Celtic Tree Lore | 19-06-17

Trees are important in magick, and in paganism. They are often symbolic, and have inherent magickal correspondences and powers that were used and revered by ancient Celtic people and Druids.

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Alder (Aldus Glutinosa):

This tree is sacred to the Druids and is associated with protection and oracular power. You can use Alder to draw Air spirits to you, by binding shoots of it together and creating a whistle.
The wood is oily and water resistant, and thus can be used to make various tools for magickal workings, such as wands. 

  • Magickal Associations: Release, foundations, determination, royalty, focus, strength, confidence.
  • Element: Air and Fire
  • Deities: Bran.
  • Ogham Letter: 4th consonant, “Fearn”.
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Apple (Malus Pumila):

The apple is seen as a symbol of fruitfulness and can be seen as a means to immortality in some myth and folklore. Druids wands are usually made of Apple or Yew. 

  • Magickal Associations: Fae, Samhain, Mabon, Otherworld, death, life, prosperity, knowledge, magick.
  • Element: Water
  • Deities: Olwen, Cerridwen.
  • Ogham Letter: 10th letter, “Quert”.

Ash (Fraximus): 

A sacred tree in Druidry, Ash was also a common wand/stave/staff material. The Ash is one of the sacred Druidic three: “Oak, Ash & Thorn”.

  • Element: Water, fire.
  • Magickal Associations: Power, mastery, psychic power/awareness, healing, health, protection, love, femininity, sea magick, focus, prosperity, prophecy.
  • Deities: Lir and Manannán mac Lir.
  • Ogham Letter: 3rd consonant, “Nion”.
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Aspen (Populus tremula):

Much like the Oak tree, the leaves of the Aspen were listened to for divine messages as Druids and the Celts believed that the wind was,… a messenger of sorts.

  • Element: Air
  • Magickal Associations: protection, combating fear, Mabon, protection from unwanted spirits, property protection, protection from theft.
  • Ogham Letter: 4th vowel, “Eadhadh”.

Beech (Fagus grandifolia):

Beech is significant as it is tied to ancient knowledge and to learning, which is a vital part of practising Druidry.

  • Element: Air and Earth.
  • Magickal Associations: wishes, manifestation, communication, spirit work, deity invocation, luck, success, youth.
  • Deities: Ogma
  • Ogham Letter: Additional consonant, “Phagos”.

Birch (Betulaceae):

Known as “The Lady of the Woods”, Birch was used to bestow fertility upon cattle and newlyweds. Cradles for newborn children were crafted from the wood. 

  • Element: Air and Water
  • Magickal Associations: warding, banishing, courage, healing, new beginnings, purification, protection, creativity, renewal, fertility and birth.
  • Deities: Brigid.
  • Ogham Letter: 1st consonant, “Beith”.
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Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa):

Known as “The Mother of the Woods”, Blackthorn is associated with introspection, whilst also being associated with the strength of fate and outside influences in our lives. 

  • Element: Earth and Fire.
  • Magickal Associations: purification, protection, combating fear and anger, death, curses, Samhain.
  • Deities: The Morrigan.
  • Ogham Letter: “Straif”.
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Elder (Sambucus canadensis):

Elder was used by Druids to both bless, and curse. 
It is said that when one stands beneath an Elder at Midsummer, they are more likely to see the Fae. Wands crafted from Elder have the ability to drive away evil spirits and thought forms, – so do whistles or flutes made from it.

  • Element: Water.
  • Magickal Associations: judgement, transformation, fate, death, regeneration, prosperity, banishment, healing, Fae.
  • Deities: Cerridwen, The Morrigan.
  • Ogham Letter: 13th consonant, “Ruis”.
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Elm (Ulmus campestris):

This tree is oft associated with Goddesses of Earth and Motherhood, or deities with a Mother aspect to them. Elm was used in tool crafting due to its resistance to splitting, and because it adds stability to magick.

  • Element: Water
  • Magickal Associations: balance, love, protection, psychic power, crossroads. the Fae.

Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha):

It is said that the Fae are particularly fond of Hawthorn, and wands made from the wood are supposed to be wands that contain much power.

  • Element: Water
  • Magickal Associations: protecion, love, marriage, health, prosperity, fae, hope. magick, fertility, intuition, femininity, happiness.
  • Deities: Olwen and Blodeuwedd.
  • Ogham Letter: 6th consonant, “Huathe”.
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Hazel (Corylus):

The Tree of Immortal Wisdom, Hazel is sacred to the Fae and a wand made of this wood can be used to draw them to you. In Celtic mythology, the Salmon of Knowledge – [click here to learn more about this] – is said to eat the 9 nuts of poetic wisdom dropped into its sacred pool from the Hazel tree growing beside it. Each token of wisdom consumed became a spot on the Salmon.

  • Element: Air
  • Magickal Associations: manifestation, spirit contact, protection, prosperity, divination, dreams, wisdom and knowledge, marriage, fertility, intelligence, inspiration, poetry, the Fae.
  • Deities: Óengus
  • Ogham Letter: 9th consonant, “Coll”.

    Holly (Ilex aquifolium):

    Holly is primarily associated with the death and rebirth aspects of Winter in both pagan and Christian lore. 

    • Elements: Fire
    • Magickal Associations: Lughnasadh, protection, prophecy, healing, animals, sex, vulnerability, good luck, and consecration. It is also said to have the ability to enhance other forms of magick.
    • Deities: Lugh
    • Ogham Letter: 8th consonant, “Tinne”.

    Oak (Quercus):

    One of the Druidic sacred 3 (Oak, Ash and Thorn), the leaves were burned to purify the atmosphere, and listened to and observed by Druids and Priestesses for divinatory messages.
    Oak has been considered sacred by myriad cultures, but it was held in particular esteem by the Norse and Celts because of its size, longevity, and acorns.

    • Element: Water
    • Magickal Associations: Litha, protection, strength, success, stability, healing, fertility, health, money, potency, and good luck. 
    • Deities: The Dagda
    • Ogham Letter: 7th consonant, “Duir”.

    Pine (Pinus):

    It was known to the Druids as one of the seven chieftain trees of the Irish

    • Element: Air and Fire.
    • Magickal Associations: alleviating guilt/identifying guilt, protection, purification, fertility, fortune, abundance, cleansing, stimulation.
    • Deities: Elon
    • Ogham Letter: 1st vowel, “Ailm”.

    Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia):

    Also known as “Witchwood” and “Mountain Ash”, the Rowan was sacred to the Druids and the Goddess Brigit. It is a very magickal tree used for wands, rods, amulets and spells, and runes were carved into sticks made of the wood.

    • Element: Fire
    • Magickal Associations: Imbolc, divination, astral work, strength, protection, initiation, healing, psychic work, spirit work, psychic powers, personal power, and success.
    • Deities: Brigid.
    • Ogham Letter: 2nd consonant, “Luis”.
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    Willow (Salix babylonica):

    Groves of Willows were considered to be magickally potent that priests, priestesses and myriad types of artisans sat among them to gain eloquence, inspiration, skill and prophecies.

    • Element: Water
    • Magickal Associations:
    • Deities: Cerridwen, Brigid
    • Ogham Letter: 5th consonant, “Saille”.
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    Yew (Taxus baccata):

    Yew was used by the Irish to make dagger handles, bows, and wine barrels despite all parts of the tree being poisonous bar the skin of the berries. The wood and/or leaves were laid on graves as a reminder to the spirit of the departed that death is the path to rebirth.

    • Element: Earth and Water.
    • Magickal Associations: enhances magickal and psychic abilities, induces visions. Transformation, reincarnation, eternal life and immortality, death, rebirth, change and regeneration.
    • Deities: Banbha.
    • Ogham Letter: 5th vowel and last letter, “Idho”.

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