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Muin (pronounced ‘MUHN’)
Represents letter(s): M
Divinatory meaning: Insight, introspection, contemplation
Associated Tree/Plant: Vine
Healing Properties: The vine is represented by the grape in most versions of the ogham. Some versions use the blackberry for muin. While grape is used more often for muin in southern Celtic lands, northern European countries like Scotland and parts of northern Ireland tend to use the blackberry. Both blackberry and grape have similar ripening and harvesting periods and the fruit of both may be used for making wines.
Grape leaves may be used to make a tea for treating hepatitis. Wines made from grapes aid digestion. Grape leaves may be used to make poultices for treating arthritis symptoms, headaches, and fevers. Wine may be used as a base for mulling various different herbs and spices for many healing purposes. For example, wine mulled with cloves relieves nausea and eases the pain of strep throat.
If you prefer to use blackberry for this letter of the ogham, a decoction of the roots and leaves of the blackberry may be used to treat stomach and digestive problems. Such a decoction is also high in tannins and therefore makes a good astringent. Because it is also high in salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, it may be used to treat headaches and other aches and pains, or as an anti-inflammatory. When making an infusion of blackberry leaves, simmer them but don’t boil them, as boiling will destroy their natural vitamin C.
If you are troubled by bleeding gums, chewing the fresh leaves of the blackberry can help ease these symptoms. You may also boil the blossoms of the blackberry to make a mouthwash to reduce or eliminate sores in the mouth.
Magical Uses: In the British Isles it is a custom in late summer to go blackberry picking. It is also a tradition not to pick all of the berries on a vine. Some must be left for the fairies or you will bring ill luck upon yourself.
Vine is one of the nine firewoods to be added to the Belfire for the festival of Beltane (May 1). The Nine Sacred Woods of the Belfire are birch, oak, rowan, willow, hawthorn, hazel, apple, grapevine and fir. The vine is associated with the Druid ‘thanksgiving’ of Mabon on the autumnal equinox, which celebrates the birth of the Divine Child. Vine magic is therefore magic associated with imagination, inspiration, music and poetry. Using grapes or blackberries in ritual and magic will attract prosperity and wealth.
Gods/Goddesses Associated with This Tree/Plant: Manannán mac Lir, the Mabon