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Blackthorn    Straif  (Wounding)

Straif corresponds to the letter S in the Ogam alphabet and is associated with the Blackthorn tree. This symbol represents authority, control and power.

Straif pronounced: Srayf

Status: Chieftain-tree

Element: Fire

Gender: Masculine

Powers: Staif is about obeying outside influences (fate) upon your life, no choice in the matter.

Keywords: Punishment, strife, pain, wounding, no choice, cleansing, fate, outside influences, resentment, confusion, refusing to see the truth, control, coercion, force, power in visible and invisible worlds.


Deities associated with Blackthorn: Crone aspect of the triple goddess, Morrigan, Cailleach, Cerridwen, Morgan le Fay, Donn, Dagda.


Interesting Spiritual Information: Blackthorn is a winter tree and is used for purification, protection and ridding the atmosphere of negative energy. It helps with combating fear, depression and anger, it is very much associated with personal inner work, assessment, grounding and protection. Blackthorn also represents the strong action of fate or other outside influences in life. Its thorns have been used in magic, especially to pierce wax images.


Ogam Healing: Accepting karma; Assessment; Control; Confusion; Cleansing; Bringing you power in visible and invisible worlds  Bringing back self-control of your life; Cleansing resentment; Dealing with spiritual/ mental and emotional wounds; Depression; Despair and despondency; Fate; Grounding; Helping in seeing the truth of the matter; Pain; Protection from outside influences; Purification of mind, body + spirit; Suicidal thoughts; Anger issues; Grounding; Mental health; Nerves/ fatigue; Removing impurities from blood; Rheumatism; Cancer…


More Medical information and in-depth healing suggestions can be found in my book The Beginners Book of Ogam Tree Healing, or by attending one of my workshops.


Folklore: Blackthorn is portrayed as an ill-omened tree in many fairy tales throughout Europe. Called Straif in the Ogham, it has an ominous reputation in the Celtic tree lore. The English word ‘strife’ is said to derive from this Celtic word. A long hard winter is referred to as a Blackthorn Winter. To Witches, it often represents the dark side of the Craft. Known as a sacred tree to the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess, it represents the Waning and Dark Moons. Blackthorn is the keeper of dark secrets. The tree is linked with warfare, wounding and death, associated with the Scottish Cailleach - the Crone of Death, and the Irish

Morrigan. In Scotland, the winter begins when the Cailleach also the Goddess of Winter

strikes the ground with her staff made of blackthorn.

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