The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man - Jamie Batrez

The Hanged Man – Jamie Batrez

The Fool’s Journey
Now the Fool has come upon a tree, intent on finding his spirituality. He sits down at the base of the tree, and days pass, people and animals move past him, the sun, moon, and stars cross the sky above him for nine days. He takes no food in this time. On that ninth day, with no forethought or logic to what he is doing, he climbs up the tree and hangs himself upside down.
His entire perspective of the world has changed, all that he knows he is is surrendered in the moment. This new perspective has allowed him to perceive his current state of hanging between the worlds of earth and spirit. He knows he will not be able to stay in this state forever, but he enjoys this moment of weightlessness.
When he finally allows himself to return to the earthly world, things will be changed for him. He will have to act on his knowledge and wisdom.

Meaning
Now is a time for rest, but only from action. We suspend ourselves upside down, and therefore apart from the world around us so that we can go inward to the infinite universe within each of us. Meditation, sacrifice, trials, prophecy, and selflessness; these are what we are facing right now in order for us to gain the knowledge, insight, and enlightenment that is needed at this time.
Just as Odin sacrificed Himself on the tree for the runes, great magical knowledge and ability, we must set ourselves apart and seek out the solutions to our problems, the price the sacrifice pays for.

My Magical Place

I want to share a few pictures of my favourite place to go when I need to do some magick. It’s off the trail I frequently ride on. I’ve been going here since I was 15 or 16; it is an incredible place of power. When you walk in off the trail, you go down a short, gravel hill between an ash tree and another (I can’t remember). When you get to the bottom, there is a little stream on the right that flows down to the river in front of you between two very large black willow trees. I think willow may be my tree, seeing how it has played a prominent role throughout my entire life.

I laid down in what seems like a perfect place to rest between four of the willow on the right’s large, strong main limbs. My head leaned back on one of them, and I could look up into her swaying branches and leaves above. Right now, there are little white fluffs of willow seed floating around in the air, making it that much more of a visually magical place. The sun dances between the leaves, and when you close your eyes, the shadows and light play across your eyelids, almost like the sun reflected on water.

I met with her spirit, she showed me some things that are bound to pass for me, and I made some magick with her help.

2014-06-16 14

 

This is my view if I turn my head to the left, laying in her arms. The trees and wildness speak to me. There’s a reason why I’m a Forest Witch. My magick is strongest with the trees’ guidance, and beneath their bodies swaying in the winds. I get to this point on the trail, and the farther I go in, the more I feel home, feel free, and feel the thrum of all that lives around me.

 

2014-06-16 141

On the way back, I take a picture of what I believe to be mullein (and after some Googling, find that it is). It’s the only one I could spot on the entire trail, so I may have a better look next time I go.

June 16

 

And now for something completely different (not really, as my garden is a magical place too), here is one of a few pea pods I harvested yesterday 🙂
They were sweet, delicious, and I cannot wait for more! Once harvesting gets underway, I will be a busy bee preparing all these vegetables for storage by freezing and canning.

2014-06-16 162

Month of the Reed

Day Dreaming - David Williams

Day Dreaming – David Williams

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)

Dates: October 28 – November 24 American_elm_1a Parts Used: Bark, leaves, wood

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. elmcom08-l 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).

The Month of the Willow

Salix_alba_Morton

Latin Name
Salix babylonica (Weeping Willow), Salix alba (White Willow)

Celtic Name
Saille (sail-yeh)

Common Names
Willow, Tree of Enchantment, Sough Tree, Pussy Willow, Witches’ Tree, Tarvos Tree, Sally, Saille, Withy, Withe, Aspirin, Witches’ Aspirin, Osier, Salicyn Willow

Dates
April 15 – May 12

il_fullxfull.370580527_57mb

 

Parts Used
Bark, wood, twigs, branches, sap

Medicinal Uses
The bark and leaves of the willow has long been used for pain relief as it contains salicin, which the body turns into salicylic acid, which was isolated and synthesized in order to create the pain relieving aspirin many people use today.
Because the bark is quite astringent, it can be used as a diuretic, to ease rheumatic conditions, and combat heartburn.
The sap gathered from a flowering tree aids in skin blemishes and dandruff problems.

Constituents
Phenolic glycosides (which include salicin, salicortin, salireposide, tremulacin), tannins, flavonoids, catechins.

800px-Young-catkin

 

Associations
Water, Moon, silver, Hekate, Athena, Artemis, Demeter, Persephone, Hera, Mercury, Circe, Orpheus, Selene, Luna, Brigid, Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Rhiannon, Audhumla (the great Cow in Norse mythology), Hel, Idunna, Loki, Nanna, Nerthus, Ran, Sif, Sigyn, Sjofna, Skadi, the Feyfolk, moonstone, hawk, snowy owl, Beltaine

Magical Properties
Dark moon magic, magic associated with water: creativity, emotion, love, divination, female energies/rights of passage, inspiration, binding, protection, healing, death, wishes, peace, joy.

When willow is placed in a home, it protects against malicious energies/witchcraft, and evil; if a willow is grown near your home, it protects it. The tree is also welcome in graveyards.

If you carry a bit of willow in your pocket (a twig or the like), it will bring you courage and help you to overcome the fear of death.

You can tell your biggest secrets to a willow tree, as it will trap the secret inside itself.

They will also grant your wishes, if you ask properly.

Willow and sandalwood burned together during the waning phase of the moon encourages spirits to more easily be conjured.

In love magic, the leaves are commonly used, as well as to forge friendships, alliances, pacts, and loyalty. If you’ve been spurned by your lover, wear a willow charm, and they should find their way back to you. At the end of the year, to discover whether you’ll be married in the new year, throw your shoe up into the willow’s branches:
”Throw your shoe high up
into the branches of a Willow tree;
If the branches catch and hold the shoe,
you soon will married be.”

 

Month of the Ash

Latin Name
Fraxinus

Celtic Name
Nion

Common Names
Ash, Common Ash, Guardian Tree, Unicorn Tree

Dates
February 18 – March 17

Constituents
The bark contains amygdalin, has a bitter taste, but no odour. Is astringent.

Before the fruits are ripe, they contain tartaric acid, and after ripening, two sugars: sorbin and sorbit. The latter sugar occurs after fermentation. They also contain parasorbic acid.

The seeds are 22% oil, which is claimed to have killed a child by prussic acid poisoning.

Medicinal Usage
To ease diarrhoea, a decoction of the bark is taken. The same decoction can be used for leucorrhoea (white discharge that signals infection in the vagina) by injecting it into the vaginal canal.
To make use of the astringent quality of the berries, a gargle can be made to help sore throats and inflamed tonsils.
An infusion of Ash berries aids with heamorrhoids and strangury (painful urination that comes out in drops caused by spasms in the urethra or bladder).
Lastly, they are used to be rid of scurvy.

ashmo076-l

Associations
Odin, Yggdrasil, World Tree, divination, Lugh, masculine, Fire, Sun, Bel, Lir, Manannan

Magical Uses
Wands made of Ash are good for general use, and in particular, healing and magics of the Sun.

For luck and fortune, carry a leaf in your pocket. However, although it is a lucky and protective tree, one can find themselves incurring the wrath of the tree if one causes harm a tree.

To be rid of skin conditions such as warts, carry a pin on you (a safety pin would be, well, safe), for three days, then on the third day, the pin is driven into the bark of an Ash tree, where the tree would then gain a knob, and you would be left with healthy skin.

Babes in the British Isles would be fed a spoonful of Ash sap before leaving mother’s bed for the first time as it was thought to prevent childhood illness, disease, and death.
The berries of the tree would also be placed in the cribs of babes to ward of Fae Folk from taking the child as a changeling.

In Northern Britain, young maidens would place the leaves of an Ash tree under their pillows to receive prophetic dreams about the men they would marry.

As it is seen as the World Tree by the Druids, staves would be made of the branches of the tree, so as to have a portable World Tree wherever they may be.

 

Month of Elder

Celtic Name: Ruis (roo-ish)

Latin Name: Sambucus canadenis (for elderberry)

Folk Names: Eldrun, Lady Elder, Ellhorn, Sambucus, Hyldor, Hyllantree, Pipe Tree, Bore Tree, Bour Tree

Dates:November 25 – December 23

Parts Used: bark, flowers, leaves, berries

Medicinal Uses:
The bark of Elder has been used as a purgative when ingested. If ingested in large doses, it is used as an emetic. It has also been long used as a diuretic, and in aiding in renal and cardiac edema (when there is too much water content held between the cells or in body cavities). Ointments made of the green bark will aid with asthma symptoms and croup in young children.
The leaves can be used to make an ointment, “Unguentum Sambuci Viride”, or Green Elder Ointment, which is to be used on bruises, wounds, sprains, inflammation (especially to the hands and feet if exposed to cold and moisture, and as a soothing emollient.
The flowers can be used in a wide array of manners. Elder Flower Water is used as the foundation to eye and skin lotions as it has a mild astringent and stimulant properties. It has been used after sun bathing, and to get rid of freckles as it keeps the skin free from blemishes and fair. The flowers were also employed in bronchial and lung related illnesses such as measles and scarlet fever.Taken as a tea, it helps to bring on sweating and restful sleep to help one who is sick with a cold or flu to quickly get on the road to recovery.
Wine of the berries was used to aid in erysipelas (a deep-red inflammation of the skin or mucous membranes) and rheumatism. A tea made with the dried berries helps to ease diarrhea and colic.

Magical Uses:
General usages of Elder include: prosperity, luck, protection, healing, cleansing, spirituality, sleep, exorcism, Faery magic, and offerings. Wine made of the berries is considered to be a great aid in divination, prophecy and hallucinations. Twigs would be placed in head dresses to allow the seeing of spirits. It is used when one wishes to perform magic involving the Fae or Nature.
Elder has very strong protective qualities as well. If twigs are worn around the neck in a small bag, it is said they will protect from physical or psychic attack. Branches are hung in doorways to keep evil out. To bless someone or something, take the leaves and berries in hand and scatter them to the four directions, then over the person or thing.
Remember when you harvest of any tree or plant, give something in return. It can be an offering, water if the weather is dry, or even cleaning up any trash that has been left around it.

The Month of The Vine

Image from Wikipedia

Celtic Name: Muin

Latin Name: Vitis (along with another name depending on the variety)

Dates: September 2-29

Parts Used: Grapes, leaves, wood, juice, seeds.

Medicinal Qualities:
Grape sugar is different from other sugars chemically; it doesn’t need the saliva to enter circulation within the body. This means that there is a fattening and warming action that aids with restoring energy and repair after the effects of fevers have taken hold, however, this action is not suitable for gout or inflammation.
Grapes in the diet also aid in anemia when eaten daily.

The leaves and seeds are an astringent. The leaves were used previously to stop bleeding and hemorrhaging. The leaves are used today dried and powdered and used on cattle to cure dysentery.

Image from Botanical.com

Magickal Qualities:
As the month the vine presides over (September) is a time of harvest, it makes sense that the vine is worked with in magic for harvesting, whether it is physical or spiritual. It has both masculine and feminine qualities. You can work with the vine for magics of joy, faerie workings, excitement, spiritual initiations, sacred knowledge, rebirth.
It increases fertility: placing a wreath above your bed aids in becoming pregnant, and on your child’s first birthday, hanging vines around the house ensures a long, fruitful life.
It is a wonderful tree to work with for all sorts of fertility, abundance, prosperity, money, happiness, and a sense of ease in life.
We musn’t forget that grapes are turned into wonderful, delicious wine. Wine is used to aid in connecting to the Otherworld, breaking down the barriers our minds put up around us. Though, each person reacts differently to different mind-altering substances, so it may work well for one, but not another. Wine is used to celebrate, to lose ourselves to revelry and our more primal selves concerned with our own happiness and pleasure.

Image from Wikipedia

 

Month of the Rowan



Celtic Name
LuisLatin Name
Sorbus Aucuparia

Dates
January 21 – February 17

Parts Used
Berries, bark

Medicinal Qualities
The  bark of the Rowan, as well as most other tree’s bark, has astringent and tannic properties. The bark would be used in a decoction as a blood cleanser, to treat diarrhea, nausea and upset stomach.

The berries are high in vitamin C, and were used to fight scurvy. The berries were made into jams and jellies; teas for diarrhea, hemorrhoids and urinary tract conditions as the berries have diuretic properties; a gargle of the fresh berry juice aids with inflamed mucous membranes

*Please note that before consuming the berries, they must be cooked as they contain parasorbic acid, a cancer causing compound.

Magical Properties
Associated with masculinity, Mars, fire, Imbolc, Brighid.

Used in protection spells, especially against fire and lightning. It was hung around dog’s necks for increased speed, hung in homes to protect against charms of fire, and protection against fires. The Rowan also has the powers to protect humans and animals alike against baneful spirits. It is also used in healing of the body. Equal armed crosses of Rowan are carried for protection against harm and wands placed above doorways for luck and good fortune.
The trees were planted in churchyards to watch over the dead. Because of the five pointed star you see when you slice a berry in half, it is believed that the tree has the ability to protect against witchery, trickery and enchantment. The tree is also said to bring about more strength through courage.

The Month of Hazel

Dates:
August 5 – September 1

Celtic Name:
Coll

Latin Name:
corylus avellana

Parts Used:
Nuts, leaves, wood, branches

Herbal Usages:
Can be used in the draining and restoring elasticity of lungs. The nuts are a good source of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, fatty acids and protein. The nuts can be powdered and added to mead or honeyed water to help with a cough.

Associations:
Masculine; air; Mercury; Wednesday; Hermes/Mercury; Thor; Fionn; Artemis/Diana; Lazdona; the crane; brown; band-red agate; wisdom; springs and wells; salmon.

Magic(k)al Workings:
One of the nine traditional woods burned in the Belfire by the Druids at Beltaine, burned for wisdom. Known in ancient times as the “Tree of Wisdom”.
Spirit contact, manifestation, protection, prosperity, wisdom, dreams, divination, dowsing, knowledge, marriage, inspiration, wrath, fertility, intelligence, reconciliation, poetic inspiration, anti-lightning charm.
A couple of twigs bound with gold or red thread to form a solar cross is carried for protection and good luck. The mistletoe that grows on Hazel protects you from being bewitched. Sleep under a hazel tree and you will have vivid dreams.

Hazel is sacred to the Fey. A wand made of the wood can be used to call the Fey. Druids used the wands to find ley lines. Forked branches can be used to find water or buried treasure.

Twigs, nuts and branches should be gathered after sunset on Samhain for that is when the magic(k)al power of the tree is at its peak. However, you mustn’t cut Hazel with a knife, but a flint.

Month of the Holly


We are now enjoying the month of the Holly, Tinne, from the 8th of July to the 4th of August. Awesomely enough, the new place we are living in has a nice Holly tree in the front yard! They are beautiful trees to say the least and hold a lot of mythological and magical history.

Latin Name:
Ilex aquifolium (English Holly)
Ilex opaca (American Holly)

Parts Used:
Bark, berries, leaves

Herbal Usages:
Holly leaves have been used in infusions as a diaphoretic (induces perspiration) for fevers. The juice of the leaves also aids in jaundice.

The berries are a very strong emetic and purgative, and therefor should not be ingested unless vomiting is needed. In which case, only a few should be taken.
The berries in powder form is also used as an astringent for swelling and to check bleeding.

Associations:
Fire; Holly King; spear; Odin; Mars; Ares; feminine; life, death and rebirth; dark half of the year.

Magic(k)al Workings:
An incredible protective wood, it is used to ward off negative energies, evil spirits, poisons, angry elementals and lightning. It is also used in dream magic(k), placing a piece of holly under your pillow is said to bring prophetic dreams. It works very well in fertility magic(k) too.

It is very useful in magic(k)s that overthrow the old to bring in the new; to bring success to a new stage of development; and when seeking for a successful business endeavour.