A Journal of Celtic Spirituality and Sacred Trees

Issue 10, August/September 1994

In This Issue:
Out on a Limb: Editorial - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa
From Further Out: Guest Editorial - Imré K. Rainey
From Brighid's Hearth: Hops Vine - Brighid MoonFire
Poetry: Morning - Sherlock
Runes: Rad - Stormy
Earth Awareness: Responsible Camping - Brighid MoonFire
To Bind a Wandering Husband - Raven
Poetry: Supplication - Norhala
Night Stalking: Star Watching - Stormy
Bach Flowers: Hazel - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
Lunar Energies & Esoterica: Hazel - Imré K. Rainey
Bach Flowers: Vine - Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
Lunar Energies & Esoterica: Vine - Brighid MoonFire
Poetry: Circles - Epona
Harvest Symbology - Brighid MoonFire
Plant Identification: Apple & Muscadine - Sherlock
Letters to the Editor
Bubbles From the Cauldron - book reviews, etc.

Editor & Layout, Publisher: Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)
Staff Writer: Brighid MoonFire
Staff Writer: Imré K. Rainey
Staff Writer & Artist: Stormy

Contributors: Epona, Les Martin, Norhala, Nancy Passmore (The Lunar Calendar), Raven, Sherlock. Cover art by Stormy.

THE HAZEL NUT, Issue 10, Copyright © 1994. August/September 1994, Hazel/Vine Moons. THE HAZEL NUT is published six times a year.

All rights reserved. Copyright reverts to the individual artist or writer upon publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the editor and author.
Opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information published, but cannot be held liable for errors, changes, or omissions, or for any incurrances from the application or the practice of any matter contained herein.

In Celtic legend, the hazel tree drops its nuts into the well below, where they are consumed by the salmon. While cooking one of these salmon, Fionn accidently tastes it, and instantly gains all knowledge. As such, the hazelnut has come to symbolize wisdom in a nutshell. THE HAZEL NUT attempts to bring you this wisdom in a small package every issue, with historical research, herbal information, viewpoints, poetry, artwork, and reader submissions. We also explore, in depth, one or more trees of the Celtic tree calendar/alphabet (Beth-Luis-Nion system) as researched and explained by Robert Graves in The White Goddess. This includes its herbal uses, folklore, esoterica, lunar energies, psychology, mythology, symbolism, and other aspects. In this we hope to make the sacred trees a real, and positive, part of your everyday life.
Hazel is the ninth tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in August or September, and this year it runs from August 7-September 4.
Vine is the tenth tree in the Celtic tree calendar. It usually occurs in September or October, and this year it runs from September 5-0ctober 3.


Now that we're moving into the second half of the year (the beginning of which is marked by Holly moon), I can look back with relief that we made it through the first half in relative sanity. A large part of our training in the Faerie Faith is to be aware of ourselves and the world around us, to better facilitate needed changes in both. It may seem like an obvious question, but how can we fix something if we don't know a problem exists?
In that light, I'd like to invite you to look back over the half a year just passed. Notice how the lunar energies affected you and other people. In our community, we had a great sigh of relief after the tension of the Winter Solstice, then a build-up of irritability and impatience, which finally calmed down around Alder (April). Willow was nice, but at Beltane (which we mark on May 5 or 6), and especially with the onset of Hawthorn, things went crazy. Hormones were out of control, emotions were right on the surface, and attitudes were generally weird. A lot of folks also had some extraordinarily bad luck in May. When Oak rolled around in June, we managed to get back on an even keel, but not exactly back to normal. Then Holly hit (and thankfully, is just ending!). This year there was no overt viciousness, but there seemed to be a lot of behind-the-scenes bickering and otherwise subtle but strong emotions.
Because of the unusual energies experienced in Hawthorn and Oak, some of us feel that this is what's called a 'Blackthorn year.' In a few months we hope to have enough info gathered to write a full article on this phenomenon. We'd be interested in knowing if anyone else in other parts of the country had any unusual experiences or feelings.
Finally, perhaps Hazel will give us all a chance to sit back and reflect on ourselves and our relationships with other people, and gain a little wisdom from our experiences of the past few months. Remember, being aware of something is the first step to incorporating it or changing it, and understanding the past is a key element in this process.

Until next time, party on, dudes! - Muirghein



Over the past few months there has been overwhelming public support for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The purpose of the act was to increase federal financial aid to public elementary and secondary schools. Innocent enough, right? Well, that is, until Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) got a hold of it. In the name of pompous self-righteousness, Senator Helms submitted an overtly fascist amendment. The original untainted act, which supported well rounded education for all, suddenly became outright unity of Helms' church and state. The amendment in question states that increased financial aid to public elementary and secondary schools is honorable as long as these schools:
The Senate passed the amended act by a two-thirds to one-third vote.
As we all know, academic institutes are supposed to be centers for education, experience, and the broadening of one's world view. Doctrine, dogma, canon, and religion have no place in schools. The enforcement of any church's views in a school is an outright violation of the constitution. The United States is an amalgamation of races, cultures, and religions -- not an anglo-Christian tent revival.
Homosexuality has been in existence since the beginning of time. Homosexuality is NOT a question of sexual preference or choice, but a matter of orientation. If homosexuality, or even heterosexuality, were a matter of choice, then anyone could change their mind and be one or the other at any time. The argument that homosexuality is a mental illness is naive and ignorant. Any medical professional can attest to the fact that the DSM-IV, the diagnostic manual for psychologists and psychiatrists, does not offer a diagnosis of 'homosexual' anywhere. Regardless of religious motivation, puberty occurs. The denying of the complete range of healthy human sexuality during a sex education course is a demonstration of blatant scientific illiteracy and social ignorance.
H.I.V./A.I.D.S. is NOT a gay disease. The Center for Disease Control states that the populations at highest risk of H.I.V. infection at this time (and since the turn of the '90's) are women, minorities, and ADOLESCENTS. Gay people are no longer the target population of H.I.V. infection because gay people have spearheaded H.I.V./A.I.D.S. education, fund-raising, and research. H.I.V. does not care about sexual orientation, race, social standing, religion, gender, etc. The only thing that interests the virus is that it has a host period. And the idea that if H.I.V./A.I.D.S. education and homosexuality are removed from schools (at least on the surface), then sex and H.I.V. will stop occurring is ludicrous. If religion will not keep the Christian hierarchy from participating in rape, child molestation, fornication, and adultery, then denying the existence of sex amongst teenagers certainly will not.
Congress has quickly pushed its way into our lives. Through apathy, we are relinquishing our rights to our bodies, to personal protection, to healthy sex lives, and to civil rights. If the Christian right-wing can dictate doctrine, dogma, and canon to us as law, our freedom of religion is next to go. Pagans have suffered far too long under the fists, fires, and knives of the Christian hierarchy to allow fanatical members of government to inflict zealot Christianity on our children. The freedom to express ourselves healthily through sexuality, culture, and religion is essential to the human experience. If we allow Congress to impose such laws as the amended Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we are condoning the elimination of civil rights; we are inviting the Christian right-wing to take control of our lives.
Please allow yourselves to be heard. Contact President Clinton at (202) 456-1414 and ask him to Veto Senator Helms' amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Letters should be addressed to: White House, Washington D.C. 20500.

- Imré K. Rainey


by Brighid MoonFire

The hops vine (Humulus lupulus) has been used for centuries. Pliny called it the "willow wolf from its tendency to intertwine around willows, which is how it gained its Latin name lupulus1,2." Although the use of hops in brewing was known since the Roman times, their widespread introduction was resisted, particularly in England until the 17th century3. It was during Henry VIII's reign that Parliament defined hops as "a wicked weed that would spoil the taste of the drink and endanger the people4." When hops was finally allowed into brewing, the old way which was flavored with plants such as costmary and ground ivy became known as ale, while that brewed with hops was given the German name 'bier5.'
Hops is a remedy that has a marked relaxing effect upon the central nervous system6, as we all probably know from seeing ourselves and our friends drunk off of beer; hops being one of the main ingredients in the elixir. It has been used extensively for insomnia7,8, whether drunk as a tea or slept on as a hops pillow9. The volatile oils released while sleeping on a hops pillow probably affect the brain directly through its olfactory center10. Hops will ease tension and anxiety11; in fact,modern research shows that hops can relax the smooth muscles, especially those of the digestive tract12. Hops can be used, therefore, in combination with other herbs to treat disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease and nervous stomach13. However, hops should not be used in cases where there are signs of marked or extreme depression14,15.
Hops can also allay infection of the upper digestive tract, which can play a large role in provoking gastric and duodenal ulcers16. It is also known to cleanse the blood, making it useful in venereal diseases and all kinds of skin abnormalities such as itch, ringworm, spreading sores, and discolorations17. It can be made into an ointment by boiling 2 parts Jimson weed and 1 part hops in lard18.
Women who pick hops can suffer disruption or complete absence of menstruation due to the absorption of the oil through their hands. This is due to the oestrogenic principles in hops, and accounts for its traditional anaphrodisiac effect in men19.
Hops should be gathered in August and September before they are fully ripe and dried with care. If you are drying them outside, then do so in the shade20. To make an infusion of hops pour about 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried hops flowers and let it steep21.


1 Mabey, Richard. The New Age Herbalist. 1988. Collier Books, New York, NY, pg. 36.
2 Grieve, Mrs. M. A Modern Herbal. 1931. Dorset Press, London, pg. 411.
3 Ibid, pg. 411.
4 Mabey, pg. 36.
5 Ibid, pg. 36.
6 Hoffmann, David. The Holistic Herbal. 1983. Element Books Ltd,
Dorset, England, pg. 200.
7 Ibid, pg. 200.
8 Grieve, pg. 414.
9 Mabey, pg. 36.
10 Ibid, pg. 36.
11 Hoffmann, pg. 200.
12 Mabey, pg. 36.
13 Ibid, pg. 36.
14 Hoffmann, pg. 200.
15 Grieves, pg. 414.
16 Ibid, pg. 36.
17 Hutchens, Alma. Indian Herbology of North America. 1991, Shambhala, Boston, MA, pg. 154.
18 Ibid, pg. 154.
19 Mabey, pg. 37.
20 Hoffman, pg. 200.
21 Ibid, pg. 200.


- by Sherlock

It is morning. The sun is striking the morningglories and causing them to curl up in spite of their name. They are fragile, and the animals seem to know this because they step carefully around them.

The birds are singing, but they are beginning to be drowned out by the trilling of many locusts, which for a brief time during the year will be the sound of the forest. The birds will soon grow quiet. Why do the birds choose the morning to sing their songs? Why do the locusts praise the heat of the midday sun?

It is in the morning that a passion for life springs from every leaf of every tree, as if during the night, life was forgotten, and all revel in the waking and remembering.

It is in the morning that the rose smells sweetest and the trees are the greenest. If I could hold on to the passion of morning throughout the day...

Germanic: RAIDHO - a wagon; riding
Gothic: RAIDHA - wagon; ride
Old English: RAD - riding; way
Old Norse: REIDH - riding; chariot; thunder clap

KEY WORDS: Wheels, wagons, journey on horseback, spiritual reunion, solar wheel


Any kind of wood is extremely rare and recycled wisely in the North countries of Iceland, Greenland, and Norway. When colonizing Iceland and Greenland, the Norseman brought their own beams and pillars of oak from their homeland to build their new homes, which they combined with earth to make moundworks.
There is a story of Thorulf Mostur-Beard and how he found the place in which to settle along the coast of Iceland. Traveling in a Viking Ship, Thorulf brought beams and pillars to build in the new country. In an act of faith or pure chance of the gods, Thorulf threw the oak pillars (associated with Thor, the Thunder god) overboard to see where they would drift and wash up upon the shore. The shoreline they washed up on is exactly where he built his new home. This is a true test of the fates and faith in the gods! This story is from the Eyrbyggia Saga, originated between the 10th and 11th centuries, but was not written down till the 13th century.
Rad is associated with Thor, the cart, the chariot, the solar wheel, horseback riding, and oak trees. The oak tree is sacred in the North because it can take a direct hit by lightening and survive. Rad is associated with the sun wheel and it was probably this bright round orb that wo/man observed traveling East to West across the sky which enlightened them to the concept and invention of the wheel. The wheel was probably made from oak, Thor's sacred tree. It is strong and durable. It makes an excellent casket for storage of ale and mead when made into barrels. The oak was also used to make wagons and ships, both used for transporting.
Observation of the sun disk traveling from East to West encouraged the thinking that the new and birth came from the East because of the sunrise while the sunset in the West came to represent dying and the land of the dead. Thus, the solar wagon or viking ship carrying the dead to the otherworld always faced West.

The Rune:

This rune can indicate the reunion of two individuals at the end of a journey. This can be a physical or a spiritual journey. In a spiritual journey, it can be a reunion of above and below. It is also possible to be a spiritual reunion of soul mates meeting again in this life time. Remain open to possible interpretations and you will eventually find out.
One of the four cycle runes, it is the cycle of Self. It can represent reunion with heaven and earth in harmony with self. There is no time period. It signifies that joy can be reached as part of the journey through life when communication with oneself is in harmony. Rad not only indicates travel, but also changes in profession, location and/or spiritual direction.

Upright Position:

Not all journeys are good ones, especially if it is one you do not want to take. Some journeys we must take. Remember our higher power is always there to help us.

Reversed Position:

Don't undertake a physical or spiritual journey at this time. Wait until you are physically, mentally and spiritually ready. Incorrect communication can occur giving you the wrong answers. Soon you will be able to resume with zest. Be patient.


Aswyn, Freya. Leaves of the Yggdrasil. 1992. Llewelyn Publications, St. Paul. MN.
Blum, Ralph. The book of Runes. 1987. Oracle Books, st. Martin's Press, NY.
Howard, Michael. Understanding Runes. 1990. The Aquarian Press. Thorson's Publications Group, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, England.
Gundarsson, Kveldulf. Tuetonic Religion. First Edition. 1993. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN.
Thorsson, Edred. At The Well of Wyrd. 1990. Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, ME.
Tyson, Donald. Rune Magic 1989. Llewellyn Publications. St. Paul, MN.


by Brighid MoonFire

Now is the time when we are all trying to relish the last bit of summer weather. And for many of us that means the pleasures of vacationing, camping, fishing and boating. But with this pleasure also comes responsibility. Just because we've decided that we're going camping, for example, does not mean that we are invited guests. We are now entering a world that does not belong to us, even if our name is on some silly piece of registration paper. It belongs to nature and to her creatures, and we are their guests and, as such, we should remember to act as guests. After all, you wouldn't go into someone's house and throw your trash around, grind your cigarette butts into their carpet and pollute their food and water supply, now would you? (And if you would, don't come visit me!)
It is possible to have an enjoyable time and still protect Mother Nature. Just a few simple adjustments to your normal routine and soon they'll become habits that will benefit nature and yourself.
Remember when you go to try to take nothing disposable. Sure it's easier, but remember that every time you throw something away it then becomes landfill items that your campground will have to deal with.
Never dump plastics. They are not degradable and are one of the biggest threats to wildlife. Millions of animals and birds die each year thanks to dumped plastics -- they get strangled and suffocated by plastic bags and trapped in plastic six-pack holders2. Even whales have been killed by plastic; found with up to 50 plastic bags in their guts3.
Take nothing from the wilderness. It may be just another pretty flower, or an interesting growth of tree bark, but if everybody took some, there would soon be nothing left. Remember this also and take your own tent; don't try to be the next great survivalist and hack down saplings for your shelter4.
Make sure that you try to only use fallen dead wood for your fires5. Hacking away at good, solid, living trees for your fire is like killing the rhino for just his horn.
Don't throw your cigarette butts on the ground. Put them in an empty can, since you'll be carrying that back with you anyway. Not only is it an obvious forest fire hazard, but the nicotine in cigarette butts is toxic to wildlife that are poisoned by them6.
Choose soap over detergent. You can use a bar of soap for washing yourself, your clothes and your dishes. But remember to dump your wash water at least 50 yards from open water. Even if it is biodegradable, soap is not part of marine ecology7.
Don't wash your hair in the lake8. Remember, fish don't use shampoo and neither do the birds or the animals that depend on the lake. Wet your hair but then wash and rinse at least 50 yards away from the open water so that it will contaminate as little as possible.
Try to use natural, homeopathic medicines and pesticides. The less toxicity that is brought into the woods or the lakes the better.
Avoid lead sinkers and lead shot. Waterfowl will eat both of these, and may die an excruciating death by lead poisoning. Lead paralyzes the digestive tract, and the bird will die a slow death after 17 to 21 days9.
Don't bother bird eggs or nests or homes of any kind. You may think that the bird egg looks really neat but touching it will leave the human scent on the egg and many birds won't return to that nest. The eggs are then candidates for predators and death, and the parent bird must now struggle to find a new home. The same can be said for other types of homes, such as beaver dams. Eventually the dam will be destroyed, but I think that Mother Nature knows that appropriate time better then you and I.
Remember to never throw debris from your car, cycle, or boat. It's as simple as that.
If you would like more information on how you can enjoy your summer activities and still protect the environment, you can contact some of the following for more information:

The American Camping Association, 317-342-8456; National Parks Service, 202-208-3100; National Parks and Conservation Association, 800-448-NPCA; The U.S. Forest Service, 202-447-3957; Center for Marine Conservation, 202-429-5609; Ducks Unlimited, 708-438-4300.


1 Vallely, Bernadette. 1,001 Ways to Save the Planet. 1990. Ballantine Books, New York, NY, pg. 214.
2 Zimmerman, Richard. What Can I Do to Make a Difference? 1982. Penguin Books, New York, NY, pg. 127.
3 Vallely, pg. 214.
4 Lamb, Marjorie. 2 Minutes a Day for a Greener Planet. 1990. Harper & Row, San Francisco, CA, pg. 192.
5 Ibid, pg. 193.
6 Ibid, pg. 193.
7 Ibid, pg. 195.
8 Ibid, pg. 188.
9 Ibid, pg. 195.


In early fall, just beginning on the 3rd day of mentrual cycle, collect the blood and place 3 drops in an ice cube tray. Also add a scrap of paper with his name on it torn in half. Place remaining blood in red food (chili, gumbo); make sure he eats it.
If he cheats the cube will break and in 3 days he will be punished.

- Old voodoo spell from New Orleans, by Raven


- by Norhala

Fill me, Bright moonlit circle I stand, solitary, empty, drained of energy by constant endless needs, demands surrounding me. Fill me with light, with love, with compassion, with inner wisdom, with strength to endure, to serve, to teach, to understand, to nurture peace.

Teach me, Wise feel life pulsing around me, to hear words unspoken, to see beyond the obvious, to touch with love and compassion those in my world. Teach me to give of myself, to use wisely Blessed gifts and talents, to look within, without, beyond myself, to love, to cherish love freely given.

Heal me, Star-eyed Lady...of pain in heart, mind and body, of useless anger, of resentments never voiced, of wounds unseen, of ancient childhood fears. Heal me with Thy sweet astringent touch, with the tender toughness of total knowledge, eternal experience, 'til I am whole, and fit to heal, in turn.

Love me, gentle Mother...with the unconditional love of mother for daughter, with the timeless, ageless perspective of eternity. Guide me to understand my place in Thy creation, my worth and value, my purpose in existence. Let the abundance of Thy love fill my heart and overflow to bless other lives.

I come seeking yearning...let me know Thee, that I may learn!


by Stormy

July, August, September and October are the months of the Summer Triangle. Just what exactly is the Summer Triangle? These are the three stars that dominate the southern sky but aren't really a constellation. The three stars are Deneb (a part of the Cygnus Constellation), Vega (the brightest of the three is part of the Lyra Constellation) and Altair (a part of the Aquila Constellation). These three stars make up a star group known as an asterism. Look to the southern skies and the two brightest stars to appear are Vega followed by Deneb almost side by side, representing the base of a pyramid or triangle. Now look further back towards the north and you will see Altair to complete the triangle or pyramid.
Around the beginning of September to October, the Summer Triangle will begin appearing later and lower in the northwestern sky until it disappears, except for Altair.

If it weren't for the tilted axis of the earth as it travels around the sun we wouldn't have seasons. The days at the North Pole would never turn to night and we would have exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night at the equator! We would see different stars instead of the ones we see now throughout the year. Also, the North Star would be a completely different star in a different location.
The next event is the Autumn Equinox, October 23, 1994, when day and night will be of equal length. A few days before that, just as dusk sets in, you will observe the Autumn Triangle. It is also not a constellation but an asterism. This one is made up of Antares pointing to the south and Arcturus and Altair making up the base of the pyramid or triangle in the north. The triangle will appear for a while and then appear later at night until it blends in with the other stars and the constellations its stars are a part of.


Raymo, Chet. 365 Starry Nights. 1982. Fireside, Simon & Schuster, New York.


by Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)

Hazel is one of the trees for which there is no prepared Bach Flower Remedy. In this case, one can either make a Hazel remedy from scratch (see Issue #9 for directions) from the Hazel tree, if it grows in your area, or find the most appropriate substitute from the 38 Remedies.
As Hazel is a moon of wisdom and intuitive knowledge, the Chestnut Bud Remedy seems to be the best choice for energies of this moon. Its keywords are "failure to learn by experience; lack of observation in the lessons of life; hence the need of repetition1."
The Chestnut Bud person, in the negative state, tends to repeat the same mistakes, never learning from them. For example, one may get into bad relationships over and over again, or may have good relationships that still somehow end the same way every time. One is not able to assess the situation objectively and use that knowledge in the future.
This tendency may also manifest itself physically, in the form of headaches or ulcers, for instance, always occurring after the same argument with the same person, or under the same work-related stresses. Instead of looking at the connection between the situation and the illness, the Chestnut Bud person simply takes more pills and treats the symptoms, rather than the underlying cause. "The thought never occurs to ask one's colleagues what their experiences are, in order to gain new points of view2."
"A person in the negative Chestnut Bud state is like the rider of a show-jumper wearing blinders, always galloping up to the same fence and again and again failing to clear it, in the same place. From the outside it looks as if the same film sequence were run again and again. There is no progress, no development. The film will continue only when the rider gets off his horse and considers why he keeps failing at this fence, asking himself where he should make a fundamental change. The moment he has established this, he'll clear the hurdle with ease, and the story of the film can progress3."
Others may feel that the Chestnut Bud person is trying to escape from themselves, refusing to face their pasts. Forgetting the past is not a bad thing, but until the lessons of the past mistakes are understood, he has no principles to build on for the future, and nothing to help him in the present.
The positive aspect of Chestnut Bud is seen in "those persons who are keenly observant of all happenings, and especially of mistakes which occur. They tend to keep their attention in the present, and they gain knowledge and wisdom from every experience. They watch and learn from others4."
Chestnut Bud, or white chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), is prepared by the boiling method. Gather the buds of early spring, about April or May, before they open out into flowers. Pick the bud and about 6" of the twig from as many trees as possible, filling the saucepan 3/4 full5.


1 Chancellor, Dr. Philip M. Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies. 1971. Keats Publishing, Inc., New Canaan, CT, pg. 66.
2 Scheffer, Mechthild. Bach Flower Therapy - Theory and Practice. 1981. Munchen, West Germany, pg. 64.
3 Ibid, pg. 64.
4 Chancellor, pg. 66.
5 Weeks, Nora, and Bullen, Victor. The Bach Flower Remedies - Illustrations and Preparation. 1964. C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd., London, England, pg. 66.


by Imré K. Rainey

Legend claims that many moons ago, in an ancient Celtic land, there stood a well within a sacred grove of nine Hazel trees. As the fruit of the trees ripened, they would fall into the well and were eaten by the salmon which lived there. Consequently, the same salmon were prepared and eaten by the Druids. On one occasion, the young man stirring the pot, in which the salmon were being cooked, accidently splashed his hand with the boiling stew. By reflex, he put his hand to his mouth and ingested the essence of the sacred feast. Instantly, he was invested with the wisdom of the universe.
Hazel, the ninth moon of the Celtic lunar calendar, is the tree of wisdom and inspiration. In the story above, the energy of the Hazel was consumed by the salmon and, later, accidently by the apprentice stirring the salmon stew. Yet, the wisdom that was gained through the Hazel nuts came after the apprentice had burned his hand. What may seem insignificant in the story, actually symbolizes a greater lesson of the Hazel--the lesson of wisdom through pain and experience. Sit with a Hazel and allow it to show you that true wisdom comes only after years of trial and error, after years of gain and loss, after many experiences of joy and pain. It is said the Hazel tree takes nine years to bear fruit from the time of planting; nine years of experience before it will imbue its fruit (or offspring) with its essence. To paraphrase a Hindu teaching, 'keep to yourself what you have been taught until it is yours to share,' for only then can it truly be taught again. Hazel asks us to learn the values of time, patience, and experience.
We have just passed through the most emotionally trying portion of the year. The experiences and pain of the last few months have passed us into the restful and contemplative hands of the Hazel. We can now gather ourselves and seek the lessons behind our trials. Often, after a harrowing experience, the poet/artist within seems to emerge. The wisdom gained through the experiences which have led to this period of rest will manifest its essence in the form of verse, painting, sculpture, music, etc. Because of this, the Hazel is also known as the poet's moon--the moon of inspiration. It can be said that any work of art is the wisdom of its creator in a nutshell the shell of a Hazel nut perhaps?

There are many other aspects of the Hazel moon. For further understanding, meditation on the following may prove to be helpful: the number nine, Fionn, wisdom in a nutshell, and the crane.


by Muirghein uí Dhún Aonghasa (Linda Kerr)

Vine is another moon for which there is no easy Bach Flower Remedy. Yes, there is a Vine Remedy, but the energies of the moon seem better suited to Honeysuckle, which is itself a vine. I also feel that the negative state of Honeysuckle can follow on the heels of recovery from the negative state of Chestnut Bud, the last moon's Remedy. Therefore, we'll take a look at both Remedies, with an emphasis on Honeysuckle.
The Vine Remedy is for those people who are dominating, inflexible, and ambitious. They are hard, greedy for power, and have no respect for the individuality of others. The Vine person may have above-average leadership abilities and strong willpower. They are quick thinkers, and will find a way out of every crisis situation. Their tendency, however, is to use their great gifts to gain power and to dominate others. Sooner or later the Vine persons will think of themselves as infallible, and that they are doing others a favor in telling them how to do things.
Vine people can be tyrants and dictators, such as parents who rule their home with a strict discipline. When they are ill, they tend to instruct the doctor and their caregivers. They rarely argue, because they are so sure they are right. They don't care about converting others to their way of thinking; they simply demand unquestioning obedience.
A person in the negative Vine state loses all feeling for other people, so is without any compassion. However, the Vine type rules himself as strongly as he rules others. "People in need of Vine include a surprisingly high proportion of artists who are highly sensitive and extremely ambitious, forcing themselves to train every day, with iron discipline, always worried at the back of their minds about their condition, the first-night date and anxiety as to their careers1 ."
The positive side of the Vine type "is seen in the wise, loving and understanding ruler, leader or teacher. Anyone who possesses these qualities, and uses them to guide others, has no need to dominate; he is the one who helps people to know themselves and to find their path in life. He is the leader who can inspire those around him by his unshakable confidence and certainty2 ."
Vine, or grape vine (Vitis vinifera), is prepared by the sun method. Gather the flowering clusters in the spring, usually in May3 .

Honeysuckle is a very different remedy. Its keywords are "dwelling upon thoughts of the past; nostalgia; homesickness4 ." The Honeysuckle person has a lack of inner mobility, and is mentally lingering in the wrong place at the wrong time. He lives mostly in the past, and refuses to change.
The classic example of this state is Lot's wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back rather than concentrating on the present. The widow who keeps her dead husband's office so that it looks as if he's just now left is in the negative Honeysuckle state. Another example is the couple who has moved to another town, and misses their old area so much they can't settle down and make new friends.
Honeysuckle types unconsciously refuse to see and accept new developments. They often start their sentences with 'I use to...' and 'When I was still...'. They "are still clinging to the past, not yet having properly digested it. They are unable to make a live connection between the past and their present situation, because they cannot or will not consider the past from all angles. They fix their mind on just one aspect, usually a pleasant one. The result is that their bad experiences cannot be integrated and no profit can be drawn from them for the further development of the personality5 ."
The Honeysuckle state in the elderly is understandable and normal, in a way, when they are in the process of 'settling their inner accounts.' This state encompasses regret for missed opportunities and chances, and unfulfilled hopes. Honeysuckle also helps the dying to 'let go' more easily.
Bach wrote about Honeysuckle: "This is the remedy to remove from the mind the regrets and sorrows of the past, to counteract all influences, all wishes and desires of the past and to bring us back to the present6 ." In the positive state, one will have a connection to one's past, learning from it, but not clinging to it unnecessarily; one is able to work with one's past.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium), is prepared by the boiling method. Pick the flowering clusters with about 6" of the stalk and leaves. It flowers in the summer7 .


1 Scheffer, Methchild. Bach Flower Therapy - Theory and Practice . 1981. Munchen, West Germany, pg. 171.
2 Chancellor, Dr. Philip M. Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies . 1971. Keats Publishing, Inc., New Canaan, CT, pg. 197.
3 Weeks, Nora, and Bullen, Victor. The Bach Flower Remedies - Illustrations and Preparation . 1964. C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd., London, England, pg. 50.
4 Chancellor, pg. 111.
5 Scheffer, pg. 104.
6 Ibid, pg. 104.
7 Weeks and Bullen, pg. 88.


by Brighid MoonFire

The glyph for Muin, the tenth moon of the Lunar Calendar, is "I am a Hill of Poetry." A hill of poetry, artistry, inspiration and imagination all overflowing upon the very fabric of our being. This is the moon that is known to be a healing moon. A time to heal ourselves from the thorns that we took in Holly, and from the exhaustion that overtook us in Hazel. It is a time of the simplicity of joy, the heights of exhilaration, and the dregs of wrath all at once. The creativity in us all now abounds with images and inspirations that have been brought to the surface with the trials of the passing moons. Now they crash down upon us as a dam breaking and flood our psyche. They must be released and in this release is our healing. The poet furiously writes, and the artist is covering everything she owns in this time of expression. For others of us, we may begin to express this time of inspiration and imagination and not even realize it. Some of us may decide to redo a room, rearrange our furniture, become excited with the thunderous ideas that we now have for the perfect holiday presents for everyone we know. Others may be inspired to land a new account or excel in their area of business, by trying a new tactic or rearranging their office, or inventing new ways to bring in customers. The list can go on and on.
What is the same and what needs to be remembered about this time is the energy that you feel inside. It seems as there are now a hundred different ideas that you want to do and to think about all at once, and to get them somewhat organized so that you can accomplish some of them can be like taming a wild horse, or stopping a flood with a hand-ful of pebbles. For we are now as the Vine is; eager, light, limber, growing at an amazing rate, yet solid and very diversified. Think of the honeysuckle that grows in your yard, of the old, thick, grapevines that you use as swings, of the beans and the peas that give us food, and also of the grapes that give us our wine.
The Vine's fruits are shared by many, from the lowly to the gods. This is a time to remember Dionysus, Osiris, and Bacchus. It is also a time to recall the Goddess Demeter, for the harvest is now upon us, and soon the nights will begin to reclaim more of our days as we prepare ourselves for the winter ahead.


- by Epona I give no promise of reward
To live within circles,
For rewards are gained on straight lines.
But you will flow as a river
Meandering back to meet yourself.
Flooding over to reconnect
As yet you will go on to meet your destiny,
Responding to the rhythms about you.
Mirroring your channels, you will yet change them.
Destroying and yet giving life.
Changing, to live again;
Rising, you move to the clouds.


by Brighid MoonFire

Now is the time of the year when the harvest is approaching. It is a time of hot weather and a time to accomplish much for the onset of the winter months. But it is also a time of the Lammas celebration--the time on the Wheel of the Year in which we celebrate our harvest and give thanks to the Goddesses and Gods which have brought it to us.
In this celebration there are many things that are accepted, even taken for granted, yet their symbology may not be truly understood by everyone, especially those who may be new to the Craft. This is a look at some of the symbols and their meaning at this time of the year.
Grain is one of the main symbols of this time. After all, grain is generally the harvest. It doesn't matter if it's wheat, rye, oats, barley, or millet; generally they all fall into the category of corn according to the European definitions1. Thus, it was not uncommon to hear of the CornMother and be in a harvest of barley.
Our forefathers and foremothers regarded grain with respect and with awe. For they saw it as a holy mystery: both as a seed and edible fruit at the same time. Therefore it was thought to contain all three aspects of the Goddess--Virgin (child of the earth or the fruit), Mother (life-giving, fertile food spirit), and Crone (withered plant, gone to seed, ready for retirement to the underworld and later resurrection)2. Many of the CornMothers were seen as these aspects; Demeter, Ceres, Hera, and Ops, just to name a few.
The Goddess was not the only one who was seen in the grain. The son of this Mother was typically the dying-and- resurrected god who personified the grain. He died by the reaping of the grain, and thus brought life to humankind. He descended into the underworld by being planted, and he rose again from the dead only to be harvested and sacrificed again and again each season3.
Corn Dollys abound at this time of the year, and you may remember seeing them at Imbolc. Imbolc and Lammas are across from each other on the Wheel of the Year. The Corn Dolly is used to represent two aspects of the Goddess. At Imbolc she is the Corn Maiden, ready with the seeds of the new growth4. At Lammas, she is the Crone, her days of growth and fertility over, and her grain harvested. The Corn Mother, or Dolly, was traditionally made from a bundle of grain, usually the last one cut. It was believed that the spirit of the grain retreated as it was cut until it was all contained in the last sheaf. The harvesters would then take turns throwing their sickles at it until it was cut, because no one wanted to be the one to cut that last sheaf5.
The bundle would then be gathered up and tied until it resembled the image of a woman. It was dressed up in women's clothing and ceremoniously carried back to the village. She would then be mounted above the threshing floor while the grain harvest was being threshed, and then kept in the farmhouse until the following spring. Later the next spring, the sacred seeds of grain contained in the Corn Dolly would be treated with much respect and ritual to ensure another successful harvest6.
The pomegranate is another symbol of this time. The most popular knowledge of the seeds of the pomegranate is in the story of Demeter and the kidnapping of her daughter Persephone. Persephone was bound to the underworld after Hades slipped some pomegranate seeds into her mouth, which made their marriage tie eternal, since pomegranate seeds are known as the seeds of death7.
Yet pomegranates are also known as a symbol of uterine fertility, with their red juice and many seeds. They were supposedly eaten by the souls in the underworld to bring about rebirth8. Thus by Persephone's eating of the pomegranate seeds she may have been bound to the underworld, yet she returned to the Earth, and continually repeats this cycle giving us the seasons.
Seeds of all kinds may be used at this time of year, to decorate a home or alter in thanks for the harvest we have received. Apple seeds or apples in general can be used. And it is interesting to note that the apple is one fruit that has been used as a secret, sacred sign; for when you cut an apple in two, the core and the seeds form a pentacle9.

I hope that you may all have a good harvest and I hope that this article has set some of the possibly confusing symbolism straight for you. Happy Lammas!!!


1 Walker, Barbara. The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects . 1988. Harper and Row, San Francisco, CA, pg. 486.
2 Walker, Barbara. Women's Rituals . 1990. Harper and Row, San Francisco, CA, pg. 112.
3 Walker, The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects , pg. 486.
4 Campanelli, Pauline. Ancient Ways; Reclaiming Pagan Traditions . 1992. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN, pg. 126.
5 Ibid, pg. 124.
6 Ibid, pg. 124.
7 Carlyon, Richard. A Guide to the Gods . 1981. Quill, New York, NY, pg. 161.
8 Walker, Barbara, The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets . 1983. Harper and Row, San Franciso, CA, pg. 806.
9 Walker, The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects , pg. 480.


by Sherlock

Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. - Common or Wild Apple (also called Pyrus mallus L. or Malus pumila Mill. by some botanists)

The apple is the companion tree to the hazel, in the Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar. Apple trees are members of the Rose family (Rosaceae), making them cousins to the hawthorns, crab apples, plums, cherries, peaches, pears and rowans.
The apple tree grows to about 40 feet in height. The leaves are simple and appear alternately on the stems. They have serrate edges and are densely covered with grey hairs on the bottoms. The blossoms are pink or white and very pretty. The fruit matures in late summer. Most varieties are edible.
The apple tree is native to Europe and Asia, and was brought to the U.S. for cultivation. Jonathan Chapman (1774-1845) traveled mostly on foot for 50 years giving apple seeds to everyone he met. He is responsible for the spread of apple trees from Pennsylvania to Illinois, thus earning him the nickname Johnny Appleseed. Because the apple is non-native, it is found mainly at old home sites or along roads1.
The apple has long been cultivated for food, but because of its showy blossoms, it is sometimes planted for decoration. It has a heavy, hard, reddish-brown wood that is often used for tool handles2.
While the cultivated apples are sweet and delicious, the wild species are seldom good to eat raw, and are apt to give you colic if eaten green. However, these same qualities make them excellent as cooking apples, with their firmness and wild sour, slightly bitter taste. And you have a guarantee that these apples have not been sprayed with poisons3.
Besides these naturalized wild apples, America has several kinds of native crab apples, that grow from southern Canada to Florida and west to the Plains. Another species is found on the West Coast from Alaska to California. All of these crab apples have hard, sour fruit, which make wonderful jelly or jellied apple butter. As they are too small to cut in quarters, they are usually cooked whole4.
Finally, a cultivated variety of crab apple, the Hopa Ornamental Crab Apple, is a beautiful flowering tree covered in pink blossoms each spring, and is planted in residential areas. This tree produces a huge crop of tiny, bright-red apples, which usually go to waste as so few people know their value. They are usually free of insect damage, and can be cooked whole. Being red all the way through, the Hopa crab makes a beautifully colored jelly, which is said to be the aristocrat of them all5.

Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia)

The muscadine is a type of wild grape vine found growing in trees in the Southeast and many other places. It a close cousin to the cultivated grape. It has simple serrate leaves which grow alternately along the vine. It has small clusters (1-6) of grape-like fruit which ripens from mid- to late-August in the Southeast. The fruit is edible and is often used to make wine or jelly. The center of the fruit is sweet, but unless the fruit is extremely ripe, the skin is tough and sour. The seeds in the center are bitter if you chew them. If you know the location of any muscadines, pay attention to them; they will be ripe soon.
The grape leaves are also edible. They taste pleasant enough when eaten raw, but are a little tough. When cooked, however, they become tender, and give a delicious flavor to other food. Gather them in June, when they are full-sized but still tender. To preserve them for the rest of the year, lay each leaf flat in a covered glass dish or jar, and sprinkle each one liberally with salt. Layer them this way until the jar is full, then cover and keep in a cool place. To use, wash the leaves gently several times in fresh water6.
Stuffed Grape Leaves is a very economical dish which is easy to prepare. For the stuffing, partially cook 1 cup of rice, then mix with 1/2 lb of ground lamb or beef and add 1 package of spaghetti sauce mix. Place 1 tbsp. of this stuffing on each grape leaf and roll from the base toward the point, tucking in the ends. Steam the leaves in a covered pot for 1 hour and serve hot7.


1 Little, Elbert L. The Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Trees . 1980. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, NY. pg. 492.
2 Davis, Donald E., and Davis, Norman D. Guide and Key to Alabama Trees . 1965. (Auburn University, Auburn, AL) Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, IO, pg. 88.
3 Gibbons, Euell. Stalking the Wild Asparagus . 1962. Alan C. Hood, Publisher, Putney, VT, pg. 18.
4 Ibid, pg. 19.
5 Ibid, pg. 19.
6 Ibid, pg. 100.
7 Ibid, pg. 100.


Hello Hazel Nut!
Congratulations on one year! I was so glad to see the article by ShadowCat entitled Magic Without All the Bullshit. Funny, I was just going through some magickal trouble-shooting, mired in confusion because I was too worried about doing what worked for others and not tuning into myself. Thanks for waking me up.
I do honor the time-tested things, like candle color, herb uses, etc., but magick cries out for creativity. I agree with ShadowCat (great name) that what does or doesn't work for one may or may not work for others. Would you believe that I've actually met people who told me my ways were incorrect simply because they were different.
On that note I'd like to comment on Baby Steps by Coll. Thanks for writing that; it needs to be said from time to time. Thirteen years ago I was a novice. I keep my heart and my door opened to novices always. I've learned through some difficult as well as appalling circumstances about traditions, and I'd be happy to share my story if it would help someone (or if your readers would want to read it--it covers every possible pitfall!) Whew!
Terrific issue!
Signy May
Arbutus, Maryland

Dear Signy,

I'm sure our readers would like to hear your story; I think many people would benefit greatly from it. Send us a letter, or a full-length article if that's more appropriate to the subject. Thanks for the comments!
Blessed Be,
Linda Kerr, editor

Dear Linda,

First off, I want you to know how much I enjoyed the June/July issue of The Hazel Nut. I like the format of varied articles and artwork related to "things Celtic." The Hazel Nut is not another of those Celtic/Pagan magazines that is basically an open forum for arguing over pagan philosophy and belief systems. The Hazel Nut contains the kind of articles that a person interested in Celtic beliefs and Magick wants to see. Please don't change this!
After reading Signy May's letter in the Letters to the Editor section (#9), I would like Signy to know that I am a member of The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I am beginning my 4th month of Gwersu (lessons) in the Bardic grade. After reading and studying a lot of Celtic/Druid books I decided to join the OBOD. I have enjoyed the OBOD course very much, and I find their lessons and exercises to be of much spiritual value, and to me the OBOD course is the correct road for me in my spiritual search to "follow my bliss." I hope that she enjoys the OBOD course as much as I have.
I have enclosed a photocopy of a piece of artwork that I would like to submit for publication. It is a decorative piece for the Celtic tree letter MUIN-vine. I drew the artwork out first by hand, and then scanned it into my Picture Publisher software program. I processed the artwork with the line edge detection feature, which to me gave it a more aged, antique look. I hope you like it. There are three different versions of the Tree Letter script on the drawing. On top of the "M" is the Sacred Branch Ogham for the letter Muin. In the middle of the "M" is the Welsh Coelbren Y beirdd Druidic alphabet letter for Muin. Above the "U" is the Druim or Standard Ogham letter for Muin. The reason I had the tree types of Celtic scripts is because to me it represents the diversity of the Celtic Peoples.
Peace and Blessings,
Les Martin
Dresden, Maine
(Editor's note: look on page 26 for Les' artwork; I think you'll find it as intriguing as I did.)


The Year The Horses Came, a Novel by Mary Mackey. 1993. Harper San Francisco, a Division of Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY. Hardcover, $22.00.
- Reviewed by Stormy>

This is a fascinating story of a young girl, named Marrah, living in Britony in 5000 B.C. in a peace-loving Goddess oriented society. On the day of her coming-of-age ceremony, Marrah saves the life of a pre-historic Indo-Aryan young man, named Stefan, who is a member of the fearless warring Hansi tribe, worshipers of a very cruel Sky God. Their worlds clash because of a prophecy Marrah's Priestess/ mother, Sabalah, has concerning the arrival of the beastmen in her hometown of Shara, located near what we now call the edge of Russia on the Dead Sea. Her prophecy says that her only daughter, Marrah, and only son, Arang, must travel to Shara to warn Sabalah's people about the beastmen. The trip will take years to complete, traveling by boat from Britony to France, canoeing down rivers through France and Germany, and walking by foot through difficult European terrain of forests, mountains and deserts inhabited by lions and bears.
Stefan, the misplaced Indo-Aryan, accompanies them so he can go home to the Sea of Grass, the Steppes of Russia. Their different languages, customs and upbringing makes them strange allies in their traveling adventures. For instance, in the Goddess society men and women are equal. The act of love between men and women is called an act of joy. In the Sky God society, the act of love is more like rape where women are treated little better than dogs overlorded by the men of their tribes. Be forewarned, as the violence of the Hansi tribe is very graphic in this book.
The characters are strong, not silly or fluff-headed. This is not a Harlequin Romance book! It's a serious re-creation of an ancient peace-loving Goddess society versus a very cruel Sky God society that once you begin reading you cannot put down until finished. Mary Mackey, founder of the Feminist Writers' Guild and Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at California State University, Sacramento, California, did some heavy research, and a wonderful job of writing this so that it flows well and is easy to read.
This book definitely fires the imagination to realize how two distinct and completely different cultures might possibly evolve to become the diverse God/dess spirituality that inspires us today. Make sure you read the Historical Note at the end of the book. This is a must read for the God/dess lover in all of us!

The Polar Bear King, a movie based on Norwegian folklore. Written and produced by Erick Borge and directed by Ola Sollum. A new release that can be rented in most video stores, rated PG for the entire family.
- Reviewed by Stormy

The story begins in cold snowbound Winterland when a widowed old King and his three beautiful daughters are visited by salesmen from the South. The two older self-centered sisters enjoy looking over the wares, choosing everything they want. The third daughter, the fairest, asks for a picture of flowers, a rarity in the most northern snow country. In the picture, only she can see her Prince and future husband among the blossoming orchard.
In the South, called Summer-land where it's always warm, the Queen has just lost her King and their son must become King. The Queen Mother gives her son, the new King, a chain that he must give to his bride, one who must love him. Then suddenly a wicked witch appears, who had been spurned by the young Prince, angrily turning him into a Polar Bear. Part of the curse she imparts is that at midnight the Polar Bear King turns into a man and then at the first light of day turns back into a Polar Bear. Also, for seven years no one can look upon his face or he will have to marry the wicked witch. Luckily, the Queen is a good witch and she uses her magic to aid her son throughout the story.
The Prince has to go North to find his true love, the Princess with the picture of flowers. The plot thickens and the wicked witch bides her time. Will the Polar Bear ever turn back into a man? Who will he marry, if ever? Will the wicked witch win or the beautiful Princess?
The Polar Bear King is a delightful story based on the travel of the sun (the Polar Bear King) through the yearly seasons. In the winter, the sun is in the South and must travel back up North (where the Snow Princess is) to make it warm again in the summer. Their yearly marriage insures a good year of fertility and harvest. Many of the old fairy tales preserve the old ways of the Lord and Lady. Rent this movie and see if you can unravel more of the old ways!