Exploring the magickal natures of Australian plants and trees
- As published in the Imbolc 2009 edition of Serpentstar, the OBOD Southern Hemisphere newsletter.
When it comes to learning more about the magickal properties Australian plants and trees there are many good resources available that we can learn from. Resources like the work of Ian White with Bush Flower Essences can tell us much about the magickal uses of Australian flowers. There is also a wealth of information about bush tucker and native foods and medicines from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers. It is wonderful to learn about how we can find food and medicines in the bush which can enrich our ritual pracitice as learning more about the natural environment helps us to become more connected to the cycles of nature around us.
Bearing this in mind, there is much we can learn by taking field trips into the bush to learn about the magickal energies of plants, and can then use them in meditation, ritual, altar decoration and divination, without too much need for understanding their uses as food or medicine.
BANKSIA Banksia trees have gnarled bark and branches that look like the skin of the old and wise, the floral columns have a masculine energy, and as they turn to seed pods and open, they look like laughing mouths. They symbolise communication with spirit guides, fertility, life giving, masculine energy, longevity, wisdom of age, joy and energy.
A particularly interesting eucalypt for the scribbly patterns found on the white trunks. Best seen before barkfall, they represent communication, divination, mediumship and channeling. Look at the bark to find symbols and messages, paying attention to the direction they face and the elemental correspondences this represents.
A eucalypt with thick strong fiberous bark. They represent strength, determination, protection, and prosperity.
These huge majestic trees have a dark, powerful and mysterious energy, but at the same time they provide fruit and nuturance, their wide trunks creating cosy sitting spots where one can feel enveloped in their energy. A wonderful tree for meditation, for magick and mystery, protection and nurturance, their towering nature invoking leadership, safety, strength, and a love akin to that of parents for their children.
Standing on the shore between the worlds of land and sea, mangroves represent doorways, and entrances to the otherworld, as well as duality, balance, change, adaptability. Being aware of two ways of being they give us the power to embrace spiritual sight and intuition.
One of the few native deciduous trees, with beautiful pink blossoms flowering after storm festival, they represent beauty, love, fertility, passion, regeneration, rebirth. They stand as a communicator between the nothern and southern cycles, a translator of traditions and a symbol of adaptation, and understanding.
With motled bluish and bright orange bark and blood-red sap these enchanting trees are at their most vibrant just after barkfall near the summer solstice. Their bark becomes a brighter orange representing the fire season and the shedding of unwanted energies. They represent fire, release, change and transformation, purification and cleansing.
MAKING AN OGHAM SET:
You might like to make a set of ogham sticks which you can use for meditation and divination. The best thing to do is to find a tree which you would like to understand better. It may be one from the list I have provided, or it may be one local to your area. Spend some time looking at it, feeling its energy, letting it know who you are and what you would like to know. Then spend some time meditating near the tree. You might like to imagine yourself as the tree, learning to feel and be as it does. Once you have come to understand something about the tree and its energy its time to ask for a stick to make your ogham with.