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?
Spindle – Euonyus europaeus
The spindle is one of the loveliest woodland shrubs found across Europe, and is present throughout Britain, particularly around lowland chalk and limestone. It grows to 10 metres, the spring flowers are small and unspectacular but the leaves and fruit become red then pink in the autumn, when the pink fruits split, yellow seeds fall from an orange inner flesh.
The light-yellow wood was traditionally used for making spindles, hence its name, and is strong, compact and easily worked. In herbal tradition it is called a Skewerwood or Prickwood from its use as toothpick and is supposed to symbolise creative inspiration and purification. The Celts believed that its presence was a sign that obligations need to be followed.