Shaman's Garden Lesson 7
This month is it all about the prick of the thorn. A shaman should have at least one thorn bush or tree in their garden. The thorns provide protection but they also provide heart medicine. Any bush that has a thorn that will draw blood is known to provide heart medicines or blood cleansers. This includes plants like Datura (baneful) with their thorny seed pods - just the right does of this plant and a person will be dead in under 10 minutes.
Baneful plants are for another time so lets turn to Roses. All parts of this plant can be used in magic. The branches when de-thorned and dried make incredibly great wands for moving energy. I have used a V branch from a rose bush to dowse for water and I prefer that type of dowsing wood. The thorns when used to prick poppets and personal concerns will open energy channels for people to change bad habits while opening their hearts for healing.
Rose petals and hips make fantastic psychic teas for meditation. Grinding rose hips and petals into a paste then rubbing it on your feet in a scrub will clear your psychic body. This scrub has a reputation for being helpful for astral travel if you will go straight to bed or into meditation after rinsing it off.
Homework challenge: Take a cutting of a rose bush from a local cemetery and root it. Look for an old grave that someone has planted a rose bush on and take a cutting then use a root start to get a good root base on it. When it seems stable put it in the ground or in a pot with rose soil. You will be fostering a heritage rose while building your garden from sacred ground.
Now for the Hawthorn tree. This is one of three power trees found in a Shaman's Garden. Oak, Ash and Hawthorn trees are valued because they balance your power. Having them or a cutting of them buried on your property keep out the snoopy neighbors and protect you from persecution. I have three oaks and one large Hawthorn growing on my property, but a few years ago an Ash blight moved through this area and killed every Ash in the state. So I have Ash sticks strategically placed to ward my property.
Hawthorn is a tree of in-between or liminal plant. It is notorious for being a hedge row or boundary bush that is said to support slipping your skin or time to travel in your magic. I will share that I have a small branch of it and I use it to do my long distance magic. I also carry it on all cross quarter holidays when the veil is thing for the Faeries to chat.
Drinking water that has Hawthorn essence in it will enhance your second sight and also help you to hear the land. I have placed Hawthorn flowers in water and left it out during the full moon to empower the water. Then I use the water to make psychic teas, cleanse and I have cooked with it. When I use it in lemon cake there is more laughter at the table than at any other time.
The berries on the Hawthorn tree make and amazing mala for meditation once they have dried. I run a string through them and give them as gifts to young men and women going through rites of passage.
Finally I never burn Hawthorn. It is an insult to the Fey folk and the land. It would be like me showing up to your house and burning your car. The Faeries use this tree to travel just like witches of old use to make broom handles from the larger branches of this tree. If you have this tree growing on your property leave offerings of thread, shiny bells and whiskey so that the precious folk know you are paying attention.