** Learn Tree
Druids have always
been associated with trees. The word druid comes from an ancient Celtic
word meaning oak. In essence, Druids are "oak people" and
have always felt a particular closeness to the oak tree. However, all
trees are sacred to Druids. Each one has its own spirit, personality,
and meaning. Trees of similar species share characteristics, though
no two trees are exactly alike.
Trees are an important
part of every druid's life. Since one of the tasks of druids is to keep
their people in balance with Nature, it is necessary to know all the
trees in an area and be able to say which ones can be cut down and what
to replant in place of the felled tree. Druids know which trees are
best for housing, fires, tools, etc. On a magical level, trees are a
source of great information (both past and present knowledge). Druids
use trees to mark sacred areas, abandoned areas, and dangerous areas
so that others will know what the nearby area holds. Druids often gather
in groves, which are large circles of trees (usually oak trees). Groves
vary in size and are frequently situated atop ley lines or a nexus of
power flows. Druids use groves as meeting places. They often teach,
share philosophies and wisdom, or discuss important issues in the groves.
Oak symbolizes wisdom, strength, and endurance. Oak is extremely versatile
and can be used in many areas of magic. The wood is good at both storing
power and conducting it, thus making good staffs and wands. Oak can
be used in spells involving authority, majesty, power, strength, wisdom,
Ash is an excellent wood for purification. It is good at removing
and cleansing internalized strife and conflict. Ash is good in any
spell or working involving mental and emotional purification. Ash
wood is a good conductor of power and thus makes good wands.
- Hawthorn (Thorn)
Thorn symbolizes strife and harshness. It is an excellent tool for
protection as its energies work well for defense. Thorn is used to
dispell energies, especially negative energies or curses, and excells
at banishing strife.
The yew tree is held sacred by the Druids because of its symbolism
of death and rebirth. The yew tree's branches grow into the ground.
Thus when the central trunk dies, the tree lives on as the branches
become trees. It symbolizes transformation, great age, and reincarnation.
Yew wood is good in any rituals that use the preceding symbolism.
Yew holds and conducts energy very well, and yew is a good shield
for magical energies that directly hit the wood is reflected.
The alder is a water-loving tree, but it is also highly combustible,
showing an affinity to Fire. This means the alder is an unusual tree,
for Fire and Water do not normally mix well. Alder is often used to
symbolize one's appearance, and can be used in glamour spells. The
alder tree's wood is oily and resistant to underwater decay. It can
be used to contain Water elementals and many negative spirits.
The apple tree symbolizes youth, beauty, and innocence. Apple juice
can be used to infer strength and beauty. The leaves are a useful
focus in spellweaving. The apple wood makes good staves.
Beech symbolizes stability and flow of energy. It is an incredible
conductor of energy, but doesn't hold energy very well. It is sometimes
used for Druidic groves if oak is not available, though oak is preferred.
Birch wood is a useful tool in spells involving structures, support,
shielding, warding, and cleansing.
Cedar is exceptional at repulsing energies and protection. It is best
used to ward or to drive off negative influences or spirits.
The cypress tree was seen as a sad tree or tree of mourning. It was
often used to build funeral pyres. Cypress wood is extremely resistant
to water. Cypress containers can successfully contain water elementals,
air elementals, and most spirits.
This tree represents charm and finesse. It can be used to enhance
one's social abillities and increase one's personality. The dogwood
flower is a good cleanser of wounds, and its scent is a relaxant.
The elm tree is a dark and brooding tree. It was often planted in
tainted or uncleansable areas to warn off others in the area. Elm
can be used in any spells that cause depression or darkness. It can
dull the senses and works well in spells dealing with shadows.
The eucalyptus is a nurturing, protecting, life-giving tree. It can
sometimes symbolize sloth due to the fact that its foliage is a narcotic.
It contains quite a bit of moisture, and thus could easily have a
connection to Water. Small doses of eucalyptus are highly effective.
It can be used to numb or invoke sloth in others. It can protect the
body from certain poisons. When mixed with certain other herbs, eucalyptus
can make a high body-sustaining potion.
Fir symbolizes malleability, cleverness, and the ability to change.
It is a good wood for magic involving physical structures, forms,
and shapeshifting or other changing magics.
This tree symbolizes attraction (the nut can be used to make an aphrodisiac),
loss of inhibition or willpower, and drowsiness. It is used to make
sleep potions, aphrodisiacs, and potions to inhibit the will or remove
Holly symbolizes combat, defense, and a "look but don't touch"
beauty. It is also used as a life symbol. Holly is good at holding
and storing energy, but does not work well with energy flow. It is
also useful in glamours and warding.
The juniper is a cheerful tree, hardy and endurant. It is excellent
for cleansing, and aids in healing magic, especially to stop a disease
from progressing further in the body.
Maple is a happy tree. It often symbolizes attraction, luring, drawing
in, or bringing things together. It has very positive energy, and
is used to attract attention or lure positive spirits in magic.
Pine is everlasting (from its evergreen properties). It induces clearness
of thought with its scent and often symbolizes survival as it can
grow even in sub-zero temperatures. Pine wood is useful in spells
of preservation. Pine incense is helpful in divining/scrying rituals
and rituals to clear the mind.
The sequoia is a majestic tree symbolizing eternity, longevity, and
vast wisdom. It can also symbolize endurance and strength. Sequoia
wood makes excellent Druidic staffs, as it is very good at both holding
and conducting energy. It can be used in spells of fire resistance,
and the sequoia seeds are an aphrodisiac.
The spruce is a versatile tree which grows quickly and is dominant
over its environment. It is an aloof tree and can symbolize the North
and coldness. The wood is good for bargaining with Earth elementals
as they especially like spruce wood. Spruce holds and stores a large
amount of energy. A living spruce tree is an excellent ground.
The sycamore symbolizes growth, persistance, strength and endurance.
It is water resistant (though not as much as cypress) and often grows
where other trees cannot. To some Native American cultures, the sycamore
is a holy tree equivalent to the oak in Europe. In magic, it is useful
for spells involving growth, and can be used in healing potions (especially
those with regenerative properties). It is also a good gift to give
a Fire elemental.
The willow tree is a feminine tree. It is a water-loving tree and
is linked to lunar rhythms. It is often a melancholy tree and can
represent sadness and quick growth leading to a quick end (some trees
only live for 20 years). In magical areas, willow has a great influence
over water and water elementals. It has the ability to banish depression