The totemic associations are as follows:
Toad – (Buaf) transformation, inner visions, death and rebirth, hidden power and beauty
Elder (Ruis) – death and rebirth, change and transition
Crane – (Corr) longevity, remembrance, past lives, secret knowledge, patience
The Elder tree is associated with death and rebirth. The 13th month is a time of endings and balances, and the Elder is a tree of balance. This tree is never called into the compass, but it is recognized where it stands (outside the sacred space). The Elder is usually found at the opening to barrows and passages to the Underworld.
This is a tree of the Faery. If one cuts down this tree without seeking the will of the Tree Spirits and of the Faery, a blight or curse will fall on that person. Her wood is never burned as it is considered bad luck to do so. This injunction is remembered in one of the couplets from the modern Wiccan or Witches' Rede: "Elder be the Lady's tree. Burn it not, or cursed you'll be."
In some parts of the world the Elder is considered as a protection against snakes and thieves.
The Elder protects one from harm and psychic attack. It represents change and transition. The elemental association for the Elder is water, and its gender association is feminine.