Look up, look up in the woods today, as the trees display their flowers, their magical display of colour, of radiance, of opulence for all to see. Gone now are the days of cold winter, where the trees have kept their energy stored in their roots. Now the Sun has strength and Spring is here, the sap has risen, the time is ripe for showing their flowers before the leaves appear. How many of you, on your daily walks, even notice the flowering trees? Yes, Cherry Blossom, Hawthorn and Blackthorn are normally the trees people recognise.....but do they? Take a careful look at our hedgerows and you will notice Blackthorn flowering in great abundance, always flowering in Spring before the leaves appear; always the first to show its presence in our hedgerows. Whereas Hawthorn produces leaves and then flowers (normally end of April, beginning of May)....the young leaves of the Hawthorn are a yummy treat as you walk through the fields. As the Blackthorn starts its flowering so too do the Willows by the rivers edge. Pussy Willows adorn the branches, sending such a striking yellow glow to the bare branches by the waterside. And why 'Pussy Willow'.......a Mother cat allowed her kittens to play by the river one day, and as kittens do they played too exuberantly and all fell into the deep river, slowly being taken downstream. Mother cat was frantic, calling out to her babes and calling out to anyone that could help. Willow heard her call and gently lowered her branches into the deep water so the kittens could grasp hold and be lifted free of the river. As the kittens were lifted up by the Willow branches they started to dry in the wind, forming fluffy balls at the end of the branches. Willow carefully brought the fluffy kitten balls to the river bank, back to the relief of the Mother cat. These fluffy kitten balls, looking very similar to the catkins that are produced by the Willow tree, hence Pussy Willow.
One can't forget the beautiful male catkins (lambs tails) of the Hazel, drooping gently in the breeze and showing themselves from as early as January, sending their pollen far and wide to be caught by the female stalkless buds. Look up, look up and see the Ash flowering, displaying a magical burst of red and yellow like firecrackers in the sky above. Bursting forth long before the leaves appear. From such a grey, dull looking branch, out of the blackest bud, a wondrous spectacle takes flight. Then there is the Elm, a majestic tree with red sparkling flowers setting the tree alight on a sunny day; all before the leaves come through. And oh, the majestic Oak with its lime green leaves and drooping flowers, what a sight to behold. Look up, look up and see the Sycamore flower bursting out of the branches encased by their leaves, glorious in their colour and splendour. And by the river the Alder sits, gently lowering its branches into the water below, with their cones and catkins nodding in the breeze. So look up, look up at this special time of year, Look up, look up to see the flowering trees, Look up, look ahead and see their colour and glory before the leaves take over and we become their understorey.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Highlighted below are some notes re the energetic properties of these flowering trees. If you feel drawn to a particular tree at the moment, sit down and ask what medicine it has for you today......become closer to the trees that have stood for an age, listen and feel their medicine, their wisdom, x. The Essence & Magical properties of the Flowering Trees:
Blackthorn - Brings hope and joy, a stimulating essence good for circulation.
Hawthorn - A heart tonic both herbal and energetic medicine - Cleanses the heart of negativity. Hawthorn is sacred to the fairies, and is part of the tree fairy triad of Britain 'Oak, Ash and Thorn'...where all three grow it is said fairies can be seen.
Alder - Brings clarity of mind and eases stress........like its branches gently touching the water, allow your stresses ad worries to be washed away.
Ash - Harmony with the Natural World around you. Connecting you to everything in nature. Magically the Ash has been used for protection, prosperity and health.
Elm - for feelings of being overwhelmed - for people who shoulder responsibility and occasionally take on tasks that are unreasonably demanding, making them feel exhausted, overwhelmed and temporarily inadequate. Enables us to let others handle the excess responsibility, so we are free to enjoy what we are doing. Magically the Elm has always been associated with the power of love.
Hazel - Freedom - Be free to 'go with the flow' and travel forward in wonder of your new unfolding potential. Transform expectations into explorations. Magically the Hazel is connected to luck, fertility, protection and wishes.
Oak - Strength and support when you have taken on too much. Brings the ability to manifest ones goals. Magically the Oak brings protection, health, money, healing, fertility and luck....a strong connection to the Druid tradition and their magic.
Sycamore - Helps with lethargy; lifts heaviness of moods. Brings to the awareness the sweetness of life. For some of the maples they are simply 'a huge hug' at times of stress and uncertainty.
Willow - As Above so Below - connecting us to Spirit and the Earth; balance. Magically the Willow is connected to love, protection and healing.
Personal field and essence making notes
Cunningham, S 2016 Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Llewellyn Publications.
Harvey, C.G 2015 The Practitioner's Encyclopedia of Flower Remedies. Singing Dragon, London
Paterson JM 1996 Tree Wisdom, Thorsons.