Latin Name: ulmus americana (American Elm); ulmus procera (European Elm) ; ulmus fulva (Slippery Elm)
Celtic Name: Negetal (pronounced: nyettle)
Common Names: Water Elder, Whitten, Rose Petal, Elm, Piss-Elm (because of its nasty smell if green branches are burned)
Medicinal Uses: Elm has many medicinal uses. Slippery elm bark can be powdered and made into a milk for babies who can’t tolerate cow’s milk. It is made into a tea to help ward off insomnia and upset tummies. It can be used for enemas. It also makes good poultice material for burns, wounds, ulcers, and poison ivy. A tincture can be made of the inner bark and used as an astringent. Magickal Uses: Being that this tree falls in the time of year associated with Samhain, and the beginning of the dark half of the year, it is associated with the mysteries of death. The hidden roots to all of life can be divined during this time, and we all know what a powerful time Samhain is for divinations. It is associated with custodianship and the role of saviour. Pwyll, the Celtic ruler of the Otherworld was given “The Stone” , one of the four treasures given him to guard. The Stone represents the right of kings and queens to divine power. Hence the Elm being a symbol of Royalty. This is a good month to use music made from flutes or reeded instruments (bagpipes, clarinets, oboes) in your magick. As the Elm is known as the “Elf-friend”, it is a good tree to find, a grove if possible, to sit under and sing. It is thought the wood elves will lose their shyness around dawn and will join in the singing. Small twigs of the Elm can be worn around a child’s neck to produce great skill in speechcraft later in life. It is also connected to the female primordial powers, and is therefore very protective (another good reason for the children to wear it). Twigs can be crafted into small charms to be worn or carried for protection. It holds properties of boldness, fidelity, and regeneration, and is an excellent token of luck to friends who are leaving. When working with Elm in spellwork, the wood provides stability to the spell, helping ensure no crazy fluctuations of energy creating havoc (would probably be a good tree to work with if you are only beginning to practice magick).