Wednesday, 8 September 2010

I do love magick, just when you are tootling along it smacks you in the face with it's synchronicity. Today I picked up a book I have had for a while, that I dip into on occasion - it is called Earth Wisdom by Glennie Kindred. It is a wonderful book that inspires us to restore our connection to the earth. The first part discusses how all things are connected, how we are the change, and how we can create it. The second section tackles a sabbat and the associated celebrations with reference to nature and each section also has a tree that is relevant to that sabbat. I looked up the section on Mabon - the Autumn Equinox (22nd Sept). The tree for this sabbat is the Blackthorn. And reading the information on it was so meaningful to my life at this present moment - oh the power of magick!

Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)

Tree of hope and challenge

This small tree can be found in hedgerows and woods and if left will grow into a dense impenetrable thicket. It has long sharp thorns.

Blackthorn is the 14th tree of the Celtic Tree Ogham and represents a challenge and choice of perspective. It is associated with Saturn and Mars.

In the Autumn the blue black fruit, called sloes, are a symbol of the coming Winter.

Folklore and Legend:

A cold Spring was traditionally called a Blackthorn Winter, as little else would be out but the Blackthorn flowers.

Blackthorn itself has generally been thought of as a tree of bad luck or bad magic. The black rod or blasting rod was a blackthorn stick thought to have black powers used by evil witches and magicians. The thorns can certainly do harm, causing infection if the wounds are left untreated.

These superstitions have given Blackthorn a bad reputation. It was known as the keeper of dark secrets and was feared above all other trees.

Blackthorn was in fact used by the healers of the past because of its positive power of cleansing. Its ability to bring increased clarity and its strong life energy. It is linked to the rune Thorn, which brings protection and good luck. The dense Blackthorn thickets kept the Romans out of Anglesey in North Wales, making it the last Druid stronghold.

The wisdom of Blackthorn

Blackthorn has a misunderstood energy that teaches us to look beyond the surface and balance this with our intuition and a positive outlook. Everything that happens, even if it may look negative, can have a positive outcome and lead to a fruitful change. There is always another way of looking at things.

The thorns can be seen to represent our negative attitudes - sharp and dangerous to our own spirit and to those around us.

Blackthorn thickets create good psychic barriers and teach us to be aware of when we must protect ourselves from the malicious words or actions of others.

Blackthorn teaches us that at every moment in every situation we will have a choice. One choice is positive, supporting life and love, the other negative and destructive. We all have the choice which path we take and which world we choose to live in.

Herbal and Edible Uses:

Flowers - make an infusion for the treatement of fevers, blood disorders, lack of appetite, worms, bladder problems, skin problems and stomach craps. This is a gentle laxative and has a beneficial effect on the stomach. Eat a handful of the flowers every morning as a general early Spring tonic.

Leaves - an infusion of the leaves makes an excellent mouthwash and gargle for tonsilitis and laryngitis and once cool, can be used as a soothing eyebath.

Bark - make a decoction of the bark as a sedative and a calming tea for all nervous disorders. Collect only small pieces and shave them finely.

Fruit - sloes are best picked after the first frosts have softened them. They can also be rendered sweeter by burying them in straw lined pits deep in the ground for several months.

Add to other hedgerow fruit to make jam and also use in making wine. The juice makes a natural red dye and was used as marking ink.

Healing Properties:

Blackthorn helps us to remember that there is always a choice in the direction of our thoughts, our actions and our spirituality. Instead of war we can choose cooperation. Instead of struggle we can choose balance and union. Instead of revenge we can choose to share our feelings and develop understanding. Instead of us and them we can choose we.

We can learn to trust in our own integrity and find loving solutions to our problems to bring a fruitful outcome. We can choose to walk towards our most positive visions and hold them strong in our minds and hearts without giving up. True spirituality is found through the power of love, bringing any difficult situation to a positive conclusion.

Blackthorn has the ability to move deep blockages, bringing cleansing and release a new direction. Out of a difficult or negative situaiton can come an opportunity for positive action. This is its gift.


From Earth Wisdom by Glennie Kindred

Glennie Kindred's website http://www.glenniekindred.co.uk/
The image above is one of Glennie's and can be purchased via the website.
Tansy
x

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