Saturday, 4 September 2010

Wand Making, the Hazel tree

Taking a walk last night, the Autumn sun lighting up a blaze of colours in the trees, hitting the water creating sparkles of golden light, I paused on a bridge over the river to look at a Hazel tree that was just starting to bear fruit with the idea of seeking a hazel branch to make a couple of wands with.

Just researched the folklore and properties on the Hazel and for anyone else tempted to have a go at wand making or just interested in tree lore in general, here's what I found on the Hazel.

9th Moon of the Celtic Year - (Aug 5 - Sept 1)
Latin name: European hazel - corylus avellana; American Filbert - corylus americana.
Celtic name: Coll (pronounced: Cull). Coll means "life force within you".
Folk or Common names: tree of Wisdom, Lamb's Tails Tree, Collo or Coslo (Gailic), The tree's name shares a common root with the walnut tree and its nut, or cnu and hnot in Europe and Nux in latin.
Parts Used: Nut, leaves, branches, wood.

Herbal usage: Hazel can be used as a drainage remedy and can help restore elasticity to the lungs. Hazelnuts, of course, can be eaten, and are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, protein and fatty acids. The nuts can be powdered and be mixed with mead or honeyed water to help a cough.

Magical History & Associations: The Hazel, a masculine herb, is associated with the element of air, the planet of Mercury, the day of Wednesday, and is sacred to Mercury, Thor, Artemis, Fionn, Diana and Lazdona (the Lithuanian Hazelnut Tree Goddess). Hazel wood is one of the nine traditional firewoods that is part of the Belfire that the Druid's burned at Beltane - it was added to the fire to gain wisdom. In fact, in ancient times the Hazel was known as The Tree of Wisdom. It is often associated with sacred springs and wells and salmon. Celtic legend tell of a grove of Hazel trees below which was a well, a pool, where salmon swam. These trees contained all knowledge, and their fruit contained that knowledge and wisdom in a nutshell. As the hazelnuts ripened, they would fall into the well where they were eaten by the salmon. With each nut eaten, the salmon would gain another spot. In order to gain the wisdom of the Hazel, the Druids caught and prepared the salmon. But Fionn, the young man stirring the pot in which the salmon were cooking, accidentally burned his thumb with the boiling stew. By reflex, he put his thumb into his mouth and thus ingested the essence of the sacred feast; he instantly gained the wisdom of the universe.

Magickal usage: The Hazel has applications in magick done for manifestation, spirit contact, protection, prosperity, wisdom, divination-dowsing, dreams, wisdom-knowledge, marriage, reconciliation, fertility., intelligence, inspiration, and wrath. Hazel is a good herb to use to do magick associated with asking for wisdom and poetic inspiration since the Hazel is known as the Tree of Immortal Wisdom. In England, all the knowledge of the arts and sciences was thought to be bound to the eating of Hazel nuts. Hazel also has protective uses as anti-lightning charms. A sprig of Hazel or a talisman of two Hazel twigs tied together with red or gold thread to make a solar cross can be carried as a protective good luck charm. The mistletoe that grows on hazel protects against bewitching. A cap of Hazel leaves and twigs ensures good luck and safety at sea, and protects against shipwrecks.

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