It has been said that during the Burning Times, witches would pass each other an acorn as secret a way to identify each other.  It has also been said that at Samhain witches would give each other acorns as gifts.  I’m not sure if these statements can be proven, but I love the idea of “passing the acorn”, and will try to incorporate it into my Samhain lore and rituals.

 Long ago all of Europe was covered in a vast forest, and the oak tree was the most common and the most useful.

  “The proof of this is drawn partly from the statements of classical writers, partly from the remains of ancient villages built on piles in lakes and marshes, and partly from the oak forest which have been found embedded in peat-bogs.”  

The Golden Bough by James George Frazer

 From 65,000 to 9,000 B.C.E. during the glacial ice age, forests and people migrated towards the more temperate areas of Earth.  These tiny pockets of ice-free Earth were a refuge where the ice-age people created beautiful art painted on caves and carved into images.   It was during this time that the mysterious Goddess of Willendorf was created (32,000-26,000 B.C.E).  She is one of the most sacred of the Paleolithic images and may be evidence of the acorn as a food source and sustainer of life. If you look closely at the Goddess you will see that her face is an acorn snuggled into its cap which forms her hair.  Her breasts look like a pair of acorns, and the skinny arms resting upon them resemble the acorn cap rims. Her rounded, full belly, rather than depicting pregnancy may be telling us that the acorn supply was plentiful and she has eaten well.

Could the Goddess of Willendorf be Acorn Mother rather than a Goddess of fertility?

 Acorns can be eaten after being soaked in water to remove the tannin. The tannin water is a useful antiseptic and has anti-viral properties. It will relieve rashes, minor burns and poison ivy. The red tannin may also be used as a dye.


 Metaphysically the acorn is a symbol of growth, potential, fertility, security and abundance.  From a tiny seed comes a mighty tree whose roots extend as far into the Earth as its branches reach into the sky. As with the oak, human potential is begun from a seed of inspiration that with nurturing and patience will grow and flourish.

 Magickally an acorn carried in your pocket will counteract loneliness, illness, and pain, aids longevity, brings luck, and preserves youthfulness.

 Gather acorns and place them on your windowsill to protect against lightning strikes. 

 Acorns gathered during the Full Moon will attract Faeries.  If you plant an acorn at Full Moon, the resulting oak will be a Faerie tree.

 When the Moon is waxing, plant an acorn and gold will be drawn to you.

 To find out if someone is your true love, use two acorn caps.  Name one cap for yourself, the other cap for the significant other.  Float the caps in a bowl of water.  If they float together, it is true love; if they float apart it is not love.


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