Well I just discovered something awesome!
Technically, two things. I was surfing Facebook and found a great new page: Pagan – It’s Our Path. And they had a post about “Witches Burrs.” Witches burrs are the seed pods of Sweet Gum trees. Skymomma signed the post and says:
“A very powerful tool for spells warding off any evil that plagues you or cleansing the homes & so on.”
This was more than a little exciting to me. You see, one of my very early trips into the woods as a Pagan, I meditated beside a Sweet Gum tree. It was the first tree I ever “bonded” with – the first time I ever felt the energy of a tree. As I was about to leave, the tree dropped one of these seed pods. I felt like it was a gift from the tree and have saved it ever since.
Just a few days later, in a different park with a different Sweet Gum tree, almost the same thing happened. I meditated, felt the tree’s energy, and collected a seed pod off the ground as a keepsake. (This one didn’t fall as if on purpose, however.)
At the time, my Googling only came up with a name for the tree itself. I found no folk names for the seed pods, and no folklore or magical properties. But after seeing what Skymomma said, I googled “Witches Burrs.” And discovered:
Well, this Witch Burr is a seed pod from the Sweet Gum Tree is which a very common tree here in the south. These little things are all over the place. They add power to any spell or altar or magickal working. Try placing several in a decorative jar and set in your house or on an altar.
In Hoodoo, they’re considered a powerful protection amulet.
So how awesome is that? Nearly 6 months later, I discover that my very first tree friend gave me a gift of protection. I have to go back and thank him!