The Secrets of the Trees
We hold our Mystic Magic in the Forest weekend retreats at Rosliston, in Rosliston National Forest, near Burton upon Trent, just south of Derby in the Midlands. Our retreats are themed, but often include an appreciation of nature, walks, the significance of trees in Spiritual and Pagan history, and their myths and legends.
This blog charts the story, in instalments, of those trees, and all of those to be found at Rosliston, around forty species. Each tree is to be found at Rosliston, but may also be found more widely around Great Britain, Europe, North America and beyond.
In these blogs I describe each tree, explain where they are found, what their history is and how they have related to our history. I also explore the myths and legends surrounding the trees in different countries and from different traditions as well as how herbalists have used them to treat human conditions and how products from the trees have been used throughout history. I hope that you enjoy reading these tree blogs as much as I have enjoyed writing them for you. If you would like to come and see them in their natural habitat why not join us for one of our retreats?
Sitka Spruce – Picea Stichensis
A native of North America, named after the town Sitka in Alaska, it is similar to the Norwegian Spruce and is amongst the most commonly found trees in Britain thriving on high rainfall and growing to 50 metres. It is normally found in the Northern hemisphere, from the Arctic Circle to the Himalayas and is unusually fast growing. Also known as the Coast Spruce, Tideland Spruce, and yellow Spruce.
Its timber is used for paper,, board, pallets and packing cases. Howard Hughes built a plane out of it, and it was used for the Mosquito fighter/bomber in WW2 by the RAF. Aboriginal tribes thought the Sitka was magical, its wood used to create love charms.
During Ceremonial dances its boughs were thought to protect the participants from evil spirits, while dancers conjured familiar spirits from the Spirit world. The dried roots were used to weave watertight hats and baskets.
Its inner bark was used as a laxative, the sap used to treat skin irritations and sunburn.