Sacred Celtic Trees - Part One


The sacred Celtic trees are rich in mythological history and have inspired many traditions in folklore. The Alder, Apple, and Ash, are the first 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.

In Welsh mythology, the Alder was the front line of the ‘Battle of the Trees’, against the Underworld. When cut, the wood turns from white to red as though bleeding. As it grows near water, the tree has feminine characteristics, although its links to war also indicate masculinity. The Alder therefore speaks of balancing masculine and feminine properties.

The Druids revered the Apple tree due to its connection to Mistletoe, which was also considered sacred. The fruits of the Apple tree are still regarded as a cure-all today, as is depicted in the saying, ‘an apple a day, keeps the doctor away’. Apples also symbolise love, and loved ones are often described as, ‘the apple of my eye’.

In Celtic tradition, the Ash tree is the ‘Tree of Life’, and its winged seeds, called keys, represented the key to universal understanding. The tree was also believed to cure warts, by pricking the Ash tree with a pin, crossing the warts with the pin three times while saying: ‘Ash tree, ashen tree, pray buy this wart off me’, and then putting the pin back in the tree.

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