Alder Tree

Alnus glutinous


Planetary Correspondence:

Venus, Mars, Saturn


Ancient Uses:

Fertility Tree, Funeral Tree,

Tree of Love, Tree of protection, Visionary Tree.


Relative Dieties:

Calypso, Ostara, Minerva



Around this time of year most european deciduous trees aren't showing to many physical signs of life whereas the alders buds and catkins are all on show. Alder and the Willow are both associated with water, some say the alder being  the water king and the willow being the water queen.


Alder is the forth letter, Fearn F, in the Beth-Luis-Nion tree alphabet of which Robert Graves writes "The names of the letters in the modern Irish alphabet are also those of trees". Robert Graves also wrote that the alder is a "Tree of Resurrection" which was used at the cave of Calypso, Atlas´s daughter, on her Elysian island.


Alder will be in bloom in a few weeks time, around the time of the spring equinox thus being a tree long associated with the Goddess Ostaria.



The bark or branches of the alder can be collected with respect, then dryed, powdered and added to any incense mixes, this incense mix gives us a wonderful springtime spiritual protection


Alder is also a good colouring dye for clothes. The bark is used producing the colours brown, black, red and yellow.

Alder can also be included in rituals of death and dying giving protection as we take our journey to the otherworld.


Alder Earth Magic

The most remarkable thing about the alder is its relationship with the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Frankia alni. Living in the tree's roots, the bacterium takes in nitrogen from the air, making it available to the alder and fixing it in the soil, in exchange, it uses the tree's carbon.


In this way, an alder tree increases the soil's fertility and provides nutrients to assist all other plant species growing nearby the alder tree.


Peter Carvello

March 2024