Blackthorn Pricks Survival Instincts

While browsing through the new Plant Ally Cards, I was attracted to the message on the Blackthorn card, so I pulled it out and remembered several other decks that have Blackthorn in them.

SURVIVAL INSTINCTS – BLACKTHORN – prunus spinosa [sic]

The first word in the Latin name should be capitalized. I’m also disappointed in the abstract drawing and painting of these plants. I could identify about 10% of them and the rest just looked baffling. To be fair, these were never advertised as scientific illustrations, but still.


The woman looks like a fierce warrior, she’s ready to get out there and make sound choices about her life. “You may feel in a bit of a hole with no obvious way out.” That’s how I felt yesterday at least, but today I thought I would catch up with some correspondence and clear the way to spend the weekend doing our income taxes. I immediately felt better—action always alleviates anxiety I find.

Blackthorns are thorny obviously but they are often used for walking sticks because of the strength and the density of the wood. Go ahead, keep walking, don’t be resistant to change, you have no choice really but you have to accept the things you need to face.

Right then, income taxes it is.


The Hawthorn Tree Across Decks

Daily Draw May 23rd, 2013

I started this yesterday but didn’t have time to pull it all together until tonight.

Because of ordering the Wisdom of Trees Oracle, I got to thinking about trees and the Hawthorn kept popping into my mind, so I’m going to do a small study of it across decks.


Apart from the one I have on order (above), I found this tree in eight other decks.


In the Tree Affirmation Cards, it is about leaving fear behind and delighting in the innocent joy and blossoming in yourself. That little girl on the card makes you want to laugh and jump and touch trees! It is a celebration and delight in change, which is really what is going on with me lately.

The Ogham deck looks a bit more mysterious and is also about dramatic change and growth. Turbulent times can be gone through if you intuitively connect to yourself. The hawthorn berry is good for regulating blood pressure and helping your heart physically, which is also something I am working on these past few years.

I liked all the following cards because they are so botanical:


The Nature’s Pharmacy Deck mentions the heart tonic of the hawthorn fruit, as well as the thorns of the tree that can build livestock-proof hedges around pastures. Perhaps a nod to protecting yourself too against all kinds of things like fairies, and providing general protection of the home.

The Celtic Tree Oracle speaks of renewed growth and strength and also mentions the classic May poles that it decorated and its defensive, protective qualities. There is some mention of keeping to yourself, experiencing a period of restraint and keeping the focus on mental rather than physical things. Since I hurt my back this week trying to do some stretching exercises and am in pain, that sounds good. No rushing into an active phase, but having an adequate waiting period is also mentioned.

I was surprised to find the tree in The Victorian Flower Oracle, where the pruning shears and dentistry are mentioned. Sheila Hamilton writes that we go through painful but necessary experiences and duties and just have to get through them, and Hawthorn grows very slowly and lives to a great age. It also hints at a trip to the doctor which fits in with my naturopathic consultation in two days.


I don’t often use The Herbal Tarot but it has quite a few good plants. This is a demo deck from a shop I used to go to, which is why it has holes punched in it.

I often call the Six of Wands the “victory” card, but they say this victory can be tentative as you aren’t sure if it is worth expending energy on. Something a little different with that card. And the idea that if you don’t gain much, the act of going through a difficulty helps you grow or change which in the end is worth it.

More here about the calming properties of Hawthorn and its effect on high blood pressure. I do take Hawthorn for my blood pressure already so I feel this is backing me up. I will be interested to see what my blood pressure is when I go to the naturopath.

The Tree Magick deck is a gem that I don’t often see people using. Here it is about transformation and changing something extreme into its opposite, so a turning point is coming. Because of its medicinal properties she says an upsetting situation is improving, but also says to be cautious, similar to the slowing down and restraint spoken of in the other decks.

Lastly, The Green Man Tree Oracle also speaks of challenge but says that it doesn’t have to be threatening, it can simply be an opportunity to explore and test our strength. There is mention of fear again and turning that into power. I love that he mentions that your life may be in a rut and you can accept the possibility of change. I feel that so deeply this week, like I am stuck in a rut, in the fog of ennui and in a continual loop that isn’t going anywhere.

So a slow and steady progress with a bit of challenge and fear. I shall show restraint and forge on!



Holly Under the Celestial Arch

Daily Draw January 22nd, 2013

My friend Rose and I got into the word tickets again. I drew four tickets, one of which had three phrases or words on it. When I first started making word tickets I used to cram as much as possible on one ticket, and then I realized I had about 1,000 of them plus their attendant paint colour chips in another box, which number in the hundreds, so I was able to relax and paste one word per ticket.

To go with this I drew a card from the Green Man Tree Oracle. I’ve been scrounging around lately and using older decks.



The point of these exercises is to write but not second-guess yourself too much. We are in the celestial city of imagination here, not the box of ordered perfection. These are the words. I rather like the way the first stanza runs back and forth:

To place an order
Juliet’s tomb

This is what I wrote:





Laughing with Lugh

Daily Draw April 18th, 2009

From the lovely Green Man Tree Oracle, another “I’m ready for Spring” card.


“Fertility wakes a fire in the mind.”

We don’t have gorse here in Ontario, but it does remind me of forsythia, a harbinger of Spring here and a shrub we used to have in the home I grew up in. My Mom would cut a few forsythia stalks and bring them inside in a crystal vase in early Spring to force the blooms for a bit of cheer.

This is all about creativity and productiveness and tending to the fertile garden of the imagination. This tree is associated with Lugh (or Lug) whom I like and get frequently in cards. He claimed to have many gifts and talents, so he is just the god to inspire people in every type of activity. Lugh says you can do anything, because he did.

Gorse was used as fuel, and in the hot months was stuffed in the empty fireplace to remind people of the light and heat it gave in winter, and to keep away evil spirits.

I’m for that. I had a problem with my computer yesterday which niggled at me all day. So I banish those evil spirits of restless fretting and worry today and light the gorse in my creative mind.

If you look carefully at the gorse image you can see a laughing face in it.