alder tree is highly water resistant, and as such was used by ancient
Europeans to build edifices near or under water. Its power in magic is
its resiliency. It teaches us to bend but never break, to go with the
flow and accept positive changes.
you find yourself in a rut, or if you are having trouble accepting that
which you cannot change or control, alder can give you the courage to
make, or buy yourself a simple alder limb and consecrate it as your
wand of changes. When you find yourself resisting that which cannot be
changed, take your wand and tap it on each of your chakra centers while
Alder stronger than waters flow,
Help me learn that I must grow;
Not all things can be my way,
Let me learn this lesson today.
ash wand has long been a favorite of many magical people. The power of
ash is in its ability to remain strong and unyielding, and yet appear
to change and bend with our magical desires. The ash can help us see
things as they are rather than how we want them to be, and this can
help us to plan our next step no matter what goals we seek.
buy, or make a wand of ash and spend three nights in meditation over
it, asking it to open your mind to the truths that you don't wish to
see. Take your favorite divination tool - tarot cards, runes, etc. -
and wave the ash branch over it three times clockwise, saying:
I call on you, old ash, my friend,
Wood that seems unable to bend;
Strong as a bull and stubborn as youth,
Help me to see in this the truth.
a century ago, the musical play H.M.S. Pinafore debuted on the London
stage. One of the songs from the score insisted that, "Things are
seldom what they seem." These words peronify the hawthorn-a tree that,
in folklore, is much more than what it seems. Even in modern Ireland
you'd be hard-pressed to find someone willing to move or harm one for
fear of upsetting the capricious fairy spirits who call it home.
When you need to know what is what, call upon the spirit of the hawthorn to assist you"
Fairies of the hawthorn, I ask,
A favor and a simple task;
Show me what is false and true,
And I will give a gift to you.
When you've recieved a vision of your answer, tie a pretty ribbon on the bush or plant a coin near its base in thanks.
holly was a deeply masculine symbol to the Celts, on that represented
the God and his polarity with the Goddess. Its magical and ritual uses
are numerous, and so are its gifts.
we don't know what it is we really need. We're usually pretty sure we
know what we want, but when we get it we end up reminded of the old
adage "Be careful what you wish for."
the Holly Moon, approach the holly as the embodiment of your father
God, and ask if you may take a sprig of the plant. Place it under your
pillow for the next seven nights. As you ready yourself to fall
asleep, pray to the God for enlightenment. Look into your dreams for
answers. During the day, be aware of things you haven't noticed before
or opportunities that present themselves unexpectedly.
oak is as masculine as the willow is feminine. Its solar influence
covers the peak of the Sun's power-a time when the nights are shortest
and the days are hot and long.
The oak tree can teach us about endurance and fortitude when we're ready to give up on something we want.
the fight has gone out of you, renew it during the Oak Moon. Scour the
earth for acorns, collecting one for each area in which you need a
boost of courage: mental, physical, or spiritual.
Empower the acorns by holding them close to your heart and saying:
From tiny acorns the oak does spring,
Stronger each year, with each new ring;
Teach your secret of strength to me,
Each new challenge overcome shall be.
Sleep with the acorns under your pillow and carry them with you until you overcome your obstacles.
twigs and leaves have been used as talismans of protection for at least
two thousand years. In Wales, rowan trees were planted in graveyards
to protect the spirits of the dead.
graveyard vandalism becoming a growing problem in cities, small towns,
and along isolated country roads, you may want to use some rowan magic
to protect the resting places of your loved ones.
Take a handful of rowan leaves, dry and crumble them, and scatter them about the cemetary saying:
I call on the guardian of this keep,
To allow all here in peace to sleep.
Standing watchful night and day,
Keeping harm and mischief away.
In peace and comfort sleep the dead,
And spirits risen from the coffin bed;
Ward and guard this place of rest,
Rowan leaves protect the best.
water-loving willow tree is sacred to the goddesses of the night and is
ruled by the moon. We can use its power to enhance our native psychic
a willow and sit at its base. Meditate on opening your psychic
centers. Ask the tree whether its willing to help you. If it is,
stand and press your forehead against the bark while concentrating on
an issue or unanswered questions you have on your mind.
yourself to fall into as deep a meditative state as you safely can, and
open yourself to the power of the willow. You will get answers. You
should also ask the tree to show you what you need, not just what you
willow governs creativity, and it can help you finish that sonata
you've been composing, overcome writer's block, give you fresh ideas
for a painting or sculpture, or show you a new way to move as you dance.
Hazel Moon comes as summer wanes and the God and Goddess are entering
their elderhood, bearing inside themselves the knowledge that comes
yourself a Celtic-style meal of wisdom during the Hazel Moon. Gather
nine hazelnuts and place them around your plate. Cook yourself the
largest, juiciest piece of slamon you can find (salmon is symbolic of
wisdom in Celtic lore). Pour some apple juice (apple is the fruit that
guards the entrance to the realm of the deities) in a chalice or wine
goblet. Be sure to keep your gola of knowledge in mind as you prepare
Before eating, call call on the blessings of the deities to help attain their knowledge:
With apple wine so golden ripe,
With salmon speared in one great swipe,
With hazel nuts for wisdoms that be,
Send the blessings of wisdom to me.
Vine Moon heralds the harvest of fruits; apples, blackberries,
blueberries, raspberries, pears grapes, and peaches. Some of these are
made into jams and jellies, others are dried to last out the winter,
and some are sugared to be placed in pies and strudels.
the Celts, this final harvest of the year foretold how the clan would
fare during the lean winter months. The wines made from the fruits
were central features of the harvest celebration.
a wine or fruit juice the central feature of your convivial harvest
feast. Invite family and friends to share in the bounty while you take
turns making toasts of thanks to the gods who granted you a bountiful
Blessed be the God of the vine,
Blessed be the Goddess devine;
Bless all those who come now to dine,
And drink deeply of the sacred wine.
can take over once it starts to grow. It can bind itself to anything,
and shove out of the way any other growth that tries to hinder its
progress. You can use it to do the same.
you have something you wish to bind to you-for example, a piece of
heirloom jewelry you're lending-tie the vine from it to you and say:
By the vine, what's mine stays mine.
Visualize your item coming back to you saf and unharmed. If you have something you wish to banish, such as a bad habit or a bill, tie the vine from it to you and say:
By the vine, you are not mine.
Cut the vine with scissors or a sharp knife and visualize the unwanted thing breaking its hold on you.
is an old saying in Ireland that the reed can stand where mighty oaks
have fallen. Slender, sturdy, and sharp, the reed reminds us that it's
not always the biggest guy who withstands the storms of life, but the
upon the energies of the reed during its Moon to help you stay calm-and
to help you remian standing through whatever storms life throws your
Gentle reed, slender and tall,
Mo gale or cyclone makes you fall;
Tip as sharp as an arrowhead,
Fells your enemies, blesses your dead.
Grant to me your steady calm,
Be unto my soul a balm;
Keep me standing, keep me strong,
Through wind and calm, and right and wrong.
The Celtic lunar year ends with the Elder Moon, representing a cycle associated with death and renewal, prosparity and healing.
the year turns to its next cycle, allow the elder to help heal your
body, mind, or spirit with its energies. Either in the physical world
or in deep meditation, find the biggest, strongest elder in the
forest. Ask if you may use its regenerative powers to heal yourself.
If you don't know of anything that you need to have healed, ask the
elder to protect you from illness. You may be rewarded with a falling
limb, leaf or piece of bark to take with you as a talisman of health
and well-being. Be sure to thank the elder for its gift:
Elder tree of ancient rhyme,
Standing strong in winter time;
Healing tree of body and mind,
Thank you for your gift so knind.
Birch Moon begins the cycle of a new lunar year, falling near the time
of the Winter Solstice when the solar year begins to wax again. One of
the birch's major properties is the ability to purify and cleanse the
a medium-sized birch limb on the center of your altar. To the left
place a bowl of water, and to the right place a bowl of salt or sand.
Call upon the deities of the new year, or upon your patrons, and ask
them to help purify you in spirit as you enter a new phase of spiritual
Dip the top of the limb in the water and then in the salt or sand. Lightly tap the limb against your bare skin while chanting:
Birch of purity, white and clean,
Rid me of ill and malice unseen;
Take me into the lunar year,
Pure of heart and free of fear.
Llewellyn's Witches' Datebook 2004