Written by Algoth’s Grove
“Strong chieftains were Blackthorn, with his ill fruit, the unbeloved whitethorn who wears the same suit.”
– Robert Graves, Cad Goddeu
Ruling Planet: Mars
Blackthorn, a tree sacred to the great Mother Morrighan. She is often depicted carrying a staff of blackthorn or holding a wand made from the same tree. The blackthorn tree is one of the eight chieftain trees in the Ogham divination and it is the great protector. Burning it banishes any negativity. If the attack is intense, burn blackthorn for a period of seven days on the waning moon and you will be cleared of all curses or ill intent.
Not only does the Blackthorn tree provide excellent protection, cleansing and purification when used in magick, but it is also a great medicine. Sloe Gin’s main ingredients are the berries from the Blackthorn tree. Distilling the leaves and making a tincture for the bath, or as a lotion will cure migraines, inflammation and any hot flushes. If that was not enough, the blackthorn berries make an ink that when used on linen can not be washed off – ever!
If you pick the berries in October, dried or fresh, they will provide an elixir to clean the blood and speed up the metabolism. The berries are a great medicine for any and all stomach ailments. Making an ale from the berries, drunk first thing in the morning and the last thing at night will relieve a patient from dyspepsia, or pains in the chest.
Blackthorn in magick is the light at the end of the dark tunnel. It provides security, purification, and a powerful shield of protection for the practitioner. The Blackthorn tree is only found in Celtic traditions, and later on was used as the tree for the Elder Futhark rune Thurisaz. Witches have long since used the thorns from the Blackthorn tree to create powerful banishing incenses and witch bottles. It is excellent for use on poppets and even better on Samhain to chase the Wild Hunt. By throwing a large portion of the Blackthorn’s twigs into the fire, only after running your circle thrice, you can scry into the fire and witness the gods at play.
Yule is coming up in the Southern Hemisphere, and Blackthorn trees are an excellent symbolic add to the ritual fire to mark the end of the winter and welcome in the return of the Sun. The Blackthorn tree was also associated with the fae. In fact they had their very own faery tribe who guarded and protected the tree. These Fae were named, Lunantisidhe. Never cut a Blackthorn on Samhain, or on Beltane, or the prickly black wee folk will place a curse on you that not even the Blackthorn itself can banish.
Blackthorn loose Incense Recipe
You will need:
Pestle & Mortar
A generous amount of Blackthorn twigs/
6 drops of Blackthorn oil
4 drops of blood of the one to be protected
Generous amount of Dried Rose Petals
5 drops Dragon’s Blood Oil
Sawdust as a base
A coal for burning
A glass jar for storing
If you intend on using the oil, make sure that you add a carrier oil as well. Carrier oils can be Olive oil, Sesame oil or Grapeseed oil.
Add the dry ingredients first and crush them, start with the sawdust, then the rose petals, then the blackthorn twigs and then add the carrier oil of your choice, and then the essential oils. Crush all the ingredients into your pestle and mortar making a paste which will resemble a dry dough. Do not make the ingredients too wet.
Now place it into a glass jar and store in a cool dark place.
If you are performing a protection ritual, it is wise to use this incense in conjunction with the Great Mother Morrighan.
With that warning, and recipe of magick, make sure to work with this incredible tree. There is yet to be found a stronger protector in the Celtic plant kingdom.
Let us know of your workings with the Blackthorn, and if you have any magickal recipes please share them in the comments below.