Hazel is the name given to a group of large deciduous trees and shrubs, native to the northern hemisphere , thought commonly to be of the birch family, the fruit of this tree is of course the hazelnut. The trees can grow to around 12 metres and live for around 80 years, it also has a smooth grey - brown bark, which peels with age. The leaves themselves are soft to the touch and feel hairy when touched.
The Celts believed hazelnuts gave one wisdom and inspiration. There are numerous variations on an ancient tale that nine hazel trees grew around a sacred pool, dropping into the water nuts that were eaten by salmon (a fish sacred to Druids), which absorbed the wisdom. A Druid teacher, in his bid to become omniscient, caught one of these special salmon and asked a student to cook the fish, but not to eat it. While he was cooking it, a blister formed and the pupil used his thumb to burst it, which he naturally sucked to cool, thereby absorbing the fish's wisdom. This boy was called Fionn Mac Cumhail (Fin McCool) and went on to become one of the most heroic leaders in Gaelic mythology. The nuts are a good source of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, fatty acids and protein. The nuts can be powdered and added to mead or honeyed water to help with a cough. Hazel wood can be twisted or knotted, and as such it historically had many uses. These included thatching spars, net stakes, water divining sticks, hurdles and furniture.
Magickally A couple of twigs bound with gold or red thread to form a solar cross is carried for protection and good luck. The mistletoe that grows on Hazel protects you from being bewitched. Sleep under a hazel tree and you will have vivid dreams. Hazel is sacred to the Fey. A wand made of the wood can be used to call the Fey. Druids used the wands to find ley lines. Forked branches can be used to find water or buried treasure. One of the nine traditional woods burned in the Balefire by the Druids at Beltaine, burned for wisdom. Known in ancient times as the “Tree of Wisdom”.
#witch #wednesday #hazel
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