09 Coll – The Hazel
Coll (pronounced ‘CULL’)
Represents letter(s): C
Divinatory meaning: Inspiration, creativity, talent
Healing Properties: Shells of hazelnuts have been found in European cave dwellings that are at least 10,000 years old. Hazelnuts may be ground into a flour that is high in protein and vitamin E. Hazel twigs have been used since ancient times as natural toothbrushes and are said to leave your breath smelling sweet. Hazel twigs may reduce the bacteria that cause bad breath.
A tea made from dried and crushed hazel leaves may ease coughing. Crush hazel nuts still in the shell, boil them, and make a warm poultice to relieve arthritis pain. Apply the poultice directly to the affected joint.
Powdered hazelnuts can be mixed with honey or mead to help a cough. Tea of hazel leaves can ease a fever, and help to reduce menstrual cramps. Hazelnuts are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Magical uses: Hawthorn flowers bloom as early as February, close to Imbolc on February 1. Because of this they are often associated with the Goddess Brighid, whose sacred feast day is Imbolc.
In his poem Battle of the Trees, the Bard Taliesin says that the hazel was a mediator at this great battle. Because of this hazel magic may be used to bring peace and for mediation between any two opposing forces.
Hazel is the tree of wisdom and knowledge. Several different volumes of Celtic lore and mythology mention the Sacred Well of Wisdom that is surrounded by nine hazel trees. The nuts from these trees fell into the sacred well and were eaten by the salmon who lived in it. These nuts were said to impart wisdom. For each nut a salmon ate, he gained a spot. The more spots on the body of the salmon, the more nuts it had eaten and therefore the more wisdom it had gained. Eating one of these sacred salmon of wisdom would transfer their knowledge to you.
According to the Fenian Cycle of Irish lore, this happened to Fionn mac Cumhaill when he ate of the salmon of wisdom. The knowledge thus imparted to him led him to become a great Bard, a great hunter, and leader of men.
Druids often make their staffs out of hazel wood in hopes of gaining wisdom through its magical powers. Hazel magic is strongly associated with divination and hazel twigs are often used in water dousing.
Gods and Goddesses associated with this tree: Brighid, Fionn mac Cumhaill