Cat’s Bits for Nov. 25 – Dec. 2 The Celtic Tree Month of Elder
Nov. 25 Celtic Tree Month of Elder begins
Dec. 3 Full Long Night’s Moon at 10:47 am EST
Dec. 3 Mercury is Retrograde at 2:34 am EST until Dec. 22
Dec. 13 -20 Hanukkah
Dec. 21 Winter Solstice / Yule and Sun enters Capricorn at 11:28 am EST
Dec. 24 Christmas Eve and Celtic Tree Month of Birch begins
Dec. 25 Christmas Day
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1 Kwanzaa
Dec. 31 New Years Eve
The elder tree is both a tree and a shrub and are members of the honeysuckle family. The shrub grows to about 30 ft. while the tree grows to around 50 ft. Both varieties like damp places along the woods edge. Elder has incredible regenerative power and can quickly regrow branches and roots. The tree has beautiful white flowers in the spring, growing in formations that resemble a bridal wreath. The flowers become reddish-black berries and make the most wonderful jellies, jams and syrups. The branches of the elder tree have a strong resemblance to bones when peeled of their bark. In the middle of the branches is a spongy center that looks similar to marrow. An unsuspecting person might actually believe the bare branches to be human bones!
ELDER IN HEALING
Elder is also a medicinal plant, the berries and flowers have many uses. However, it’s good to point out that the on the whole elder is considered poisonous. The dried berries and flowers make wonderful tea which is high in vitamins A, C, iron, Calcium and Potassium. This makes it beneficial for colds and sore throats. A distilled version of the flowers is good for treating cuts, burns and scrapes. Please keep in mind that if you pick elder berries make darn sure that they are ripe. Unripe elder berries cause severe diarrhea.
ELDER IN MAGIC & MYTH
The Elder has long been associated with Witches but it appears in Christian myths as the tree of doom. Judas was said to have hung himself from one and the cross of Jesus was made of Elder wood.
The Celts believed that these trees were homes to the Sidhe and treated them with respect, when cut the tree produces a reddish sap that made people believe that the spirit within the tree had been hurt. It is considered very bad luck to harm one but if you must cut or prune an elder tree one should always ask permission first. It is also bad luck to make a cradle for a baby out of elder, this is because of the trees association with death. Planting an elder tree near your home will create good relations with the fae as well as bringing prosperity to the home and it’s inhabitants. Even today there remain some taboos against burning the wood. Placing elder wood on your windowsill will keep vampires away, you can also wear it to the same effect. The folk lore about vampires is said to be much older than the the use of garlic.
Use elder for spells of banishing, faery magic, healing, protection and prosperity. Elder wood is also good for making magical tools, but remember to ask first!
As a magical name Elder is good for the person who is serious about magic. It also invokes mystery, luck and a sturdiness of character.
ABOUT ELDER PEOPLE
People born in the Month of Elder can be wonderful healers and seers as well as gifted musicians. They are slow to mature and waste time and energy on things not worth while. They can be very curious about profound subjects and study these things intensely. As healers or seers, elder people must choose their words carefully as they can be very persuasive with their speech. They must be careful not to sway the thinking of others and let them make their own decisions.
Deities: The White Goddess, Danu, Cailleach, Boann, Hel, Frey, Vulcan, Venus
Animals: All white animals, raven, pheasant
Sacred Stones: Red Jasper, jet, bloodstone
Bright Blessings for a Magickal Week!
Elder Tree picture by Michael & Christa Richert/freeimages.com
Compiled and written by Cat from the following sources:
the crystal forest
The New Book of Magical Names, Phoenix McFarland
Cunninghams Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham
Flower and Tree Magic, Richard Webster
Laura (Cat) Bolotin has been following an eclectic pagan/spiritual path for over 25 years. She currently lives in Western Colorado where she enjoys communing with nature, desert crawling, belly dancing, nature photography, jewelry crafting and writing stuff she hopes will help others along their path. She is married and owned by a “clowder” of cats.
Please feel free to check out my websites!
The Desert Path: The Dusty Ramblings of a Desert Pagan. https://catsister.wordpress.com
Sacred Spirals on Facebook: The Place Where All Paths Meet https://www.facebook.com/groups/sacredSpirals/
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