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ELM* (Ulmus spp.)
A slightly fibrous, tan-colored wood with a slight sheen. Elm is often associated with Mother and Earth
Goddesses, and was said to be the abode of faeries, explaining Kipling's injunction; "Ailim be the lady's
tree; burn it not or cursed ye'll be". Elm wood is valued for it's resistance to splitting, and the inner bark
was used for cordage and chair caning. Elm adds stability and grounding to a spell.
FIR (Abies spp.)
Fir is a very tall slender tree that grows in mountainous regions on the upper slopes. Fir cones respond to
rain by closing and the sun by opening. Fir can see over great distance to the far horizon beyond and
below. Fir indicates high views and long sights with clear vision of what is beyond and yet to come.
HAWTHORN (Crataegus oxyacantha)
A light, hard, apple-like wood. Hawthorn usually doesn't grow much bigger than a shrub, and is popular
in England as a hedge plant. The wood from the Hawthorn provides the hottest fire known. Its leaves and
blossoms are used to create a tea to aid with anxiety, appetite loss and poor circulation. The Greeks and
Romans saw the hawthorn as symbolic of hope and marriage, but in medieval Europe it was associated
with witchcraft and considered to be unlucky. This seeming contradiction is to be expected from a tree
with such beautiful blossoms and such deadly-looking thorns. Hawthorn can be used for protection, love
and marriage spells.
HAZEL (Corylus avallania)
Hazel is another food tree. In Celtic tradition, the Salmon of Knowledge is said to eat the 9 nuts of poetic
wisdom dropped into its sacred pool from the hazel tree growing beside it. Each nut eaten by the salmon
becomes a spot on its skin. The Hazel tree provided shade, protection and baskets. In Europe and North
America, hazel is commonly used for 'water-witching' - the art of finding water with a forked stick.
Magically, hazel wood is used to gain knowledge, wisdom and poetic inspiration.
HOLLY* (Ilex aquifolium)
A beautiful white wood with an almost invisible grain; looks very much like ivory. Holly is associated with
the death and rebirth symbolism of winter in both Pagan and Christian lore. In Arthurian legend, Gawain
(representing the Oak King of summer) fought the Green Knight, who was armed with a holly club to
represent winter. It is one of the three timbers used in the construction of chariot wheel shafts. It was used
in spear shafts also. The qualities of a spear shaft are balance and directness, as the spear must be hefted
to be thrown the holly indicates directed balance and vigor to fight if the cause is just. Holly may be used
in spells having to do with sleep or rest, and to ease the passage of death.
LARCH (Larix europaea)
A light softwood, very similar to spruce. Larch is one of the few conifers which sheds its needles in the
winter. It is closely related to the North American tamarack (larix laricina). The larch plays an important
role in Sami (Lapp) and Siberian mythology where it takes the place of the ash as the World-tree. Their
shamans use larch wood to rim their ceremonial drums. The smoke from burning larch is said to ward off
evil spirits. Larch may be used for protection and to induce visions.
MAPLE (Acer spp.)
A very hard, pale, fine-grained wood. Although the sugar maple has the highest sugar content in its sap,
all maple species can be tapped to make syrup and sugar, making them a vital resource to early North
American settlers. In north-eastern North America, the annual 'sugaring-off' usually coincides with the
vernal equinox, making it one of the first signs of spring. Maple can bring success and abundance.
OAK (Quercus spp.)
Red Oak* (Quercus rubra)
A strong, straight-grained, slightly porous wood with a slight reddish hue. Its energy is a bit lighter and
more 'firey' than the other oaks.
White Oak* (Quercus alba)
Darker and denser than red oak. It's strength and density have led to its being used in barrel-making and
shipbuilding. Useful for spells requiring strength and solidity.
Brown (English) Oak* (Quercus robur)
A richly-colored dark brown wood. 'Bog oak' is brown oak which has fallen into a peat bog and been
preserved there for hundreds of years until it begins to have the consistency of coal. Brown oak has a
very earthy feel, and is useful for grounding.
Oak has been considered sacred by just about every culture that has encountered the tree, but it was held
in particular esteem by the Norse and Celts because of its size, longevity, and nutritious acorns. The oak
is frequently associated with Gods of thunder and lightening such as Zeus, Thor, and the Lithuanian God
Perkunas. This association may be due to the oak's habit of being hit by lightening during storms. Specific
oak trees have also been associated with the 'Wild Hunt', which is led by Herne in England and by Wodin
in Germany. In general, oak can be used in spells for protection, strength, success and stability; the
different varieties will lend their own special 'flavor' to the magic.
PINE (Pinus spp.)
The Pine tree is an evergreen, its old title was "the sweetest of woods". Its needles are a valuable source
of vitamin C and can loosen a tight chest. The scent of Pine is useful in the alleviation of guilt. The Bach's
flower remedies lists it for dealing with feelings of guilt. Pine indicates issues of guilt within you.
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