- Latin name: Ulmus Campestris; Slippery Elm – ulmus fulva.
- Celtic name: Negetal (pronounced: nyettle).
- Folk or Common names: Elven, English Elm, European Elm, and sometimes Piss-Elm (due to the smell it makes while being burned as a green wood).
- Type: Tree
- Ruler: Orpheus, Odin, Hoenin, Lodr, Woden
- Planet: Mercury, Saturn
- Element: Water
- Symbolism: Communication and Relationships
- Color: Turquoise
- Birds: Lapwing, Ruffled Grouse
- Parts Used: Bark, leaves, wood.
- Basic Powers: Stability, Elves, Protection, Speech, Female Power, Fairies
Elm is the Arbitrator that listens without judgment
Using Elm in spellwork adds stability to the spell. Elm is sometimes said to symbolize the dark side of the psyche and so can be used in psychic workings. The Elm is commonly known as “the elf friend”. If you desire to have contact with wood elves, pick a grove of Elm trees and sit under them and sing. Around about dawn, the elves will have gotten over their initial shyness and come out to join in the singing.
Elm trees are also thought to provide a channel for the communication with divas. To get an Elm tree to help you in this quest, offerings can be brought to a favorite tree and left. The best offerings are wine, mead, tobacco, coins and sage.
The wood of the elm was used for coffins in England, and you could find it in graveyards in ancient Greece. It was found in the underworld and at the crossroads leading to the faery world. The tree essence energizes the mind and balances the heart. It attracts love, protects, and aids in sharpening psychic powers.
Tiny twigs of Elm can be worn in a bag around a child’s neck as a charm to produce eloquent speech in later life. Elm wood may be bound with a yellow cord and burned to prevent gossip. The Elm represents primordial female powers and therefore the Elm is a tree with great protective qualities. The wood from the Elm can be made into talismans and charms that can be worn for protection. The Elm also has the qualities of regeneration, boldness and fidelity, and so added to its protective qualities, it is excellent when given as a good luck token to departing friends.
Slippery Elm Bark is used in herbal medicine as a soothing demulcent; its reputation in Conjure work and Hoodoo is similar: it is said to make the bearer impervious to the slander, libel, malicious gossip, and lies spread by back-biting family members, jealous co-workers, and false friends who are trying to trouble your marriage or love-life.
Some folks place a small pinch of Slippery Elm in the corners of their rooms; they claim that this protects the home and rids the premises of evil. Others carry Slippery Elm in a pocket or conjure bag for immunity from the harmful tales told on them by covetous neighbors, back-biters, and hidden enemies posing as friends.
“Because of its rich foliage and sap, the Elm is sacred to Saturn, Roman god of agriculture. Representing fertility, it foretells that your wish will meet with success. Its other meaning is their need to give way and let nature run its course, to sacrifice what you have for what could be.
Elm wood is flexible and durable, and does not rot when wet. You probably know in your heart that your wish will be granted. A hopeful sign is that Elm twigs are used as divining rods. The Elm tree stands at the entrance to the underworld as a living connection between the living and the dead. What comes to you is blessed by heaven. It may be that all you need do is wait and have faith in nature.”
~Tree Magick by Gillian Kemp
More magickal uses:
- Carry a consecrated elm wand to see elves and fairies. It is best to choose a fallen branch but if you prune one, make sure the tree is not damaged and leave some coins as an offering under the tree.
- The branches are said to protect against lightning.
- Burn the leaves or bark to increase psychic vision and intuition.
- Carry Elm to attract love.
The Elm has many medicinal uses. In the past, Slippery Elm bark can was powdered and made into a milk for babies that couldn’t tolerate cow’s milk. In fact slippery Elm bark is good for many purposes. In tea it can ease insomnia and sooth an upset tummy. It is also useful for enemas and makes good poultice material. This type of poultice can be used on wounds, infections, ulcers, burns, and poison ivy.
More information on the medicinal and magickal uses of Slippery Elm can be found here:
- Encyclopedia of Herbology – Slippery Elm
- Folk Medicine Remedies and Cures – Slippery Elm
- Magickal Apothecary – Slippery Elm