Celtic Tree Month of Rowan: January 21 - February 17
Second consonant of the Ogham alphabet - Luis "R" (pronounced loush)
Planet: The Sun, Mercury
Symbolism: Protection and Inspiration
Birds: Duck, Quail
Animals: Serpent, Dragon
Gemstone: Yellow Crysolite
Deity: Brigantia, Brigid, Thor
Sabbat: Imbolc, Candlemas
Folk Names: Witch Tree, Delight of the Eye, Mountain Ash, Quickbane, Ran Tree, Roden-Quicken, Roden-Quicken-Royan, Roynetree, Sorb Apple, Thor's Helper, Whitty, Wicken-Tree, Wiggin, Wiggy, Wiky, Wild Ash, Witchbane, Witchen, Witchwood
The Rowan Moon is associated with Brigid, the Celtic Triple Goddess of Imbolc or Candlemas. Brigid is also a Goddess of spinning and weaving who prepares the never-ending fabric of life and guides the passage of the Sun through the constellations and the seasonal cycles. Rowan was therefore the wood traditionally used for the making of spindles and spinning wheels.
Irish Druids held Rowan trees sacred and called them "The Tree of Life". The Rowan’s old Celtic name is Fid na ndruad which means Wizards Tree and this shows its long tradition of being associated with Druids, sorcerers and magical folk. Rowan wood is one of the nine traditional fire woods that are burned at Beltane.
Rowan wood is gathered on a single day in the year and must last throughout the coming year; the 13th May and always from a different tree or group of trees each year. Tradition dictates that you must go home via a different route than the one taken going out, so the gathering of Rowan wood is no easy job of work and the distance travelled to collect it becomes further and further every year.
It’s considered very misfortunate should the tree that gave the wood for your specific charms die or be cut down. Be sure that any Rowan wood wand, talisman, or charm you have, comes from a still-living tree. Wood from a Rowan tree that has been cut down or killed, is magickally useless and may even be harmful to you
For thousands of years, the Rowan tree has been considered magickal by many different cultures. The Rowan tree’s magical protective power is believed to come from its red berries. Berries from the Rowan tree have a small Pentagram on them at the base of the berry.
To the Celts the Rowan was a symbol of the hidden mysteries of nature and the quickening of the life force. The ancient Scots never used Rowan wood for any purpose other than ritual. The Rowan is the tree of quickening, symbolizing the re-birthing of the year when the Earth begins to respond to the warmth of the Sun. It is a good time for initiations and self-dedications especially during Imbolc. The Rowan is associated with divination, astral travel, protection, psychic energies, personal power, healing, and success. Rowan is also used when working with spirits of the dead, and in some countries Rowan is planted in graveyards to protect the dead and prevent them from lingering.
Protection: Carry Rowan twigs on sea voyages to protect the ship from storms.
Plant a Rowan near a new house to protect it from lightning and evil influences.
Rowan wood is the traditional wood used for dowsing and divining rods.
Carry a Rowan wand or walking stick with you for protection on a journey and to bring spiritual enlightenment along your path.
A Rowan pressed into a secret book will conceal it from the eyes of the curious.
When four of its leaves are laid in the shape of the cross and secreted beneath the threshold of the house, it will bind any disrespectful actions of those who enter and stand as a barrier to others, preventing them from entering at all if they approach with ill intent.
Crosses made of Rowan twigs, tied with red thread and hung above doors and windows will protect you from all malicious attacks and baneful magick. “Nothing malicious can cross where Rowan hangs”.
Luck: Rowan berries added to any charm or talisman will increase good luck.
Meditation: Rowan will help to clear and open your mind. It will help you to attune to nature, broaden your perspectives to allow you to develop a deeper understanding of your place in the universe.
The Spirit World: The smoke from burning Rowan will manifest spirit guides.
Psychic Powers: Wearing a necklace or bracelet made of Rowan berries will increase psychic powers.
Love: The smoke from burning Rowan may foretell the future of lovers.
The Fey: A lone Rowan tree is thought to be a gateway to the Faerie Realm. In Scotland, fires were made of Rowan wood to protect cattle from evil Faery spirits and horses that were "bewitched" could be controlled with a Rowan whip.
Health and Healing: The berries contain a high concentration of Vitamin C, a good preventative and treatment for scurvy. They also contain organic acids, tannins, sugars. The berries have been used to make general tonics for the body since the ripe berries are mildly purgative and diuretic. Rowan berry juice or compote can be used for hoarseness, sore throat and inflamed tonsils. The dried flowers were used as a tonic herbal tea.
Hold a handful of dried Rowan berries and enchant them with healing energy. Steep them in a cup of boiling water and drink the healing tea.
To keep your family healthy over the winter, place a handful of Rowan Berries in the center of a small square of white or purple cloth. Gather the cloth over the berries and tie it into a bundle with white or purple ribbon. Be sure to "send" your intent into the bundle with the action of tying the knot. Hang it in your kitchen over the winter.
©Rowan Morgana 2014
About.com Celtic Tree months
The Goddess Tree
Year of Moons Season of Trees
Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes