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?
Walnut – Jugland reglia
A widely spreading tree with twisting branches and a big broad trunk. The leaves are a matt, leathery, greeny yellow, the flowers open before the leaves, the fruit is oval- a single walnut. The high calorie content of a walnut have made it a popular food since recorded history, being particularly popular with marching armies. The oil is used on salads and pasta, the husks make a dark brown dye. The raw leaves and husks are poisonous to fish and animals. Its timber is highly prized by furniture makers and gunstock makers.
Because shelled walnuts look like the two halves of a brain, the Greeks and Romans used them as a headache cure. By contrast they also believed that the juglone chemicals emitted by the leaves to prevent other plants from growing underneath meant that if you slept underneath one, it would cause headaches and sickness.