18 Dec 2014
I was thinking about the symbols around Christmas – sparkly lights, wreaths, mistletoe, baubles and of course tree’s and all of their meanings and place in our celebrations and I came across a Celtic Tree Calendar, which I thought I would share with you.
The ‘Tree Calendar has 13 divisions, and it is a lunar calendar. Some years have 12 full moons and others have 13, so Modern Pagans used fixed dates for the ‘Moons’ as opposed to actual full moons, as eventually the months would fall out of sync with the Gregorian calendar.
The roots of this tree calendar are in the 14th century, each letter in the Celtic alphabet was named after a tree, 16th century Irish writer Roderic O’Flaherty elaborated on this and it was repeated in the The White Goddess – and influential book written by Robert Graves.
Birch Moon – 24th Dec to 20th Jan
The birch is linked with rebirth and regeneration, purification, protection of children and creativity. The birch is the first tree to grow back following a woodland being burnt.
Rowan Moon – 21st Jan to 17th Feb
The rowan is associated with Brighid, a Goddess representing purity, protection, divination, healing and personal empowerment.
Ash Moon – 18th Feb to 17th Mar
According to Scandinavian myth, Yggdrasil (The World Tree) was an ash. It stands for protection and prosperity.
Alder Moon – 18th Mar to 14th Apr
The alder bridges heaven and earth, with its branches in the air and its roots in the water. Spring Equinox falls in the time of Alder Moon, the tree is known for teaching, spirituality and balance.
Willow Moon – 15th Apr to 12th May
The willow grows near water; in northern Europe the Willow Moon period falls at the wettest time of the year. It offers protection, fertility and romantic love.
Hawthorn Moon – 13th May to 9th Jun
The hawthorn is often associated with faeries who would lie in the tree trunks. May is also traditionally a time when faeries cross in to the human realm, perhaps it is not a surprise then that the tree stands for peace and prosperity.
Oak Moon – 10th Jun to 7th Jul
The oak tree was sacred to Druids and personified by the Oak King, the branches would provide much needed summer shade. This tree has a positive male energy and also stands for fidelity.
Holly Moon – 8th Jul to 4th Aug
The holly is an evergreen and counterpart to the oak. Its purpose is a reminder of protection, prophecy, hope and the immortality of nature.
Hazel Moon – 5th Aug to 1st Sep
Nuts first appear on the trees at the beginning of the Hazel Moon, for Celts hazelnuts are associated with protection against lightening and also wisdom.
Vine Moon – 2nd Sep to 29th Sep
The Vine Moon period is connected to fruit and berries, September sees the grape harvest in Mediterranean climes, whilst the colder north picks blackberries, the fruits of course can make wine, which helps the vine to be associated with celebration.
Ivy Moon – 30th Sep to 27th Oct
The ivy is a great reminder that as one cycle ends another begins. The Ivy Moon takes place at the end of harvest, but ivy itself is so resilient it can even grow on dying trees. It also stands for cooperation, healing and protection.
Reed Moon – 28th Oct to 24th Nov
The reed looks after family concerns, love and fertility. The wood is used to make wind instruments, whose haunting sounds summon the souls of the dead.
Elder Moon – 25th Nov to 23rd Dec
The end of the Elder Moon phase ties in with Winter Solstice, and as such the elder tree represents endings. It is a tree that recovers quickly and so ties in nicely with new beginnings.
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