The Celtic people once existed across the width and
breadth of the European continent. Form the shores of Ireland to the
hills of Northern Italy, the Celts were a presence and a power for
centuries. Now though, we have only a few scattered remnants of their
culture, their language, and their history to remember them by. The
Celts have become one of history's greatest mysteries, a people
maligned and honored in equal measure by those who came after.
strongest concentration of Celtic influence remaining in the modern
world exists in the British Isles, fittingly enough. It was there, in
Scotland and Ireland, that many believe the Celts to have made their
last stand against the tide of history that swept over them and it is
there that the remnants of Celtic culture and belief still cling to
relevancy in a world awash in modern thought and theory.
concept of Celtic Tree Astrology is one such belief. The Celtic
astrology signs were devised by the Druids, who were the - for the lack
of a better term - the priest class of the Celts.
elements of the inclusive Celtic cosmology, the tree astrology was
based on natural symbolism, in this case, a tree. The Celtic astrology
tree was made of all trees through time and space, with roots burrowed
in the earth and whose branches scratched the heavens and curled
through time to touch each phase of the moon. Mankind descended from
the branches of this tree to live upon the Earth, but they always
returned to the tree for the important things. Or so the druids said.
For the druids, each tree was a different part of THE tree, and, as
such represented a different facet of life to be explored...death,
rebirth, renewal. It was all a cycle, and each tree represented a step
in that cycle, traveling through the seasons.
After the winter, came the Birch, which symbolized renewal and rebirth.
The Ash tree was the tree of power...the power of chieftains and the druids themselves.
The Willow symbolized the power embodied in the female form, a power that spoke to the rhythms of the universe.
The Oak symbolized the turning of the year, from the Spring trees of the Birch, the Ash and the Willow, to the Summer months.
The Hazel tree was the tree of wisdom, and sat at the crux between Summer and Fall, when power gives way to knowledge.
The Ivy came next, representing the determination of man and the oncoming Winter.
Rowan tree guarded the home during the long dark of the Winter months,
and represented the unrestrained spirituality of that time of year.
The Alder tree linked both male and female in the blooming of the Spring months.
Hawthorn, much like the Rowan, was a protective member of the Zodiac,
in this case protecting man during the turning of the seasons from
Spring to Summer.
The Holly symbolized a return of energy, as the Summer prepared to turn.
The Grape Vine represented intuition and the Reed represented knowledge gained.
tree commanded a view of a different facet of human existence, filtered
through the changing of the seasons and the phases of the moon overhead.
Celtic trees of astrology functioned in much the same fashion as our
current astrological symbols. They were agents of prediction and
planning. While the Druids looked to the trees rather than the stars,
they learned no less than what was coming and what their people could
expect in those months. Every branch of the Celtic Cosmic Tree was of a
different type, and when the appropriate period of time came around,
the Druids would look to the proper branch, and they would, if all was
well, see what the future held.