"We ask for the blessing of the Inner Guardians of the Order and of our Druid forebears that this Grove might become a truly holy and sanctified place.

We respect and honour and admire you, O trees, for you represent both Peace and Power - though you are mighty you hurt no creature. Though you sustain us with your breath, you will give up your life to house and warm and teach us. We give thanks for your blessing upon our lives and upon our lands. May you fare well in this chosen place. Awen."
- Druid Ceremony for Planting a Grove

The Magickal Power of Trees
The Curative Properties of Trees
Wood for Talismans and Wands
Druid Sacred Trees
Faery Trees
The Baobab Tree The Rowan Tree
Apple Tree Ritual
How to Find Your Own Healing Tree
How to See a Tree's View of the World
Clearing Negativity with Trees

The Baobab Tree
The Upside down tree
by Santhini Govindan

The Baobab is a friendly nurturing tree, supporting creatures from the largest of mammals to the tiniest of insects.

The Baobab tree, which is among the largest and longest living trees on earth, is also one of its most unusual and remarkable trees. A native of Africa, it has flourished for thousands of years in the arid savannah close to the equator. The tree, which can grow up to 30 metres in height, has a very strange appearance. It has an enormous, thick bulbous trunk and stunted branches that look like gnarled roots spreading wide. The branches are bare for nine months of the year, since the tree puts out leaves only twice a year, for a few weeks at a time when the rains come to the plains. Thus, the Baobab tree, for most of the time, looks as if it has been pulled out of the ground and stuffed back in upside down!

The tree's unusual appearance has given rise to many interesting folktales about its origins. African Bushmen have a legend that tells of the God Thora who took a dislike to the Baobab growing in his garden. He tossed it over the wall of paradise to Earth below, and although it landed upside down, it continued to grow! Another folk tale says that the Baobab was amongst the first trees to appear on Earth. When the palm tree, the flame tree and the fig tree appeared, the Baobab began to grumble that it wanted to be taller, to have brilliant flame coloured flowers, and bear tasty fruit too. The Gods grew angry at this incessant wailing and pulled up the tree by its roots, and replanted in upside down to keep it quiet!

There are only three months of rain in a year. So the Baobab spreads its roots wide and collects as much rainwater as it can. Then it stores the water in its bark and lower trunk for use during the dry months. Bushmen, and even elephants wandering through the desert extract water from pulpy fibre when there is drought.

The leaves of this tree resemble an outstretched hand with open fingers. Its large flowers are white and bell-shaped, and open only at night. The tree produces an edible, gourd like fruit called "monkey bread", which is a favourite with baboons. This fruit has the highest concentration of vitamin C of any plant.

The Baobab is a friendly, nurturing tree and creates it own Eco-system as its supports the life of countless creatures from the largest of mammals to the thousands of tiny creatures scurrying in and out of its numerous crevices. Baobabs may live up to 3000 years! There are trees alive today that were growing when the Roman Empire ruled Europe! Baobabs are very difficult to kill. Even when burnt, they will form new bark, and keep on growing. When they do die, they simply rot from the inside, and suddenly collapse, leaving only a heap of fibres. These majestic trees are revered by the people who live with them. In Africa, old Baobabs are given names, and each name begins with the word "mother", for in the tough savannah grasslands, the great Baobab is a mother of life, symbolizing endurance, conservation, creativity and ingenuity.

Top of Page

The Rowan Tree

Folk Names: Round Wood, Delight of the Eye, Mountain Ash, Quickbane, Ran Tree, Roden- Quicken, Roden-Quicken-Royan, Sorb Apple, Royne Tree, Thor’s Helper, Whitty, Wicken-Tree, Wiggn, wiggy, Wiy, Wild Ash, Witchbane, Witchen, Witch Wood, Bird Catcher.

Month: December

Description: The name has connections to the Norse word “Runall” that means “a charm,” and the Sanskrit word “Runall” that means “magician.” The Rowan is a small tree with a crown of multiple spreading stems, and is sometimes considered to be a shrub. It also has pretty white flowers and bright red berries. It grows to a height of around 30 feet, at the most, has pinnately compound leaves that become bald as they age (kind of like most men *lol*), the leaves are yellow-green on the topside, and a paler shade of green on the underside, turning yellow, on American varieties, and reddish, on European varieties, in the Fall. The bark of the American Rowan is light gray, smooth, and scaly, and the European variety has dark gray, aromatic bark that has horizontal lines running through it, hence the reason for it’s nicknames containing the word “ash.” Though it’s leaves also resemble those of an Ash Tree, another reason for the nicknames, the Rowan is not a member of the Ash family. The Rowan tree is, however, closely related to the Hawthorn and the Rose. The American Rowan can be found in moist valleys, and among pine cone producing evergreens, and they have been discovered growing in forests ranging from Newfoundland to Western Ontario, as well as in those from Illinois to Georgia. The European Rowan was brought to America with the colonists. This tree is usually found alongside roadways and in thickets ranging from Southeastern Alaska to Southern Canada, Newfoundland to Maine, and from Minnesota to California.

Lore and Divinatory Qualities: The Rowan is a member of the masculine polarity, associated with Uranus and the Sun, the element of fire, the Celtic Goddess Brigid, and the Gods Thor and Rauni. It’s colors are red and gray (duh ~_~), and it is a tree that is considered sacred to by the Druids. This tree possesses the powers of healing, strength, success, protection, and clairvoyance. The berries are shaped like a pentagram, a symbol of protection in may folk and Pagan religions, and serves as an shield against magickal attacks. The berries are also poisonous. The shape of its berries is one of the reasons for being called “Witch Tree.”

Magickal Uses: When carried as a charm, the wood of the Rowan tree will help to increase one’s psychic abilities. Its branches are often used as dowsing rods and magickal wands, especially among the Druids. The leaves and berries are used in making incense to aid in divinations that utilize scrying techniques. The bard and berries of the Rowan can be added to baths, sachets, and other mixtures, for the purposes of healing, power (strength), success, and luck, as well. Carrying these items as a charm helps one to recuperate from an illness. If two twigs are tied together with a red cross made of thread, it makes a very effective protection amulet. Spays and Crosses of this sort were often hung over cattle yards and pens, homes, and other dwellings for protection.

Canes and magician’s staves are often crafted from the wood of the Rowan tree to ensure a safe night’s journey. It is also carried on ships to help prevent the ship from encountering any stormy weather, and is kept in houses to protect them from lightning. The Rowan will prevent the deceased from rising from their grave to haunt the living, if it is planted atop the burial mound. If the tree is grown near a stone circle it can help to increase the power and potency of one’s magick. It also has the power to protect one from witches.

A Rowan that is growing out of another of its kind is an especially protective talisman against magickal attacks launched by both witches and sorcerers, as well as against enchantments. It is often used in creating Rune staves, for divining metal, and to protect cattle from harm.

During rites of the 2nd moon – the moon of vision, the wood of the Rowan is used for vision quests by those seeking knowledge, or implementing a form of divination. (According to the Celtic calendar of the 13 moons, this moon represents astral travel and vision, healing and empowerment.) If the Rowan’s branches that are gathered on Beltane, May Day, can be tied together with red yarn and hung over doorways for protection. The folks of Scotland plant Rowan trees near their homes to protect them from lightning and evil. The berries and leaves can be dried and, then, burned to either invoke or banish faeries, spirits, elementals, familiars, and Mother Earth.

Druids burn Rowan during war to summon spirits to aid them in battle. The Silver Branch that is associated with Druid rituals and ceremonies is also made of Rowan, to honor and celebrate the Goddess.

Medicinal Uses: The fresh juice of Rowan berries can be used as a laxative and gargled to cure a sore throat, inflamed tonsils, and hoarseness, and also ingested to provide one with the vitamins A and C.

Rowan berry jam will cure diarrhea and an infusion of the berries will help eliminate hemorrhoids and stangury. The bark can be used as an astringent for loose bowels and vaginal irritations, as well. Rowan can also be used for eye irritations, spasmic pains of the uterus, heart and bladder problems, neuralgia, gout, and waist constrictions.

Other Uses: Rowan can be used as a decoration around your home, and in constructing birdhouses and other ornaments to attract birds (hence its name “Bird Catcher”). The wood is excellent for making fence posts, building ships, and fashioning walking sticks. The bark can be used to create a gray dye for use on fabric. Its berries can be used in place of coffee, and as flavor for liqueurs and cordials, as well as for making ale.

Top of Page