11 Muin – The Grape
Muin (pronounced ‘MUHN’)
Represents letter(s): M
Divinatory meaning: Insight, introspection, contemplation
Associated Tree/Plant: Vine
NOTE: In the ogham of Northern Scotland, blackberry is usually used for muin. In Ireland, the grape is usually used. Both plants are discussed here.
Healing Properties: Grape leaves may be used to make a tea for treating hepatitis. Wines made from grapes aid digestion. Grape leaves may be used to make poultices for treating arthritis symptoms, headaches, and fevers. Wine may be used as a base for mulling various different herbs and spices for many healing purposes. For example, wine mulled with cloves relieves nausea and eases strep throat.
Blackberries are very high in vitamin C and antioxidants. The roots and leaves of the blackberry may be made into a decoction or infusion to treat stomach problems. The leaves have astringent properties. They also contain salycilate, the active ingredient in aspirin. This makes the leaves an excellent anti-inflammatory poultice.
Magical Uses: The vine is associated with the Pagan “thanksgiving” of Mabon (the autumnal equinox), which celebrates the birth of the Divine Child. Vine magic is therefore magic associated with imagination, inspiration, music and poetry. Using grapes in ritual and magic will attract prosperity and wealth.
Blackberry magic is the magic of the faeries. It is common to this day in Scotland to leave a few blackberries on the vine for the faeries. If you strip the vine completely bare, it is said that the faeries will seek vengeance, brining ill will and ill luck to the person who took the last berry. If you are fortunate enough to find a blackberry bramble growing in a natural arch, then passing underneath that arch has powerful magic to heal.
Vine is one of the nine firewoods to be added to the Belfire for the festival of Beltane (May 1). The Nine Sacred Woods of the Belfire are birch, oak, rowan, willow, hawthorn, hazel, apple, grapevine and fir. You may use either grapevine or bramble (blackberry vine) in your Belfire, as both have equal power and significance.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Manannán Mac Lir, the Mabon