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The element of air is the guardian of the direction of the east, and represents the intellect and the way we think. Air comes in many forms; as a tornado, it’s a fierce, destructive force. As a gentle zephyr, it’s playful and spirited. This directly represents our thought processes, which can be fierce and destructive, or playful and constructive.

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I can remember being a child and seeing the beautiful Poinsettia flowers, the flower of Christmas, being used as decoration on front porches and at churches and shopping malls. They were easily as popular as Christmas trees, wreathes, mistletoe and holly, and were found in great abundance at this time of the year. I imagined that they must be from the North Pole, or some magical place in Europe that was covered in at least seven feet of snow.

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Known by many names, mistletoe is considered sacred in many cultures who would claim that it possesses magical properties.

In Norse folklore, mistletoe is blamed for the death of the beloved god of light, Baldur.  His mother, the goddess Frigg, loved him so much, that she demanded a promise of every living thing that they would never harm Baldur.  However, mistletoe, who was too young to yet make promises, was not required by the goddess to take this vow.  

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Ivy, though actually a vine, has a very popular and extensive history in tree lore.  It’s the tree for the month of October and the vine of the Greek god Dionysus, who was known to wear a crown of ivy leaves.   It is said that at a celebration honoring Dionysus, a young maiden, Cissos, who overdid the dancing and celebrating, died of exhaustion, so Dionysus turned her into an ivy plant.

It is also the plant of the Roman god, Saturn, and was used as decoration in Saturnalia festivals. 

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For thousands of years indigenous people all over the world have attributed magical properties to trees, which are said to have particular personalities along with healing powers and messages for us.

The oak tree is one of the most famous of magical trees, and is considered sacred in many parts of the world. It has been associated with the World Tree and creation myths in which the first human was born from its leaves.

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