Last week’s blog was more in depth than this one will be as there is no need to repeat basics every week. If you wish to read those as you’re only coming in on the subject today, please visit A Beginner’s Understanding of Ogham Divination, Part 1for the details you will miss in this blog.
The Rowan has always been a tree of great protection. Every part of a Rowan tree can be used in creating charms and amulets from the bark to the wood to the berry. Even the centre of the Rowan berry carries a five-pointed star or pentagram, which is in itself, a symbol of protection. You can learn more about the Rowan tree by reading my blog, The Magickal Rowan Tree.
This week we shall look at the Ogham letter, Luis, which is pertaining to the Rowan tree. It is the second consonant of the Ogham alphabet and corresponds to the English letter, “L”. It is the Celtic birth tree for those born between 21 January – 17 February. The symbol represents protection, blessings, and insightfulness. If you visit our shop online, you can usually find various charms/amulets made from Rowan wood as Rowan sticks have been fashioned into charms of protection throughout the ages not just by Pagans but Christians alike. Below I have set forth some useful information about divination with the Ogham letter Luis and what it will mean when drawn, as well as how to deal with the outcome of the reading for the day [or for the person whom you are divining for].
Divination Meaning: Be aware in all things. Your intuitions are keen, therefore, trust your judgements with people you encounter and do not allow yourself to be complacent.
How to Mend the Problem: You must keep your senses about you to distinguish between good and evil. In doing so, you will not be beguiled or swayed from your beliefs and understanding. Be not afraid! Your sense of purpose and strength will turn away all which threatens your purpose and serenity. Believe in yourself.
Such a plethora of information could be given on the Apple tree I would do well to write a book! But, I imagine somebody has probably done so already. So many varieties, so much lore…so let us only speak of the common Apple tree mostly and the folklore which surrounds it according to the Druids and Magickal community. Who doesn’t love a good Apple story? Everyone loved Snow White and how the evil queen put her to sleep with the poisonous apple. Snow White, mind you, did not spring to life from Mr Disney’s imagination but has been a fairy tale since Medieval times. In fact, the story made the Medieval church of the times believe that enchanted apples could be given to a victim to cause demonic possession. How times have changed!
In Celtic tradition, the Other-Worldly Avalon was also known as the Avallach, the Isle of Apples, ruled by Fairy Queen, Morgan le Fay (Freeman, page 196). This is the land of faeries and the dead, where King Arthur was taken to be healed by his sister, Morgan. Like their cousins to the North, the Celts attributed the power of healing and youth, or rebirth, to apples. Apples are one of the magickal trees part of the Celtic Ogham tree alphabet, its Ogham name being Quert.
“The gifts of the Apple Fairy are everlasting youth and beauty, although sadly such matters often give rise to strife…. The apple fairy invites us to enjoy sensuous pleasures of all descriptions, in the knowledge that there is plenty to go around, and that nothing that is truly ours can ever be taken away from us.” ~ From The Fairy Bible, Teresa Moorey
The Apple tree is very much a symbol of rebirth and reincarnation. Apple branches have been carried in funeral cortèges as a symbol of reincarnation. In The Poetic Edda, eleven apples are given as a present to keep the Aesir ageless. Buckets of apples were found in the 9th century Oseberg ship burial site in Norway and fruit [and nuts] have been found in the early graves of the Germanic peoples in England. In Norse tradition, the Apple is the tree of immortality. The Goddess Idunn was the keeper of the apples, which she fed the Norse Gods and Goddesses to keep them forever young. Apple wands were also used in Norse love rituals. To the Norse, apples represented long life, wisdom and love.
Love. Love spells and offerings of Apples have long been tradition. There is an old Scottish custom of eating an apple on Samhain night whilst gazing into the mirror. Legend says that you will see your true love reflected there.
Spell for Love
Use a crab-apple, or a cultivated apple if you don’t have crab-apples available. If possible, use one that you have hand-picked. Carve the initials of the one you love and desire, and your own initials, in a ring around the apple. Bury it in the ground, or commit it to a body of water. adapted from Whispers from the Woods, by Sandra Kynes
Apples have form for being brilliant healing fruits, firstly by eating one but in other ways as well. Apples are particularly good for any kind of healing magic. They can be used to invoke a healing goddess into a Witch or Druid, who then can employ ‘laying on of hands’ on the patient. For long distance healing, the apple wand can be used as a catalyst to send the healing energy to the patient, or can be charged with healing power and given to the patient at a later time. If the laying on of hands is not your style, you can use an Apple wand over the ill person. Have him or her lie on the ﬂoor, and pass the wand lying over their solar plexus or heart chakra, to help him/her take in the healing energy the group is raising. There are unlimited variations and ideas for using the energy of Apple to heal.
Apples trees are sacred to the Druids as an-t-uil-oc [Mistletoe], is often found on Apple trees. This makes the Apple tree an especially holy tree to the Druids, along with the Oak. The Apple Tree is closely linked to Druids in their aspect as magicians and shamans. Bards and Shamans carried apple branches/wands (with bronze, silver, or gold bells), called the Craobh Ciuil (Branch of Reason), as symbols of their ofﬁce (Blamires, page 142).
The Ogham name for Apple is ‘Quert, the tenth month of the Celtic Tree calendar, 2nd September – 29th September by some charts, although the one we use lists Vine as this month’s Ogham. It is the tenth consonant of the Ogham alphabet. According to the Word Ogham of Óengus, Quert is the ‘force of a man’, or the epitome of health and vitality in a man or woman. The apple is in the heart of the ogham grove, and is the source of life. It is from the apple that we receive healing, renewal, regeneration and wholeness, especially after being wounded, exhausted, or ill (Mountfort, page 100). Pulling the ogham stave Quert is a mandate to rest and heal yourself from strife, illness, fatigue, or injury. It is an invitation to regain your sense of wholeness and connection with nature.
Symbolism: Love & Trust, Health, Garden Magick
Stone: Emerald, Rose Quartz
Colour: Yellow-Green, Pink
Deity: Demeter, Hera, Pomona, Frigga, Freya
Folk Names: Fruit of the Gods, Fruit of the Underworld,
Silver Branch, The Silver Bough, Tree of Love
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” – Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Many thanks for reading and warm blessings upon all whom this way wander x