The Spindle Tree
Letter: Oi

Forfeda Flash Card – Vicky Newton

When Oir appears in divination matters of family are being highlighted. This may be related to blood family or those of our chosen family, those we have invited into our lives due to shared. We are being reminded of the importance of our obligations to others, both within our immediate kinship circles as well as the wider spiritual community. Finding a common purpose sometimes means taking on the role of mediator, whether that is close at home or within the wider community. Surrender to your wider responsibilities does require total surrender of self or ignoring our own inner voice. Ask questions, question authority and abandon those old excuses of “knowing your place” in order to make progress in the matter at hand – due diligence is key to a successful outcome.

The Spindle Tree

Common name: spindle, pindleberry, Pegwood
Scientific name: Euonymus europaeus
Family: Celastraceae
Origin: native

The Spindle tree is a species native to most of Europe, including Britain, preferring the edges of forests, hedgerows and scrub land and the chalky soils of the southern regions. It is a deciduous species which can grow up to 9m in height, living up to 100 years. The bark and twigs start greed, darkening with age and acquiring light brown cork like markings. The leaves of the spindle are shiny with a waxy quality, edged with teeth around the edges whilst the flowers and small and white, developing into pink pod like fruit with bright orange seeds. Flowering during May and June the flowers are a rich source of nectar and pollen for insects whereas the leaves are preferred by many moth and butterfly caterpillars such as the magpie moth and holly blue butterfly. The leaves are also attractive to aphids, which in turn attracts their predators such as ladybirds, lacewings and many bird species.
The presence of spindle, with its popcorn like fruit, is an indication that you are walking through ancient woodlands.

Spindle Tree Source

Magical Correspondences

Element: Earth / Water / Air
Gender: Female
Themes: attaining quests, cleansing, divination, honour, inspiration, spiritual work, feminine power, seeking true self, community spirit
Birds: Owl, Swan
Colour: White
Deity:  Athena, Frigg/Freya, Minerva, The Fates
Sabbat: Imbolc

Magical Uses

Oir Oir Oir
Ohhh-rrrr Ohhh-rrrr Ohhh-rrrr
Oh Oh Ohhh-rrrr
Oir Oir Oir

Suggested Galdur

Blend bark and leaves into incense to sooth and cleanse emotional wounds and support with work focused on our shadow self.

Use the act of spinning, ideally using tools made of spindle wood, to magically bring people together in any sense (love, relationship, business, friendship etc). Begin the process with a clear purpose and intention in mind, either with a short prayer or intention written upon the whorl. Focus on this purpose/intent thought out the process, bring yourself back as your mind and focus naturally wander. Once finished formalise the end of the process, such as with a closing prayer of by leaving offerings to any spirits you may have invoke.

Include the letter Oir in your spells casting to ensure that the effect of the spell is long lasting either as a single letter or as part of a sigil.

The fruit of this tree is poisonous and should not be taken internally. Avoid consuming food/drink from wooden vessels made of spindle.

Mythology and Literature

A hardwood, Spindle has long been used in the production of pegs, bobbins and spindles, hence the common name of the tree. It should come as no surprise that the tree is therefore associated with goddesses associated with the feminine arts of spinning and weaving across Europe.

The act of weaving, particular the weaving of fate, is a common theme in many pantheons, be it the Nordic Norns or the Greek Fates. Goddess such Frigg, Frau Holly and Brigantia are all weaver deity’s, intimately associated with the womanly arts of child rearing, abundance and creativity. They are associated with domesticity, security and peace.

Spinning is something that requires patience and dedication, and a skilled spinner and weaver was highly valued within her community, her skills able to transform one thing into another. The items they produced could not only supplied the family but could produce things which could be traded, further ensuring the successful survival of the clan, ensuing their value and status within the family.

‘The Spindle Tree Fairies’ – postcard illustration by Rene Cloke 1920

Spindle-wood, spindle-wood, will you lend me, pray,
A little flaming lantern to guide me on my way?
The fairies all have vanished from the meadow and the glen,
And I would fain go seeking till I find them once again. Lend me now a lantern that I may bear a light
To find the hidden pathway in the darkness of the night.

Excerpt from Alms in Autumn by Rose Fyleman 

Sources and Further Reading

Mileage may vary. The Forfeda are a later addition to the ogham alphabet which are sometimes including in divination sets. There is a diversity of names and meanings ascribed to the symbols of the forfeda and what is offered here is my own interpretation. Please take the information provided here in conjunction with other sources of information.

Tales Unfold – Forfeda
Magick and the Green Dragon
Living Library Introduction to the Forfeda
Learn Religions
Cailleachs Herbarium
Woodland Trust

Forfenda Flashcard
Wood Grain Background
Ornate Picture Frame

Author: knotmagick

Weaving Magick and Crochet in the madhouse I call home. I am a devotee of Hekate and a follower of Pan.

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