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    Branches for Bouquets and Sending Peace

      “Peace proclaims Olives of endless age”  Shakespeare, Sonnet 107


    There is an interesting phenomenon that happens during times of peace. Known as a horticultural boom; history shows us that there are increases in literacy, food supplies, and botanical knowledge. Elizabeth I encourage sharing in horticultural research and food sustainable practices.

    Branches and blossoms of trees have their own language. During this time of midwinter, branches transform in the moments of bright light. When designing your peace bouquet here are some ways to express your thoughts. Select branches with blooms that just about to burst forward symbolizing the hope of good things to come.

    Almond (Prunus amygdalus /dulcis) branches mean hope. Phyllis, the Queen of Thrace, believed her lover, Demophon an Athenian, would never return from war. She commits suicide. The Gods are empathic turned her into an almond tree. When Demophon returns, he embraced the tree where it blossomed and became a symbol of constant love and eternal hope.

    Apple (Malus) branches with their blossoms just opening are a symbol of peace. The colors range from pink to white as they send healing energy out to the world. Apple blossoms produced oxygen day and night while attracting pollinators with their delightful fragrance.


    The white and striking bark of birch (Betula) trees with red branches, speak to rebirth and new beginnings. The tree represents graciousness in all matters.

    Cherry (Prunus) blossoms represent power. A single cherry blossom means celebrate new beginnings.

    The hawthorn’s (Crataegus) white blossoms support the first bees of the year. The branches offer hope, banish strife, and protection. It is not recommended to bring the branches indoors, as flies are drawn to its carrion scent.

    Hazelnut (Corylus avellana) branches in a bouquet, offer reconciliation and wisdom. This is an ancient tree of Knowledge and Inspiration. The red flower (female) of hazelnuts is quite discreet. You must look closely to spy them with their Whoville looking blossom.

    Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) blossoms and the tree mean please do me justice. Smaller branches are shaped like a horse-shoe mimicking luck and bringing smiles to an arrangement.

    Olive (Oleacea) branches are a symbol of peace from ancient times to modern. The Egyptians considered the branches a symbol of everlasting power. I have never seen flowers on olive branches and found this site that has great photos to share.

    Quince branches (Chaenomeles) mean rebirth, represents a choice, and abundance. Their flowers are a striking salmon color tucked in between the thorny branches.

    The pink blossoms of plum trees (Prunus) lay flat on the branches to meet the sun’s rays. A symbol of winter that indicates a strong personality who is unafraid of difficulties.

    The pines (Pinus), cones, and boughs send hope and friendship. Pine trees represent longevity, steadfastness, self-discipline, endurance, and long life. All required when seeking peace in no matter what form for one’s soul, local or global areas.

    Willow (Salix) branches bending with their golden, red, and yellow shades are wonderful elements of a winter bouquet. All willows speak to healing, protection, and being brave in times of sadness.

    Yew (Taxus) branches and foliage with their evergreen leaves speak to immortality and everlasting life. They send wishes for smooth transitions and transformations. They tell us that peace can be a death and rebirth step and shield and protect the sender and receiver.



    Larkin Van Horn created this tapestry of peace. I met Ms. Van Horn while her craft was displayed at the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Museum during a special exhibit on peace.   Please see her blog  http://larkinart.com/.  Many thanks for her permission to use this piece in my blog.



    The Magic of Flowers by Tess Whitehurst

    Botanical Shakespeare: An Illustrated Compendium of All the Flowers, Fruits, Herbs, Trees, Seeds, and Grasses Cited by the World’s Greatest Playwright Hardcover – Illustrated, April 4, 2017 , by Gerit Quealy (Author), Sumie Hasegawa Collin

    Meaning of Flowers, http://www.daleharvey.com/Directory/articles-of-interest/LANGUAGE+OF+FLOWERS/Meaning+of+Flowers.html#Q



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    Trees with Love in Their Souls

    “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.”  Albert Einstein


    But trees may be. Trees contribute to finding, protecting and long relationships. They love, love creating a connection to the seen and unseen world – pushing us beyond comfort levels and opening us up.   The below list is a sampling of trees that want to help in the area of love and romance.



    Almond (Prunus dulcis)

    An elegant and romantic tree.  The Moorish King al-Mu’tamid planted almond trees for his beloved wife.  She missed snow and the blossoms gave her joy every winter at the Court of Cordoba, Spain.  Pink almonds are planted near St. Valentine’s grave in the Church of Praxedes in Rome.

    Phyllis and Demophon of Greek myth are a story of love taking a few turns.  There are many stories of who did whom wrong.  Demophon had to leave on their wedding day due to war, father dying or other reasons and promised to return.  He did not arrive back home at the appointed time.  Phyllis got depressed and died. The gods took pity and turn her into an almond tree.  Demophon did returned and overcome with guilt or grief, hugged the tree in which its bare branches blossomed creating the first almond tree.  This myth gave almonds the emblem of true love inextinguishable by death and hope.

    Almonds come in two groups; sweet almonds that are edible, roasted, or pressed for the oil. And bitter almonds (P. dulcis variety amara) used for food flavorings or in oils. Bitter almonds contain traces of prussic or hydrocyanic acid which can be lethal to animals and humans.  Through developed processes the toxic is removed for safe use.


    Apples (Malus)

    Apple blossoms and trees stand for love.  It is always in love – wanting to be loved and providing love. A tree with lots of personality, charm, and the energy of perpetual youth. It is called the Tree of Love or The tree of Avalon.  A name that conjures up romance for this feminine sign ruled by the planet Venus.

    Venus and Aphrodite, the Roman and Greek Goddesses of Love rule apples and uses them as their symbol. Olwen, the Celtic Goddess of Love walks by apples to set them blooming.

    One of the most famous battles of all times was for love, the Greek’s Trojan Wars.  Aphrodite suggested a competition between Hera (Goddess of Marriage and Queen of Olympus), Athena (Goddess of War and Wisdom) and herself.  Aphrodite gave Paris (the hero) three golden apples to pick the most beautiful woman on earth.  Paris went with Helen of Troy instead of the goddesses. Hera and Athena decided a little war was appropriate payback.  The innocence apple became known as the Apple of Choice and Beauty and in another vein, the Apple of Discord.

    The Feast of St. Thomas in Austria is celebrated on December 21st.  This is the night that a maiden cut open an apple and counts the number of seeds.  An even number indicated she would marry soon. Cutting one of the seeds meant, she would have a difficult life and end up a widow.  When there were several suitors, the seeds were removed and thrown into the fire, reciting the name of each suitor. The seed that popped was the one to marry.

    Place dry apple peels in sachets to attract love. Looking for love? Twist the stem of an apple while calling out the letters of the alphabet, the stem will break on the first letter of the name of your future lover.  Or peel an apple in one long strip and tossed backwards over the left shoulder. The shape made by the peel shows the initial of the future spouse.


    Alder (Alnus)

    In the name of love Alder offers protection.  In Irish legend, Deirdre of the Sorrows fled Ireland to Scotland to escape the marriage with King Conchobar of Ulster.  Hiding with her lover Naoise, they found shelter in the alders at Glen Etive.

    Alders have three planetary rulers and exhibits masculine and feminine energies.  Venus, the goddess, watches over lovers and outlaws who take refuge in the spring groves and need protection. Mars, Roman God of War; helps these two to move rapidly and with the speed of experience warriors. Neptune, Roman God of the Sea,   exhibits feminine energy with his ability to balance the compassionate nature of filtering the truth at a slower rate. Physically the alder’s catkins show this balance with male and female growing on the same branch blending strengths to move forward in one’s life. You can see the past, present and future on an alder branch: last year’s empty cones, this year’s cones, and next year’s catkins.

    Mystical creatures frolic among alders. The water spirits, white fairy horse and unicorns love this tree.

    Alders are unique in that all the elements along with a fifth – charcoal are present.  They are integrated through the Goddesses of Spinning.  Ask the Goddess Venus to assist in creating the dye and weaving magic into the fabric.


     Ash (Fraxinus)

    Cupid, the God of Desire, Attraction and Affection.  He is Roman.  His counterparts in Greek are Eros and in Latin Amor. The first arrows of love were from the wood of ash trees.

    Ash’s seeds are used in love divination. If the seeds do not appear the owner is unlucky in love.  Venus of the Woods is the name given to the spring-time blooms of ash. The Goddess Venus lends her name to this activity.  She oversees many hopes of lovers. In this English verse, the inquirer would soon have the identity of their intended revealed,

    Even-ash, even-ash, I pluck thee,
    This night my own true love to see,
    Neither in his bed nor in the bare,
    But in the clothes he does every day wear.”

    Placing ash leaves under a maiden’s pillow encouraged dreams of her future lover. An ash leaf placed in a shoe of a maiden and then recites the following rhyme, will  tell her the name of her future husband.

    “Even, even, ash
    I pluck thee off the tree.
    The first young man that I do meet,
    My lover he shall be.”

    The Greek story of Philemon and Baucis appear again in Norwegian myths of Axel Thordsen and Fair Valdborg.  When dying they were buried close to each other with ashes on either side. The trees grew and formed one.


    Birch (Betula)

    Birches shine bright in the winter sky with the light of the stars and the moon.  Lammas, the Celtic festival of harvest catches the sun in the sky.  All three; the sun, stars and moon symbolize that summer will always return.  Romantic thoughts for sure.

    Maypoles were used for this festival. In parts of Germany, young men placed decorated birch trees in front of the home of their love interests on the night of May 1st . Wreaths were given as gifts by lovers. In Wales, men and women would exchange birch garlands to show their interest in each other.

    Chestnut (Castanea)

    Chestnuts are about honesty, love, and a symbol of longevity. A tree of beauty with its glorious floral display and in the Language of Flowers means grandeur.  The wood brings success and love.  Zeus had many flings and used his sacred wood to move around. Druids made staffs of chestnuts to draw longevity and gain energy from the earth. Place a piece of  wood or carving under a distressed couple’s bed to ease disputes and relationship problems.

    Sweet chestnuts are edible and can be confused with the horse chestnut, not edible. The planet Jupiter rules this expansive and large tree.


    Hazelnut (Corylus)

    Hazelnuts are extraordinary charming and very understanding.   Full of inspiration, pen your poem under a hazelnut or surround yourself with its branches.  Known for wisdom, this tree with help you with understanding, making impressions and dealing with a capricious lover. Hazelnuts bring change and the talent to expression yourself in love.

    The fruit of hazelnuts are the power source of this tree providing important nourishment. It is tree with an auspicious sign that love and new projects will have the magical ingredients for success.

    September 14th is Nutting Day in the British Isles.  Held until WWI, it was a day that the nuts were considered perfect for foraging by children.  Out-a-nutting, was a chance to be alone in the woods with a lover.

    Spiritually linked to the heart chakra, several goddesses are intertwined with the hazelnut.  In Roman and Greek myth,  Venus and Aphrodite, Goddesses of Love. For the Elves, the Goddess of the Enchanting Power of Beauty.  The Celtic Goddess Arianrhod, (Ardiana by the Elves) works through the hazelnut as The Tree of Wishes.

    The flowers tend be male and female on a single tree as its energy.  If for some reason the flowers are borne on separate trees, they forecast a lover’s meeting.  In the language of flowers, hazelnuts are about reconciliation.


    Hawthorn (Crataegus)

    An early bloomer that cleanse the heart of negativity, stimulates love, and forgiveness.  Hawthorns helps to heal broken hearts and provide hope once again.

    Blodeuwedd, Welsh Goddess of Spring.  She protects women who are forced to marry, aiding them to choose their own love.  Hawthorn’s flowers mean temporary beauty.  Their fleeting presence reminds us of the autumn.

    Plant hawthorn at crossroads. Humans, earth spirits, fairies will meet under hawthorns.  Travelers and lovers hang bits of clothing as a prayer flag or to make wishes in health, luck, love, and success.


    Lilac (Syringa)

    Synonymous with the capital R for Romance and classic charm. Sultan Ahmed III pursued an uncommon passion for flowers.  One being lilacs.  He is credited with gifting the fragrant lilac to the Europeans.

    Syringa was a beautiful wood nymph in Greek mythology. The God Pan spied her one day, lusted for her and took chase. Depending on the version of the story, to get away from him, she either transformed herself into a reed or a lilac bush, both of which make great flutes. Ultimately, Pan won because he made a flute from her disguise and it never left his side from then on.

    In the Victorian Language of Flowers, lilacs are a symbol of first love. So many colors, so many meanings.  In the theme of love and romance, the lighter shade of purple is associated with one’s first love or the first time one feels love for someone.  Pink is associated with love and strong friendship and white symbolized innocence.

    The Serbian King, Uroš I Nemanjić, welcome his future queen, Helen of Anjou with lilacs planted along the Ibar River to remind her of Provence.  Now called the Valley of Lilacs it still enchants and delights visitors.

    Lilacs are long-lived and even in death provide romance. Burning the wood fills the air with its fragrance.


    Magnolia ( family Magnoliaceae)

    The flowers of magnolias represent a love of nature. One of the first plants to reproduce using flowers pollinated by insects. They are a classic beauty.

    Napoleon’s first love Josephine over saw the breeding of the pink Magnolia X soulangiana. Soulangiana was the founder of the National Historical Society in France.


    Myrtle (Myrtus) (family Myrtaceae)

    Myrtles are evergreen, fragrant, with white, star-shaped flowers. A symbol of love and marriage.  Sacred to Hathor, the Egyptian Goddess of Love, Joy, Childbirth, Heaven, Music, and Women.  Then to Greek Goddess Aphrodite. Venus wears a crown of myrtle leaves. Myrtle blossoms and leaves were used to create wreaths for Roman brides to wear.  Queen Victoria started the tradition of using myrtle flowers in royal family bouquets. Named the Osborne Myrtle, every royal bride has a piece of myrtle since then.


    Maples (Acer spp.)

    Trees of diversity with their barks, leaf-color, and winter structure. They represent love, longevity, and prosperity to the home and your sacred space. Ruled by Jupiter they bring expansive and happy energy to situations.

    Maples are a tree of divination and awakening intuition. Its energy balances the male and female in one’s relationship.  Balance that makes the relationship grow stronger and an over-all healthier.

    Seeing the seen and unseen world, maple spirits ground individuals psychically and spiritually. The help to find practical ways to form expression. They activate the chakras in the arches of the feet, keeping individuals grounded.  A much need ability in matters of love.

    Myths tell us that Sugar Maple’s (Acer saccharum ) leaves will bring love and prosperity in spells or create financial abundance.  The Gypsies repeat this theme of bringing gold. Eating the seeds draws love.


    Oak (Querus spp)

    Drop your acorns in the water to see how the relationship will progress.  If they float together, the couple will marry.  If they drift apart, so will the relationship.


    Pine (Pinus)

    Cybele the Greek Goddess of Love change her unfaithful lover Attis to a pine. Her son, Zeus, saw her sadness and made the pine green throughout the year as a consolation.  When the wind blows through the pines, it is speaking of a new future.  Roman mythology associated pine cones with Venus, Goddess of Love and Fertility.


    Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)

    Love runs the gamut of emotions and the willows relay this.  In the western world, they are considered unlucky. A traditional folk song from the southern Appalachian Mountains explains:

    “Bury me beneath the willow,

    ‘neath the weepin willow tree,

    for when she hears that I am sleepin’

    maybe then she’ll think of me.”


    Willows the genus of plants (Salix) are indicators of spring and nature’s starting its annual life cycle. In Asia, eternal friendship, patience, perseverance are symbols.

    They help us to  encourages the expression of deep emotions, including grief and sadness through tears.  Willows teach the value and consequences of love and loss.  It symbolically tells us that even through great loss; there is the ability to grow.  There is the potential for something new.

    The colors of willow display great symbolism. Brown symbolizes stability, structure, and support. Green leaves growth, fertility, and life. As a tree it is about balance, learning, and harmony.


    Please Plant Responsibility.



    *I use many references in my work.  This section is only an indication of where I found unique information.

    Indigenous Trees – Ash

    100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names, Diana Wells, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1997



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    Trees of the Heart

    “Trees with Heart Speak Hopefully, Quietly, and Strongly ” – D MacPherson




    Catalpa Heart

    There is a group of trees with leaves that appear heart-shaped. They span many botanical families, are deciduous, and fill the air with their delectable scents. Many do well in the landscape. Classified as heart-shape, they help with new love, old love, and broken love. Their fruits or nuts are often paired with chocolate.






    Bo Tree–Ficus Religosa

    The fig leaves of the World Tree share its knowledge and grace with us. The leaves flutter under moonlight and light breezes. Elephants and silk worms enjoy munching on them. Figs are a symbol of fertility, propagation, vegetation, and immortality.

    Its energy is very masculine. Under this fig Prince Siddhartha Gautama sat and became enlighten. He became Buddha and created the practice of Buddhism’s. The Greek God Dionysus in his role as a fertility god could be found near a fig tree. Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were nursed under a fig tree. The Hindu God Vishnu was born under Ficus indica and became part of the triad with Brahma and Shiva.

    Figs are known by many names. Bodhi means historic events. Tree of Enlightenment or Awakened One. Tree of Knowledge. Tree of Buddha.

    Ruled by the element earth and the sun. Both keep the fig grounded and looking to the sky for wisdom and inspiration.


    Camphor–Cinnanomum camphora

    A round and dense tree maturing to 100 feet that provides wonderful shade and beauty. Leaves start as a romantic pink then bloom out to green. Followed by yellow clusters of flowers and black berries. Native to the subtropics of Asia.

    Valued in China where all parts are used in healing remedies. Individuals who hurt these trees were put to death. Camphor helps in heart problems, especially with break-ups. You will recognize this tree’s crushed leaves as the scent of moth-balls. A natural repellent for moths giving the tree one of its names – Moth Ball Tree.

    Camphor is ruled by the feminine energy of the Moon and Moon Goddesses. Give her a gift on the new moon and ask her to help. A water element, camphor will feel your needs and help you work through them.



    Catalpa_Flowers_LeavesCatalpha–Catalpha spp.

    There are two types; Northern (Catalpha speciose) and Southern (Catalpha bignoniodes).  Native to the Americans.  They can reach a height of 40 to 60 feet with short trunks and rounded crowns.  The trunks are gray and red, respectively. Fast growers and short-lived.  It is an interesting tree in the landscape.

    Flowers are white with a touch of rich gold.  As the leaves open, they feel velvety and appear paper thin.  The green and black caterpillar of the Catalpa Sphinx Moth loves the leaves.  Wood is slightly aromatic.  The seedpods are its most distinguishing features giving them the names of  Indian-bean or Cigar Tree.  Children used the seed pods in sword-fighting.   Catalpa_Seed_Pods

    Catalpha is aligned with the realm of Spirit and will help to bring angels, fairies, deities, and ancestors to your sacred space.   A tree of masculine energy it is ruled by Uranus.





    CherriesPrunus spp

    Native Americans call cherries the Tree of the Heart. Medium growers and short-lived they are a landscape and food-source. Many of the edible cherries are from modern-day cultivars breed from Prunus avium and Prunus cerasu. Black cherries, Prunus serotina is a 60-foot tree with edible black fruit. The bark, leaves and seeds are toxic.

    Cherries are celebrated for their spring blooms of white, red, or pink. Reflective of its ruling planet Venus and feminine energy the blossoms are part of the angelic realm of the cherubs. They are sacred to the Japanese emperor. Called sakura blossoms is the national flower of Japan. From Japanese folklore and now spread worldwide; blossoms are the symbol of love and joy. Their short bloom time reminds us that life is short. Do your best to live it well and to the fullest. Burning incense will attract or strengthen love.

    The Japanese Goddess Konohanasakuya-hime is the blossom-princess and symbol of its delicate earthly life. She is part of wedding rituals. Every part of her presence with blossoms vibrates love. Cherry trees symbolize the shortness of life and how precious it is.

    The Ho-ho bird is one of four types of firebirds in Asian mythology. Firebirds (phoenix) are reflective of the fire element. They are messengers of goodwill from the sun.



    Venus_DogwoodDogwoodCornus spp.

    Dogwoods are many. Native Americans cherish dogwoods and their white blooms. Their appearance signals the arrival of spring and time to plant crops. The varieties are smaller and don’t match the height of the Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttalli)–a pure delight when you run across them in bloom. Their mass display of white is striking when tucked in with their conifer cousins.

    The wonderful flowers called bracts delight many an observer. The true flowers are at the center of this configuration. Its fall foliage lights up the area wherever it stands with the fruit becoming scarlet.

    The name dogwood is a discussion point. Cornus sanquinea, the English variety, was an ingredient in washes for dogs and some claim to befriend dogs. The name dagwood is short for daggerwood. Dogwood is hard, durable, and dense – used for weapons and skewers.

    The planetary ruler Saturn rules structure and dogwoods. Plant dogwood as a boundary tree. In the language of trees, it means endurance. A tree that helps with broken or sad hearts. A Cherokee story tells of a princess killed because she refused the advances of a warrior. Wounded, she reached for a dogwood flower hoping to stop the bleeding. The pink tips in the flower show her bravery.

    In another Cherokee tale, the element of spirit appears. The Dogwood People are elementals that help to teach harmony with the earth and protect the tribe. Dogwoods are masculine energy.



    Empress Tree – Paulownia tomentosa

    The Empress Tree is known by many names; foxglove tree, princess tree, and royal paulownia. A native to China and valued for its many uses; medicinal, ornamental, or timber. Reaching a height of 50 feet it provides shade to everything under its canopy. The leaves are large, showy, and velvety enticing its use as a worldwide ornamental. The tube-shaped flowers of white to purple spread their jasmine or vanilla-like fragrance.

    This is the time that love is in the air perhaps the influence of its ruling planet Venus. Very much a tree of feminine energy. A fast grower that is planted when a girl is born. When she is ready to marry the tree is cut down, and the wood used to create her dowry chest.

    The fruit is egg-shaped forming seed pods that turn brown in winter and stay until the following spring. The bark is rough and gray-brown interlaced with smooth and shiny areas. This tree self-sows and survives by fire, sending out new shoots in the spring. Like the phoenix rising from the flame both are symbolic of the element of fire.

    Introduced to the United States by the Dutch East India Company in the 1830s it is invasive. Catalpa and Empress Trees have a similar look. Look to the flowers and seed pods for clear identification.



    Hazelwood_LeavesHazelwood –  Corylus spp.

    A small and mighty tree full of magical power. Short trees with leaves that alternate and are toothed. The Turkish filbert, Corylis coluna is the exception growing to heights of 80 feet.

    Connected to the heart chakra it is well-suited to magic of wisdom, beauty, charm, love, stars, navigation, and creativity. The Tree of Wishes it will help with fertility, luck, and the power to grant the heart’s desire. Both feminine and masculine energies are present in Hazelwood.  It is sacred to Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love and the Norse God Thor for immortality.

    Hazelwood is sacred in many cultures; guarding sacred wells, aligning to gods, and providing treasured food. When you dream of hazelnuts, they are telling you of treasure coming your way. Cracking and then eating the nuts mean riches and content after toil.

    Tied to the element of spirit and its planetary ruler Mercury the three components provide communication and messages from the other side to share with the mortal world. It is a tree known for knowledge. Knowledge is a way to communicate. In Irish myths, it was the salmon that shared its knowledge with the Celts after eating hazelnuts.


    Katsura_LeavesKatsura–Cercidiphyllum spp.

    A showy tree described as divine beauty and elegance. A nice addition to a landscape. Leaves are purple in spring turning to green in summer and gold in the fall. It is in the fall that their fragrance of warm caramel or maple scones fills the air.

    A good shade tree that likes moist and well-drained soils with full sun to part-shade. Katsura trees are fast growers. Another wonderful benefit of these trees is their lack of any serious pests or diseases. Prone to leaf scorch if planted in areas of drought and full sun.

    The planetary bodies Venus (love) and the Moon (mystery) rule over Katsura. Japanese folklore tells us Katsura grew on the moon. Its energy is ethereal and otherworldly. Sit with it under moonlight with a moonstone crystal and think romantic thoughts.
    Katsura is a fire element with masculine and feminine energies.


    Linden –  (Tilla spp.)

    A fast-growing tree reaching 60 to 100 feet, forming wonderful crowns. Clusters of highly fragrant flowers appear in early June and the leaves turn yellow in fall. When young they have a smooth and light gray bark. As it matures, the bark becomes bumpy and closer to brown. Native to Europe and the United States.

    A joyous tree for dancing around. The Tree of Love or Lovers. Scythia soothsayers twisted the leaves to tell of the prophecies that came from the trees. Lindens are a symbol of martial love and fidelity. Nowhere is this better displayed than in the Greek/Roman story of Baucis and Philemon. Jupiter(Zeus) and his messenger, Mercury(Hermes), were traveling in disguise and this elderly couple were the only ones to show them hospitality. As a turn of thankfulness, the gods turned Baucis into an oak and Philemon a linden tree when they died. The branches of the two trees intertwined and became inseparable.

    French folklore repeats this theme and the linden’s property of masculine and feminine energy. If the groom passed under two linden trees that had their treetops woven together, the marriage never fell apart. Napoleon married his second wife Marie Louise under linden trees. He had them planted along the roads to the entrance of Logatec, Slovenia. Lindens are often used in street tree planting. Careful though when in bloom; aphids love this tree and create a honeydew sap that drips down on everything.

    Lindens are a water element ruled by the planet Uranus.  Together they capture the emotions and high functionality (law, justices, administration) of societies. Lindens were often used as community decision trees.



    Quaking_Aspen_LeavesQuaking AspenPopulus tremula

    Aspens are short-lived as individuals but as a community tree can live for millennial. They can grow to a height of 50 feet. Young bark is narrow, straight, and white. Maturing bark turns black near the bottom of the trunk. Leaves turn shades of gold in the fall. A community tree as they grow in groves and can replace itself within 50 years. A tree that at one time grew everywhere in North America. An important tree in forest succession, they are the first to appear after a fire or a deforested area. They provide the much-needed shade for the next group of trees in succession, the sub-alpine firs.

    Its moving leaves are considered magical. Mercury and Jupiter share co-rulership of quaking aspens. A fitting symbol with its leaves in constant motion and its large and expansive nature.  Pando is the largest Quaking Aspen community. Meaning Trembling Giant or in Latin, I spread out. Several centuries old, the community is dying.

    A tree of masculine energy, called the Tree of Heroes or the Shield Tree. Its leaves give heroes or shamans power to transport back and forth between this world and others. The lightweight wood is pliable for shields that gave magical properties protecting buried treasures. Wreaths made of gold shaped aspen leaves were found in several graves in Mesopotamia. Aspen’s physical strength protected warriors from harm and helped individuals work through physical and spiritual fears.


    Redbud–Genus Cercis

    Redbuds are native to eastern and central North America.  The Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) or the Western Redbud (Cercidiphyllum japonicum).

    This trees truly have a four-season interest. Flowers liken to the shape of hummingbirds that burst out in intense red color fading to a warm pink. The blossoms adore branches that attract pollinators. Green leaves turn yellow, gold, or red in the fall. The leaves emit a sugar-cookie scent attesting to its name the Caramel Tree. Winter brings symmetrical branching with scaly and shaggy bark.

    Redbuds are aligned to the Divine-Feminine. Pallas is the ruling Goddess of Redbuds and the Goddess of Marriage. Plant redbuds to support long-term partnership or enduring romantic relationships. The element of fire rules over redbuds.


    Please Plant Responsibly.



    Leaves – In Myth, Magic & Medicine.  Alice Thomas Vitale, Sweet, Tabori & Chang, NY, 1997

    Japanese Mythology & Folklore, Lars Krutak, 2019

    Magical Herbalism, Scott Cunningham, Llewellyn Publications, St Paul, MN, 1988

    The Folklore of Trees & Shrubs, Laura C Martin, The Globe Pequot Press, Old Saybrook, Connecticut, 1992

    The Mystery and Magic of Trees and Flowers, Lesley Gordon, Webb & Bower, Exeter, England, 1985


    Photo Credit

    Quaking Aspens – P.McMillen