Tree of the Month – May

Tree of the Month – May

Tree of the Month – May

Hawthorn – Cratagus monogyna 

hawthorn 3In May, the hawthorn is in its glory with strikingly beautiful blossoms. These are nestled tightly among the hawthorn’s large and lethal looking thorns. Here we see the first of several juxtapositions, giving this tree/shrub its colourful reputation in history.

Excellent herbalists and botanists, ancient Celts understood the superior medicinal value of hawthorn leaves and blossoms. However, it was considered a bad omen to bring its branches inside the home. This is largely due from the smell of cut branches was much the same as decaying flesh (indeed, the chemical components are the same). Here we see life-giving aspects as well as associations of death within the same symbolic tree.

Further, the hawthorn is imbued with male energy, yet it is historically a symbol of fertility and associated with the female goddess aspects (mother, maiden, crone).

What do all these contradictions mean? The hawthorn is a standing testament to the idea of duality; it is a perfect depiction of the concept of yin and yang.

The Celts understood the power of balance. They also knew that what could not be attributed to specific outcomes (as sometimes evident in the dance of contradictions played out by the hawthorn) indicated a great source of magic. In other words, that which cannot be explained contains immense power.

The hawthorn is to be respected in all its diversity and duality. It is a symbol of union of opposites, and serves as a message for us to be more accepting of the unconventional.

Sixth month of the Celtic Tree calendar, May 13th – June 9hawthorn

Sixth consonant of the Ogham alphabet

Huathe (Hoo-ah) – H

This Ogham symbol is used in Celtic Reiki and its essence represents the energy of cleansing and preparation. It clears the mind of negative thoughts and mental confusion, offering clarity. It gives patience and offers stillness

Hawthorn is burned to purify,

Planet: Mars and Venus

Symbolism: Purification, sacred marriage  and male-female unity

Stone: Lapis Lazuli, Blue Calcite

Birds: Blackbird, Owl, Purple Martin

Colour: Midnight Blue, Purple

Deity: Olwen, Blodeuwedd, Gardea,

Sabbat: Beltane, May Day

Folk names: May bush, May tree, quickset,   thorn-apple tree, white thorn.
Medicinal properties:  

The flowers, leaves and fruits of the Hawthorn have properties that reduce blood pressure  and stimulate the heart, as well as act as a mild sedative.
In herbal medicine they treat heart and circulatory disorders, migraine,  menopausal conditions, angina, and insomnia.
The flowers are strongest as sedatives, and used externally can treat acne and skin blemishes.
The berries contain Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C.
They can be crushed and used to ease diarrhoea, dysentery, and kidney disorders.
It is strongly advised against self medication because of the its effects on the heart

Magickal properties:

The tree essence cleanses the heart of negativity and stimulates love and forgiveness.  The Hawthorn is the tree most representative of the struggles the Christian Church had in suppressing pagan beliefs and celebrations.
It guards wells and springs. Its beautiful flowers are said to help prayers reach heaven.
The blooms of the hawthorn are used in spells for fertility, happiness, and good luck in fishing.
Wands made of this wood are of great power.
Hawthorn can be used for protection, love and marriage spells.
The original May Poles were made of Hawthorn
Hawthorn can be woven in to a growing fence called a Hedgerow.
These thorny barriers are very effective and have saved many villages from thieves and highwaymen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *