In the Wild
Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
*Also known as northern pine, northern white pine, soft pine, and white pine
Ponderosa Pine (P. ponderosa)
*Also known as silver pine, western pitch pine, western red pine, and western yellow pine
Scots Pine (P. sylvestris)
*Also known as Scotch pine
Eastern white pine typically grows seventy-five to one hundred feet tall. Its smooth, gray bark breaks into small plates as the tree matures. Growing in bundles of five, the dark green needles are three to five inches long, soft and flexible. The cones are four to eight inches long and hang underneath the branches.
Ponderosa pine ranges between one hundred fifty and two hundred feet tall. The scaly, dark-brown bark matures into irregular-shaped, reddish-brown plates. The dark, yellow-green needles grow in bundles of two or three and are five to ten inches long. They are stiff with sharp points. Slender oval cones start out greenish yellow brown but turn glossy and reddish brown. They are six inches long and grow in clusters of three.
Typically growing thirty to sixty feet tall in parks and yards, Scots pine can reach one hundred feet in the wild. It has a conical to columnar shape and distinctive flaking, reddish-brown bark. Growing in pairs, the blue-green needles are about three inches long. The gray or light brown cones are also about three inches long and hang from the branches. Native to Europe, this pine was introduced into North America during Colonial times.
Pine is associated with Pan and other woodland gods, and the species name of the Scots pine, sylvestris, means “of the woods or forests.” 119 Extensively used for shipbuilding in ancient Greece, pine was dedicated to the sea god Neptune. Various parts of the tree were used medicinally throughout Europe and Asia. To the Romans, pine symbolized the powers of male virility.
This tree is well known for its purification properties and for dispelling negative energy. It is especially effective in public spaces. The same qualities also make it an ally in defensive magic and for protection from hexes, especially for the home. Burn a few dried needles for these purposes. Use the cones to represent blessings and to attract abundance. Also use them for spells that banish or bind. The scent of pine can steady and focus the mind for psychic work and for communication with spirits. On a spiritual level, pine aids in healing, growth, inspiration, and access to ancient wisdom. Carry a few scales from a pinecone for confidence and courage, especially when dealing with legal matters.
Pine is associated with the elements air, earth, and fire. Its astrological influence comes from Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn. This tree is also associated with the following deities: Aphrodite, Artemis, Astarte, Attis, Bacchus, Cybele, Diana, Dionysus, Ishtar, Isis, Pan, Poseidon, Rhea, Silvanus, Venus, and Vulcan.
Figure 45. Pine is associated with the oghams Ailm
and Ifin, and the rune Kenaz (shown left to right).