Ash, or Fraxinus Excelsior to give it its Latin name is a tall, deciduous tree, native to Britain and Ireland and found all across Europe. It grows between 10 and 30 meters high and has green leaves which turn pale yellow in the fall. The branches do not have any hairs or bristles and are grey/green in color. The flowers do not have petals and the fruit of the ash tree contains a single seed.The white ash tree is also known as the American ash tree. It is indigenous to the United States and its wood is used to make baseball bats. It is also used to make tennis racquets, skis and also wooden handles for a variety of tools as well as being used in the construction of buildings – for example church pews or other furniture and flooring. Ash wood is strong but flexible so can be used in a wide range of applications. The aircraft wings of Mosquito planes which were flown in World War II were made from ash wood.
The ash tree is aligned with the element of earth and the planets of Neptune and Mercury. In Norse myths the ash tree was known as “Yggdrasil” or the “tree of the world” and it is believed that Odin hung from it for 9 days and nights in order to be granted wisdom. Thus the ash tree is associated with knowledge. In Celtic legends it is associated with the god Lugh and so it is linked with the divine. In magick, ash can be used in many different sorts of spells and for many different purposes.
If you use ash to make a magick wand then it would help with and communication. It can help to remove mental blockages and increase understanding. It could also be of assistance when writing your own spells to help with the creative flow and ensure that your intent is accurately reflected. It brings balance to the mind. It can also be used to enhance the overall effectiveness of your magick.
It is also believed that ash promotes good fortune and good health. You could carry some leaves in a small pouch about your person. In some folk traditions it is said that the ash leaf removed warts and boils. This could be done either by rubbing the part of the body with the wart on against the ash tree or by wearing a pin in the clothing for 3 days and then driving that into the bark of the tree. The wart then disappears from the person and re-appears as a knob on the bark of the tree.
Other uses for ash are for protection: both against negative energy and also against unwanted change.
The ash tree has also been used in herbal medicine. The bark of the tree has astringent properties as well as being a tonic. It can be used to cure fever and ease water retention. The leaves are sometimes used in preparations as an alternative to senna as a mild laxative as they have a gentler effect. The ash leaves can also be used in a tincture to increase male libido although it should be used with restraint as it can be very potent.
Many parts of the ash tree were used by American Indian tribes for a variety of cures. These included a preparation to take following childbirth, a tea to cure sores and one to expel worms. It was used as a diuretic, a tonic to increase appetite, an aphrodisiac, to stem small bleeding, and as an emetic.
Because ash is a potent herb and can have side effects such as vomiting due to its emetic quality it is advisable to consult an expert before preparing your own therapeutic products or using ones obtained elsewhere for any health condition.
Jill Graham is a complementary therapist providing help, advice and guidance on your spiritual and life path. Her skills include reflexology, holistic life coaching and emotional connection facilitation and also reading tarot cards. www.healinglieswithin.com