Furze (also known as Gorse) is a druid Sacred tree, whose flowers are associated with the Vernal Equinox (Aprox. March 20).
- Latin name: ulex europaeus
- Celtic name: ‘O’ – Onn
- Folk or Common names: Broom, Frey, Furze, Fyrs, Gorst, Goss, Prickly Broom, Ruffet, and Whin.
- Parts Used: Flowers
Magical History and Associations:
Furze is a thorny shrub with bright yellow flowers that is associated with the Spring Equinox. This herb is a symbol of the young sun at the spring equinox and royalty. Furze is associated with the astrological sign of Aries, the planet of Mars, the element of Fire, and is a masculine herb. Furze is associated with Jupiter, Thor, Onn, and also with the Gallic ash-grove Goddess On-niona. The color for Furze is dun, and its bird is the cormorant.
Furze is a symbol of fertility and has the magickal uses of Protection and Money. Furze is also used in money spells; it attracts gold. Furze is a good herb to use as a proctectant against evil. In Wales hedges of the prickly Gorse are used to protect the home against dark fairies, who cannot penetrate the hedge. Furze wood and blooms can be burned for protection and also for preparation for conflict of any sort. There are two school of thought about giving Furze flowers as a gift. On one had the gift is supposed to be good luck, but on the other hand if you give them to someone that you love it means: Anger.
There is an old rhyme about Furze that refers to its all-year-round flowering habits:
“When Gorse is out of bloom,
Kissing is out of season.”
- Ruler: Fairies, Venus
- Element: Air
- Planet: Mercury
- Type: Herb
- Magickal Form: Leaf – fresh or dried, Essential Oil
Thyme was called thymos by the Greeks, which meant “fumigate”. They associated thyme with valor in battle, and the restoration of physical power. Roman soldiers were known to bathe in a decoction of thyme before going into combat, to boost strength and courage. The Sumerians used it as an antiseptic, and in Egypt, thyme was one of the herbs which was used in the mummification process.
Thyme cleanses and renews the spirit and calls angelic forces to one’s aid. Long utilized in the energy cleansing and clearing of temples in Greece, thyme can be burned or strewn to disperse stagnant vibrations and invite the new. Bathe in the oil for serious purification after you have come in contact with death.
Thyme can be used in healing rituals, or to bring about restful sleep. Women who wear thyme on their person are irresistible to men, and carrying sprigs in your pocket aids in developing your psychic abilities. Burn some thyme to help boost your courage before confrontations. Add this herb to foods to increase your awareness, sight, and memory.
It is also used in love spells to invoke more gentleness and understanding into a relationship.
Attractive to the fairy folk, thyme can be grown in the garden to entice their plant blessings, and a little thyme under the tongue allows one to see them more clearly.
An herb that helps connect with psychic consciousness, thyme in a divination formula aids the mind in understanding and deciphering psychic visions and impressions.
Burn as incense or wear to attract good health. Place a sprig beneath your pillow to ensure dream-free sleep. It is frequently burned before ritual to cleanse the area. Burn when asking advice of loved ones who have passed on.
Compiled from various sources.
Thymus mastichina is a very special thyme, native in the mountains of the Iberian Peninsula, Central Spain and Portugal. It is known by a number of different common names including Spanish Marjoram, Spanish Wood Marjoram, White Thyme, Wild Marjoram or Mastic Thyme.
Thymus mastichina should not be confused with Marjoram also known as sweet Marjoram, knotted Marjoram and previously classed as Marjorana hortensis (Origanum majorana). Nor should it be confused with the Mastic Tree (Pistacia lentiscus).
I could not find anything about the magickal properties of this specific plant, and so I would assume that because it is a variety of Thyme, the magickal purposes would be the same as for common Thyme, but possibly with a wilder energy or effect. These would include the following:
- Cleansing and Clearing
- Making way for the new
- Attractive to fairies
Here is what I did find out about this herb:
As the name implies it grows primarily in Spain. Thymus mastichina produces tiny, oval-shaped, green leaves, which have an intense flavor. In its Spanish homeland it is used as a culinary herb for meat dishes, stews and sauces and because of its strong aroma has been commonly used in Andalucía to season and preserve olives.
Despite this fact, it is prized more for its essential oils than for its herbal properties. The plant has an herbaceous scent with eucalyptus-like overtones with a hint of a vanilla note, which, in aromatherapy, is used for its soothing, relaxing effect. It’s oil is pale orange to amber in color and has a distinctive eucalyptus like aroma. It is also considered to be especially beneficial in relaxing muscles.
Used fresh or in dried form, its leaves are used to make an herbal tea that is considered useful in treating sore throats, catarrh and colds. If preferred, the tea can be used to gargle with rather than ingested. Infusions are attributed curative or palliative properties of arthritis and rheumatism. Mastic Thyme, may be effective in protecting against colon cancer.
The species name mastichina and the common name of Mastic Thyme derive from the Greek word massein, meaning ‘to chew’, or the verb mastichein meaning ‘to gnash the teeth’. It is the origin of the English word masticate.
Interestingly, the Mastic Tree is a small Mediterranean evergreen tree (Pistacia lentiscus) of the cashew family. The tree produces an aromatic, ivory-coloured resin, also known as mastic, is harvested as a spice from the cultivated mastic trees grown in the south of the Greek island of Chios in the Aegean Sea. Mastic resin is a relatively expensive kind of spice that has been used principally as a chewing gum. The flavor can be described as a strong, slightly smoky, resiny aroma.
The genus name Thyme derives from Latin thymus, which goes back to Greek thymon meaning ‘spirit’, originally meaning ‘smoke’ or ‘to fumigate’ (it is related to Latin fumus meaning ‘smoke’ or ‘perfume’) and the verb thyein meaning ‘smoke, cure or offer an incense sacrifice’.
Thyme was used it as incense, for its balsamic odor. The antiseptic properties of Thyme were also fully recognized in classic times, there being a reference in Virgil’s Georgics to its use as a fumigator, and Pliny tells us that, when burnt, it puts to flight all venomous creatures.
Others derive the name from the Greek word thumus, signifying courage, the plant being held in ancient and mediaeval days to be a great source of invigoration, its cordial qualities inspiring courage.
Lady Northcote (in The Herb Garden) says that among the Greeks, Thyme denoted graceful elegance; ‘to smell of Thyme’ was an expression of praise, applied to those whose style was admirable. It was an emblem of activity, bravery and energy, and in the days of chivalry it was the custom for ladies to embroider a bee hovering over a sprig of Thyme on the scarves they presented to their knights.
- Ruler: Hermes, Aemgus, Artemis, Diana
- Type: Tree
- Magickal form: Branch, Nut, Catkins
The Hazel is a holy tree, associated with poetry and knowledge, fire and fertility. Hazel is one of the nine sacred woods used to kindle Need-fire at Beltane and other great festivals. It’s nuts are associated with love and child-birth, and are used in divination.
Hazel wood is excellent for making all purpose magickal wands, it is one of the most powerful wands for divination. Wands made of this wood symbolize white magick and healing. Dowsing sticks (forked sticks) are used to find water, buried treasure, and locate lost objects.
If you are outside and in need of magickal protection quickly draw a circle around yourself with a hazel branch. For protection while walking, wrap hazel twigs or branches around your walking stick or cane.
Eat the nuts to draw love and wisdom into your life. Eat together with a lover to increase the length of the relationship. To clear a stubborn cough, finely powder the nuts and mix with water and honey.
To enlist the aid of plant fairies, string hazelnuts on a cord and hang up in your house or ritual room. Magically, hazel wood is used to gain knowledge, wisdom and poetic inspiration. Weave hazel twigs into a crown. Put this on your head and wish very hard. Your wish may come true!
Twigs of Hazel are placed in window frames to protect the house against lightning, and three pins of hazel wood driven into your house will protect it from fire.
In England, branches of Hazel leaves gathered on Palm Sunday and kept alive indoors in water were said to protect the house from thunder and lightning. In Wales, fresh hazel leaves worn as a chaplet for the head brought general good luck and ensured the granting of wishes, as well as protection for those at sea from shipwreck.
At lambing time, if the catkins are brought indoors and set about the rooms, it is helpful to the sheep.
Scottish children born in autumn were sometimes given the ‘milk’ of the hazelnut as their first food, for that brought good luck and health. If, later on, they did not thrive as they should, they were strengthened with doses of the ‘milk’ mixed with honey.
The air surrounding hazel trees is said to be magically charged with the quicksilver energy of exhilaration and inspiration. In 19th century Germany, it was thought that there were witches beneath the bark of hazel trees – hence only peeled branches were allowed in churches.
The Hazelnut is a magical tree for relaying messages, which is why a Y-shaped Hazel branch is used for divination. To dream of, or to have a hazelnut tree show up in an unusual way may mean the answer to a dilemma is imminent. To dream of a Hazelnut tree also predicts wealth as well as unexpected good fortune.
Because the Hazelnut tree bestows powers of wisdom, symbolized by the cracking of the nutshell to get to the nourishment inside, a hazelnut or hazelnut tree may also mean that you will crack a situation.
The nut and shell also represent the heart within the body and female fertility, because the nut is like a baby inside a mother’s womb. With such life-giving qualities, this tree is an auspicious sign that love and new projects have the magical ingredients for success.
Male and female flowers, being borne on separate trees, forecast a lover’s meeting.
Collected from various sources
- 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
Often associated with the month of February, the Primrose flower symbolizes patience, kindness and gentleness. The Primrose also brings the meaning of belonging, and nurturing. Primrose is used magically as a symbol to meditate upon to draw protection and love, Oil of primrose has been used to cleanse and purify in the Druidic tradition. This wildflower is also used to symbolize the beloved guest.
Primroses attract fairies to the garden.
- To invite the fairy folk to visit and to get fairy blessings hang a spray of primroses on your door.
- Eating primroses is said to help you see fairies.
- In Ireland and Wales primroses were thought to be fairy flowers that could give the power of invisibility.
- Celtic lore says rubbing primrose flowers over your eyelids can give you a way into the fairy world.
If you grow primroses in your garden, take very good care of them. Unhealthy primroses upset the fairies and it is not recommended to have cross fairies. If kept indoors, Primroses are said to bring sickness and sorrow, perhaps this is because they generally do not grow well indoors and upset the fairies.
The pendant flowers of the cowslip, Primula veris, were sometimes called “Key Flower” in England because they were thought to resemble a hanging bunch of keys. The association with keys may also have led to another common name, “Herb Peter,” because the symbol of St. Peter is a bunch of keys. Ancient Norse peoples celebrated this primrose as a symbol of the goddess Freya, known as the “Key Virgin.”
According to the “language of flowers” Primroses symbolize youth or young love, or mean “I can’t live without you.” Lilac-tinted primroses signify confidence and red primroses symbolize unappreciated merit. In the Chakra System, it is believed that the Primrose combines the solar plexus and heart chakras.
The flowers of some primroses, especially Primula vulgaris, are edible. They can be eaten raw in salads or as an edible garnish, and can also be made into conserves (preserves). P. vulgaris flowers can be combined with yeast and sugar and fermented into wine.
Scientific Name: Cosmos bipinnatus
Folk or Common Names: Mexican Aster
Numbers: 2 and 8
Parts Commonly Used: The flowers
Magickal Qualities: Harmony; Order; Balance; Simplicity; Confidence
The name Cosmos comes from the Greek kosmos, meaning order, harmony, or the world. The cosmos flower was said to have been named by Spanish mission priests in Mexico who grew them in their mission gardens. The priests felt that because of their symmetrically aligned petals these flowers should be named after the Greek word for “ordered universe.” However, when one closely observes the plant, it not only expresses order and harmony in the blossom’s symmetry, grace, and simplicity, but also in the symmetrically balanced, regularly-doubled production of leaf and blossom stems.
The “cup” of the Cosmos in full bloom is exactly the shape of a dish antenna, and is even “aimed,” at the sky at much the same angle as these wave receivers. The fully-open Cosmos blossom often turns this “dish antenna” somewhat towards the sun. When the wind blows, the blossoms turn their undersides to the direction of the wind so that the inner, fertile disc is sheltered behind a round “parasol” of ray florets.
The gestural shape of the blossom, a broadly opened cup turned towards the sun and the heavens indicates a character of openness and receptivity to messages from outside of the earthly realm.
Because the name Cosmos comes from the Greek word for harmony and order, and the cosmos flower is generally thought to be the symbol of order, harmony, peace and modesty.
- A gift of cosmos flowers will bring good luck.
- When given as a gift to a romantic partner, these flowers are commonly meant to represent the notion of walking together hand in hand, or to express the joys that love and life can bring.
- Plant them in your garden to attract fairies.
- Spend time in meditation with the flowering plants in the garden, and to attune your mind to messages from beyond.
It is said that Cosmos flowers will attract fairies, particularly if grown in a “wild” or uncultivated corner of the garden. This is also the environment where Cosmos is most at home, roadsides and waste places being the natural habitat of this freedom loving flower. It is interesting to reflect that “roadsides and waste places” are recognized in traditional cultures worldwide, as sites for spiritual epiphanies, encounters with spiritual beings in disguise, vision quests, walkabouts, and other metaphysical and transformative experiences of the . . . Cosmos.
The Cosmos has a form and gesture that is graceful, airy, and mobile. It is responsive to every breath of wind or touch by another living thing. It opens outwards in a generous gesture, expanding, trusting, and risking.
At the same time, it is protective of its innermost, female reproductive parts until they are fully ripe and ready to be released. It has an expansive signature in its bounty of blossoms and multitude of seeds that emerge from each blossom.
The blossom’s color signature shows a yellow center, symbolizing a strong solar plexus chakra, with a radiating aura of mauve or magenta, which seems to symbolize the sacralizing of the will by spiritual awareness. This suggests aid to those who feel afraid to assert their will in the world, because they are never quite sure whether their motives are informed enough by the highest possible consciousness.
Along with their harmonious symbolism, cosmos are also representative of October births and 2nd wedding anniversaries, and are frequently given as simple tokens of affection on these particular events. In 1999 the World Kindness Movement in Tokyo adopted the cosmos bipinnatus as the emblem for the organization.
Medicinal and Herbal Uses:
Some botanical sources state that cosmos has “no known uses” (or hazards) as food or medicine, others catagorize it as a weed. It seems extremely benign. Being both highly attractive to insects, and not causing any kind of allergies or skin irritation in humans, it is clearly lacking in irritants. Similarly, being scentless, it seems to lack any significant volatiles.