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Beltane Fire.
#1
Hello,
As I was researching some stuff for a Beltane ritual, I came across this excerpt from the web. I will not vouche for the origin, but it suites my needs.
Nine woods in the Cauldron go, 
Burn them fast and burn them slow. 
Birch in the fire goes 
To represent what the Lady knows. 
Oak in the forest towers with might, 
In the fire it brings the God's insight. 
Rowan is a tree of power, 
Causing life and magic to flower. 
Willows at the waterside stand 
Ready to help us to the Summerland. 
Hawthorn is burned to purify 
And to draw faerie to your eye. 
Hazel - the tree of wisdom and learning 
Adds its strength to the bright fire burning. 
White are the flowers of Apple tree 
That brings us fruits of fertility. 
Grapes grow upon the vine 
Giving us both joy and wine. 
Fir does mark the evergreen 
To represent immortality seen. 
Elder is the Lady's tree 
Burn it not or cursed you'll be."
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#2
I wonder if this was the poem I saw the reference to... the final line is a perfect fit. it's either modern or a finely wrought translation from an older tongue. I couldn't find any good sources when I went looking, so thanks for posting it!
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#3
This is an excerpt from Doreen Valiente's poem, The Wiccan Rede. I have a copy in one of my old websites, check out this link:  Valiente, The Wiccan Rede. It is a beautiful poem, and has been the source of much inspiration. I want to put it in Lyceum's Book of Days when we get around to making that.
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#4
This may be more about wood than you want right now, but I just came across it when going through some of my old stuff and thought that you might be interested. (And its giving me a chance to search for the best way of moving stuff from an old wiki into this newfangled forum).

List of Sacred Woods


The numeric order in all the lists below is arbitrary, a convenience. Several of these lists have been resequenced from the order in which I found them, to make comparisons between them easier.

Northwest Oregon, Southwest Washington area

  1. Birch
    Protection, Purification, Fertility, New beginnings
  2. Oak
    Healing, Strength, Money, Longevity
  3. Rowan (American Mountain Ash)
    summon spirits
  4. Willow
    path to the underworld
  5. Hawthorn
    Cleansing, Marriage, Love, Protection
  6. Hazel
    Divination, Marriage, Protection, Reconciliation
  7. Apple
    Healing, Prosperity, Love, Perpetual Youth
  8. Fir
    invoke visions
  9. Vine (grapevine)
    invoke oracle powers
American mountain ash is often called "rowan" as the appearance and ecological niche are similar, but the rowan of Europe is a different species. I cannot at this time locate references, but I have seen discussions that talk of the american rowan being magically similar to the european rowan, so I am confident of this substitution.

The inclusion of grapevine gave me pause, since although a type of grape is native to the Jefferson region of southern Oregon and Northern California, it is not currently native to NW Oregon. However the conditions are such that it will inevitably spread this way. Also significant is that grapes and man have travelled together since ancient times, and most recently (in the latter part of the 1800s) the native grape of Jefferson (the proposed state of SW Oregon and NW California) became the rootstock for virtually all European viticulture, since it is immune to a fungus that was wiping out the vines. in any event, I now feel comfortable including grape on this list.


From other areas

British Traditional Witchcraft (Gardnerian Wicca, etc)
  1. birch
  2. oak
  3. rowan
  4. willow
  5. hawthorn
  6. hazel
  7. apple
  8. fir
  9. grapevine
Another listing from BTW sources
  1. Birch
    block or banish evil spirits
  2. oak
    protection
  3. Rowan
    summon spirits
  4. Willow
    Underworld pathway
  5. Hawthorn
    guardian of doorways to the Fairy Realm
  6. Hazel
    gateway to the Otherworld
  7. Apple
    Faerywood of Avalon, and key that opens the door to the Otherworld
  8. Fir
    invoke visions
  9. Vine
    invoke oracle powers

SW Oregon [this compiled around 1999, 2000, Arlee, Rose, and Will]
  1. oak
  2. apple
  3. hawthorn
  4. native plum
  5. maple
  6. cedar
  7. yew
  8. dogwood
  9. ash

The Nine Blessed Trees

The Nine I sing, the Nine blessed trees
Which were empowered of old:
Oak, thou druid's door, open the way for us.
Apple, thou knowledge-giver, break our circle of blindness.
Ash, thou world-supporter, drive away ill powers.
Birch, thou tree-mother, help in our healing.
Hawthorn, thou branch of May, give us light and hope.
Willow, thou soul-leader, grant us safe passage.
Holly, thou forest king, be our safe refuge.
Hazel, thou wise-one's branch, give us true vision.
Alder, thou river's love, let us flow outward.
In peace, let us flow outward; in power let us flow outward;
in beauty let us flow outward.
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#5
nice resource, Will! thanks!
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#6
I love that poem with the 9 Blessed Trees. Very cool!
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