To harvest wood for a wand, a stang/staff/stick it’s spirit is needed to help your magicks, the same goes if you are harvesting herbs too.
The Golden Rules:
- Ask the tree’s/herb’s spirit for permission to take some of it.
- Leave a gift in return.
- Take 1/3 and leave 2/3 to grow on.
- Never let the harvested produce touch the ground.
- Never take protected species.
- Use astrological timings.
1. How you ask is up to you – some may do a little ritual of their making, others need only touch the plant to receive permission, but at the very least ask, either out loud or in your mind and then wait for the answer. This may come in many ways, depending on your sensitivity – some hear with their inner ear, others notice signs – the way the wind nods the branches or shakes them suddenly. If the answer *is* no – move on; find another and ask again.
2. The ‘gift’ should be something to aid the tree/plant – I had a friend once who insisted she leave a shiny coin… this delighted only her, and I came to wonder if the tree would up root it’s self when we’d gone and pop down the shop for sweets! That said, I know the Fae like shiny – but in truth, leave something for the tree/plant and the easiest thing is a drop of water or even some birdseed. Urine as well or at the least some spit!
3. Number three is obvious but some ppl just take the whole lot – St Johns Wort for example is an annual – it grows, flowers and dies all in one year so if it’s all taken from one spot it’s doubtful it will regenerate in that spot again… so only take what you need and leave the rest to grow on.
4. This is obvious too. If something touches the ground then any magick held within it goes to earth, or as many say these days, becomes grounded. Keep it up off the ground. If it’s a stang or walking stick then you ‘hobble’ it with either a ferrule or a nail, both of which keep the magick in. Some traditions say never to cut with an iron knife either; I have a hand crafted copper knife used just for harvesting herbs magickally, but others don’t and use an ordinary knife. Once again, it’s personal choice.
5. Check as to what’s protected in your area – this is very important – you can be prosectuted if you take protected plants.
6. Now this might put a few beginner off but what I suggest you do is pick just one herb or tree and learn around that. eg. Hazel – find out which planet rules it – I’ll pop some links below to online sources – anyway, Hazel, ruled by Mercury, calls for you to harvest it on the day of Mercury, Wednesday, in the hour of mercury (you can even get an ‘app’ these days on magickal hours, for your android phone!) on a waxing moon, if the moon is in a sign ruled by Mercury (Virgo or Gemini) all well and good. Or if this is all too confusing – then go ahead and cut it on a Wednesday… you’ll get better results than if you cut it any other day.
*Info on trees and herbs inc. astological ie which planet rules the plant: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/mgmh.html