Trees and Magick

To me trees are some of the most magical “creatures” on this planet. Just walking in a forest, touching a tree, meditating beneath it or even drinking its tea or eating the fruit can be a magical experience.

Any part of a tree can be used in magick: the bark, the wood, the roots, the leaves, the flower and the fruit. Properties may be different (for example, the orange flower is used in love spells, while the fruit is used for protection).

Below you will find a list of trees and their magick properties. If only a part of the tree or only a certain ritual applies to a certain property you will find it in brackets. After this list you will find a short list of purposes (which trees to use in love spells, protection, etc).

Remember that this article is being constantly updated. If you have anything to add or have any question (including about trees not listed here) add it in the comments. Let’s make this an interactive reference.

Note: what distinguishes a tree from a shrub and a shrub from a flower/herb is somewhat open to discussion. Check out the Book of Shadows if what you are looking for is not on this list, it may be under herbs.

Ordered by Plant

Alder – sacred tree for the Air (as a dream catcher or whistle can attract air elementals and the wind), healing, spirituality

Apple – divination (particularly water divination), love, protection, youth (fruit), longevity (fruit), beauty (flower and fruit), as cider can replace blood and wine in spells that call for these ingredients

Apricot – love, romance, happiness (fruit)

Ash – tree used for good luck and good things in general, frequently used as wood for magical staff, guidance (leaves placed under the pillow), healing, protection

Birch – love, purification

Blackthorn – repel or punish people, make voodoo-like puppets, banish

Camphor – sexual desire

Cedar – sacred for the Earth element, can attract elementals and energy, healing, grounding

Cherry – burned in festivals (leaves and wood), brings happiness (fruit), beauty (fruit and flower)

Elder – is used both to bless and curse, considered a very magical plant, prosperity, purification, being under the elder during Midsummer allows to see the Little People

Fir – protection, burned during birth to protect the mother and the baby (leaves)

Hazel – protection (draw a circle with a branch), healing (wands), forked branch can be used to find water or treasures, hazels will attract fairies

Holly – divination, fertility, protection (when planted close to a house repels negative magick), sexual attraction (when men carry a bag of berries they will attract more women)

Hibiscus – love (flower), sexual desire (flower)

Juniper – banish

Laurel – divination, inspiration, protection, removing barriers

Linden – purification

Oak (any kind) - strength, power, male fertility (acorn), protection from evil (acorn), bringing good luck, purification, longevity, ideal wood for wands as it generally empowers spells and rituals, sun and male magick (counterpart to the willow) – also see my extended article about the Lore, Magick and Healing Properties of the Oak Tree

Orange – love (flower), protection (fruit)

Pine – fertility, money, prosperity

Pomegranate – beauty, divination, longevity, relationships/wedding (fruit)

Poplar – astral projection

Walnut – divination, wood can be used for wands or staffs, fertility

Willow – profetic dreams (sitting below it will give inspiration and vision), fertility, healing, love, moon and female magick (counterpart to the oak), grants wishes

Yew – death and rebirth, used to make athames, used to remember the dead and placed in graves, very sacred tree

According to purpose

Note: in this list I will only include the trees that in my experience or the experience of people I know are the most powerful for each purpose. I also only list the most common purposes, if you don’t find what you are looking for see the list above which has a lot more detail.

Divination and Guidance: apple tree (make apple water by filling a bowl with water, placing some apple petals and then stare at the water under the full moon so that the moon fills the bowl to get a vision), willow (sit amidst its branches and meditate to get guidance)

Fertility: oak (acorns in particular, carried by men increases their sexual power) and willow (women can use branches as a necklace during relationships )

Healing and Purification: using the appropriate herb according to its medicinal properties, along with apples (eating the fruit for longevity and youth); for purification laurel (burn the leaves and let the fumes fill the room)

Love: apple (share an apple with the loved one), pomegranate (eat a fruit grain by grain, don’t let any grain fall and keep thinking of the person you love – this is for long term relationships, beware)

Prosperity: oak (burry three acorns), ash (plant one in your garden or in a field if you don’t have a garden)

Protection and Banishing: holly (plant one in your home to protect against negative energies), laurel (burn leaves to remove any obstacles, including people), blackthorn (a plant that should only be used to banish, many witches consider it a negative plant and avoid using it)

What is Magick?

What is magick? That is probably one of the hardest questions to answer. It’s not that people have different understandings of magick. They do. But the real difficulty is that many people understand intuitively what it is but can’t put it down to words.

Instead of trying to define it from scratch by myself I will give you the definition of the famous Aleister Crowley and we’ll start from there.

What is Magick?

Defining Magick

For Crowley magick is “the science and art of causing change in conformity with will”.

That is a great definition. It means that magick is basically anything that you do that is meant to change something in the world according to your intent. Of course this definition also includes mundane things, like exercising if you want to lose weight, or pressing the remote if you want to change the channel.

For me there is no problem with that definition – those “mundane” actions are means through wich magick manifests itself and they are a part of it.

And this brings up another important part of the definition: magick is not supernatural. It is as natural as water and earth. It is part of this world. In fact, magick will not allow you to break any physical laws, because no law will break another law. There are no exceptions. If there were exceptions it wouldn’t be a real law.

Defining a Spell

In this context a spell is a specific act of magick: something you to to cause a specific change.

A spell should then have two major components: the intent and the act. For some witches the spell doesn’t even need the act, but in my opinion it does. An act doesn’t have to be physical – to think in the context of magick can be considered an act and constitute a spell.

Note again that using this definition pressing the remote to change a channel would still qualify as a spell, being that it is an action (pressing the button) with a very clear intent (changing the channel).

Of course, some magickal traditions are more ritualistic than others and have a more strict definition of what constitutes a spell or not.

But how does Magick Work?

Magick is based on the assumption that your will determines outcomes. Your intent is the determining factor on whether you produce the changes you want or not. Psychologists call this Cognitivism where behavior is a result of thought (as opposed to Behaviorism where the opposite is true).

Therefore, Magick’s most important component is a clear intent, a factor that has become part of mainstream culture since The Secret, where it is called the Law of Attraction: whatever you think about the most and whatever energy you align yourself with is the results you will get.

Wait a second. Energy?

Yes. It’s no secret that everything is energy. Ask a physicist. It is also no secret that energy is basically, well, energy, but it can also manifest itself in several ways (such as electricity, heat, light, and even, recently proved in 2012, matter).

The secret to magick is putting out energy that is aligned with your intent so that it modifies the Universe (aka the big dough of energy) in conformity with your will to produce the results you want. Gah.

So what would be a witch?

(I will ignore the “what”) A witch would be someone who practices or studies magick. Magick can be approached from three perspectives: a Science, an Art or Spirituality.

A witch who views magick as a science will experiment with it, discard what doesn’t work and keep what does. There are entire forums dedicated to this form of witchcraft where witches will share their results building what can only be called Journals of Magick (or Annals of Magick; I can’t wait for someone to create the New England Journal of Magick). Jokes aside, these are impressive collective electronic Books of Shadows. The most famous tradition of witchcraft following this method is Chaos Magick, where anything is game – you can even try to invoke characters from Star Wars if you like and it works for you.

A witch who views magick as an art will emphasize the expression of self. It doesn’t really matter what other people tell you – if you feel that water represents stability that’s what it represents for you. Kitchen witches are often of this variety and it is probably the most popular form of magick.

Finally, there is the spiritual version. Spiritual witches use magick not to produce results in the traditional sence but to connect with the Divine (be it Nature, God, the Goddess, or any other form of divinity). Mysticism is what this form of magick is often called, although that definition is not technically correct.

Keep in mind that most witches approach magick using a combination of the three forms. Wicca, for example, often emphasizes the Spiritual magick, but wiccans will also approach magick as an Art to produce more tangible results and many even like to practice the science of magick.

So what does this leaves us with?

Basically that magick is a very personal thing. If you are interested in magick start learning about it. In time you will develop your own intuitive definition of magick, and that is ok. Don’t let definitions and “schools” or “traditions” limit your experience. Only you can decide what’s right for you.

Free love spells? Make your own

Love and KissesIt’s amazing the number of people searching for free love spells every day. I can’t be sure, but I guess they are looking for a witch who will cast a love spell for them to attract the devotion of a particular person.

Well, though luck. If you want another person to do the spell that’s fine. But you are probably gonna have to pay. On the other hand, why not cast the spell yourself? Witches are not born; they are made through practice and belief.

I’ll give you a few love spells – for free – but more importantly I’m teaching you the basics of casting a love spell (or casting any spell) and you can create your own. It will be much more powerful than a standard custom made spell (even the one from Ancient Greece I’m giving you below) because it will be crafted specifically for you.

Casting a love spell 

I’ll assume you don’t know anything about magic (or magick, as many people in the craft prefer to call it).

Witchcraft is based on declaring your intent. A basic principle is that of energy. To cast your spell you are going to collect energy from items which are in tune with your objective. You then shape that energy with your intent and send it out to the world, which will manifest the change you want to create.

Another important principle is the principle of Return, Karma, or a number of other names. It simply states that whatever you do you will receive in return. If you send out positive intents you will receive positive results. But the opposite is true as well.

Most witches, particularly those following the religion of Wicca, will not send out anything that causes harm or interferes with someone’s free will, because they don’t want to receive the same in return. For that reason they will include a safety sentence with any spell they create based on the principle “And ye harm none do as ye will”.

More ancient witches would often not respect this principle and that’s why so many ancient spells are too dangerous to cast as is.

This of couse poses a problem for people wanting to cast a love spell. How do you cast one without interfering with someone’s free will?

The problem is that most times you want to attract someone in specific and that’s not very wise. If you cast a spell to attract someone, you are forcing a love that may not be meant to be. You will get more unhappiness than happiness.

A different approach would be to remove blocks that may be keeping the two of you appart. Or opening the way for the two of you to get together if, and this is important, the two of you are meant to be together and it will bring happiness.

But why not opening way to receiving someone perfect for you? Don’t you think that the Universe knows best? A perfect love spell is one that attracts love in general, declares yourself ready to receive love and removes anything blocking your path to love.

I’ll will give you a few examples of love spells below. But like I said above it is much better to create your own. You can start with one of the spells below and change the words or the tools. Here are a few suggestions.

Colors: pink, red (better for passion), white. I invite you to read about candle magick, but colors can be used in your dressing, table clothes, paintings, etc.

Gods and Goddesses: Aphrodite, Venus, Eros, Cupid, Hathor, Kama. I suggest this list on Wikipedia.

Stones and Gems: rose quartz (in my experience it works best than any other)

Herbs: roses (red for passion, pink or white for romance), lavender (romance), pine, cinnamon (passion), nutmeg (passion), pepper (passion)

Phase of the moon: ideal is between the New and the Full Moon. If you want to remove blocks you can do it on the Waning, but I would be careful with the wording

Elements: Water for emotion, Fire for passion and Earth for a stable relationship

Other symbols: cats (passion), sparrow, dove (romance), cow, hearts (including cards), symbols of the house or home for a stable relationship

Now to specific love spells.

A couple kissing

Spell for attracting a specific person

Remember the warnings above. This spell will remove any blocks in your relationship with a specific person and open way for love, but it will not force the other person into loving you. If you change this spell to do that be careful.

You will need: something representing the other person (a photo, a personal item, a lock of hair); a small bottle; enough lavender to fill the bottle (preferably fresh); a white and a black candle.

This spell is ideally cast on the New Moon, at midnight, because it is a spell that clears the way into a new relationship. You may invoke the love gods above but also purification gods (my patron Apollo, for example). A good place to do this spell would be near a stream of water.

Start by declaring your intent: “I am here at this time to clear the way for love. I ask *your chosen gods here* to come forth and witness my act.

Place the personal item representing the person you love between the white and the black candles. Light the black candle and say “If it is meant to be remove the obstacles that stand between him/her and me“. Imagine all blocks evaporating from you and your loved one. Then light the white candle and say “If it is meant to be open the way to bring us closer together and bring forth happiness“. Imagine a string of white energy connecting the two of you wherever you may be.

Now take the bottle and place the personal item inside.

Take the lavender and while holding it in your hands think about what you want for the two of you and chant “Gods of Love and Gods of Cleansing, I seek happiness for me and *name of the other person*. Gods of Love and Gods of Cleansing, I seek that our love may manifest if so it should be. Gods of Love and Gods of Cleansing, grant that obstacles are removed and love may come to us.“. Chant this for as long as you think it is appropriate.

After you finish your chant, which has been charging the lavender, fill the rest of the bottle with the lavender and close it. Place the bottle between the candles and say “If it harms none, so let it be“.

Now reflect about what you want from your relationship as the candles burn.

Keep the bottle with you until your wish has been granted.

Baking a perfect mate

If you have access to an oven and some clay, this spell comes from Ancient Greece. Back then it was used to attract a specific person by placing a lock of hair inside the doll, but I advise against it.

You will need: some clay; an oven; a piece of white paper and something to write with; some lavender and some cinnamon.

You will be making a doll representing a perfect mate. In a piece of paper write down the qualities you want in a mate or just write “love”, “perfect mate” or something along these lines. As you do the rest of the spell keep these qualities present in your mind.

Work the lavender and the cinnamon into the clay. Then shape it as a doll placing the piece of paper inside, close to the place where the heart would be. Then bake the doll. You don’t need to make the doll perfect, you will not be getting a six feet flesh and bone version of exactly what you did.

Be careful what you do with your doll, because it now represents you mate and your relationship.

Attracting a perfect mate

Another way to attract a perfect mate is to create a collage. This is an ongoing process and you should dedicate some time to it every day until you get what you want. Curiously, collages have become popular outside magick in the fields of productivity and management, which shows how strong they are.

You will need: a big board; magazines or internet clippings representing your perfect mate (pictures, words…); a white and a pink candle.

Every day add something to the board while you let the white and pink candles burn and think about love. If you don’t have anything to add just let the candles burn for a while and look at the board.

Bringing love into your life

If you don’t know what you want in a mate or just want to let it up to the universe you can use this spell. This will attract all sorts of love into your life.

You will need: a rose quartz pendant or some other rose quartz trinket that you will carry with you; a pink candle; sweet patchouli oil (or cinnamon, if you looking to lead a more passionate life).

Do this on the Full Moon. Sit down outside and light the pink candle. Rub the oil in the quartz while you think about love and happiness. If you want you can sing or chant your favorite love song or invent your own.

Carry the quartz with you and it will continually attract love. If you are tired of the effect simply stop wearing the quartz, or give it to someone else. This can be a great way to spread love.

Closing words

That’s it, you’ve got a lot of free love spells to get you started. Just remember to keep the principles of witchcraft in mind. And if you are new to the Craft, why not start your Book of Shadows by writing down your own custom love spell and notes about how it worked?