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Title: Sacred Trees of the Fall Equinox "Poplar Tree"
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Registered: 11/21/2008

(Date Posted:01/25/2009 00:50 AM)
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Sacred Trees of the Fall Equinox
"Poplar Tree"

The Druidic year was divided into thirteen months or 'Moons', and each was named after a tree. Besides the thirteen moons, each of the seasonal change days (the equinoxes and the solstices) had a special tree also.

Latin name:
Common Poplar - Populus Balsamifera; Trembling Poplar - Populus Tremuloides; Balm of Gilead - Populus Candicans; Black Poplar - Populus Nigra.

Common names:
All Poplar - Popple, Alamo, Aspen; Trembling Poplar - American Aspen, White Poplar, or Quaking Aspen; Balm of Gilead - Bombagillia.

Celtic name:
Eadha (pronounced: "Eh' uh").

Part used:
Bark and buds (sap)

Herbal usage:
Poplar can be used as a tonic, chiefly used in treating fevers. The infusion has been found helpful in treating chronic diarrhea. Balm of Gilead buds can be used as a stimulant or tonic. A tincture of them is useful for complaints of the chest, stomach, and kidneys, and for rheumatism and scurvy. The sap collected from the buds can be used to make a healing ointment and can be used as an external application in bruises, swellings, and some skin diseases. Teas can be made from the Poplar buds and are useful in helping treat arthritis and rheumatism.

Poplar is generally a plant of Jupiter, Saturn and the Sun and is associated with the element of water. Its color is rufous (red) and the bird associated with Poplar is the Whistling Swan. The stones associated with Poplar are Amber, Citrine Quartz, Sapphire and Swan Fluorite.

Magickal usage:
The Poplar is known as the "Tree that Transcends Fear". Poplars symbolize the magick of joy, the aging of the year, resurrection and hope. Poplar can be used in magick done for success, protection and love. Balm of Gilead buds can be carried in tiny red bags to help mend a broken heart. Add some Balm of Gilead resin to your tinctures to enhance the "fixing" of the scent and to offer some added protection to the tincture. Poplar buds can also be carried to attract money and can be burned as an incense to create financial security. Poplar buds are also sometimes added to flying ointments.

Poplar is a good wood to burn in balefires and ritual fires since it offers protection. Shields can be made of Poplar since the wood is thought to offer protection from injury or death. Poplar can be used in protection charms of all kinds. The trembling leaves of the Poplar tree can be 'read' to divine messages from the God and Goddess, and also from spirits that drift into woods.

The Poplar is the sacred World Tree of the Lakota nation. For the sun dance ceremony, a Poplar is carefully cut and lowered, then is re-erected in the center of the dance circle. While being carried the Poplar must never touch the ground. Green branches, a buffalo skull and eagle feathers were used to decorate the Poplar for this ceremony.

For more information on the Celtic tree Months or on tree magick:
"Year of Moons, Season of Trees" - by Pattalee Glass-Koentop.
"The Handbook of Celtic Astrology" - by Helena Paterson.
"Tree Medicine, Tree Magic" - by Ellen Evert Hopman.
"A Druid's Herbal" - by Ellen Everett Hopman.
Sandra Peterson © 2000

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