The Crape Myrtle [Lagerstroemia indica] tree is native to China and grows well in sandy, chalky, or loamy soil as it must be well-drained. And it likes sun. In frost-prone areas, grow against a warm, sunny wall, or overwinter in a cool or temperate greenhouse. In warmer climates, grow as specimens, in group plantings, or as a hedge or screen. I am lucky to live in a so-called warmer climate in the south; therefore, I have at one time had one of these beauties growing on a corner of my rented maisonette some years ago. Pruned correctly they are magnificently stunning. The RHS Encyclopaedia of Garden Plants gives it a rating of 2 stars for hardiness meaning it can withstand temperature drops of down to -5 Celsius. If you want to grow one in the north, I imagine it would be best to grow it in a conservatory/green house. And not that I’m a bit thankful for climate change, but it has contributed to the fact that the gorgeous Crape Myrtle tree is growing better than ever in the UK.
But this fragile-looking tree has staying power. It has a longevity of up to 50 years if cared for properly and is magickally attributed to good health and longevity of humans in the realms of business, partnerships, and love relationships. There is even a charm for life longevity.
As noted above, there is a charm for longevity. Aptly titled the Crape Myrtle Longevity Charm:
Lovingly gather a Crape Myrtle blossom. Tie it in a scrap of muslin along with a Haematite, nine Evergreen needles, and a cat’s naturally shed whisker. Anoint it with oil of Tea Tree. Hold it in your right palm and bathe it in sunlight as you say,
For timeless ages, I [they/this will] will joyfully stay
Nine times nine, forever and a day,
Happy, healthy, wealthy, strong,
My [our/this] life’s span is vast and long.
Place your left hand over the charm and cup it in both hands. Bury it near or under a threshold you regularly cross. ~ by Tess Whitehurst, The Magic of Trees
For love, plant a Crape Myrtle near your home to ensure your committed relationship stays strong. This only works if the relationship is to your truest good, otherwise it will speed its dissolution.
A nice, hardy wood which would make a most excellent wand.
Planet: Saturn [according to Whitehurst, many cite Venus]
Deity: Venus, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hathor, Astarte, Ashtoreth, Marian
Other Names: Crepe Myrtle [North America]
Not much can be found. The stem bark is febrifuge, stimulant, and styptic. The bark, flowers and leaves are hydragog and a drastic purgative. A paste of the flowers is applied externally to cuts and wounds. The root is astringent, detoxicant and diuretic. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of colds. I have never tried any of this in my practise so use carefully if you do.
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings on all whom this way wander x
Here is one you don’t think about every day. The Vitex agnus-castus, or Chaste Tree, is a small shrubby tree from the Mediterranean with distinctive aromatic palmate foliage and elongated inflorescences of fragrant lavender-coloured flowers. It is one of only two species of the genus – the other being Vitex negundo – that can be grown successfully in cool temperate climates, the others all being tropical or subtropical trees. The Vitex agnus-castus has also been grown in the US since about 1670 after the Great Pilgrim Migration. It seems many tree genus’s which were taken to America in times past have eventually been given new genus names, but the Chaste tree apparently has not been renamed. The Chaste tree also grows in New Zealand, but its genus is Vitex lucens.
Today we will explore both the magickal and health-related connections of the Chaste tree for our purposes.
The flowers of the Chaste tree attract bees! If you wish to help Mother Nature replenish our quickly diminishing precious resource, the honeybee, feel free to plant all the Chaste trees you like. No, it isn’t magick, but it is good for environment.
Apparently, the reason the Chaste tree got her peculiar name is from the story of the festival of Thesmorphia, in honour of the Goddess Demeter, during ancient times. During this festival sex was forbidden, therefore Athenian women placed Chaste leaves and branches on their beds to dissuade men from making advances upon them. Similarly, maidens yet without partners wore the flowers to stay chaste. Curiously though in today’s times, herbal healers employ the use of the Chaste berries to increase fertility and sex drive! Funnily enough, the anecdotal findings of the use of the herb supports one in balancing one’s sexuality. So, it would seem it may increase where needed as well as slow down when needed… win, win, I suppose!
The berries can be dried and ground into powder for use in loose incenses for fertility magick and sex magick.
Powers: Fertility Magick, Goddess Energy, Protection, Sex Magick
Deity: Ceres, Demeter, Persephone
Sabbat: Mabon and Beltane
Folk Names: Monk’s Pepper, Chaste Berry, Mu Jing, Cloister Pepper
Chaste tree contains iridoids, flavonoids, progestins, and essential oils. This combination may help control menstrual cycles and ease menstrual pain. It may treat some endocrine problems.
Chaste tree has been used to treat menstrual cycle problems and pain, premenstrual syndrome, and menopause. Chaste tree berries may help stimulate progesterone. This is a female hormone that rises 2 weeks before menstruation. It may help normalise oestrogen and progesterone.
Chaste tree is claimed to help treat painful breasts [mastodynia]. In European herbalism and medicine, vitex extracts are used for uterine fibroid cysts. They help boost breast milk supply in new mothers. The herb has a long history in balancing hormones. It may help lower the sex drive in people who wish to stay chaste.
Side effects, toxicity, and interactions
Chaste tree has no serious side effects. Mild side effects can include nausea, stomach issues, diarrhoea, and itchy rash.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use chaste tree. It isn’t known if chaste tree is safe for children.
This supplement should not be taken by people with hormone-sensitive cancer.
Don’t use chaste tree if you take any medicines, herbs, or other supplements. Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist first.
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
What an interesting tree, the Almond! One of my favourite nuts are Almonds along with Walnuts, Brazil nuts, Pistachio nuts…alright, I’ll stop 😊 Admittedly I could go on a lot longer, but we are here for the lovely Almond tree and what it can do for us magickally.
In researching the Almond tree [Prunus dulcis], I learned so much I never knew. Firstly, Almonds grow rather prolifically in the US state of California, but the tree is native to the country of Iran and closely surrounding countries. They are also grown in Australia and Spain. Sounds to me that wherever it is quite warm most of a year, Almond trees will grow. That is why you won’t catch many growing in the UK unless they are the Ingrid which is the most reliable Almond variety for the UK climate, and will produce well-flavoured Almonds in late August if you can offer it a sunny sheltered situation. The spring blossom is also very attractive – far more so than most fruiting plums and cherries, to which it is closely related.
Another fact about Almonds is that there is a fatally poisonous Almond called the Bitter Almond which is grown in the wild. It is so highly toxic only a small amount is fatal. Beware of the wild Almonds wherever you reside.
The Almond is a deciduous tree, growing 4–10 m [13–33 ft] in height, with a trunk of up to 30 cm [12 in] in diameter. The flowers are white to pale pink, 3–5 cm [1–2 in] diameter with five petals, produced singly or in pairs and appearing before the leaves in early spring. If you’re planning on planting an Almond tree, please do, however, be advised your wait will be a long one until your real first harvest as the trees reach full bearing age five to six years after planting. The fruit matures in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering. And, the almond fruit is 3.5–6 cm [1 3⁄8–2 3⁄8 in] long. In botanical terms, it is not a nut but a drupe. Still, I shall always call them nuts, as I only learned they are “drupes” as of today.
You may have heard of Almond gum in spell work. Badam pisim/Almond gum cannot be prepared. It comes from the tree. Badam/Almond tree bark secretes the gum which dries up on the bark, then one can collect the gum and clear it of any leftover wood bark to be used in many ways.
Keep an Almond in your pocket to help you retrieve lost things and it assists in bringing good luck your way. Almond oil is often used in prosperity spells by rubbing it on the working candle or a few drops in a loose incense being burned for prosperity; Almond leaves and Almonds proper are also used for money magick. Also, Almond oil can be smeared on money to help attract more money. As a wand or amulet, the wood of the Almond tree aids in self-protection. Almond wood is also said to be effective in love magick.
Almonds are also essential to beauty as the drupe [nut] is beneficial to our health, however, I came across this spell in my copy of Tess Whitehurst’s book, The Magic of Trees:
Preheat your oven to 350F [in North America], or at around 180c/160 fan/gas mark 4 in UK/Europe. Thought I should add that as she did not. Centre yourself by holding your hands in a prayer pose and calling upon the Goddess [of your beliefs] to bless your magickal workings. Place three cups of raw, organic Almonds in a medium to large bowl. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and stir in a clockwise direction with a wooden spoon until coated. As you stir, mentally direct a very bright, pink light through the spoon into the Almonds. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil or preferably baking parchment and pour the Almonds onto the baking tray, spreading evenly. Hold open your palms over the Almonds and direct the energy of your words into them as you chant three times:
Goddess of love, Goddess of light
Bless me with your beauty bright
Bake for ten to twelve minutes or until they are a rich, dark brown. Let cool, then store in a large glass container with sealing lid. Every morning until they’re gone, have one quarter to one third cup Almonds with or for breakfast until they’re gone. Repeat as desired… or as needed 😊 I would need to eat them forever!
Planet: Jupiter [I have also seen some saying Mercury]
Badam pisim otherwise known as Almond gum has great cooling properties. In very hot places such as India, where my mother’s very far back ancestors came from, Badam pisim is added to water or any drink to help cool one’s system on a 40c day. It helps calm the stomach burns, treats ulcers and reduces the burning sensation in the stomach. It is also known for its cholesterol lowering properties.
Health benefits of the Almond nut/drupe:
Almonds are high in phytic acid, a substance that binds certain minerals and prevents them from being absorbed. Whilst phytic acid is generally considered a healthy antioxidant, it also slightly reduces the amount of iron, zinc and calcium you get from Almonds. They are among the world’s best sources of vitamin E, so good in fact, you can eat these daily and probably no longer need E supplements. Almonds can assist with blood sugar control. If you are hypoglycaemic or have diabetes, sometimes the blood sugar gets a bit out of whack. People without diabetes also see major reductions in insulin resistance when supplementing with magnesium. Always keep a container of Almonds [non-sugared!] with you . They are very high in magnesium therefore you could possibly save money from buying that supplement. Almonds can lower your cholesterol levels particularly the LDL or bad cholesterol.
Lastly, Almonds can help you in weight loss. Due to their satiating properties, Almonds [and Walnuts] are a great addition to an effective weight loss diet. And, they are high in fibre and protein and low in bad carbs. Win-win!
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
Are you ready to climb trees with me again? I am on a journey to write about trees we often don’t have where I live or… possibly we do, and I simply haven’t paid them any mind until now. I can’t say I’ll be expert at writing on subjects I have not worked with personally, but I feel I can at the least pull together into one blog all the useful information you need to work magick with if you do have access to these. And now, on the very magickal Acacia tree!
Acacia is steeped in lore, particularly from the Egyptians. The ancient Egyptians made funeral wreathes of Acacia leaves and the Hebrews planted a sprig of evergreen Acacia to mark the grave of a departed friend. Acacia is also revered by the Egyptian gods and goddesses as it is believed the very first gods were born beneath its branches in Heliopolis. The stern of the celestial boat of Ra was made of Acacia wood and it was sacred to the Goddess Isis.
The ancient Egyptians used the Nile Acacia for enlightenment and talking to the gods. Their spiritual guide was not Hathor or Isis, but Osiris. Osiris was the first god to be born from under the Acacia tree, in their beliefs, and all else followed. The legend remains today that the spirit of Osiris is in every Acacia tree on the Nile…nee, all Acacia trees.
If you wish to become a spiritual leader, it is believed you should fashion a wand from Acacia wood for it is thought to increase your integrity, authority, and confidence if you so charge it to be; all of which you will need to have to fulfil this role.
You can use Acacia leaves dipped in your homemade holy water to sprinkle your altar or any other items you wish to consecrate.
If you wish to communicate with the dead, Acacia leaves burned in a loose incense on a charcoal is effective. This is also an effective way to induce spiritual phenomena and develop personal psychic power by opening your mind; adding Frankincense and Myrrh can be used to intensify the effect. Acacia leaves are especially powerful when attempting to contact the dead and should be rubbed into white candles but not worn on the body while attempting such work. Acacia symbolises the afterlife.
Acacia is used in spells related to protection and psychic power and the dried gum [gum Arabic from Acacia senegal] is used as a base for many incenses, as well as . Combine with sandalwood to make an incense to aid in meditation. The leaves may also be burned on charcoal to increase personal power and the resin is how most of us use it mixed with loose herbs and woods on a charcoal.
If you are fortunate enough to have an Acacia tree growing near, it is an effective way to have your petitions heard by your god[s] and/or goddess[es]. Many years ago, the famed Charles Darwin came upon an Acacia tree in Patagonia where the village people revered it as a Divine altar. They would leave offerings beneath it along with their requests. Perhaps you can find a way to create your own Acacia altar.
Apparently, Acacia is available in supermarkets. To be fair, I have never gone in search for it to use as a health aid or a food enhancer. However, Acacia has apparently been used in medicine for a great number of years and I assume, if you know how to use it correctly, it is of great benefit. However, as always, please see your general practitioner before embarking on any home health remedy. And I do not mean Dr Google.
Acacia is often used in topical treatments to help wounds heal. Doctors, scientists, and researchers believe that this effect may be due to some of its chemicals, such as alkaloids, glycosides, and flavonoids. In one study, a species of acacia known as Acacia caesia was tested on rats as part of a topical wound treatment. It led to quicker wound healing than the standard treatment.
The extract of a species of acacia known as Acacia catechu, sometimes called black khair, can be used in dental products like mouthwash to prevent gingivitis. Powdered Acacia can also be used in a type of herbal toothpaste that’s been shown to clean teeth without being too abrasive to the surface of your teeth. An older study, Trusted Source from 1999 showed that this herbal tooth powder cleaned and cleared well over two-thirds of tooth plaque, and nearly 100 percent in some cases.
Acacia gum contains water-soluble dietary fibres [WSDF] that are not only good fibre for your diet but also helpful in keeping your cholesterol under control. One study showed that taking 15 grams of Acacia gum in liquid form every day helped manage the concentration of plasma cholesterols in blood. Although published in 1992, this is the most comprehensive study on the effects of Acacia gum on the blood to date. WSDF can also help you maintain a healthy weight and is good for general cardiovascular health. The American Food and Drug Administration [FDA] even made changes to regulations to recognise the beneficial use of Acacia as a good fibre source in many popular foods, including cereals, juice, and yoghurt.
Because it’s known to relieve irritation and inflammation, Acacia gum can also help control coughs. The properties of Acacia gum allow it to be used in solutions to coat your throat and protect the mucus in your throat from irritation. Using Acacia for coughs can keep your throat from becoming sore as well as ease or prevent symptoms, including losing your voice. I don’t think I trust sucking on the tiny gum Arabic resins I burn in my censor…
The Acacia greggii plant, found in the United States and Mexico, can be used to help stop blood flow in gashes, wounds, and other surface cuts. Pouring an Acacia-infused tea on cuts is an especially effective remedy. This can be helpful for stopping heavy bleeding and washing bacteria from the cut.
Ask your doctor before consuming any form of Acacia to make sure you won’t have an allergic or drug interaction reaction. Acacia senegal has been found to interact with the efficacy of some medications. For example, it may prevent some antibiotics from being absorbed.
Some forms of Acacia contain toxic chemicals that could cause hair loss, affect your digestive tract’s ability to take in nutrients, and stunt growth. Do not consume a form of Acacia that you’re not familiar with. Also be sure to consult your doctor or an expert before taking any form of Acacia that hasn’t been processed for use in food.
Acacia is often found already processed in foods, but it’s also available in ground, powder, or whole form at your supermarket. The studies above show that anywhere from 15 to 30 grams of Acacia per day is a safe dose but talk to your doctor before giving it to younger children or older adults. They may suggest adjusting dosage to avoid any potential digestive or absorption issues.
One of the first questions which pop up under ‘People also ask’ if you Google Buckthorn Tree is “Is Buckthorn good for anything?” . Really? I felt quite indignant! Aren’t all trees good for something, if not multiple things? Maybe having a Druid father makes me feel indignant over that question, however, should you be one of those who might ask this, let me very patiently explain just what the Buckthorn tree is good for… and hopefully the people who do ask that question routinely will find satisfying answers here 😊
The Buckthorn [Rhamnus cathartica] tree is native to countries from the central British Isles south to Morocco, and east to Kyrgyzstan. It is also native to Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia. Mature trees can grow to a height of 10m, with grey-brown bark and spiny branches. The leaf buds are conical and black brown in colour, and form on long stalks. Buckthorn is dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are found on different trees. Flowers are yellow green with four petals and are pollinated by insects. It is similar to alder buckthorn [Frangula alnus] but purging Buckthorn has opposite leaves and Alder Buckthorn has alternate leaves.
Purging Buckthorn is the main food plant of the brimstone butterfly whose caterpillars eat the leaves. Its flowers provide a source of pollen and nectar for bees and other insects, while its dense growth makes it a valuable nesting site for birds. So, yes, it is good for something, our Buckthorn!
However, in many places it seems to take over wherever it lives. Not only in the UK but mostly in the US where the common Buckthorn lives [brought over by the English back during the Great Pilgrim Migration] is a bit of a nuisance. Whilst birds [and sometimes mice] do eat Buckthorn berries, it’s often because it’s the only available seed source. But Buckthorn berries are not a good food source for small birds. They’re low in protein and high in carbohydrates and produce a severe laxative effect in some animals. For smaller birds, the laxative effect can even be strong enough to result in death. Adding insult to injury, the excreting birds also end up distributing the Buckthorn seeds over long distances. And, that means more Buckthorn.
Now you might see why it is called “purging Buckthorn” sometimes…
Let us talk about magickal uses now!
Tess Whitehurst, in her book The Magic of Trees, calls the Buckthorn “a Taurus with an Aries rising” because it is a tree which is stubborn enough to see anything through. Sometimes, in magick, we really need that kind of tenacity!
It is said that if you wish to de-hoard your home but can’t get the energy up to do so, place a 50p coin [or a 50 cent piece in the US or anywhere else which uses 50 cent coins] at the base of a Buckthorn tree. Then, ask permission of the Buckthorn tree to snip a branch from it, doing so with love. Use this branch to purify the air in your home before starting the task of decluttering, moving through each room using an anti-clockwise sweeping motion. When finished, give the branch back to the earth by laying it on the ground. Start small… clear out one small space, such as a cupboard. Continue choosing one small space to clear as you feel more up to it until you have de-hoarded every place in your home. And, if it works as well as I think it should, you might well be motivated to clear your home much sooner than you first imagine!
Buckthorn is likewise a good ally in beginning any kind of endeavour, whether a new business, new job, or anything in which you feel you need extra “sticktoitness”. I would suggest doing the same ritual as above, only “sweeping” yourself with the branch. I would also snip off a small piece of the Buckthorn branch and use it as a talisman to help you keep motivated but still leave the largest piece of the branch to the earth outdoors as described above.
If beginning any kind of new project, whether for work or school, visit a Buckthorn tree at noon. Empower a crystal [one which has powers of success is best, such as Citrine] with your intention, holding it in bright sunlight if possible. Imagine yourself feeling joyful and successful in embarking upon this project, working faithfully until complete. Imagine your success and the honours it might bestow, and your satisfaction of a job well done. Empower the crystal with all the confident feelings you have and when you feel this is complete, bury the crystal at the base of the Buckthorn, then pour an entire bottle of red wine around the tree’s roots. Yes, you can use a cheap bottle 😊
According to Dioscorides, placing branches of Buckthorn around doors and windows drives away all evil sorceries committed toward you.
According to Scott Cunningham, it is wise to carry a piece of Buckthorn with you to all court and legal matters and as a general good luck generator.
Planetary: Saturn [Mars, according to Whitehurst]
Gender: Feminine [Masculine, according to Whitehurst]
Element[s]: Water [Earth, according to Whitehurst]
Sadly, my go-to for all things herbal/tree/spice related information, Nicholas Culpeper, has no writings of Buckthorn so no words of wisdom from him. However, I think you may have gotten the idea above that Buckthorn is an effective laxative.
Word of Caution: If you suffer from a bleeding disorder, Buckthorn berry can be dangerous, as it slows down blood clotting. Also, if you already are taking blood pressure medication or suffer from hypotension, this berry might not be a great choice. As always, you should speak with a medical professional before making any major changes to your diet.
That said, the berries of the Buckthorn are thought to be a preventative to many diseases and problems such as aging, anti-cancer, cholesterol, circulation, diabetes control, heart health, stomach problems, vision health and a vitamin C boost.
But please, do not just pluck the berries off from a tree and start eating them. In a case like this, once you have a thumb’s up from your GP, order a proper supplement from a reputable vitamins and supplements dealer.
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x
Encyclopaedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham
The Dragon Blood tree is a very other-worldly looking tree, kind of like the Baobab tree or the Bodhi tree which all remind me of the kind of trees you might find back during the time dinosaurs roamed the earth. And so, they probably did. This is a tree I adore for the fact that it produces, what many of us use in our practises, the wonderfully scented Dragon’s Blood resin. It is one of my favourites.
Dracaena cinnabari, the Socotra Dragon tree, or Dragon Blood tree, is a Dragon tree native to the Socotra archipelago, part of Yemen, located in the Arabian Sea. There is a similar tree, the Dracaena draco, which is found in the Canary Islands and found in nearby islands as well as western Morocco. It also produces the Dragon’s Blood resin but in early years was never the main producer of the resin we all know and love until the cinnabari became threatened. However, this has changed, as well. As of some time, both are endangered, sadly.
Both Dracaena cinnabari and Dracaena draco trees are quite slow growers. It can take over 10 years for the former to reach one metre in height whilst the latter is not much faster. They are now both called threatened species, meaning no more “real” Dragon’s Blood resin. It does not help that we have Global Heating [Climate Change] increasing arid environments and is predicted to cause a 45 percent reduction in the available habitat for Dracaena cinnabari by the year 2080. What we are buying these days is most likely from the Daemonorops draco. You are not likely to find much in the way of real resin from this plant, however, the incenses produced from it are quite heavenly. But I’m not fussed. This plant is helping to stem the virtual demise of the Dracaena cinnabari and draco trees. As they are endangered I would certainly rather “make do” with something else than to know both trees are no longer in this world.
So, purists as we may be with what we use, please, be happy with what we can have. And that is Daemonoprops draco for which our magickal correspondences will be given for.
Dragon’s Blood, as we shall refer to it as from herein, is used with incredibly good results in protection magick. Make a sachet with a clove of garlic and Dragon’s Blood and carry it with you, especially if your travels cause worry about your personal safety. Burning the incense regularly builds a protection aura in your home and I always like to burn it after a good cleansing incense of Frankincense – to get all the mucky puppies out first.
Dragon’s Blood is also well-suited to love spell work. Mind, you musn’t do any kind of spell which will infringe upon anybody’s free will.
Bring back an estranged partner by burning Dragon’s Blood incense. Be sure to only do this with the intention that it is asked for by their true will.
It can also be used for clearing, cleansing, and hex breaking. Use Dragon’s Blood incense for cleaning the ritual circle before a spell. Use the smoke of the incense to pass over yourself or someone else to break a hex.
And, if you can buy yourself any of the Dracaena’s to keep in your home or on your property, you will be well protected, indeed!
Gender: Male [Tess Whitehurst says Female, but the consensus of most is Male]
Zodiac: Aries, Sagittarius
Powers: Manifestation, Intention, Protection, Love Drawing, Money Attraction, Healing Rituals, Emotional Strength, Heightening Ritual Energy, Banishing, Love, Protection, Healing, Increased Potency, Honouring the Gods, Goddesses, Spirits or Ancestors,
Dragon’s Blood has been used over time as an anti-diarrhoeal, anti-inflammatory, and for ulcers – the topical kind such as bed sores, not the internal kind as in your stomach. Some suggest it is useful in preventing cancer as well as fending off viruses and bacteria in the body. I would not know, if I’m honest. I have never tried Dragon’s Blood for any health reasons.
The problem here is, the only studies I have found as of now are from 2011 and 2013. Much of that information by now, over seven years later, are most likely proved or disproved but I would not know. Therefore, please do more research before giving any of it a go.
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander. X
Do you ever think you know it all? Some of us older types do that sometimes. So, there I was, thinking the Cherry tree came from Asian countries such as Japan and I find the UK has a native, yes native, Cherry tree all along! The Prunus avium, or Wild Cherry, is a native of the UK, no ties to Asiatic countries. Well…knock me down with a feather! Never too old to learn, I say.
The most important Cherry tree in my life was from a child, when visiting my Nana’s farm and helping her pick cherries to put on a Victoria Sponge or to make tarts with. I was never much help as I ate more than I collected. Still, she never failed to make a special tart just for me with the cherries I picked….I’m surprised that could have amounted to much, ha ha…she most likely added some of her own to my pitiful lot, as a good Nana will do.
In the Victorian Language of Flowers, white flowers from the Cherry tree meant deception.
In Highland folklore, Wild Cherry trees had mysterious qualities, and to encounter one was considered auspicious and fateful. In fact, in the Highlands it was once taboo to use Cherry wood, as Cherry trees, were regarded as being so magickal in Highland culture. They were also a bit rarer in the Scottish Highlands as the Cherry tree grows best in the more southerly regions of the UK.
When using Cherry wood or any part of the Cherry tree for spells, please note it is best to do these rituals on the day of Venus [Friday] during the hour of Venus for best results.
Cherry stones have been used as talismans to attract love. According to Tess Whitehurst, authoress of such books as You are Magical and The Magic of Trees, Cherry blossoms are for divine love, forgiveness, gentleness, remembering one’s primal innocence, romance, and weight loss, although from my research the only one I find matching would be love. Still, many witches do find new reasons for certain things working for them that no one else has done.
Any part of the Cherry tree can be used for spell work and for incense making [bark], oils, sachets, witch bottles, poppets, and the branches are well-suited to becoming magic wands. The Cherry wood wand is best for healing and love spells / rituals.
Regarding the Cherry tree, Nicholas Culpeper wrote: “The gum of the Cherry-Tree, dissolved in wine is good for a cold, cough, and hoarseness of the throat”. The gum, I would presume came from within the bark of the Cherry tree, as most cold and cough remedies even to this day, use the bark of Cherry trees to silence coughs due to cold and to help expel phlegm. Not only was the bark of the Cherry tree used in England and surrounding countries during this time but across the pond, Native Americans also used the bark of Cherry trees in the same way. And, I am quite sure they did not consult Mr Culpeper’s writings, although it may be possible that returning Englishmen from North American travels may have passed round the knowledge about Cherry trees and we in turn began using this information for ourselves.
Other attributes of the Cherry tree’s fruit, by Mr Culpeper are the ability to “provoke urine” and also “mends colour in the face, sharpens the eyesight, provokes appetite, and to expel gravel and wind”… do I want to know what he means by ‘expel gravel’? Probably not… it is enough for me to know cherries will most likely make you fart.
If you guessed that this is the tree where our beloved Bay leaves come from, you are correct. The Bay Laurel [Laurus nobilis] is the aromatic, sun-loving tree which is renowned from the ancient Greek and Roman times as the embodiment of fame, victory, and success. The victors of those times [think Julius Caesar] wore Laurel crowns… as a matter of fact, Italian high school graduates continue this tradition today. The word “laureate”, which comes from the word laurel, indicates a high level of mastery and recognition, as in Poet Laureate. And I am sure you have also heard of the phrase “rest on one’s laurels”.
Bay is definitely aligned with fame, winning, successfulness in all you do. We use it extensively in magick. But why? And how? Many times, we may use an herb or spice because a spell requires it without giving much thought to why are we using this particular herb or spice. If you have used bay leaves in a success, luck, or money spell then you may have had great success with the spell. But, did you know that your herbs and spices may not work so well unless you enchant them to do your bidding first? My personal enchantment routine is to hold each item I choose to go into my spell work in my “power hand”, which for me is my right hand. Then I choose the correspondence of the herb that I wish to enchant it for… most herbs and spices have a variety of correspondences, as you may know. Some may do multiple different things such as money, fertility, protection, etc. So, if you want money, you must enchant that herb/spice for its correspondence of money and not fertility. Then, holding the herb in my power hand, I speak my enchantment to it nine times. After I feel the sudden warmth in my hand, I know it is ready to be added to my spell potion or incense.
Other ways in which to use the wonderful Bay leaf are for prosperity, wish granting, psychic abilities and more… one quick spell anyone can do is to write “prosperity” onto a Bay leaf in gold ink [you can get gold ink pens at most department stores with any kind of stationary department] and then burn the Bay leaf, focussing your intent for prosperity as it burns. For protection, burn Sage along with Bay leaves to cleanse your space needing protection. For success, hold a Bay leaf and channel your desire into the leaf until you feel it is working, then burn the leaf. You can also add one or more Bay leaves to any magickal working performed with the intention to manifest any variety of success. Another way to draw money into your life is to empower four Bay leaves during the New Moon in the light of the noon Sun, then place them in your wallet or cash box.
Hold a single Bay leaf between your flat palms in prayer pose near your heart. Feel or imagine a bright sphere of sunlight surrounding your and shielding you from all negative effects of harassment and unwanted advances. Call upon Daphne to support you in this intention and remind yourself that you are not deserving of such treatment. Vow to yourself that you will refuse to tolerate it or take to heart any longer. Then place it in a drawstring bag, along with a haematite stone, and wear it around your neck so that it rests over your heart. Thank Daphne for her help and wear as needed. ~ Tess Whitehurst, The Magic of Trees
Folk Names: sweet Bay, true laurel, Grecian laurel
Most of us have used Bay leaves in cooking meals, particularly Italian dishes. But did you know that Bay leaves have the ability to detoxify the body, slow the ageing process, speed wound healing, protect the body from bacterial infections, manage diabetes, improve heart health, reduce inflammation, alleviate respiratory issues, optimise digestion, and prevent certain types of cancer?
Bay leaves have a profound effect on our gastrointestinal system, both stimulating urination as a diuretic, which decreases the toxicity of the body and stimulating vomiting [as an emetic] when something toxic has been consumed. Furthermore, the organic compounds found in bay leaves are very effective for settling upset stomachs, soothing irritable bowel syndrome [IBS] or even lessening the symptoms of Celiac disease.
Having a hard go of breathing due to flu or cold? Melt down some bee’s wax, add a little bit of a carrier oil such as extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil, then some Bay leaf essential oil [the higher the grade, the better to make a salve]. Rub on your chest and not only will it help you breathe better by loosening the phlegm, but its antibacterial properties will help rid you of the bacteria trapped in your respiratory tract.
Don’t be too quick to chuck out that salve when your cold is all better! You can likewise use it on arthritic joints or sore muscles for relief of pain.
** “Bay leaf” is a commonly used term that applies to many different plants around the world; however, to achieve all the health benefits listed above, it is essential that you find a true bay leaf, derived from the Bay Laurel tree. There are some varieties that are toxic when consumed. You can purchase Bay Laurel leaf in capsule form. There is no scientific evidence I can find that it works, but as mentioned earlier, it is also believed to prevent certain cancers and lower glucose levels in diabetics. Please see your GP before embarking on any kind of self-treatment for disease.
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x