Stones: Amber, Citrine Quartz, Sapphire and Swan
Aspen trees are transformative
tools to the novice and also serve as an oracle to the sage. The transcendental
symbolism of the aspen comes in the dance of leaves. Watch them as if they
dance to music and they appear to jive along to some crazy cosmic beat. Lore
and legend is associated with these quivering aspen leaves. Their stark white
bodies ascending to their shimmery, live-wire leaves will keep you spellbound
Poplar (Aspen) is said to be the
tree of the Autumn Equinox and of old age, and is known as the shield makers'
tree. The Poplar is known as the "Tree that Transcends Fear". Poplars
symbolize the magick of joy, the aging of the year, resurrection and hope - and
are connected to the Otherworld. In Gaelic tongue the tree was called Peble and
Pophuil in the celtic way. The Anglo-Saxon rune poem seems to refer to the
Poplar as being associated with the rune "berkano". Heracles wore a
crown of Poplar leaves in triumph after killing the giant Cacus (the evil one) and retrieving Cerberus from Hades.
The upper surface of the Poplar leaves was
thus darkened from Hades' smokey fumes. Poplar trees are sacred to the
Mesopotamian goddess Ua-Ildak. The Grass King of Grossvargula, who was seen as
having fertilizing powers, went on horseback wearing a pyramid of Poplar
branches and a crown. He led a procession of young men about the town and was
then stripped of his branches beneath the Silver Lindens of Sommerberg.
The Black Poplar was a funeral
tree sacred to Hecate as death goddess, to Egeria, and to Mother Earth. Plato
makes a reference to the use of Black Poplar and Silver Fir as an aid in
divination. The Silver Fir standing for hope assured and the Black Poplar for
loss of hope. The Grove of Persephone in the Far West contained Black Poplars
and old Willows. In ancient Ireland, the coffin makers measuring rod was made
of Aspen, apparently to remind the dead that this was not the end. In Christian
lore, the quaking Poplar (Aspen) was used to construct Christ's cross, and the
leaves of the tree quiver when they remember this fact.
Balm of Gilead buds can be carried
in tiny red bags to help mend a broken heart. These buds should be kept as
close to the heart as possible. Balm of Gilead buds can also be placed under
the pillow and slept on to heal a broken heart. Balm of Gilead is also
effective for grief, homesickness and the blues. Poplar can be used in
protection charms of all kinds. Poplar is a good wood to burn in balefires and
ritual fires since it offers protection. Shields can be made of Poplar since
the wood is thought to offer protection from injury or death. Poplar buds can
also be carried to attract money and can be burned as an incense to create
financial security. Siberian reindeer-hunting cultures carved small goddess
statues of Poplar (Aspen) wood. Groats and fat were then offered to the figures
with this prayer:
"Help us to keep healthy! Help us to hunt much game!"
The trembling leaves of the
Poplar tree can be 'read' to divine messages from the God and Goddess, and also
from spirits that drift into woods. The Poplar is the sacred World Tree of the
Lakota nation. For the sun dance ceremony, a Poplar is carefully cut and
lowered, then is re-erected in the center of the dance circle. While being
carried the Poplar must never touch the ground. Green branches, a buffalo skull
and eagle feathers were used to decorate the Poplar for this ceremony.
The Aspen is the tree of heroes whose crowns of poplar leaves gave them the power not only to visit the Underworld, but also to return safely. The aspen crowns found in ancient burial mounds may have been included to allow the spirits of the deceased to return to be reborn. An aspen leaf placed under the tongue would make the bearer more eloquent, traditionally a gift of the Faerie Queen.
The poplar tree is considered the tree of old age and the autumnal equinox . Heracles wore a crown of poplar leaves when he retrieved Cerberus from Hades and the upper surface of the leaves was thus darkened from Hades' smoky fumes. In Christian lore, the quaking poplar was used to construct Christ's cross and the leaves of the tree quiver when they remember this fact. The Poplar's ability to resist and to shield, its association with speech, language and the Winds indicates an ability to endure and conquer. The White Poplar Tree has the ability to find the spiritual determination to face the hardships of earthly and material life.