4.3.11

Sacred Celtic Trees - Part Six

Article

The sacred Celtic trees are rich in mythological history and have inspired many traditions in folklore. The Pine, Poplar and Rowan (Mountain Ash), are the sixth in the list of sacred Celtic trees.

For the ancient Celtic culture, trees were an important asset to their way of life. They provided shelter, firewood, tools, weapons, dyes and medicines; were important to their ancient rituals, and the mythological meanings are still sometimes applicable in societies around the world, today.

Pine
In Celtic tradition the Pine was known as the everlasting tree that held ‘the sweetest of woods’. Today, its fragrance is a popular choice for household cleaning products and fresheners, bringing the scent of the woods into the home. Druids hailed Pine as one of the seven chieftain trees of Irish mythology. Dried needles of pine were used to purify ritual areas, and its branches were used as a broom to sweep away negativity.



Poplar
The wood of the Poplar was thought to bring relief from death and disease in Celtic tradition. These attributes made it the perfect choice of material for making shields. The sacred Poplar tree was also a source of fuel, burned in ancient need-fires. These rites would take place whenever there was a local calamity such as an epidemic among the cattle, or whenever a shortage of rain placed the harvests in jeopardy.



Rowan (Mountain Ash)
The Rowan tree symbolises tenacity, due to the conditions in which it grows. It is found growing high up on the sides of mountains, often sprouting from tiny crevices in inaccessible places. The Rowan berry has a tiny five pointed star or pentagram opposite its stalk. This explains why it was worn, hung in doorways, or planted near houses to offer protection against evil forces.




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