Samhain is considered by some to the witch’s new year. As the final harvest sabbat, it is the conclusion of the previous Wheel of the Year and the Great Work of magick that we’ve been manifesting. Samhain marks the height of Autumn, and full embrace of the deep, dark journey of spirit beyond death. It is an appropriate time to work for some good luck and protection with the aid of Mercury, known also as Hermes. He is the psychopomp who guides spirits into the underworld, the God of travel and protection upon the road, of wisdom, communication, magick, and mediumship.
This Samhain, charge a hazelnut luck and protection charm for the new year. It can be a meaningful spell to share with the kids around a ritual fire. The first time I made one was for a rite I held back in 2005. I was a very “green” witchling at the time, and I found the instructions for the spell at www.tryskelion.com. That same charm has been hanging in my home ever since. (picture below)
At the time, I followed directions without bothering to dig for the occult reasons behind it. Now I am a priestess of Hermes, and today I DID dig into it further. Lo and behold, I found Hermes there all along. The occult interconnections never cease to amaze me. This Samhain, I will charge a new Hazelnut charm, but with a deeper understanding of the lore and occult powers held within.
Below, I will share with you my new and improved version of this old spell, with my own adapted charm language that specifically appeals to the God Mercury/Hermes for aid, and extends that protection to all who call this home, but follows them wherever they roam.
Occult Powers: Wisdom, protection, luck, fulfilled wishes and fertility.
Traditional uses: Great for making a wand. The twigs of hazel placed in the window will guard against lightning. When the nuts are eaten it increases wisdom, fertility and aids in divination. Forked branches are great for water dowsing. May grant wishes when worn in a crown. Source
Deities: Hermes, Mercury, Thor, Aengus Mac Og, Chandra, Artemis, Diana, Ochun
Folk Names: Coll
Hazel, the tree of wisdom and learning, adds its strength to the bright fire burning. ~ The Wiccan Rede, Long version
Botany: The hazel is a genus of deciduous trees and large shrubs native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere. The genus is usually placed in the birch family Betulaceae…The fruit of the hazel is the hazelnut. wikipedia,
Celtic tree calendar and the Number 9: Hazel is the Tree of Knowledge, and is associated with the ninth month, which falls August 5th – September 1st. The number 9 is associated with Hazel trees for this reason. It is also the ninth consonant of the Ogham alphabet – Coll. Source at thegoddesstree.com This is why this charm requires nine hazelnuts.
Protection: Mara Freeman, in an article for the OBOD, wrote: “Hazel was also used widely throughout the centuries for protection against evil. Finn bore a hazelwood shield that made him invincible in battle. No harm could penetrate a hurdle fence of hazel around a house or a breastband of the wood on a horse.” source
Prophecy: “The hazel …[has a]…legendary position at the heart of the Otherworld. Here, nine magic hazel-trees hang over the Well of Wisdom and drop their purple nuts into the water. In some accounts, the hazel-nuts cause bubbles of ‘mystic inspiration’ to form on the surface of the streams that flow down from the well; in others, the Salmon of Knowledge and Inspiration eat the nuts and send the husks floating downstream; those that eat the nuts (or the salmon) gain poetic and prophetic powers.” Mara Freeman, source
Greco-Roman associations: According to the book Symbolism: A Comprehensive Dictionary, 2nd Ed. by Steven Olderr Hazel is linked to communication, poetic inspiration, reconciliation, and the caduceus of Mercury/Hermes, heralds. (page 106)
Hazelnut Charm for Good Luck and Protection in the New Year
- 9 hazelnuts (also known as filberts)
- Black colored hemp cord used for jewelry making.
- A power drill with a bit just larger than your hemp cord cord, and a large pair of pliers to safely hold the hazelnut while drilling.
- A hand-full of a loose Samhain incense blend. Here is one of my incense recipes:
Samhain Loose Incense Blend
2 parts Cedar chips, for protection
2 parts powdered Frankincense and Myrrh resin
for connection to the Two Who Move as One
1 part combination of herbs:
Mugwort: to bring psychic visions
Star Anise: for divination and protection
Cardamom: To gather the spirits
- Drill a hole through the center of each hazelnut, and have all your materials ready by the fire before beginning your ritual.
- Create sacred space around a small Samhain fire for this spell-working, or incorporate it into a larger Samhain Sabbat gathering.
- String the 9 hazelnuts on a length of the cord. As you slide each nut along, state each wish for the coming year that it represents.
- Tie the hemp cord such that the hazelnuts form a tight ring.
- With the loose ends of the cord, continue tying a total of nine knots. Any additional charms or symbols may be attached to the ends of the cord.
- Throw a hand-full of loose Samhain incense onto the fire.
- Holding the charm in the smoke, walk deosil (clockwise) slowly around the fire, three full revolutions. With each circling, chant this incantation, starting low and quietly, and with each turn, raising the cone of power through the volume, speed and intensity of your voice:
Hazelnut charm, nine in a ring
through smoke of Samhain’s fire bring
To all within our humble home
grant us good luck wherever we roam,
with wisdom and safety, a shield from all harm,
imbued now with power this hazelnut charm!
Guard us this year, dear Mercury!
As I will, so mote it be! (1)
8. Sink all the power into the charm.
9. I’d leave the charm on my altar – specifically on my altar paten/pentacle throughout the night of Samhain, as an additional charge.
10. Hang the charm somewhere prominent as an talisman of protection for all who call that home.
11. The charm can be recharged each Samhain, or allowed to burn in your next Samhain fire, as you craft a new one. This transmits the power via the smoke, from one charm to the next.
- This is my heavily adapted version of the traditional charm that I used long ago. I’m unaware of the original authorship of this incantation, but you can still find the instructions for the spell I used in 2005 at www.tryskelion.com.