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Magickal Uses of Woods


Magickal Uses of Woods

Taken from the ancient Celtic tree alphabet.

Individual trees of particular species have been revered, the kind varying with the divine force represented. The symbolism of the woods are very important in the construction of any magical tool.



OAK
The oak tree is the tree of Zeus, Jupiter, Hercules, The Dagda (The Chief of the Elder Irish gods), Thor and all other Thunder Gods.
The royalty of the Oak needs no enlarging upon.
The Oak is the tree of endurance and triumph, and like the Ash, is said to count the lightning's' flash.
The Oak is a male wood which is ideal for the construction of any tool that needs the male influence such as Athames, certain wands and staffs.
The midsummer fire is always Oak and the need fire is always kindled in an Oak log.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Endurance, triumph, strength, power, dominion, prosperity, sacrifice, guardian, liberator.

BIRCH
With the exception of the mysterious elder, the Birch is the earliest of the forest trees.
The Birch is used extensively in cleansing rituals.
Throughout Europe, Birch twigs are used to expel evil spirits.
Birch rods are also used in rustic rituals to drive out the spirits of the old year.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Controlled by the Lunar influences. Birth, healing, Lunar workings, and protection.

HAZEL
The Hazel is a tree of wisdom.
In England, all the knowledge of the arts and sciences were bound to the eating of Hazel nuts.
Until the seventeenth century, a forked Hazelstick was used to divine the guilt of persons in cases of murder and theft.
We have retained the practice of divining for water and buried treasure.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Wisdom, intelligence, inspiration, wrath.

ALDER
The Alder is the tree of fire.
In the battle of the trees, the Alder fought in the very front line.
It is described as the very "battle witch" of all woods, the tree that is hottest in the fight.
From the alder, you can make three different dyes, red from its bark, green from its flowers, and brown from its twigs; this symbolizes the elements of fire, water and earth.
The Alder wood is the wood of the witches.
Whistles may be made of this wood to summon and control the four winds.
It is also the ideal wood for making the magical pipes and flutes.
To prepare the wood for use, beat the bark away with a willow stick while projecting your wishes into it.
The Alder is a token of resurrection.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Controlling the four winds, banishing and controlling elementals, resurrection. Making magical dyes.

IVY / VINE
The Ivy was sacred to Osiris as well as to Dionysus.
Vine and Ivy come next to each other at the turn of the year, and are jointly dedicated to resurrection.
Presumably, this is because they are the only two trees that grow spirally.
The Vine also symbolizes resurrection because its strength is preserved in the wine.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: (VINE) Faerie work, Joy, Exhilaration, Wrath, Rebirth. (IVY) Fidelity, Constancy, Love, Intoxication.

YEW
The Yew is known as the death tree in all european countries.
Sacred to Hecate in Greece and Italy.
Yew wood makes excellent bows, as the Romans learned from the Greeks.
This strengthened the belief that Yew was connected with death.
Its use in England is recalled in Macbeth where Hecate's cauldron contained:"... Slips of Yew, slivered in the moon eclipse."
The Silver Fir of birth and the Yew of death are sisters.
They stand next to each other in the circle of the year and their foliage is almost identical.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Destructive workings concerning death. Not recommended for magical tools "...for I am the tomb to every hope."

ROWAN
The Rowan is seen as the tree of life.
It is also known as Mountain Ash, Quickbeam, The Witch or Witch Wand.
In the British Isles, Rowan is used as a protection against lightning and magical charms of all sorts.
In ancient Ireland, the Druids of opposing forces would kindle a fire of rowan and say an incantation over it to summon spirits to take part in the battle.
The Rowan is also used for many healing purposes.
The "Quickbeam" is the tree of quickening.
Another use was in metal divining.
In Ireland, a Rowan stake was hammered through a corpse to immobilize the spirit.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Divination, healing, astral work, protection.

ASH
The Ash is sacred to Poseidon and Woden.
The Ash is considered to be the father of trees.
The Ash is the tree of sea power, or of the power resident in water. Special guardian spirits reside in the Ash; This makes it excellent for absorbing sickness.
The spirally carved druidical wand was made of Ash for this purpose.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Sea power, karmic laws, magical potency, healing, protection from drowning.

PINE
External symbol of life and immortality.
It is one of the few trees that are androgynous.
It was also worshiped by the ancients as a symbol of fire because of its resemblance to a spiral of flame.
It is regarded as a very soothing tree to be near.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Strength, life and immortality, rejuvenation

WILLOW
The Willow was sacred to Hecate, Circe, Hera, and Persephone, all death aspects of the Triple Moon Goddess, and was often used by the Witches in Greece.
The moon owns it.
Female symbol.
It is the tree that loves water most and is sacred to the Moon Goddess who is the giver of dew and moisture, generally.
The Willow is the tree of enchantment.
Can be made into a tool to make wishes come true.
MAGICKAL PURPOSES: Moon magic, psychic energy, healing, inspiration, and fertility

ELDER
A waterside tree, the Elder has white flowers that bloom to their peak in midsummer (as is also true for the Rowan) thus making the Elder another aspect of the White Goddess.
The Elder is also said to be the crucifixion tree.
The inner bark and the flowers have long been famous for their therapeutic qualities.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Witchcraft, banishment, magical art, waters of life.

HAWTHORN
The Whitethorn or Hawthorn or May Witch takes its name from the May.
It is a generally unlucky tree and its name, translated from the Irish Brehon Laws, had the meaning "harm".
The Goddess, under the name Cardea, cast spells with the Hawthorn.
In many cultures, the month of the Hawthorn (May) is a month of bad luck for marriages.
The Hawthorn blossom, for many men, has the strong scent of female sexuality and was used by the Turks as an erotic symbol.
The monks of Glastonbury perpetuated it and sanctified it with an approving tale that the staff of Joseph and the Crown of thorns were made of Hawthorn.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Purification, enforced chastity, male potency, and cleansing.

HOLLY
Holly means "holy".
The identification of the pacific Christ with the Holly is poetically inept as it is the Oak king, not the Holly king that is crucified on a T shaped cross.
The Holly has many uses from making a dye from its berries to being used as an aphrodisiac.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Holiness, consecration, material gain, physical revenge, beauty

WHITE POPLAR
The tree of the Autumn Equinox and of old age, is the shifting leaved
White Poplar, or Aspen, The shield makers tree.
Heracles bound his head in triumph with popular after killing the giant Cacus (the evil one).
The Black poplar was a funeral tree sacred to the Mother Earth.
Plato makes a reference to the use of Black popular and Silver Fir as an aid in divination.
The Silver Fir standing for hope assured and the Black Poplar for loss of hope.
In ancient Ireland, the coffin makers measuring rod was made of Aspen, apparently to remind the dead that this was not the end.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Hope, rebirth, divinations.

ALMOND
Almond has a very sweet natural being. Aids in self protection.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Fruitfulness, virginity

APPLE
It is an old English custom to drink to the health of the
Apple tree with a good glass of cider all in hopes of encouraging the tree to produce a good crop next year.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Fertility

COCONUT
The Coconut is feminine and very fertile.
The shell represents the womb, and the milk, fertility.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Protection from negative psychic forces.

FIG
The Fig is androgynous. The fruit representing the feminine and the triple lobed leaves suggest the masculine force.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Balance

MISTLETOE
The mistletoe was sacred to the Druids and to the Norse.
It was considered to be the great healer and has both male and female qualities.
It was so well regarded by the Norse (because it was sacred to Freya) that they refused to fight in the vicinity of Mistletoe.
The custom of hanging Mistletoe in the house to promote peace comes from this. Generally regarded today as a symbol of love and purity.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Love, fertility, sexual potency.

PALM
Is regarded as particularly powerful because of its incredible durability and because it is self renewing, never changing its leaves. Aids in rejuvenation.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Resurrection, and the cycle and matrix of life

PEACH
The Peach is an emblem of marriage.
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: Abundance, fruitfulness, happiness.


79 Comments

Wonderful information, Athena and Michele! +1 for you both :clap:
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I can't seem to find much of anything on the boards related to ebony wood. I purchased an ebony wand just a few months ago, as I felt drawn to it and decided to experiment a bit. It is aggressively protective, which is in line with what I have been reading about online as far as some of it's associations. Also, in general-just an all around "power booster" or good for any general purpose, type of wand. They don't grow around these parts, and I was wondering, if anyone on the boards has ever been around a live ebony tree and/or worked with ebony or an ebony wand.
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Sorry - I do not know ebony, although I love woods.

M
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Sorry - I do not know ebony, although I love woods.

M

In my limited experience with it, I can kinda relate it to more of a blackthorn "type" of energy, but it has it's own unique energy to it at the same time. I have also seen ebony described as "dominating". I'd say that's true-so far anyway.
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Ebony is an African tree- the wood my husband used often in his pieces, it sometimes "explodes " while drying; not the most stable exotic to work with and it is a very small tree- resinous. That's all I know
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I started to say that I am interested in learning more about exotic woods; however, I am more interested in exotic trees, as in living entities. I am hoping to find some examples in local botanical gardens and the like, so I can test some magical theories that I am working on. Exotic implies "not around me", so this may prove a challenge.
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It is interesting how different the attributes associated to woods can be from tradition to tradition. I wonder if, at one time, there ever was a more universal understanding of them?

M
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That would be an interesting thing to try and place a time of understanding but I think as we evolved in our spiritual understanding,it must have been a type of horses for courses thing. I know you mean much further back in time but I often think about, well not that often lol,Moses and the burning bush. There is a bush,tho I can't remember where that actually sets a light on its own. Then i go to Isaack Newton and his appletree,which help him with his gravitational theories.So many lores regarding trees, Odin, and the green ash tree,so yes, very interesting M.
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I've mentioned elsewhere about Bog-Oak that I got from Drumshanbo in Ireland. Drumshanb is in the Shadow of the Iron Mountains - so called because Gobniu, Smith of the Tuathe De Danaan (Children of Dana) set up house and shop at the foot of the mountains and built his forge there. To go there is to see a magical place - but then all of Ireland is a magical place - even Dublin (which means Black Waters). Whilst I was there I went beyond the pale of Dublin to The Circle in the North where the Lia-Fal stands, unfortunately, when I was there the council had put a fence around it so ten metres from the stone so you couldn't touch it let alone sit on it!

 

 

the other great place is NewGrange which is a Neolithic Chambered Tomb but it is huge and the rear of the monument is as interesting as the entrance into it, and I believe, they have excursions to it at Winter Solstice Eve, so that you can sit in the rear Chamber in the centre of the monument and watch the Mid-winter Sun rise at dawn and flood the passage to the burial cells with Golden Light. When I went for that, the light was sparkling and I felt as though I had been electrified by the Sun - it was the strangest of feelings. I swear I could see the shadows of the dead rise from their tombs and walk down the passage and into the Sun's Light. If you can visit the place, do. And get your own feelings from the site. There are many places to go and the Celtic, Stone Circles around Cork are absolutely superb!

 

Another reason to go is to visit Huntington Castle, Clonegal, in County Carlow, the seat of the Fellowship of Isis. unfortunately, its founder and High Priestess, Olivia Durdin-Robertson, passed into the World of Spirit on 14th November 2013. The last link to the family  and the Fellowship of Isis lies with Pamela Durdin-Robertson, wife and High priestess of Laurence Durdin-Robertson (Olivia's brother) who passed on  some nineteen years previously. foxman

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I've mentioned elsewhere about Bog-Oak that I got from Drumshanbo in Ireland. . . .

 

Foxman,

 

I realize that your posts are primarily composed on information from your experiences and travels.  I am finding those details quite interesting; thank you for sharing.  For the auxiliary content, however, would you be kind enough, when appropriate, to include some references or suggested resources for those of us, who like to do our own in-depth research on the subjects? 

 

Thank you much.

 

Jevne

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westofthemoon
Jun 29 2015 04:59 AM
Bump!
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Levinthross
Dec 09 2015 08:24 AM
Has anyone utilised lightning struck wood before? I know its used in hoodoo for power and destruction but I've never come across someone who's worked with it? Any thoughts? Or maybe the characteristics of a lightning struck wand?
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Has anyone utilised lightning struck wood before? I know its used in hoodoo for power and destruction but I've never come across someone who's worked with it? Any thoughts? Or maybe the characteristics of a lightning struck wand?


I have used lightning struck wood. Best I can describe it, it is like lightning itself. Highly, highly charged (and the charge doesn't fade with time). There are other lightning struck items with similar properties, I believe. For example, I have a piece of fulgurite which is lightning struck/fused sand and it exhibits a similar charge and feel. They are pretty cool. :)
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I have access to a tree that was lightening struck in the spring of this year . It has already fallen over on the ground. I actually heard the strike when it happened , went out a couple of weeks later and found it up in the tree line behind my property , bark all sprayed out , some was even stuck in the ground like spears . I have wondered what I could make or do with some of the wood , before it all rots away. Maybe some suggestions from the folks here......

Nabu
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For now, I would just go out and salvage whatever pieces speak to you. You'll figure out what to do with them eventually (probably when you have need of it lol).

A spear with the energy of lightening - that's a hell of a thing to have.
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Yep, that's what I would do too-salvage whatever is calling to you & you'll know what to do with it when the time is right.
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I have a piece of lightening-struck dogwood. I haven't used it yet, because I'm having trouble processing it. The energy is palpable. That's about all I really know so far, that it is super strong.
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I bet. There's a whirlwind of chaotic energies tempered by gentleness.
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Oh , I do plan on a salvage operation especially since it has fell over on the ground . Just a matter of doing it , much of the wood has already decayed since the spring . Boxes and wands came to mind when I first found it , now to find folks that do have a use for the energy from the strike . This is something that is not often available to some , and I should make use of it and not waste the opportunity .really should have taken pics of it when I found it , but hindsight sometimes kicks in after the fact. Busy time ahead with this material of fortunate gift.

Nabu
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Levinthross
Dec 14 2015 11:09 AM
Lol you win and lose some I just added some to my regular mojo so well see how that goes in the coming week but a lightning soearvseems like a great tool for invoking justice or divine judgment
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IVY / VINE 
The Ivy was sacred to Osiris as well as to Dionysus. 
Vine and Ivy come next to each other at the turn of the year, and are jointly dedicated to resurrection. 
Presumably, this is because they are the only two trees that grow spirally. 
The Vine also symbolizes resurrection because its strength is preserved in the wine. 
MAGICKAL ASPECTS: (VINE) Faerie work, Joy, Exhilaration, Wrath, Rebirth. (IVY) Fidelity, Constancy, Love, Intoxication. 

 

I wonder if the type of ivy/vine is significant. For example, grape vine vs. kudzu......kudzu is everywhere around here.....lol

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BloodandSpicebush
Apr 28 2016 01:21 AM

I've been researching and writing a lot about the folkloric uses of wood on my blog recently, I'm stoked to know others are interested in this too! Anyone else a wood carver? I make spoons, bowls, stangs, and wands with a variety of southeastern hardwoods. 

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I have a fire wand. The house burned down and it was a remnant from that. It is charred, but wand shaped and it's probably redwood.

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Great stuff here,

I think can add a hand full I didn't notice reading through.

 

Holly is also a symbol of life and death to some. I would figure this is related to it being poisonous and medicinal.

 

Musselwood has the expected strength, protection, and permanence. It has been said to be used to control the will of others particularly animals. Most likely because it was used to make good ox yokes, or maybe vise versa. But, I have also been told protection from fire which I would like to learn more about if anyone has heard the same.

I will also add for earlier questions, There are a lot of trees known as Ironwood this is one it is also known as American Hornbeam and the technical folk call it Carpinus caroliniana.

 

Hickory twists have been handy to folk in things relating to secretes. Keeping them and fining them out. I've always heard this and encountered it all up and down the east coast of the U.S. Why make good sense to me but, I wonder if it's origins are native or pioneer, and if it pops up anywhere else.

 

Birch has been used for things relating to spirits. I was told as a kid that a spirit may use the shade of a birch as a doorway to the living world, or to be seen or heard by the living. It have seen where it was used relating to animation and sentience. The closest folk lore I found so far was from around Russia.

 

Lilac I learned growing up held the magic of rebirth. I always thought this must have to do with spring and the cloud of fragrance. One year a hard winter took some branches down off my lilac. They were tossed in the wood pile to dry till after midsummer. Then looking for a pole to prop a net for my strawberry one was cut into a stake and driven into the ground. Before the first frost it had leaves and a few flowers. I get it now.

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IslandBruja
Jan 16 2017 01:13 AM
I'm bumping this as I just mentioned it in the Seekers' Forum and it's full of interesting info. I also happened to come across this graph earlier today (before seeing Flidais' tree thread) so thought I'd share it here...

And if anyone had any info on tropical woods they'd like to share, I'd love to read anything and everything you feel like sharing as it's very difficult to find magical info on most trees growing in this climate... (I live in Hawaii)

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