots upon him which denoted the nine nuts. There are nine representations which Coll gives us.  Hazel/Coll indicates intuition to lead to the source, to divination, to meditation, and to poetry.

** I must mention here that when you draw a stave, you do not necessarily need to ask a question.  The staves you draw will be your guide for the day or week, depending on how often you like to draw them.

Representations:  Creativity, Divination, Inspiration, Introspection, Knowledge, Healing, Protection, Intuition, Wisdom

Ogham Letter:  C

Number:  9

Colour:  Dark Blue

Tarot:  The Empress

Animals:  Crane, Salmon

Plant:  Vervain

Divination Meaning:  When your query draws the Coll stave, meditate a few moments by holding the Hazel in your hand, if you are using wooden Ogham staves or if you are using the Celtic Tree Oracle cards, hold the Coll card in your hands and gaze upon it in meditation, with the question in your mind as to how does Coll answer? Allow your intuitiveness to lead you.  If you are drawing your Ogham for guidance, again, use intuition.  Allow promptings of your intuition to bring new ideas to the surface. Become a catalyst with those ideas.

How to Mend the Problem:  Your skill in poetry, divination, and mediation can be inspiring to others to help increase their capacity in these arts.  You must be the one to lead by example. Always follow your intuition to the Source.  You will be rewarded with Wisdom and your spirit will sing poetry.  The more you use your gifts, the stronger you will become in them. Never fail to give thanks for the gifts, blessings, lessons, and love received from the Source.

Introspection always seems to lead to new inspiration which in turn leads to creativity. It is when you look inside but do not expect something, the Source opens a window of opportunity to your mind’s eye. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to learn how to do this new thing.  It could be the difference you have needed in your life!

The Empress card in tarot is a wonderful representation of what Coll stands for – creativity, our strong connection to the feminine no matter if you’re male or female, giving of yourself to be of help to others, the urging of reflection upon your gifts and abundance and your gratitude for these things. And because both Coll and The Empress can suggest pregnancy and birth, the number nine is yet again important.

You can catch up the first eight blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, and Part Eight by clicking on these.

Many thanks for reading my blog and warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x


The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Eight

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Ogham Tinne
Ogham Tinne ~ photo by i.macy

Our Ogham letter this week is Tinne, the Ogham for the beautiful Holly tree.  It is the ruler of the 8th lunar month and the birth tree Ogham for those born between 8th July and 4th August.  It is an Ogham which encourages your intuition more than most, although all the Ogham does encourage reliance on your intuition.  However, if you want to help your intuitiveness along, holding a piece of Holly whilst meditating would not do any harm, for the spirit of the wood will be most helpful. Tinne guides and gives you the courage to rely upon your innate intuition,

Representations:  Courage, Death, Divinity, Guidance, Healing, Intelligence, Luck, Rebirth, Unity, Intuition

Ogham Letter:  T

Number:  8

Colour:  Dark Red, Grey Green

Tarot:   The Moon

Animals:  Cardinal [North America], Starling

Plant:  Meadowsweet

Divination Meaning:  In answer to your query, the answer may be that challenges will be overcome by unity and concerted effort.  Be sure the cause is just… again, your intuition will answer. If you have learned to trust and rely on your intuition, you will know your answer.  If it is “no”, then move along, no action needed.  If it is “yes”, you will know what to do.  Develop the ability to respond quickly and wisely to your intuition. Learn to overcome and adapt to new situations, and to respond immediately to changes in your spiritual environment. Trust your instinct, but don’t let your heart rule over your head.

How to Mend the Problem:  As warriors train and retrain with spears this becomes instinctive. So too you must train and retrain daily.  Cultivate dynamic and instinctive intuition to respond to fast-moving situations and accept the reality of the here and now. Ensure the ability of being able to slip in and out of a great many behavioural styles to be able to respond to the environment at hand.

It is a kind of behavioural shape-shifting and when learned well it is the making of anyone in medical, law, and instructional [teaching] fields but is well for anyone, no matter what they do. Tinne also teaches unity… learning to trust others is crucial. Of course, there are those whom are not trustworthy, but your intuition will teach you who to avoid. There is strength to be found in standing together, and ultimately protection comes from honour and trust.  As always, first trust yourself, particularly your intuition, just as in tarot, the Moon card instructs us to do. Your intuitive body will support you unerringly if you do not interfere with or try to control what you perceive.

You can catch up the first seven blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, and Part Seven by clicking on these.

Many thanks for reading my blog qnd warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x


The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella

A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Seven

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Duir Oak Ogham
Duir Ogham ~ Photo by i.macy

The ruler of the seventh lunar month and Ogham letter “D” is Duir which is the Ogham for the Oak tree.  Duir is also the Ogham of those born between 10 June and 17 July.  The grand Oak is the King of the forest and he grows slowly, taking in and processing everything… he is the Protector and the doorway [the word Duir means door] to all mysteries.  The Oak teaches us strength.  It decrees justice.  When you draw the Duir Ogham, do not take your intuition lightly for you will do yourself a great disservice if you do.

Representations:  Ancestry, Protection, Fertility, Health, Success, Prosperity, Wisdom, Justice, Strength

Ogham Letter:  D

Number:  7

Colour:  Gold

Tarot:  Strength

Animals:  Oriole, White Horse, Wren

Plant:  Colts Foot, Mistletoe

Divination Meaning:  Whatever your query, when you pull Duir, you know you must take a “hands-on” approach to the answer. This will nurture the skills you wish to have.  You must be brave; step through the door. As with all Ogham divination, you will learn by doing. Because you do, you will be wiser.

How to Mend the Problem:  You have accumulated acorns of wisdom.  If you have not, it is time to do so. You will be called upon to share this wisdom with others.  Whether you are a teacher or student, you are called upon to be tough and resilient despite life’s unpredictability as an Oak is to a bolt of lightning.  Strength and Wisdom are your mission and you know deep down you can achieve these.

This is your first lesson as the first drawing of Duir.  As you progress with your strengthening intuition you will be able to read this Ogham much easier in relevance to your query.  Always remember the Oak’s representations and learn how they come through to you each time.  Never forget that Duir is the doorway to every knowledge.

You can catch up the first five blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, and Part Six by clicking on these.

Many thanks for reading my blog and warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x


The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella


The Magickal Poplar Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @iseabail_witchwriter

POPULUS ALBA woodlandtrust org uk
Populus alba ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

Poplar trees, or Populus – the genus, has about twenty-five to thirty-five species, and is native to much of the Northern Hemisphere. The name Populus refers to the fact that the trees were often planted around public meeting places in Roman times. They grow rather tall, 15 to 50 metres [49 to 164 ft] and have trunk diameters of up to 2.5 metres or 8 feet 2 inches.  Different species have names other than Poplar, such as Aspen or Cottonwood.  It all depends upon where you live, I suppose. According to Wikipedia, in the September 2006 issue of Science Magazine, the Joint Genome Institute announced that the western balsam poplar [P. trichocarpa] was the first tree whose full DNA code had been determined by DNA sequencing.  Pretty impressive, that.

POPULUS NIGRA woodlandtrust org uk
Populus nigra ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

Loosely speaking, the Poplar is divided into three groups, as mentioned above – Balsam Poplar, Aspen, and Cottonwood, in the United States. As far as I can understand, the only “like” or comparable Poplars which are found in both the US and the UK are the Aspen, Black Poplar, and White Poplar.  Of course, I have already written about the Aspen.  I did find some pretty impressive information concerning a trial which took place in the 1990’s where new hybrids of Poplar were being experimentally planted in the lowlands of England to see if they would be viable as trees to investigate the interaction on profitability….to test whether growing these hybrids would be worth the doing.  I imagine this investigation is on-going as the first seven years will be their baseline for all future events from this experiment…and I have found no ending conclusion of it in my research.

So, as we have nothing quite the same in the UK as all the species of Poplar which reside in the US… apart from the Aspen, which you can read about here, and White Poplar and Black Poplar, I shall write about the White Poplar and the Black Poplar, which both grow in both the US and in the UK, their respective genus’s and species being Populus Alba and Populas Nigra. The White and Black Poplar’s are both naturalised to the UK, having been brought from the US in times past. The genus Populus Alba leads me to think that the White Poplar may have been first discovered in Scotland. Why? Because “Alba” is the word for Scotland in Scottish Gaidhlig, or, Gaelic as you would recognise it.


Being of Saturn and the zodiac of Capricorn, any part of Poplar is best used on Saturdays during the planetary hour of Saturn. The best spell work is achieved during this time for  anything to do with safety, power, success, intellect, travelling, communication [especially into other realms]; spells to help you get through difficult times, as well as when you just need a boost in a specific area of your life.

For change and success, the Poplar wood is best ground fine and used as one of the ingredients of your loose incense created for just these purposes.  You may also use it in talismans which you create for these purposes at your altar during ritual.

For creating a protection charm/amulet, you will do well to create your amulet in ritual as in a witch bottle, sachet, or poppet of yourself or the person you’re wanting protection for.

Creating a talisman featuring Poplar wood is also found to attract money and wealth; again, may be used in poppets, sachets, and witch bottles. And, of course, in your ritual loose incense for this purpose.

The leaves of the Poplar are particularly good for use in ‘flying ointments’ for those involved in astral travel and/or hedge witchery, and necromancy – to help walk the hedge and to contact ancestors. The Spirit of the Poplar is a guide during divinations. A perfect divination pendulum can be fashioned from Poplar wood which we are now selling in our shop.

POPULUS ogham Ead

In the Celtic Birth Tree ‘astrology’ [which really needs another designation as it has nothing to do with astrology apart from the lunar months], Poplar is a tree of growth, strength, and visualisation. Its Ogham alphabet is Ead [pronounced hadh] for the English alphabetic equation of the letter E.


POPULUS ALBA catkins woodlandtrust org uk
White Poplar catkins ~ woodlandtrust.co.uk

I must turn to Nicholas Culpeper for he so kindly wrote about both the White Poplar and the Black Poplar.  You can be assured that much of what he writes is still in practise today.

White Poplar:  ‘White Poplar, saith Galen, is of a cleansing property: The weight is of an ounce in power, of the bark, thereof, being drank, saith Dioscorides, is a remedy for those that are troubled with the sciatica or the stranguary,  The juice of the leaves dropped warm into the ears, eases the pains in them,  The young clammy buds, or eyes, before they break out into leaves, bruised, and a little honey put to them, is a good medicine for a dull sight.’

POPULUS NIGRA catkins woodlandtrust org uk
Black Poplar catkins ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

Black Poplar:  ‘The Black Poplar is held to be more cooling than the White, and therefore the leaves bruised with vinegar and applied, help the gout. The seed drank in vinegar is held good against the falling-sickness.  The water that drops from the hollow places of this tree takes away warts, pushes, wheals, and other like breakings-out of the body.  The young Black Poplar buds, saith Matthiolus, are much used by women to beautify their hair, bruising them with fresh butter, straining them after they have been kept for some time in the sun.  The ointment call Populneon, which is made of this Poplar, is singularly good for all heat and inflammations in any part of the body, and tempers the heat of wounds,  it is much used to dry up the milk of women’s breasts when they have weaned their children.’

POPULUS NIGRA buds woodlandtrust org uk
Black Poplar buds ~ woodlandtrust.org.uk

Black Poplar is a good remedy for urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and cystitis. It has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and diuretic properties well suited to alleviating pain and infection. The Poplar’s buds have all the help you need!  Add two teaspoons of the dried bud from the Black Poplar to one litre of water and infuse for 10 minutes.  You can drink two to three cups of the tea per day to stave off stones and to treat your urinary tract infection or cystitis.  For rheumatism, use Black Poplar bark in a decoction of half a teaspoon of dry bark to a cup of water, infused for 10 minutes.  Drink two cups per day to alleviate pain and inflammation.  Poplar has gallic acid, and salicin, both painkillers.  You may use the recipe above with Poplar buds instead if preferred. This recipe also is good for the gout and bronchitis and is very helpful with the common cold.


Planetary:  Saturn

Gender:  White Poplar, Masculine; Black Poplar, Feminine

Zodiac:  Capricorn

Element[s]:  Air

Powers:  Hope, Rebirth, Divination, Astral Projection, Courage, Ancestry, Protection, Healing

Deity:  Hecate, Morrigan, Tyr, Apollo, Zeus

Many thanks for reading my blog and warmest blessings upon all whom this way wander x


The Complete Herbal and English Physician, by Nicholas Culpeper

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella



A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part Five

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @iseabail_witchwriter

Saille Ogham
My Saille Ogham and Saille oracle card ~ photo by i.macy

The beautiful Willow tree is the tree represented by the Ogham, Saille.  Much like last week’s Fearn, the Ogham of Alder, another tree happiest living near water, is closely related to each other in some respects.  Saille  represents the 5th lunar month from 15th April to 12th May and is the birth tree Ogham of this lunar month.  Saille / Willow is a symbol is representative of knowledge and spiritual growth.  Willow’s lessons are brought forth through the Ogham Saille and you may find different answers every time you draw this Ogham. Not because Saille is fickle, not at all! But because Saille understands the ebb and flow of one’s emotions and anxieties and seeks to give comfort and advice for all.  Saille is full of inspiration at any given time and you can believe what she says to you is for you alone. You can always find comfort in this lovely soul. Saille also invokes your feminine side and helps you to discern from a more feminine level.  The ancient Celts revered women and treated them as equals or better of men.  The wisdom of woman was honoured.

Representations:   Harmony, Inspiration, Serenity, Comfort, Spiritual Wisdom and Growth

Ogham Letter: S

Number:  5

Colour:  Grey

Tarot:  Queen of Cups

Animals:  Hawk, Deer, Hare, Snowy Owl

Plant:  Primrose

Divination Meaning:  A comfortable relationship to the material world is full of lessons and changing values.  Changes are necessary for growth and values are no exception to the rule.  Saille indicates you should bring yourself back into harmony with nature so you shall be so with others.

How to Mend the Problem:  To gain understanding of a particular concept, a steady accumulation of the facts is the foundation of understanding.  All cannot be learned in one lesson.  Repetition is the key. This is a period of taking it easy rather than full speed ahead.  Learn to go with the cyclical nature of things.

Generally speaking, Saille can always sense our worries.  You may as well speak of them in your query because she will find them out.  Have you ever asked a question and gotten an answer which does not seem to pertain?  That is because she knows what you really seek to find.  As you grow with your Ogham set and become more in tune with each stave, you will understand why the answers you receive are what they are.  As Saille teaches, look within.

You can catch up the first four blogs, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four  by clicking on these.

Many thanks for reading my blog and warmest blessings to those whom this way wander x


The Celtic Tree Oracle, by Liz and Colin Murray

What’s Your Birth Tree is the New What’s Your Star Sign, by Isabella