Making amulets from natural materials is closely connected with the belief in the magical properties of plants, more specific wood in this case. Traditionally, the manufacturing of wood talismans should take into account its quality, male or female characteristics, and certain character of the wood. Pieces of wood, twigs, branches could be different in their quality and meaning. Manufacturers would carefully polish them, sometimes, on the contrary, they would leave them in its original form – as found, for example, in the woods. Left untreated, usually accidentally found interesting twigs that have unusual shapes, often as a result become talismans. Treated pieces in past were usually manufactured by local village Sorcerers and magical healers who have spoken magic over the amulet charms and in turn reinforcing the properties of talisman wood. Birch for example has healing and protecting properties in mythology so they would make protective or healing talismans for ill individuals. Among East Slavic villagers used to plant birch near their houses to summon good spirits that will bring good look to household.
- Birch (Bereza/Breza) on example was the symbol of spring, fertility and young women. It was tough that this wood as a symbol of purity, had the ability to cast out evil spirits. So often villagers used to beat with birch rods those that they suspected they would do witchcraft or demonology in their village.
- Willow (Verba/Vrba) as a tree was the ancient symbol of spring revival of nature. People attributed willow special properties that give strength and health, which increased after the consecration of a willow in the church. Also Willow had medical properties – willow catkins could have or carry to heal from infertility and protect against fever. Body cross amulets (Christian ones) were carved from willow, in order to protects human health. Willow ‘s Charm helps to quickly restore mental and physical strength, it is easier to endure the separation from a loved one. In many legends, it promotes good health, easy childbirth.
- Elm tree was believed to help people to get rid of the fuss, small worries for nothing.
- Pear Charms were usually made mainly for women, as the pear is the symbol of motherhood, love and family.
- Oak has a huge energy – gives strength, promotes healing of wounds, healing. Oaks symbolize wisdom, longevity, power. The cult of the oak in one form or another has been distributed across Europe Spruce Charm Spruce, according to legends, strengthens the will.
- Linden (Lipa) had a magical property of friendship. Manufacturers made them to protects wearers against accidental quarrels and hate. It was seen to assist people in business negotiations and cooperation.
- Juniper has a strong tonic effect, some nations in history endowed with juniper their protective mages in order to defend the holder of juniper talisman against evil forces.
- Mistletoe young husband who is interested in the appearance of the first-born, went into the forest in search of mistletoe to then hang a piece of wood on the belt of his wife. It was also believed that a piece of mistletoe, braided leather strap in and hanging around his neck, and increases male fertility capacity.
- Aspen Charm protects from evil forces, especially from the undead, vampires, ghouls, especially when combined with garlic and silver. A tree with a strong absorbing quality, absorb pain, excessive emotions.
- Rowan branches with berries of mountain ash stick on winter crop as a symbol of good harvest. Bunches of rowan branches with berries in the form of a cross tie red thread to protect doors and windows
- Tees yew wood was believed to have supported the psychic powers of the owner talisman and it would help him in contact with otherworldly forces. Tees are used for the production of vine – a tool to search for water, coal and metals.
So next time you decide to get yourself a cool Slavic amulet, please do take in consideration one that is made out of the wood which will grant you the best of it’s properties!