🌳 Weekly Witchy CHALLENGE - Sacred Trees and Wood

A warm welcome to all!

Thank you once again to the generous souls who joined in for last week’s Weekly Witchy Challenge - Magickal Offerings :open_hands:

After exploring the world of offerings, it’s time to dig in and sink our toes into a nature-focused theme this week.

This challenge began as a seed planted by the kind @Kasandra and is…

Witchy Challenge Sacred Trees Wood Magick

:deciduous_tree: :tanabata_tree: Sacred Trees and Wood :palm_tree: :basket:

Wands :wand_tarot: , besoms :broom:, baskets for herbs :basket:, our sacred spaces :place_of_worship:, altar decorations :sparkles:, and more - there are many potential places for wood to be used in our magickal practices.

And trees! :evergreen_tree: From choosing specific wood from a sacred tree for wands, learning about magickal tree properties, learning the Sacred Tree Language and more- whether you consider yourself a Green Witch or otherwise, trees are also likely to play an important role in your Craft :deciduous_tree:

For this challenge, were are parting the branches to peer into the role of wood and trees in your magickal practice :palm_tree:

So are you ready?

Because it’s… CHALLENGE TIME!

:bellhop_bell:


Art by Unknown, Shared on Pinterest

STEP 1 : Magickal Wood and Sacred Trees :deciduous_tree:

There is a whole forest of ways that you might explore magickal wood and sacred trees in your practice this week!

Here are just a few suggestions of how you might tackle this challenge theme:


:open_book: Learn about the magickal properties of trees

Like all Green Witches know, plants have magickal correspondences (and sometimes medicinal qualities!) that can be drawn on in the Craft. Learn more about sacred trees and take some time to explore traditional and magickal meanings of trees :evergreen_tree:

The 13 Tree Moons/Months of the Year
Sacred Irish Trees
Sacred Trees


Picture by SpiritShop on Pinterest

:triquetra: Study the Tree Language

Did you know there is a tree language? Explore the symbols and meanings of the Irish Ogham and learn more about this fascinating pagan language :sparkles:

Irish Tree Language - The Ogham

:hammer_and_wrench: Crafting with wood

Have you ever made your own wand or besom :broom:? How about a wooden talisman, offering to a deity, or altar decorations :place_of_worship:?

There are many ways to do magickal crafting with wood or other tree products.

Create-Consecrate-Magic-Wand-Wicca-360x240
How to Make and Consecrate Your Witch’s Wand

Magick-Broom-Meaning-Witchcraft-360x240
Magickal Broom Over the Door

Harvesting Wood for Wands
Choosing wood
Homemade Magickal Tools
Show me your Besom
I made a Besom

:diya_lamp: Tree Resin Incense

What do you know about resin- do you use it as an ingredient, or perhaps as part of a magickal incense? How about sandalwood or other wood-based incenses? Explore tree resin and wood this week or consider making your own!

Incense-and-perfumes-360x240
Magickal Incense and Perfumes

Isis-Incense-Recipe
Isis Protection Incense

Hecate-of-the-Crossroads-Incense-Recipe-360x240
Hecate of the Crossroads Incense

Frankincense for grounding and protection
Frankincense essential oil

:national_park: Forest Meditation

Whether you enjoy forest bathing, meditative walks, or nature-based meditations- a forest-inspired meditation is a wonderful way to connect with the woods this week :woman_in_lotus_position:

Meditation-Roots-Online-Course-360x240
Meditation Roots: Guided Meditations

:raised_hands: …And More!

From tree or forest spells, to artwork, music, or more- feel free to spread your roots and let your creativity flourish this week!


Picture from Pixabay


STEP 2 : Share Your Experience :writing_hand:

Click here for notes about challenge inclusivity

Everyone is welcome to join the challenge by practicing magick in line with the current theme. For those who don’t feel comfortable sharing, it is absolutely okay to follow along with the challenge but keep your entry personal. Feel free to join in spirit and do what feels most comfortable for you! :blush:

That being said, please know that if you would like to receive a prize and a public shout-out, it is required that you share your experience.

To participate in the challenge, please share:

  1. How you explored trees/wood in your magickal practice this week

For your entry to be counted, please write about your experience in the comments below and/or create a new thread in the forums.

Note : If you choose to create a new thread, please tag the challenge by adding a hyperlink back to this post so that I can easily find it- thank you! :bowing_woman:


:exclamation: This challenge will close in 6 DAYS :exclamation:

To join in, please share your experience by:

Tuesday, January 18th at 7:00 AM EST (Eastern Standard Time)
( 2022-01-18T12:00:00Z )

For their efforts, all participants will receive a special shout-out and a small prize! :gift:

Acknowledgments will be given in a Props and Presents Post that will appear in the forums on Tuesday.

After the challenge closes, you are still very welcome to post but please be aware that no additional prizes will be given. This discussion will remain open for about a week after the challenge finishes.

:gift_heart: :gift: :gift_heart:



Art by Susan Farrell: Celtic Tree of Life

A warm reminder that all challenges are designed to be very open- everyone is encouraged to participate in a way that honors and reflects their unique practice :open_book:

If you have any doubts about if something is acceptable to post or say, please double-check with the Forum FAQ and/or reach out to your friendly Moderator Team .

And for those new to challenges- welcome! :heart: Know that the goal of these activities is to help you further diversify and strengthen your abilities and to bring together the Spells8 forum family to inspire and support one another in creative ways :hugs:

green-forest-path
Picture from Green Witch Lunar: Heart of a Green Witch

Your magick grows as roots unfold,
Spellwork spreading near and far.
Be strong as an oak yet flexible as a vine,
And there is no forest where you cannot thrive.

Blessed be! :deciduous_tree: :sparkles:

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Oooh trees :deciduous_tree:

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Ooh, I like this one! I love wood :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I’ve been thinking about a broom lately. At least decorating one. Hmm. I don’t know.

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I’m thinking of working with the maple tree for this challenge. There’s no shortage of them where I live.:laughing: They are a symbol of balance, longevity, generosity, intelligence, strength and endurance. This is because the tree is highly adaptable, it can grow in many different types of soils and climates.
The tree is believed to ward off evil spirits and it was customary to place a piece of a maple tree in the home’s main doorway. Some cultures have used it for spiritual healing. In Celtic mythology, it was connected to Dana, the goddess of fertility.

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via Giphy

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Love this challenge! When we were doing the New Year challenge, I was picking up branches in the yard. Most of the branches went in the brush pile, but I put a few on the back porch and told the hubby not to touch them because I had plans for them! Now it is time to craft magical tools. I’m not an artist but this will be fun!

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I am so excited about this challenge. When I came back to the practice a friend gave me a couple of basic resin wands that I have yet to try. I did search out my backyard as I live backed up to some woods and found 3 branches from an American Beech that called to me. Two smaller ones and a medium-sided one.

That’s about as far as I’ve gotten. I need to finish creating at least one if not all of them and consecrate them but keep putting it off, worried I won’t do it right. This is the perfect push for me to finally create my own wand.

:deciduous_tree: :wand_tarot:

Yay!

Kat

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@Ostara this is hilarious - I had to stop and show my husband your post. He read it and said he had to look up to see who posted it because I did the exact same thing :laughing: There is a pile of collected branches from our last storm that he has been asked not to touch. They had a purpose I just didn’t know what yet either! Twins! :cupid:

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@LadyAuld.ofChico that is funny. Our husbands just don’t understand! Lol!

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Ooh, what a great challenge!!! I know somewhat of what I’ll be doing. Thank you, @TheTravelWitch_Bry :sparkling_heart:

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@Jem1 :deciduous_tree: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

@Christine13 Exciting! Perhaps this is a sign that it’s time to bring those broom dreams of yours to life, Christine! :blush: Whether you decide to craft or decorate or both, I hope you have fun with it! :broom: :sparkles:

@Kasandra How lovely to have maples nearby- have you ever considered learning about tapping? Maple water (and the maple syrup you can make from it) is so yummy! :yum: The tree has some very beautiful associations- thank you for sharing them :heart: Whatever you decide to do with your maple, I wish you good luck and successful spellwork!

@MeganB :rofl::+1: This challenge has your name written all over it, Megan- I can’t wait to see what you’ll do! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

@Ostara It’s like you knew this challenge was coming- that’s awesome you saved some branches! :deciduous_tree: :sparkles: I’m sure whatever you craft will be lovely- good luck and have fun with it, Linda!

@Katnabis It sounds like you have all the pieces and materials in place and were just waiting for the right time to begin! :blush: I know it can be tough to get started, but hopefully once you get going things will just flow for you- enjoy your time crafting with the wood, Kat! :heart:

@Christina4 Awesome- I’m so glad you like the theme, Christina! :blush: You’re very welcome- have fun with it! :tada:

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Can I just tell you that the word excitement doesn’t cover the emotion that I am feeling right now? It’s like a ball of energy just waiting to burst. Let’s see what come out when it does! :face_with_monocle:

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I came across a brief passage of tapping in my research on the magickal properties of maple trees. They store sap in the winter in their roots and when it starts to get warm, the sap thaws and rises. At that time, it’s collected by drilling a hole, inserting a spigot, and letting the colorless, nearly tasteless syrup drip into a bucket. Native Americans used it in their food and as a medicine. It’s high in zinc and manganese, which strengthens your heart and immune system.
I don’t have the tools for tapping, (and it’s still winter), but I plan to do a maple tree meditation.

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If I am able I am going to do my guided meditation to meet with my tree spirit ally outside. I like to do them with the oak tree in my backyard. I went out to visit with it this afternoon & gave it some fresh water & thanked it for protecting my home.

I also am learning about the Celtic meanings of trees, which is how I wound up with the Celtic Tree Oracle deck & I have a book all about the Ogham & using them as staves for divination.

I’m at least doing the meditation this week though & will let everyone know how I do. :blush:

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This challenge I’m actually giving a go as trees have always held a special place in my heart. I admit, I’m a tree hugger :joy: But the energy they’re willing to give is irreplaceable and always had a strongly calming and positive effect. The forest spirit and protector, I believe in has always been welcoming to me, although he likes tripping people during his wild phase of the year.

As a scientific mind I also dabbled in botany quite a bit and also from a microbiological point of view, at what’s going on underground. All the links between trees and all their surrounding plants, they’re in constant communication with eachother. It’s one huge network which is still unaccessible to humans. It can be seen during huge fires a lot, that the damaged and hurt ones will signal the danger to the entire ecosystem.

We, Nature followers are more lucky to be more open to their energies and perhaps understand them a bit better.
Thanks @TheTravelWitch_Bry for sharing those ideas as I had no idea that something like tree language even exists. Now I read the post and am intrigued, time to dig deeper! :point_up_2:t2:

Over past few months I have also started training in runes and I’m currently considering making my own set. The medium that most spoke to me was wood, however I’m having an issue deciding which species to go with. I’m currently stuck between Maple, Oak, Apple and Cherry trees. I would appreciate if those of you with more rune experience would ve so kind to share your thoughts and experiences :relaxed:

Kindly thank you and let the spirit of the forest be with you all :evergreen_tree::purple_heart::deciduous_tree:

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Another Brilliant Challenge! :star_struck:

Gathering information, impressions and inspiration from our local Coastal Forest. Originally, I was thinking about working with Cedars (love the smell!) however, I sense that Grandfather Douglas-Fir is patiently waiting for me. :evergreen_tree: :hourglass_flowing_sand: :woman_artist:

Cheers,
Janis :triskele:

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Hi @Viss, traditionally the wood that would be used to carve the runes into would have been from a tree associated with Odin or a nut or fruit-bearing tree. :blush:

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Weekly Witchy CHALLENGE - Sacred Trees and Wood

In looking through many books and sites, I came to the conclusion that this subject is so extensive that it would take months, no, years to do even a miner justice to it.

Wood has been used for millennia in magic, ceremony, perfumes, and incenses, tools, that’s just to name a few. Then you have to look at how essential it has been in activities of daily living. I’m talking about tools to make our lives easier, plows, carpentry, utensils and buildings for stock and humans. As man evolved, wood was often a life saver, think fire for warmth, light to ward off wild animals. These trees and their magical uses are a very small list of woods, there were/are too many uses to actually acknowledge in this paper.

  • Alder: banishing, divination, healing, protection, psychic intuition, resurrection

  • Apple: underworld, love, healing, goddess, garden, immortality

  • Ash: balance, communication, fertility, harmony, healing, knowledge, love divination, prophecy, protection from drowning, transition

  • Aspen: ancestry, astral planes, eloquence, endurance, healing, money, peace, rebirth, success

  • Banyan: abundance, divine connection, immortality, longevity, luck, protection

  • Bamboo: fortune, flexibility, longevity, luck, protection

  • Beech: ancestry, creativity, friendship, protection, second sight, wisdom

  • Birch: birth, blessings, creativity, crafting, fertility, goddess, healing, inspiration, love, protection, renewal

  • Blackthorn: authority, protection, strength, truth

  • Bottlebrush: abundance, banishing, energy, fertility, love, purification

  • Camphor: banishing, cleansing, divination, exorcism, healing, love, lust, prophecy

  • Cedar: balance, dreams, healing, immortality, longevity, prosperity, protection, purification, wisdom

  • Cypress: grieving, healing, longevity, protection, solace

  • Driftwood: not a tree necessarily, but important to include here. Driftwood has spent time merging earth with water. It takes on the sea’s Magick, as well as retaining it’s earthly powers: grounding, moving, intuition, dreams, ancestor work

  • Elder: blessings, creativity, fairies, good fortune, healing, magic, prosperity, protection, sleep, transition

  • Elm: birth, compassion, grounding, healing, intuition, love, protection, rebirth, wisdom

  • Fig: ancient ancestry, divination, enlightenment, fertility, good luck, love, prosperity

  • Fir: birth, far-sightedness, protection, prosperity, rebirth, vitality

  • Gorse: divination, fertility, prosperity, protection

  • Hawthorn: ancestry, cleansing, fairies, family, fertility, happiness, love, marriage, prosperity, protection, purification, wisdom

  • Hazel: creativity, divination, fertility, healing, knowledge, luck, protection, wisdom

  • Heather: changes, healing, luck, passion, protection, spirituality

  • Hemlock: cleansing, mysteries, shadow work

  • Hickory: abundance, discipline, flexibility, kindness, protection, strength, transformation

  • Holly: courage, death, divinity, healing, luck, protection, rebirth, unity

  • Juniper: cleansing, healing, love, protection

  • Magnolia: clarity, dreams, love, protection, truth

  • Maple: abundance, communication, divination, grounding, love, money, wisdom

  • Mimosa: happiness, love, protection, purification, sensitivity

  • Oak: ancestry, fertility, health, luck, prosperity, protection, strength, success, wisdom

  • Palm: abundance, fertility, flexibility, healing, potency, protection

  • Pine: abundance, emotions, fertility, good luck, healing, immortality, love, prosperity, protection, purification, regeneration

  • Rowan: blessings, centering, expression, fertility, grounding, healing, luck, music, protection, strength, writing

  • Sequoia: enlightenment, eternity, growth, valor, wisdom

  • Spruce: enlightenment, grounding, healing, intuition, protection, versatility

  • Willow: birth, fertility, flexibility, grieving, healing, intuition, knowledge, motherhood, protection, relationships, wisdom, wishes

  • Witch Hazel: healing, protection

  • Yew: ancestry, death, divination, flexibility, immortality, rebirth, strength

Many of the magical properties of trees are the same, including: healing, love, and protection. This is because trees have been used for thousands of years as food and medicine, as well as for shade and shelter.

Many thanks for this list from : Tree Magic: Magical Properties of Trees, Celtic Ogham, and More

These books caught my interest from, Amazon.com

The Ancient Magick of Trees : Identify & Use Trees in Your Spiritual & Magical Practice Paperback – October 8, 2019

  • Gregory Michael Brewer provides detailed information about the mythology and symbolism of trees from around the world along with an abundance of exercises and meditations suitable for Pagans of all skill levels and traditions. Available at : Amazon.com
  • The Magic of Trees: A Guide to Their Sacred Wisdom & Metaphysical Properties Paperback – January 8, 2017 By Tess Whitehurst (Author Trees are symbols of the interconnectedness of life and represent the interwoven web of everything magical. The Magic of Trees - helps you tap into that web and enrich your life.
  • Available at : Amazon.com

I don’t know if this is an acceptable submission but I hope others can use the information in their practice.

Garnet

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Thank you for adding Driftwood, @Garnet. That definition rings so true. :ocean: :palm_tree: :blue_heart:

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These little rituals come from ’The Little Book of Earth Magic: Connect to the Magic of the World around You’ by Sarah Bartlett

’Ritual to Engage with the Energy of the Forest’

To engage with the deep spiritual energy of the forest, perform the following ritual. It is best done when the Sun is rising, or before midday during the Waxing Moon phase. Ideally it should be carried out in spring or midsummer, when solar energy is at its most potent. And it’s all the better if you can take a walk in a beautiful wood or forest; ; if not, focusing on an image, a video clip or a work of art would work well too. If you’re working with imagery indoors, try to visualise the following steps in your mind.

You will need:

  • an offering of a stone or crystal of your choice
  • box or pouch (optional)

1. Walk into your forest, wood or glade - you don’t have to venture too far. Just enough to know you are surrounded by trees. Make sure you know the way back to where you came from!

2. Stand still and listen to the sounds of nature, the rustling of the leaves and the branches moving in the wind. You may hear birds or the buzzing of insects, but whatever it is you sense, know that the magic of the forest is there as an initiation into the spiritual heart of nature.

3. Repeat the following affirmation:

’I am both lost and found within the magic forest.
I meet the spirit of nature here, I engage with the soul of nature here.
I find the soul of nature and the soul of myself is found here.'

4. Place your stone or crystal in a special spot, perhaps hidden underneath some leaves, weeds or shrubs, or push it gently into the soil. Look up to the canopy of branches and leaves, and thank the forest for its kindness. If working indoors, put the stone in a box or pouch and choose a special hiding place for it in your home.

5. Walk back to where you came from, remaining aware of the spiritual footprint you have made in the magical forest and the meeting you have experienced with your sacred self.

’Forest Ritual of Thanks’

Gaze at a distant forest, wood or copse (either real, imagined or using a favourite image), and perform this salutation to the forest to invoke and empower it as a place of initiation and mystery.

1. Stand with your arms raised above your head, your palms facing one another. Stay in this pose for 10 seconds or so, then bend your body and swan dive your arms down to the ground. Stay in this position for another 10 seconds, then gradually unbend your spine, and stand straight up again.

2. Raise your hands up to prayer pose at your chest. Wait for 10 seconds, then raise your arms up to the sky again and repeat this salutation three times:

’The forest is empowered again, and all my blessings and enchantments given back to the soul of nature.'

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