I discovered the Celtic Tree Calendar at a particularly low point in my life. It came at just the right time.
I hadn’t read or worked through anything like it and it has been the most life changing practice I have had to date. Not only did it make a lot of sense, but something felt familiar about it. It was like a homecoming and it opened me up to understanding more about Nature and how we are so intimately connected to it. Once you gain this understanding, you can never look at it the same again. You start to become very protective of it because your mind is so open to what it really is and this is what I hope to share with you.
The trees have a great deal to teach us, whether it is wisdom you seek or healing. Once you learn how to communicate to these beautiful beings, they are very willing to share their knowledge. My intention is to help share this once forgotten knowledge in an easy to understand and easy manner to fit in with your busy lifestyle. Each Tree Month will have it’s own blog post and exercises to help you to tune into the energy of each tree. The Lunar Celtic Tree Calendar starts on the 1st of November, so here is where we will start. I look forward to hearing all your stories and encounters as we all travel through the calendar together!
THE OGHAM ALPHABET
You might have noticed on some of my pieces that there are symbols inscribed into the wood that look very similar to Runes. These are called Ogham (pronounced ‘OH-AM’, ‘OWAM’, ‘OHM’ and also AW-GUM). There are a few variations of pronunciation, but I try not to get caught up in the controversy of how to pronounce them as the Irish, Welsh and Scottish pronounce things differently to one another, so all are theoretically correct. My preference is OWAM.
There are 25 letters in the Ogham Alphabet and each is named after a tree, plant or element. The symbols are made up of mostly straight lines that are carved in stone or wood along a stem line called the druim. An arrow shaft or other marking on this stem line usually marks where you begin reading and sometimes a dot in between words or to end a sentence/phrase.
Not only are they named after a specific tree, they also, like the Runes, have their individual meanings.
THE CELTIC TREE CALENDAR
The Celtic Tree Calendar is based on the 13 month LUNAR calendar. Each month corresponds to a specific tree and there are 2 months that share that month with another tree, which gives us 15 trees in total. Each month also has it’s corresponding Runes, guides, totems, deities etc, but I will keep this series to the bare minimum to help us focus on just the trees and keep it contained as much as possible.
Below I’ve also outlined just the Ogham for the trees in the Celtic Tree Calendar.
LUNAR VS SOLAR CALENDAR
Another point to note is that many follow the Solar Celtic Tree Calendar and if you are familiar with it, you will notice it starts on a different month. There is much controversy here and I’m not one to get stuck on that kind of stuff. The lunar cycle stays with the older tradition and that is what I choose, however feel free to research into it further if you want more information.
SOUTHERN VS NORTHERN HEMISPHERE
There is usually a lot of confusion also with any practice from the Northern Hemisphere we use in the Southern Hemisphere. Generally because they align their holidays and practices with the seasons and obviously ours are the opposite. So for instance, when the Northern Hemisphere is celebrating their Winter Solstice, in the Southern Hemisphere we are celebrating our Summer Solstice. So the energies we are working with are opposite, so we literally just flip the dates to correspond accordingly. This is somewhat the same with the Celtic Tree Calendar, however when I first started, I worked through the calendar on the Northern Hemisphere dates. Basically because when I started I couldn’t wrap my head around it all and just wanted to start. What I want you to understand is this: the tree energy is there at every moment of every day, not just a particular month. It certainly helps that everyone (mass consciousness) is tapping into the same energy within a given month, but it’s ok if you live on the other side of the world from them and choose to celebrate and work with that energy too. Use the calendar as a system of learning how to tune into the trees. I found that each and every tree I worked with at that time still had incredible importance for me and so will you. Don’t allow your mind to come up with confusing ideas, just do the work and you’ll understand. I am contemplating flipping the calendar for the Southern Hemisphere to see how it goes, but for now, let’s stick with this one.
It is important also that when starting our work with the trees, to pay your respect and gratitude. This might come in the form of picking up rubbish around them, watering them, getting advice if you have a tree that is sick or making sure you only buy products that are from recycled paper or products that don’t rely on cutting down more trees. Plant some trees! Do what you can to start showing the trees that you care about them. This needs to be foremost in our thoughts.
You might also want to dedicate a journal to your tree teachings. I loved doing this! Especially finding images on the internet of all the trees because growing up in Australia, there are some that are not common here and I loved getting to see what they looked like!
So let’s get started! The 1st Lunar month is Birch and you’ll find this post HERE. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do Please also share if you feel someone could benefit from this.