... The alder tree is a famous old magical tree apotropaic against witchcraft and the Devil. its twigs are out into the fields and stables by peasants as protection agains the Devil; the tree itself is devilish. (...) It is devilish because it generally grows in dark places in the woods or in marshland. As its wood is useless for mankind, it is assumed to belong to witches and demons. Alder wood quickly turns red, and this, it is said, is because the Devil uses it to beat up his grandmother, that is, his wife. So in folklore it is sometimes red. On the other hand, as always with this strange double aspect of apotropaic symbols, with alder twigs one can oneself beat up the Devil. He beats his wife with it, so you can use it to beat him. ...
Source: Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales, Revised Edition, by Marie-Louise von Franz; Shambhala, Boston&London, 1995; pg 320
From my Black Book:
dream in March 2010
... At certain point, there was understanding there will soon, within hours, be a war in the entire universe, triggered by warring factions on Earth (jihad). A cosmic change/shift causing great change and chaos on Earth. Stars turned into rings and some exploded. The powers that were kept locked in castles (energies) were about to be let lose. I ran to the basement, and started making a fetish that would avert the worst of the evil and fear, using branches, bundling them together. Binding them in red wool, I hung them on an ironing board.
Further, from a dream in August 2010
Having diligently collected and wrapped individual branches in red wool, resulting in my work "Fetish", two nights prior to leaving for Iceland, I have the following dream:
I am instructed to take the red branches, to place them on a specific spot on a gravel road. The instructions are simple and clear.
The day before I leave for Iceland, I take the red branches to the specific place from my dream, resulting in the performance "Fetish".
August 12th 2010