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Tree properties - Elder

Botanical name: Sambucus nigra

Other names:
Devil's Eye, Old Lady, Whistle Tree, Pipe Tree, Queen of the Trees

Name origins: The name "Elder" is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "Aeld" meaning "fire" because hollowed Elder branches were once used to kindle fires by blowing through them.

Folklore: The elder has a very mixed reputation - it is associated with the crone Goddess and her death aspects but is also seen as a tree of regeneration because of its ability to re-grow damaged branches and its ability to root and grow rapidly from any part. It teaches us to honour the cycle of death and rebirth and that in all endings is a new beginning.

Magickal uses: Magickally, the elder is useful in different ways at various times of the year - for example, on Midsummer morning it is considered to have extra healing power and during the winter is is used to aid clairvoyance.



Page last updated: 22 September, 2011

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