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~Often the prickly thorn produces tender roses~ ~Ovid~

tree Olive
Olea europea L.
Olive symbolises peace and security. The dove returned to Noah's ark with an olive leaf after the flood, which symbolized safety. Poseidon and Athena disputed over who should name the city of Athens. The gods decided that the one who could give the best gift to mankind should have the privilege. Poseidon struck the shore with his trident and a horse sprang forth. But Athena (Minerva), struck the ground with her weapon and yeilded an olive tree. The goddess triumphed, for it was judged that peace, the symbol of the olive.

pine Pine
Pinus spp.
The evergreen Pine tree was called the ~sweetest of woods.~ The nymph Pitys loved by Pan was turned into a pine. The pine was also sacred to the sea-god Neptune (Poseidon) and to Bacchus (Dionysus). Its needles are a valuable source of vitamin C. In the language of flowers the Pine Tree symbolizes Courage; Daring

popular Poplar
Populus spp.
The Poplar is referred to as the talking, whispering and quivering tree. It is said to have the ability to endure and conquer. Heracles wore a crown of poplar leaves when he retrieved Cerberus from Hades. The upper surface of the leaves was thus darkened from Hades' smokey fumes. The Anglo-Saxon rune poem refer to the Poplars being associated with the rune berkano.

Poplar was considered an antidote to a serpent's bite. It was dedicated to Alcides Hercules as a god of healing powers. Zeus killed Phaėthon with a thunderbolt because he was unable to control the sun chariot he had stolen from his father Helios. The Heliads, his grieving sisters, were metamorphosed into weeping poplar trees whose tears turned to amber as they fell into a stream.

The nymph Leuce was metamorphosed into a white poplar by Persephone to save her from being raped by Hades. According to another myth, Hades planted an aspen tree in the Elysian Fields to honor his mistress, the nymph Leuce. White poplar was associated with Leuce, leprosy. A leper colony in ancient Greece was under the protection of Zeus of the White Poplar. Lepreans worshipped the white poplar. The moon goddess of the white poplar cured skin disease.

pom Pomegranate
Punica granatum
The pomegranate originates from Eurasia. It was first introduced in Brazil by the Portuguese during the colonization. According to Roman legend, Proserpine, daughter of Ceres, (the goddess of vegetation), was kidnapped by Pluto, King of the Dead, who wanted to marry her. Ceres begged the other gods of Olympus to help get her daughter back, but it was in vain. As a vengeance, she started to wreck the crops in the fields. People started dying of hunger. Jupiter then urged Pluto to return Proserpine to her mother. This could be possible only if Proserpine had not eaten anything in the realm of the dead. But when Proserpine entered into Hades she saw a pomegranate tree and she ate six grains. A deal was made that Proserpine would stay for six months with Pluto and other six with her mother, Ceres. The people believed, that this accounted for the appearing of Winter (when Proserpine is in Hades) and Summer, which is the result of Ceres' rejoicing for the return of her daughter.

According to another legend, one of the nymphs loved by Baccrus was told by a fortune teller that she would wear a crown. Bacchus kept the spirit of the prophecy by turning the nymph into a pomegranate tree, twisting the calyx of the blossom into a crown-like form. Hera who was the wife of Zeus, was worshipped as a goddess of marriage and birth. She is associated with the pomegranate. Israelites used the pomegranate in Biblical times. A picture was found on the pillars of Solomon's Temple.

Chinese use it as offering to the gods. They believe pomegranate brings good luck.

rowan Rowan/Sorb Apple
Rosaceae Sorbus spp.
It is also known as the ~Tree of Quickening,~ ~Round wood,~ ~Delight of the Eye,~ ~Mountain Ash,~ ~Quickbane,~ ~Roden-Quicken,~ ~Roden-Quicken-Royan,~ ~Royne Tree,~ ~Sorb apple,~ ~Service Tree~ ~Thor's helper,~ ~Whitty,~ ~Wicken-tree,~ ~Wiggin,~ ~Wiggy,~ ~Wiky,~ ~Wild Ash,~ Witchbane,~ ~Witchen,~ ~Witch wood~ and ~Tree of Life.~

The sorb apple, fruit of the rowan, symbolizes corruption and sweetness. It is not edible until it rots to a purplish color. A branch placed in a house on Good Friday or placed in a bed was said to ward off such forces. Wearing a sprig of the Rowan also protected against charms. In Wales the Rowan tree has traditionally considered to be a sacred tree. It was planted in churchyards to protect and act as a warning to negative forces and evil spirits. Reputedly not one churchyard would be without it. Wearing a cross made from the tree was a tradition followed once a year by the parish. Coffins were rested under a Rowan tree.

The Rowan tree is known for aid and protection against enchantment. Sticks of the Rowan were used to carve Runes on. It was also used in the art of metal divining. Rowan spays and crosses were placed over cattle in pens and over homes for protection. Its lovely red berries feed the birds in winter. The berries have a tiny pentagram on them. The pentagram is the ancient symbol of protection. The pentagram shape is one of the reason's why it has been called the Witch Tree. The Rowan tree indicates protection and control of the senses from enchantment and possesses the power of the psychic, healing, power, success, and protection. If carried, Rowan wood will increase one's psychic powers. Branches of Mountain Ash often were used in dowsing rods and magical wands. Leaves and berries are added to divination incense for better scrying. Rowan berries and bark are added to healing and health baths, sachets, and also in power, success, and luck sachets. Carrying the berries/bark aids in recuperation. If two twigs are tied together with red thread as a cross, one would possess a protection amulet.

The name Rowan is linked with the Norse ~Runall~ meaning ~a charm~ and the Sanskrit ~Runall~ meaning ~magician.~ Rowan is seen as masculine, attributed to the planet Uranus, the element fire, and the Gods Thor and Rauni. It is associated with the colors of red and gray. It is also held dear by Druids and the Celtic Goddess Brigid. This tree has been associated with magic and witchcraft, its branches have been used for warding off evil. The Celts would use charms and spells involving Rowan to protect their cattle. In Celtic legend, it is always connected with either Druids or other practitioners of magic. One way of delivering yourself from witches was to try and touch a witch with a branch of the Rowan tree.

The Rowan berry was considered food of the gods in Ireland. A legend tells of the ~Forest of Dooros.~ The ~Dedannans~ or ~Fairy Host~ dwelt there and were believed to have brought some of the scarlet berries from the Rowan tree to the Forest from Fairyland. One of the berries fell to the ground and out of this grew a huge Rowan tree. It was believed that the eating one of the berries, which tasted of sweet honey, would make a person very happy having the same effect as drinking wine. Some may even live to be one hundred years old. Eating three of the berries from this tree would ensure not only that the person would not only live to be at least one hundred years old but also return to the age of thirty. 'Sharvan' was a giant and lived in the forest keeping guard of the tree.

The ~Flying Rowan~ is a term given often to a young Rowan that has taken root within the fork of an older tree. The seed is thought to be deposited by a bird. To chew a part of this tree was believed to protect the person against negative forces including witchcraft. The Flying Rowan is also called a ~Flogronn~ in Norway and Sweden. In folklore it is said that one farmer was very troubled by a Troll being unable to make deep straight furrows with the plough because the plough was made from the wood of a Flying Rowan.
According to Finnish legend the God of Thunder was called ~Ukko~ and his wife was ~Rauni.~ She took the form of a Mountain Ash or Rowan. The intense redness of the berries led to the tree becoming known as ~Thor's Tree' which led to not only the berries becoming sacred but also the tree itself.
Walking sticks or magician staves are made of this wood for safe night journeys. Rowan is carried on ships to prevent the ships' involvement in storms, and kept in houses to guard against lightning, and if planted on graves will keep the deceased from haunting. If grown near stone circles it can aid in magical potency. It is also used to protect one from witches or as wood to fuel the fires to burn witches.

Rowan is also used during rites of the 2nd moon - the moon of vision for rites of knowledge and divination. If the branches are gathered at Beltane (May Day) they can be tied with red yarn hung above openings to protect your house. The Scots would plant rowan near their houses to protect from lightning and evil. The berries and leaves are dried and burned to invoke/banish spirits, fairies, elements, and the Earth Mother. Rowan wood was burned by druids of opposing armies to summon spirits-to take part of battle. The Silver Branch that is often carried in Druid rites and ceremonies, is usually made of Rowan, to celebrate and honor the Goddess.

It has many medicinal values and is a great ornamental for most homes and is great for attracting birds. The wood is good for fence posts, ships, and walking sticks. Rowan bark will dye fabric grey. It can substitute coffee beans (berries), can flavor liqueurs/cordials, and can be used to make ale.

walnut Walnut
Juglans nigra
Family: Juglandaceae (Walnut family)
Walnut is regarded as a sinister tree. It kills any vegetation near it. Walnut trees seem to especially dislike oaks. In Bologna it was believed that witches held their meeting under a walnut tree on Midsummer's Eve. The belief that walnuts harbor evil spirits is long-standing; Paschall II once cut down a walnut tree in Rome because he thought Nero's evil soul was living it. European folklore also tells us that a heavy crop of walnuts indicates a harsh winter. To dream of walnuts implies unfaithfulness in relationships.

Russian proverb: ~A dog, a wife, and a walnut tree: the more you beat them, the better they be.~Carrying a spider in a walnut shell was supposed to prevent fevers. The Goths yielded a black dye from the shells of the nuts which was also used as a punishment. In Gilbert and Sullivan's ~The Mikado,~ the title character declares that women who dye their hair will also have their skin dyed with walnut juice, to deprive them of the pale skin so prized. In the language of flowers the Walnut stands for Intellect; Stratagem

tree Willow
Salix spp.
Family: Salicaceae (Willow family)
Willow is also called the ~Tree of Enchantment,~ ~Osier,~ and ~Sough Tree.~ There are at least 500 willow species. In western tradition it is a symbol of mourning and unlucky love. The Latin name for the weeping willow refers to the psalm in which the Hebrews mourn their captivity in Babylon by the willows. Willow indicates cycles and rhythms. The Willow is associated with the elements of water, the moon, and the gods Artemis, Ceres, Hecate, Persephone, Hera, Mercury, Belili, Circe, and Belenos. It is associated with death, femininity, love, and healing. It is used to make friendship pacts and alliances. Its leaves are used in love attraction sachets and moon magic wands are made from its wood. It is combined with sandalwood to invoke spirits. Placed in homes, it protects against evil and sorcery. Carried, the wood will help one overcome the fear of death. If one needs to get something off their chest or to share a secret, confess to a willow and your secret will be safe. Willow wood is good for harps. Good for planting and lining burial graves for its symbolism of death and protection. If one wants to know if they will be married, on New Year's Eve, throw your shoe or boot into a willow, if it doesn't catch in the branches the first time, the individuals has eight more tries, if they succeed, they will wed.

yew2 Yew
Taxus baccata
Family: Taxaceae
This is the longest living tree of the Ogham, some of which live four thousand years. From its roots, grow several massive trunks, life exudes, not ending, from the Yew. This makes the Yew appear as a Mother, with children extending from her womb. This is also the only poisonous tree of the Ogham. All parts of the tree are poisonous except the fleshy covering of the berry, and its medicinal uses include a recently discovered treatment for cancer. Long associated with magic, death, rebirth and the runes, the Yew may be the oldest-lived tree in the world. Ancient Yews can be found in churchyards all over Britain, where they often pre-date even the oldest churches. There are some convincing arguements for it being the original ~World-tree~ of Scandinavian mythology. In Europe, Yew wood was used for making bows, while on the northwest coast of North America, the Pacific yew is used by the Haida and other tribes for making masks and boxes. Yew is used to enhance magical and psychic abilities, and to induce visions.




spider number

to crawl into my web!


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Monday, January 18, 1999

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