Buckthorn - The Trees

The Magic of Trees: A Guide to Their Sacred Wisdom & Metaphysical Properties - Tess Whitehurst 2017

The Trees


If ever a tree were a Taurus with an Aries rising, it’s the buckthorn (Rhamnus). With a grounded, masculine, up-and-at-’em type energy—and even a name reminiscent of both bull and ram horns—the feisty little buckthorn is an excellent magical ally not just for starting projects, but for stubbornly seeing them through to their fabulous finish.

Magical Uses

Getting Stuck Energy Moving

Medicinally, buckthorn is most often employed as a laxative—but please do not wildcraft unless you are a card-carrying expert: fresh buckthorn is toxic! Still, when dried and aged properly, buckthorn is a gentle herbal laxative safe to use—in the correct dosage—even for most children. (To be on the safe side, research thoroughly, consult a holistic health professional, and purchase from a reputable source.) When used as a laxative, it has the added benefit of purifying the liver and blood.

And this is not the only way buckthorn gets energy moving! Buckthorn has also been employed for exorcisms. I suspect this would be particularly useful when what needs to be exorcised is some sort of trapped or stagnant energy within a space.

Similarly, if you’re having trouble motivating for any reason, try magically employing buckthorn to get you up and get you moving. For example:


If you want to clear clutter but you just can’t seem to get started, offer a shiny silver dollar to a buckthorn by placing it at the tree’s base. Then lovingly snip a small branch. Once home, sweep the air around your body. Then move through each room and area of your home in a counterclockwise direction, sweeping the air as you do so. Give the branch back to the earth by placing it on the ground outdoors, and then choose one small area to clear, such as your medicine cabinet or the top drawer in your dresser, and clear it. If you’d like to continue clearing after that, feel free. Otherwise, choose another small space to clear tomorrow, and another on the following day, again and again, until your clutter is cleared.

Starting a New Project or Endeavor

In addition to possessing a powerful initiatory energy, buckthorn has magical staying power. So if you’re starting a new project or endeavor—like writing a book or launching a business—buckthorn would be an excellent magical ally.


On a new moon at noon, visit a buckthorn tree. Empower a polished stone with your intention, holding it in bright sunlight (if possible) as you do so. Feel, imagine, and sense yourself feeling harmonious and joyful as you launch your project, work on it faithfully, and experience the type of success you’d like to experience with it. Pour all these confident visions and empowered feelings into the crystal. When this feels complete, bury the crystal at the base of the buckthorn and pour an entire bottle of red wine around its roots.

Wish Granting

In Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, the author says:

A charming legend concerning the buckthorn says that if one sprinkles buckthorn in a circle and then dances within it under a full moon, an elf will appear. The dancer must notice the elf and say, “Halt and grant my boon!” before the creature flees. The elf will then grant one wish. I cannot make any guarantees that this will happen, however.

Still, I think we can all agree that it’s certainly worth a try.

Magical Correspondences


Element: Earth

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Mars