Holding a ritual or conducting a spell in a forest or under a tree in your backyard is an obvious way to integrate the energy of trees with your practices. Of course, it is not the only way. A twig, leaf, nut, flower, fruit, piece of bark, or anything from a tree embodies its energy and can be used to represent it. You probably already incorporate trees into your practices for seasonal energy with flowers in the spring, fruit in summer, nuts and fallen leaves in autumn.
Sometimes, you may not have access to a particular type of tree; however, just as we use pictures of deities and other objects to represent them, we can do the same when working with trees. In addition to objects made from the wood of a tree, oils, essential oils, and flower essences can be used, too.
When possible, try to coordinate the symbolism of the part of a tree that you use in magic or ritual with your purpose for an extra boost of energy.
Sturdy wood and bark provide protective energy for rituals, spells, and charms. Wood and bark are also a gauge of growth and can aid in manifesting your growth on various levels: social, emotional, and spiritual. Within and encircling a tree, wood and bark symbolically provide balance and strength.
Residing under the earth, roots are the most natural plant part for grounding energy and providing stability to magic work. Roots can aid psychic or astral work as well as post-ritual grounding. As a symbol of longevity, roots encourage us to hold secrets when bidden. In addition, roots offer access to the underworld, making them useful for connecting with ancestors, spirits, and chthonic deities.
From the time they burst forth in the spring until the wind whisks them away in the autumn, leaves enfold the world with aerial enchantment. Personifying energy and growth, leaves give magic and personal endeavors an encouraging boost. Showy or subtle, flowers and catkins are often a crowning glory. They represent beauty with a goal: attraction, sex, and fertility. Using flowers can be especially potent when they add fragrance to magic work. Of course, leaves are often aromatic, too.
With the base word fruit, fruition means completion or culmination, and so a piece of fruit symbolizes manifestation and success. Fruit represents an increase in power and energy. The feel and smell of fruit is the personification of abundance and freedom from want. Use fruit to increase what you have and to gain what you seek.
Seeds and nuts represent beginnings and the future. They can be instrumental when encouraging something new in your life. They also represent duality such as the alternation between life and death, light and dark. Seeds and nuts move between the worlds, carried on a breeze or snuggled into the earth, they represent beginnings, changes, and cycles.
Explore how powerful and supportive tree symbolism can be in your magic and everyday life. It is occasionally surprising and always rewarding.
Our thanks to Sandra for her guest post! For more from Sandra Kynes, read her article “10 Uncommonly Magical Common Trees.”