This is an outline of the natural properties of the woods that may be used to make staffs, wands, runes or rune pendants.  As with everything in the world each wood has its own vibration and thus is individual characteristics when used as a tool.  By working with the different woods you will come to understand which ones are most comfortable for you.


Ruling planet  – Venus
Seasons – Spring, Autumn
Abilities – Divination.  Protection of self and country.
Element – Water

Alder appears early in Spring and thus the tree is very powerful at this time. This gives the Alder fiery properties linked to the old gods.  It has been used to make whistles to call up the elementals and also the force of the north wind.  In conjunction with its planetary ruler, Venus, the Alder is able to bring passion and an extension to its healing properties.  It is a good wood for world healing.


Ruling planet – Venus
Seasons – All
Abilities – Healing.  Love.  Poetic inspiration.  Works of destiny.  Foundation.
Element – Water

The apple has long been considered to have amazing healing and magical properties.  It represents beauty and fruitfulness and has been likened to the goddess of flowers.

The flowers are used to raise the spirit of love and fertility.  Wands made from Apple are excellent for healing or love spells.  The wood is also used in garden magic.

 Other fruit woods have similar properties.


Ruling planet  – Sun  

Seasons – Summer  

Abilities – Inner and outer worlds linked.  Drawing together opposites.  Clarity. The energy of the ‘Age of Aquarius’.

Element – Water

Ash works with the assimilation of the knowledge of the healing and uses of itself and other woods.  It
may be considered as a portal between the subconscious and past memory
and the conscious world. Ash also helps us to absorb healing.  Wands made from ash are excellent healing wands.  In ancient times spears were made from ash as they were believed to have strong protective magic.



 Ruling planet  – Saturn 

Seasons – Spring/Summer, Autumn 

Abilities – Old writings and knowledge. Rediscovering old wisdom.  Wishes.  Letting go of fixed ideas. 

Element – Air and Earth

Beech is linked with all written wisdom and the rediscovery of the past.  Meditation with Beech can link us with our inner wisdom to find the answers to our present.
Carrying a small piece of beech is a traditional good luck charm.


Ruling planet  – Saturn   

Seasons – Spring, late Autumn  

Abilities – Cleansing.  Karmic issues.  Lack of choice with the hope rising from the depths. 

Element – Fire

 As you may well imagine this tree, or more properly shrub, is a protective one (check out the thorns!).  The energy is able to move very deep blockages within our bodies primarily those of a Karmic nature.  However, the healing provided by Blackthorn can be very intense due the karmic issues so a less severe energy may sometimes be a better choice, for
example apple.


Ruling planet  – Venus 

Seasons – Early Summer and late Autumn.  

Abilities – Regeneration. Rebirth.   

Element – Earth

Elder is a very potent energy and you should never forget to ask her permission before taking of her wood lest she follow you and plague you
for selfish intent.

Irish witches broomstick handles were made from Elder.  The wood was also used for cremation pyres.  Elder is a very feminine tree and can be used for protection, healing, exorcism and prosperity.

 ELM  (English)

Ruling planet  – Saturn  

Seasons – Summer, Autumn 

Abilities – Purification.  Love.  Light.  Wisdom. 

Element – Earth

The elm is the tree most closely linked with the Elves.  It is also a doorway between birth and another life.  When contemplating Elm you may find that you are reflecting on your passage from one life to another.


 Ruling planet  – Mars 

Seasons – Spring, Autumn  

Abilities – Fertility.  Guardian.  Cleansing.  Door to the Otherworld.  Happiness. 

Element – Fire

 The Hawthorn or May tree is closely linked to the Spring May Day festivals.  Hawthorn is most associated with fertility and fulfilment.  The blossoms were thought to carry prayers to heaven.
Asa faery tree the purpose of the Hawthorn is to guard wells and many ancient wells still have their thorn tree standing by them.


 Ruling planet  – Mercury (nuts), Sun (plant) 

Seasons – Spring, Autumn  

Abilities – Intuition.  Divination.  Dowsing. Individuality. The power to find that which is hidden.

Element – Air

Hazel is the traditional wood used for wands or staffs, and also for divining rods.  The wood is at its most powerful at Midsummer’s Eve and this is the best time for it to be cut.  The wood is excellent for protective purposes and also for healing.  Using the nuts as well speeds up the healing.  This is a very masculine tree and is also used for luck, fertility and wishes.


Ruling planet  – Mars

Seasons – Midwinter

Abilities – Protection.  Clear wisdom and courage.  Dream magic.

Element – Fire


Holly is the strongest protective herb.  It embodies the Holly King who rules in the dark of the year.  There is a great deal of lore surrounding the Holly and its links with the Thunder gods such as Thor.  Holly has immense positive energy surrounding it.
It is also connected to rebirthing, initiation and rejuvenation rites.



Ruling planet  – Jupiter

Seasons – Summer, Autumn

Abilities – Courage.  Strength  Solid protection.  Door to Mysteries.  Health.  Inner spiritual strength.

Element – Earth

 The Oak King rules over the light of the year.  Oak is called upon in the celebration of the Solistices and Equinoxes.  The oak goddesses are called on for the cross-quarters of Imbolc, Beltaine, Lammas and Samhain.  It is used for health, fertility, luck, joviality and potency.


Ruling planet  – Mars

Seasons – Winter, Spring.

Abilities – Foresight.  Long sight.  Purification.  Births.  Incense.

Element – Air

 The pine is at its most powerful after the Winter Solstice and at this time it can be used to utilise your foresight to set your right path for the coming year.  Pine is used for healing, fertility, exorcism, protection, purification and money spells.



Ruling planet  – Mercury (aspen see picture to the right), Saturn (white and black poplars)

Seasons –Autumn, Winter

Abilities – (Poplars) Cycles of time  Incenses.  (Aspen) Eloquence.  Psychic gifts from the winds. Aid to rebirth.  Prevention of illness

Element – (Poplars) Water (Aspen) Air

There are a number of varieties of Poplar each with its own particular characteristics.  There is a strong link too with the moon and Poplars are particularly good for lunar magic.  Be
particularly careful to only work with the purest of intent when working with Poplar as it is very powerful and if you work with malice or impure intent what rebounds will be both quick and  unpleasant!  The Aspen was used to make protective shields.
The powers of the Poplar and Aspen can be mesmeric but can lead to visions and enrichment in our spiritual lives.


Ruling planet  – Sun

Seasons – Spring, Autumn

Abilities – Protection against enchantment.  Protection of ley-lines.  Protection of stone circles.  Highest pure magic.  Control of all senses 

Healing.  Psychic powers.  Success.

Element – Fire

The Rowan is one of the most magical of trees.  It has been used since ancient times for protection.  The cross-quarters of the year are particularly ruled by the Rowan and women can, at these times, make full use of it and the sun’s energy.  There is also tradition that the Rowan kept witches at bay.  However, witches have and still do use Rowan for wands, and amulets.  Rowan increases psychic powers,success and healing.


Ruling planet  – Venus

Seasons – Spring, Autumn

Abilities – Healing.  New starts and beginning.  Mysteries of the young goddess.

Element – Air and Water

Legend says that the greatest of respect should be accorded to the Birch as the Lady of the Woods.  If she finds that you have been maligning the trees anger will rise up in her whip like branches.  Broomsticks were traditionally made from birch twigs with an ash or hazel handle bound by strips of osier (willow).  This broom can be used to both physically sweep and also to clean away any negative energies or evil spirits.  The feminine Silver Birch is used for love, protection and purification.


Ruling planet  – Moon

Seasons – Spring, Autumn

Abilities – Dowsing. Psychism via water.  Night visions.  Lunar tides and magic.

Element – Water

The Willow is the tree of enchantment and very strongly feminine in influence.  Wishes asked for by the willow tree will be granted if asked for correctly.  Willow is used for love, divination, protection, fertility and healing.


Ruling planet  – Saturn

Seasons – Winter

Abilities – Guardian to the Door of Rebirth.  Rest after the struggle of life.  Divination.  Dowsing.  Bows.

Element – Earth

 Care should be taken when working with Yew as it contains a very strong poison!  The trees were planted in graveyards to protect the spirits of the dead.  The Yew is at its most powerful in midwinter representing the passage of the sun through the darkest time of the year.  By working with Yew (definitely ingesting it in any form) you can reveal the past and gain its wisdom together with renewed spiritual strength.