of the God Bran
month of the Celtic Tree calendar, March 18 - April 14
Fourth consonant of the Ogham alphabet
Element: Fire and Water
Symbolism: Release, Shield and Foundation, Determination, Discrimination and Inner Confidence, Royalty
Stone: Amethyst, Lapis Lazuli (understanding the mind)
Birds: Hawk, Seagulls, Raven
Deity: Bran, Apollo, Odin, King Arthur
Folk Names: Owler
Alder bark treated inflammations, rheumatism, and diarrhea. Bags filled with heated alder leaves helped with chronic skin diseases and burns. A gargle made from leaves and bark cured mouth ulcers and soothed tonsillitis. Alder oil and essence resonate with the Muscular System and can relieve stiffness and damp diseases, enabling us to move forward with flexibility and comfort.
Alder helps you face up to the things you've been avoiding.
It also was believed that Alder allowed access into the faery realms.
Alder tree essence is invigorating, and it also reduces nervousness and anxiety.
Spells to aid success in your business and academic ventures work well at this time of year. Sow the seeds of your success now.
Alder roots enrich the soil, and its timber resists decay.
When immersed in water it hardens to the toughness of stone.
Because it was the source of fine strongly colored dyes, it was associated with the art of fabric making and the Goddesses of spinning. Alder reminds us of the need to blend strength and courage with generosity of spirit and compassion.
A Celtic Oracle of Avalon
by Katherine Torres, Ph.D.
Alder brings the delight of spring into your steps. She urges you to act on your desires without worry or fret. She empowers you with vigor. Her delightful orange face compels excitement within you and the knowing that the wisdom you have been gathering can now be used. Share it with others or move on your own, but Go For It, no matter what you are experiencing at this time.
Alder let me see your
Brightness and readiness
Strength and Knowing
Intensity of Action
And youthful vigor
For in this exchange I can
GO FOR IT.
from The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford
The Alder is a tree that
supports and protects physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Its associations
with both weapons and shields reminded the ancient Celts that part of the skill
of the warrior lies in knowing when to take up the sword and when to take up the
shield. Although an alder shield will protect you and give you courage and an
alder-forged weapon will help you defend yourself, ultimately the most important
aspect of the warrior is his or her intent. This is the key to success or
failure. They alder reminds us of the need to blend strength and courage with
generosity of spirit and compassion. There is a time to challenge things and a
time to hold our peace. The alder teaches us this discrimination and the need to
see beneath the surface of things. It combines the desire for self-preservation
with the desire to serve and emphasizes the need for a firm foundation to stand
by Gillian Kemp
The Alder Tree, a symbol of strength and battle, shows that you will win a battle. You may need to martial inner conflict.
The Alder's orange-red sap is associated with blood and war. An explosive argument may occur because gunpowder was made from the Alder, but so too were shields, so you are protected from farm in a challenge. You will be meeting new males and females who may become friends, predicted by the green and yellow catkins.
The males become cones; the females turn into cone-like growths. It could happen even if the chances appear slim, just as this slender, slightly branched tree
can survive almost anywhere. Victory is achieved.
The Great Goddess - Eostar
Spring Returns, the sin warms the soil. Seeds awaken, pushing roots into dark earth. Shoots push up into the light, and sap rises as trees break into leaf.
Eostar was the ancient, Germanic Goddess of the spring. Her colorful eggs are the symbols of renewed life. The magical, fertile hare, that leaps up from the fields just as the life force leaps up within us, was her sacred animal.
Day and night are balanced now. Justice means balance - balancing one set of needs against another, balancing what we take with what we give. May justice arise, cracking through the deadening systems of oppression like grass breaking through pavement.
Plant a seed, this springtime. Hold it in your hand, and envision a world in which we live in balance with nature, at peace with one another, where creativity and love can flourish. Place your seed in the earth. Water and tend it as you tend those qualities and take those actions which can bring that world to birth.
Starhawk 2007, and We’Moon’08
The alder is amazingly resistant to water. As a result, it was often used in construction under water, from bridges to foundations to stilts for homes located close to rivers. This resistance makes the alder a powerful force in psychic battles.
If you were born under this sign, you have tremendous courage
in the face of obstacles and the power to win in disputes. Watch for a tendency
to create wars where there are none, and be careful not to dissipate your
strength through engaging in meaningless debate.
time of the Spring Equinox, or Ostara, the Alder is flourishing on
riverbanks, roots in the water, bridging that magical space between both
heaven and earth. The Alder month, called Fearn by the Celts, and
pronounced fairin, is a time for making spiritual decisions, magic
relating to prophecy and divination, and getting in touch with your own
intuitive processes and abilities. Alder flowers and twigs are known as
charms to be used in Faerie magic. Whistles were once made out of Alder
shoots to call upon Air spirits, so it's an ideal wood for making a pipe
or flute if you're muscially inclined.
Alder month is the right time to find a way of expressing our hopes and dreams for the New Year, forgiving any leftover angers and coming to terms with what's written in our own Book of Destiny. The Alder grows quickly and its energy can help us move along our Path, forgiving and accepting others and ourselves. For example, if there is a dispute with neighbors, Alder could be planted to restore harmony and turn anger into beauty.
Spells to aid
success in your business and academic ventures work well at this time of
year. Sow the seeds of your success now.
by Liz and Colin Murray
If you felled a sacred Alder, it was said that your house would be burned to the ground.
Woodman, spare that tree!
O alder, thou art hostile,
delightful is thy hue,
thou art not rending and prickling
in the gap wherein thou art.
taken from "Buile Suibhne Geilt,"
an Irish legend known as the "Frenzy of Mad Sweeney"
Image: Looking up an Alder Tree in Humbolt County, CA
Original photography by Allison Reed
The Fairy Bible
by Teresa Moorey
The Alder Tree is delicate in appearance, but is tremendously strong and is linked, as are many trees, with the creation of humans, for Irish legend tells how the first man was made from alder, and the first woman from rowan. Such stories indicate that our deepest essence is connected to that of trees - physically, karmically, and spiritually.
Alder has the gift of not decaying in water, so it is used to make bridges. Possibly because of this it is associated with the Welsh god-giant, Bran, who made his body into a bridge across the River Shannon, to invade Ireland and come to the aid of his sister, Branwen. The Welsh were victorious, but Bran was slain. His head - still living, and still possessing oracular powers - was buried in the White Hill of London, and the ravens that inhabit the Tower of London are Bran's sacred birds. It is said that England will not fall while they live there. The alder fairy may fly forth in the form of a raven. He can impart all the secrets of good defense to you, teach you how to look for omens in bird flight and develop the gift of prophecy.
The Song of the Alder Fairy
by Cicely Mary Barker
The Song of the Alder Fairy
by Cicely Mary Barker
Alder is a charm against malevolent fairies.
Water sprites are said to protect alder trees, so be cautious of cutting one down.
The Green Man Tree Oracle
has a strong association with defence. It weaves a spell of protection
to guard against attack, be it of a country or an individual. In Celtic
myth, we read of palisades of alders that deter invasion or keep
prisoners confined, and these fences are sometimes described as being
decorted by a row of severed human heads. But Alder needs no such
grisly displays - it offers a wholehearted defence, if necessary with a
fearsome aspect. Your own deep instincts know when someone or something
is threatening your boundaries, or when your personal territory is
invaded. If you do not comand it to leave, if you do not defend your
space, then you dishonour yourself by giving away your power. The
appearance of Alder in a reading suggests a need to defend your
territory or to clear the way before you.
I honor the energy of alder, for the protection of my inner oracle.
I will listen to the voice of the Goddess Within.
So mote it be.