Trees were sacred beings to the ancient, Celtic peoples of Europe, and many other primal peoples of the Earth. Rooted in the Earth, and reaching upwards towards Heaven, trees are symbolic of the human striving for spiritual perfection, and can serve as role models and spiritual guides. Make friends with the trees around you- they can be great magickal allies, helping to transmit your desires and goals from the Earthly realm out into the Cosmic Consciousness, were your dreams will find their manifestation.
Here is a list of twenty-two familiar trees, along with their magickal correspondences. Their leaves, bark and fruits are valuable herbal ingredients for your spell workings, and as magickal “familiars” they are the Kings and Queens of the Earthly forest!
Alder- Represents resurrection and new life, and makes a valuable ally when making a new beginning yourself. The time to honor this tree is in the Spring. A relationship with this tree will foster inner strength, confidence, and self awareness.
Apple- This tree is the symbol of beauty, innocence and youth. It is the tree of regeneration and eternal life. The apple’s most common use is in love spells. The blossoms can be used in sachets, potions, incenses and candles. The apple is one of the foods of the dead, and might be offered to the dead on Samhain. Magick wands that have strong connections with the emotions and love can be made from apple wood.
Ash- Represents the Ygdrasill, the Norse Tree of Life and the Universe. The ash represents the union of inner and outer worlds- as the roots grow up from the Earth, and the branches reach towards the Heavens, they manifest together in our world, as the trunk. It is a tree ally that can be used for prophesy and visions. Ash sometimes represents the power which resides in water, and it was believed that a piece of ash carved into a solar cross would protect seafarers. To ward off evil, hang a staff carved of ash over your doorpost. The leaves can be scattered to protect an area, and can be used in protective sachets and spells. Healing wands and brooms can be made from the wood, and poppets can be carved from the roots. Place ash leaves beneath your pillow to induce psychic dreams. Ash leaves can also be carried for general good fortune.
Aspen- This tree is ruled by Mercury, and aids in mental awareness and communication. Plant this alert tree of communication and awareness on your land to protect from thieves. An aspen leaf placed under the tongue can make you an eloquent speaker during those frightful times when you must get up and speak in front of a group.
Birch- The lovely, Celtic Lady of the Woods. The Birch represents rebirth, purification, and is sacred to the Goddess. Its hardiness represents the daily work we all must perform to maintain our daily bread. A friendship with this forest mother will bring joy and inspiration to all our daily, little chores, and is a great spiritual ally for young mothers.
Cedar- The ancient and venerable Cedar has a long history of participation in sacred ritual, both in the Old World, and New. Burn cedar as a smudge during sacred rituals- walk the smoke around the circle to repel and rid the sacred space of negative energies and influences. Also use cedar as a fuel wood in sacred fires. Cedar smoke is purifying, and can cure nightmares. Keep cedar in your wallet or purse to attract money, and use in money incense. It can also be used in love sachets or burned to induce psychic powers. Use to draw Earth energy and grounding.
Cypress- The Guardian and guide of the Underworld. Cypress is sacred to the gods of Mysteries, and of sorrow. Wear or carry cypress to funerals, for peace of mind during a time of grief. Boughs of cypress can be used for protection in the home. Carry an amulet carved of the wood to lengthen your life. A healing wand can be made from cypress wood. The root, cones, and leaves are all healing, and the leaves can be burned as an incense. This incense can be used to consecrate ritual objects.
Elder- The fairy tree- stand or sleep under an elder at Midsummer’s Eve to see faeries, elves and gnomes. Wear an amulet of elder to ward off attackers, and hang in the doorway to ward off evil. Use in protection spells of all kinds. Flutes and wands made from elder wood can be used to call forest and other nature spirits. Use elder to fulfill your most lighthearted wishes.
Elm- This forest mother is associated with Embla, the first woman in Norse mythology, and the elm is an ally during childbirth. Carry an amulet of elm to attract love, and wands made of elm aid in the healing of feminine health issues.
Eucalyptus- This graceful mother of the Australian wilderness has great healing properties of all kinds, both physical and spiritual. The leaves kill germs, infections, and ease lung congestion. Wands made of eucalyptus attract healing vibrations and protection. Scatter or burn the leaves to purify and cleanse any space of unwanted energies. Also useful in dream and sleep pillows. Exotic and unusual in appearance, eucalyptus pods and berries are potent in volatile and fragrant oils- they make a wonderfully healing and purifying incense, and also are a nice addition to healing potpourri and spell bags.
Hawthorn- A powerful ancient Celtic tree, planted to protect Holy Ground, and also planted at crossroads. Plant hawthorn on your property to protect your home from poltergeists, and other mischievous or malevolent spirits. The wood can be used to make wands and amulets to attract love and fertility.
Hazel- Hazel is the ancient Celtic tree of wisdom, inspiration, and poetry. In Celtic tradition, the Salmon of Knowledge is said to eat the nine nuts of poetic wisdom dropped into its sacred pool from the hazel tree growing beside it. Ancient Irish tales tell of poets and seers “gaining nuts of Wisdom,” a metaphor for heightened states of consciousness; this belief may have root in the potent brew, “hazelmead”, made from hazelnuts, and purported to cause visions. To enlist the aid of plant fairies, string hazelnuts on a cord and hang it in your house or ritual room. Commonly used for ‘water-witching’ – the art of finding water with a forked stick. Magically, hazel wood is used to gain knowledge, wisdom and poetic inspiration.
Holly- An excellent protective wood, keeps away lightning, poison, evil spirits, and other malignant forces. The wood can be used to make all magickal tools, as its power will enhance any magickal working. A powerful protection from evil and bad luck, holly provides protection during the “dark season” of Winter, thus the tradition of making wreaths of holly during the Yuletide.
Juniper- The venerable juniper is a useful ally for protection magick of all kinds, it is an excellent protector when burned as an incense or smudge. It can also be burned or carried to enhance psychic powers. Juniper attracts good, healthy loving energy to those who befriend it. The berries aid digestion, intestinal cramps, act as a diuretic, eases the pain of arthritis. Planting a juniper provides protection from theft, attract love, good health, and psychic powers.
Mesquite- This western tree of the high desert is a survivor; mesquite makes an excellent ally for those in recovery of all kinds. It aids in spiritual awakening, and in the ability to find what one needs to survive, even in the harshest of landscapes. It can awaken your vision to the smallest pleasures and blessings in life. Use mesquite in healing incenses, and use as fuel wood for magickal and visionary fires.
Mulberry- Symbolic of a gentle protection and strength; it is the sole home and food to silk worms, who use its essence to weave their incredibly delicate, yet strong, cocoons. Seek out mulberry as an ally during times of withdrawl from worldly demands, and as an ally when making your re-entry. Wands and amulets for attracting wisdom, beauty and lightness can be made of Mulberry.
Oak- The King of the Forest. Druids and others worshiped and taught the Mysteries under the oaks- the oak assists in rites of magickal protection, power collection, power focusing, and spells of stability. An oak tree is an excellent ally in learning the ways of magick- if you can, study the craft while sitting with your oak allies. Burn oak leaves for purification. Carry acorns for immortality and longevity, for fertility, and for protection against illness. Carry an amulet made of the wood for protection and good luck, and powerful wands of protection are made of Oak.
Olive- Sacred to many gods and goddesses throughout the ancient world, the olive branch is still a symbol of peace, harmony and abundance. Olive leaves can ensure female fertility, and sexual potency in men. It is a powerful antibiotic, with both antiviral and antifungal properties. Olive leaf supports the immune system, eliminating harmful bacteria, without effecting beneficial bacteria. Wands and amulets of healing, peace, and fertility can be carved from olive wood, and boughs of olive hung over doorways provide protection and peace to the home.
Pine- Known in ancient times as “the sweetest of woods”. Its needles are a valuable source of vitamin C and can loosen a tight chest. The scent of Pine is useful in the alleviation of guilt. Burn pine for strength, and to reverse negative energies. The cones are a powerful protection amulet against evil. Useful in making wands and amulets for sacred wisdom, prosperity, fertility, and healing.
Rowan- A rowan walking stick protects the traveler, insuring a safe trip home. Carry to increase psychic powers. In divination, it is used to ground the senses. Use to make wands and dowsing rods. Use the leaves and berries in divination and psychic power incenses. Use in healing sachets and spells. A cross of rowan twigs is carried for protection.
Willow- Sitting peacefully in a grove of graceful, feminine willows will provide artistic inspiration, prophesy, and eloquence. Sacred to Goddesses of the Moon, a willow is an invaluable ally to creative artists of all kinds. The willow symbolizes flexibility and growth. Carry a charm made of willow to attract love, use to make wands of artistic inspiration. Use the leaves, bark and wood in healing and love spells.
Yew- An important tree during the Winter Solstice and sacred to deities of death and rebirth. Boughs of yew were laid upon graves, as a reminder that death was only a pause before rebirth. The yew is a tree of longevity- extremely ancient yews can be found in churchyards all over the British Isles. Meditating under a yew may be used to enhance magical and psychic abilities, and to induce visions. All parts of the tree are poisonous- do not consume.