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Trees:  meaning, beliefs, and magickal properties

Photo by Daniel Watson on Pexels.com

The pagans in ancient times and today believe that trees are sacred because they are connected to certain gods or are gods in physical form, and they are magical in that way.

Trees were oftentimes linked to the spiritual realm and able to reach the underworld and beyond. Trees are also viewed as sacred to life and to assist with activities such as protection during travel or from evil spirits, celebrations, and more.

A table of some of the trees and the special powers, beliefs, and magical properties of each.

TreeOther NameBeliefsMagickal Properties
Alder/Black Alder TreeAlnus GlutinosaSome witches believe that the fay travel to their realm via the trunk of the Alder tree.its wood is used to carve whistles and flutes for rituals. The dye is used for coloring ritual cords, ribbons, and bags.
Ash TreeFraxinus Excelsior Chief god Odin, received the ability to read runes from the ash tree.Witches use the ash branches for magical wands, and for the sticks of witch’s traditional broomsticks.
Bay TreeLeaves protect against the plague and evil spirits. Witches burn the leave for divination.
Birch Tree (yellow or European white)Betula Alleghaniensis
Betula Pendula
sweeping the area with a broom from birch is thought to purify it.Considered sacred by witches. The wood is burned at Beltane festivals and Make their brooms by tying birch twigs to a branch from an Ash tree.
European Elder TreeSambucus EbulusChristians thought they could use the Elder wood as an Amulet to protect the soul from bewitchment. The Elder is the doorway to the fairies’ realm. Witches worship the Great Mother aka mother earth and believe that her spirit/entity lived within a European elder tree.
Elm TreeUlmus CampestrisSome connect the elm with the roman god Bacchus or the Green Man. Symbol of death and rebirth.Some believe the tree is the dwelling of elves or the secret doorway to an Elfin kingdom.
Hawthorn or Thorn TreeCrataegus MonogynaSome witchcraft traditions believe the hawthorn hides a doorway to the fairy realm. Branches used in may Day/Beltane celebrations. Some witches/Neopagans worship the tree as a personification of the goddess.
Myrle TreeMyrtus CommunisFolklore is that fairies live in or near this tree. In order to attract/appease a fairie, place a bowl of milk and honey, flavored with wine, beneath the tree.
Oak TreeQuercus PetraeaSymbol of fertility and gods/goddesses of fertility such as Zeus, Diana, and Bridgit. Fertility rites were held under this tree.Witches burn oak wood at Midsummer and Yule festivals to honor the fertility gods. Witches carry an oak walking stick/staff and believe it brings them positive energy.
Olive TreeOlea EuropaeaThe olive tree is associated with moon goddesses and the goddess Athena.Pagans believe the oil from the olive tree to be sacred to anoint their ritual tools. The wood of this tree was used to carve out statues of deities associated with the Olive Tree.
Rowan TreeSorbus AucupariaCarrying a twig from a Rowan Tree was thought to protect a person from being captured by fairies because it is said to be the home of good fairies. The wood and berries are thought to be used as protection against magic. Rowan tree was involved in fertility rituals.
The significance of trees

Trees do more than produce paper and are oftentimes worshipped by pagans and witches alike.

Bright Blessings!

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