Magikal Trees – Aspen

The mighty Aspen

Aspen

ASPEN

The Aspen is frequently known as the “trembling Aspen” because of the way the leaves seem to constantly quiver. One of the many beliefs about this tree is that it was the wood used for Christ’s cross. Another story relating to Jesus that attempts to explain the quivering action of the leaves is that the Aspen was the only tree in the forest that did not bow down to the holy family. Jesus is said to have put a curse on it, which cause the tree to tremble in fear.

According to Cormack’s glossary1, a rod of Aspen, called a fe, was used to measure a fresh grave to ensure its occupant would fit. This is said to have given rise to Aspen’s association with death. In the Tain Bo Cuailnge, Aspen was cut for the charioteers of the sons of Garach for spears to slay the Ulster hero Chulainn.

Medicinally, Aspen has been used to alleviate fevers. The black poplar is used for skin abrasions and to relieve pain and inflammation. The buds, bark, and leaves contain salicin, which is similar to aspirin. It has also been used for earaches, asthma and coughs.

During time of famine, Native Americans used the inner bark of the Aspen as food. This was preferable over some other available food because of its sweetness. It was also used to feed animals.

Aspens have soft white wood that is prone to breaking in storms. They are one of the early trees to repopulate a forest after a fire or other disaster, their shade providing a gentle “nursery” for other trees. Aspens stabilise a damaged ecosystem, and like Alders, they are healers.

Latin Name: Populis tremuloids (quaking aspen), P. Alba (White poplar), P. Nigra (Black poplar), P. canescens (Grey poplar)

Seasonal Details: long clustered catkins that often release “Cottony” seeds March – May; small oval/heart-shaped leaves that turn vibrant yellow in autumn

Powers/Attributes: ancestry, astral projection, communication, courage, eloquence, endurance, harmony, healing, money, peace, protection, rebirth, rejuvenation, success

Elements: air, water

Ogham Character:    Eabhadh

Name: Eadhadh

Letter: E

Ogham Character:    Eadhadh

Name: Eabhadh

Letters: EA, CH, K

Rune Character:      Peorth

Name: Peorth/Pertho

Letter: P

Feng Shui Sectors: Centre, east, south east, south

Goddesses: Calypso, Frigg, Hecate, Morrigan, Persephone

Gods: Apollo, Achilles, Tyr, Zeus

Other Names for Tree: trembling Aspen, shivering tree, poplar

Zodiac: Capricorn, Libra

Celestial Bodies: Mercury, Saturn, Venus

Gemstone: grey topaz

Wildlife: butterflies, mourning dove, swan

Other Tree: Willow

Colours: grey, silvery white

Energy: masculine (White poplar cop), feminine (black poplar)

Bach Flower Remedy: fear of unknown things

Other Associations: death; dates: February 4 – eight, May 1 – 14, and August 5 – 13;

West; Sabbats: Mabon/Autumn equinox; sources disagree whether this is a Celtic peasant/common tree or shrub tree

Spellwork and Ritual: protection spell (especially against theft); travelling to or communicating with other realms; spells to help you through difficult times, as well as when you just need a boost in specific aspects of life

Glossary 1: this is an Irish/Latin dictionary compiled by Cormac Mac Cuilemmain of Cashel circa 900 CE. Ellis, the Druids, 150

Source: whispers from the woods by Sandra kynes

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