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Nature Spirits

28 29 faerie floWerS and magical woods The growing gifts of the green Earth may be used to either befriend or repel the faeries and other spirits. When properly asked, the plant and tree allies of mortals will gather their forces to aid in human concerns. The druids burnt rowan for protection and prophetic vision the berries are still widely carried today as protection charms. Sprigs and twigs of alder, the shield tree, have long protected travellers in this world and the next, and, when placed over the door, protect against intruders of all kinds. Hawthorn, the goddess tree, aids in all matters of love. Its berries traditionally heal broken hearts, and its flowers bestow beauty. Elder is the home of the elder mother, who leads to Faery those who sleep beneath her branches it is taboo to ever cut her wood. Hazel bestows wisdom, divine inspiration and grants the powers of poetry and prophecy. Tales tell that broom is sacred to the faery queens. Sweeping with a branch of broom clears negative influences. It was also used to create the Welsh flowermaiden Blodeuwedd, as was meadowsweet, the flower of brides, also used for purification, blessing, and fertility rites. Vervain, the healall, anoints sacred tools and aids in scrying. Most sacrosanct of all, mistletoe, when growing upon the apple, and especially upon the oak, was the seed of the sky god and the primary power plant of the Celts. The Oak is king of the woods, and lord of summer. His name in the druid ogham is Duir. He is the protector of the tribe and grants access to other worlds under his guidance and care. His winter counterpart is the Holly. The Hawthorn is sacred to the maiden goddess who wears a crown of hawthorn at Beltane often 1st May when she weds the young hunter god. She rules over challenges and the heart. Her name in the ogham is Huath. The Elder is a faery tree, the home of the Elder mother, a wise ancient faery who grants access to the otherworld and heals those with weary souls. She must always be treated with great reverance. Her name in the ogham is Ruis. The Rowan, or mountain ash, with its red berries, is a tree of vision and protection, burnt by the druids to make wild fire, raising the life force of warriors and calling in protective powers. Her name in the ogham is Luis.
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