Links of the site are right at the bottom of the page)
The 27 pages in this Symbol section are below
Trees A -C
I want to preface this information
by saying that fully opening to the oneness feels just like
it does when you sit in conversation with a loved one you can
trust and have nothing to hide from them. It's opening up your
entire being and letting the tree's spirit into your life. It's
very comfortable and not something to fear.
The Standing People are gentle spirits
that contribute to the quality of the environment and our lives
if we just take the time to get to know them. Certainly they
have their strengths and can (in a forest or woodland setting)
unite to make an intruder feel spooked or unwelcome if they
mean harm to the forest or the creatures within it. That's they
defense mechanism. It is a thriving community and it is going
to notice when strangers arrive. But when your intentions are
high and good there is nothing to stop you from getting acquainted.
Gentle, soft, non-intrusive, just warm and tender, plainly comfortable,
and nurturing, these are things you will hear more often than
not when others describe their experiences.
We must in essence drop our Robe,
shed the image of the human body and feel our own awareness,
our Inner Self for it is that sense of self that we must open
up with these beings of the land. There is a sense of grace
that fills the air as we merge with them and become encompassed
by their spirit. When the union comes you *know* the touch,
you know the presence, you know you have arrived. Trusting the
awareness comes with time, with practice, and we learn the meaning
of faith as we come to see our respect for ourselves is the
mirror of our respect for Spirit and All Our Relations. It opens
you to trusting the Inner Self and Spirit will see you have
validation when you keep your eyes open for it.
Some may wonder how that trust develops
but we all have a sense of right and wrong. Knowing when we
are right there is no doubt in our minds. We don't question
it, but if we start to head in a wrong direction with something
we do second guess ourselves and then in hindsight (if we act
on that and change direction) we see that we had been right
in the first place. That's coming full circle to the validation
in a backwards way, but we do learn. If it happens again and
again we start noticing that our sensory perceptions were right
the first time and little by little we build our faith the hard
way. Trusting in that sense of rightness from the start the
validations come in much more pleasant forms and the lessons
are easier. It's our choice. This is in all areas of life and
spirituality, but it is also going to apply with the Standing
People...we have to learn to trust the experiences we are having
with them...or that we can experience such things.
Evolution of our Inner Spirit comes
when we open to it, when our sense of Self as being in control
of our choices puts us in the role of Witness and we gain a
great deal of ground observing this. It's about Listening...listening
to the Self, our Guides, and Spirit when we need direction and
then following that direction trusting that it will assist us
in the growth we seek. The Standing People are very open to
human contact and they will more often than not willingly share
what they can with you. In my encounters with the Standing People
their auras radiate in brilliant rainbow hues, warm, friendly,
there is a feeling of unity and non-discriminating love that
comes from them. This said, the following information is from
the book I mentioned and I think you will find it most helpful.
Keynote: Protection during transition; trust prophetic insight.
Alders live most often near ponds and marshlands and so those
habitats should be explored as well. They usually have multiple
trunks, which is very significant. Any tree that has multiple
trunks usually reminds us to keep a good foundation in several
areas of our life or activities. Do not limit and build something
on just a single foundation. Count the number of trunks the
alder has and explore it numerologically for greater insight.
Remember that wetlands are areas of transition. Transitional
times often make us feel insecure and unsteady. The extra trunks
give us a firmer grip during times of transition and thus alder
is often a symbol of protection during such times. Its presence
is a reminder to stay grounded during times of change and not
to keep all of our eggs in one basket.
The alder can endure standing water
for a long time and it is able to survive in what is normally
infertile soil. Often when the alder catches our attention,
we feel like life just isn't flowing for us. We seem stuck in
some area of our life. The alder reminds us that we are protected
during those times. All transitions have periods of stasis.
Nothing seems to be moving. In actuality, there is movement,
but we may not be perceiving it. Alder reminds us that we will
survive, even when there seems to be no flow in our life. Alders
usually have catkin flowers (scaly clusters) and an egg shaped
fruit that look like small pine cones. They are often used in
floral arrangements. Folklore speaks of placing the catkins
in your pillow to stimulate prophetic dreams. Contact with the
alder can stimulate dreams of the changes that are about to
unfold around you.
The alder tree is one whose energies
provide protection. It can awaken prophecy in humans and it
has strong ties to the element of water and its force within
the universe--becaues of its natural wetland habitat. It has
ties in mythology to the Celtic pantheon and the blessed giant
Bran. It is a good tree to align with in order to overcome unawareness
of what is going on around us. The raven is an animal totem
often associated with it, and the rave is a bird of great mysticism
and magic. It is a messenger bird of great knowledge and perception.
Crows and ravens are aware of everything within their environments.
Their association with the alder reinforces the need to examine
what is going on around us, which is not readily apparent to
us. A staff made from alder can awaken the ability to open perceptions
to the dark void. Through the alder, we can see what is not
readily apparent. It is a reminder to pay attention to what
might be hidden around us at this time.
*Back to Eden/Jethro Kloss
Of the alder tree, both the leaves and bark are used. Use the
leaves when you can get them. Very useful for swellings of all
kinds. When you can get the green leaves, crush them and lay
them on painful swellings. Will relieve the pain and take down
the swelling. Make a poultice, crush the leaves. The green leaves,
or drive leaves made into a poultice will allay the inflammation
in a swollen and painful breast. Take a heaping teaspoon-full
to a pint of boiling water. Let steep 1/2 hour. If used for
a poultice, take just water enough so the leaves are moist.
The fresh leaves are excellent for burning and aching feet,
when laid in the shoes under the bare feet. Also good to bathe
the feet in strong tea.
Keynote: Promise of sweetness and delicacy. The almond is actually
a relative of the peach and its blossoms are pink or white.
Instead of becoming plump like peaches though, they harden.
All nut producing trees are associated with fertility and the
hidden fruits of life. And they are harvested in the fall, reminding
us that there is a time and rhythm at play within our life that
cannot be rushed. You cannot force a fruit or nut to ripen any
faster than is normal for it. If we remember that there is this
rhythm, we save ourselves a lot of impatient frustration. Almond
trees seldom need feeding. It is usually one of the first trees
to blossom and thus late frosts can be hard on it. Because of
this it is often a symbol of delicacy, but as a nut there is
a sweetness to it. Almond trees remind us to savor the delicate
sweetness of life. Are we appreciating everything that we have?
Sweet almond oil is used as a base for many herbal tinctures
and even as a base for massage oils. It is delicate and is absorbed
gently into the skin. Almond often reminds us not to push --
to be gentle in our endeavors for the greatest success.
*Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens,
The Greek historian, Pliny, advised that eating five almonds
would prevent drunkenness. To the ancient Greeks, the almond
tree and its blossoms were associated with a legend about Demophon
and Phyllis. They had arranged to be married, but before the
ceremony could take place, Demophon was recalled to Athens for
the funeral of his father. He promised to return, but he miscalculated
and arrived three months later to find that Phyllis had hanged
herself. As is often the case in Greek myths, the gods were
so moved by her love, that they transformed her into the almond
tree. Demophon sacrificed to the almond tree, and in response,
the tree blossomed. Many believe that, if foxes eat almonds
with water, they will die. In Victorian times, the almond was
held as a symbol of indiscretion and youthful impetuousness.
In modern times, the American Seer and Sleeping Prophet, Edgar
Cayce, advocated eating a few almonds each day to prevent cancer.
*The Master Book of Herbalism/Paul
Almond has a dep history as a Religious Herbe. It has been offered
as incense and in sacrificial fires to invoke the deities of
Artemis, Hecate, and Zeus. Almond was the tree which Aaron,
high priest of the Hebrew people, selected as the source for
his magickal wand. This heritage keeps Almond within contemporary
Hebrew rites, the blossoms used to decorate the temples. Grieve
reports a Greek myth in which Phyllis is transformed into the
Almond. It might appear that the gods could not bear her grieving
over having been abandoned by her lover, Domophoon. However,
he does come back, and unable to appropriately guilty for having
left her and embraces the tree that it bursts into leaf and
bloom. Almond may be used today to capture the essence of a
love which will survive all trouble. Almond is an excellent
choice for a magickal wand, particularly when employed as a
tool to be shared by both Priest and Priestess who are lovers
beyond the Temple of their art. It may well enhance their potential
for again sharing both love and magick in lives to come. Perhaps
the most curious element of lore attached to Almond is that
it will prevent one from becoming drunk. As the wand is a tool
of control, perhaps Almond does have that power.
*Magical Herbalism/Scott Cunningham:
Almond oil, the symbol of wakefulness to the ancient Egyptians,
is used in prosperity rituals (anointing candles, money, etc.)
and also added to money incenses.
*On Dreams/Mary Summer Rain:
Almond represents the need to avoid stress and/or give more
attention to one's physical condition.
*The Language of Dreams/Patricia
Generally symbolic of love and fertility. This association probably
dates back to when almonds were a maternity charm. For example,
the Greek god Attis was conceived with the aid of a magical
almond. Ancient mid-Eastern: An emblem of femininity and the
womb of the world due to its shape. This effectively carried
over into many arts wherein the lozenge (an almond shape) is
used to represent the fullness of womanhood. Folklore relates
that dreaming of whole almonds foretells wealth, whereas those
broken apart indicate problems in obtaining wishes. Spiritual
sweetness that awaits you. Just get beyond the obstacle or armor
represented by its shell to savor the reward!
Keynote: Time for joyful giving; hidden knowledge, happiness
and healing at hand. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
This is one of the most famous sayings about apples. And most
people are aware of it. Although this saying came from the 19th
century, the popularity of the apple dates back much further.
The Romans are usually credited with developing the wild apple
into what we now know as the apple today. Pliny the Elder described
three dozen different varieties. The apple was a fruit popular
in Asia and throughout Europe. In fact, an apple was once considered
an ideal Christmas treat. Even today, it is one of the most
popular fruits in the world with over 7,000 varieties. In America
Johnny Appleseed has become a legendary figure, with the image
of traveling across the country with apple seeds in his pocket
and a bag of apples over his shoulders. He tossed the seeds
as he walked, turning America into a country of apple trees.
His real name was John Chapman and he cultivated apple nurseries
as far west as the Ohio territory. Apple trees come in many
varieties, bearing fruit of differing tastes and at different
times. Different apples grow better in different regions, and
many of the species of apples have been lost because they are
not suitable for large scale marketing. Apples cannot always
be grown in the Deep South because they do not get long enough
periods of cold temperatures, which they need for a rest period
each year in order to grow properly and produce fruit. The trees
have trunks and branches that twist. The fruit is high in flavor,
fiber and flavonoids--antioxidants that improve the immune system.
They are filled with vitamins and the eating of a raw apple
is good for the teeth and gums. The apple tree has many magical
and healing characteristics. It is sometimes associated with
the Tree of Knowledge. The apple was the "Fruit of Avalon"
that could endow individuals with magical abilities. Staffs
and wands made from an apple tree are often painted and carved
to help awaken the magic. Most kids are aware of the apple divination
technique for discovering who you will marry. As you twist the
stalk, you recite the alphabet. When the stalk breaks, the letter
you are at is the letter of your future spouse's first name.
Its mythology and folklore is great
and entire book could be done on it alone. In Teutonic mythology,
the apple tree is associated with youthfulness and beauty, helping
to manifest opportunities to learn through choices. It helps
us to focus and not divide our energies for greatest success.
In Greek mythology, the apple tree grew in Hesperides and was
sacred to Aphrodite. Apple is a tree that awakens true desires
of the heart. Christianity has often distorted the fruit as
a symbol of indulgence in forbidden desires, but its magical
and mystical qualities are powerful. Its spirit is strong, gentle,
giving and playful. To the Native Americans, all fruit bearing
trees were honored for providing food and more. The apple tree
is a loving giver, especially when treated with love and respect
by humans. It thrives on human contact and teaches the power
of sharing. The apple tree has had a long association with the
Faerie Realm. The blossoms draw large numbers of faeries who
help promote feelings of happiness. The apple tree is also the
home of the mythical unicorn. The unicorn is one of the most
ancient archetypes of the natural world. The spirit of the apple
tree works with the unicorn, and in the spring the spirit will
often appear in the form of a beautifully enticing woman. Together
they open the heart to new realms of love and giving. Apple
blossom is one of my favorite fragrances. I love the short time
in the spring when my apple trees bloom and every breeze carries
their scent. I use its fragrance when I teach work with the
Faerie Realm. I always try to have it when guiding groups in
meditation for connecting with the Faerie Realm. Its blossoms
are powerfully fragrant and in aromatherapy, the fragrance of
apple blossom promotes happiness and success. Its energies are
also cleansing to the astral body. It stimulates the need to
make choices within our life, and its energy helps us to realize
that we always have choices. Its appearance in our life as a
sign or messenger is a reminder that there is abundance and
happiness about for us. It reminds us of our dreams and our
possibilities. It often heralds contact with spirit and especially
contact with the Faerie Realm.
*The Language of Dreams/Patricia
Temptation to break personal taboos, or divine or societal laws.
Responsible use of knowledge, skills, or wisdom. Matters of
health: How the apple looks may have a direct bearing on how
you're feeling. Appearing abundantly on a tree: A propitious
sign that speaks of realizing your hopes. Only at the top of
a tree: High ambitions that you may not be able to safely or
effectively reach. Worm ridden: If you bite into an apple to
discover a worm, this means that something isn't as good as
it outwardly appears, especially someone's ethical codes. Arthurian:
Longevity. King Arthur was taken to Avalon, the Isle of Apples,
to live forever. Similarly, in Norse legends apples are used
as a resurrection charm, and Hera's Tree of Life is filled with
golden apples. *On Dreams/Mary Summer Rain Apple symbolizes
good health. Apple pie signifies aspects one most closely identifies
with as representing the home hearth. Applesauce denotes a pleasant
blending of ideals.
*Magical Herbalism/Scott Cunningham
Wear to promote happiness and success. Anoint candles during
love rituals. Add to bath to aid relaxation.
*The Master Book of Herbalism/Paul
Apples are considered sacred
to Aphrodite, and may be offered in rites of her honor. The
juice of the apple may be shared in those rituals, and the seeds
or bark of the apple may be used as incense. In some places
there is a custom of planting an apple as a gift for this lovely
Goddess. Among Earth Religions, the Apple is sometimes eaten
for good luck at the celebration of Hallow's Eve, when it is
felt that the circle of seasons makes a dramatic turn. Thus,
one can bring about deep internal changes. The Greeks held the
Apple as a source of wisdom, said to grow on a tree of life
in the garden as Hesperides.
*Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens,
If ever there was a piece of fruit that got bad press, it was
certainly the apple, for it was this that Eve gave Adam to eat.
Hence, one of the earliest superstitions was to only eat an
apple that had been rubbed clean; otherwise the "evil one,"
Satan himself, would appear. Ever since the Roman occupation
of Europe, the apple has been held as a sacred tree. In fact,
a 7th century poem states that a man who cuts down an apple
tree must pay a fine of one cow. An early Irish poem calls for
the sacrifice of a living creature in payment for felling an
apple tree. In essence, the apple stands for immortality, eternal
youth, and happiness. Arabs believed that the apple had curative
powers, as well, and in Scandinavian mythology, the gods keep
themselves young by eating the golden apples of Idun, Goddess
of Youth and Springtime. Among Welsh legends, after death, kings
and heroes live in a paradise of apple trees called Avalon,
possibly derived from the Welsh word for apple, "afal."
An American superstition holds that, if the sun shines through
the boughs of an apple tree on Christmas Day, the fruit will
be abundant the next year. Gamblers are said to count an apple's
seeds to find a lucky number to bet on. Everyone has heard the
saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Another
old English proverb says, "A bad woman can't make good
applesauce." To find a future husband, a young girl could
twist the stem fo an apple for each letter of the alphabet.
When the stem finally broke, the last letter spoken was thought
to be the first initial of her true love's name. Maidens had
other methods of divining the future, as well. For example,
if one stood in front of a mirror with an apple, sliced it into
9 pieces, stuck each piece on the point of a knife, and held
it over her left shoulder, she would see in the mirror the image
of her future husband. A variation was to let a girl pare an
apple and fling the skin over her left shoulder. In the twists
of the skin would be found the initials of her future husband's
name. Both practices should be done on Halloween. In the United
States, the most famous story connected with apples is that
of Johnny Appleseed, the name given to John Chapman, an eccentric
who roamed the frontier planting apple trees wherever he went.
Often called the American Saint Francis, Chapman spent 48 years
of his life roaming around the frontier barefoot and dressed
in rags, with a sack of apple seeds over his shoulder. An Austrian
custom holds that an apple cut on Saint Thomas's night can foretell
the future. If there is an even number of seeds, a marriage
is promised.. Should one of the seeds be cut through, it means
trouble. If two seeds are cut, death or widowhood is promised.
In some countries it is customary to place an apple in the hands
of a dead child, presumably to symbolize innocence. Finally,
one must remember that it was an apple that fell on the head
of Isaac Newton, inspiring his discovery of the law of gravity.
*The Secret Language of Signs/Denise Lynn
An apple is a sign of healing
potential, wholesomeness, health, and vitality. An apple can
also mean temptation such as Eve faced in the Garden of Eden.
Keynote: Combine strength and wisdom during times of sacrifice;
look for connections. The ash is part of a family of trees known
as fraxinus. The leaves are often in pairs on opposite sides
of the stem--joining at the stem. This, in itself, reflects
its message of bringing opposites together. The ashes are usually
noted according to their color -- black, blue, red, and white.
A study of the color will provide some insight to the message
this tree holds for you. And all ash trees grow quickly, as
long as they have room and light. The black ash is often found
in swamps and marshlands. It splits easily into thin tough pieces
and the Native Americans combined these strips with other trees
(such as cedar) to make baskets. It has an aggressive root system
in swamp areas. It is a reminder that even in the difficult
arenas of life, we must keep our roots strong and extended.
The blue ash gets its name from the fact that the sap turns
blue upon exposure to the air. It is almost exclusive to the
Midwest and in oak-hickory forests. The white ash is the most
familiar to people. In fact, anyone who has ever played baseball
knows the feel of white ash, for it is still what most wood
bats are made of. It is often used in sporting equipment because
it is tough and light. It is not a flashy tree, but it embodies
strength that can be relied upon. Although often unnoticed around
other trees, its message is often that one doesn't need to be
noticed to lead a noble life. It has had much folklore surrounding
it. Ashes were occasionally cut down in their first year and
cut into pocket pieces. These were given out for the general
well-being of others. It was also considered bad luck to break
one of its boughs. It has often been a tree of protection and
many once believed that no serpent would ever lie in its shadow.
The leaf of the ash tree has an equal number of divisions on
each side. The number of divisions was considered significant
in folklore. "Even ash or four leaf clover, you will see
your true love before the day is over." But this was not
its only folklore, which was often contrary. To break a bow
was considered bad luck, but the pieces of it from a cut bow
when the sun moved into Taurus would stop a nosebleed. It is
a tree with much mysticism though. It has ties to Celtic mythology
and the one known as Gwydion, and it has ties to the Norse traditions
as well. The ash is the sacred tree Yggdrasil, upon which Odin
sacrificed himself that he might achieve higher wisdom. The
Teutonic gods held council under this tree each day. There were
9 worlds in Teutonic myth, all located throughout the great
Tree of Life. The energy of this tree can open us to the perception
of how events and people are linked together. It has a spirit
that awakens great strength and might. It is a universal source
of light and life energy, amplifying the innate abilities of
the individual. Shamans used staves made from the ash tree in
the past to link the inner and the outer worlds and move between
them. The ash is a reminder that all things are connected, even
if we don't see the connection initially. They remind us to
move forward with gentleness and strength. Sometimes, its message
will have to do with learning to be at one with the self, without
cutting yourself off from the rest of the world. The ash helps
us to become more sensitive to the great and small influences
*Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens,
To many, the ash tree is as significant as, or, perhaps, even
superior to, the oak. Various Nordic myths hold that man, himself,
was created from the wood of the ash by the god Odin. The word
ash is derived from the Norse aska, meaning "man."
In a collection of old myths and legends, entitled Edda, the
ash becomes the Yggdrasill, or world tere. It is believed that
its branches enshadow the world and reach up to the heavens,
while its roots penetrate the abyss known as "hel,"
from which our modern word Hell has been derived. For the Kabyles,
the Berber tribespeople of Tunisia or Algeria, the ash is believed
to be the first tree to have appeared at creation. Hence, it
is believed to be feminine in nature, which means no man can
plant it. If a man breaks this taboo and plants the ash tree,
a male member of his family is soon to die. Further traditions
have associated the ash with snakes. Pliny, in the first century
A.D., commented on the ash's magical ability against snakes,
and that a snake would rather be destroyed by fire than crawl
over an ash twig. American folklore holds that, should one carry
an ash twig or wear ash leaves in one's hat, protection against
snakebites is assured. Should one be bitten, nevertheless, drinking
ash sap was believed to cure the bite. In Great Britain, there
is a tradition of burying the first parings of a child's nails
under an ash tree; the child will then be blessed as a fine
singer. A general belief also holds that passing a child with
rickets or a rupture through the cleft of an ash tree is certain
to cure him. A more sinister side to this belief, however, holds
that, should the tree die at any time during the life of the
child, the rupture would return and the child would die, even
though he may have by now grown to adulthood. Young English
girls believe that an ash leaf placed in their left shoe would
cause them to marry the first man they encountered. When ash
trees fail to produce fruit, it is said to be an omen of the
death of a king or important world figure. A forked ash stick
used in the hands of a skillful dowser is said to indicate where
underground copper mines can be found. The following weather
superstition connected with the ash and oak is found in many
countries with some variation of the wording: If
the ash is before the oak, Then there will be a very great soak.
But if the oak before the ash, Then expect a very small splash.
*The Master Book of Herbalism/Paul
Ash is useful in removing unwanted energies. Historically it
has been used to remove spells and hexes. Superstition says
that it will cure warts, when a pin has ben inserted into an
Ash Tree, and then stuck into the wart, removed and returned
to the tree. Grieve gives the following charm for this: "Ashen
tree, ashen tree, Pray buy these warts of me." Another
practice says that placing an Ash leaf in your automobile or
upon a motorcycle, etc., will keep you protected from accident
while traveling, and bring you safely home.
*The Language of Dreams/Patricia
Ancient Druids regarded ash as a tree of well-being and perspicacity,
and they used it for making their magical wands. Dreaming of
sitting beneath or near an ash tree can symbolize growing intuition,
or perhaps a calling to follow a Druidical path spiritually.
The Norse honored the ash as being the World Tree in their mythology.
If you are of Norse decent, this tree may represent your own
familial lines and ties.
Tree *Nature-Speak/Ted Andrews
Keynote: Face fears and doubts through open communications;
shed the old. The aspen is part of the poplar family of trees,
and you should refer to poplar as well. It is a tall, fast growing
tree. The bark is thin, smooth and nearly white. As it gets
older, the base becomes black. Throughout the country, it is
grown in many habitats. It is one of the most talkative trees
around. The slightest breeze sets the foliage into a whispering.
Wands made from the aspen can help us to understand the language
of trees more easily. In the autumn, its leaves turn a wonderful
yellow. It is almost a visual reminder that there is still color
and sunshine, even though the light is diminishing daily. They
remind us that there is always light to shine in the dark areas
of our life where fears and doubts hide. Although the aspen
is relatively short-lived (as most of our fears and doubts are
when faced), it is one of those trees which will quickly take
root in soil and habitats that are harsh and even burned out.
And as trees go, it reproduces itself quickly. The aspen is
a tree whose spirit and essence helps us to face our fears and
doubts. It is associated with the Egyptian symbol of the uraeus
or the image of a snake coiled around to swallow its own tail,
the symbol of life, death and rebirth in all things. The aspen
is a tree of resurrection. It is calming to anxieties about
changes within our life. It facilitates entering the subtler
planes of life, and it awakens greater soul fearlessness. Its
spirit opens us to greater control of dreams and through the
dream state, it can bring hidden fears to the surface so they
can be faced. Once met with determination, there occurs a rebirth
and an increasing ability to overcome impossible odds. It strengthens
communication with the higher self. This tree works well with
snake medicine. In the animal kingdom, the snake is one of the
most feared and misunderstood totems. And yet, it is a universal
symbol for healing and rebirth. It is not unusual for those
to whom the aspen whispers, to find new opportunities for rebirth
and healing. The aspen will help you to shed the old and move
into the new. It will require though that fears and doubts be
faced. it is then that everything becomes possible.
*The Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens,
Tradition has it that the aspen was used to make Christ's cross.
From that time on, the boughs of the aspen trees have been filled
with horror and trembled ceaselessly. Because of this superstition,
the aspen tree was said to have the ability to cure fever. If
parings of a patients nail were inserted into the aspen tree,
which was then plastered up to prevent the fever from escaping,
the patient would be cured. Since a person stricken with fever
often trembles and the leaves of the aspen itself tremble, these
two beliefs were united. In actuality, though, the construction
of the foliage of the aspen, with its broad leaves on a long
flexible stalk, make it particularly sensitive to even the lightest
of breezes. In Cheshire, the aspen tree was used for the curing
of warts. Warts first had to be rubbed with a piece of bacon,
which was then put into a slit of the bark of the aspen tree.
The warts would supposedly disappear from one's hands and reappear
as rough knobs on the bark of the tree. It was probably the
salt and brine of the bacon that destroyed the virus which had
caused the warts.
Keynote: Balance, strength, and flexibility; healing of the
heart. The giant timber bamboos can grow
to 100 feet. Bamboo is extremely fast growing and yet it retains
great strength and flexibility. And there is often a lot of
confusion and disagreement about the name. Regardless of its
name, it is both decorative and useful. Bamboo crafts are popular
all over the world. Bamboo was originally one of China's most
important natural products, and it is becoming increasingly
acknowledged around the world. In the Tao of Confucianism, it
is used as a philosophical tool to measure the quality of life.
As a functional tool, it is used in housing and even as raw
material for paper. It is one of the four noble plants of China,
along with plum-blossom, chrysanthemum and orchid. In China,
bamboo shoots are still a culinary delicacy. It is often a symbol
for healing of the heart. Its stems are hollow and its leaves
droop because its inside (its heart) is empty. But to the Chinese,
an empty heart is not filled with ego, and so the bamboo is
also a symbol of modesty to them. Bamboo is associated with
the element of air and wind. It is used to make chimes and the
wind moves little pieces of bamboo to strike against each other
gives joy and peace to those who hear it. Bamboo flutes facilitate
healing, bring peace and stimulate joy. Bamboo seems to have
many personalities and many uses. When it stands out for us,
it is a reminder that we can be strong and flexible in everything.
Like the bamboo, we can be self-propagating. We can bend with
the wind and rise to untold heights, as long as we maintain
that balance of strength and flexibility.
*On Dreams/Mary Summer Rain
Bamboo connotes developing talents.
Keynote: Time for new expressions of ancient knowledge; find
power and nobility through speech and prayer. The beech tree
is a sturdy and imposing tree with a short trunk and wide-spreading
crown. It is known for its smooth, gray bark. It is amazingly
tolerant to different soil conditions and habitats. Their shade
is so dense that nothing but moss rarely grows under it and
for those to whom the beech tree speaks, a study of moss will
certainly help in understanding its message. The beech tree
was the favorite hose of the now extinct passenger pigeon. They
passenger pigeons fed upon the beech nuts. When the great forests
of beech trees disappeared, so did the passenger pigeon. If
the beech is a messenger, the pigeons probably are as well --
especially the passenger pigeon. Although the beech tree has
not had a great deal of faerie association, it was always considered
a holy tree. The almost universal belief that a prayer spoken
under it would go directly to Heaven reveals much about the
spirit of this tree wherever it is found. The tree spirit of
the beech has great knowledge of the past. It knows how to use
the past to make changes in the present -- which is often what
we seek through our prayers. Beech trees hold the knowledge
of the power of the written word and can stir within us a love
of literature. Many historians believe that it was on the beech
tree bark that the first pages of European literature were written.
The Sanskrit characters were thought to be carved on strips
of beech brak. In fact, the word book comes from the Anglo-Saxon
"boc" meaning "letter" or "character",
which in turn derives itself from "beece" for the
beech tree. The spirit of the beech tree is one of great strength
and grace. She has the ability to awaken and to teach the skills
of written communication -- for both mundane and magical purposes.
No other tree spirit can teach as well how to use words to express
our own love or move another to love us. She willingly feeds
mind and body. This is reflected in the fact that the peasants
of central Europe used the
beech tree as a prime fuel source and its nuts as a food staple.
She also teaches and reminds us that we need food for the mind
as well as the body -- that when we awaken the mind and learn
to express ourselves that we discover our true nobility. The
spirit of the beech will awaken opportunity to explore the past
(either within the current lifetime or those long past). It
helps us to synthesize that knowledge into new expressions.
This is the tree of discovery of lost wisdom. It reminds us
not to discount the experiences, knowledge and teachings of
the past. it will soften and balance oversensitivity due to
emotional experiences in our life. The beech is a tree whose
energy and essence can awaken old knowledge and new expressions
of it. It awakens the soul quality of tolerance, and its essence
helps align the individual with the higher self. it can be used
in a staff that is beneficial for all patterns of growth. It
can awaken greater opportunity to explore the past (immediate
lifetime or past incarnations) and to synthesize that knowledge
into new expression. This is the tree of the discovery of lost
wisdom, and thus the individual must learn not to discount the
knowledge and teachings of the past. It reminds us to soften
over-criticalness due to the individual's written and spoken
communication to accomplish our tasks more effectively.
Keynote: Balance and healing is necessary; opening of new dimensions.
Birches have smooth barks, which peel in thing papery plates.
The branches are slender. There are many types of birches: paper,
yellow, cherry, river. The paper birch is often found among
conifers, like old friends and often the message of a birch
will tell us something about a friendship of ours. To the Native
American, the birch tree was source for canoes and for snowshoe
frames. The canoes could carry twenty times their weight, and
their appearance as a sign reminds us that we can carry more
if we maintain balance in life. Birch is the "Lady of the
Woods," and she helps connect us to all goddesses of the
woodlands. One is never to take its bark or a limb to use as
a staff without permission of the goddess. The birch tree is
one whose spirit and essence has ties to ancient forms of shamanism.
Shamans used staffs of birch to awaken an energy that would
enable them to pass from one plane of life to another. It balanced
the shamans as they made such treks. The energy of birch staffs
should be renewed each year through some ceremonies. Those who
take upon a staff from this tree must also learn to renew it
and rededicate it each year. This is best done in the month
of November, as November was the start of the Celtic New Year.
The birch tree reminds us that new dimensions are opening for
us. As they do, balance is necessary for the greatest success
in entering them. She awakens the energy of new beginnings and
cleansing of the past. She will help us manifest opportunities
to clear out old ideas, those things that are no longer beneficial.
She speaks to us of a need to keep our energy and efforts purposeful.
*The Language of Dreams/Patricia Telesco Birth and origination.
This tree gets its name from the first letter of the Druidical
alphabet, which also represents beginnings. Making a mark that
distinguishes your personal territory on the job, at home, or
in a situation. Birch rods were used in ancient rites called
Beating the Bounds in which people would walk and mark their
lands. Sturdiness. This tree is even hardier than an oak. Matters
of communication, especially writing. Birch bark was predominantly
used in the ancient world as a type of paper. A fresh start
that leads to fruitful manifestation. In many rural regions,
the blossoming of the birch marks the beginning of the growing
seasons. As the Lady of the Woods,
the birch also represents refined grace and elegance.
*The Master Book of Herbalism/Paul
Birch is sometimes known as '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 lightning.
Then you have access to the paper-like bark, which will be a
very potent magickal parchment.
*On Dreams/Mary Summer Rain
Birch exemplifies an open and honest situation or atmosphere.
Keynote: Protection and cleansing. Cedar is an ancient tree
found throughout the world. Cedar trees come in several families.
Two of the more common are the juniper and the other is the
false cypress. Both are long lived, aromatic and resinous. And
there are many varieties in these groups and they all are versatile.
Cedar has an ancient history. In ancient Egypt, it was considered
imperishable. Solomon's temple was made entirely of cedar wood,
cut from the great cedar forests of Lebanon. It's great cedar
forests were decimated and have not recovered to this day. It
is a tree of consecration and dedication, and it has ties to
Wotan. Tradition tells us also that the unicorn keeps its treasures
in boxes made of cedar. These boxes are hidden beneath the apple
tree. The white cedar or false cypress variety was an important
part of the American Revolution. Its charcoal was used in the
making of gunpowder. It is common to swamps and like all swamp
trees, it is extremely resistant to water decay. Water barrels
made from it kept water pure, killing micro-organisms. Early
American cities used it for water pipes because it would not
decay in soil and kept water supplies healthier. The juniper
variety of red cedar is most commonly used in the US. It is
a tough survivor and one of the signs of new growth returning
to an area. It often found as a windbreak, trooping along fence
rows and on hilltops. In the early history of the US, the red
cedar bore the brunt of the pencil industry for over a hundred
years. Only the knot free heart was used and so nearly 70% of
the bulk cut was wasted. The Faber Company used them exclusively.
A fungus-type gall disfigures cedars. These produce spores,
infecting the leaves of apple trees with yellow splotches, which
in turn re-infect the cedars. In 1918, the easiest solution
to save the apple trees was to try and eradicate all of the
cedars. Political battles arose between apple growers and the
cedar owners. For those to whom cedar comes as a sign, there
is usually a message associated with the apple tree as well,
and it should be examined. All cedars have a fragrance that
is cleansing and protecting. It has been used in rituals and
ceremonies to prepare a person or area. Native Americans use
it for purification properties. A staff made from cedar has
the energy of protection, and it can open opportunities to heal
imbalances of emotional or astral nature. Cedar is a tree whose
spirit and essence will strengthen and enhance any inner potentials
of the individual. This is a tree tied to strong healing energies.
It's energies cleanse the auric field, especially at night while
the individual sleeps. It helps the individual to balance the
emotional and mental bodies and can stimulate dream activity,
which brings inspiration and calm.
Do we need to be more protective of our environment? Do we need
to cleanse some area of our life? Cedars will help us to do
so. *The Master Book of Herbalism/Paul Beyerl Cedar has much
value beyond its use in the construction of closets and chests
for clothing storage. In ancient times Cedar was a major incense
ingredient. It is still used in incense, most often in the form
of sawdust. The resin within is pungent, and easily released
as smoke in this manner. The incense of the cedar is highly
recommended in the consecration of a magickal wand, and may
be used to study any of the "wand" Cards of Tarot.
Specific study in Tarot with Cedar would be the Four Cards (all
four suits). Folklore holds that carrying a small piece of Cedar
in one's billfold or wallet will attract money. It certainly
will keep the moths away. As a Religious Herbe, it is used to
invoke Wotan, either as an incense, as a sacred herbe, or by
using a wand or staff of its wood. Cedar is the appropriate
herbe for using amethysts and sapphires. Should you have these
gems, they should be stored in a small box made of Cedar. Incidentally,
it is said that Unicorns absolutely love to have little Cedar
boxes around in which to store their treasures. *On Dreams/Mary
Summer Rain Cedar illustrates an need for spiritual cleansing
or energized protection of one's spiritual beliefs.
Keynote: New awakenings and birth; insight. Sweet and sour cherries
have great symbolism--especially when examined from the perspective
of the doctrine of signatures. There are a variety of cherry
trees, some bearing edible fruit and some not. The trees can
live 30-40 years. Of all the cherry trees, the black cherry
was considered the most valuable to lumbermen. Its wood is precious
to cabinetry making. Appalachian pioneers distilled its fruit
into a drink called cherry bounce. When the cherry trees began
to ripen, bears would congregate and move to feast on them,
creating problems for settlers and others in the Appalachians.
For those to whom the cherry is a messenger, study of the bear
is also recommended as well. From the red to the rich black
fruit, it has a symbolic aspect associated with the juices of
life and new birth. It also has a tendency to produce thousands
of stray seedlings, a gift quite symbolic of it ensuring its
own rebirth on some level. It is because of this, that it has
often been associated with new awakenings. The cherry tree is
the tree of the phoenix, which rose from the ashes. One who
aligns with its spirit and essence will find the energy and
ability to rise from the fires of their own life in a magnificent
manner. Cherry blossoms have some dynamic qualities associated
with them and which will become active within an individual's
life that aligns with the tree. It awakens the energies of faith
and trust on high levels. It enables the individual to let go
of the aspects of the ego which are preventing growth. Its appearance
as a sign or messenger in Nature is a reminder that rebirth
always follows death. It alerts us to be open in consciousness
for new insights. This tree tells us that we are on the threshold
of a new awakening. It is up to us though to cross that new
threshold. *Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions/Zolar
A Kent superstition holds that, should you visit a cherry orchard
and not have your shoes rubbed with
the leaves of a cherry tree, you will die from cherrystone suffocation!
Young maidens are supposedly able to predict when they will
marry by counting the cherrystones in their plate after a meal,
while, at the same time reciting, "This year, next year,
sometime, never." The last stone counted is said to give
the answer. In Switzerland, tradition holds that a cherry tree
will bear fruit abundantly if its first fruit is eaten by a
woman who has recently given birth. Should one shoot a cherry
pit from between his thumb and index finger and, on the first
try, it hits the ceiling of the room in which the cherries were
eaten, he will be married soon. Should one desire a vineyard
to produce good wine, a cherry tree must be planted in the middle
*On Dreams/Mary Summer Rain
Cherry typifies a "sweet" situation; prime aspects.
The cypress tree is one of
the wetlands and swamps. It has resistance to water decay and
it is tannic in nature. Swamps are often places that lead to
the underworld or infernal kingdoms. Going through a swamp was
a means of facing ones fears, sacrificing for a greater cause.
The cypress tree was dedicated to Pluto, god of the underworld,
in mythology. The cypress tree encourages us to explore the
sacrifices that we are making within our life. It guides us
to a greater awareness that sacrifice must not always involve
pain and suffering, especially when the sacrifice is made for
something or someone we love. It's presence as a sign or messenger
can stir the primal feminine energies, the creative forces that
are static in our life (symbolized by the wetland or swamp).
Cypress will help us manifest opportunities for healing. It
helps us in understanding our crises, and it awakens the comfort
of home and mother.
*On Dreams/Mary Summer Rain
Cypress tree stands for grief; a mourning time.
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