Saturday, July 16, 2011

Finding a Wish-Fulfilling Tree!

photo by ana traina, 2011
Yesterday, I went a tootling around the Berkshire’s Botantical Garden, and immediately I was drawn to the enchanted children’s flower patch, where I happened upon this gentle sight, “A Wishing-Fulfilling Tree” which are very common throughout Ireland, England, and Scotland. However, I have never seen one here in the states. So you can just imagine my delight as I stood there reading all the sweet wishes of the children... I was particular fond of this one!
photo by ana traina, 2011

It read ~ I wish to always be grateful. 

Wish-fulfillment Trees are individual trees upon which “folk magic”, “folk spells”, “faerie offerings”, or “prayers” are offered.  The practice usually involves petitions or offerings made to the tree, a nature spirit associated with the tree, a Saint, a God/dess, Fairy or the ancestors with a request for a wish to be fulfilled.  Even Charles Darwin recorded a “wishing tree” in his travels in Argentina called “Walleechu” which was treated by the local inhabitants as a Deity. It was littered with offerings such as cigars, food, water, and cloth hung from the branches by bright strips of colored thread. Come to think of it... I did find a bit of moldy cheese by this fairy dwelling... which was probably an offering to the tree fairy
photo by ana traina, 2011
 as it is a commonly known fact that fairies love dairy!
FOOT NOTE ~ I thought it wise not to photography the moldy cheese as it was quite unsightly!

photo by ana traina, 2011

Now, here is the topper, I was most fortunate to fine that not only was this tree a Wishing Tree, but a Clootie Wish Tree as well!  These trees are usually found next to sacred wells. When you find one, the normal practice is to tie a piece of cloth, called “clouties”, “clooties”, or “cloughties” to ask for a answer to a prayer, a wish, and/or a petition. One of the most well known “wishing trees” is the Madron Well in Cornwall. With the Madron well, a sacred well of healing, it is believed that as the cloth rots, the ailment that one is seeking a cure for disappears.

Last Bits of Odds and Ends ~ Ashen tree, ashen tree, / Pray buy these warts of me was a rhyme one had to sing whilst sticking a pin first into one's warts and then into the tree.

Popular wishing trees in Hong Kong is the “Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree” near the “Tin Hau Temple” in Lam Tsu where paper tied to an orange and thrown up in the trees that stick will grant the petitioner a wish.

The Wishing Tree or Kissing Tree were made at Yuletide before pine trees were introduced by Prince Albert in 1840. An evergreen bough was hung with apples, sweetmeats, and candles and decked with ribbons representing wishes...

Along with my wondrous find of the Wishing Tree, I thought I would mention this interesting tidbit about this month of July ~ From the Shropshire Star of 12 July: "July has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays this year - something which hasn't happened for 823 years. The same happened last October."

For more info on Wishing-Fulfillment Trees see... “Oh the wonderful wishing tree!” in the history of zingertalesandmore!

Yes, I do believe that was a very good wish, so I too, would like to make wish... to always be grateful!