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.
Johns 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.