The hazel was dedicated to the god Thor and was esteemed a plant of great virtue for the cure of fevers. Hazel branches were a favorite for use as a divining rod. Cutting a rod on St. John's Day or Good Friday was believed to ensure its success as an instrument of divination. A hazel rod was also a badge of authority, and it was probably this notion that that caused it to be used by schoolmasters. A hazel rod was also a symbol of authority among ancient Romans.
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