According to Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs:
“Hawthorn was once used to decorate May poles. At once time Hawthorns were believed to be Witches who had transformed themselves into trees. Witches have long danced and performed their rites beneath the thorn.”
He goes on to say:
“Hawthorn has long been used to increase fertility. Because of this power it is incorporated into weddings, especially those performed in the spring.
‘The leaves, curiously enough, are also used to enforce or maintain chastity or celibacy. The leaves are placed beneath the mattress or around the bedroom for this purpose…worn or carried it promotes happiness in the troubled, depressed, or sad.
‘The Romans places hawthorn in cradles to guard the child from evil spells.
‘In the past most Witch’s gardens contained at least one hawthorn hedge.”
In reference to fairies, Cunningham states:
“The hawthorn is sacred to the fairies, and is part of the tree fairy triad of Britain: ‘Oak, Ash and Thorn,’ and where all three trees grow together it is said that one may see fairies.”
In Llewellyn’s 2013 Herbal Almanac, Darcy Blue French writes of Hawthorn in her article “Four Roses: Tree Medicine from the Rose Family.”
“Hawthorn is a wonderful remedy…It will soothe and calm the spirit.” She describes it as aiding those who have asthma attacks, suffer from panic or fear or who have a dream quality and a “tendency to get lost in ‘other worlds’ or appear to be ‘taken by the Faerie.’”
Ann Moura, in Green Magic: the sacred connection to nature, says of Hawthorn in her correspondences section:
Hawthorn – Protection, Witchcraft power, Otherworld, Beltane, ward negativity, attract Faeries.
She later associates Hawthorn with Creativity, Crone, Dark Moon, Death-Passages, Hunter, Lunar Eclipses, Solar Eclipses, Transitions-Rebirth, Underworld, Purity, Saturday.