Tuesday 21 September 2021

Book Excerpt: Tree Medicine Tree Magic - Chestnut

Here's an excerpt from Tree Medicine Tree Magic by druid and herbalist Ellen Evert Hopman, including a recipe for sweet chestnut cake. The book is published by Pendraig Publishing Inc.

Chestnut Tree

Magical Uses

The chestnut is an herb of Jupiter and of the Fire element. Its primary use in magic is for love spells.

On the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily, there is a legend surrounding the "Castagno di Cento Cavalli"-the chestnut of a hundred horses-a tree which grew to a circumference of 190 feet. When Jeanne of Aragon paused during her travels to visit Mount Etna, she and her companions were sheltered from a storm under this tree which was large enough to shield the entire company. A house that could hold a shepherd and his flock was later built inside the hollow trunk.

Large trees are a very valuable asset to the physical and mental health of society.  Tall trees act to conduct energy from the atmosphere to the ground, and vice versa. Large trees in the neighborhood contribute to feelings of stability and strength for the community and in recent scientific studies have been shown to help soothe and heal human distress.

It is a good idea to develop a relationship with large trees, especially when doing healing work or in times of stress. The trees can safely absorb and ground excess emotional tensions by channeling them deep into the ground.

An old folk tradition states that keeping a chestnut in your pocket or pouch will prevent the same illnesses that the chestnut   is known to cure homeopathically.  Considering the minuteness of the homeopathic dose, and the probability that homeopathic   remedies have qualities of nuclear   resonance rather than simple materiality, this tradition may have a factual basis. Homeopathic remedies are made by extreme dilution and agitation of alcohol tinctures and in the higher dilutions have no trace of the original substance left. Nuclear resonance tests reveal, however, that these remedies are definitely active on subtle levels, leading to a cure.

Druidic Insights

Please remember that there are different kinds of chestnuts. Horse Chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum) are poisonous for humans to eat, but useful as a wound herb. Sweet Chestnuts (Castanea sativa, Castanea dentata), popular as a treat around Yuletide, are the ones we humans can consume.

Chestnuts are an herb of fertility; wear them or place them around the house to bring good luck and prosperity to the home. Sweet Chestnuts are an herb of love, wear them or bake them into pies and cakes, to attract a lover.

Chestnuts provide food for a great variety of animals; butterflies, moths and bees appreciate the flowers, while small rodents, rabbits and squirrels gnaw on their bark. The nuts provide sustenance for squirrels, gophers, chipmunks and other small rodents, blue jays, pigeons, wild boar and deer. Even dogs like to gnaw on them!

In former times Sweet Chestnuts were used as fodder for horses, cattle, pigs and sheep. Use the energy of chestnut to strengthen your contact with animal spirits.

Sweet Chestnut Cake

1 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ¾ cups peeled, roasted Sweet Chestnuts
¾ cup packed brown sugar
One more tbsp. brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup real maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs

For the Icing

¾ cup powdered sugar
½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
4 tbsps. real maple syrup
3 drops maple extract (if desired)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Butter and the lightly coat with flour an 8x8x2 baking pan.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Coarsely chop the roasted Sweet Chestnuts to fill 1 cup and set aside.

Mash the remaining Sweet Chestnuts in a separate bowl

Add ¾ cup brown sugar, butter, maple syrup and vanilla to the mashed nuts and beat well. 

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well.

Beat in the flour, baking powder and salt.

Stir in half of the chopped Sweet Chestnuts.

Spread in your prepared baking pan.

Sprinkle the remaining chopped Sweet Chestnuts on top.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp. brown sugar over all.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out dry.

Cool in the cake pan, on a rack.

The Icing

Stir together; powdered sugar, 3 tbsps. maple syrup and maple extract.

Keep blending in the remaining maple syrup, a small amount at a time,

until the icing forms thick ribbons when poured.

Spread or drizzle over the cooled cake.

The icing will set in about 20 minutes.

Store in an airtight container.  

Note: This book excerpt is for information purposes only, it is not medical advice.

No comments: