Plants and Trees
WILLOW the tree sacred to
the ancient pagan Moon Goddess, possibly because it grows near water.
In country districts the willow has gained an unwarranted sinister
image. Old folklore says that willows pull up their roots and can
walk; they have even been accused of strangling passing travellers with
their branches. These fairy tales may date back to pagan times and the
ancient rites performed in honour of the Great Goddess.
OAK is traditionally the
King of the Trees. It was widely regarded as sacred by the ancient
Celts and Nordic peoples who worshipped their gods in oak groves.
Mythologically the oak is the tree of the sky or thunder god and is
associated with the symbol of the lightning flash representing invoked
HAWTHORN is a tree which is
also sacred to the Goddess It featured in the medieval rites of May Day
or Beltaine, when people danced around the phallic maypole on the
village green It is considered unlucky to bring hawthorn into the house
because, as a tree of the Goddess, it should be used outdoors in rites
in her honour.
HAZEL is the tree of wisdom
in Celtic mythology. Hazelnuts are reputed to be capable of passing
divine wisdom from the gods. It was beleived that anyone who ate from
the sacred hazel tree knew instantly the secrets of all sciences and
arts. It was also believed that you could make yourself invisible by
making a special wand from hazel wood. The association of the hazel with
wisdom is recollected in the old saying "This is it in a nutshell".
ASH was a tree sacred to the
Norse people who regarded it as the cosmic World Tree It was on this
tree that Odin Hung for nine days and nights to recieve the wisdom of
the magickal runes. The ash tree was used for healing in olden times
and it is said the Druids possessed wands made from this wood.
BIRCH is a symbol of
fertility and is another Goddess tree. In folklore birch rods are used
to drive out the spirit of the old season at New Year. It is used to be
common practice to beat the mentally ill with birch twigs to allegedly
drive out evil spirits The sacred mushroom with the red cap and white
spots which features in many children's fairy tales grows in birch
forests. The mushrom was used by ancient magician's to communicate with
the spirit world.
ELDER is traditionally a
tree associated with witches. It's an old superstition that if a child
is placed in a cradle made of elder wood he or she will be stolen by
faeries and a changeling left in it's place Elder twigs we also placed
above barn doors by farmers in the old days to ward off witches whom
were supposed to ride on Samhain. All these odd beliefs are connected
with the fact that the elder is the tree sacred to the Great Goddess in
her aspect of the Old Crone.
YEW is the last magical tree
to be planted in this special garden of magick trees it's the tree of
death which is probably why it's been found planted around country
churchyards in great profusion. It's also known as the Joshua tree and
tends to grow wild only in areas where blood has been shed.
Yew is another tree sacred to
the Great Goddess's dark aspect whom acts as a guide to her human
children when they depart this world into the next.