Happening in Kentucky
Excerpt: ‘Secret Louisville: The Witches’ Tree’
By STAFF |
This is the second in a series of five excerpts from Insider Louisville contributor and author Kevin Gibson’s new book, “Secret Louisville: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure,” to be published by Reedy Press this month.
Did witches of long ago place a curse on this gnarled tree?
This unique-looking maple tree at the corner of Sixth Street and Park Avenue is startling to look at no matter how it came to be so gnarled and grotesque. But the back story is even weirder than the tree itself.
As the story goes, during the late nineteenth century a coven of witches would gather there to perform ceremonies, until a city planning committee decided to cut the tree down for a May Day celebration, angering the witches and prompting them to cast a curse.
Less than a year later—actually, eleven months to the day—the city was hit with a storm so severe that it actually caused locals to fear the witches had called forth a “storm demon” (a phrase which made the local headlines), unleashing damaging storms on the city. During the storm—and this is lore, mind you—lightning struck the stump of the old tree, and a new tree began to grow. A tree that looked like . . . well, just look at that thing.
Whether the legend is true or false, the tree is something to behold, although it’s advisable to be polite and not mess with the offerings. You just never know.
WHAT A cursed tree
WHERE At the corner of Sixth and Park Streets
PRO TIP Might be best not to disturb the tree. Just in case.
Magickal Activity for March 29th, The Festival of Inanna/Ishtar
The Marriage Charm
Bind two small gold rings together with a white ribbon. Hold the bound rings in both hands as you chant the following over them:
With body and spirit
As these rings entwine
Unite our souls
Our essence combine.
Place the rings in your pocket or purse. Carry them with you whenever you are with the one you wish to marry.
Festival of Inanna/Ishtar (New Year in Mespopotamia)
The most significant rite of the new year was the hieros gamos-the holy marriage between the king, who represented the God Dumuzi, and one of the temple priestess, who represented sented the Goddess Inanna. It was ordained that the King of Summer, no matter what his lineage, must become the husband of the life-giving Goddess of love, Inanna of Uruk. The role of the priestess of Inanna was that of the dominant partner who makes love to the king. The ceremony was called the “fixing of destinies” and determined the prosperity of the New Year. The entire ritual took place in a chapel on the summit of the ziqqurat and was considered essential for the fertility of the land.
A Spring Abundance Spell
Now that trees and shrubs are beginning to show signs of growth, it’s the perfect time to perform this ritual. You’ll need a pliable stem about two to three feet long from a tree or shrub such as a willow or forsythia. Being by weaving the steam into a small wreath. As you weave, say:
The winds of winter are a thing of the past
Spring, I welcome you at last.
Growth and abundance are draw to me.
Now I’m blessed with prosperity.
As you weave the stem, visualize growth and abundance being bound to you. When you’re done, hang the wreath on a branch to the tree or shrub from whic it came. Thank the tree or shrub. You’ve created some positive karma, which will increase the flow of abundance coming to you.
James Kambos, Author
Llewellyn’s 2017 Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac
*Notes: perform on a Wednesday and/or during the waxing Moon with the Full Moon being strongest. An orange or violet candle is associated with any magick cast on this day.
Color: Orange, violet, multicolored, pale yellow
Metal: Quicksilver, alloys.
Stones: Carnelian, fire opal, agate
Plants: Anise, caraway , cassia, club mosss, dittany of Crete, lavender, licorice, parsley, sandalwood, storax
Rules: Gemini, Virgo
Oils: Lavender, lemon, lily of valley, nutmeg, sandalwood, styrax, vervain
Rituals Involving: Intellect, memory, science, creativity, business, magickal conjuration, divination, prediction, eloquence, gift of tongues, speed, speech, writing, poetry, inspiration, improvement of mind power, healing of nervous disorders.
Physical Chant for Mercury:
Magick, the Arts, success on my trade,
Business wisdom and divination,
These gifts I would gain for my physical growth
And to help in my conjurations.
Dancing with Dragons, Invoking Their Ageless Wisdom and Power
D. J. Conway, Author
Wednesday Is Ruled By Mercury
Wednesdays are wild and wacky days. They are for communication, change, cunning, and the arts. This is a Mercury day, and just its patron god this day is full of contradictions, change, and excitement. Some suggestions for Wednesday enchantments would include:
Pulling a little Wednesday color magic into your life by wearing purples or orange
Carrying a multipurpose agate with you and tapping into its various charms
Working with magical plants such as the fern for protection. This plant will also boost the power of any other magical plants with which it is arranged.
Incorporating lavender into charms and spells for transformation
Using the charming scent of lily of the valley to improve your memory, or working with the aspen tree for communication
Calling on Athena, patron of arts and crafts, for inspiration for a new project
Fanning out a Tarot spell to increase you creativity
Calling on Hermes on a Wednesday night to bring movement and good luck into your life
Magickal Workings for the Zodiac Sign of Taurus
Notes: Perform during bright noon or the hour of Venus, and during the waxing Moon with the Full Moon being strongest.
Color: Pink and blue
Ruling Planet: Venus
Description: Patient, loyal, emotionally stable, stubbord, practical, dependable, organized, mmaterialistic, possessive, polodding, sweet, calm, determined, security-oriented.
The Witches Almanac for Wednesday, March 29th
Feast of St. Eustace of Luxeuil
Moon phase: First Quarter
Moon Sign: Aries
Moon enters Taurus 11: 48 am