Celtic Tree Month of Willow (Saille (Sail)  April 15- May 12.

Celtic Tree Month of Willow (Saille (Sail)  April 15- May 12.

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“The willow tree plays the water like a harp.”  
Ramon Gomez de la Serna  (Spanish Writer, 1888-1963)


The Tree:

The willow tree is associated with the element of water and they grow best in or near damp or wet areas. They love growing on or near riverbanks and actually help to stop soil erosion. They are impressive trees that can grow up to 80 feet in height. There are many varieties of willows throughout Europe and North America, including globe, white and weeping and they make excellent shade trees. All willows produce long fuzzy catkins in the spring before the leaves appear. They have thick, ridged bark and long thin leaves. As anyone with willow trees can attest to they are messy trees and are what is called “self pruning” as they tend to drop copious amounts of branches when it’s windy. Willow can also be a shrub which can be found growing along creeks and in marshy areas.


Healing:

In healing willow is used as an all around pain reliever and is the main ingredient in aspirin. It is also used to treat fever, chills, bursitis, menstrual cramps, chronic dysentery, worms and edema just to name a few. It is an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and an antiseptic. It has also recently been shown to delay the formation of cataracts and lower the risk of male heart disease. It can also be used as a wash to treat poison-ivy, corns and cuts.  For more information on the healing properties of willow visit: https://www.homeremediesweb.com/willow-bark-health-benefits.php


In Myth & Magic

Willow is a symbols of new journeys, and  of contact with the otherworld. The Celts have a creation myth that involves this tree. It is said that in the beginning there were two scarlet colored sea serpent eggs that held the sun and the earth. These eggs were hidden among the branches of a great willow tree to keep them safe. When the eggs hatched, they brought forth all life.

Willow is also the embodiment of female and lunar energy. She is the ebb and flow of  water and governs the cycles of  both woman and earth. The month of willow brings the wonder and enchantment of spring, moon related magic, strengthening of intuition and new wisdom. Her connection to the moon can bring visions and the understanding of dreams. To dream of a willow tree is said to mean that a rival will take your lover.

In Northern European folklore willow was associated with death and the words “wicked and witch” are said to be derived from it’s name, however if you place the branches in your home those within will be protected from evil. Other associated folklore includes knocking on this tree to avert evil and yes this where the saying “Knock on wood” originated. If you carry a piece of willow on your person it will instill bravery and remove the fear of death. If there is a willow growing near your home it will protect you, and if you need to get something off your chest, tell it to a willow tree and your secret will be held fast. Talismans of willow twigs and leaves can be made for love, friendship and loyalty.

As a magical name Willow is one of emotion. It is also a flowing and loving name for a serious moon worshiper!

Willow People

People born in the month of willow tend to be empathic and intuitive and are said to be able to access ancient memories easier than most other people. They have a deep love for beautiful things and can be honest to a fault. Willows also accept change easily and are quick to grab opportunities that come their way. On the down side willow people are subject to mood swings and can have trouble reasoning things out. They can be hard to get to know and demanding which makes them hard to live with at times.

Correspondences:

Folk Names: Pussy Willow, Saille, Saugh Tree, Tree of Enchantment, Withe, Withy

Magic: love, fertility, protection, intuition, healing, contact with fairies and elementals, moon magic.

Deities: Artemis, Hecate, Aradia, Sarasvati, Ishtar, Dana, Diana, Ceridwen, the Morrigan, Belil, Poseidon, Arawen, Brigid, Mercury

Sacred Stones: Moonstone, Opal, Pearl, Mother of Pearl

written by Cat from the following sources:
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
The New Book of Magical Names by Phoenix McFarland
Whispers from the Woods by Sandra Kynes
crystal-forest.com
dutchie.org

Photo from freeimages.com

Cat’s Bit’s & Pieces: Celtic Tree Month of Ash – February 18 – March 17

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 Celtic Tree Month of Ash – February 18 – March 17

“The Ash Tree is thought to contain the key to Universal knowledge and understanding within it’s winged seeds.” (author unknown to me)
Tree Information:

The mighty ash tree can grow up to 130 feet in height, it can be found in Europe and North America and is a member of the Olive family. This tree will stop growing when it reaches approximately 60 years old. It’s believed that by that time the tree has obtained its full growth potential. Ash trees are easily recognized by their black buds, small springtime flower clusters and the inch long winged seeds that stay on the tree until autumn when they fly off like tiny helicopters. The leaves of this tree grow in multiple oval leaflets and provide some nice orange to purple fall color.

Ash is a hardwood tree and it’s wood is strong, flexible and shock resistant. It for these reasons that it is used for making oars for boats, ax handles, sports equipment and wagon wheels. Ash was also a favorite of the ancient Celts who used it for spear shafts.

Ash spears were considered a powerful magical tool of Celtic Shamans, even more so than the wand. It was a symbol of the Shamans strength of will and personal power.
The ancient Egyptians also used ash wood for bows and arrows, and had great quantities of it imported. Wiccans and Pagans traditionally use it for making Besom handles.
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Ash Lore:

The Celts associated the ash tree with sea and the underwater kingdom of Tethys. It is also associated with the underworld and sacrificial deities, representing leading the soul into the afterlife. Celtic myth calls Ash the tree of enchantment and it is said the the Welsh Magus Gwydion made his wands from its wood. Druid wands were made of ash as are the pipestems of the sacred Lakota pipes.

This tree also appears in Norse myth as the world tree Yggdrasil, World Tree or Cosmic Ash. This tree spans the the universe. Roots deep into the earth and the heavens supported by its mighty branches. The ash tree was seen as spanning the world and the world within each person. The ancient Druid phrase ” Know yourself and you will know the world” pretty well sums it up. It also shows us how we are linked with the world around us.

In Magic

In magic the ash tree (wood, leaves, seeds) can be used in the following spells (charms etc.), creative endeavors, protection, attracting things, love, healing, fertility and transitions.

Charms of ash wood were used for protection against storms and drowning. It was also used as a love charm. You were to place an ash leaf in your left shoe and then you would be sure sure to meet your future spouse. Double leaves were lucky as were leaves with equal sections on both sides of the center leaf vein. However you would be unlucky in love if the ash tree on your land didn’t grow seeds every year.

As a magical name Ash is perfect for a true warrior and leader, one who is comfortable with themselves and their abilities. It is generally thought of as a mans name but could also be used for a strong woman.

Born in the Month of Ash 

People born in the month of Ash tend to be ambitious but with an egotistical side. They also tend to overachievers and need to be the best in everything they do. They do not care for criticism earned or not which makes them highly sensitive. On the upside they are reliable, intelligent with artistic talent, and make faithful lovers. Ash people also seem to have a dual personality which makes it hard for others to understand their true nature and motives behind their actions.

Correspondences for Ash:

Names: Venus of the Woods, Tree of Water, Hoop Ash, Rowan
Deities: Eostre, Frigg, Frey, Dagda, Odin, Hel, Llyr, Poseidon
Sacred Stones: Quartz Crystal, Coral
Animals: Butterfly, Snipe, Crane, White Hound, Snake.
Element: All
Spells: Strength, Protection, Prosperity, Healing
Color: Green, pale blue

compiled 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
Tree Totem.com

Photo by Karolina Michalak/freeimages.com

 

Bright Blessings for a Magickal Week!

Cat

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” cats. 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 L.Bolotin/Cat 2007-2018

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Please feel free to check out my websites!

Cat’s Treasure Trove: An Eclectic Collection of Jewelry and Gifts!  See Our Products!

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/

 

Doe, A Deer, A Female Reindeer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas

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Reblogged from gather:

Long before Santa charioted his flying steeds across our mythical skies, it was the female reindeer who drew the sleigh of the sun goddess at winter solstice. It was when we “Christianized” the pagan traditions of winter, that the white bearded man i.e.Oh wondrous headed doe… Amongst its horns it carries the light of the blessed sun…” Hungarian Christmas Folk Song

Read more… 1,857 more words

 

This is a beautiful article by Danielle Prohom Olson. As we approach Winter Solstice may this share awaken ancient memories and the true spirit of the season for you. Thank you also to Tania Maries Blog for sharing this!

 

 

 

 

December’s Full “Cold Moon” on 12-3

Dec Moon
December’s Full “Cold” Moon

 

Sunday December 3, 2017 10:47 am EST / 8:47 am MST / 7:47 am PST


The moon will be sitting in Gemini, influenced by Neptune and shaking hands with Mercury in Retrograde (until Dec. 22nd). This means that mischief is afoot and deception is the keyword. Be careful of taking things at face value as they may not be what they seem. Keep your energy close and be careful of whom you share it with. Oh, and did I mention that this is a Super Moon?

 

The final full moon of 2017 seems to have fewer names than other months. However our ancestors called this moon the Cold Moon, The Bitter Moon, Long Nights Moon,  and the Big Winter Moon. It is during this month that the nights are at their longest and winter blankets the land in it’s cold grip. This is probably where the name Long Nights Moon originated. Our Old English/Anglo-Saxon ancestors called it the Moon Before Yule. Both names are appropriate for this season. The time of midwinter is indeed long and the moon sits just above the horizon for what seems like forever.

 

The Cold Moon honors deities like Minerva, Osiris, Athena, Persephone and Hades. It is the perfect time to finish tying up loose ends and working through any remaining darkness from the past year. Take time to acknowledge the hardships and struggles that you have gone through and embrace the cycles of life, death and rebirth. It is through the experience of the dark times that we learn  sun and warmth will alway cycle around and we will survive and continue, changed in ways that aid our personal cycle of growth. The work we do during this full moon will help us to welcome the rebirth of the Sun with open hearts. To celebrate this full moon try wearing the triple goddess colors of white, red and black and adorning yourself with rubies, moonstone, serpentine or obsidian.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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.

December Moon graphic and photo (C) L Bolotin

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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 November 11-18 A Trip Down The Salt Road

 

CBP November

Cat’s Bits for November 11-18  A Trip Down The Salt Road

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November Events:

Nov. 11 Veteran’s Day

Nov. 18 New Moon at 6:42 am EST

Nov. 21 Sun enters Sagittarius at 10:05 pm EST

Nov. 23 Thanksgiving Day USA

Nov. 25 Celtic Tree Month of Elder begins

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A Trip Down The Salt Road

Most people tend to view salt as a common household item. It can be found lurking in cupboards everywhere. But in ages past salt was viewed quite differently. For thousands of years was an important  but difficult to obtain commodity. It contributed to civilization as we know it. By using salt our ancestors were able to preserve seasonal foods and made it possible to ship food over great distances. By the Bronze Age specially constructed roads called “salt roads had been established which helped make salt more accessible. One of these roads can still be seen in Germany and runs from Luneburg to the German Baltic coast.

This mineral that we take for granted now was a highly valued trade item and was used as a form of currency. Salt could be used to obtain other goods including slaves. The phrase “not worth his salt” is said to have come from ancient Greece, where one could trade salt for slaves. During the Middle Ages only the very rich could afford to have salt at their table. It was during this period that “master salt cellars” became the in thing. The master salt cellar would be prominently placed at the head of the table as  a symbol of status. People knew how they were ranked by their position to the master salt cellar. If you were important you sat “above the salt” and if you were not you “sat below the salt.” Because of it’s value the sharing of salt was a symbol of trust and friendship. Woe to he , or she, who spilled salt as it was seen as a grievous insult as can be seen by this German proverb, “whoever spills salt arouses enmity”.

One thing that has remained constant through the centuries is the use of salt in religious practices. It can be found on altars as a symbol of purity. References to salt appear 30 times within the Bible in both Old and New Testament. it is used in the Jewish faith as a remembrance of sacrifice and in the Catholic church it is used in a variety of purification rituals and for exorcisms. For Pagans and Wiccans  it is an altar staple that represents the element of earth or sometimes water depending on your tradition. It is also used for purification, cleansing and protection spells. According  to Buddhist tradition, salt repels evil spirits and in the Shinto religion salt is used for purification. This can be seen during sumo matches when a handful of salt is thrown into the ring to drive away evil spirits. In the American Southwest there is a Hopi legend about the Warrior Twins punishing man by making it hard work to extract the salt they needed. The Zuni people honor Salt Woman ( Ma’l Oyattsik’i) who lives in the Zuni Salt Lake. This is  a sacred site for many of the southwest tribes who collect the salt during summer when the water evaporates for ceremonies.

Finally, salt has it’s place in superstition as well. In European lore spilling salt is an evil omen. One theory for this is that during the last supper Judas Iscariot spilled the salt. In fact you can see this in da Vinci’s painting “The Last Supper”. ( I had to look at it myself) If you actually spill salt you can avert bad luck by tossing a pinch over your left shoulder. This remedy is of Christian origin and has to do with the Devil. By throwing a pinch of salt over your left shoulder you are throwing it in the Devil’s eye. It’s supposed to blind him and fend off the bad luck he has in store for you. There are other superstitions about salt and if you are interested you can read about them here: http://superstitiondictionary.com/superstitions-about-salt/

I hope that you have enjoyed our little journey down the “salt road”

 

Bright Blessings for a Magickal Week!

Cat

 

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