Herbal Ally Project

My findings, musings, pondering, makings, the explorations, discoveries, facts, fiction, folklore, their  magic, mystical & medicinal properties of each herb :)
After talking with Sarah, the conclusion for my Herbal ally for this year is the HAWTHORN.
Crataegus monogyny
I'm sooo  looking forward to learning  much about the essential essence of Hawthorn, her gifts & her vitality. Seems fitting to choose her as we are graced with many Hawthorn hedges surrounding our home & garden. Either side of our home are two beautiful Hawthorn hedges which are both I assume older than I am. Our home is called Spinneys. When we first came to view the house it was absolutely the trees & sky which enticed us immediately to fall in love with it. Since the day we moved in we've loved every moment of every day, of every season. Watching the forever evolving & changes cycles of life unfurl.  Unwittingly I've admired her intricate stunning blossom for years, taking many photographs without even knowing her name.  Always my heart  fills & overflows, her beauty has been known at times to transport me to an exquisite state of grace as I peacefully dissolve into loving creation itself. Her petals smiling towards the heavens, her steamed full of life & hope.  I smile at her complexity of this wonderful tree. Her matrix grid like branches interlocking & entwining, integral to the whole yet independent. So much of her structure & energy remind me of life, the Universe, the many parts belonging to the whole.  The journeys all shared through many varying routes al leading to the same destination.  Yet like all complexities beneath all bravado there is a simplicity which remains & the Hawthorns simple essence to me is its unfaltering plus of life. No matter what the seasons bring steadfast & strong she remains, like a balancing regular heartbeat, like the drummer of a band orchestrating the crowd to dance to its beat.  Curiously just like the beautiful rose & many others which have such beautiful flowers she adorns sparsely positioned prickly thorns.  I am unsure why a flower or tree has thorns but it does make me think its natures way of protecting itself for survival reasons & if  there's a reason then I shall look for the meaning, as often in life its the meaning which holds far greater value than the reason!

Firstly as I entwine with the beautiful Hawthorn as my Herbal Ally, becoming intimately acquainted with her heavenly highness is a priority. To recognise her multiple forms, to feel & sense her structure, her core & wholeness of being before her Summer veil of many leaves burst from containment. At the moment her naked Winter skeleton looks magnificent, her strength & vitality protecting so many inner  universes all ready simply waiting to evolve as the Spring sunshine warms the very essence of her being to life.   I was lucky to catch her in the morning frost, the remainder of the recent snow before the rising sun defrosted  most of the iced crystals.
Her intricate matrix of branches, supportive routes through which energy & life flow
Even covered in ice & snow still she pulsates a strong & regular energetic beat
Move closer & you can see such beautiful formations already spurting upon her bark
Just been informed these lovely formations are called Lichen :) 
buds merging & ready to burst into leaf alongside Lichen
such a delicate balance, strong, stable as new life grows from deep within
all independent yet together as a whole creating balance & vitality
even the ice upon her branches seem as if it should be there nourishing her
this is my homemade house name, to which either side there are
huge, beautiful, old & well established Hawthorn hedges.
Unexpectedly - inadvertently - seems I've photographed some Lichen!!! Not sure which one it is but my neighbour called in today & I happened to have my computer screen up with th photographs. She said you've taken photographs of Lichen? I asked have I & laughed, she said yes on the Hawthorn branches. Then she had to leave so I am unsure which one is the Lichen , but I'm really pleased I appear to have already started - albeit late - my January tasks :)


  1. Hi Paules, photos 3,4 & 6 are lichens - and beautiful they are too. They always help you to find your directions as they grow on the south side of tree and rarely on their north face. I know little about them but some can be used medicinally, such as usnea, but they are a good indicator of pollution levels (they don't grow freely in high levels of pollution.)

  2. Thank you Sarah, will have to go back & check. Fascinating. The growths were quite abundant. Very pretty & intricate. They remind me of seaweeds.:)