Merry we meet - Merry we meet - Merry we meet
In Worship of Trees
Written and Compiled by George Knowles
Lord of the Trees
Strange how my mind thinks, as I walk beside the trees.
The ancient oak trees forming links, with their breath of wisdom reaching me.
Their lineage is unbroken in the vastness of time.
How do I respond as I walk past their line?
My thoughts are of sharing in their wisdom and dark.
Sensations of floatation as my hands clasp around the bark.
Knowledge of ancient wisdom transcends the calm thoughts of time.
A warmth deep inside forms as I acknowledge his sign.
Energy flows upwardly from below my knees.
Awareness takes over me, it comes from the Trees.
Thoughts of yesterday's anger begin to fade.
As the pieces of broken lives are being re-made.
My mind is with the leaves as they float down to the ground.
My pain has all gone without but a sound.
Who can tell me better than the trees?
How to live life, like the birds and the bees?
Knowing always that everything comes in three's,
The words, the wisdom, and The Lord of the Trees.
Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar
Since time began the tree has been recognized as a symbol
of life and regeneration and to some of sacred knowledge. To primitive man
the tree and its by-products were a source used in all aspects of life. It
offered Shelter from the elements, Food from its fruit, Heat from a fire,
Clothing from its bark and Tools as well as Weapons from its wood. Little
wonder then that the tree evolved as one of the earliest symbols of reverence to
Of old the Oak tree was thought to have been the primary
symbol of worship and then other trees were given prevalence. Trees in
general were believed to have been the God incarnate. Kings, Queens,
Emissaries, Priests and Priestesses all carried branches of Oak (or those of the
other sacred trees) as symbols of their authority. The Staff (also made
from rowan, walnut, birch and beech) became a symbol that the bearer was an
emissary of the gods.
Tree symbolism was common throughout continental Europe and
the British Isles and appears in the lore and mythology of many cultures.
Some believed that giant trees supported the World, others like the Greco-Romans
believed that the Gods themselves transformed into trees. The Celts and
Teutons believed that the first human beings were descendant from trees.
In many Pagan beliefs the tree was considered magical,
it’s roots extended beneath the earth and beneath the earth was a realm of
great mystery. This was the Underworld, the predominant place of the God
and ancestral spirits. But so did a trees branches bare fruit and reach up
into the heavens another realm of great mystery and the predominant place of the
Goddess, where the physical manifestations of both the God and Goddess could be
seen in the Sun, Moon and Stars. Birds were thought to be the messengers
of the gods and they often nest in trees to rear their young, so the trunk of
the tree itself became a bridge between the worlds.
The old mystical belief of 'as above, so below' came from
trees. The tree has two equal parts, the top that reached into the heavens
– 'as above', and a virtually identical part that reached deep down into the
earth – 'as below'. This refers to the belief that whatever is in the
unseen world is replicated and manifest in the physical world (one of the basic
principles behind all magic). As the tree physically unites the heaven
with the earth, so the Goddess and God became one.
In folklore many pagan gods sacrificed themselves on trees,
an act that reunited them with the 'all that is' and the afterlife of
reincarnation. In some traditions it was believed that only women could
enter the afterlife (known to some as 'Tir-na-nog', or the 'Land of the Forever
Young') and that man must first be reabsorbed into the womb before passing on.
The tree with its all-reaching circle of life, death, earth and sky fulfills
Nature spirits and elementals are believed to dwell in
trees, normally indisposed to helping humans, they could under certain
circumstances be partitioned to aid in magic and to communicate with deities.
Tree fairies lived high up in the branches watching out for children and
laughing at human folly, while gnomes the earth elementals were said to make
their homes in the roots of oak trees. There they could watch out and
protect all of earth’s creatures.
Trees were also used to bind and trap evil spirits.
This was normally done through the use of prayers and spells. In folklore
trees were often planted over the graves of evil magicians and wicked witches to
keep their spirits from returning and harassing the living. It was
believed that the trees roots trapped their souls beneath the earth in that
realm of great mystery.
While trees have always been considered sacred, much of
their associations have been credited to the ancient Druids. It was the
Druids’ that developed the practice of tree magick particularly in relation to
healing and divination. They also
standardized the annual Celtic calendar and codified the ancient Ogham alphabet
by allocating a sacred tree to the 13 new moons, 4 solar seasons, and the Winter
Solstice of each year. A
contemporary version of this ancient calendar/alphabet, the Beth-Luis-Nion
calendar, was reconstructed by Robert “von Ranke” Graves (author of The
White Goddess) from an ancient poem called the “Song of Amergin”.
The Beth-Luis-Nion calendar begins at the Winter Solstice
(21st–23rd December) and is based on the 13 lunar moon
phases of the year. Each moon phase
is calculated as having 28 days, which start and end on a New Moon.
The five solar trees are named for the 4 seasons of the year, with the
fifth representing the day of the Winter Solstice (13 moons phases x 28 days =
364, add one day for the Winter Solstice = 365 days of the year).
Using Gaelic names for each tree, the first letter of each tree forms the
consonants of the Ogham alphabet, while the first letter of the solar seasonal
trees form the vowels:
- Gaelic Name
- English Name
- Ogham Letter
1st Moon - Beth - Birch - Dec 24 - Jan 20 - B
2nd Moon Luis - Rowan - Jan 21 - Feb 17 - L
3rd Moon - Nion - Ash - Feb 18 - March 17 - N
4th Moon - Fearn - Alder - March 18 - April 14 - F
5th Moon - Saille - Willow - April 15 - May 12 - S
6th Moon - Uath - Hawthorn - May 13 - June 9 - H
7th Moon - Duir - Oak - June 10 - July 7 - D
8th Moon - Tinne - Holly - July 8 - Aug 4 - T
9th Moon - Coll - Hazel - Aug 5 - Sept 1 - C++
10th Moon - Muin - Vine - Sept 2 - Sept 29 - M
11th Moon - Gort - Ivy - Sept 30 - Oct 27 - G
12th Moon - Ngetal - Reed - Oct 28 - Nov 24 - Ng
- Nov 25
- Dec 22
- Dec 23
Winter - Ailim - Silver Fir - Dec 24 - Mar 20 - A
Spring - Onn - Furze - Mar 21 – June 20 - O
Summer - Ura - Heather - June 21 – Sept 22 - U
Poplar - Sept 23
– Dec 22
While the Beth-Luis-Nion calendar is a contemporary version of the ancient calendar thought to have been used by the Druids, its authenticity can only be speculated upon, as much of the Druids’ knowledge was transmitted orally and never written down. It does however keep the changing year in line with modern pagan activities by fixing the start and end of the year on the Winter Solstice, the date of which fluctuates between the 21st and 23rd of December depending upon the Earth’s rotation around the Sun.
I list here the 13 trees (actually 12 trees and one plant
the 'Ivy') with their lunar and Sabbat associations together with their basic
magical properties. Other
associations and correspondences can be found under their individual titles:
- Dec 24th
- Jan 20th. Known
as the Moon of Inception and/or Moon of Beginnings. Magickal
properties - Protection of children and Purification.
- Jan 21st
- Feb 17th. Known as the Moon of Vision and/or the Astral Travel Moon.
Imbolc (February 2nd).
Magickal properties -
Healing and Empowerment.
- Feb 18th
- March 17th. Known
as the Moon of Waters. Magickal
Prosperity, Protection and Healing.
- March 18th
- April 14th. Known
as the Moon of Utility, Moon of Efficacy or Moon of Self-Guidance.
(Spring Equinox - March 21st). Magickal properties -
Completeness and Spirituality.
- April 15th
- May 12th. Known
as the Witches Moon and/or Moon of Balance.
Beltane (April 30th).
Magickal properties -
Love, Healing, Protection and Fertility.
- May 13th
- June 9th. Known
as the Moon of Restraint and/or Moon of Hindrance.
Fertility, Peace and Prosperity.
- June 10th
- July 7th. Known
as the Moon of Strength and/or Moon of Security.
Litha (Summer Solstice - June 21st)
Magickal properties -
All positive purposes.
- July 8th - Aug
4th. Known as the Moon of Encirclement and/or Moon of
(August 1st). Magickal
Protection, Prophecy and all magick for animals.
- Aug 5th
- Sept 1st. Known
as the Moon of the Wise and/or Crone Moon.
Manifestation, Protection and Fertility.
- Sept 2nd
- Sept 29th. Known as the Moon of Celebration. Sabbat
(Autumn Equinox - September 21st).
Magickal properties -
Prosperity, Protection, Healing, Inspiration and Spirituality.
- Sept 30th
- Oct 27th. Known as
the Moon of Buoyancy and/or Moon of Resilience.
properties - Healing, Protection, Cooperation and Exorcism.
- Oct 28th
- Nov 24th.
Known as the Moon of the House, Hearth Moon or
the Moon of Truth. Sabbat
(October 31st). Magickal
Love and Protection.
Elder - Nov 25th - Dec 22nd. Known as the Moon of Completeness. Sabbat - Yule (Winter Solstice - December 21st). Magickal properties - Prosperity, Healing, Banishing and Exorcism.
of the Trees - A poem by Mike (Nature1) - http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/allseasons
The White Goddess – By Robert “von Ranke” Graves.
Cunningham's Encyclopedia Of Magical Herbs - By Scott Cunningham.
Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft - By Raven Grimassi.
The Encyclopedia of Witches & Witchcraft - By Rosemary Ellen Guiley.
Tree Wisdom (The definitive guidebook to the myth, folklore and healing power of Trees) - By Jacqueline Memory Paterson.
AA Book of Britain's Countryside.
The Penguin Hutchinson Reference Library (CD cassette).
Encarta Encyclopedia (CD cassette).
Plus many websites to numerous to mention.
First published the 18th January 2002, 13:41:02 - Updated the 04th June 2008 © George Knowles
Best Wishes and Blessed Be.
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
The Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) / Esbats & Full Moons / Links to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft Resources / What's a spell? / Circle Casting and Sacred Space / Pentagram - Pentacle / Marks of a Witch / The Witches Power / The Witches Hat / An esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism / Pow-wow / The Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / A history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope Innocent VIII / The papal Bull / The Malleus Maleficarum / An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum / The letter of approbation / Johann Nider’s Formicarius / Jacob Sprenger / Heinrich Kramer / Stefano Infessura / Montague Summers / The Waldenses / The Albigenses / The Hussites / The Native American Sun Dance / Shielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Festivals:
The Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Rituals contributed by Crone:
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder
Rocks and Stones:
Stones - History, Myths and Lore
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:
Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Wisdom and Inspiration:
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murdered by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A Kelly / Albertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Doreen Valiente / Dorothy Morrison / Dr. John Dee & Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater - Horrible Herman / Isaac Bonewits / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches / Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred / John Michael Greer / John Score / Joseph John Campbell / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot - "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" / Monique Wilson / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellars / Mrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" / Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) / Rudolf Steiner / Sabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough" / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - (includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) / Thomas Ady / T. Thorn Coyle / Vera Chapman / Victor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest /
Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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