Magical Herbal Correspondences –

Recommended by Ronald Stiles, Published on April 5th, 2017

17 of 29 Osage Orange (Hedge Apple) Use hedge apples, or Osage oranges, to create a magical border around your personal space. Photo Credit: Patti Wigington 2013

The Osage orange, also known as a hedge apples (and in some areas, monkey balls), is a tree that grows in North America, and gets its name from the OsageNative American tribeswho used its hard wood to craft bows for hunting. The orange itself is not a true orange (or an apple, for that matter) but a large, sticky fruit that is completely inedible to anyone but the local squirrel population. When the balls - usually about four to five inches in diameter - drop to the ground, it can create a huge mess, so generally it is recommended that if you plant an Osage orange, unless you want the fruits, you should plant the fruitless male trees.

That said, plenty of these grow in the wild, and theyve become fairly popular in urban planning as a way of creating tree canopies and green space in areas that suffer from air pollution or poor soil quality. Its not uncommon to walk through a city park and find Osage oranges dropping to the ground.

So, what can you do with a fruit thats not really a fruit, and cant be eaten except by forest rodents? Well, its got a few possibilities, although its not a particularly useful plant for most people.

The sap of the Osage orange can be used to create a yellow dye, which comes in handy if you like to dye your own fabrics.

Osage orange is a natural exterminator - placing them near your doorways or behind furniture will keepspidersand other crawling invaders out of your home. A fresh hedge apple will keep for about two to three months, but once its lost its greenish color, throw it away.

Early settlers planted Osage orange trees and formed them into hedges - this was the original barbed wire fencing, because the thorns of the male plants kept livestock from wandering past the borders of the farm or field.

On a magical level, lets take a look at the above - if the Osage orange contains a chemical that keeps unwanted critters out, and has been used as a barrier in the past by early American settlers, how can we translate that into a magical use?

Why not collect hedge apples from a local tree, and place them strategically around your property? As you do, focus on keeping unwanted guests - both animal and human - out of your life. You can also place them in bowls and baskets around the house - this will not only act as a spider and insect repellent, but you can assign your hedge apples the task of repelling anyone who might cause you harm or nuisance.

Plant Osage orange seedlings in a line around the perimeter of your yard. As they begin to grow, bend and shape them into a hedge. Create not only a physical but a metaphysical barrier, so that the things you want to keep in stay in, and the things you dont want, will stay outside.

If you happen to find a fallen branch of the Osage orange, consider crafting it into a wand orstaff. The wood of this tree is extremely hardy and strong, and was used by Native Americans to craft hunting bows. Anywandor staff made from it is bound to last you a good long time, and can be used in spells associated with endurance, strength and longevity.

Magical Herbal Correspondences -

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