Catalpa - The Trees

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

The Trees


Never having known about them before, what a wondrous treat it was to make the acquaintance of the wizened, mystical catalpa trees (of the family Bignoniaceae) in my Missouri front yard. As I write, brand-new velvety, paper-thin leaves burst out from the ends of their branches like spring green magnolia blossoms.

Magical Uses

Embracing Uniqueness

With an uncommon energy entirely his own, catalpa marches to the beat of his own drummer. His presence emboldens us to do the same. Spend time with a catalpa, take the flower essence, or visualize the tree during meditation when you’re ready to step into your singular variety of power, discover and/or celebrate your peculiarities, and fully embrace yourself in all your unique glory.

Esoteric Studies

The roots of catalpa’s wisdom reach deep into the darkness, and his branches stretch toward the ethereal light of the mysterious, the ancient, and the veiled. Interestingly, the qin—a Chinese stringed instrument traditionally made with catalpa wood and played for its silence and pauses as much as for its sound—is symbolically and culturally associated with scholarship. Spend time with catalpa or work with the flower essence when you’re immersed in esoteric studies of any kind. He can help build a bridge across the ages and bring what is shrouded and cryptic into the clear light of understanding.

Expressing Creativity

The catalpa’s ability to help us express creativity is threefold. By tapping into our uniqueness, dunking us into the realm of mystery and enchantment, and aligning us with spirit and the spirit realm, he places us precisely where we need to be to express our creativity in the most fluent and satisfying of ways. This energetic creativity assistance is mirrored in the physical realm: catalpa wood is used in instrument making because of its resonance and tone.


After communing with and expressing appreciation toward a catalpa tree, lovingly gather seven fallen catalpa twigs and tie them together with silver string. Carry or place on your altar for magical assistance with all things creative.

Spirit Summoning

In Shintoism a traditional practice involves summoning a spirit (or kami) with a bow or a one-stringed lute made from catalpa wood. Because the catalpa is aligned with the realm of spirit, the tree can also be enlisted in other ways to connect with unseen allies of any variety, including angels, fairies, deities, and ancestors. For example:


Visit a catalpa at midnight during the dark moon. Safely light a white tealight candle in a jar and carry it in your left hand as you place a moonstone at the tree’s base as an offering. Then touch the trunk with your right hand and request support connecting with beneficent beings in the otherworld. Be very present as you allow yourself to receive an infusion of energy from the tree. When this feels complete, thank the tree and return home.

Magical Correspondences


Element: Spirit

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Uranus