Many trees and plants are used as objects of power. Hazel, the wood of choice for magic wands, was commonly used for divining rods as a means for locating sources of underground water so that wells could be dug. A hazel rod was used by St. Patrick (fifth century C.E.) to draw out the snakes of Ireland, which he then cast out to sea.

To the Druid and other magicians, trees are a good source of radiant vitality and may be drawn upon for relief, and even cure, of backache conditions. Many who are attuned to nature seek to create a tree charm to bring them strength. The prospective charm maker

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selects a suitable tree, strong, upright, free from distortions, and of good size. Ash, spruce, and birch are recommended. For best results, the tree should be situated as far away from human contamination as possible.

Once a proper tree has been selected, the magician makes friends with it by touching it, talking to it, and thinking into it. The tree should be circled nine times while the magus touches it gently with his or her fingertips. Upon the completion of the encirclement, the magician takes a final position to the north, leans back against the tree, and reaches his or her hands behind so that they might touch the bark of the tree. In this position, the magus chants:

0 Tree;
Strong Tree; King Tree:
Take thou this weakness of my back.
Give me strength instead.
That I may be as upright as thyself
Between the Heavens (look up)
And the Earth beneath (look down).
Secure from storm
And blessed in every branch.
May this be so!

The magician repeats the incantation until a feeling of rapport is established with the tree. When it is felt that the treatment is over, the magician breaks contact gently and thanks the nature spirits for their help.

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