The Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn:  May 13th to June 9th.

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The Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn:  May 13th to June 9th.

The origin of the word Hawthorn comes from the Anglo-Saxon “Haegthorn” which means hedgethorn. This tree grows to the size of a large shrub, it is because of this that it popular as a hedge plant in England. It has dense branches that grow in twists and turns which makes it almost impenetrable. It also grows some pretty nasty thorns. The wood is similar to apple and burns hot. The new growth on a hawthorn is reddish and in May it sports white flowers and later in the season red berries both of which have medicinal properties. This tree has a very long life span and has been known to reach 250 yr old. The hawthorn was often called the May Tree because its fragrant white flowers bloomed in May just in time for Beltane. These flowers were used for decorating maypoles and homes for the holiday.(this custom must have come later because as you will see this tree is a good guy/bad guy tree). The flowers were also used for weddings by the Greeks and Romans who considered them lucky. On the other end of the scale the Europeans said the hawthorn was unlucky and associated with witches.
As I said good tree/ bad tree ( pretty flowers but nasty thorns) and the Irish Brehon word for this tree means “harm”.

In Healing

In healing, the flowers, leaves and berries are used. A tonic made from the berries is said to help water retention in diabetics. The leaves and flowers can be made into a tea that helps anxiety, poor circulation, asthma, arthritis, loss of voice and rheumatism.
In Myth & Magic

In ancient times hawthorn had a double reputation. The Greeks and Romans considered them lucky while the Europeans said the hawthorn was unlucky and associated with witches. In time the flowers were used for decorating maypoles and homes for the Beltane. One interesting superstition is that the month of May is considered to be unlucky for weddings and is said to be the main reason that June weddings are so popular.

The flowers were used by the Greeks and Romans who considered them lucky at weddings. In mythology, the hawthorn plays a roll in the romantic welsh tale of Kulhwch and Olwen. It embodies the protector of Olwens virginity, a giant called Yspaddaden. The giant is slain as the spring flowers (hawthorn) open which symbolizes summer defeating winter and the turning of the seasons. In other lore, the erotic scent of the hawthorn blossoms is said to enhance fertility and promote chastity. The ancient Turks called it ‘the scent of woman” and was considered an erotic symbol.

As a protective plant hawthorn was used to protect the home from lightning and negative entities and the ancient Romans believed that children were protected from evil spells if it was placed in their cradle. it could grant wishes and could be found guarding sacred wells and crossroads.

Hawthorn has long been considered a witches tree and is part of the sacred triad of oak, ash and thorn (the three realms/ maiden, mother, crone). It is also a favorite of fairies which makes it very unlucky to cut one down or harm it in any way.

To dream of pink hawthorn flowers means happiness, but if they are white it means money. If you dream of the tree itself it means harmony among friends. As a magical name Hawthorn is perfect for witches of either sex.
Hawthorn People

Hawthorn people are full of great ideas and tend to be multi talented innovators. These people may also be performers in an artistic format, much like the Bards of old. They also make shrewd business people and have little patience with folks who do not take their work seriously. They can also be very protective of family and anyone they consider family.

Correspondences

Magical Properties: fertility(both male and female), protection (the thorns), prosperity, binding and cleansing, fishing magic, chastity and fairy magic.
Also Known As: May Bush, Whitethorn, Bread and Cheese Tree, Mayflower, Tree of Chastity, Gaxels

Deities: Danu, Frigg, Thor, Brigid, Vulcan, Dagda, Goibaniu, Cardea

Sacred Stones: topaz, amethyst
sources: the crystal forest
controversical.com
dutchie.org
The New Book of Magical Names, Phoenix McFarland
Cunninghams Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham
Flower and Tree Magic, Richard Webster
Tree Totem.com

Celtic Tree Month of Alder: March 18th to April 14th.

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Celtic Tree Month of Alder  or Ffearn (FAIR-n) 

Plant Information:

The Alder is a member of the Birch family and is native to the British Isles, Europe and North America. They require a great quantity of water and can reach 65 feet or more if left to grow undisturbed. The tree itself grows in a rough cone shape with branches that are evenly spaced down its long trunk, The leaves are roundish and finely toothed, and in the spring it produces flowers and catkins. The wood from this sacred tree comes in a number of colors. When an alder is cut down the wood changes from white to reddish-yellow that bears a remarkable resemblance to blood. This caused our ancestors to believe that the tree bled when cut and it was considered unlucky to cut one down. The wood itself is oily and water resistant and in past times was used for shields, the foundations for houses and is still used today in cabinetry and door making.


In healing alder has been used as a substitute for quinine. It has also been used to treat parasites, inflammation coughs, poison ivy, toothache, sprains and strains. On an interesting side note the inner bark is a great natural pesticide.


In Myth & Magick

The time surrounding the Vernal Equinox is and was important in the wheel of the Celtic year. Alder good for fairy magick and the leaves and twigs can be used in charms and talismans for protection. While dyes can be made from the bark, flowers and twigs to dye ritual robes. Red: Bark/ Green: Flowers/ Brown: twigs. Alder is associated with all four elements ( earth, air, water, fire) and is great for elemental magick. Flutes can be made from the wood and whistles from young alder shoots can be made to summon air elemental’s. The alder represents free will and liberty. In some places today it is still a crime to cut down this sacred tree. The person who is dumb enough to cut one down is seen as the cause of any trouble that happens in his neighborhood. The alder tree is also associated with courage and the evolution of spirit. This tree spirit can be called upon for help during disputes, where you need to see clearly to make the right decision or when you simply need to draw and bring forward you own inner strength.


 Born in the Month of Alder

People born in the month of Alder make excellent oracles, they can tell you like it is and manage to do it gently. However, alder people must remember not to abuse their power, and just like the tree itself they tend to mature slowly. Alders are powerful and make steadfast allies, they are trailblazers who set the pace for others to follow. If you are an alder person, just remember to slow down once in awhile and take a good look around you.

As a magickal name Alder works well for people who tend to be secretive and changeable or for those with fire signs. Choosing this name can bring out sensitivity in people who have trouble letting it show.


Other Correspondences:
Names: Tree of Fire

Deity: Bran, Proteus, Branwyn, Freya, Cailleach, Teutates and Ares

Animals: Snake,Fox, Hawk, Gull, Raven

Use in Spells for: Weather, Spiritual growth, Teaching, Banishing, Protection, Healing

 

Article Sources

dutchie.org
crystal-forest.com
Flower and Tree Magic, Richard Webster
Whispers from the Woods, Sandra Kynes

Cat’s Bits for Nov. 25 – Dec. 2 The Celtic Tree Month of Elder

CBP November

Cat’s Bits for Nov. 25 – Dec. 2 The Celtic Tree Month of Elder

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November Events:

Nov. 25 Celtic Tree Month of Elder begins

December Events:

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

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The Celtic Tree Month of Elder: November 25 – December 22nd

The theme for this month is death, rebirth and the return of light. The month begins with the dark time of the year and ends with the birth of the sun at the Winter Solstice. Other names for this tree are Frau Holle (German), Eldrum, Ellhorn, Boure Tree, Lady Ellhorn. The word Elder comes from the anglo-saxon word “aeld” meaning fire. Evidently the young branches have hollow stems which make them useful in making a fire.TREE INFORMATION

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.

Correspondences:

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!

Cat

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Elder Tree picture by Michael & Christa Richert/freeimages.com

Compiled and written by Cat from the following sources:
the crystal forest
controversical.com
dutchie.org
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.

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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/

This page may be shared with others as long as no changes are made, and ALL credits, links, photos and copyrights remain intact. All written work and are created by and copyrighted to LBolotin/Cat 2007-2017

Celtic Month of Reed: October 28-November 24

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Celtic Month of Reed: October 28-November 24

The month of Reed represents the mysteries of death and the hidden roots to all life it is sometimes called the “tree of doom” although it’s by no means a tree.  It is also the symbol for Samhain which is the beginning of the Celtic New Year.

PLANT INFORMATION

Reed is a marsh growing plant and while it is not considered a tree, it was named as such by the druids. This was due to the fact that like a tree, reed has a deep, dense root system. While reeds are found all over the world. From the humble reed the Druids made sacred darts and arrows. Pens were also crafted from reeds and were a sacred symbol of wisdom and scholarship. The reed can reach 12 ft. in height in marshy areas and usually in thick stands. The dried stalks produce a dry rattle that can have an eerie sound. The roots and seeds can be ground into flour. The the Celts and later people of the British isles, also used this plant to thatch their roofs. A well thatched roof kept all kinds of weather out and depending upon the kind of reed you used a reed roof could last for 15 to 75 yrs. And in many places woven reeds make beautiful baskets. Reeds were also a cheap substitute for candles, if you soaked them in fat they could be burned.

“There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the forest clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every spire of reed, every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance.”
~ William Sharp

IN MYTH

In mythology reed is connected with Pwyll the ruler of the Underworld. Pywll was given a sacred stone for safekeeping. This Stone was said to represent the divine power of The King and Queen and thus this humble plant was associated with royalty. Ancient Mediterranean people also associated reed with royalty as did the Egyptians. They made scepters from reeds and if the scepter broke it was thought that the King had lost both virility and vitality.

IN MAGIC

In magic Reed has the following uses: Growth, Healing, Harmony, Willpower, Loyalty. Reed is said to be useful when one is ready to expand their awareness both spiritually and mentally as well as balancing your energy. And as a herb for Samhain it can be used in spells for travel to the otherworld and for Shamanistic soul retrieval.

  • Reed, although not a tree but a grass-like plant, is usually associated with Samhain, the Celtic New Year.
  • The Reed Moon means winter is approaching. It is a month of turning our energies toward hearth and home. The tree symbolizes family, fidelity and trust.
  • Reeds are burned to honor household spirits and a family’s patron deity; and in ancient Scotland, a broken reed was an omen of familial betrayal.
  • Reeds may be placed through your home, especially the kitchen area, to bring the blessing of unity to your family.
  • Reed represents the turning within that we must undergo to nurture our souls hunger for spirituality.
  • The reed’s qualities include protection, spiritual progress and hunger for truth

“Man is only a reed, the weakest thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed.”
– Blaise Pascal

REED PEOPLE

People born during the month of Reed can be cocky, arrogant and uncompromising which gives them a forceful energy. Reed people are not competitors but rather the catalyst that makes things happen because they have great dramatic flair and plenty of passion. This dramatic flair helps them to role play well and you will rarely see a Reed person show weakness although on the downside they can take great pleasure in pointing out weakness in others. However they are fantastic caretakers of both property and family and make strong friends.  As a magickal name Reed is wonderful for caregivers or if you wish to give your personal energy a boost.

CORRESPONDENCES

Reed:
Names: Sedge, Sweet Flag,
Animals: Kingfisher, Wild Goose, Owl
Element: Air, Earth and Water
Deities: Pywll, Rhiannon, Morrigan, Poseidon, Coventina, Manannan Mac Lir, Arawen, Pluto
Sacred Stone: Jasper, Chysophrase, Aquamarine
Color: Light Green

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Photo: Wetlands at Sunset by Lisa Langell freeimages.com

Written by CatSister/LBolotin  from the following resources:
The New Book of Magickal names by Phoenix McFarland
Flower and Tree Magic by Richard Webster
treetotem.com

 

Cat’s Bits for October 1-7 :  The Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

 

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Cat’s Bits for October 1-7 :  The Celtic Month of Ivy, Sept 30- Oct 27

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October Events:

October 5: Full Harvest/Blood Moon at 2:40 pm EST

October 9: Indigenous Peoples’ Day

October 19: New Moon at 3:12 pm EST

October 23: Sun enters Scorpio at 1:27 am EST

October 28: Celtic Tree Month of Reed begins

October 31: Samhain / Halloween

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Celtic Month of Ivy

“Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,
That creepeth o’er ruins old!
Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,
In his cell so lone and cold.
The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,
To pleasure his dainty whim:
And the mouldering dust that years have made
Is a merry meal for him.
Creeping where no life is seen,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.”

Charles Dickens: The Ivy Green

IVY LORE

The Celtic Month of Ivy / Gort/ Gwinwydden runs from Sept 30- Oct 27

The ancient Celts and in particular the Druids, held ivy in high regard. In Wales ivy was related to the goddess Arianrhod, and was used in her ritual of opening a portal into the Otherworld, also known as the dark side of the moon and the Realm of Faery. This realm is symbolized by the butterfly and gives ivy a mysterious and mystical aspect. (If you look closely, ivy leaves resemble butterfly wings) Persephone is also associated with this month, this begins the time when she departs for the underworld for the dark half of the year. This month is time of settlement and reconciliation as it relates to karma. This month also corresponds to the Hunters Moon (aka Harvest or Blood Moon) which is this month’s full moon. It relates to female hunting animals wolf (Brigid), boar (Garbh Ogh), Lioness (Sekhemet)

Ivy is associated with the Goddess because it grows in a spiral. It is also sacred to the God Dionysus and during the Bacchanal people would run around waving the thyrsus which was actually fir branches that were wrapped with ivy, and the ancient Greeks would give a wreath of ivy to newlyweds as a symbol of fidelity.

PLANT INFORMATION

This “super vine” has great strength because of it’s ability to force it’s way into solid rock and it was powerful enough to kill a full grown oak tree. Ivy is another “Celtic tree” that is not a tree, and depends upon a real tree to give it support. It is a member of the Ginseng family although it is considered an evergreen. It also represents the ever blooming aspect of the human psyche. It develops yellowish flowers in October and then black berries.

Ivy is a POISONOUS plant and while it is said to have been used for medicinal purposes (like curing hangovers and cleansing wounds) I would highly recommend AGAINST it , as all parts of this plant are poisonous.

IVY IN MAGIC

In it’s magical role ivy protects against evil spirits negativity and all forms of disaster, it is used in healing rituals and is a symbol of loyalty and longtime friendships. It can be used in love charms to promote fidelity. As a magical name Ivy denotes strength and to give someone ivy as a gift state’s “attachment” and be mine forever.

IVY PEOPLE

People born in this month have great stamina and talents that can bring them great public honors. Ivy people also tend to radiate success even when they are not so fortunate. They are colorful and unique individuals who can be manipulative and use their power ruthlessly to get what they want. The key for Ivy people is not to abuse this power.

Deities: Dionysus, Artemis, Ariadne, Bacchus, Osiris, Arianrhod, Danu, Hel, Persephone, Rhea, Frey, Ogma, Cerrunos

Sacred Stones: Opal, Chrysoberyl, Alexandrite

Colors: Blue and light brown/tan

Animals: Butterfly, swallow, mute swan, lark

written by CatSister 2010 sources:
The New Book of Magical Names by Phoenix McFarland
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
Whispers from the Woods by Sandra Kynes
dutchie.org
controverscial.com
crystalforest.com

Bright Blessings for a Magickal Week!

Cat

(C) LBolotin 2017

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 6 cats.

 

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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/

This page may be shared with others as long as no changes are made, and ALL credits, links, photos and copyrights remain intact. All written work and are created by and copyrighted to LBolotin/Cat 2007-2017

Cat’s Bits for September 3- 9 “Celtic Tree Month of Vine”

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Cat’s Bits for September 3- 9 “Celtic Tree Month of Vine”

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September Events:

Sept 2: Celtic Tree Month of Vine begins

Sept 4: Labor Day

Sept 6: Full  Harvest Moon at 3:03 am EST

Sept 20: New Moon at 1:30 am EST

Sept 21: International Day of Peace

Sept 22: Fall Equinox/ Mabon and Sun enters Libra at 4:02 pm EST

Sept 30: Celtic Tree Month of Ivy begins

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The Celtic Tree Month of Vine

I dreamed this mortal part of mine
Was metamorphosed to a vine,
Which, crawling one and every way…
from Robert Herrick’s “The Vine”VINE LORE

The Celtic month of Vine or Muin runs from September 2nd to September 29th.

The month of Vine is the bridge between the Autumn Equinox and the dark time of the year that begins at Samhain. Muin is an Ogham word that means highest of beauty and strongest of effort and the Irish word Muine means thicket.

Vine symbolizes emotion and sensuality and represents the clinging aspirations of artists and of poets. Vine refers to specifically to the Grape Vines. In mythology, the grape vine is personified in the God Dionysus or Bacchus, who brought the art of wine making to mankind. Carvings of this god show him with an ivy wreath upon his head and his body covered with grapes and leaves. As such he resembles the GreenMan of the celtic traditions. In Pagan/Wiccan traditions the five pointed leaves are sacred to the Goddess as is the spiral growing pattern of thevines themselves.

PLANT INFORMATION

This is not a tree but more like a shrub and is probably the oldest cultivated plant in the world. It is a long lived plant and scientists have found fossilized grape leaves that date back 40 million years! These vines have large lobed leaves and produce small whitish flowers, that in turn produce grapes. Vine can grow up to 115 feet in length and live to a recorded life span of 600 years. The stem of very old grape vines have been know to produce “planks” 15 inches wide when cut. This vine has no uses other than wine making.

In healing, vine is known for it’s restorative and regenerative powers. It can help with fever, the leaves and seeds were used to stop hemmoraging, bleeding and inflamation. Grapes are rich in iron, and vitamins and provide an excellent source of instant energy. They are also a laxative and a diuretic. Blackberries were used by the ancient Greeks to treat gout. In England the leaves were used to treat burns while berries were used to treat bug bites, loose teeth and sore throats. The bark and roots are known for their astringent properties and are still used today.

VINE IN MAGICK

Vine is female and is ruled by the moon. It can be used to promote prosperity, fertility, mental powers and can be used in garden magick. Ritual uses include celebrations, grounding and faery magick. Use the leaves of this plant to enhance your own goals and ambitions. Vine is also one of the nine sacred woods burned at Beltane as a symbol of joy.

Vines properties are as follows:

Thistle: Protection, strength, exorcism, hex breaking
Blueberry: Spirituality, protection and dream magick
Grape: Garden magick fertility, prosperity/money and binding
Blackberry: Protection, healing and properity

To dream of grapes/blackberries is a sign of abundance, if the leaves are green then success is coming your way and if you are harvesting the berries your income will be a good one. To dream of walking through a vinyard fortells of prosperity.

Here is a recipe for Vine Moon Tea (good for use in Earth magic, sex magic, overcoming difficulties):
1 part blackberry
1 part dandelion
splash of currant wine or Grape juice
pinch of hibiscus
(dutchie.org)

VINE PEOPLE

Vine people have high personal standards and tend to be natural socializers and well organized. They also have well developed insticts and an eye for detail however this can become an issue as they can be highly self critical. They are also secretly romantic and sensitive. Vine people have a dual personality and can be happy one minute and down the next. It is important for Vine people to learn the importance of balance between giving and receiving.

To choose Vine as a magickal name can indicate that you are a climber and have great potential. You are willing to work hard to achieve what you want.

Deities: Dionysus, Osirus, Branwen,Brigid, Danu, Freya , Hathor, Bacchus, Dagd, Etain.
Animals: White swan, eagle, lizard, hound
Sacred Stones: Blue beryl and emerald

written by CatSister 2010
sources:
The New Book of Magical Names by Phoenix McFarland
Cunninghams Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs
Whispers from the Woods by Sandra Kynes
dutchie.org
controverscial.com

Grapes on the Vine photo: freeimages.com

Bright Blessings for a Magickal Week!

Cat

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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 5 cats.

 

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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/

This page may be shared with others as long as no changes are made, and ALL credits, links, photos and copyrights remain intact. All written work and are created by and copyrighted to LBolotin/Cat 2007-2017

Cat’s Bits for May 14-20 The Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn

CBP Cactus

Cat’s Bits for May 14-20, 2017

The Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn

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May Events:

May 13: Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn begins

May 14: Mother’s Day

May 25: New Moon at 3:44 pm EST

May 27: Ramadan begins

May 29: Memorial Day

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A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.

John Muir

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hawthorn-1357460 Plamen Radev

(Photo by Plamen Radev: freeimages.com)

The Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn
May 13th to June 9th.The Tree

The origin of the word Hawthorn comes from the Anglo-saxon “Haegthorn” which means hedgethorn or thorny hedge. This tree grows to the size of a large shrub, although it can reach 30 feet, and is  popular as a hedge plant in England. It has dense branches that grow in twists and turns which makes it almost impenetrable. It also grows some pretty nasty thorns. The wood is exceptionally hard and fine grained, and burns quite hot. The new growth on a Hawthorn is reddish and in May it sports white flowers and later in the season red berries both of which have medicinal properties. This tree has a very long life span and has been known to reach 400 years old. The Hawthorn was often called the May Tree because its fragrant white flowers bloomed in May just in time for Beltane. These flowers were used for decorating maypoles and homes for this holiday.

This tree has a dual reputation. To the Greeks and Romans the flowers were lucky and used for weddings. However, the Europeans associated the Hawthorn witches and was therefore unlucky.  The Irish Brehon word for hawthorn means “harm” and centuries ago in Asia the flowers were not brought into the home as they were associated with death.

In Healing

In healing, the flowers, leaves and berries are used. A tonic made from the berries is said to help water retention in diabetics. The leaves and flowers can be made into a tea that helps anxiety, poor circulation, asthma, arthritis, loss of voice and rheumatism. (Remember, always consult your doctor before adding any herbs to your regimen)

In Myth & Magic

In mythology, the Hawthorn plays a roll in the romantic welsh tale of Kulhwch and Olwen. It embodies the protector of Olwens virginity, a giant called Yspaddaden. The giant is slain as the spring flowers (Hawthorn) open, which symbolizes summer defeating winter and the turning of the seasons. In other lore, the erotic scent of the Hawthorn blossoms is said to enhance fertility and promote chastity. The ancient Turks called it ‘the scent of woman” and was considered an erotic symbol.

Because of it’s nasty thorns it is believed that the “Crown of Thorns” worn by Jesus at the Crucifixion was made from Hawthorn branches.

The Hawthorn was used to protect the home from lightning and negative entities, and the ancient Romans believed that children were protected from evil spells if it was placed in their cradle. It could grant wishes and could be found guarding sacred wells and crossroads.

Hawthorn has long been considered a witches tree and is part of the sacred triad of Oak, Ash and Thorn (the three realms/ maiden, mother, crone). It is also a favorite of fairies which makes it very unlucky to cut one down or harm it in any way.

To dream of pink Hawthorn flowers means happiness, but if they are white it means money. If you dream of the tree itself it means harmony among friends. As a magical name Hawthorn is perfect for witches of either sex.

Hawthorn People

People born during this month are full of great ideas and tend to be multi talented innovators. These people may also be performers in an artistic format, much like the Bards of old. They also make shrewd business people and have little patience with folks who do not take their work seriously. They can also be very protective of family and those they consider family.

Correspondences

Magical Properties: fertility(both male and female), protection (the thorns), prosperity, binding and cleansing, fishing magic, chastity and fairy magic.

Also Known As: May Bush, Whitethorn, Bread and Cheese Tree, Mayflower, Tree of Chastity, Gaxels

Deities: Danu, Frigg, Thor, Brigid, Vulcan, Dagda, Goibaniu, Cardea

Sacred Stones: Topaz and Amethyst

Bright Blessings for a Magickal Week!

Cat

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Sources for this article are:

sources: the crystal forest
controversical.com
dutchie.org
The New Book of Magical Names, Phoenix McFarland
Cunninghams Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham
Flower and Tree Magic, Richard Webster
Tree Totem.com