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Tree properties - Yew

Botanical name: Taxus baccata

Name origins: The yew's botanical name refers to its past uses - "taxus" is connected with "toxon" which is Greek for "bow" and with "toxicon" which is the Greek word for the poison used for arrows.

Folklore: The Yew represents everlasting life and continual rebirth. There are Yews alive today which are reputed to be 1,500 years old. In the Celtic past the tribal elders and leaders were buried under Yews in the belief that the tree would keep their knowledge and wisdom available for the future use of the tribe.

Traditionally, ogham sticks were made of yew.

Magickal uses: The Yew represents direct contact with our past, and the old wisdom which we find deep within ourselves. It also speaks to us of fresh growth arising out of death, perhaps of our old selves, or old ways of thinking. It is a wonderful wood for runes or ogham sticks and can be used for contact with ancestors.



Page last updated: 22 September, 2011

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