Maple Magick: History, Legend and Lore
Christina playing among the Maple Trees in Salem, Mass.
Here at WytchWood, we like to refer to our Maple Syrup as "Tree Blood", and we honor it in our kitchen witch recipes and rituals as a way of connecting with her energy. We encourage you to write your intentions or spells or feel free to use ours as a guide of what you can say while using your syrup, whether pouring it on your pancakes or stirring into coffee. This one for self-love:
And doing so I create a safe space around me, so below and above.
Let love enter my heart and home,
May I always be protected no matter where I roam.
I honor the gentle Maple tree spirits gift,
And use her magic to create a powerful shift.
I love and accept myself unconditionally,
And freely allow myself to walk away from negative situations and people additionally.
I radiate love and respect, therefore that I receive the same kindness is key.
Maple trees are believed to repel demons and evil spirits. For protection it was customary in many houses to have a piece of a maple tree in the main door. Maple trees symbolize balance, offering, practical magic, promise, longevity, generosity, and intelligence. One reason behind these meanings is that maple trees have the ability to adapt to many different soil types and climates. Furthermore, it is an important tree in the Celtic mythology. It was a tree consecrated to Dana, the Celtic goddess of fertility. It is also known as the tree of the tolerance. In China, maple is associated with honor, and its leaves are a motif in Japanese ukiyo-e paintings representing love and autumn.
Maple trees are also associated with Virgo & Libra.
In Druidry if your born between the dates of April 11 - April 20; October 14 - October 23. You are known as a lively personality, a sense of humor, ability for deduction, analytical mind.
Maple is also the tree of offering, as its giving it's sap, so that others can benefit. Therefore it makes a great gift for the magical person in your life.
Maple Syrup History:
“Indian woman tapping maple sap”; Reed, Roland, 1864-1934, photographer; 1908; courtesy of Library of Congress
Early settlers in the U.S. Northeast and Canada learned about maple syrup from Native Americans. There are various legends that exist to explain the initial discovery. One is that the chief of a tribe threw a tomahawk at a tree, where a bowl happened to be leaning against the tree, the sap ran out. When the chief’s daughter went to find water to boil for dinner, she found the pot full of “water” sitting by the tree and used it. The chief enjoyed the sap, boiled down into syrup, that night. It is said that this chief was the first to use the word Sinzibuckwud which means “drawn from trees”. Native Americans often used this word to refer to maple syrup. Early Native American methods of sap collection involved cutting a V shape into the bark of the maple tree and placing a wedge at the bottom of the cut. Sap would flow out of the wedge and into baskets that were placed at the base of the tree.The sap was collected and slowly boiled until it became syrup. At this point, they would allow it to cool and it would be kept in baskets. Generally, the gathering and boiling of sap was done by women in the tribe.
“Gathering and Processing of Maple Syrup" photographer; 1900; courtesy of Library of Congress
The next two hundred years of maple sugaring saw the evolution of efficient systems to produce more syrup a lot faster. In the 1800s, the introduction of horse or oxen drawn sleds made transporting sap to the boiling place a more efficient process and less tedious project than the former method of hand carrying sap in buckets from trees. Hollowed-out logs were traded for wooden sap buckets, which were used from the 1700s into the early 1900s. The first metal sap spout was developed in 1860. As a result of these developments, specialised maple equipment companies began to emerge throughout the northeastern United States and Canada. At the end of the 18th century, sugarhouses (which often doubled as workshops for other trades such as blacksmithing) began to be used as a place to process sap into syrup. Until the last half of the 19th century, which saw an increase in the building of sugarhouses, maple sap was boiled outside in large cast-iron kettles, or we like to say cauldrons, over an open fire.The first evaporator, used to heat and concentrate sap, was patented in 1858. In the 1870s and 80s evaporator designs were developed and improved upon. By the 1890s, evaporators were produced in mass supply. Since collecting sap from individual maple trees can be extremely labor intensive, experimentation with plastic tubing as a collection began in the late 1950s. The use of it was perfected over the next two decades. By the 1980s large maple producers were almost exclusively using plastic tubing to collect sap from thousands, rather than hundreds, of trees. We currently work with a 5th generation maple sugar business in central Vermont that taps over 5,000 trees a year.
Fun Fact: Did you know it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup because sap is about 98% water?
The Maple Sugar house where our syrup is produced in Vermont.
Maple Nutrition Benefits:
- Pure maple syrup contains vitamins and minerals – at approximately 110 calories per serving (2 tablespoons). It is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of riboflavin. Also a great source of calcium, thiamin, potassium, and copper.
- Scientists have identified more than 67 different plant compounds, or polyphenols, nine of which are unique to pure maple syrup. One of these polyphenols, named Quebecol, naturally forms when the sap is boiled to produce maple syrup.
- Pure maple syrup can be a natural endurance booster for athletes because it is made primarily of carbohydrates. Since carbohydrates are the primary fuel for the body, it can help give athletes the energy they need. Its perfect to sweeten homemade sports drinks and energy snacks for a readily available supply of energy that helps maintain your stamina.
- Pure Maple syrup contains manganese, which may help support healthy muscles.
- It’s more nutritious than all other common sweeteners, contains one of the lowest calorie levels, and has been shown to have healthy glycemic qualities.
What are you waiting for? Try our unique Magickal Maple Syrups!