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The Standing People
By CinnamonMoon

The Standing People are the Trees. It may be obvious to some but to others it seems strange to give them this name. However, in shamanic teachings they are seen as part of the Web of Life, as are All Our Relations, our brothers and sisters that live and contribute to the quality of life we all share in. They "stand" in place. Unable to pick up their feet and move around they teach lessons about the environment, about the history of their locations, the stories of the land, and of course their own Medicine that varies between species. To encompass all variations is an ambitious undertaking and I'm not sure anyone has that kind of time on their hands. It would be a life's work I'm afraid to list all their medicinal and curative aspects as well and I'll leave that to the herbologists. What I can offer you here is an overview of the Standing People in a few different species. The information gathered here came from many years of taking notes without reference to the sources so I apologize for that.

It is interesting to note that Druids are renowned for their work with trees and if you are interested in the deeper teachings that is a good place to start. They used the leaves to inscribe their teachings, stringing them to suspend them in the air of their libraries. Hence we have the term "leaves" in describing the pages of a book today.

Alder: Sacred to Druids, a whistle made of alder is the basis for the old superstition of whistling up the wind.

Apple: Apple cider can be used as a substitute for blood in lieu of your own when doing spellwork. Apples are considered sacred to Aphrodite, and may be offered in rites of her honor. The juice may be shared in those rituals, and the seeds or bark may be used as incense. Among earth religions they are eaten for good luck at All Hallows Eve, and bringing about deep internal changes at that time of year. The Greeks see them as a source of wisdom and they are said to grow on the tree of life in the garden as Hesperides.

Ash: Used to make wands. Useful in removing unwanted energies, spells, hexes/curses. Some will put an ash leaf in the car or on a motorcycle to keep them protected from accidents while traveling and bring them home safely.

Birch: The bark is used for purification, especially during childbirth. Birch is called "Lady of the Woods", and may be used to commune with the goddess of the Woodlands. To touch the heart of the Earth Mother, it is only necessary to do a simple ritual and follow that with a deep meditation within a small grove of Birch. Legend says that the Lady of the Woods will become most angry should you malign one of her trees by taking its bark. Birch is also held to be an honored tree of the God Thor. Should one desire to have some of the bark, wait until Thor has singled a Birch tree and stricken it with lightening. Then you have access to the paper-like bark, which will be a very potent parchment.

Blackthorn: Thorns used in negative work, banishing, and blocking.

Broom: Burned at the Spring Equinox, it purifies and protects. Witches use it to make their "brooms". There is a mixed reputation here. In some cases it is seen as lucky, magical and prized. Some say it must be avoided for it's cursed. The amount of flowers is said to be reflective of your fortune. If you disturb it many believe a curse will follow should you pick blossoms for the decorations they make only. If picked for sacred use they are a good and powerful source of magic. It is said the Virgin Mary cursed the plant because it made noise as they passed it by fleeing the soldiers of Herod. This may be an attempt to put the common magical uses of the plant in negative light, to turn the people in a Christian direction, and to encourage them to discard their Pagan practices. Broom is used for temple purification and sometimes it is dipped in holy water to purge the temple or ritual space. It is used in weddings and handfastings tied with ribbons as a symbol of joy and survival of the union.

Cedar: Ancient Celts on the Mainland used cedar oil to preserve the heads of enemies taken in battle. To draw Earth energy and ground yourself, place the palms of your hands against the ends of the needles. Used to purify energy. In ancient times it was a major incense ingredient. It is still used in this way, often just as sawdust. The resin is pungent, and easily released as smoke in this manner...the oil does go into the air. It is used to consecrate wands, and for other tools as well. A piece carried in the wallet is said to attract money. It is used to invoke Wotan, either as an incense or by using a wand or staff of its wood. Good with Amethyst and Sapphire as a storage box for them.

Cherry: Woodchips or bark are burned during ceremonies.

Cinnamon: Stimulating to the mind, it may be burnt as incense or taken as a tea. It increases the ability to concentrate and is used in prophecy. It's used to purify temples, for ritual incense, and brings peaceful energy so that the rite may be conducted with no distraction. It is used in love magic when mixed with other herbs to creat potions. Added to amulets to bring good luck. For the Adept, it will bring a keener understanding of the properties of immortality. It is said that it aids in getting in touch with the inner self, for meditation and journey work, for consecrations, and prosperity. It enhances dreams and divination.

Elder: Sacred to the Celtic White Lady and the Summer Solstice. Used both to bless and curse. Elder wands drive out evil and negativity. Standing under an elder tree at Midsummer, like standing in a Faery Ring of mushrooms, will help you see the Little People. It is used to protect livestock, bless farms, and where it grows is sacred ground. It is potent and it's energy comes always with warning in using it for that reason. It amplifies energy even to the slightest wish. Never gathered out of selfishness, for the spirit of the wood will follow those who do and plague them. The blossoms attract so they are used in incenses and oils for this purpose. They require clear goals and ethics or the work backfires on the doer. In the hands of those with questionable motive, or in the lives of those who understand it not and fear it, becomes confusing, disorienting, and leads to life-shaking events. Although the cause is within one's own heart, Elder has become the scapegoat. For those who wish to see the spirits of the wood, known as Dryads or Tree Sprites, can spend the full moon night in a small grove of Elder, making certain there is no evil in their heart, and that proper fasting and ritual preparation has been seen to. It protects, blesses babies, and is used as a funerary herb as the pyre wood. Sometimes it is buried with the departed to protect them. It gives the *sight* and is used on Midsummer's Eve to see the Fae.

Elm: Meditation with this tree will aid in developing communication with the spirits of herbs and with the Little People. Selecting an Elm tree, consecrating it in ritual manner, and spending time with it will protect the Pathworker. If meditating on the plant kingdom ritually an open communication will be found. The leaf is used in several forms of divination. Pricking it with a pin and dreaming upon it is apparently the most popular.

Fir, Silver: Known as the Birth Tree to the Druids, burning the needles or sweeping around the bed with a branch blesses and protects the mother and new baby.

Hawthorn: Used for powerful wands.

Hazel: Faeries are attracted to hazel. Healing wands mad from its wood are common as are divining sticks.

Hemlock: Toxic, external use only. Used to prepare magical tools and ritual instruments. Sacred to King Solomon for consecration.

Holly: Sacred to the Winter Solstice because of the red berries and deep green leaves. Sacred to the Druids and they kept it in their homes to draw the Little People and woodland spirits giving them safe refuge from the cold and snow. Holly may be sent with a gift to a friend, and fashioned into a wreath for the home, often presented to a new priest or priestess to welcome them into the community.

Juniper: Its berries (used with thyme) in incenses. As an evergreen the resin is collected, dried, and used in incense. The berries are dried and used in amulets; ground or made into a tea. Needles are taken and burnt as incense fresh or dried. Used in rituals for good health, an energy necessary to keep banished all things which are injurious to health, and it attracts good healthy energy.

Mistletoe: The berries are poisonous. It is the most sacred tree of the Druids and rules the Winter Solstice. Used for fertility rites, either for child or projects of creativity. Berries represent sexual potency, serve as an aphrodisiac, and are used in amulets for this purpose. It is a symbol of immortality in rebirth, and it's energy holds the secrets of life beyond this one. It carries the soul far into the future with protection in any manner imaginable. Hung over a door with red thread or cord to bring harmony and protection to the home. (and we get kisses too!) Used for wands, ritual knife handles, etc, it banishes all evil and negative energy, brings good fortune and joy to the user. Gathered at Midsummer and amulets are hung at Midwinter. Used in any positive work.

Nuts and Cones: Sacred and highly steeped in magic for fertitlity in all aspects, and the Celts often used the cones to tip their wands. Oak: Considered holy and the King of Trees, wands are made of its wood. Oak galls, sometimes are called Serpent Eggs, and are used in magical charms. Acorns gathered at night hold the strongest fertility. Listening to the rustling leaves and the wrens that inhabit them brings divinatory messages. Acorns are seeds and can be gathered simply to add strength to any work you are doing as they are fertile for bringing strength to childbearing as well as your creative work. They represent the continuity of life and may be incorporated into temple decorations and amulets. Often used on All Hallows Eve as decoration. Bark is dried, ground, and used as an incense to honor deities. Draws good luck when two pieces of branch (equal length) are tied in a cross shape with red yarn to keep yourself in perfect balance. Never gather from an Oak which is host for the mistletoe. These trees are best served by doing ritual beneath the branches but the tree should never be disturbed.

Olive: Used to honor all solar deities. The oil used for temple lamps, consecrating incense burners and thuribles. It represents honor hence the crown of olive leaves a symbol of victory. The leaf or oil may be used in rituals to honor human or deity, to dress candles, anoint persons, or to bless holy water.

Pine: The pine was known as one of the seven chieftain trees of the Irish. Burn the needles inside for purification. To purify and sanctify an outdoor ritual area, brush the ground with a pine branch, and/or build a fire of the wood. Used in counter-magic to break curses/hexes, repelling negative or evil energy and returning it to its source.

Rowan/European Mountain Ash: The seeds are poisonous. Sacred to the goddess Brigit. Used for wands, rods, amulets, and other spell needs. A forked branch can help find water. A powerful charm against evil spirits and negative energies. Used for protection and for visionary work. Used to invoke direction and bounty, commonly with the leaves, but berries ground after drying become a potent incense too. It is used to call up spirits, familiars, Guides, elementals etc., but has the ability to banish any type of energy undesired by the practitioneer. It is said to enhance creativity and get that process flowing, to divine future loves and mates. Taking two small twigs of equal length and binding them in a cross with red twine keeps negative magicians and those who work evil away from your life. A ritual beverage was once brewed by the Welsh though the recipe was lost in the passing of time.

Willow: One of the seven sacred trees of the Irish. Willow is a Moon tree, sacred to the Goddess. Its groves were considered so magical that the priests and priestesses (as well as artisans) sat among them to gain eloquence, inspiration, skill, and prophecies. Among the Chinese, it is symbolic of immortality, for the smallest piece of a branch is capable of bringing forth another tree. Hebrew peoples hung their harps on these trees and wept to return to their homeland. Druids used the pussy willow, and thought it appropriate for charms and protection. There are many think pussy willow makes an excellent magical wand, and diamond willow is used for furniture. Used for those involved today in the communication arenas, it aids them by lending additional strength. As a funerary application it aids in safe passage into another life, but you must plant a Willow during your lifetime so that it will still be alive at your death. It is used with rock crystals to charge the stones and protect their healing virtues.

Yew: Berries are poisonous. Sacred to the Winter Solstice and the deities of death and rebirth. Irish practitioners use it to make dagger handles and bows.

This should give you an idea of the variety of ways in which the Standing People have served us culturally throughout the world. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, beyond their specific teachings, they will help you attune to your environment and learn to hear its voice. Further, they will establish a relationship with you and often serve as sentries to watch over you and protect you from intrusion. All Standing People have the ability to help you into meditative states where gazing through their leaves images and visionary experiences will be found.

Each species has its own voice, and they are slow communicators, just as their sap/their blood flows slowly, their voices are often drawn out in a drawl. You must be patient with them, but once embraced they will guide you to many enlightenments. Nurture your relationship with the trees around you, and the next time you give one a hug let yourself feel its spirit come alive and hug you back.

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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