The yew tree has been revered by mankind throughout the ages. This is a rather sturdy and resilient tree that has a unique way of growing new trunks from within the original root bole. Some of the English yews have been estimated to have been around 4,000 years old. Because of this, the yew is associated with immortality, regeneration, and rebirth.
The yew is also highly poisonous in all parts except for the fleshy part of the berries. So, throughout the ages, it has also been associated with death. Over the centuries in Europe, it was commonly planted around or in cemeteries, partly to represent eternal life, and partly to keep the dead in their graves. To this day, yew is used in magical working involving protection, especially against spirits of the dead, and exorcisms.
|Picture by Julian P Guffogg|
Yew is connected to the Hecate, a Greek Underworld goddess who presided over witches and necromancy. Today, many Wiccans consider her to be the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess and yew is still sacred to her. In Norse mythology, yew is one to the two tree associated with Yggdrasil, the world tree. It is represented by the rune Eihwaz, which is the rune of mysteries of life and death.
The yew tree is lucky for Capricorns. It is also believed that a sprig of yew placed under your pillow will ensure you meet the person of your dreams, the good kind. Yes is said to enhance magical and psychic abilities and induce visions, just be careful how you handle it. You know, the whole poison thing.
Are there any plants or trees that have special meaning to you?