Tree of the Week – Elder

Elder – Ruis in Ogham is the ultimate tree of The Goddess. She represents all aspects of the triple goddess – Maiden, Mother and Crone, or Wise Woman. The Maiden is represented by the pure white flowers with their delicate perfume. We see them everywhere at this time of the year.ElderflowersCuckmere and Friston forest June 2013 006Cuckmere and Friston forest June 2013 008

Later, in early Autumn, we see the stems turning red, followed by juicy black berries which ooze the colour of blood. Red represents the Mother aspect of the triple goddess, and black the crone. The legend says that to destroy an Elder, which a lot of people consider a weed, angers the Elder Mother who dwells in the shrub. Anyone who does not respect her has a curse placed upon them.

Both the blossom and berry have great healing powers, especially for conditions of the lungs and bronchial tubes. A delicious syrup can be created with the flowers, berries, blackberries and hawthorn or rosehips.

The Ogham symbol for Elder is RuisĀ Ruis - Elder

It is a powerful symbol to use at Samhainn, when the veil between the world between the physical and the spiritual is thin, and we can communicate with the ancestors. It teaches us that physical death is not to be feared, reminding us of the never-ending cycle of life, death and rebirth, just as the seasons of Nature demonstrate.

J.K. Rowling had done her homework when describing Professor Dumbledore’s Elder wand as the most powerful. When cutting an Elder branch for your wand, or for any other purpose, tune into this most respected of trees, introduce yourself, and ask permission to take the branch. Tell the Elder Mother why you need to cut it, and the purpose for which it will be used. Leave a small offering and give thanks. In this way your wand will be triple blessed, and its power increased.

This entry was posted in Blog entry. Bookmark the permalink.