Tree of Wisdom, Lamb's Tails Tree, Collo or Coslo (Gailic),
The tree's name shares a common root with the walnut tree and its nut, or cnu
and hnot in Europe and Nux in latin.
The Month of Hazel:
9th Moon of the Celtic Year
Ogham: C - Coll
Known as: The Knower
Associated with: Creativity, Purity and Honesty
Celtic Symbol: The Fish or Salmon
Bird: The Crane
Color/Stone: Brown / Band-Red Agate
Herbal Gender: Masculine
The Hazel is sacred to Mercury, Thor, Artemis, Fionn, Diana
and Lazdona (the Lithuanian Hazelnut Tree Goddess). Hazel wood is one of the
nine traditional firewoods that is part of the Belfire that the Druid's burned
at Beltane - it was added to the fire to gain wisdom. In fact, in ancient times
the Hazel was known as The Tree of Wisdom. Ingestion of the hazel nuts is
proposed to induce visions, heightened awareness and lead to epiphanies. It is
often associated with sacred springs and wells and salmon. Celtic legend tell
of a grove of Hazel trees below which was a well, a pool, where salmon swam.
These trees contained all knowledge, and their fruit contained that knowledge
and wisdom in a nutshell. As the hazelnuts ripened, they would fall into the
well where they were eaten by the salmon. With each nut eaten, the salmon would
gain another spot. In order to gain the wisdom of the Hazel, the Druids caught
and prepared the salmon. Indeed, the legend of Fionn Mac Cumhail tells of his
gaining the wisdom of the universe by simply coming in contact with the essence
of the hazel nut. He did this through the salmon, which was known to eat the
hazel nuts that dropped around a sacred pond encircled by nine hazel trees. It
was fabled that from their diet of the nuts, the salmon too were keys to
infinite knowledge. Fionn burned his finger while preparing a soup of these
very salmon. Instinctively, Fionn thrust is finger in his mouth to soothe the
burn and by this slight contact he became enlightened. Interestingly, in modern
times the hazel nut has proven itself to be a brain food. Pound for pound the
hazel nut have double the protein, and good fats than eggs, making them natural
nourishment for brain function. When you are creatively stuck, or your
intellectual growth seems stagnate, call upon the energy of the hazel tree.
Better yet, eat a few hazelnuts, or make a necklace from the nuts. Often such
necklaces were worn for protection as well as to illicit visions. Likewise,
hazelnuts were (still are) eaten just before engaging in divinatory,
foretelling or meditative practices.
In England, all the knowledge of the arts and sciences was
thought to be bound to the eating of Hazel nuts. Hazel also has protective uses
as anti-lightning charms. A sprig of Hazel or a talisman of two Hazel twigs
tied together with red or gold thread to make a solar cross can be carried as a
protective good luck charm. The mistletoe that grows on hazel protects against bewitching.
A cap of Hazel leaves and twigs ensures good luck and safety at sea, and
protects against shipwrecks. In England, the Hazelnut is a symbol of fertility
- a bag of nuts bestowed upon a bride will ensure a fruitful marriage. The
Hazel is a tree that is sacred to the fey Folk. A wand of hazel can be used to
call the Fey. If you sleep under a Hazel bush you will have vivid dreams. Hazel
can be used for all types of divination and dowsing. Until the seventeenth
century, a forked Hazel stick was used to divine the guilt of persons in cases
of murder and theft. Druids often made wands from Hazel wood, and used the
wands for finding ley lines. Hazel twigs or a forked branch can be used to
divine for water or to find buried treasure. The wood of the Hazel can help to
divine the pure source of poetry and wisdom. Hazelnuts can be used for love
divination. Assign the name of your passion to a nut and throw it in the fire
"A Hazelnut I throw in the flame,
to this nut I give my sweetheart's name,
If blazes the nut, so may thy passion grow, For t’was my nut that did so brightly glow."
If the nut burns brightly you then will know that your love
will burn equally as brightly. Hazels are often found at the border between the
worlds where magickal things happen, and therefore Hazel wood is excellent to
use to make all-purpose wands. Any Hazel twigs, wood or nuts should be gathered
after sundown on Samhain since it will be at the peak of its magickal energy.
Hazel must not be cut with a knife, but with a flint. Pick your hazelnuts after
they have fallen from the tree. It is considered bad form to pick them unripe
off the branches.
The Hazel Tree is the tree of wishes and the tree of the star goddess. It is associated with the Celtic goddess of the stars, Arianrhad, whose image was seen in the stars of the constellation we now know as the constellation of the Corona Borealis. The Hazel is called the tree of wishes because it has the power to grant the heart’s desire.