Latin: Prunus spinosa
Planet: Saturn (plant) Mars (fruit)
Spiritual Meaning Blackthorn Tree
Blackthorn is one of the Eight Chieftain Trees in the Ogham. Its name Straif means strife – and is said to be the ‘increaser of secrets. Guard your secrets well. Blackthorn has cleansing qualities. It represents strife and pain, the power of fate, resentment, confusion, refusing to see the truth. It represents the power of fate. Blackthorn is said to be a force of protection and pure malevolence. As such it’s ambiguity is to be considered with respect.
Blackthorn Tree Healing Benefits
It is a harsh energy, which may seem unpleasant or even hostile but definitely challenging. Use the dried wood, thorns and berries in an herbal incense to banish negativity and in ceremonies of purification. If the malicious influences are very strong, burn the incense for seven days at noon and midnight.
Both the flower and the fruit can be used for medicinal purposes. A tea made from the flowers is good for diarrhoea and helps bladder and kidney problems. It can also cleanse the blood and liver of toxins and cure acne. The juice from the berry can cure mouth sores and sore throats.
Caution: The leaves and seeds contain cyanide, so it can only be taken in small doses. Overdoses can cause respiratory problems and can even prove fatal.
Blackthorn Tree Magical Meanings
The Blackthorn is such a power for magic, that in Irish folklore it has its own faery tribe to guard it. The Irish believed it was protected by the Lunantisidhe or Lunantishee fairies, who are spiky, angry creatures who will curse you should you be foolish enough to try to cut wood from the trees at the day of Samhain or Beltane. It is associated with the North wind and cold winter. A blackthorn rod is used for shapeshifting magic and is believed to confer the ability to bring about change.
Dark magicians would use a staff of Blackthorn to cast hexes and as a battle wand, tipped with a thorn to pierce their opponents skin. This on its own caused infection, which in those days would have led to death. It was also used to overcome resistance to one’s will.
The tree is sacred to the third phase of the Triple Goddess, the Crone – known in differing guises as Morrighan or Cailleach or Beira, Goddess of Winter – all associations with the waning of life, the waning year and the waning moon. She is depicted at times carrying a staff of blackthorn wood and often accompanied by her pathfinder crow or raven. Pop a thorn or dried berry into your ‘charm bag’ for added protection from negative spirits and to attract positive powers.
Blackthorn Tree Symbolism
Blackthorn teaches us to learn when not to fight against fate. Finding strength and opportunity in adversity. Cleansing. Karmic issues. Lack of choice but with hope rising from the depths. It is symbolic of strong action of outside influences on your life and a journey which must be obeyed. Expect the unexpected, plans could be changed or ruined. Issues must be faced and decisions made. Accept changes and move on – to cling to old ways or by anger/stubbornness will only increase hurt.
At Samhain, take a small quantity of thorny blackthorn twigs and throw them in your cauldron or balefire. Fan the smoke and stare into it and ask to see the chase – if you dare! © Jyoti Eagles