The Witches Almanac for Friday, November 20th

Celtic Woman-2

The Witches Almanac for Friday, November 20th

Friday (Venus): Love, friendship, reconciliation, and beauty.

Revolution Day (Mexican)

 

Waxing Moon

The Waxing Moon (from the New Moon to the Full) is the ideal time for magic to draw things toward you.

Moon phase: Second Quarter

Moon Sign: Pisces

Pisces: The focus is on dreaming, nostalgia, intuition, and psychic impressions. A good time for spiritual or philanthropic activities.

Incense: Alder

Color: Coral

 

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Fearn/Alder, March 18 – April 14


Divination:Resilience, strength, energy

About Fearn /Alder

Tree- Alder
Month- January
Color- Crimson
Letter- F,V
Class- Chieftain
Animals- Red fox, ram, stallion, gull
Planet: Mars
Gemstone: Ruby
Flower: Broom
Diety: Bran or Arthur
(Fearn: FAIR-n) Battle of Philosophy Shielding/Fury Fearn/Fearg/ Contention. Masculine — Moon of Utility; Moon of Efficacy; Moon of Self-Guidance. Fearn, the fourth tree is associated with water and stands for resurrection. The catkin bearing alder resists decay in its watery habitat. The water spirits, the undines, love this tree as well as the unicorn. The buds of the Alder are set in spirals, the symbol of life and re-birth, a balancing tree of Male and Female energy. Alders are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae) and are common along lowland rivers. Like willows, an alder sprouts from a stump & this allows them to regenerate after heavy flooding.

Bran the Blessed is the god associated with the alder. According to legend, he used his body to span dangerous waters and raise his followers above it. Mortally wounded in a battle with the Irish, Bran prophesied the events that would follow soon after his death, then instructed his followers to cut off his head and take it with them. They traveled to Harlech, where the head sang for seven years; then to Gwales, the head remaining uncorrupted and continueing to prophesy. Finally, stopping in London, Caer Llyndain, they buried Bran’s head at the White Mount, or Bryn Gwyn, now the site of the Tower of London. It was said that as long as the head remained concealed it would give protection against plague from across the oceans. Bridges were commonly constructed of alder. The Alder suggests protection and the powers of the oracles. They are used for spiritual guidance, protection and help in decision making, teaching, weather magick, duty, and mental prowness.

Physical: Be aware of singularity in yourself and in others. Be sure to acknowledge whatever you see in others if possible.
Mental: You will avail yourself of something you have previously overlooked. The skills of the Oracle are not easily acknowledgeable because the mind is more often than not, either unable or unwilling to deal with the intuitive part of itself.
Spiritual:You will offer spiritual aid and protection in a dispute or disagreement. Do not fear. Just allow your intuition to be your guide.

The Alder Tree – Celtic Tree Astrology for March 18 – April 14

The Alder Tree

March 18 – April 14

If you are an Alder sign within the Celtic tree astrology system, you are a natural-born pathfinder. You’re a mover and a shaker, and will blaze a trail with fiery passion often gaining loyal followers to your cause. You are charming, gregarious and mingle easily with a broad mix of personalities. In other words, Alder signs get along with everybody and everybody loves to hang around with you. This might be because Alder’s are easily confident and have a strong self-faith. This self-assurances is infectious and other people recognize this quality in you instantly. Alder Celtic tree astrology signs are very focused and dislike waste. Consequently, they can see through superficialities and will not tolerate fluff. Alder people place high value on their time, and feel that wasting time is insufferable. They are motivated by action and results. Alder’s pair well with Hawthorns, Oaks or even Birch signs.

 

Source:
Whats-Your-Sign.com

A Little Humor for Your Day – Top Thirteen Reasons To Be Pagan

Pentagram_by_artgeza_II

Top Thirteen Reasons To Be Pagan

13. I live for persecution!
12. I’m a night person at heart.
11. We respect our elders…and alders, and willows and oaks.
10. I just love explaining that a pentagram is NOT evil.
9. We do more after midnight than most people do all day!
8. Being burned at the stake is a great way to roast marshmallows.
7. We can talk to Elvis (and he IS dead).
6. You live, you learn, you die, you forget. Then you come back…
5. Double the deities, double the fun!
4. We get more holidays.
3. Brooms get great mileage.
2. We were here first!
1. BELTANE!!!

Yew (Aprox. December 21)

YEW LORE

•Tree of the day before the Winter Solstice (Aprox. December 21)
•Latin name: Taxus baccata.
•Celtic name: Idho (pronounced: Ih’ huh).
•Folk or Common names: English Yew.
•Parts Used: Needles, wood, berries.
•Herbal usage: CAUTION – THIS PLANT IS POISONOUS AND SHOULD BE USED WITH CAUTION. The needles and branch tips have been used to treat lung diseases and bladder problems. recently a new cancer drug, Taxol, has been derived from its bark and berries.
•Magical History & Associations: The name “Yew” is a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon word ‘eow’. The word ‘Taxus’ is from the Greek word ‘Taxon’, meaning ‘bow’. The 5000 year old “Ice Man”, discovered in the Alps, had a bow and axe handle made of Yew. The Yew is known as the ‘Tree of Death’ through out Europe and is associated with the season of winter. It is sacred to many Dark Goddesses: Banbha, Amalthea (mother of the horned Dionysus), Morrighan, The Erinyes, Cailleach Beara, Berchta, and Hekate. Shakespeare recognized the relationship of Yew and Heckate and referred to the contents of her cauldron as “slips of yew, silver’d in the moon’s eclipse…” (Macbeth) – and elsewhere Shakespeare makes ‘hebenon, the double-fatal yew’ the poison which Hamlet’s uncle pours into the king’s ear. Heckate’s sacred tree of death is said to root in the mouths of the dead and release their souls, and also absorbs the odors of death itself. Bulls are associated with this tree, as are female goats. The bird associated with Yew is the eaglet, since the eaglet’s appetite is insatiable, and the bones of its nest are white like the snow on its cliff-ledge. The Yews colors are white and silver and it is associated with the element of water. The Yew is associated with the planet Saturn and with the metal lead. In Old England the Yew was known as “The Witches Tree” since it is associated with sorcery and magick.
•Magickal usage: The time of Yew is known as a time of death, and so on the day before Yule it said that is not a good idea to do actual spell work, instead it is suggested to do rituals of the season concerned with reincarnation. Because the Yew grows to such an old age, it has become a symbol of stability in Celtic areas of the world and so is often used as the central “World Tree” in ritual spaces. As one of the three magickal trees (along the Alder and the Black Poplar) associated with death and funerals, the Yew has often been planted in graveyards. Yew sends up new trees from its roots, so is a powerful symbol of death and reincarnation. Yew wood is appropriate for magickal tools such as wands and staves. In ancient times Yew sticks were carved with the Ogham characters as tools of divination. The Futhark features a 13th Rune, which is considered one of the most powerful Runes and represents a stave cut from a yew tree. This Rune is regarded as the stave of life and death. Yew can be dried and burned as an incense to contact spirits of the dead – and even to raise the dead.

Alder (Mar 18 – Apr 14)

ALDER LORE

  • 4th Moon of the Celtic Year – (March 18 – April 14)
  • Latin name: Smooth Alder – alnus serrulata.
  • Celtic name: Fearn (pronounced: fair un).
  • Folk or Common names: Alder, Gummy/Gluey (European), Rugose/wrinkly (Tag), Tree of the Fairies.
  • Parts Used: Parts Used: Branches, wood, bark, leaves.
  • Herbal usage: Alder is in the hazelnut family and was used by Native Americans as a medicinal plant. Tea can be made from bark and is useful in treating  diarrhea, coughs, toothaches and the discomfort of childbirth. A potion made from the bark can also be used externally as an eye wash or for a wash for  poison ivy, swellings and sprains.
  • Magical History & Associations: The birds associated with this month are the raven, the crow and the gull; the colors are crimson, green-brown and  royal purple; the day is Saturday; and the gemstone is fire-garnet. The Alder, a Masculine herb, is associated with the element of fire, and the planet of  Venus. The Alder is sacred to Bran the Blessed and Cronos (Saturn). Alder is also sacred to Faery kings and elf kings – from the word Alder comes elder (not  the tree) as in ‘elder’ kings. The Fey of the Alder have been described as water spirits or as “Dark Faeries”. They are very protective of  the tree and when they leave their trees, this Faerie will take the form of a Raven. In tree Folk-lore, the Alder is known as the tree of fire – In the  battle of the trees, the Alder fought in the very front line. It is described as the very “battle witch” of all woods, the tree that is hottest in  the fight.
  • Magickal usage: The month of Alder is a good time to do magick designed to celebrate the connection and tie between all women, and the mother-daughter  bond. The Alder has applications in magick done for spiritual decisions, duty, prophecy, oracular strength, intelligence, mental prowess, resurrection, air  magic, water magic, strength, spirituality, teaching, weather magick, and protection from outside forces. Alder leaves or twigs can be carried in a pouch to  act as a protection charm and as a powerful force in psychic battles. Ash talismans or charms can also be carried to aid in the preservation of ideas. The  Alder is known as the “fairy’s tree” in Celtic lore, so is good for fairy magic. The faeries are said to like to dance under the trees when  they are flowering. Carrying Alder twigs or flowers acts as a charm for communicating with the fey. Alder is often used in resurrection magic and also used  in building/construction magic. Alder wood is often called the “wood of the witches”. Whistles may be made of out of young shoots to entice Air  elemental spirits. This gives a Witch the ability to summon, control and banish elementals or the four winds. It is also the ideal wood for making the  magical pipes and flutes for use in magickal ceremonies. Alder produces a red dye from the bark, a green dye from the flowers and a brown dye from its twigs.  Some Witches use these dyes in coloring ritual garb with the red dye signifying fire, the green dye: water, and the brown dye: earth. While the Witch is  dying her robes, she should say:”These leaves from trees, these herbs and flowers,         Make holy with your living powers         Raise the power! Bestow the magick!         Set earth’s seal upon my magick!”

    When harvesting bark or leaves from the Alder, remember to ask the tree if it will allow you to take the    parts and be sure to leave the tree an offering of thanks when you are done. To prepare Alder wood for use, beat the bark away with a willow stick while    projecting your wishes into it.

Lunar Energies & Esoterica: Alder

LUNAR ENERGIES & ESOTERICA: ALDERby Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr) & Epona  

Alder is the time of birthing, after the inception in Birch, the quickening in Rowan, and the premature urgings of Ash. Alder is the beginning of a new cycle, just as the Spring Equinox brings forth new life on the earth. Also at the Equinox, the days and nights are of equal length, and an egg can be balanced on its end. Try it!
This balance is an important part of Alder, in more than physical terms. We also have the balance of yin and yang, male and female, fire and water. A symbol of this balance is the Alder King of Celtic legend, a man whose rule is based not on fear, but on sensitivity, understanding, and reverence. He works in harmony with his queen and the natural order of life to make sure he, and his people, are connected to, and in balance with, the earth (for more on the Alder King, see “Bran and the Sacred Kings of the Alder Moon,” pg. 28).
The glyph of this moon is “I am a shining tear of the sun,” from the ‘Song of Amergin,’ in The White Goddess. Take a moment to think on this, before you continue reading.

One meaning of this glyph is the dual nature of Alder: it is a tree of both water and fire. Alder grows in and around water, yet is known for its ability to make charcoal and gunpowder. Alder pilings lift buildings out of the water, and in the same way, Alder acts to lift our spirits out of the waters of the first three moons, and onto the dry land of the spring and summer months ahead. Alder also acts as a bridge between the two halves of the year, connecting and balancing the fire and water aspects, and the male and female sides of ourselves.

You can use the energies of this moon to reconnect with the earth, and bring your inner natures into balance. Now that the storms of Ash have passed, we can quit trying to attack each other, and learn to work together in harmony, especially with the opposite sex. A left-over effect of Ash is that the men are pretty fed up with the women. Be sensitive to each other now, act responsibly, and understand how your actions can affect others. This must be done now, when the balanced energies of nature are all around us, or things will get really out of skelter by Holly moon.

The hardest thing to overcome in this moon is self-doubt and doubts about other, but these are a natural consequence of new beginnings and birthings, when we look toward the year ahead. This is a good time to honestly examine these doubts, so you will know what you have to deal with in the future moons. The Alder can help you through this, and give you joy and hope for the future.

The Hazel Nut

Folklore & Practical Uses: ALDER

FOLKLORE & PRACTICAL USES: ALDER

by Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)

Alnus glutinosa L. – European Alder, Black Alder. Native of Europe, Asia, North Africa; naturalized in southeastern Canada and northeastern North America.
A. rubra – Oregon Alder, Red Alder. Evergreen and redwood forests from Northern California to Alaska.
A. serrulata – Hazel Alder, Common Alder. From Nova Scotia south to north Florida, west to east Texas and north to Kansas.
A. rugosa– Speckled Alder, Tag Alder. Across Canada and Great Lakes region.

Description & Uses

Alders are small, shrubby trees found in swamps or on the banks of ponds and slow-moving streams, where they help prevent soil erosion with their closely interlaced roots. The alder is easily recognized, even in winter, by its catkins, which look like a tiny fir-cone, and by its broad oval, ridged leaves. It flowers in the spring before the leaves appear, and has ripe berries in the fall.
The wood of the European alder, which grows to 30-40′,1 is very durable and lasting in water — most of Venice is built on piles of alder, and has lasted for centuries.2 The wood is known in the Highlands as Scottish mahogany, and is used for making chairs, as well as water pipes, pumps, troughs, and sluices.3 It was also used heavily in boat construction.4
The Hazel alder is too small to be of commercial value as timber, but the Oregon alder grows to a good size — up to 120 ft in the Puget Sound region5 — and is one of the principal hardwoods of that area. The American Indians made canoes and dugouts from the trunk of the tree, and also made cooking vessels, troughs, and food containers from the wood.6 Its only fault is that it decays so quickly in contact with the weather and the soil.7
The alder doesn’t make good firewood (again, the Oregon alder is an exception8), but it does make better charcoal than any other wood. Even after its other uses as a timber had declined, alder charcoal was still considered the best type for making gunpowder.9
All parts of the alder are an excellent source of natural dyes. The bark makes a reddish color, called Aldine Red, when used alone, or as a foundation for other materials, yields a black dye. The bark and young shoots together give a yellow dye, and with a little copper added to make a yellowish-grey, is used in some of the flesh colors in embroidering tapestries. The fresh shoots dye cinnamon; when dried and powdered they give a tawny shade. The fresh wood makes a pinkish-fawn dye; the catkins make a green dye.10
The bark and young shoots contain tannic acid, but also have so much natural dye matter that they aren’t very useful for tanning. The leaves have been used for this, however. The leaves are also clammy and slightly sticky, hence the specific name of the alder, glutinosa, and will catch flies on their surface when spread in a room.11

Medicinal

The American and European alders have similar medicinal properties; the parts used are the bark and leaves of the European alder, and the bark and cones of the American alders. The medicinal parts are tonic and astringent, according to Grieve,12 and astringent, bitter (acts on the mucous membranes of the mouth and stomach to increase appetite and promote digestion), emetic (causes vomiting), and hemostatic (stops bleeding), according to Lust.13 On any species, the fresh inner bark and root bark are emetic; dry and age these before use, or let the decoction stand and settle for 2-3 days, until its yellow color has turned black. Hutchens says this will strengthen the stomach and increase the appetite.14
Use a decoction of the bark externally to bathe swellings and inflammations, and as a gargle for an inflamed or sore throat and laryngitis. The decoction is good as an external application in gangrene, ulcers and other skin problems. Boiling the bark in vinegar produces a liquid with several uses: it’s an approved (according to Hutchens) remedy to kill head lice, relieve the itch and dry up the scabs. This vinegar is also good for other skin problems and scabs, and to tighten the gums (as a mouthwash), clean the teeth and soothe a toothache.15
The cones, being astringent, are useful in heavy bleeding, both internally and externally. They are also used as a stomach tonic in diarrhea and indigestion, and are good for fevers. Grieve says peasants in the Alps were frequently cured of rheumatism by being covered with bags full of the heated leaves.16 The berries, combined with apple cider, make a good worm medicine for children. The treatment is supposed to be most effective when given on the full moon, and must be repeated in four weeks to clear out the remaining larvae.17

Folklore

The Irish consider the alder to be an unlucky tree. They feel its a bad thing to pass by one on a journey, and they also don’t like to fell an alder, as the timber cuts white and then turns a startling, brilliant reddish-orange, rather like blood.18
Other superstition or emotion attached to the alder seems to be almost nonexistent; “perhaps because it was a tree of swamp and marsh and impenetrable valley floors, which needed the exorcism of natural history. Yet once enjoyed, an alder swamp along a Cornish stream, for example, remains perennially and primevally enchanting — the trees alive and dead, moss-bearded and lichen-bearded, the soil and the water like coal slack and blacksmith’s water, in between the tussocks of sedge.”19Notes:

1 Brimble, L.J.F. Trees in Britain. 1946. MacMillan and Co. Ltd., London, pg. 239.
2 Green, Charlotte Hilton. Trees of the South. 1939. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, pg. 112.
3 Grieve, Mrs. M. A Modern Herbal (2 volumes). 1931. Dover Publications, Inc., New York, NY, pg. 17.
4 Green, pg. 112.
5 Peattie, Donald Culross. A Natural History of Western Trees. 1950. Bonanza Books, New York, NY, pg. 399.
6 Green, pg. 112.
7 Peattie, pg. 400.
8 Ibid, pg. 400.
9 Brimble, pg. 241.
10 Grieve, pg. 17.
11 Ibid, pg. 17-18.
12 Ibid, pg. 18.
13 Lust, John. The Herb Book. 1973. Bantam Books, New York, NY, pg. 122.
14 Hutchens, Alma R. Indian Herbology of North America. 1973. Merco, Ontario, Canada. Published in London, England, pg. 4.
15 Ibid, pg. 4.
16 Grieve, pg. 18.
17 Hutchens, pg. 4.
18 Grigson, Geoffrey. The Englishman’s Flora. 1955. Phoenix House LTD, London, England, pg. 246.
19 Ibid, pg. 246.

 

THE HAZEL NUT

A Journal of Celtic Spirituality and Sacred Trees

Celtic Astrology – March 18 – April 14 is the Month of the Alder, The Trailblazer

Celtic Meaning of the Alder Tree

The Celtic meaning of the Alder deals with giving and nurturing among the sacred Ogham for many reasons.

Namely, its root system provides rich nutrients to the soil, more so than other trees. The alder can successfully restore poor soil conditions back to healthy Ph levels.

Primarily a wetlands and swamp tree, the alder’s root system is often submerged in watery areas. As such, the Celts observed their roots serving as intricate shelter systems to fish, specifically trout and salmon. Further, the alder’s leaves easily decompose in the water providing rich nutrients to all manner of water creatures.

These acts of generosity and shelter against harsh conditions can be translated in our own lives. By simply standing firm in our own positive environment, we can affect those around us in positive ways. By emitting our signals of tranquility, and peace, we are enhancing the lives of others just be sheer association.

Although it is primarily associated with the element of water, the alder gracefully crosses into the realm of air and fire as well. For example, ancient legend indicates the wood of the young alder is traditionally used for crafting whistles, pan flutes and recorders. This establishes the alder’s claim to the air element.

Within the realm of fire, the alder’s coloring transmutes into a fiery orange after it is cut, indicating to the Celts that the alder secretly harbors sacred flame within its flesh. To prove the point, the alder (although a poor firewood) makes a pristine grade of charcoal, and was perfect for steadily hot conditions utilized to forge fine Celtic weaponry.

In this respect the alder reminds us that we have hidden powers within us that if tapped, provide magnificent resources that allow us to live out our highest ideals.

Whats-Your-Sign.com

The Properties of Trees

 

The Properties of Trees

 

 

 

Below is an extensive list of the properties of different trees:

 

Alder: Prosperity, security, stability, house moves

 

Almond: Abundance, prosperity, fertility and love without limits

 

Apple: Fertility, health, love and long life

 

Ash: Expansion of horizons; travel, especially by sea; courage, healing, strength, prosperity

 

Aspen: Clear communication, good news from afar, eloquence, protection against theft, healing

 

Avocado: Increasing the desire of someone for you, growth of beauty in self or environment

 

Bamboo: Protection especially of household boundaries and against the negative thoughts of others; good luck, especially in money matters

 

Banana: Fertility, male potency, prosperity

 

Banyan: Good luck and optimism

 

Bay: Fidelity, marriage, preservation of family home, pleasant dreams, abundance

 

Beech: Knowledge, formal learning, positive change

 

Birch: Cleansing, health, new beginnings, protection of young children and animals

 

Boxwood: Discovering hidden treasure, new sources of income, developing forgotten talents, unexpected good fortune

 

Cedar: Good luck, fidelity in love, mature relationships

 

Cherry: New love, increasing divinatory abilities, fertility

 

Chestnut: Abundance, expansion of opportunity, employment

 

Chestnut, Horse: Money, healing, courage

 

Coconut: Fertility, motherhood, the flow of new life and energies; give protection against all negativity, especially psychic attack

 

Cypress: Long life, healing and comfort in sorrow

 

Dogwood: Clear focus and determination, tests and examinations

 

Elder: Increases clairvoyance; overcomes negative feelings; healing; good for older women

 

Elm: Tree of quiet sleep, of family love and giving and receiving in equal measure

 

Eucalyptus: Cleansing, healing, clarity of thought, overcoming obstacles and misunderstandings

 

Fig: Wisdom, creativity, fertility, harmony and balance

 

Fir: Birth and rebirth, new beginnings, cleansing, unexpected gifts and money

 

Hawthorn: Courage, marking boundaries, purification, protection male potency, cleansing and protection

 

Hazel: Wisdom, justice, good luck, fertility, knowledge and inspiration, psychic powers

 

Holly: Protection, especially of the home against all negativity and harm; overcoming impossible odds, persistence; also a tree for money and material gains

 

Ivy: Fidelity, married love, committed relationship, restoring lost love

 

Juniper: Protection against all negative forces, purification, prosperity, new beginnings, justice

 

Larch: Protection, especially against thieves; optimism

 

Laurel: Protection from illness; success and realization of ambition; winning through in spite of difficulty

 

Lime/linden: Justice, co-operation with other, partnerships of all kind, dealing with officialdom

 

Mango: Health, permanence, lasting happiness

 

Maple: Long life, health of children, fertility, riches of all kinds, pleasure

 

Myrtle: Stable relationships, married love, fertility, matters concerning young people; also preserving youthfulness; peace, money

 

Norfolk Island Pine: Assurance that you and your family will never go without the necessities of life

 

Oak: Knowledge, power, independence, confidence, success, courage, prosperity and potency

 

Olive: Peace, mending of quarrels; forgiveness, especially of our own mistakes; abundance, healing and fertility

 

Orange: Love abundance, fertility, marriage, passion, luck and money

 

Palm: Fertility, potency, energy, starting again, rejuvenation

 

Pear: New life, health, girls’ and women’s needs, fertility

 

Peach: Marriage, pregnancy and birth, abundance, happiness, fertility, wishes and long life

 

Pine: Ending destructive relationships or habits; cleansing negativity; friendship in adversity, knowledge, protection from all harm, money

 

Redwood: Ambitions, limitless potential, success, spiritual growth, focus, courage, strength, concentration and increased mental acuity

 

Rowan/mountain ash; Protection of the home, intuition, increasing psychic powers, healing

 

Silver Banksias; Protection of all kinds, allowing one to let go of sorrow, grief and destructive habits or relationships

 

Sycamore: Protection and the granting of wishes; increasing influence over others and situations

 

Tamarind: Love, especially new love and the rebuilding of trust

 

Vine: Rebirth and renewal, joy, ecstasy, passion, good luck in games of chance

 

Walnut: Prophetic powers, prosperity, health, increase of mental powers, fertility, granting of wishes

 

Willow: Intuition, moon magick, healing, prophetic dreams, making wishes comes true, increasing psychic energies, understanding the emotions of others

 

White Mangrove: Nurturing self and others, being sensitive, intuitive, caring, balanced and in touch with life force

 

Yew: Endings, of new and good things coming out of the old, of permanence, aims that are slow to come to fruition, enduring strength, what is of worth, union between two people after difficulty