Elder, Ogham, Celtic

Elder – Celtic Tree Calendar: Month 13


If you missed my first post, you can access it HERE or the previous post on Reed/Blackthorn HERE.

You might be thinking why there is a 13th month? The Celtic Tree Calendar is a lunar calendar and this is actually the 13th lunation of the celtic lunar calendar. As you might have noticed, October 30th is the date of Halloween or Samhain, which is actually the end of the Lunar Calendar year for the Celts. November 1st starts the new Celtic Tree Calendar over. So here is the last tree blog post to finish off the year and then you get to start over again! Each year you work with the trees, you learn just a little bit more and they will start to become more and more familiar with you.

Elder is a a shrub. There are many different kinds and they produce red, purple or black berries. Their berries are used to make cordials and wines and are synonymous with the faeries. They were sometimes referred to as ‘Witch Trees’. They are also known for helping you to connect to your ancestors. It was said that elders or wise ones took up residence in the trees and could offer you guidance when needed. Lady Ellhorn or the Elder Mother is said to reside in the tree. She is known by other names in different countries, as well as Mother of the Elves in Denmark. Cutting or burning wood for this reason was considered taboo and permission was always needed before undertaking any pruning.

The tree is particularly hardy and recovers so well after pruning or damage that it is well known for its regenerative abilities. It is found mainly near water and was often planted in sacred places.


Elder may be called upon when in need of advice from ancestors or Elders. It may even be an indication that it is time for you to reconnect with your lineage or learn more about where you come from. Sometimes when we trace our roots back, we feel a sense of coming home and belonging. This is our base chakra stuff. Family, security and our being a part of our ‘tribe’. It can help is feel grounded because we sometimes fall into a pattern or continuous searching for where we belong. Especially in this day and age of busy lifestyle and travel, unlike our ancestors who lived in small villages/communities and were always there for each other. You might want to bring out old photos or bits and pieces that make you feel connected to where you come from and place them on your altar for this month.

Asking for help from the or your ancestors can bring about amazing change or wisdom. Remember that the Elders have learnt the lessons you are about to learn, so sometimes we are unable to navigate certain situations clearly. Help from the ancestors can allow you to see situations from a different angle or think of things that you haven’t thought about. When we tap into ancestral knowledge, we tap into a source of all those that have gone before us. A collective consciousness. This is always powerful, wise and worth listening to. You might even want to spend some time with elders still living. There is a whole generation of people out there with a wealth of wisdom from their years that are overlooked due to their appearance.

As Elder also represents regrowth and regeneration, it may be a time to begin a new, or realise that it can be easy to recover by letting go of something. A time to shake off the dead wood and grow new shoots. I see this as a great tree to help with a quick transition. Just because you can detach and move on quickly, does not mean that you never cared, it can mean that you care for yourself first and you know what is necessary for your own growth. For this reason, Elder is also good for use in spells of closure and banishing. As mentioned earlier, Elder has a special affinity with the faeries, so this will aid you greatly in working with Nature Spirits and the Fae.


For this meditation, we are going to meet the Elder Mother.  When meditating or journeying to meet spirits in the otherworld, don’t worry if you don’t see anything.  Your intent is the key here.  The energy will always come to you whether you see or feel it.  The more you practice, the more you will begin to notice.  Working with this kind of energy is very subtle and does take practice.   Perseverance always pays off!

If you’ve been following along for a few months of these blog posts, you will know the Tree of Life grounding exercise I do at the beginning of every journey/meditation and before any spiritual work I undertake. It is super important to do, especially before journeying. I will be leave that up to you to do before the meditation. If you need to download it or haven’t got a clue what I am talking about, don’t worry! Get it HERE.

And that is the end of the free Blog course on the Celtic Tree Calendar!….but it should be the start of a new life of discovering what the trees have to teach us and how important they are in our lives.  I hope you have enjoyed learning about them and more importantly, I hope you have experienced healing in some way.  I urge you to help save our forests or find some way to do your part in planting trees or educating others.  Not only do they sustain life on the planet, but they have profound knowledge and healing to share if we slow down enough to listen

– much love Nicola xo

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