Monday 21 February 2011

Celtic Tree Month of: White Ash

Ash Feb 18- March 17
With the Norse tradition, it is called the World Tree or Yggdrasil. this is one of the trees most sacred to the Druids along with Oak, & Thorn. 
In Magickal workings the Ash tree appears when you have walked your path for a while and slowly become bored (perhaps your not being challenged enough), it is here where one must pick up the Ash tree spear and 'check the peace' (not to start a war) but to bring yourself out of your boredom.   The spear as well as the ash symbolize  the magician's willpower

Irish: Gaelic Name    
Nion or Nuin
Ogham/ Rune: 
Nion, Hagalaz
 Ruling Planet: 
Marriage bed of opposites, quick intellect, clarity, inner and outer worlds linked; protective, prosperity, sea rituals, health
Seasons: Summer
God/Goddess:  Olokun, Eshu, Ogun, Ososi, Neptune, Mars, Uranus, Neptune, Thor, Poseidon, Woden, Gwydion, Lugh
Aspect: Masculine

Element: Fire
 Nion: is the symbol of connectivity, and creativity; transitions between the worlds
Hagalaz ( H, Hail) Wrath of nature, destructive, uncontrolled forces, especially the weather, or within the unconscious. Tempering, testing, trial. Controlled crisis, leading to completion, inner harmony. Hagalaz Merkstave (Hagalaz cannot be reversed, but may lie in opposition): Natural disaster, catastrophe. Stagnation, loss of power. Pain, loss, suffering, hardship, sickness, crisis.

These are some ideas of how to incorporate Ash into your life

Old Healing Lore:
  • In early Britain, the juice of an ash stick was generally give to newborns to help protect them from harm. As the tree was linked to rebirth and new life, it was believed to protect children who passed through any splits's in the tree trunk.
  • the bitter bark of an ash branch was used to ease intermittent fevers.
  • the bark from the root was even more potent and in early medicine was used in treating arthritic rheumatism and liver diseases.
  • an infusion of ash leaves gathered when they give off their sticky substance in May or June and powdered after drying can be used to treat rheumatism
  • This is the best time for magick that focuses on the inner self
  • Ocean rituals and honoring of Ocean Gods
  • Prophetic dreams, place leaves underneath you pillow to encourage these dreams.
  • Spiritual journeys
  • Make tools (magical & mundane)  from this wood are said to work more productively than any other tools. Odin's spear was made from the Ash tree. 
  • it is also associated with magical potency
  • To attract a member of the opposite sex, carry the leaves with you.
  • place in a bowl beside your bed with water and some ash leaves to keep away illness change the water daily and place fresh leaves again in at night.
  • Seek balance between the spiritual world and the mundanes, as it all connects you to others.
  • make a protective charm by carving a solar cross (equal armed cross) into a piece of ash and wear it to protect against drowning while at sea
  • use as a spear to represent the power that resides in water in ocean/sea rituals
  • Hang over doors to ward off harmful influences from entering the home
  • use the leaves in protective sachets, and spells, as well as scattering them to     the four corners of your property to protect it.
  • use to make healing wands, cut the branches at midsummer
  • use the leaves in love rituals,
  • when out camping place the bark or twigs around your camp bed, as this will keep snakes away from your bed (as they don't like the tree)
  • burn at Yule for prosperity
  • You can carve puppets from the roots of the Ash tree
  • according to Scott Cunningham in the old days a garter was made from the bark of a green ash tree (a young tree) and worn as protection against the powers of sorcerers and conjurers.
  • In Maypole ceremonies, use an ash tree

In the Scandinavian mythology, the World Tree was where the Gods met and conducted their business.  The World Tree symbolized the Universe, and as such was highly revered, it reached the heavens, the middle world and was also of the underworld as it's roots spread out so far.  Odin hung himself for nine days as a sacrifice from the branches of the tree It is also from this tree that the first man was made.

Odin's followers the Berserker(s) were initiated by a spear consecrated to Odin and made from Ash.  Thor's followers who were less bloodthirsty than Odin's ruled the sky, crops, and the weather. Thor's power was symbolized by his Hammer, and his Ashen Spear. The Vikings were later called "Aescling" which meant Men of Ash, because of their reliance on the magic of the ash tree. Many of their sea faring vessels where constructed of oak, but had Ash for all of "magical" parts.

In Celtic myth the Ash is seen often at reflecting pools of wisdom or near wells. In the older legends the most famous spear belonged to Lugh of the Long Arm; which he brought from the Otherworld city of Gorias. 
 In the Irish tale of Saint Patrick he used an Ash tree spear to drive the snakes from Ireland. This probably is also why it's good to use the twigs to create a barrier around your camping site, since they don't like to go near the tree. When Christianity came to Ireland, many of the ancient sacred trees where said to have been felled, as a symbol of Christianity's power over Paganism, in fifth century AD.

In Greek myths the Goddess Nemesis carried a ash branch as a symbol of the divine instrument of justice of the Gods. Nemesis is the daughter of Oceanus, which strongly shows the correlation between Ash and the Ocean, and it's life sustaining abilities.

Fun Facts:
  •  the tree would also prevent other trees from growing around it by 'souring' the ground, which made it the only tree in a area. 
  • ash wood is quick growing, doesn't split when being worked and it the toughest and most 'elastic' of all timbers. An ashen joint will bear more weight than any other, which is why it was mostly used in wagon, coaches, oars, & furniture
Information gathered from a variety of sources including:
A tree in your pocket, by Jacqueline Memory Paterson
Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham
Celtic Tree Mysteries by Stephen Blamaires
Rune information from My Book of Shadows
Tree Legends

Happy new Month

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