Magickal Hawthorn Tree: The Mayflower Tree – Revisited [again!] for Beltane

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

This blog was published in 2018, including part of my 2017 Beltane blog…I like reusing things, so why not the reuse of a blog? Especially if it touches on some very good points! Besides, it does aide me in getting more of the blogs from the old site over to this one…win! So, here in 2022 with much water under the bridge between here and 2018, I wish everyone a very happy and safe Beltane. May everyone be blessed with good health, prosperity and protection.

hawthorn alone
lone Hawthorn tree, courtesy of Google images

Happy Beltane, everyone! Or, if you are in The Land Down Under, Happy Samhain! I thought it appropriate to re-visit our Hawthorn tree blog today as it is traditionally used as the “May Pole” being today is also May Day.  And then I get thinking “what more can I say about the wonderful Hawthorn?”.  I really couldn’t think of  a thing, however, as I sat researching a herb I plan on writing about by reading in Nicholas Culpeper’s herbal, The English Physician, I ran across his passage on Hawthorn! What better way to begin my re-blog than to quote the words of the foremost herbalist of his day and still popular in our time? So, forgive the misspellings, for the English language had not quite been tamed yet, or, the authors of many of the olde worldy books just could not spell! Without further hesitation, I give you Nicholas Culpeper’s take on Hawthorn:

HAWTHOEN.

It is not my intention to trouble you with a description of this tree, which is so well known that it needs none.  It is ordinarily but a hedge bush, although being pruned and dressed, it grows to be a tree of reasonable height.

As for the Hawthorn Tree at Glastonbury, which is said to flower yearly on Christmas-day, it rather shews the superstition of those that observe it for the time of its flowering, than any great wonder, since the like may be found in divers other places of this land; as in Whey-street in Romney March, and near unto Nantwich in Cheshire, by a place called White Green, where it flowers about Christmas and May.  If the weather be frosty, it flowers not until January, or that the hard weather be over.

Government and virtues.]  It is a tree of Mars.  The seeds in the berries beaten to powder being drank in wine, are held singularly good against the [kidney] stone, and they are good for the dropsy.  The distilled water of the flowers stays the lask.  The seed cleared from the down, bruised and boiled in wine, and drank is good for inward tormenting pains.  If cloths and sponges be wet in the distilled water, and applied to any place wherein thorns and splinters, or the like, do abide in the flesh, it will notably draw them forth.

And thus you see the thorn gives a medicine for his own pricking and so doth almost everything else.” ~ Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician and Complete Herbal, 16th century

Culpeper’s way was to assign a planet to every tree, flower, and wort and every part of the human body was assigned a planet as well. If a wort or tree was ruled by Mars you only need to use it for healing the part of the body also ruled by Mars.  This was not something you took lightly in those days.  He spent most of his life researching by astrology, biology, and the science of making people well again. On the top of it all, he was quite a prolific writing.  Although centuries have passed since  this writing, we have found all to be true the things Culpeper learned in his research.  Many times when I am writing about a herb I consult The English Physician to see what Culpeper made of the herb back in his time and I find that we are still, for instance, using Angelica to help with stomach ailments or Cherry to cure a sore throat or chest congestion.  It goes to prove they did get it right in those days and we owe Culpeper and many others a huge debt of gratitude for what they learned and left with us.

Today is May Day and the first day of Beltane.  And in many places a tall post of Hawthorn may be being used today for a May Pole.  But I do hope in preparing the Hawthorn for its celebratory ritual that people remembered to use all of the Hawthorn and not to waste it…keeping leaves, bark, and so forth for healing potions or protections.

So, please enjoy the rest of the blog, if you have never read it before, and if you have, I hope you have enjoyed the re-visit with new information. Happy May Day and Beltane to all!

From August, 2017:

Hawthorn Ogham Pendant
Hawthorn Huath Ogham Pendant ~ photo by i.macy

The Hawthorn tree represents the sixth month of the Celtic Tree calendar, 13 May – 9 June, and this period is represented by the Ogham for this tree, which is also the 6th letter of the ogham alphabet, Huath (Huathe, Uath). The Hawthorn Tree, or Mayflower tree, is sacred to Roman Goddess Flora, Celtic Goddesses Aine and Brigid, along with the Manx – Celtic God Manannàn Mac Leirr. This Ogham symbol is used in Celtic Reiki and its essence represents the energy of cleansing and preparation. It clears the mind of negative thoughts and mental confusion, offering clarity: it gives patience and offers stillness. The Hawthorn tree is masculine and usually, but not always, grows in hedges, but a lone Hawthorn tree, growing on a hill is a portal to the world of faery and is also considered one of the three trees of the Faery Triad, including Oak and Ash. We offer a Hawthorn Ogham pendant in our Etsy shop for those born in the lovely month of May, or in fact, to anyone who loves Hawthorn. Not available as of this writing.

Oak Ash and Thorn
The Faery Triad Talisman: Oak, Ash, and Thorn ~ photo by i.macy

Hawthorn Faery
Along with Oak and Ash, Hawthorn forms the “faery triad” that is especially inviting to the fae. Hawthorn is, in some ways, the faery tree, forming a portal to the faery realm and holding strong magick. The Hawthorn faery offers access to the Other-World, but also protects the unwary, so it is important to be patient with this spirit. She can enchant your life, bringing growth and fertility to all areas, and when the Hawthorn flowers in spring, it represents the bridal gown of the young Goddess. Hawthorn is sacred to the Welsh sun goddess Olwen, the “white lady of the day.” Where she trod she left white footprints on hawthorn, and her father, Yspaddaden Pencawr, was “Giant Hawthorn.” Thirteen tasks were demanded of her suitor, Culhwych, before he could marry her and overcome the power of the giant. Thirteen is a number associated with the moon, for the moon makes 13 circuits of the zodiac to one of the sun. Thus, the Hawthorn suggests union of sun and moon, male and female. The Hawthorn faery promises cleansing, fulfilment, guardianship, and fertility. Keeping grounded and practical is the best way to access her and use her gifts.” ~ The Faery Bible by Teresa Moorey

In Ireland, Hawthorns have always been highly respected as faery trees. They were often referred to as ‘gentle bushes’ after the custom of not naming faeries directly out of respect. Solitary thorns were known as the faeries’ Trysting Trees, and frequently grew on barrows and tumps or at crossroads, thought to be a favourite location of pagan altars.

Folklore: Much of the folklore attached to it seems to come from the fact that the tree is covered in long branches of early, white blossom around the time of Beltane – the First of May. In England, the Hawthorn is known as the Mayflower tree in honour of the month during which it blooms. Symbolising hope, it was the name the Pilgrims took for their famous ship, The Mayflower.

Hawthorn flowers
Hawthorn flowers ~ Courtesy of Google Images

If 1st of May seems early and the blossom is not ready – remember that the British calendar was changed and went forward 12 / 13 days in 1752 – trees have long memories and so work to the ancient dates! This is evident as well in Hawthorn’s place in the Ogham Tree Calendar – beginning now on 13th May – it would once have started on May 1st. Hawthorn is still prevalent in May Day celebrations, whatever the case.

Maypole_1500-56a6e0953df78cf77290a7cf
A Pagan Maypole celebration, led by the Green Man, photo courtesy of Google images

But whilst Hawthorn was a propitious tree at May-time, in other circumstances it was considered unlucky. Witches were supposed to make their brooms from it, and in some parts, it was equated with the abhorred Elder, as in the rhyme:

Hawthorn bloom and elder-flowers Will fill a house with evil powers.

In magick, Hawthorn is known as a psychic shield that can lift the spirits, and a little charm of the wood is a thoughtful gift for a friend going through a time of vulnerability or depression. It is also especially effective against malevolent spirits.

Protection Spell:
Carefully gather a few thorns from the tree.
“On a piece of paper, write the name of the person or situation from which you seek protection, and then wrap it around the thorns. Bury this in the ground – if possible near the tree from which the thorns were collected.” ~ Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

Correspondences:
Planet: Mars and Venus
Symbolism: Purification, sacred marriage
and male-female unity

Crystals: Lapis Lazuli, Blue Calcite
Birds: Blackbird, Owl, Purple Martin
Colour: Midnight Blue, Purple
Deity: Olwen, Blodeuwedd, Gardea,
Hymen, Hera, Virgin Mary
Sabbat: Beltane, May Day
Folk names: May bush, May tree, quickset,
thorn-apple tree, white thorn.

“A hundred years I slept beneath a thorn Until the tree was root and branches of my thought, Until white petals blossomed in my crown.” From The Traveller ~ by Kathleen Raine

I hope you have enjoyed the re-visit. Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x

Sources:
Druidry.org

thoughtco.com

thegoddesstree.com

Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

The Fairy Bible, by Teresa Mooney

The English Physician and Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper

Experience

The Magick of Heather

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram: @thewandcarver

Heather ogham Ura
The Ogham Alphabet ~ Google.co.uk

Ah, Heather! It was very nearly my name as my Mum very much loved the plant but in the southeast, it did not grow as well, and certainly not as prolifically, as it does in the north country. Heather is the 3rd vowel of the Ogham alphabet – Ura – and it is for Summer Solstice, 21 June. It is not a Celtic Birth Tree Ogham, however, if you are born on this day there is no reason not to claim it for your birth tree!

Heather [Calluna vulgaris] is called the “Flower of Passion”. One of its energies in magick is passion – pure, raw, unbridled passion to be exact. And not just passion, but its consequences and all. This may be down to the time of year and that the flowering of Heather heralded a time of rejoicing and self-indulgence for our ancient Celtic ancestors. Mind, you would think they had enough of this during Beltane, but if you think of Beltane as passionate, think of Litha as the after party! I love this excerpt from The Wisdom of Trees, by Jane Gifford:

LESSON OF THE HEATHER

heather_hills_main countrylife dot co dot uk
Heather hills ~ countrylife.co.uk

Heather is a symbol of passionate love, of sacrifice, and self-control. In the first place, heather represents enthusiasm and sensual pleasure, and the benefits that can be enjoyed from spontaneous self-expression. But within this lust for life and exhilaration lies a deeper lesson of the consequences that may arise out of unbridled passion. The Celts believed that you are always totally responsible and accountable for the outcome of your actions, so you were wise to be sure of your own true nature before totally abandoning yourself to the potent delights of heather ale and the pleasures that it could bring. Unchecked, heather is short-lived and unproductive but if burned yearly to the ground, it re-grows with fresh vigour. The lesson of the heather is that a necessary balance must exist between self-expression and self-control for both to be enjoyable and effective.”

Magickal:

Heather dried
My dried Heather ~ photo by i.macy

Heather can be used for magick involving maturity, consummation, general luck, love, ritual power, conjuring ghosts, healing, protection, rain-making and water magick. Heather is often worn or carried as a good luck charm. It is said that a sprig of white Heather placed in a special place of silence and meditation has the power to conjure ghosts or spirits. To do this, pick a sprig of white Heather at midnight, place it in a glass of river water in the darkest corner of your home. Sit and think of a departed loved one and it is said that the loved ones’ shadow will visit you.

In the language of flowers and the gifting of them, Heather means “admiration”. Heather can be used at Midsummer /Summer Solstice to promote love – carry red Heather for passion or white Heather for cooling the passion of unwanted suitors.

Heather is useful in Faery magick and is said to ignite faery passions and open portals between their world and our own. The fae honouring Heather are attracted to shy people.

As a water herb, Heather is very useful in weather magick. When burned outdoors with Fern, the herbal smoke of Heather attracts rain. Bouquets of Heather and Fern can also be dipped in water to call rain.

Healing: Heather has been and is used for antiseptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, and sedative purposes. It has a long history of medicinal use. It is a good urinary antiseptic and diuretic, disinfecting the urinary tract and mildly increasing urine production. The flowering shoots are antiseptic, astringent, chloragogen, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, and mildly sedative. The plant is often macerated and made into a liniment for treating rheumatism and arthritis, whilst a hot poultice is a traditional remedy for chilblains. An infusion of the flowering shoots is used in the treatment of coughs, colds, bladder and kidney disorders, cystitis etc. A cleansing and detoxifying plant, it has been used in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis and gout. The flowering stems are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

Correspondences:

Planetary: Venus

Zodiac: Gemini

Element(s): Water

Energies: Passion, Protection, Luck

Stone: Red Garnet

Bird: Grouse

Deity: Uroica, Venus, Erycina, Cybele, Nechtan Mac Labraid, the Cupbearer of the Tuatha De Dannan, guardian of the sacred well of Segais and husband of Boane, after whom the river Boyne in Ireland is named. Also, Osiris and Aphrodite.

Other Names: Common Heather, Heath, Lyng, Scottish Heather

The king in the red moorland Rode on a summer’s day; And the bees hummed, and the curlews Cried beside the way. The king rode and was angry, Black was his brow and pale, To rule in a land of heather; And lack the heather ale. ~R.L. Stevenson

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

Sources:
The Wisdom of the Trees, by Jane Gifford

Crystal of the Week, Hag Stones

By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Instagram: @thewandcarver

Hag Stone 2
My Hag Stone, Top side ~ photo by i.macy

Hag stones or “holey stones” aren’t really classified as “crystals” but magickally they do a power of good for those who connect well with natural stones and crystals. They have a bit of a violent birth, most of them, being tossed and turned in oceans and sent swirling around and down rivers, clashing with other less moveable rocks in their paths. And some merely erode over a very long time from a steady dripping of water onto the same spot. It seems to me these poor hag stones get quite tortured over a great period. Most likely, many were created during the Great Flood after the ending of the Ice Age. And many were made by a burrowing bivalve mollusc called Pholas dactylus. There is no telling how old the Hag Stone you find might be. Which reminds me, you don’t find Hag Stones, they find you.

Magickal:

Hag Stone 1
My Hag Stone, Bottom side ~ by i.macy

In the days of cunning folk – not that they no longer exist, they do, for I am one, myself – the Hag Stone was given to people seeking to protect their children, homes, and livestock. My grandfather kept one rather large Hag Stone tied above his barn door to keep his cows safe from being made to give sour milk. My mother remembered having a necklace her father fashioned with a hag stone for her to wear as a wee girl. The reason they are called “hag” stones is that during these olden times, there was great fear of the “Night Hag” and apparently, she was responsible for the theft of horses and children at an alarming rate. If you have occasion to wander round old barns in the UK or anywhere in Europe, you will most likely see evidence of the Hag Stone still at work, protecting cows, horses, and any other animals kept.

From Legendary Dartmoor:
If ever you happen to be around any old Dartmoor farm buildings you may possibly notice a small holed stone or pebble sat on a window ledge. Occasionally if the building has a lock with a key still in it there may well be a similar-looking holed stone tied to the end of it. These are known as Hex, or more commonly elsewhere, as Hag Stones and their tradition dates back to the time when witches rode along the hedgerows at night.”

Not only did farmers employ the Hag Stone, or Holey Stone, for protection, but so did sailors. In the UK, Dorset fishermen also adopted the Hag Stone as a protective charm against malevolent witchcraft and still use it today according to Dr H Colley-March in his article on “Witched Fishing Boats in Dorset”, 1906.

It was “…not uncommon for rowboats at Weymouth to have ‘holy stones’ tied to nails or staples in the bows…” [Colley-March] As well as holed stones attached to fisherman’s small boats, Hag Stones were also fastened to the bows of large fishing boats to protect them at sea.

Holed stones were found having been put inside of walls in many old homes whilst being built; years later during restoration and renovation, they are discovered. They were installed there by the builders of those homes to prevent malevolent spells on their families and protection against Pixies [or “Piskies” if you lived in Cornwall]. Often, they used the Hag Stone on a rope to which their front door key was kept.

And, talking of Pixies, Faeries and such, in Italian Witchcraft the holed stone is associated with faeries, and often referred to as the “holy stone”. It is considered a doorway, or key to the doorway, into the faery kingdom. In Italian folk magic, it is believed these stones have the power to bind a fairy to one’s service for a length of time. There are other legends to this end, but another popular one is that if you hold a holey stone up to your eye and look through it you can see creatures that you cannot normally see, such as Faeries.

Lastly, the Hag Stone has been used since around the 15th century to prevent “Night Mares”. Holed stones were often hung on bedposts to deter demons, including the night-hag, the nightmare, or a succubus.

Some the nightmare hath prest, With that weight upon their brest, No returns of the breath can passe, But to us the tale is addle, We can take of her saddle, And turn the night mare out to grasse.”

And, if you want to wear one, it is said to be a useful amulet for protection from the “evil eye”.

Healing:
It was often thought that rheumatic pains could be eased by placing a hex stone under the mattress. I have never given this a try, so I could not possibly say if this is helpful or not.

Correspondences:
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Powers: Protection, Healing, Anti Nightmare
Sabbat: Samhain
Other Names: Holey Stone, Odin Stone, Hex Stone, Witch Stone, Fairy/Faerie Stone, Eye Stone, Wish Stone, Nightmare Stone, Witch-riding Stone, Witch Hammer, Ephialtes Stone, Holy Stone
Where to find: Beaches, dried river beds, streams

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

Sources:
Experience

http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk

Wikipedia.org

Magickal Hawthorn Tree: The Mayflower Tree

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram @thewandcarver

hawthorn alone
lone Hawthorn tree, courtesy of Google images

The Hawthorn tree represents the sixth month of the Celtic Tree calendar, 13 May – 9 June, and this period is represented by the Ogham for this tree, which is also the 6th letter of the ogham alphabet, Huath (Huathe, Uath).  The Hawthorn Tree, or Mayflower tree, is sacred to Roman Goddess Flora, Celtic Goddesses Aine and Brigid, along with the Manx – Celtic God Manannàn Mac Leirr. This Ogham symbol is used in Celtic Reiki and its essence represents the energy of cleansing and preparation. It clears the mind of negative thoughts and mental confusion, offering clarity: it gives patience and offers stillness. The Hawthorn tree is masculine and usually, but not always, grows in hedges, but a lone Hawthorn tree, growing on a hill is a portal to the world of faery and is also considered one of the three trees of the Faery Triad, including Oak and Ash.

Hawthorn Ogham Pendant
Hawthorn Huath Ogham Pendant ~ photo by i.macy

We offer a Hawthorn Ogham pendant in our Etsy shop for those born in the lovely month of May, or in fact, to anyone who loves Hawthorn.

Hawthorn Faery

“Along with Oak and Ash, Hawthorn forms the “faery triad” that is especially inviting to the fae. Hawthorn is, in some ways, the faery tree, forming a portal to the faery realm and holding strong magick.    The Hawthorn faery offers access to the Other-World, but also protects the unwary, so it is important to be patient with this spirit. She can enchant your life, bringing growth and fertility to all areas, and when the Hawthorn flowers in spring, it represents the bridal gown of the young Goddess.    Hawthorn is sacred to the Welsh sun goddess Olwen, the “white lady of the day.”  Where she trod she left white footprints on hawthorn, and her father, Yspaddaden Pencawr, was “Giant Hawthorn.” Thirteen tasks were demanded of her suitor, Culhwych, before he could marry her and overcome the power of the giant.   Thirteen is a number associated with the moon, for the moon makes 13 circuits of the zodiac to one of the sun. Thus, the Hawthorn suggests union of sun and moon, male and female.   The Hawthorn faery promises cleansing, fulfilment, guardianship, and fertility. Keeping grounded and practical is the best way to access her and use her gifts.” ~ The Faery Bible by Teresa Moorey

Oak Ash and Thorn
The Faery Triad Talisman: Oak, Ash, and Thorn ~ photo by i.macy

In Ireland, Hawthorns have always been highly respected as faery trees. They were often referred to as ‘gentle bushes’ after the custom of not naming faeries directly out of respect. Solitary thorns were known as the faeries’ Trysting Trees, and frequently grew on barrows and tumps or at crossroads, thought to be a favourite location of pagan altars.

Folklore: Much of the folklore attached to it seems to come from the fact that the tree is covered in long branches of early, white blossom around the time of Beltane – the First of May.  In England, the Hawthorn is known as the Mayflower tree in honour of the month during which it blooms. Symbolising hope, it was the name the Pilgrims took for their famous ship, The Mayflower.

Hawthorn flowers
Hawthorn flowers, photo courtesy of Google images

If 1st of May seems early and the blossom is not ready – remember that the British calendar was changed and went forward 12 / 13 days in 1752 – trees have long memories and so work to the ancient dates! This is evident as well in Hawthorn’s place in the Ogham Tree Calendar – beginning now on 13th May – it would once have started on May 1st. Hawthorn is still prevalent in May Day celebrations, whatever the case.

Maypole_1500-56a6e0953df78cf77290a7cf
A Pagan Maypole celebration, led by the Green Man, photo courtesy of Google images

But whilst Hawthorn was a propitious tree at May-time, in other circumstances it was considered unlucky. Witches were supposed to make their brooms from it, and in some parts, it was equated with the abhorred Elder, as in the rhyme:

Hawthorn bloom and elder-flowers

Will fill a house with evil powers.

In magick, Hawthorn is known as a psychic shield that can lift the spirits, and a little charm of the wood is a thoughtful gift for a friend going through a time of vulnerability or depression. It is also especially effective against malevolent spirits.

Protection Spell:

Carefully gather a few thorns from the tree.

“On a piece of paper, write the name of the person or situation from which you seek protection, and then wrap it around the thorns.  Bury this in the ground – if possible near the tree from which the thorns were collected.” ~ Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes

Correspondences:

Planet: Mars and Venus

Symbolism: Purification, sacred marriage

and male-female unity

Stone: Lapis Lazuli, Blue Calcite

Birds: Blackbird, Owl, Purple Martin

Color: Midnight Blue, Purple

Deity: Olwen, Blodeuwedd, Gardea,

Hymen, Hera, Virgin Mary

Sabbat: Beltane, May Day

Folk names: May bush, May tree, quickset,

thorn-apple tree, white thorn.

A hundred years I slept beneath a thorn

Until the tree was root and branches of my thought,

Until white petals blossomed in my crown.

From The Traveller ~ by Kathleen Raine

Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x

Sources:

Druidry.org

thoughtco.com

thegoddesstree.com

Everything New is Old Again

First posted on 13/07/2017 by Isabella via speakingofwitchwands.net

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

That title threw you a bit, didn’t it? Just a couple of days ago I had written a dissertation on how new the concept of the Celtic Birth Tree Calendar is; however, it never stops – these “new-isms”. Mind, I am probably preaching to the vicar here but I thought as I’m on the subject…We all know “Oak, Ash, and Thorn”. Or perhaps we think we do.

Where did the concept of the Oak, Ash, and Thorn become a “Faery Triad”? I know as far back as the early 1960’s when I was a wee girl, my nana used to say if I sat under her Hawthorn tree I would see the Fae. Truthfully, I never saw a one, although I think I may have heard them laughing occasionally. Probably at the silly little girl who would believe so willingly the things adults told her would happen if she sat quietly.  Much in the same way of when my Aunty would tell me to poke a stick into a hole in the ground and watch til it wiggled and when it did, I would catch a worm. Waiting for faeries, fishing for worms…it was all a means to an end: keeping the child out of their hair whilst they worked.

Oak Ash and Thorn
Oak, Ash, and Thorn talisman

Here I have established – for myself, anyway – that a Hawthorn tree is a faery tree. As my nana was born in 1884 and she claimed it to be true, I believed her. Just bear with me here. So, what of the Oak and the Ash? All of Pagan-dom knows an Oak is a protective tree. Most will also know that the Oak is a tree sacred to the Druids. Ah, but that can be said of any tree. Still, the Druids would not hold meeting unless an Oak tree is present.  The Oak symbolises healing and protection along with prosperity and luck. But what about the Fae? Just be patient.

Then, we have the Ash tree. By all accounts, the Irish Celts held the Ash most sacred. There are several recorded instances in Irish history in which the people refused to cut an Ash, even when wood was scarce, for fear of having their own cabins consumed with flame. The Ash tree represents prophecy, prosperity, and protection, and is also recognised as The World Tree for the Celts. I have read around a bit and have found people saying Ash is used for Druid’s wands. Ahem…I’ve known a few Druids in my life, my father for one, and have never heard tell of this before and would think they would have a laugh about that one, but hey ho…perhaps the neo-Druidic tradition which is forming do use wands.

Everything must be new at some point in time. Even “the old ways” were brand-new once upon a time. Everything evolves over time and changes. Lore changes, mythos changes. The Druids did not write books about what they knew, they passed on their knowledge by telling and teaching others. Witches did not always write Books of Shadows/grimoires either. Paganism has always given rise to evolving practises. We hold to tradition loosely, but keep it close at the same time. It is as one farmer may find a better way to grow a cabbage and he passes on the knowledge to another farmer, and before you know, all farmers are growing 50-pound cabbages.

What I’m saying is, there is not a speck of evidence that there has been an ancient time-honoured “Faery Triad” consisting of Oak, Ash, and Thorn, although my nana and I used to tie bundles of the Oak and Ash together along with the Hawthorn spines, bound in red thread to hang around for protections or to leave for the Fae’s “firewood”. Perhaps again, it was just another clever way to keep the child busy. Or, my nana was quite old, so there may have been some old logic in there somewhere. Who knows?

The Faery Triad…well, there really isn’t one apart from the new-ish idea of one. But the logic, if you know your trees, is sound. So, why not?

I tend to believe that Rudyard Kipling’s book Puck of Pook’s Hill (1906) may have set off the magickal notion of Oak, Ash, and Thorn. The elf, Puck who was self-described as the “oldest Old Thing in England” explained to the two children in the story, Dan and Una, “I came into England with Oak, Ash, and Thorn, and when Oak, Ash, and Thorn are gone, I shall go, too”

A Tree Song – Rudyard Kipling

Of all the trees that grow so fair,

Old Engerland to adorn,

Greater are none beneath the Sun,

Than Oak and Ash and Thorn.

Sing Oak and Ash and Thorn, good Sirs

(All of a Midsummer’s morn)!

Surely we sing of no little thing,

In Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Oak of the Clay lived many a day,

Or ever Aeneas began;

Ash of the Loam was a lady at home,

When Brut was an outlaw man;

Thorn of the Down saw New Troy Town

(From which was London born);

Witness hereby the ancientry

Of Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Yew that is old in churchyard mould,

He breedeth a mighty bow;

Alder for shoes do wise men choose,

And beech for cups also.

But when ye have killed, and your bowl is spilled,

Your shoes are clean outworn,

Back ye must speed for all that ye need,

To Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Ellum she hateth mankind, and waiteth

Till every gust be laid,

To drop a limb on the head of him

That anyway trusts her shade:

But whether a lad be sober or sad,

Or mellow with ale from the horn,

He’ll take no wrong when he lieth along

‘Neath Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight,

Or he would call it a sin;

But—we have been out in the woods all night,

A-conjuring Summer in!

And we bring you news by word of mouth—

Good news for cattle and corn—

Now is the Sun come up from the South,

With Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Sing Oak and Ash and Thorn, good Sirs

(All of a Midsummer’s morn)!

England shall bide till Judgement Tide,

By Oak and Ash and Thorn!

We still find not one Fae. But, that is alright because we have this wonderful, magickal, evolution of folklore which has room for the Faery Triad of Ash, Oak, and Thorn. Just believe!

With gratitude to:

Druid Tree Lore – http://www.druidry.org/

Puck of Pook’s Hill (1906) by Rudyard Kipling

Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org

and my Nana