Phagos (pronounced ‘FAH-gus’)
Represents letter(s): PH, F
Divinatory meaning: Cleansing, purification, chastity
Associated Tree/Plant: Beech
Healing Properties: Beech leaves rubbed directly on the skin help heal frostbite and minor burns. An infusion of the leaves may be used to treat diaper rash or rashes from poison ivy. It also treats other skin inflammations. An infusion of beech bark has antiseptic properties.
Magical Uses: The blossoms of the beech help to keep intolerant people away. If you carve a wish on a beech stick harvested on the new moon, your wish will come true by the full moon. Once you have carved your wish on the twig, tie it to the beech tree from which it was cut. A fallen branch from a beech tree is considered to be an invitation from a Faerie to make a wish. Push this branch into the ground after carving your wish on it, and the Faeries will take it to the Sidhe for consideration by the Faerie Queen. Beech rods are favored by water dousers.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Sequana
Phagos (pronounced ‘FAH-gus’)
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
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
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
Muin (pronounced ‘MUHN’)
Represents letter(s): M
Divinatory meaning: Insight, introspection, contemplation
Associated Tree/Plant: Vine
Healing Properties: Grape leaves may be used to make a tea for treating hepatitis. Wines made from grapes aid digestion. Grape leaves may be used to make poultices for treating arthritis symptoms, headaches, and fevers. Wine may be used as a base for mulling various different herbs and spices for many healing purposes. For example, wine mulled with cloves relieves nausea and eases strep throat.
Magical Uses: Vine 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. The vine is associated with the Druid ‘thanksgiving’ of Mabon, which celebrates the birth of the Divine Child. Vine magic is therefore magic associated with imagination, inspiration, music and poetry. Using grapes in ritual and magic will attract prosperity and wealth.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Manannán, the Mabon
Qwert (pronounced ‘KWEIRT’)
Represents letter(s): Q
Divinatory meaning: Love, beauty, passion
Associated Tree/Plant: Apple
Healing Properties: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples naturally cleanse the bowels, and are good for the heart. A tea made from the bark of the apple tree can reduce fever and serves as a stimulant. A poultice made of crushed and/or boiled crabapples can help reduce scarring and swelling. Crabapple tea can help cure hangovers.
Magical Uses: Apple 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. Apples are a symbol of eternal perfection and beauty. An apple cut in half will reveal a pentacle. For this reason, apples are considered to be sacred to the Goddess. Apples are often used for divination. Bobbing for apples is a form of divination. Once you have your apple, if you put it under your pillow, you will dream about the person you will marry. It is said that an apple peel tossed over your left shoulder will form the first letter of the name of your true love. Apple magic is associated with shamanistic journeying and the Otherworld as well. ‘Avalon’ means ‘The Isle of the Apples.’
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Cailleach, Abellio
Coll (pronounced ‘CULL’)
Represents letter(s): C
Divinatory meaning: Inspiration, creativity, talent
Associated Tree/Plant: Hazel
Healing Properties: Powdered hazelnuts can be mixed with honey or mead to help a cough. Tea of hazel leaves can ease a fever, and help to reduce menstrual cramps. Hazelnuts are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Magical Uses: Hazel 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. Hazel wood is good for manifestation, for seeking wisdom, and for reconciliation. The hazel tree is known as the Tree of Wisdom. The Salmon of Wisdom is said to have grown wise from eating hazelnuts. Hazel rods are used for dousing. Hazels are said to grow on the borders between this world and the Otherworld, and therefore contain the wisdom of both realms. To harvest hazel at its peak of magic, do so at twilight on Samhain Eve. Cut hazel branches with a flint rather than with a knife.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Danu, Fionn
Tinne (pronounced ‘CHIN-yuh’)
Represents letter(s): T
Divinatory meaning: Movement, action, activity
Associated Tree/Plant: Holly
Healing Properties: Holly berries are poisonous, so do not ingest them! Press fresh holly leaves to extract the juice, and use this juice to treat jaundice. Tea made from dried holly leaves is used to treat fevers. It is also effective for gout, bladder infections and congestion.
Magical Uses: Holly has an amplifying effect on magic. To add an extra ‘zing’ to your magic works, incorporate a holly sprig. Spears and arrows made of holly are said to always find their mark. During a full moon, soak a branch of holly overnight in water. Sprinkle this water around the house for purification and protection. This water is especially helpful in
protecting infants. Holly bushes are said to repel unfriendly spirits and negative influences. Holly is the traditional decoration for Alban Arthan/Yule. To make your dreams come true, pick nine holly leaves while remaining completely silent. Wrap these leaves in a pure white silk or cotton cloth, then tie nine knots in the cloth. Sleep with this bundle under your pillow.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Lugh, Macha, the Holly King