Sacred Celtic Trees: Willow

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[Image Description: A willow tree next to a lake- various trees in the background.]

Name: Willow
Sciencey Name: Salfix Alba
Month: April 15th-May 12th
Ogham: Saille
Planet: Moon
Element: Water
Symbolism: Resonance, Harmony
Stone: Moonstone
Birds: Hawk, Snowy Owl
Color: Silver
Deities: Persephone, Hecate, Cerridwen, Artemis, Selene, Luna, Diana, Brigit
Folk Names: Osier, Pussywillow, Salicyn WIllow, Saugh Tree, White Willow, Witches Aspirin, Withe, Withy
-Willow bark is used to make aspirin
-Infusions of the bark can treat cholls, rheumatism
-Willow sap applied to skin can remedy acne
-Decoction of bark and leaves can be rubbed into scalp for dandruff
-Lunar magic of any kind
-creativity, fertility, female rites of passage, inspiration, emotion, binding
-love, protection, healing
Lessons: Bend with the Willow’s path- your purpose is stronger than your intent. Follow the path set before you- even when it is confusing at times. Be an example to others. Bend around obstacles as they come. Do not be afraid to express yourself. Let out sadness, anger, grieving. It is okay to cry- as long as your teals result in healing, and as long as you make an effort to understand those deep-rooted feelings. Emotional expression can lead to healing, so practice it when it is time.
Faeries: Beware the willow fairy- while not ill-intentioned, she can be grumpy and tricky at times. Elves of the willow are associated with herbalism!
History: One of the Chief Irish trees! Once a gathering place for priests, priestesses, and druids. The druids believed that the universe was hatched from two eggs nested in the Willow tree.
Wood Properties:
-Willow wands for vivid dreams, drawing down the moon, underworld journeys
-Excellent binding for brooms
-Feminine energy.
-Can add vital energy to the sick and elderly
-Burning willow can guide the souls of the recently deceased.
-Willow in itself is magickal, will attune anything to magick
-love, emotion, healing, divination

Sources: Here, here, here, here, here, here,  and here.

Magickal Uses for Jasmine

Planetary Association:  Moon
Element:  Water
Gender:  Feminine
Deity Association:  Diana, Vishnu

History and Folklore:  
Jasmine flowers exude an exotic, sensuous scent that has long been one of the most sought after fragrances among perfumers around the world. Thus, most flowers are collected for essential oil production, but in Asia the fresh and dried flowers are also commonly available and play a great role as religious offerings. in India, the flowers of J. sambac are regarded as sacred, symbolizing innocence and purity of mind. Jasmine flower garlands adorn the temples and holy effigies or are offered to the Gods. At religious festivals the Gods themselves are thought to be present within the flowers. Jasmine flowers are never amiss at wedding ceremonies and women like to entwine a string of flowers with their hair, thus engulfing themselves with this beautiful, most sensual of natural perfumes. The fragrant Jasmine tea is particularly popular in China.

Magickal Uses:  Uses include snakebite and divination; good for charging quartz crystals. Use in sachets and spells to draw spiritual love and attract a soul mate. Carry or burn the flowers to draw wealth and money.  Helps to promote new, innovative ideas.  Symbolic of the moon and of the mysteries of the night. Jasmine essential oil is useful for sexuality, DON’T use synthetics!  They will attract a spiritual (as opposed to a physical)love.

A drop of the essential oil in almond oil, massaged into the skin, is said to overcome frigidity. The flowers will also draw wealth and money if carried, burned or worn. Jasmine will also cause prophetic dreams if burned in the bedroom, and the flowers are smelled to induce sleep. To dream of jasmine is an omen of good fortune, good news for lovers, and the prophecy of an early marriage.
Known for its ability to promote mental creativity, Jasmine helps promote new ideas.

It is also used at Eostra celebrations.

It may be included in a ritual drink, used as incense or the flowers may be worn by the high priestess.

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Quartz Crystal

Folk names: Crystal, Witch’s Mirror, star stone, iris (from the prismatic effect of crystal quartz), Zaztun (Mayan)

Energies: Projective, receptive

Planets: Sun, Moon

Elements: Fire, water

Deity: The Great Mother

Associated Metals: Silver, copper, gold

Associated herbs: Copal, mugwort, chicory, sage, sweetgrass

Powers: Protection, healing, psychism, power, lactation

Magical/Ritual lore: Long thought by ancients to be solidified water or ice, quartz crystal has been used in religious and shamanistic systems for thousands of years. Because of its connection with water it has been utilized to magically create rain in many parts of the Pacific, including Australia and New Guinea.

Traditionally, quartz was utilized in the Eleusinian mysteries to produce the sacred fire by concentrating the heat of the Sun to ignite wood chips. I say “traditionally” because we don’t know much about these ancient, secret rituals. 

Quartz was in common use among North American Indians in rite and spell, and ceremonial wands topped with quartz crystal has been found in southern California. Cherokee shamans, acknowledging the crystal’s power, kept it wrapped in buckskin when not in use. At regular intervals it would be “fed” deer’s blood. It is a common component of shaman’s power bags or medicine bundles. 

Contemporary Wiccans wear quartz, often combined with silver, during Full Moon rituals. Because it is also Goddess-symbolic, quartz crystal spheres are often placed on the altar during lunar rituals. It’s icy cold temperature represents the sea. 

Two quartz crystals can also be placed on Wiccan altars to represent God and Goddess, the two primal, creative powers of the universe. Some place a natural crystal to represent the God and a sphere for the Goddess. 

In shamanistic terms, the quartz crystal is the shaman, and the shaman is the crystal. There is no difference between the two. As such, it is the perfect tool of the shaman and it is utilized in rituals throughout the world. 

Mystically, quartz crystal is symbolic of the spirit and intellect of human beings.

Quartz crystals are currently enormously popular. Their use in healing, altering consciousness, and magic have linked them to the spirit of the New Age. Long neglected by most of the world, save for their industrial applications, quartz crystal are today a huge commercial business.

There are a few herbs specifically used to cleanse quartz crystal. Sage and sweetgrass, two North American healing and purifcatory herbs, are both associated with quartz crystal and, in shamanism, are herbal counterparts to the stone. Make an infusion (tea) of either or both of these herbs by adding two tbs to nearly boiling water. Let them sit for at least a day in the infusion, the dry and hold in your receptive hand. if the stone feels “cleared”, it is ready for magic. If not, return to the infusion until it has done its work.

Clear or white quartz crystal is perhaps best known to the general public for stimulating psychism. Though most crystal spheres sold today are plastic or glass, true quartz crystal spheres are also available at fantastically expensive prices. Though well worth the cost to those who can afford them, crystals need not be worked by human hands to be magically effective, nor must they be pure, or free of inclusions.

In fact, many crystal scryers ir gazers utilize the inclusions, veils, and tiny prisms within crystals to enhance themselves. And simply gazing into any crystal point can produce psychism.

In the Renaissance, most scrying stones, or crystal balls, were fashioned of beryl, not clear crystal quartz. Crystal, however, was used in magical operations. It was sometimes half covered with pure gold and set on a base of ivory or ebony wood. This was used as an instrument of contemplation to awaken the psychic mind.

In nineteenth century European magic, the crystal sphere was placed beneath the pillow to create a rapport with the scryer, enhancing its effectiveness.

A crystal sphere can be exposed to the light of the Full Moon to strengthen its powers. Before scrying, a tea of mugwort or chicory is sometimes drunk, and fresh mugwort rubbed onto the crystal.

For protective purposes this stone is worn, carried or placed in the home. In the fourteenth century, the quartz crystal was engraved with the image of a man in armor holding a bow and arrow. The stone guarded its wearer and the place where it was situated.

Quartz crystal is used as a powerful amplifier during magic. It is worn or placed on the altar for this purpose. Wands of crystal are also quite popular at this time.

Thirteen crystals (representing representing the lunar year) or twenty one crystals (thirteen Full Moons plus the eight ritual occasions of Wicca) can be used to physically construct the magic circle, in which Wiccan rituals and magical rites are held. Situate the crystals with the points facing inward for religious ritual, meditation, or general magic, and with the points outward for defensive or protective magic. Quartz pebbles or tumbles polished stones may also be used.

A “crystal garden” can be easily fashioned if you have several crystals. Fill a large wooden or white earthenware bowl with white sand. Then set the crystals in the sand with their points upward. There are no particular directions as how to place the crystals, so use your imagination.

You may wish to trace a pentagram (five-pointed star) on the sand using a crystal then place one at each point and one in the center. This confers magical protection.

Workers utilizing the power of the elements may use five stones, four aligned with the directions (which relate to the elements) with the fifth in the center, representing Akasha, or the fifth element. This will empower your elemental magic.

Crystals may be set in a spiral formation for use as a focal point during meditation. The spiral is symbolic of spiritual evolution and reincarnation.

The crystal garden is a place of power, an altar of stone magic, a meditative device, and a protective ward for the home.

In magic performed in salt, earth or damp sand at the beach, runes or magic images can be traced with the tip of a quartz crystal. While drawing, send energy through the crystal to the image.

(Source: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem, and Metal Magic)

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Ruling Planet: Mars
Element: Cardinal Fire
Symbol: The Ram
Polarity: Positive (Masculine)
Physical Correspondence: The Head and Brain
Stones: Amethyst, Ruby, Diamond
Flowers: Hollyhock, Carnation, Poppy, Thistle, Geranium
Colors: White, Red


Ruling Planet: Venus
Element: Fixed Earth
Symbol: The Bull
Polarity: Negative (Feminine)
Physical Correspondence: The Neck, Ears, and Throat
Stones: Alabaster, Topaz, Rose Quartz, Emerald
Flowers: Lily, Lilac, Daisy, Mallow, Poppy, Violet
Colors: Pale Blue, Lilac, Pink


Ruling Planet: Mercury
Element: Mutable Air
Symbol: Twins
Polarity: Positive (Masculine)
Physical Correspondence: The Lungs, Shoulders, Arms, and Hands
Stones: Beryl, Garnet, Citrine, Amber, Agate
Flowers: Verbena, Balm, Tansy, Yarrow, Orchid, Myrtle
Colors: Red, Yellow, Orange


Ruling Planet: The Moon
Element: Cardinal Water
Symbol: A Crab
Polarity: Negative (Feminine)
Physical Correspondence: The Stomach and Breasts
Stones: Pearl, Moonstone, Peridot
Flowers: Lily, Lily of the Valley, Water Lily, White Rose
Colors: Cream, White, Silver-Blue, Smoky Gray


Ruling Planet: The Sun
Element: Fixed Fire
Symbol: A Lion
Polarity: Positive (Masculine)
Physical Correspondence: The Spine, Back, and Heart
Stones: Ruby, Yellow Topaz, Tiger’s Eye, Amber, Cat’s Eye
Flowers: Sunflower, Chamomile, Marigold, Celandine
Colors: Golden Yellow, Orange


Ruling Planet: Mercury
Element: Mutable Earth
Symbol: A Virginal Woman
Polarity: Negative (Feminine)
Physical Correspondence: The Intestines, Abdomen, and Spleen
Stones: Sapphire, Amethyst, Carnelian, Peridot
Flowers: Jasmine, Wintergreen, Sage, Narcissus, Cornflower
Colors: Indigo, Navy Blue


Ruling Planet: Venus
Element: Cardinal Air
Symbol: The Scales
Polarity: Positive (Masculine)
Physical Correspondence: The Kidneys
Stones: Quartz, Opal, Jade, Emerald, Sapphire
Flowers: Rose, Pansy, Foxglove, Daisy, Hydrangea
Colors: Pink, Blue, Lavender


Ruling Planet: Pluto
Element: Fixed Water
Symbol: A Scorpion
Polarity: Negative (Feminine)
Physical Correspondence: The Genitals and Bladder
Stones: Topaz, Agate, Ruby, Garnet, Carnelian, Amber
Flowers: Heather, Thistle, Geranium, Chrysanthemum
Colors: Russet, Red, Maroon


Ruling Planet: Jupiter
Element: Mutable Fire
Symbol: The Centaur/Archer
Polarity: Positive (Masculine)
Physical Correspondence: The Liver, Hips, and Thighs
Stones: Garnet, Turquoise, Amethyst, Citrine, Topaz
Flowers: Wallflower, Dandelion, Narcissus, Lime Flower, Carnation
Colors: Blue and Purple


Ruling Planet: Saturn
Element: Cardinal Earth
Symbol: The Goat-Fish
Polarity: Negative (Feminine)
Physical Correspondence: The Bones, Joints, Teeth, and Knees
Stones: Onyx, Beryl, White Sapphire, Black Diamond, Jet, Amethyst
Flowers: Coltsfoot, Black Poppy, Pansy
Colors: Indigo, Gray, Dark Green


Ruling Planet: Uranus (Traditionally Saturn)
Element: Fixed Air
Symbol: The Water Carrier
Polarity: Positive (Masculine)
Physical Correspondence: The Blood Vessels, Calves, Ankles, and Heels
Stones: Sapphire, Onyx, Amethyst, Black Pearl, Hematite
Flowers: Myrtle, Rosemary, Dandelion, Orchid, Goldenrod
Colors: Violet and Blue


Ruling Planet: Neptune (Traditionally Jupiter)
Element: Mutable Water
Symbol: Two Fishes
Polarity: Negative (Feminine)
Physical Correspondence: The Feet
Stones: Coral, Jasper, Bloodstone, White Opal, Pearl, Amethyst, Moonstone
Flowers: Poppy, Waterlily, Pink, Thyme
Colors: White, Mauve, Red