Today’s tree is the mighty Ash.
The ancient Egyptian imported Ash and use the wood for bows and arrows shafts. In medieval Europe, Ash wood was used for wheel spokes and other products that required strength and flexibility. Today, Ash’s strong, shock resistant wood is used for tool handles, bats, snow shoes, and other sports equipment.
Ares, the Greek god of war and son of Zeus, was said to favour the ash because it produced excellent spar shafts. In an ancient Greek creation story, humans were formed from Ash and Oak trees.
Since it was known as “Venus of the Woods” in England, an ash leaf placed in the left shoe was believed to result in a person meeting his or her future spouse. Finding an ash leaf with an equal number of sections on both sides of the center vein was considered lucky and was often used in love charms. A double leaf was also considered lucky. In medieval folklore, the person on whose property an ash tree stood would be unlucky in love if seeds did not appear each year. An ash leaf placed under the pillow at night is said to aid in dream work.
In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is a fantastic ash tree that connects heaven and earth. Its leaves provided shade and shelter for the entire earth and was known as the World Tree. This immortal tree carried the destiny of the world; if the tree was destroyed, the world would perish. In many legends, an evil serpent dangerously threatened to destroy the roots of Yggdrasil.
The underworld goddess, Hel, is said to have had her palace beneath one of the roots in the realm of Helheim. As Odin hung upside down from Yggdrasil, he drank from the Spring of Destiny that bubbled up at the base of the tree. This water is said to have given him great knowledge and revealed the mystery of the runes to him. Because of this, ash would is popular for rune tiles. In alternative versions of the story, Odin is said to have hung himself from his spear of ash.
In the ancient Eddas, the oral literature of Iceland, the wise eagle observed everything in the world from atop the sacred ash tree. Two streams flowed from the roots; one contained the knowledge of the past and the other the knowledge of the future. According to the stories, humans were created from the wood of the tree.
Three of the five great trees of Ireland were Ash: the tree of Uisnech, the tree of Tortu, and the tree of Dathi. The five trees were located in each of the five provinces and symbolised guardians who protected the sovereignty of the land. They were destroyed in 665 CE by the Celts themselves, rather than surrendered to the encroaching Christians.
Irish immigrants to America took pieces of an ash tree called the Tree of Creevna in Killura with them as protection against drowning.
Along with oak and hawthorn, ash was considered part of the triad of powerful faerie trees. In the traditional besom broom, ash is used for the handle.
Derived from the Gaelic fuinnse and fuinnseog for ash tree, the name of the town Funshin in Ireland means a “place of Ash trees”. The city of Fresno, California, gets its name from the Spanish word for ash tree because of the number of white ashes that grew there when the area was first settled.
Latin Name: Fraxinus Americana (White ash),
Seasonal Details: clusters of small flowers, April – May; one inch long winged seeds that stay on the tree until Autumn; multiple oval leaflets on stalks that turn orange to purple in Autumn.
Powers/Attributes: ambition, balance, communication, creativity, fertility, growth, healing, illumination/knowledge, love divination, peace of mind, poetry and storytelling, Prophecy, protection (especially from drowning), rebirth, stability, transition.
Elements: air, earth, fire, water
Celtic Calendar Dates: Ferbury 18 – March 17
Feng Shui Sectors: North, Northeast, East, South, Southwest, West
Goddesses: Eostre, Freya, Hel/Holle, Minerva, Nemesis
Gods: Ares, Dagda, Frey, Llyr, Neptune, Odin, Poseidon, Thor, Woden
Other Being/Character: Gwydion
Other Names for Tree: hoop Ash (Black Ash); tree of water (Teutonic)
Zodiac: Capricorn, Libra, Taurus, Virgo
Celestial bodies: Mercury, Neptune, Sun, Venus
Plants: wood anemone
Gemstones: clear quartz, coral, zircon
Wildlife: butterflies, common snipe
Colour: pale blue
Energy: masculine energy
Other Associations: connection with astral realm; doorway to other realms; dates: May 25 – June 6 and November 22 – December 1; sabbats, Ostara/vernal equinox, Beltane Celtic Chieftain/noble tree; Celtic Abred (Ireland) or Annwn (Wales), the innermost circle from which all lights sprang; Norse Asgard, the home of the gods which included Valhalla
Spell work and ritual: attraction spell; dispersion of negativity; divination (especially the seeds); protection spells; boosting the energy of spells; sea magic; solar magic; use in meditations, spells and rituals for seeking creative inspiration
Source: Whispers from the Woods by Sandra Kynes