Crataegus Oxyacantha                                        Folk Names -

May Tree,

May Blossom,


Thorn Apple Tree,

White Thorn.


Planetary Correspondance - 

       Mars, Venus


Symbolism -

Purification, Sacred marriage, male-female unity, Fertility Herb, Herb of Love, Sacred Herb


Invocatory - Bloddeuwedd, Cardea, Flora, Olwen, Gardea


Birds - Blackbird, Owl



The graceful hawthorn tree.. is sacred to many people in Europe.  In the British Isles hawthorn is actually the commonest small tree!.. because of its value for hedges which last hundreds of years.  

The open fields In Britain were enclosed between 1600 - 1800, to keep in livestock, and to keep crops protected from cold wind.  wire was to costly in those days so farmers planted countless miles of small hawthorn plants.  These hawthorn plants eventually grew into the grand hedges of the British Isles, home to birds, badgers, foxes and deer not to mention hundreds of species of butterflies, bees and beetles.


It is a tree well protected by the goddess, and one should never harm or harvest(without great respect) a hawthorn tree.


The May Queen, Bloddeuwedd is a daughter of the hawthorn tree.  (The White Goddess, Robert Graves)


Graves also wrote the following..

the ascetic use of the thorn, which corresponds with the cult of the goddess Cardea must, however, be distinguished from its later orgiastic use which corresponds with the cult of the goddess Flora, and which accounts for the English mediaeval habit of riding out on May morning to pluck flowering hawthorn boughs and dance around the maypole. 



Due to the proscription against harvesting or cutting into the hawthorn tree, use of any part of the plant should be with great care.  Be warned it has a very strong magic and should only be used within a ritual context.. giving honour to the seven directions and Mother Earth and her customs.


The flowers, leaves and fruit of this tree are edible and all have properties which greatly reduce blood pressure and stimulate the heart.


The flowers being a sedative and the berries can be used in cleaning the kidneys, but in our opinion its best they are left alone.


The young leaves are really tasty, but remember.. give respect to the tree when harvesting, and don't take to many, eating a few on a warm summer morning is ample for one to connect with the spirit of the tree.


It is also worth mentioning that,  some say `to take a flowering hawthorn branch into one´s house can bring death!´



The marvellous hawthorn tree always has been and still is a tree of enchantment.


On May 1st, sit down or lay down underneath a hawthorn tree.  Don't get up after 10 minutes,  stay there for as long as possible, see what impact it this has for the next week, sure the dreams will become clearer, and one may find a greater feel of love entering one´s life.