Lore of the Trees
Since humans began using wood for practical purposes such as feeding fires, making tools,
construction, and art, trees have held a special significance in our lives, both for practical
and spiritual purposes. Since ancient times certain trees have been considered sacred by
different cultures - trees varied between geographical areas and different trees were sacred
to different people. But, most sacred trees held some things in common - their unusual size,
appearance, beauty, materials they provided, or simply their spirit. Even today, certain
trees are seen as "special" or more significant- the magnificent oaks, redwoods, sequoias,
and the evergreen trees that we bring into our homes each winter for Yule
or Christmas - all remind us of the power and beauty of trees.
Wood is a living thing and contains the essence of a tree's energy. There are many trees
that were sacred to the northern Europeans - including the Celts - the Native Americans,
and other cultures. Here, I have a small list of trees and their characteristics and
uses - both magickal and practical. Trees are special and should be respected. The wood
obtained from trees can help us direct our energies, and the spirit of trees can be invoked
in our rites, to assist in achieving our goals. The fruits and leaves from trees also contain
spirit and are equally powerful in their ability to assist us in our magickal rites.
Remember though to try and not harm the tree when taking anything for your own use,
asking the Tree's Spirit for permission first, and leaving an offering in thanks (a drink
of water, or a pinch of tobacco or fertilizer are normal offerings). If possible, only take wood
that has been already cut from the tree, during normal pruning, (at the correct time of year)
or that is already separate from the tree itself (windfalls, things
that have been washed up onto a beach, etc).
A water loving tree. It's wood is oily and water resistant
and has been used in underwater construction, and building bridges.
Protection magick and divination.
The apple tree has held such a prominent place in history with many cultures.
Its wood was used in arts and crafts, construction, and much more.
Its fruit was also used for different purposes, and was sacred to many.
Apple wood and fruit can aid in healing and love magick.
Ash generally has a straight grain and was used by different cultures
to make spear and arrow heads because of its springiness and straight grain - it
was strong and durable. According to some, the first man was named Ash and was created from an ash tree log.
Ash wood can aid in strength and focus, meditation,
and can be used when we attempt to contact someone in the spirit realm.
Beech wood has a very smooth surface and even grain, and was used as writing tablets because of these qualities.
Beech wood can aid in finding answers to mysteries, and gaining knowledge of any type.
Birch is a fine grained wood associated with fertility. It was
used like rice is today to insure that a newlywed couple would have many
children, and was used to bestow fertility upon animals. Its sap was an important
source of sugar for Native Americans, and most parts of the birch tree are edible.
The inner bark can be used as a pain reliever,
and its leaves can relieve arthritis. Birch aids in fertility, healing, and, and peace
The elder is a resilient tree, regrowing branches with ease,
and rooting quickly and rapidly from almost any part. The pith, or spongy centre,
of the elder branch can be removed to make a flute. The tree is poisonous,
but it's flowers can be used to make purifying tea, and it's fruit used to make
wine. It is said that in ancient times, the elder trees were held sacred by
witches and many people considered it unlucky to pass under an elder tree
(because of the fear and misunderstanding of witches).
Correspondance: The elder can aid in all types of magick, especially divination and purification.
Notes: The elm tree is associated with the Mother aspect of the goddess
and was said to be the home of faeries. Kipling said, "Ailim be the lady's tree,
burn it not or cursed ye'll be." It was used for its resistance to splitting and its inner bark used for making chairs.
Correspondance: The elm can aid in grounding energy and focus.
Notes: The hawthorn is similar to the apple tree. It's leaves and flowers
are used to make teas for many different ailments. Hawthorn wood can provide
the hottest fire known, and the Romans and Greeks considered it a symbol of hope.
But in northern Europe, it was considered to be a tree of witchcraft and was seen as unlucky.
Correspondance: Hawthorn can aid in love, binding, protection, and marriage spells.
Notes: The wood of holly is very white and is associated with death and
rebirth in Pagan and Christian lore. It is one of three woods used to construct
chariot wheels. It was also used to make spear and arrow shafts, its properties assuring directness and precision.
Correspondance: Holly can aid in healing and rest.
Notes: Maple wood is hard and fine-grained. All species of maple can
be tapped for syrup, but the sugar maple was used most for this purpose. The
Native Americans regarded the maple as a valuable resource, both for its wood and its sap.
Correspondance: Maple wood can aid in success, wealth, prosperity, and money spells.
Notes: All oak species have been held sacred by nearly all cultures that
encountered them. They were revered for their magnificent size and beauty, and
also for their resilience and acorns. Oak wood is strong and durable, and usually heavy and dense.
Correspondance: Oak wood, leaves, and acorns can aid in success, protection, prosperity, and focus.
Notes: Pine wood is soft and pliable. Its needles have been a source
of vitamin C, and the scent of pine has been said to alleviate guilt and relieve nausea.
Correspondance: Pine wood can aid in healing, and alleviating guilt.
Notes: Poplar wood is resistant to water and is strong and durable.
It is said that Christ's cross was constructed from aspen - a poplar species. Poplar
was used in different cultures to make shields, and also was used as writing surfaces.
Correspondance: Poplar wood can aid in speech, communication, and endurance.
Notes: Yew wood is golden in colour and its grain is wavy. All
parts of the yew are poisonous except for the covering of its berries. It
has been held sacred by many cultures, and it is said to be the oldest-lived
tree in the world, predating most buildings and structures. It has been associated
with death and rebirth, and also runes, and had been seen as a magickal wood.
Correspondance: Yew can aid in enhancing psychic abilities, magickal abilities, and divination.
Crystal Correspondances | Herbal Correspondances | Colour Correspondances
Dream Correspondances | Time & Day Correspondances | Elemental Correspondances
Chakra Correspondances | Healing Correspondances | Oil Correspondances
Animal Symbology | Tool Correspondances | Tree Symbology
Wiccan Correspondances | Grimoire | The Wiccaning