The Celtic Tree Month of The Birch

 

The Celtic Tree Month of The Birch

December 24 – January 20

 

The Celtic meaning of the birch tree deals with:

  • Growth
  • Renewal
  • Stability
  • Initiation
  • Adaptability

 

Listen closely and you will detect whispers of transformation and growth in the midst of the birch groves within your soul.

The birch is highly adaptive and able to sustain harsh conditions with casual indifference. Proof of this adaptability is seen in its easy and eager ability to repopulate areas damaged by forest fires or clearings. Bright and beautiful, the birch is a pioneer, courageously taking root and starting anew to revive the landscape where no other would before.

This is a powerful metaphor for our lives. The birch asks us to philosophically go where no other will go (voluntarily or otherwise). The birch asks us to take root in new soils and light our lives with the majesty of our very presence. The birch sings to us: “Shine, take hold, express your creative expanse, light the way so that others may follow.”

Paradoxically, while the birch is a brilliant symbol of renewal, it is also symbolic of stability and structure. The druids also held the birch as the keepers of long-honored traditions.

Associated with the sun, the birch is a solar emblem, and facilitates passion, energy, as well as growth. This solar association is paralleled when we learn the druids carried birch bark with them as kindling. Birch serves as a perfect igniter as it will start to burn even when damp. This makes it a prized fire starter over most other wood types.

Here again, this makes for a perfect analogy. The birch asks us to serve our fellow man with a fire in our hearts. In this respect, the birch reminds us that even if our spirits are dampened by the set backs in life, we can always catch fire from the spark of passions that drive us to divinity.

 

Whats-Your-Sign.com

Who Were The Celts?

Who Were The Celts?

 

The Celtic empire once ranged across Western Europe, and their armies eclipsed even those of Rome. Who were these mighty people, and what became of them?

The Celts (Kel’tz) were a diverse group of people whose empire once spanned the European continent.  Archeological digs from Halsted, Germany to the Orkney Isles of Scotland have uncovered evidence of Celtic settlements as far back as the late Bronze Age.  But where did  these brash, nomadic people come from, and what became of them?

Recent archeological digs in Eastern Europe and Asia Minor indicate the possibility that the Celts were not indigenous to Europe at all.  The fact that the original Celtic stock were primarily a dark haired people with swarthy complexions only verifies this new theory. This theory is the migratory theory;  when applied the Celtics sometime in the millennia of the Bronze Age entered Europe from somewhere in Asia Minor.  It wasn’t long before they settled in the region of the Danube River basin and soon began raiding and conquering their neighbors.  The Celtic conquest continued until their tribal lands covered most of Western Europe, from the Danube to Rome and westward as far as current-day Belgium.

Though their rise to power was quick, the Celtic domination of Europe was short, as empires go.  Over the centuries following the Celtic Golden Age seen at Halsted, the Celtic people were pushed farther west by new conquerors and empires, sprouting up in Athens, Macedonia, and, eventually, Rome.  To the North, the savage Goths pushed the Celts southward as well, condensing the majority of Celtic society into Gaul and Iberia, which today make up France and Spain.

If the origins of the Celts are historically dubious, the name they identified themselves with remains a mystery.  While historical accounts exist, as well as a few Celtic carvings referencing tribal names, Celtic writings don’t make any reference to a racial name.  The only surviving accounts to make reference to the Celtic people were written by Roman and Greek historians.  In fact, it is from Greek texts that the Celts received their ethnic name, Keltoi, a Greek word for “stranger” or “outsider.”  This identifier was altered by late Roman writers and eventually adopted by the Celts as a means of identification in trade and war.

Many historians and archeologists believe that the original people who entered European millennia before the birth of Christ had no name by which to identify themselves as a people.  They were nomadic, in many ways, and little more than a loose conglomeration of independent tribes and family groups.  If this theory is true, it adds a new dimension to the mystery of the Celts with a question that might never be truly answered: Who were the Celts?

Historical records and archeological evidence have much to say about Celtic culture and society.  Predominantly in Roman histories, reference is made to the deep racial pride of the Celts, and their stubborn refusal to be dominated or ruled.  According to Roman chroniclers, a Celt would choose suicide over surrender.  Nor was Celtic society a fluid structure like the Hellenic or Roman empires, but rather a loosely-linked group of autonomous tribes, each headed by a separate chieftain.  Within each tribe, the people were further divided into extended family units known as clans.  Each clan was subdivided into lineages, called “˜fine’, represented by the paternal kinship. Roman writers, examining this pastoral mind frame from their urban vantage point, no doubt found much to disdain as barbaric and primitive in Celtic society.

However, far from the barbarians with which they were often identified, the Celts had a highly developed society.  The basic structure of Celtic society divided the people into three classes:  the royal clans, the warrior aristocracy, and the common people, often referred to as Freemen.  And, though slaves did constitute a small percentage of the population, slavery was generally frowned upon in Celtic society. However, though Celtic social structure appeared loose and primitive to the Romans and Greeks, the Celts were by no means the “savage race” which the Roman scholars often slurred them by. Archeological evidence has shown the Celts to be an advanced race, for their era.  They made use of chain mail in battle and utilized machines for reaping grain.  There is also evidence that the Celts had begun extended roadways across Europe centuries prior to the Roman Empire’s much-lauded road system, and it is widely believed by historians that it was from the Celts that the Romans and Greeks first learned the use of soap.

However, regardless of their apparent advancements, the Celts were not an urbanized people, and their tastes ran to simple rather than extravagant.  Certain themes appear repetitively in reference to Celtic culture, including the predominance of rural settlements, the traditions governing hospitable feasts, and the evidence of fellowship drinking. Pork tended to be a primary item of diet, and clothing often followed a plaid design. However, though rural themes predominated their society and many settlements were merely farming communities, the Celts were far from uneducated. They placed high regard on thorough education and life-long study. The Druids, who are believed to be the Celtic scholars and priests, were required to undergo a period of training which lasted around twenty years. Also contrary to popular belief, historians have concluded that the Celts had a written language as early as the third century BCE, but made little use of it except on coinage and memorials, placing a higher value on the ability to remember vast quantities of information correctly.

Celtic society declined in the face of Rome’s advancing power, however.  As Roman culture stamped more of the face of world politics and trade, the Celts soon found themselves with no choice but to accept Roman rule. And, as Roman culture began dominating the Celtic tribes, the tribal culture was replaced by a racial identity.  By the withdrawal of Roman troops from Britain in approximately 340 CE, Celtic culture had waned nearly into oblivion.  It would enjoy a brief period of renewal with the fall of Rome, only to be quickly conquered by the Germanic culture advancing across Europe. And so, the proud people who had once dominated the European continent would be lost to myth and legend, leaving more unanswered questions than road signs to their once-golden culture.

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Celtic Astrology: Know Your Celtic Sign

Celtic Astrology: Know Your Celtic Sign

by Tarotcom Staff

Long ago, the Celts imagined the universe as a tree with deep roots and neverending branches. Around 1000 B.C. people began to designate a tree for each Moon phase in the lunar calendar.

Each tree sign has secret powers, magical properties, spirit animals and a corresponding “ogham” — the letter/symbol developed as a secret code of the Celts (also known as the Celtic Tree Language) to attract luck, protect from harm and heighten each Celtic sign’s unique personal powers.

It’s said that inscribing your special items and belongings with the ogham associated with your Celtic sign can harness that sign’s powers.

Look up your Celtic tree sign and ogham below:

Birch (Dec. 24 – Jan. 20)

You are renowned for having a fresh, unusual outlook. Your ogham is Beithe, which symbolizes beginnings, change and fresh opportunities. Your color is white, and your sacred animal is the cow.

Rowan (Jan. 21 – Feb. 17)

You are blessed with excellent taste. Your ogham is Luis, which represents insight, prescience and discernment. Your color is red, and your sacred animals are the unicorn and bear.

Ash (Feb. 18 – March 17)

You are a loner and frequently need to escape the chaos of public life. Your ogham is Nuin, which symbolizes peace. Your color is green and your animal is the snake.

Alder (March 18 – April 14)

You are known for your bravado. Your ogham is Fearn, which represents moral and physical courage. Your color is red and your animals are the red fox, ram and stallion.

Willow (April 15 – May 12)

You are known for your vivid imagination. Your ogham is Saille, which embodies the principles of intuition, creativity and artistry. Your color is yellow and your animals are the hare and the cat.

Hawthorn (May 13 – June 9)

You are patient, thoughtful and hopeful. Your ogham is Huathe, which embodies the principle of restraint. Your color is purple and your animals are the goat and dragon.

Oak (June 10 – July 7)

You are distinguished by your reliability, diligence and emotional strength. Your ogham is Duir, which represents protection. Your color is black and your animals are the white horse, the lion and the salamander.

Holly (July 8 – Aug. 4)

You are celebrated for your physical strength and star power. Your ogham is Tinne, which is tied to the color silver and your spirit animal is the war horse.

Hazel (Aug. 5 – Sept. 1)

You are prized for your intellect, maturity and perspective. Your ogham is Coll, which represents wisdom. Your color is brown and your animal is the salmon.

Vine (Sept. 2 – Sept. 29)

You are uninhibited and blessed with foresight. Your ogham is Muin, which symbolizes the power of prophecy. Your colors are pastels, and your animal is the lizard.

Ivy (Sept. 30 – Oct. 27)

You are famous for your sheer determination and willpower. Your ogham is Gort, which symbolizes progress. Your color is blue and your animal is the boar.

Reed (Oct. 28 – Nov. 24)

You are celebrated for your open-minded attitude and worldly sophistication. Your ogham is Ngetal, which symbolizes unity. Your color is orange and your three spirit animals are the dog, the stag and the rat.

Elder (Nov. 25 – Dec. 23)

You are wise beyond your years. Your ogham is Ruis, which represents maturity. Your color is gold and your animal is the badger.

About the Celtic Tree Month Elder November 25 – December 22

The Celtic Tree Month Elder

(Ruis)

November 25 to December 22

Those Born Under This Sign:

Elder archetypes among Celtic tree astrology tend to be freedom-loving, and sometimes appear to be a bit wild to the other signs of the zodiac.  In younger years you may have lived life in the fast lane, often identified as a “thrill seeker.”  At the time of your birth the light of the sun was fast fleeting and so you take the same cue from nature.  You are often misjudged as an outsider as you have a tendency to be withdrawn in spite of your extroverted nature.  In actuality, you are deeply thoughtful with philosophical bent.  You also tend to be very considerate of others and genuinely strive to be helpful.  These acts of assistance are sometimes thwarted by your brutal honestly (which you openly share solicited or otherwise).  Elder Celtic tree astrology signs fit well with Alder’s and Holly’s.

The Celtic Meaning of the Elder:

The Celtic meaning of the elder tree deals with:

  • Death
  • Cycles
  • Rebirth
  • Renewal
  • Creativity
  • Regeneration
  • Transformation

The elder tree ruling time is within the cycle of the thirteenth moon.  This is also the end of the old year at the time of Samhain.  This is where the elder derives its symbolism of endings and/or death.

In this same vein, the druids and ancient Celts recognized the elder had natural banishing abilities.  The essence of its leaves, and the odor of its pretty white flowers were proven to ward off pesky insects.  This origin might have been expanded upon in Celtic lore where we learn branches were hung over doors to ward off evil spirits.

Right on the heels of its associations of banishment and death come the elder’s attributes of rebirth and renewal.  The elder earns these symbolism’s honestly as it has long been recognized as a prized medicinal tree.  Everything from bark to berries has been used to treat all manner of ailments.  The ancient Celtic people recognized its healing abilities, and honored the elder for the gifts of good health.

It is known as a transformative Celtic symbol because it is associated with the realm of fairies. Celtic lore indicates that if you stand near an elder tree at Midsummer’s Eve the land of the fairies will be revealed to your searching eyes. Furthermore, fairies love music – particularly the lulling notes of a flute made from elder wood.

Reference:

Whats-Your-Sign.com

About the Celtic Tree Month Reed October 28 to November 24

Celtic Tree Month Reed

(Ngetal)

October 28 to November 24

Those Born Under This Sign:

Reed signs among the Celtic tree astrology signs are the secret keepers.  You dig deep inside to the real meaning of things and discover the truth hidden beneath layers of distraction.  When there is a need to get to the heart of the matter, most certainly the Reed sign will find the core.  You love a good story, and can be easily drawn in by gossip, scandals, legend and lore.  These tendencies also make you an excellent historian, journalist, detective or archeologist.  You love people because they represent a diversity of meanings for you to interpret.  You are adept at coaxing people to talking to you, and sometimes you can be a bit manipulative.  However, you have a strong sense of truth and honor so most of your scheming is harmless.  Reed people join well with other Reeds, Ash or Oak signs.

Celtic Meaning Of The Reed:

The Celtic meaning of the reed within the Ogham deals with:

  • Purpose
  • Protection
  • Purification
  • Clarification
  • Communication

Today we may not consider the reed a tree, but in the time of the ancient Celts their landscape held prolific reeds in swamp areas; some growing up to 20 feet tall.

The druids viewed any large plant like this with a woody stalk to be a tree, and the reed was considered very important.

All things of the natural world were honored by the Celts, and all things represented the connection with life.   In this way, the reed was highly revered for its usefulness in the day-to-day practices of the Celts.

The reed was used for many purposes by the Celts.  Specifically, they would weave reeds together to make thatched roofs on their homes – some of which (when properly constructed) last up to a decade or more.  This is where the reed obtains its symbolism of protection.  It is also a natural insulator, and the Celts honored it highly during cold, wet months.

Reed gives off a faint sweet smell when macerated, and so the Celts were known to lay out pressed reeds as flooring in their homes to deodorize.  This was also a practice for cleansing and purifying homes.

Reeds also made good candles, and were viewed as beacons of light during the dark nights.  This is another facet of the reed’s purposefulness in the life of the Celts.

The reed gets its symbolism of communication from several sources.  In the hands of a good craftsman (and there were many among the ancient Celts), a reed would make a fine whistle, flute or recorder.  These were highly prized amongst the people, particularly bards. Through these flutes and music the spiritually-minded Celts would communicate fantastic worlds of vision, heroism, and beauty.  

Secondly, if you are still enough, you can hear them sing a song when the wind blows through a field of reeds.  If you’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing it, you know it is an eerie experience.  The Celts viewed this as an otherworld voice, and considered it a message of powerful importance.

Take the time to incorporate these symbolic meanings of the reed in your life.  Gather some up and bring them into the house to open up the energy and clear the air.  Or, try fashioning a flute from a reed and take it to your next drum circle to play!  Your Celtic ancestors will get such a kick out of that!

Reference:

Whats-Your-Sign.com

Woods: The Many Types & Their Uses

The ancient Celtic tree alphabet was used by the followers of the Old Religion to construct a language of the trees that could be used in conjunction with the occult symbolism of each of the trees.  When translated from the ancient tongue we find the following trees referenced often: Elm, Birch, Hazel, Oak, Aspen, Alder, Ivy, Yew, Rowan, Ash, Pine, Willow, Elder, and Spindle.  These trees, along with others, will be covered. From early times, there have been the sacred groves and the sacred tree.

Individual trees of particular species have been revered, the kind varying with the divine force represented.  Oak and Cedar are obvious examples of father emblems as Willow and Hazel are mother emblems.  The androgynous Pine and the world bearing Ash also have their place in our folklore.  The symbolism of the woods are very important in the construction of any magical tool.  A complete description of the various woods and their uses is impossible in a limited space but we will cover as much as possible.

 

OAK ) The oak tree is the tree of Zeus, Jupiter, Hercules, The Dagda (The Chief of the Elder Irish gods), Thor and all other Thunder Gods.  The royalty of the Oak needs no enlarging upon.  The Oak is the tree of endurance and triumph, and like the Ash, is said to count the lightings’ flash.  The Oak is a male wood which is ideal for the construction of any tool that needs the male influence such as Athames, certain wands and staffs.  The midsummer fire is always Oak and the need fire is always kindled in an Oak log.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Endurance, triumph, strength, power, dominion, prosperity, sacrifice, guardian, liberator.

BIRCH ) With the exception of the mysterious elder, the Birch is the earliest of the forest trees.  The Birch is used extensively in cleansing rituals.  Throughout Europe, Birch twigs are used to expel evil spirits.  Birch rods are also used in rustic rituals to drive out the spirits of the old year.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Controlled by the Lunar influences.  Birth, healing, Lunar workings, and protection.

HAZEL ) The Hazel is a tree of wisdom.  In England, all the knowledge of the arts and sciences were bound to the eating of Hazel nuts.  Until the seventeenth century, a forked Hazelstick was used to divine the guilt of persons in cases of murder and theft.  We have retained the practice of divining for water and buried treasure.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Wisdom, intelligence, inspiration, wrath.

ALDER ) The Alder is the tree of fire.  In the battle of the trees, the Alder fought in the very front line.  It is described as the very “battle witch” of all woods, the tree that is hottest in the fight.  from the alder, you can make three different dyes, red from its bark, green from its flowers, and brown from its twigs; this symbolizes the elements of fire, water and earth.  The Alder wood is the wood of the witches.  Whistles may be made of this wood to summon and control the four winds.  It is also the ideal wood for making the magical pipes and flutes.  To prepare the wood for use, beat the bark away with a willow stick while projecting your wishes into it.  The Alder is a token of resurrection.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Controlling the four winds, banishing and controlling elementals, resurrection.  Making magical dyes.

IVY / VINE ) The Ivy was sacred to Osiris as well as to Dionysus.  Vine and Ivy come next to each other at the turn of the year, and are jointly dicated to resurrection. Presumably, this is because they are the only two trees that grow spirally.  The Vine also symbolizes resurrection because its strength is preserved in the wine.
OCCULT ASPECTS: (VINE) Faerie work, Joy, Exhilaration, Wrath, Rebirth.

 

(IVY) Fidelity, Constancy, Love, Intoxication.

YEW ) The Yew is known as the death tree in all European countries.  Sacred to Hecate in Greece and Italy.  Yew wood makes excellent bows, as the Romans learned from the Greeks. This strengthened the belief that Yew was connected with death.  Its use in England is recalled in Macbeth where Hecate’s cauldron contained:”… Slips of Yew, slivered in the moon eclipse.”The Silver Fir of birth and the Yew of death are sisters. They stand next to each other in the circle of the year and their foliage is almost identical.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Destructive workings concerning death.  Not recommended for magical tools “…for I am the tomb to every hope.

ROWAN ) The Rowan is seen as the tree of life.  It is also known as Mountain Ash, Quickbeam, The Witch or Witch Wand. In the British Isles, Rowa is used as a protection against lightning and magical charms of all sorts.  In ancient Ireland, the Druids of opposing forces would kindle a fire of rowan and say an incantation over it to summon spirits to take part in the battle.  The Rowan is alsoused for many healing purposes.  The “Quickbeam” is the tree of quickening. Another use was in metal divining.  In Ireland, a Rowan stake was hammered through a corpse to immobilize the spirit.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Divination, healing, astral work, protection.

ASH ) The Ash is sacred to Poseidon and Woden.  The Ash is considered to be the father of trees.  The Ash is the tree of sea power, or of the power resident in water.  Special guardian spirits reside in the Ash; This makes it excellent for absorbing sickness. The spirally carved druidical wand was made of Ash for this purpose.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Seapower, karmic laws, magical potency, healing, protection from drowning.

PINE ) External symbol of life and immortality.  It is one of the few trees that are androgynous.  It was also worshiped by the ancients as a symbol of fire because of its resemblance to a spiral of flame.  It is regarded as a very soothing tree to be near.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Strength, life and immortality, rejuvenation

 

WILLOW ) The Willow was sacred to Hecate, Circe, Hera, and Persephone, all death aspects of the Triple Moon Goddess, and was often used by the Witches in Greece.  The moon owns it. Female symbol.  It is the tree that loves water most and is sacred to the Moon Goddess who is the giver of dew and moisture, generally.  The Willow is the tree of enchantment. Can be made into a tool to make wishes come true.
OCCULT PURPOSES: Moon magic, psychic energy, healing, inspiration, fertility

 

ELDER ) A waterside tree, the Elder has white flowers that bloom to their peak in midsummer (as is also true for the Rowan) thus making the Elder another aspect of the White Goddess.  The Elder is also said to be the crucifixion tree. The inner bark and the flowers have long been famous for their therapeutic qualities.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Witchcraft, banishment, magical art, waters of life.

HAWTHORN ) The Whitethorn or Hawthorn or May Witch takes its name from the May.  It is a generally unlucky tree and its name, translated from the Irish Brehon Laws, had the meaning “harm”.  The Goddess, under the name Cardea, cast spells with the Hawthorn. In many cultures, the month of the Hawthorn (May) is a month of bad luck for marriages.  The Hawthorn blossom, for many men, has the strong scent of female sexuality and was used by the Turks as an erotic symbol.  The monks of Glastonbury perpetuated it and sanctified it with an approving tale that the staff of Joseph and the Crown of thorns were made of Hawthorn.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Purification, enforced chastity, male potency, cleansing.

 

HOLLY ) Holly means “holy”. The identification of the pacific Christ with the Holly is poetically inept a it is the Oak king, not the Holly king that is crucified on a T shaped cross. The Holly has many uses form making a dye from its berries to being used as an aphrodisiac.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Holiness, consecration, material gain, physical revenge, beauty

 

WHITE POPULAR ) The tree of the Autumn Equinox and of old age, is the shifting leaved White Popular, or Aspen, The shield makers tree.  Heracles bound his head in triumph with popular after killing the giant Cacus (the evil one).  The Black popular was a funeral tree sacred to the Mother Earth. Plato makes a reference to the use of  Black popular and Silver Fir as an aid in divination.  The Silver Fir standing for hope assured and the Black Popular for loss of hope.  In ancient Ireland, the coffin makers measuring rod was made of Aspen, apparently to remind the dead that this was not the end.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Hope, rebirth, divinations.This concludes trees referenced to be in use in Europe. However, I thought there may be interest in a few local trees.

 

ALMOND ) Almond has a very sweet natural being.  Aids in self protection.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Fruitfulness, virginity

 

APPLE ) It is an old English custom to drink to the health of the Apple tree with a good glass of cider all in hopes of encouraging the tree to produce a good crop next year.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Fertility

 

COCONUT ) The Coconut is feminine and very fertile.  The shell represents the womb, and the milk, fertility.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Protection from negative psychic forces.

 

FIG ) The Fig is androgynous. The fruit representing the feminine and the triple lobed leaves suggest the masculine force.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Balance

 

MISTLETOE ) The mistletoe was sacred to the Druids and to the Norse. It was considered to be the great healer and has both male and female qualities.   It was so well regarded by the Norse (because it was sacred to Freya) that they refused to fight in the vicinity of Mistletoe.  The custom of hanging Mistletoe in the house to promote peace comes from this. Generally regarded today as a symbol of love and purity.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Love, fertility, sexual potency.

 

PALM ) Is regarded as particularly powerful because of its incredible durability and because it is self renewing, never changing its leaves.  Aids in rejuvenation.
OCCULT ASPECTS:  Resurrection, and the cycle and matrix of life

 

PEACH ) The Peach is an emblem of marriage.
OCCULT ASPECTS: Abundance, fruitfulness, happinessThis concludes this short treatise on the various woods, their types and uses.  This information was passed to me through various sources, and no claim is made as to its accuracy.

Trees & Their Magickal Uses

 ** Almond

* Business

* Clairvoyance

* Divination

* Loans

* Money

* Wisdom

** Apple

* Healing

* Love

* Perpetual Youth

* Prosperity

** Ash

* Protection

* Sea Magic ( when performing spells far away from the ocean.)

** Apricot

* Love

** Aspen

* Protection

** Balsa

* Psychic Awareness

** Birch

* Fertility

* New Beginnings

* Protection

* Purification

** Cedar

* Healing

* Longevity

* Prosperity

* Protection

* Purification

** Cherry

* Love

** Coconut

* Chastity

* Healing

* Purity

** Cypress

* Past Life Workings

* Protection

** Elder

* Healing

* Prosperity

* Protection

* Spirituality

 

** Elm

* Protection

** Eucalyptus

* Healing

** Fig

* Energy

* Fertility

* Health

* Strength

** Hawthorn

* Cleansing

* Love

* Marriage

* Protection

** Hazel

* Divination

* Love

* Marriage

* Protection

* Reconciliation

** Hemlock

* NOT RECOMMENDED FOR USE

** Juniper

* Protection

** Lemon

* Chastity

* Divination

* Healing

* Neutrality

** Lime

* Chastity

* Divination

* Healing

* Neutrality

** Linden

* Protection

** Maple

* Divination

* Love

* Money

** Mulberry

* Divination

* Knowledge

* The Will

* Wisdom

** Oak

* Healing

* Longevity

* Money

* Strength

** Olive

* Fidelity

* Fruitfulness

* Marriage

* Money

* Peace

* Security

** Orange

* Love

* Marriage

** Palm

* Strength

** Peach

* Divination

* Love

** Pine

* Exorcism

* Fertility

* Fortune

* Health

* Money

* Prosperity

* Purification

** Rowan

* Protection

* Strength

** Walnut

* Healing

* Health

* Protection

** Willow

* Blessings of the Moon

* Easy delivery of babies.

* Enchantments

* Healing

* Protection

* Psychic Awareness

* Wishing

** Yew

* NOT RECOMMENDED FOR USE

Celtic Wicca (Church of Wicca)

Celtic Wicca (Church of Wicca)

The Church of Wicca was founded by Gavin and Yvonne Frost. They offer correspondence courses in their brand of Wicca, which is sometimes called Celtic Wicca. The Church of Wicca has just recently begun including a Goddess in their diety structure, and has been very patrofocal as Wiccan traditions go. The Chuch of Wicca terms itself “Baptist Wicca”

*The Frosts call their tradition of Wicca Celtic. To me it seems more of a mixture of high magic and eclectic Wicca, with a smattering of Celtic thrown in. For instance, they use three circles, one within the others, made of salt, sulphur and herbs with runes and symbols between them instead of just one circle. They also insist on a white- handled athame and will not have a black handled one, whereas all the other traditions I have heard or read about use a black handled one. It seems to me the Wicca they practice and teach should not be called Celtic at all; but since a lot of it is made up or put together by them from other traditions they should also give it a made-up name; say Frostism. If you DON’T have to pay for the course, and have some extra time, it would probably be worth reading just for comparison. [*From Circe, who took their correspondence course.]

The Frosts have always been rather more public than most traditions (advertising their course in the Enquirer and similar publications) which has earned them heavy criticism in less public Craft groups.

Ash Tree Magic and Folklore

Ash Moon: February 18 – March 17

In Norse lore, Odin hung from Yggdrasil, the World Tree, for nine days and nights so that he might be granted wisdom. Yggdrasil was an ash tree, and since the time of Odin’s ordeal, the ash has often been associated with divination and knowledge. In some Celtic legends, it is also seen as a tree sacred to the god Lugh, who is celebrated at Lughnasadh. Because of its close association not only with the Divine but with knowledge, Ash can be worked with for any number of spells, rituals, and other workings.

  • Some traditions of magic hold that the leaf of an Ash tree will bring you good fortune. Carry one in your pocket – those with an even number of leaflets on it are especially lucky.
  • In some folk magic traditions, the ash leaf could be used to remove skin disorders such as warts or boils. As an alternate practice, one could wear a needle in their clothing or carry a pin in their pocket for three days, and then drive the pin into the bark of an ash tree – the skin disorder will appear as a knob on the tree and disappear from the person who had it.
  • The spear of Odin was made from an Ash tree, according to the Norse poetic eddas.
  • Newborn babies in the British Isles were sometimes given a spoonful of Ash sap before leaving their mother’s bed for the first time. It was believed this would prevent disease and infant mortality.
  • Five trees stood guard over Ireland, in mythology, and three were Ash. The Ash is often found growing near holy wells and sacred springs. Interestingly, it was also believed that crops that grew in the shadow of an Ash tree would be of an inferior quality.
  • In some European folklore, the Ash tree is seen as protective but at the same time malevolent. Anyone who does harm to an Ash can find themselves the victim of unpleasant supernatural circumstances.
  • In northern England, it was believed that if a maiden placed ash leaves under her pillow, she would have prophetic dreams of her future lover.
  • In some Druidic traditions, it is customary to use a branch of Ash to make a magical staff. The staff becomes, in essence, a portable version of a World Tree, connecting the user to the realms of earth and sky.
  • If you place Ash berries in a cradle, it protects the child from being taken away as a changeling by mischievous Fae.
  • The Celtic tree month of Ash, or Nion, falls from February 18 to March 17. It’s a good time for magical workings related to the inner self.

Creating A Magickal Tree

You can create your own, albeit more modest but nevertheless magickal, world tree in your garden.

Although you might have a small garden, you can still create a magickal tree in the centre of it, it can be used to circle round for spells and rituals and as a focus of power. It changes it energies according to the seasons and you can sit close to it in Sun, Moon and Starlight to absorb their different powers.

You can use any tree or a large bush as long as it has plenty of branches. Indoors, you can use a large ornamental tree or bush. Alternatively, use large, stripped wood branches indoors or set them in soil. Wherever it is located, your magickal tree acts as a protective force to repel harm from your property.

You can start the tree with just one or two items. You will need some of the following:

  • A witch ball or coloured glass fishing float that reflects the garden and shines in sunlight. These are both protective and empowering. Witch Balls resemble huge Christmas baubles and come from the American folk tradition. You can make one by painting a glass sphere with metallic paint or buy one from a New Age shop or website. You can also find them sold as disco balls in gift stores.
  • Fishing floats made of transparent glass are on sale in antique stores or garage sales, but increasingly in gift shops and housewares stores. Hang two or three of these from the tree. You can have a rope with three fishing floats, each of different coloured glass on your tree, better yet use your imagination, it’s your tree be creative.
  • Mirrors. These need only be small to reflect the flow of life force round the garden and repel all harm. You can use ordinary round mirrors or Chinese lucky Bagua mirrors that display the old Chinese symbols for eight natural forces that together energies the universe and our lives. Convex one that curve outwards are especially protective.
  • Outdoors, nets of seeds and nuts or fat ball bring wild birds to the tree. This is especially important if the tree itself is not living.
  • Symbols of fertility and prosperity. Fill small raffia baskets with long handles with coins, sparkling crystals like yellow citrine and clear crystal quartz or dried herbs like sage, rosemary and thyme that bring abundance to the garden and your home. You can often buy ornamental baskets set with wooden or ceramic fruits and flowers.
  • Small metal birds (you can sometimes buy them made of recycled metal). They will gleam in the light and encourage the circulation of positivity.
  • Feathers on cords to encourage positive change and the free-flowing life force.
  • Seasonal flowers, again especially important if the tree itself is not living. These can be weaved into circlets or used as garlands secured with twine. Keep these fresh and replace regularly.
  • Sun catchers, crystals or polished glass stones on chains.
  • Ribbons tied on the tree for different wishes. Secure the ribbon with three knots or to the tree and make your wish. Use ribbons that are not synthetic.
  • Use the following list when choosing the colours of items to put on to your magickal tree:

Blue:  Justice, career, travel and house moves.

Brown:  Animals, property, finances and officialdom

Green: Love and fidelity, for gradual increase in health, alternative healing, prosperity and to heal the planet

Orange:  Creativity and fertility

Pink:  Children, new or first love, peace, peaceful dreams and reconciliation

Purple:  Psychic awareness, peace, alternative healing and for protection

Red:  Passion and change

Yellow:  Learning and anything that needs to happen first or temporarily in your life: also for conventional healing.