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Blackthorn, druid plant, saturn herb, protective herb, crone herb Blackthorn
Prunus spinosa

This magick herb's berries ripen after the first frost and the flowers bloom even before the first leaves, so blackthorn is very tied to winter and was therefore considered brave by the Irish. This shrubby tree provided walking sticks for English witches and magickal Blasting Rods or Black Rods as well as the more prosaic use of its wood for shillelaghs (Irish fighting staffs). Its ferocious thorns are used for magickal protection (or rather, attack). Blackthorn is ruled by Scorpio (thorns), Pluto, and Saturn; it shows the latter's influence in a concern with borders, normally growing along the edges of water and being planted as a solid hedge between fields.  It is also connected with Mars on account of its thorns, and the Celtic fire god Bel. The name for the blackthorn in Ogham, a language used by the Druids, is straif, the origin of the word "strife."  Its time is October 28 to November 24, and the animals associated with this plant are the wolf, dog, black cat, and toad. It represents the (negative) influence of outside forces, especially those that are opposed to human success, and it has been used to try to gain malevolent control of other people.  It also symbolizes slumber and death, punishment and protection. Top

Non-Magickal Uses

Blackthorn berries are the ingredient in sloe gin and in alcoholic drinks that were apparently drunk during pagan rituals in both the British Isles and Eastern Europe.  After a few days of frost, much of the berry is converted to sugar and it is used to make a very dry cider. Medicinally, the berry has been used to deal with mouth and throat inflammations.  I used to be able to get the berries, but now I can get only the bark. This ancestor of the domestic plum is also known as mother of the woods and straif. Top  

Blackthorn bark
1 oz. $7.50


 
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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Protection Spells
Left Hand Path Work
Baneful Spells, Sorcery
Crone Work
Druidic Plant

Saturn Herb

2004, 2017 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission