Hazel - On the Calendar - August

Plant Magic: A Year of Green Wisdom for Pagans & Wiccans - Sandra Kynes 2017

On the Calendar

Common Hazel (Corylus avellana)

*Also known as common filbert and English hazel

American Hazelnut (C. americana)

*Also known as American filbert

Both of these hazels are shrubby, multi-trunked trees. The common hazel reaches fifteen to twenty feet tall and produces prominent yellow catkins in late winter. The American hazelnut grows to about fifteen feet tall and twelve feet wide. It produces yellow-brown male catkins up to three inches long. Both trees have pointed leaves that are heavily veined and toothed.

The genus name for hazelnut comes from the Greek korys, meaning “hood,” which refers to the shape of the husk that covers the nut. Likewise the name hazel, from the Anglo Saxon haesel, meaning “bonnet,” also refers to the husk.79 Small, round nuts are called cobs or hazelnuts, and the larger ones are called filberts. That said, the names hazelnut and filbert are often used interchangeably.

Hazelnuts were associated with the mystic rites of both Mercury and Apollo. Hazel branches used for divining rods were said to be particularly potent if cut on Midsummer’s Eve. In Celtic mythology, hazelnuts were closely associated with salmon and water. Although the details of legends differ, the hazelnut was considered a repository of wisdom. This wisdom was passed along to the salmon that ate the nuts as well as anyone who ate the salmon.

Place a circle of hazel leaves on your altar to aid you in all forms of magic. During divination sessions, place a forked hazel branch on your altar or table for guidance. Hang a hazel stick above your altar or over a doorway to provide protection and defense. Use a hazel stick to draw a magic circle for extra protection. In place of a stick, use a brown candle into which you have carved the ogham character associated with hazel. Place a handful of dried leaves in your workspace to stimulate inspiration for creative projects. The leaves are also an aid when initiating changes, plus they provide support for all forms of communication. Leaves or a small twig on your altar during meditation will help you connect with inner wisdom.

Hazel is associated with the elements air, fire, and water. Its astrological influence comes from Mercury and the sun. This tree is associated with the following deities: Aphrodite, Apollo, Arianrhod, Artemis, Boann, Danu, Diana, Manannan, Mercury, Ogma, Thor, and Venus.


Figure 25. Hazel is associated with the ogham Coll.