In the Wild
Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)
*Also known as sweet locust, thorn tree, and thorny locust
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
*Also known as false acacia and yellow locust
The honey locust reaches thirty-five to seventy-five feet tall. Its leaves are comprised of seven to nineteen oval leaflets that turn yellow in autumn. Inconspicuous greenish-white flowers bloom in May and June. Long, flat, twisted seedpods form in late summer and turn from yellow-green to reddish-brown. These stay on the tree into winter. Growing to a length of six inches or more, dark reddish thorns with three or more points form on the trunk and branches. The species name, triacanthos, comes from Greek and means “three-thorn.” 107
The black locust is about the same size and has very similar leaves to the honey locust. Its white flowers grow in pendulous clusters that can be four to eight inches long. It also develops seedpods; however, these are straight rather than twisted. Unlike the impressive thorns of the honey locust, pairs of small sharp spines grow along the branches at the leaf axils. The word black in its name refers to the tree’s dark-colored bark and seedpods. Its leaves turn yellow in autumn. The seedpods of the black locust are poisonous to humans.
To stimulate protective energy, place a large thorn from a honey locust or several spines from a black locust on a windowsill pointing in the direction from which you feel a threat. Place them under your front porch to repel negativity from your home. Locust tree thorns and spines can also be used in spells to increase perseverance and determination when working to overcome obstacles. Burn a few dried leaves to seal a binding spell. Use dried, intact seedpods as rattles for dark moon rituals. Any part of the tree, especially the thorns and spines, aids in connecting with dark goddesses.
Locust is associated with the elements earth and water. The goddesses Cerridwen, Hecate, the Morrigan, and Sekhmet are also associated with this tree.