While the oak, hawthorn, and apple are rich in folklore and well known as highly magical, many trees regarded as common and maybe even run-of-the-mill have colorful histories and can give your magical practices a boost. You don't need to have a tree growing in your yard to work with it. A twig, leaf, nut, flower, fruit, piece of bark, or anything from a tree embodies its energy and can be used to represent it. In addition to objects made from the wood of a tree, infused oils, essential oils, hydrosols (i.e. flower waters), flower essences, and other products can be used for magic and ritual, too.
Sometimes, you may not have access to a particular type of tree or something made from it, but just as we use pictures and other objects to represent deities, we can do the same when working with trees. Let's take a look at ten fairly common trees.
Cherry pits, or stones, have been used as talismans to attract a lover and for divination to see whether or not a wish may come true. The procedure was to take a handful of cherry stones without counting them. Similar to divination with daisy petals, one at a time a cherry stone was placed on a table as a phrase was said. "This year" was said when the first stone was set down, "next year" was said with the second, "sometime" with the third, and "never" with the fourth. This was repeated until the last cherry stone was set down, revealing the answer.
For other uses, as part of a love spell, use cherry juice to consecrate a red candle. To heighten awareness during divination sessions, burn a small piece of cherry bark as incense before you begin.
You can call on dogwood's protective energy by placing a few leaves under your welcome mat to serve as guardians of your home. Despite the misinterpretation of the name, you can think of the leaves as guard dogs. Carry a small piece of wood in a purse or pocket as a protective talisman. Burn a dried leaf to help banish what you no longer want in your life. Sitting under a dogwood is said to inspire new ideas and to help gain a new perspective on a situation or problem. The energy of the dogwood also provides emotional support.
With its historical lunar association, hackberry is perfect to incorporate into your esbat rituals for a boost in energy. Make a circle in the middle of your altar using its berries or leaves or carve its name on a white candle to burn during your ritual or spell work. Use a piece of hackberry wood as a protective amulet or burn it in a spell to raise energy around you or your home. To boost inspiration for creative projects, keep a picture of a hackberry tree in your workspace.
Well known for its cleansing and purification properties, spray a little lemon hydrosol to prepare an area for ritual or wherever you need to freshen and move energy. Use lemon oil or juice to prepare candles and to purify magic or ritual objects when they come into your life. Lemon raises awareness, increases psychic abilities, and inspires movement to a higher spiritual plane. Place a drop or two of the essential oil in the melted wax of a candle to enhance meditation or divination sessions.
To enhance dream work and encourage prophetic dreaming, place vase of fresh-cut lilac flowers in your bedroom. For defensive magic or to break a hex, burn a dried leaf or a few of the small flowers, and then scatter the cool ashes outside. To boost the power of a love spell, use the flower essence to prepare a candle. Lilac fosters peace and happiness and deepens spirituality.
Of course, maple syrup is a prized product from the sugar maple. According to weather lore, if the first sap from a tree is not sweet, it will be a long syrup season. However, if the sap is sweet, the season for tapping will be short.
As part of a spell to attract or rekindle love, scatter a handful of dried red leaves on your altar. Also use red leaves to work with the faery realm. Place a green leaf under a green candle on your altar to attract prosperity. Before lighting a remembrance candle for a loved one who has passed beyond the veil, dab a little maple syrup on it to symbolically sweeten their transition to the otherworld.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, the peach was used for healing and sympathetic magic. In addition to treating ailments, herbalist Nicolas Culpeper noted that peaches fostered lust. Throughout Europe, the peach was a symbol of the female genitals and used as an ingredient in love potions.
For your own love spells, prepare a candle with peach kernel oil or flower essence before lighting it. To boost fidelity, sensually eat a peach with your lover. To foster happiness in the home, place a picture of three peaches in your kitchen. Hold a dried peach pit during meditation when seeking wisdom.
The ancient Greeks regarded this tree as a gift from the gods, and according to legend Hercules planted sycamores to honor his father Zeus. The Romans prized these trees so much that they poured libations of wine on their roots. During the Middles Ages, sycamore trees growing in a village was believed to keep the plague at bay.
Sycamore aids in opening the mind to receive information and interpret messages. Before any type of psychic work or divination, crumble a piece of dried leaf and then burn it to clear and prepare the energy of your workspace. To bring harmony and stability to your life, hold a branch during meditation.
Regarded as a magically protective tree, the walnut reputedly provided protection from lightning and supernatural forces. As a nut with two distinctive halves joined as one, walnuts were a symbol of marriage. According to Pliny the Elder, the association of walnuts with fertility was due to their resemblance to testicles. Others during his time noted that walnuts were an aphrodisiac.
Prepare a walnut in a protection spell, and then place it near the front door of your home. To provide clarity when making decisions, meditate while holding two walnut leaves. As part of a love spell, separate the halves of a walnut and write your name and the other person's name on each half. Tie them back together by wrapping red thread around them.
Allied with moon goddesses, make a circle with pussy willow catkins and/or willow leaves on your esbat altar to aid in raising lunar energy. Use willow flower essence or make an infused oil to prepare a pink or red candle for love spells or a white candle for divination. Willow can aid you in contacting faeries and other nature spirits.
Get to Know Trees
Sandra Kynes (Mid-coast, Maine) is a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids and the author of seventeen books, including Star Magic, Llewellyn's Complete Book of Correspondences, Mixing Essential Oils for Magic, ...