Lunar Tree Energies

by Linda Kerr

Copyright 1999 by Linda Kerr Brief synopsis on the energies for each of the lunar trees, Beth-Luis-Nuin, as we have learned it.


First Moon
Glyph - I am a stag of 7 tines
Bird - Pheasant
Color - White
Day - Sunday
Healing - Panacea for all ills of the skin and joints
Mysteries - Forest Magic, Queen's Authority, Inner Authority/Self-Discipline, Discipline

Birch is the first moon, and brings with it the most important and basic lessons, the ones that will sustain us throughout the year, the ones that will be the foundation that we build upon. These lessons are sensitivity, compassion, awareness, communication, self-authority, and self- discipline.
This is a new beginning, and also a re-birth. We are breaking through from the old year. This is the time to re-connect, with ourselves, and with the world around us. The initiation of the self.
The glyph, "I am a stag of seven tines," speaks of High Self awareness, royal kings, and nativity - the origin or birth of the Sun God. A symbol for Birch is the Fasces - a double-headed axe with birch wrapped around the handle, bound with a red cord. This is a symbol of authority; and the double-headed axe is symbol of balance: mental function, male/female, external/internal, waxing/waning, authority/compassion. The bundle of branches is for strength. This symbol speaks of integration of self-strength, basis for authority, compassion/empathy, awareness/responsibility, respect/ability to see. The fasces was a symbol of authority in ancient Roman times; however, the word fasces has evolved into the word Fascist, with all its negative connotations.
Negative Birch Energies: You may feel like going slightly wild right now - playing, partying, no studying, etc. Or you may go to the opposite extreme, and be like the Fascists - dominating, inflexible, controlling, using an authority which is based in fear, not respect or love.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Birch: Vine, Rock Water, Beech.


Second Moon
Glyph - I am a wide flood on a plain
Bird - Duck
Color - Red
Healing - Sustained, extended life, skin problems
Mysteries - Inner Quickening, Seeds of Hope, Planting for Renewal, Divination of Mysteries of Life, Divination of Metal, Quickening or Aborting

In Rowan, we build upon what we learned in Birch; compassion, awareness, sensitivity, and communication. The lesson of communication is emphasized in this moon; being able to communicate clearly with ourselves and our low self, in order to bring our prayers and wishes to fruition, and also communicating with those around us.
Rowan is the time for the inceptions of Birch to take form. Now our ideas and endeavors will take root or not. A good time to plant ideas and prayers, take them through germination and later manifestation. A good time for beginnings, and for ending old relationships or ideas. Rowan's other name is "Quickbeam," or "lively tree." Quick is another word for life. When a baby first moves in the womb, it is called the Quickening.
The Mystery of the Seed: "in the beginning lies the ending." From the seeds one plants, comes the future answers. Conceivably, a person of great awareness and sensitivity may be able to predict the future. These seeds can be seen as thought forms, sent by the Low Self to the High Self, which is why we need to learn communication, awareness, and sensitivity, so we can remove blockages to the High Self.
Rowan is protective and magical. Both Rowan and Elder are blockers, dispelling bad energy, protection from evil. Rowan wood was used in equilateral crosses to keep evil out - this type of cross symbolizes balance, as opposed to the Tau, or traditional type of cross, which symbolizes being grounded in the material, and a High Self blockage.
Negative Rowan energies: With the rise of energy comes more emotions, which may cloud your thinking. You may feel very emotional and expansive, not focused. May feel like crawling back into your hole, like the Ground Hog (Feb. 2). Or, there could possibly be a false sense of security or foundation, again, like the Ground Hog who feels it is safe to come out, when it's actually not. The pressures of the real world can seem overwhelming, and a person who is normally strong can begin to feel exhausted, especially when trying to do too much.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Rowan: Clematis and Elm.


Third Moon
Glyph - I am a wind on the deep waters
Bird - Snipe
Color - half clear/half deep blue
Healing - Tonic of life
Mysteries - Frenette, The Justice of Fate, From the Viper's Poisonous Bite (Circle of Protection), Spear/Neighbor of Death, Strong Urgings, Winds of Change, Control over Impatience

If you have learned the lessons of communication, compassion, and sensitivity well, in Ash, the third moon, you will be better able to deal with the energies of this moon. Ash is a time of passion, motion, and impatience. From the quickening of Rowan comes an urge for release, the winds are moving over the surface of the water, but it is not yet time for emergence from our watery womb. While the seed has been planted, it still must grow and mature. In this moon we learn patience and control over unconscious urgings.
The Ash is taking us from the yin of the Winter Solstice to the balance of the Spring Equinox. Begin to reach for that balance, but don't be impatient; you cannot force a birth before its time. Now is the time to work with the emotional turmoil of this moon and learn your inner self; this can result in a more effective knowledge of and stronger expression of that self. Meditation is very useful right now. The better you deal with your emotions now, the easier time you will have come Holly.
Ash is known as the Yggdrassil, sacred to Odin. It is also the tree of Posidion, because of its watery power. Ash wood was used for spears and axles. Frennett, a substance used by berserkers, may have been made from Ash bark. Frennett is frenetic chaos, for which Ash is a good antidote. The Ash tree can be unfriendly - there are noxious fumes under its shade. Ash also keeps serpents away, protects against their bite. As there are rarely any snakes to be found in March, this speaks of nasty people, who are bitchy throughout this moon, quick to criticize, impatient, psychic vampires. But from the viper's poison comes the tonic of life. The Ash is tall, straight, grounded in earth. It speaks of an inner calm and stillness. And like the Oak, it tempts the lightening flash of change.
Negative Ash energies: If you are out of balance in your male and female psyches, you will really suffer during this moon. Women become the demonic feminine; men become utterly intolerable. Even if you are fairly balanced, you can still feel the impatience and strong emotions of this moon. The Yang energies are just below the surface, waiting to burst forth with the Spring Equinox. These energies can lead to tension within ourselves, causing us to feel restless and impatient, and even to lash out at others when they don t do things our way. Ash energies can also fill us with frenetic energy, at just the time when we need to be calm, to try to reach an inner stillness. Remember your lessons of compassion, sensitivity, and awareness.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Ash: Impatiens and Vervain.


Fourth Moon
Glyph - I am a shining tear of the sun
Bird - Crown, Gull
Day - Saturday
Color - Crimson, green, brown, royal purpose
Healing -
Mysteries - The Need Of Women's Rule (TNOWR), Whistle Away Doubts, Divination of Hope, A New Beginning

Substitute: Dogwood

Alder is the time of birthing, of rebirth, after the inception in Birch, the quickening in Rowan, and the premature urgings of Ash. Alder occurs near the Spring Equinox, a time of balance. In Alder, we also have the balance of yin and yang, male and female, fire and water. Alder grows in and around water, yet is known for its ability to make charcoal and gunpowder. Alder pilings lift buildings out of the water, and in the same way, Alder acts to lift our spirits out of the waters of the first three moons, and onto the dry land of the spring and summer months ahead. Alder also acts as a bridge between the two halves of the year, connecting and balancing the fire and water aspects, and the male and female sides of ourselves.
Easter, which is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, is derived from Ishtar/Ostara/Eostara. Our word estrogren may be derived from this. Ishtar is the goddess of conception and birth; the hare, a symbol of regeneration and feminine energy, is sacred to her. Eggs are also symbols of regeneration, and a red egg is a symbol of rebirth. Alder is sacred to Bran the Blessed and to Cronos (Saturn). Saturn represents the clearing of old ways, habits and thinking. This is a time for letting go of such things, clearing out the confusion, a time for re-birth. Alder is also sacred to Fairie kings and elf kings. Alder has four colors associated with it: purple (Crown chakra), red (life, mana, blood, rebirth), brown (earth), and green (faeries, little people). These four colors speak of emotion, respect, reverence, harmony; an understanding of the natural order of life; awe, respect and reverence for life. From the word Alder comes elder (not the tree); elder kings.
You can use the energies of this moon to reconnect with the earth, and bring your inner natures into balance. Now that the storms of Ash have passed, we can quit trying to attack each other, and learn to work together in harmony, especially with the opposite sex. A leftover effect of Ash is that the men are pretty fed up with the women. Be sensitive to each other now, act responsibly, and understand how your actions can affect others. This must be done now, when the balanced energies of nature are all around us, or things will get really out of kilter by Holly moon.
Alder is also known as the crying moon. A worthy birth is always attended by tears. Alder is the antidote for doubt and confusion. The hardest thing to overcome in this moon is self- doubt and doubts about others, but these are a natural consequence of new beginnings and birthings, when we look toward the year ahead. This is a good time to honestly examine these doubts, so you will know what you have to deal with in the future moons. The Alder can help you through this, and give you joy and hope for the future.
Negative Alder energies: Doubt, both about yourself and about others. Confusion, uncertainty, hopelessness, depression, a feeling of being bogged down. You may also tend to be insensitive to others, and be unintentionally cruel.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Alder: Gentian, Larch, and Cerato.


Fifth Moon
Glyph - I am a hawk on a cliff
Bird - Hawk
Color - Green
Day - Monday
Healing - Fevers and headaches
Mysteries - Divination of the Future, Purification as Preparation, Seeking New Horizons

By now, we have experienced the rejuvenation and rebirth of Birch, the rise of energy and the sowing of seeds and goals in Rowan, the premature urgings for movement in Ash, and the burst of life in Alder. Willow is sacred to Hecate, the Crone, or death, aspect of the Triple Goddess. May Day or Beltane occurs in or near Willow moon, bringing with it the death themes of the Sacrificial King and the Wicker Man, which was constructed of Willow (another name for Willow is 'wicker').
Willow is the tree of death and rebirth. A Willow branch can re-root quite easily, experiencing "rebirth" after "death." It also serves as the Rod of Rebirth, for a rebirth of dedication by those who haven't made a decision. Willow is also associated with the rebirth aspects of May Day, as in the rebirth of the King, the goddess Flora, and the Queen of Spring.
Willow teaches us to learn from our experiences, both past and future. In order to gain the most from the moons ahead, we now need to release ourselves from burdens of the past which will hinder our future growth. Prior convictions often become obstacles blocking our progress. In this way, the Willow represents the death, or release, of the past in order to wholly integrate experiences and lessons in the future. This does not mean, however, that the fruits of past achievements should be forgotten. Those achievements got you here and will provide the foundation for the experiences to come.
Willow also brings with it the desire to abandon the past and the present in search of new beginnings. Look carefully at where you are standing physically, emotionally, and experientially. Survey your environment and the people whom you affect. The glyph of this moon, "I am a hawk on a cliff," speaks of an ability to see clearly, to make decisions. The hawk has to decide whether or not to fly from the cliff. If the time is right and the possible outcomes have been sufficiently examined, spread your wings and fly off into new horizons of experience.
Be aware, however, that this may not be the right time for flight. If so, sit back and wait; do not act hastily. The lessons needed for growth may lie within your reach now, and later, as the Wheel of the Year turns, you will know the appropriate time to move. In the meantime, you may want use the energies of this moon for rebirth, or rededication to your goals.
Negative Willow energies: Willow's "stay or go," "do or don't" energies can lead to indecision and confusion. Also, if our desire for flight is not satisfied, we may begin to resent others whom we perceive are doing things we can't. Resentment may be felt against a perceived harsh trial, anger, unfairness, love rejected, invasion of boundaries. Yet, most often during this month, we feel resentment for no apparent reason or provocation.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Willow: Scleranthus, Wild Oat, Cerato, and Willow.


Sixth Moon
Glyph - I am fair among flowers
Bird - Night Crow
Color - Darkest Black
Healing - Returning balance to the blood, nerves and spirit, Cleansing, Tonify heart
Mysteries - A Time Apart and Alone, Chastity, Cleansing for Rebalance, Purging of the Body and Spirit

Substitute: Crab Apple

Hawthorn is time of fasting, spiritual healing, cleaning out the body, abstinence. It is a time of restraint, a time to clear away both the spiritual and physical deadwood and old habits; a time of clarity in which you can strengthen your dedication and focus. This was the time when the Romans and Greeks cleansed and purified the temples in preparation for mid-summer celebrations.
Hawthorn is associated with May Day, which is usually associated with sex and fertility. But we are celebrating the fertility of nature in general, not of people, and of our inner selves. The May Pole symbolizes the male or yang energies rising up from the earth. A wreath of flowering Hawthorn is placed over the top of the Maypole to represent the female and male energies combined. Hawthorn 'transforms a man of dominance to a donkey that he may carry the straw.' This may mean he should get in touch with his own feminine side before his feminine side gets in 'touch' with him.
A lot of people feel in "rut" right now, but instead of running off in the woods and having lots of sex, you should refrain, and re-channel those energies into spiritual and emotional growth. Hawthorn is the moon of purification and creative (as opposed to fertility-oriented) uses of sexual energies. This is not the time for unrestrained sexual activity. People are much more sensitive and vulnerable, and can be hurt by misplaced lust. Experience love instead. Hold out now, wait for the Summer Solstice. That is the time of consumation, physically and otherwise. Use this time to nurture your inner feelings. Hawthorn heals the heart, literally - it is used as a cardiac medicine.
Hawthorn is a good time for women to tonify, and not over-use, their reproductive organs, because otherwise they can get out of whack come mid-summer, or Holly moon. Temper the sexual drive, tonify the sexual energy. Don't overdo it, or you could have a blowout at Solstice. It is also a good time for both men and women to fast, to cleanse your own temple.
Your male and female energies, or yin and yang, should be combined and balanced. You cannot have one without the other. Just as procreation requires both sexes, so does a harmonious inner self. When the male and female energies are in balance, the two 'halves' can come together and create a 'psychic child,' the fruit of both; a higher, more evolved consciousness.
Hawthorn's glyph is "I am a guardian of the boundaries, and at night I fly alone." This is a time to travel alone, into the 'dark,' your inner self. Travel inwardly, searching your soul, and become cleansed and rebalanced. The sharp thorns of Hawthorn will help protect your outer and spiritual boundaries. This moon should be a time apart from people, a time for becoming closer to the nature spirits. A time for abstinence from humans; an opportunity to join with the elements, and to nature. Use the increased sexual energy of Hawthorn to form a stronger bond with Nature. Just as your energies are easily released at this time, so are Nature's.
Negative Hawthorn energies: A feeling of uncleanliness, a feeling of being blocked up. Women may find that the men around them have become irritable and testosterone-ridden. Women may be too focused on their feminine energies, however, which leads to insensitivity and manipulation. You may be focused entirely on physical pleasures, to the exclusion of all else, including your spiritual growth. You may feel burdened by hangers-on or toxicities.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Hawthorn: Crab Apple.


Seventh Moon
Glyph - I am a god who sets the head afire with smoke
Bird - Wren
Color - Black
Day - Thursday
Healing - Cleansing and strength, bleeding problems
Mysteries - Creation/Destruction, Divination, Ecstasy of Victory/Change, Need for Root, Willingness for Change

The Celtic Lunar Tree Calendar is composed of 13 lunations, Birch through Elder. The lunar year is divided into two halves; Birch-Oak, and Holly-Elder. The Gaelic for Oak is Duir, meaning 'door,' and Oak is also the hinge on which the door of the year swings. We are, therefore, standing at the door into the other half of the year - on one side is the past, and on the other awaits the future.
All your experiences of the past six moons come into being now. If you learned your lessons well, beginning with the first and most basic, sensitivity, compassion, awareness, and communication, and have gotten yourself in balance, you will experience the victory of this time of year. If you planted your "seeds" well in Rowan, watered and nourished them, you will reap the benefits.
However, if you did not pay attention to these lessons, you may experience a very difficult time now. One way or the other, you are going to pass into the next half of the year, whether gracefully, victoriously, or dragged kicking and screaming. It's your choice, and now is your last chance to use the yang energies of the season to set things right.
Oak is known as the tree of strength and endurance, and for its attraction for fire in the form of lightening (Summer Solstice usually occurs during Oak). A saying for this moon is 'If your roots are as deep as your branches are high, tempt the lightening flash.' This speaks of trial by fire, which can either destroy you, or temper you. This is the moon of creation wrought from destruction, of ecstasy and trial by fire; a time of sacrifice.
Oak speaks of whirling round without motion, the wheel spinning on the hub. At this point in time we are standing still while things are moving around us. This is a good time to look back on the past, to get things together, for when we pass through the door into the next half of the year, we will be in effect passing through the fire of the Summer Solstice.
Negative Oak energies: Ecstasy, but an inability to slow down and appreciate things. Over-working, high-stress situations, never asking for help from others, rigidity in one's outlook, despondency, despair, but continuing to fight. Never-ceasing effort, great strength, but can get stuck in a rut. Uncertainty about things, both past and future.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Oak: Oak.


Eighth Moon
Glyph - I am a battle-waging spear
Bird - Starling
Color - Green/Gray
Day - Tuesday
Healing - Fever preventative medicine
Mysteries - Invulnerability, Preventative Protection, Watchfulness, Good Omen, Travel

Holly, like Birch, is the first moon in a new cycle. Holly is the first moon of the dark half of the year. The lessons learned in Birch: self-discipline, self-authority, sensitivity, and awareness, and reiterated in each successive moon, will be most necessary in this second half of the year.
Summer Solstice is the time when in mythology, the Oak King is slain by his twin, or tanist, the Holly King, who rules until the Winter Solstice, when he in turn is slain by his tanist, the Oak King. Tanist is related to the tannin found in an Oak tree; Oak and Holly are two sides of the same coin, the end of one cycle and the beginning of the next.
This battle between the twins speaks of the battle going on within ourselves. Within each of us is an anima and an animus, a yin and yang, a masculine and feminine side. After the Summer Solstice, the yang energies begin decline, and the yin energies are coming to the forefront. We are entering the time of the unconscious, the dark side, of going within, introspection. But we still have yang energies at this time, too. If you are not fully balanced within, if you still have complexes or hang-ups, then your dark half may have to "battle" your light half, your yang self, to come out, to be able to express itself. And of course, if you yourself are unhappy, unbalanced, and on edge, you are going to lash out at everyone else. This is the predominant energy at this time of year. Anger, hatred, jealousy, suspicion. We are easily provoked, and walk around like sharp prickly pine cones.
Even if you are fairly well balanced and happy, as your unconscious starts emerging, it will cause some strong emotions and instability as things are stirred up that you haven't noticed before. But if you've learned your lessons well, you will recognize these feelings for what they are, will be aware of their effect on you and on others around you, and you will be sensitive and compassionate, both to yourself and to others. The opposite of hate is love, and that is what is needed right now to weather these intense emotions. And ultimately, your goal is to pull the two halves of yourself together into one whole, balanced, being.
Negative Holly energies: Anger, hatred, jealousy, suspicion, irritability, impatience. May feel like everyone is gunning for you, that everyone is out to get you. May feel like you're being torn down the middle. Flip-flopping back and forth. Also fear of the unconscious mind.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Holly: Holly, Scleranthus.


Ninth Moon
Glyph - I am a salmon in the pool
Bird - Crane
Color - Brown
Day - Wednesday
Healing -
Mysteries - Divination-Dowsing, Wisdom-Knowledge, Food for Thought/The Matter in a Nutshell, Inspiration, Achievement Through Pain, The Value of Time and Patience

Hazel is known as the hermit moon. After the turbulence of Oak and Holly, and the preparatory meditations of Hawthorn, comes a time of rest and reflection. We now withdraw to collect ourselves and to let the lessons of the last few moons coalesce. Holly stirred up unresolved emotions and pain. If you have not been able to fully reconcile these feelings, Hazel gives us the wisdom to wait until a better time. If, however, you have reconciled your feelings and your past, Hazel is the time to complete the separation from your burdens.
This is also a time for caution, as the exhaustion caused by intense emotions and feelings of disappointment and pain released in this moon will blur our sight. This is the moon of decision and forethought, not heedless action. The pain of our past experiences now mold us and shape us, and allow us to open ourselves to inspiration and wisdom from above, from our High Self. This inspiration can only come when we have quieted ourselves, when we have dealt with our past issues, and when we stop trying so hard.
Celtic legend tell of a grove of Hazel trees below which was a well, a pool, where salmon swam. These trees contained all knowledge, and their fruit contained that knowledge and wisdom in a nutshell. As the hazelnuts ripened, they would fall into the well where they were eaten by the salmon. With each nut eaten, the salmon would gain another spot. In order to gain the wisdom of the Hazel, the Druids caught and prepared the salmon. But Fionn, the young man stirring the pot in which the salmon were cooking, accidently burned his thumb with the boiling stew. By reflex, he put his thumb into his mouth and thus ingested the essence of the sacred feast; he instantly gained the wisdom of the universe.
Fionn only gained the wisdom after the pain of burning his thumb. From this story we see the lesson of wisdom through pain and experience. True wisdom comes only after years of trial and error, after years of gain and loss, after many experiences of joy and pain. It is said the Hazel tree takes nine years to bear fruit from the time of planting; nine years of experience before it will imbue its fruit (or offspring) with its essence. A Hindu teaching says, 'keep to yourself what you have been taught until it is yours to share,' for only then can it truly be taught again. Hazel asks us to learn the values of time, patience, and experience, and allows us to express ourselves in art, poetry and music.
Negative Hazel energies: Feeling separate from the world, feeling unsociable. Exhaustion, emotional pain. Failure to learn from experience, repeating the same mistakes over and over.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Hazel: Chestnut Bud.


Hazelnut Recipes - Courtesy of Northwest Hazelnut Company

Dundee Hazelnuts - Our Favorite Recipes

Chef Specialty Recipes from The Hazelnut Council

The Hazelnut Growers Of Oregon


Tenth Moon
Blackberry Vine
Glyph - I am a hill of poetry
Animals - Snake, titmouse
Color - Variegated
Healing - Bleeding, wounds, need of tonic
Mysteries - Joy, Exhilaration, Growth/Eternity, Remembering, Inspiration, Returning Reincarnation

Substitute: Honeysuckle, wild grape

The inspiration for poetry begins in Hazel, but Vine is truly the poet's moon. Vine is a hill of poetry, artistry, inspiration and imagination all overflowing upon the very fabric of our being. Vine is a tonifying, healing moon, a time to heal ourselves from the punches we took in Holly, and from the exhaustion we felt in Hazel. We feel joy and sorrow, exhilaration and wrath, all at once. This is a time of healing through creativity. We may begin to express this time of inspiration and imagination and not even realize it. We may redo a room, rearrange our furniture, start writing, or start working on holiday presents. We feel a lot of energy inside, and may have a hundred different ideas that we want to accomplish. We are now as the Vine is; eager, light, limber, growing at an amazing rate, yet solid and very diversified.
As in most moons, Vine has a dual nature, seen in the image of the poet, who has his feet resting in the grave even as his head touches upon wisdom and his prophecy is inspired. Vine is also the moon of true completion; this is the end of one cycle and the time just before the beginning of the next.
The Vine also gives us wine, the traditional drink of the poet. The Vine is sacred to Dionysus, Osiris, and Bacchus. Be careful not to become drunk on the fruit of the vine, however, for then we slip from creativity into sloppiness and stupidity.
A symbol for this moon is the spiral, a form seen throughout nature and in all life forms. The spiral has no beginning and no ending. During Vine, the veil of time has thinned, and you can step out of this time and place, into the Once-Upon-a-Time. Vine tells us to remember our past, remember our future. This is an excellent time for divination, for looking within ourselves.
In this way, the poet in all of us is able to reflect on past experiences and future wisdom, and gain inspiration. However, inspiration is not a thing of time, but a thing outside of time. That which is timeless, infinite, and divine cannot be reached through the conscious mind. The mind is only a product of time; it cannot function without time, knowledge (the accumulation of experience), and thought. The rational, thinking, commanding and calculating mind - all of these are Yang aspects, and they block our minds from inspiration.
Negative Vine energies: Strong emotions, ups and downs, extremes of joy and wrath. Living in the past, refusing to change. Strong opinions, rigidity of thinking.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Vine: Honeysuckle and Vine.


Eleventh Moon
Glyph - I am a ruthless boar
Bird - Mute Swan
Color - Blue
Healing - Sedative, regulator of the nerves
Mysteries - Restraint of Fear, Base Emotion, Seeking Moderation, Constraint of Lower Nature (Strength)

Ivy symbolizes rebirth and resurrection. It is one of the two sacred plants that grows spirally, the other being Vine. The spiral symbolizes reincarnation, from lifetime to lifetime, and from minute to minute, day to day. Vine was a moon of lessons; a moon of difficulty for many. In Ivy we learn that all lessons and difficulties are just transitional phases, just as death is a transition from lifetime to lifetime. The desperation and frustration leading into Ivy becomes renewed hope once we see there is light at the end of the tunnel. Life has not come to a dead end; we were simply dealing with needed lessons, and now we move on.
Ivy is also a time of release, emotionally. Some of the strongest ales were made with Ivy (another reason that Ivy symbolized resurrection is that its essence lives on in its wine). Ales serve as a good way to consume Ivy s energies and to drift in relaxation for awhile. If you get too intoxicated, wear a wreath of ivy on your head.
In Ivy, the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest. We struggle between clarity and confusion. As you drift around searching for clarity, you find yourself bombarded with confusing messages and unclear ideas. You may discover that while you feel you are clear on an issue, there is still a part of you that is not so sure.
It is also during this time of year that the female energies are at their strongest. How you experience this moon will be determined by how balanced you are in your masculine and feminine energies. Feminine energies are nearing their peak now; and women begin to feel stronger and more in tune to those around them. On the other hand, men seem to have crossed a line into absolute chaos. This is why some women appear to be very dominating over the men in the lives around this time of year.
This tug-of-war between clarity and confusion, and yin and yang, is best symbolized by the legend of the Wild Hunt. In one form it is depicted as a roebuck fleeing through a thicket, pursued by a hunter, who hopes to ensnare the creature in his net. Psychologically speaking, the roebuck is the out-of-control yang energies and the Low Self. The Low Self is our child-like unconscious which drives our base instincts and emotions. The hunter and the net are symbolic of the yin energies and the Middle Self; which is our rational, conscious self. The capture of the roebuck in the net represents the Low Self/yang being reigned in and integrated with the Middle Self/yin.
Negative Ivy energies: Confusion, indecision, wild, unrestrained feelings, intoxication, drunkenness.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Ivy: Vine, Wild Oat and Scleranthus.


Twelfth Moon
Glyph - I am a threatening noise of the sea
Bird - Owl and Wild Goose
Color - Green
Healing - With the Planta genista for overindulgence
Mysteries - Discipline, Protection of the Home Against Climate, and Security, Joy of Music, Preparation for Protection

Reed is the coming death of the year, when we hear the death rattle; the wind blowing through the dry reed beds. We hear the screech of the owl: Hecate's messenger. Our emotions include fear, terror, and anticipation, because we returning to the unconscious. Reed is the time of change. During Reed we should protect ourselves and our home; this was done traditionally with a roof made of reeds, and arrows made from the reed. The fear we feel now can be tempered by companionship of others, and music, which also comes from the reed, as in flutes and Pan Pipes.
Negative Reed energies: Fear, terror, panic, the anticipation that something terrible is about to happen, fear of change. If you did not reign in your Low Self in Ivy, your base emotions may run rampant now, or you may feel like repressing them, which can have serious consequences.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Reed: Rock Rose, Cherry Plum, and Sweet Chestnut.


Thirteenth Moon
Glyph - I am a wave of the sea
Bird - Rook
Color - Blood-Red
Healing - Purification of the inner and outer body, Ills from cold weather
Mysteries - Passage of the Old/Nourishment of the New, Sacrifice of the Lower Nature, Renewal of Spiritual Self, Preparation by Sacrifice

Elder is the Death moon. The wave returns to the sea. It is a time of frenetic energy, yet we feel adrift and alone. Soon things will break loose, bringing feeling of relief. Elder brings new growth out of the old shell. An antidote to the intense feelings of this moon are music (which can be made from elder branches by pushing out the pith), joy, and companionship.
Negative Elder energies: Fear, anxiety, uncertainty, depression, feelings of abandonment and isolation. We may feel a sense of abandonment, isolation; of the tide going out without us. Many people feel depressed due to the solar tide and the shorter days.
Overcoming these negative energies: take a wand from the tree. Possible Bach Flowers for Elder: Red Chestnut, Walnut, and Star of Bethlehem.

The Day(s) Apart

The Day Apart is the left-over day or days which occur between the Winter Solstice and the beginning of the Birch moon; sometimes it's on the day of the Winter Solstice. This left-over day is the equivalent of a leap-day, and serves as a way of lining up the lunar calendar with the solar year.
The Day Apart is also seen in the expression, 'A year and a day,' of Irish and Welsh myths. This stems from the calendar of the British Isles, and denotes a lunar year of 13 lunations of 28 days each (364 days), plus the extra day to make 365. This extra day is the Day of (the birth of) the Divine Child. This 'son of a virgin mother' is always born at the Winter Solstice, and refers to the Sun King, or the Oak King; the young sun who defeats the darkness of winter, and will grow in strength until the Summer Solstice. Physically, of course, this symbolizes the lengthening of the days, which occurs after the Winter Solstice.
The Day Apart is thus a day out of time, apart from the normal year, and on such days, magical things can occur.