19 Jul 2009

The Magical Properties of Wood

This list contains only the magical properties of the wood, not those of leaves, bark, roots or any other part of the tree or plant. These might be found in another of my guides called "General Tree Lore". It is not a comprehensive list, either of the trees themselves or of the properties generally prescribed to them by magical practitioners, but it includes most of the Ogham woods and most types that I make wands from.
It is a work in progress, so if anyone has any further suggestions for inclusion I would be very pleased to hear from you!
As with all my work, I hold the copyright for this list so it is illegal for you to copy it without my permission. However, although you need to ask, I always give permission for anyone to use it for their own personal use, to include on their website or to distribute as a training aid, but it must not be sold!
It is my property and I choose to make it freely available to all, don't let others make you pay for it!

Alder - Alder is said to be good for controlling and banishing elementals, especially of fire or water as the tree has strong links with both elements, and it can apparently be used for the healing of wounds. It is allegedly attracted to water, so is used for dowsing. Legend has it that the Alder tree is a favourite of the Elven King's daughter. It is strongly associated with resurrection.
NOTE: I no longer recommend Alder for “whistling up the winds” or any other weather magic, as that was based on the twigs of the Alder tree being hollow, thus enabling witches (or anyone else) to make them into pipes. I have never been altogether happy with this supposed tradition because I have never found a twig of Alder that is either hollow to begin with or would be easily hollowed out! I have long suspected that this particular magical use has been mistakenly attributed to the Alder, and would actually be more relevant to the wood of the Elder tree, which does often have hollow twigs that do indeed make excellent pipes for many purposes. I have noticed that people commonly confuse Alder and Elder when simply reading about them, although the two trees are very different once you see them. Therefore, I have decided to replace the “weather magic” part of the properties with wound healing, as that tradition is based on the fact that Alder appears to bleed when cut due to the sap turning red when exposed to the air, and I know that’s true! I hope I haven’t caused too much confusion, but I feel I really have to go with what I know to be true or at least something I can see the sense in!
Apple - Apple is probably the best choice for any kind of fertility spells, or any magic to do with increase, plenty or abundance. It is a good protector of the home and cultivated land, and is said to be good for gardening magic. Traditionally, the home of the Unicorn is said to be beneath the Apple tree, and it is also where he is most easily caught. Legend tells us if a pure young woman sits quietly under an Apple tree, the Unicorn will come and gently lay his head in her lap and allow her to feed him apples.
Ash - Best known for being Yggdrasil the World Tree in the Northern Tradition, Ash has a powerful affinity with the powers residing in water. It is good for magic to do with healing and karma, and is said to provide protection from drowning. It can be used in spells that require focus and strength and it is said to banish mental strife. It is said that an Ash staff hung above the door will ensure protection of the home.
Bay - Traditionally, Bay is used for purification and healing, and is said to bring strength and protection. It can also be used to increase psychic powers.
Beech - Beech is said to be excellent for any spells concerning prosperity or plenty and to increase the capacity for learning.
Birch - Birch is traditionally used for cleansing rites and driving out evil spirits. It is useful for matters concerning protection and healing, but its great strength is in rituals to do with birth, rebirth and renewal, or any kind of new beginning. It can be used in exorcism.
Blackberry Bramble - Blackberry Bramble, or Briar as it is also known, provides strong protection of the home. It is useful for spells concerning money or prosperity, and it is said to aid in the healing of burns.
Blackthorn - Also known as Quickthorn or Sloe. Blackthorn provides very strong protection, especially of the home, and can be used in magic to deter unwanted visitors. It is said to protect against malevolent magic. It can also be used in exorcism.
Camellia - Camellia is said to be useful in matters concerning riches.
Cedar - Cedar is good for magic to do with healing, purification, money and protection, and is useful for clearing an area of negativity prior to performing ritual. It is an intensely solar wood and has strong links with both death and immortality.
Clematis - Clematis is said to be useful in magic to attain goals and achieve aspirations.
Cherry - Cherry is useful in any magic concerning romantic love or lust, and is said to be an aid to divination. It has the ability to bring individuals to the threshold of a new awakening.
Cypress - Cypress can be used in magic for healing and longevity and is said to provide comfort and protection.
Elder - Elder is the retreat of the Elder Mother, powerful matriarch of the hedgerows, woods and semi-wild places. She is the one who takes revenge on the despoilers of the countryside, and you cross her at your peril. It is said that you should never burn Elder wood on your fire, or the Elder Mother will burn your house down in retaliation. The wood of the Elder tree is especially highly charged magically, and can add power to any magical undertaking. Along with Hazel, it is said to be one of the best woods for wands. It is seen as a threshold tree, guarding portals to other realms, and legend has it that it never gets struck by lightning. It is believed that an Elder stick will kill serpents and drive away robbers, and the twigs have been carried during wedding ceremonies for good luck. It can be used for protection or exorcism rituals, and to bring healing, prosperity or sleep. It is particularly good for making women more sexually attractive to men, and for increasing the male libido!
Elm - Elm can be used in any magic to do with love, whether romantic or any other kind.
Fennel - A Fennel wand was traditionally carried during classical times by the followers of Dionysius. It has commonly been used for purification rituals, and is said to be good for magic to do with protection and healing.
Fig - Fig is excellent for spells to do with romantic love and emotional balance. It is said to bring harmony between the sexes and to help with impotence and infertility. If placed above the door of your home it is said to ensure a safe return from a journey.
Gorse - Also known as Furze or Whin. Gorse is strongly connected with the Sun and can be used in magic for money and protection. It is associated with new love and is said to feed the flames of passion! It is said to be effective when used in magic to do with fresh starts or new ventures.
Hawthorn - Hawthorn, or May as it is also known, is excellent for magic to do with general happiness, because it dispels negative energy and strife and brings hope. It is useful for cleansing and purification, and is believed to ease enforced chastity and increase male potency. It is also said to bring good luck in fishing!
Good for matters relating to general happiness, hope, purification, cleansing and male potency. Also said to bring good luck in fishing!
Hazel - Hazel is an exceptionally magical tree, as well as being extremely useful on the physical plane. It is best known for being the Celtic Tree of Wisdom, and is said to bring luck, fertility, intelligence and inspiration. Together with Elder, it is said to be one of the best woods for wands. If you hang it in your window it will protect your house from lightning, and it is also supposed to help make wishes come true!
Heather - Heather is one of the classic woods to carry for good luck and protection, and for centuries it was almost indispensible as part of a bridal bouquet. It has traditionally been used in magic to bring rain, or to enhance beauty. Beloved by the Faeries, it can apparently open a portal from this world into the Faeries' realm. It is said to promote generosity of spirit and to bring a better awareness of others' needs. It also encourages passionate love, but, paradoxically, can also provide protection against violent assault, especially rape. Wearing the wood is said to bring a long life.
Hebe - In classical Greek myth Hebe was the cupbearer to the Gods and poured for them the draughts of nectar and ambrosia which brought them everlasting youth. Her temples were seen as places of sanctuary, and if criminals gained entrance they were pardoned, many of them leaving their fetters hanging from the trees in Hebe’s sacred groves as an offering of thanks to the benevolent Goddess.
Holly - Both the Holly tree and the wood are held to be sacred, so it’s a good choice for consecration. It has a strong association with fire, and signifies the virtues of balance and directness. It is closely linked with combat and is said to bring courage and protection whilst fighting for a just cause and also to ward off evil spirits. It is good for magic to do with material gain, and is said to enhance beauty. It can also be used in spells for physical revenge.
Honeysuckle - Honeysuckle is said to increase psychic awareness, to enhance clarity and to encourage creativity. It can be useful in magic concerning protection, money and prosperity.
Horse Chestnut - Horse Chestnut is an uncommon wand wood, but said to be useful in magic to encourage healing and attract money.
Ivy - Ivy is good for love magic, especially if it relates to fidelity or constancy, and is said to promote faithful friendship. It is useful for anything to do with protection and healing and can be used for binding spells. It is said to provide protection from intoxication!
Larch - Larch is said to provide excellent protection and is especially good for protecting from theft.
Linden (Lime) - Commonly known as Lime. Linden is said to be protective and can be useful in magic to do with love and luck. It is associated with immortality and is said to promote peaceful sleep.
Magnolia - Magnolia is said to bring fidelity in love. It helps learning from past experiences and clarifies true identity. It eases restlessness and confusion and helps to maintain balance during difficult changes, and it also promotes a sense of freedom and relaxation.
Maple - Maple is good for any magic to do with prosperity, love or longevity. It is said to bring success and abundance, but also to teach humility.
Nettle - Nettles main use is in exorcism and the casting out of evil spirits, but it is also useful in magic for protection and healing. It is said to promote lust!
Oak - Oak is known for its properties of strength and endurance, and can provide strong protection. It is excellent for magic to do with power or dominion, and can be helpful in spells to do with prosperity.
Pear - Pear is believed to increase enthusiasm and energy, while also bringing deep personal peace and security. It  can aid clarity and simplicity, boost confidence and reduce stress. It is said to enhance personal power and vitality, increase your enjoyment of life and encourage spontaneity. It is particularly good for magic to do with physical love and spells to increase lust, and is said to be effective in making you, or anyone else, into a better lover!
Pine - Pine is excellent for healing, it is said that just its presence in the sick room can speed recovery. It has traditionally been used for fertility and money spells, and considered to be useful for magic involving change or shapeshifting. It protects against all forms of negativity and can be used in exorcism rituals.
Plum - Plum is excellent for all aspects of healing, and is also a good protector as it helps to disperse negative energy and evil. It makes a first class general purpose wand.
Poplar - Poplar is useful in magic to attract money and bring eloquence, and provides strong protection against theft. It is also said to be able to aid the ability to fly!
Rhododendron - Rhododendron is said to help with the process of focussing on knowledge and enhances one's awareness of enemies.
Rose - Rose is most strongly associated with charms to do with romantic love, but it is also excellent for emotional healing. It is said to bring luck and protection, and can be used to aid divination and enhance psychic power.
Rosemary - Rosemary has always been used for remembrance, not just of people or past events but also to encourage learning and increase divinatory powers. It is excellent for magic concerning healing and purification, love and lust and is said to bring peaceful sleep and to enhance youthfulness. It is strongly protective and can be used for exorcism.
Rowan - Rowan is very protective, especially against lightning and evil witchery, and can be useful in healing. It is said to increase psychic powers and bring power and success. It is allegedly the best wood to use if dowsing for metal. It is also the traditional choice for Druid's staffs.
Sweet Chestnut - Also known as Spanish Chestnut, Sweet Chestnut is said to be useful in all workings to do with romantic love, and is also believed to be effective in matters of fertility.
Sycamore - More correctly called Great Maple. Due to a mistranslation, Sycamore has been mistakenly credited with being sacred to the Egyptians. It is believed to promote relaxation and harmony, whilst at the same time raising energy levels and banishing lethargy. It is good for any magic to do with prosperity, love or longevity. It is said to bring success and abundance, but also to teach humility.
Thistle - Thistle is believed to be very strongly protective and is used in magic for the breaking of curses. It is said to bring strength and to aid healing. 
Vine - The Vine is held to be sacred in many cultures throughout the world, but holds a particularly important place in the Greek tradition as being the special plant of Dionysus. It has been used as a symbol of joy and exhilaration, but also of wanton lust and abandon. It is also symbolic of resurrection and transformation, and is useful in magic dealing with these themes.
Walnut - Walnut is good for magic to help with male impotence or infertility. For those who need it, this wood can bring independance and autonomy, and is said to aid critical thinking. However, it can also encourage aggression, jealousy and inflexibility, so it needs to be used with respect for both yourself and others.
Willow - Willow is a very magical tree that increases psychic energy, so it’s excellent as a general purpose wand. It is believed to share the essence of snakes. It is useful for magic concerning healing and fertility, and it is said to aid divination and bring inspiration. Its powers are strongest at night, under the moon.
Yew - Yew has for centuries been associated with death and immortality and is sacred to the crone aspect of the Goddess. It is seen as forming a direct link to the ancestors and can serve as a pathway to ancient wisdom.
Copyright mazedasastoat.


  1. I read this article with interest. I have recently started to develop my own psychic sense and have always been fascinated with lay lines/pendulum's dowsing etc. Being a male I wanted a pendulum that looked natural and did not appear too feminine. I was lucky enough to come across your wood pendulum/wands and purchased a willow wand. Now i have read your blog on trees i see that this was potentialy a very wise choice. Well when it arrives i shall use it intently and always think of the knowledge you have given me

  2. Fabulous, I always come back here to check up on my trees, it's a sort of virtual aboretum (which sadly I can't spell) and I've always loved the things your Etsy shop. Honoured I will be indeed if my words pop up here next to yours ha ha.

  3. Hi there i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting
    anyplace, when i read this paragraph i thought i could also make comment due to
    this brilliant post.


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