Day of The Lunantishees ~
Today in Ireland is a day to honour the Lunantishees – known as the spirits who guard holy Blackthorn trees or Sloes. They permit no one to cut Blackthorn branches today 11 November (originally All Hallow’s Eve) or on 11 May (originally May Day).
The Blackthorn is a symbol of both punishment and protection as it represents the struggle of new life arising from the breakdown of old things.
It is known as the Black Rod or Blasting Rod, of the ominous Mage or Witch who would carry staves of this wood as a walking stick, club or kinfe-like weapon. These staves were renowned for their great magical power.
It was considered prudent in olden times to leave an offering of cake, butter and milk or ale outside the door or on a windowsill, in order to procure the Lunantishees`good favor and avert the mischief they can cause.
Should a person manage to cut a stick, some misfortune will surely befall him or her.