Ioho (pronounced ‘EE-yoh’)
Represents letter(s): I, Y
Divinatory meaning: Deception, illusion, trickery
Associated Tree/Plant: Yew
Healing Properties: This plant is poisonous and should be used only with extreme caution! Extract of yew needles has been used to treat lung diseases and bladder problems. A new cancer drug, Taxol, has been derived from the bark and berries of the yew.
Magical Uses: The yew is associated with death and dying. Its magic, like elder magic, is involved in reincarnation and contact with the spirit world. Yews are often planted in graveyards as silent guardians and protectors. Yew wood is sometimes used for wands; especially by those whose magical gifts involve reincarnation or the power of life and death. Incense made of yew wood is said to summon the dead when burned.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: The Mórrígan, Brighid
Ioho (pronounced ‘EE-yoh’)
Eadha (pronounced ‘EH-yuh’)
Represents letter(s): E
Divinatory meaning: Endurance, perseverance, persistence
Associated Tree/Plant: Aspen
Healing Properties: The sap of the aspen, or silver fir, is a diuretic in small doses. In large doses it induces vomiting, and may cause nausea. The bark may be used to treat headaches and fever.
Magical Uses: Aspen (fir) is one of the nine firewoods to be added to the Belfire for the festival of Beltane (May 1). The Nine Sacred Woods of the Belfire are birch, oak, rowan, willow, hawthorn, hazel, apple, grapevine and fir. Aspen magic is used for invoking power and insight. It can be used to create a change in a situation. The silver fir (aspen) is sacred to the Druids, and represents the hope of rebirth and new beginnings. Wands of aspen are used for shape-shifting. Its wood may also be used to create magical flutes to be used in rituals. The music of such flutes brings about change, so only use such a flute if you want something different to happen! The aspen is the traditional tree used for Yule decorating.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Cernunnos, Druantia
Ura (pronounced ‘OOR-uh’)
Represents letter(s): U
Divinatory meaning: Dreams, feelings, emotions
Associated Tree/Plant: Heather
Healing Properties: A tea made from heather blossoms may be used to treat to treat insomnia, stomach aches, coughs and skin problems. Heather tea is also good for urinary infections. Ingesting the plant raises blood pressure and strengthens the heart. Heather is also a mild antiseptic.
Magical Uses: Heather is used for magic involving maturity. It is also effective in rainmaking spells and water magic. Talismans made of heather can be used as lucky charms. If you place white heather on your altar during meditation, it is said that you will be able to hear the voices of those who have passed on while you are meditating. Heather magic is also good magic for doing inner work (meditation, dream work, shamanism). Heather mixed with mistletoe is a powerful healing charm.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Beag, Uroica
Onn (pronounced ‘UHN’)
Represents letter(s): O
Divinatory meaning: Adaptation, transmutation, modification
Associated Tree/Plant: Gorse
Healing Properties: Tea made with gorse flowers aids against jaundice and stimulates urine production. This tea also helps dissolve kidney stones. Gorse seeds are an astringent.
Magical Uses: Gorse magic is the magic of fertility and prosperity. A gorse hedge around your home will protect it from dark Faeries, who cannot pass through it. Burning gorse wood protects you from curses and dark magic. The golden flowers of the gorse are said to attract gold, so gorse is good for money spells.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: On-niona
Ailm (pronounced ‘AHL-m’)
Represents letter(s): A
Divinatory meaning: Energy, power, intensity
Associated Tree/Plant: Silver Fir
Healing Properties: The sap of the silver fir is a diuretic, and can stimulate mucous membranes if taken in small doses. Larger doses can induce vomiting, and may cause nausea. The oil can be used as a base for many essences used in aromatherapy. The Silver Fir is associated with the Moon, and as such it is a feminine power related to any Goddesses with lunar powers and associations.
The Silver Fir is associated with the Goddess Brighid in Celtic lore in her triple aspect offering learning, creativity and progress. It is also sacred to the God Attis, who was imprisoned in a fir tree. Fir trees have the ability to protect from lightning. A wand made of fir or pine will help in matters of perseverance and change. Wands or staffs of fir are also useful in the invocation of the Goddess. The silver fir is especially useful for rites at the equinoxes because it is a tree of balance and stability. Firs, pines and other evergreens are also helpful for grounding rituals. In its Crone aspect, the silver fir has power over shadowy places, dark secrets and the unconscious mind. Because of this, it may be used to tame these forces in your life. Carry a sprig of silver fir in your Crane Bag as a talisman for help in these areas. It may help to weave such a sprig into a ring.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Limetus, Danu, Cerridwen
Ruis (pronounced ‘RWEESH’)
Represents letter(s): R
Divinatory meaning: Conversion, transition, rebirth
Associated Tree/Plant: Elder
Healing Properties: Fresh elder bark can be used to induce labor, or to relieve headaches. Steep the flowers of the elderberry to make a tea for soothing sunburn pain. Inhaling the steam from elderberry flowers eases asthma attacks. A poultice of elderberry flowers has anti-inflammatory effects. Elderberries ease hunger pangs when dieting.
Magical Uses: The elder is helpful in magic involving the powers of reincarnation and communion with the Otherworld. Psychopomps conduct the recently departed to the Otherworld, and elder magic is an aid in this duty. Elderberries and elderberry wine is often used to seek visions; especially visions pertaining to the Land of the Young. Elderberry wine is drunk to aid in divination as well. If you make a flute of elder wood, Faeries will come and dance to your tune. Twigs of elder wood worn in a bag about the neck protect you from physical attack. Elder magic is concerned with death and endings.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: The Mórrígan, Bran, Cailleach
Straif (pronounced ‘STRAHF’)
Represents letter(s): Z
Divinatory meaning: Control, authority, manipulation
Associated Tree/Plant: Blackthorn
Healing Properties: Sloe berries of the blackthorn stimulate metabolism, and are therefore useful in weight loss. They may also be used as a laxative and as a diuretic. Tea from blackthorn leaves is useful for a sore throat and for laryngitis. A tea made from powdered blackthorn bark has a calming effect.
Magical Uses: The blackthorn is known as the Dark Mother of the Forest. This is because this tree is associated with the darker side of magic and the Otherworld. Seeing a blackthorn tree in your path is considered an ill omen. It is used for working dark magic, spells of revenge and curses. In Scotland, Cailleach is said to have a walking stick made of blackthorn. She summons winter every year by striking the ground with this staff.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: The Dagda, Cailleach, The Mórrígan
Call of the Coyote by Sencha the Vate
In the time that was and will be again, all of the peoples of the world came up through a hole in Mother Earth to dwell in the sunlight. All the two-legged tribes and the four-legged tribes came up together to be born. In the beginning, all the two-leggeds and four-leggeds were brothers and sisters. All the tribes of animals and humans were one People. They came up from beneath the earth one by one.
Coyote was the last to emerge.
In the time of the beginning, the Earth was covered with trees, but none of the People knew how to make fire, so all of the people of the earth, the four-leggeds and the two-leggeds, lived without fire, and could not cook, nor stay warm in the winter, nor see at night.
In that time, each creature lived according to his nature. Brother Eagle was a stern hunter and visionary who saw far, so he lived a serious life. Brother Bear was strong and knew the herbs, so he lived a life of ease and healing. Sister Cougar was crafty and wise, and lived the solitary life of the hunter. Sister Salmon was quick and sleek, and lived a busy life jumping from stream to stream.
Brother Coyote was playful, so he spent his days running to and fro about the earth. He never took anything seriously, and loved playing tricks on all the other People. Sometimes his pranks hurt the other members of the tribe. Because of this, many of the People were wary of Coyote, and did not trust his antics.
In the time of the beginning, the People had come up out of the ground during the first spring. They had never lived on the earth before, so everything was new to them. The Sun was warm, and the land was abundant. They went about their business through the first spring and summer, never planning for the future, because life was so easy.
Because they had never lived on the earth before, they did not know about the seasons. They lived as if spring would be eternal.
But soon came the first autumn. The trees were ablaze with bright reds and golds of the season. The People did not know what this meant, as they had never seen it before. They had assumed that it would always be spring, and that the weather would always be warm. But as the first autumn began to give way to the first winter, they soon came to know that things were changing.
Since this was their first winter, they had no way of knowing that spring and summer would eventually return to the land. As the nights grew cooler the People began to panic.
“Is this the end of everything?” they cried, “Someone must do something! What if the Sun never returns?”
They all went to their Chief, saying, “The days and nights are getting colder! If you do not do something, we will all surely die!”
So Chief Buffalo held a Council to figure out what to do.
Thus begins the saga of how Coyote brought the sacred fire to the People.
Have you heard the Call of the Coyote? Here are a few questions to help you to recognize if Coyote is calling you:
•You have a deep concern for the environment and all life
•Family is extremely important to you
•You use humor as a teaching tool
•You like to challenge everyone’s beliefs, including your own
•You are a fierce protector and loyal friend
•You have an ability to ‘walk between the worlds’
•You had dreams and visions as a child
•You have an inner sense that you were born for a higher purpose
•You are willing to acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them
•You have a no-nonsense approach to things that matter
•You have a way of cutting through the extraneous to get to the heart of the matter beneath the façade
•You feel more at home in the woods than in a city
•You have often been attracted to nature
•Traditional forms of spirituality and religion don’t seem to fit you
•You want to make a difference and leave a legacy
•You have a natural gift for teaching and explaining things to others
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you may have heard the Call of the Coyote. Sencha’s forthcoming book discusses what it is to answer the call.
n’Getal (pronounced ‘NYEH-tal’)
Represents letter(s): NG
Divinatory meaning: Health, harmony, balance
Associated Tree/Plant: Reed (In Great Britain, the Reed is a variety of elm)
Healing Properties: In Britain the dwarf elm, which is the Ogham ‘reed,’ is known as the ‘reed tree.’ In North America, the equivalent would be the elm tree. Powdered bark from the slippery elm tree can be made into milk for those who are lactose intolerant. In tea, this powdered bark is a mild sedative. It also eases an upset stomach. A poultice of elm leaves aids in treating poison ivy, burns, and infected wounds.
Magical Uses: Reed/Elm magic works for anything involving music. It is also a powerful magic for divination. Elm is associated with our darker impulses, and elm magic can be used to draw these out so that they may be dealt with in constructive ways. Twigs of elm worn in a bag around the neck are said to give the wearer eloquent speech.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Pwyll, Arawn
Gort (pronounced ‘GORT’)
Represents letter(s): G
Divinatory meaning: Change, redirection, metamorphosis
Associated Tree/Plant: Ivy
Healing Properties: An infusion made from ivy leaves can be used to treat yeast infections. Poultices of ivy leaves help infections. A salve made of ground tender ivy twigs aids in healing sunburn. Ivy is an antifungal that may be used to treat athlete’s foot. The steam from boiled ivy acts as an expectorant.
Magical Uses: Ivy magic deals with rebirth and the cultivation of patience and tenacity. It may be used for banishing fear and other strong negative emotions. To insure a long friendship, make a bracelet or talisman of ivy and give it to your friend. If ivy doesn’t grow on a grave, the spirit of that departed person is said to be restless. Crowns for brides and grooms at weddings are traditionally made of ivy intertwined with holly. Ivy is considered to be a source of divine inspiration (the Awen), and for this reason, bards often wear crowns woven of ivy.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Cailleach, Manannán