The May Tree
Sixth month of the Celtic Tree calendar, May 13th - June 9
consonant of the Ogham alphabet
Huathe (Hoo-ah) - H
Hawthorn is burned to purify,
and draw faery to your eye.
Planet: Mars and Venus
Symbolism: Purification, sacred marriage
and male-female unity
Stone: Lapis Lazuli, Blue Calcite
Birds: Blackbird, Owl, Purple Martin
Color: Midnight Blue, Purple
Deity: Olwen, Blodeuwedd, Gardea,
Hymen, Hera, Virgin Mary
Sabbat: Beltane, May Day
Folk names: May bush, May tree, quickset,
thorn-apple tree, white thorn.
The flowers, leaves and fruits of the Hawthorn have properties that reduce blood pressure
and stimulate the heart, as well as act as a mild sedative.
In herbal medicine they treat heart and circulatory disorders, migraine,
menopausal conditions, angina, and insomnia.
The flowers are strongest as sedatives, and used externally can treat acne and skin blemishes.
The berries (also known as "Pixie Pears") contain Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C.
They can be crushed and used to ease diarrhea, dysentery, and kidney disorders.
It is strongly advised against self medication because of the its effects on the heart.
The tree essence cleanses the heart of negativity and stimulates love and forgiveness.
The Hawthorn is the tree most representative of the struggles the Christian Church had
in suppressing pagan beliefs and celebrations.
Hawthorn is respected as a tree of enchantment under the protection of the faery realms.
It guards wells and springs. Its beautiful flowers are said to help prayers reach heaven.
If you sit under a Hawthorn on May 1st you are liable to be whisked away for good to the faery underworld.
The blooms of the hawthorn are used in spells for fertility, happiness, and good luck in fishing.
To take a blossoming hawthorn branch inside one's house will cause their mother to die.
Wands made of this wood are of great power. The blossoms are highly erotic to men.
Hawthorn can be used for protection, love and marriage spells.
The original May Poles were made of Hawthorn
Hawthorn can be woven in to a growing fence called a Hedgerow.
These thorny barriers are very effective and have saved many villages from thieves and highwaymen.
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale
~John Milton L’Allegro
by Gillian Kemp
All will be well for you.
The Hawthorn has magical powers to ward off evil.
A happy turning point is forecast.
At dusk on May Eve, candles are lit on the Hawthorn,
or May tree as it is also known, to welcome Summer.
Bright gifts bringing happiness are coming; so, too, are positive signs. An upsetting situation is improving because the Hawthorn tree offers numerous medicinal remedies. But this twiggy thorny tree, with its white-stalked flowers with red anthers, also advises caution. Christ's crown of thorns was said to be of Hawthorn and, being the color of blood and bandages, traditionally it is unlucky to bring May blossom into the home.
Carefully gather a few thorns from the tree.
On a piece of paper, write the name of the person or situation from which you seek protection, and then wrap it around the thorns. Bury this in the ground - if possible near the tree from which the thorns were collected.
In England, the hawthorn is known as the mayflower tree in honor of the month during which it blooms.
Symbolizing hope, it was the name the Pilgrims took for their famous ship, The Mayflower.
LESSON OF THE HAWTHORN
from The Wisdom of Trees by Jane Gifford
The blossoming of the Hawthorn
marks the certain end
of the dark days of winter
and the return of the procreative forces
of nature to the fullness of spring.
The beautiful white flowers
give cause for celebration
of nature's capacity for renewed life
and love, and for the wonders of lovemaking,
conception, and childbirth.
For the Celts there was no shame
attached to these natural processes.
They were revered and respected
as an essential part of life,
and as a sacred expression
of the human capacity for love.
The Welsh Goddess Olwen,
the White Goddess of the Hawthorn,
once walked the empty universe
and her white track of Hawthorn petals
became the Milky Way.
Green grow the leaves on the Hawthorn tree.
We jangle and we wrangle
And we never can agree
~old English carol
Celtic Moon sign - Hawthorn Moon
hawthorn is a small tree that was often used for hedging, and it has a
reputation. Known to be both a sign of fertility and death, it was said
contain the knowledge of both reproduction and transformation. Both of
these processes take time - and if you were born under the sign of the
have an innate understanding of both the importance of process and the
for change. Your challenge is to use that understanding to guide you
undertaking new starts - don't rush. Wait, and prepare carefully.
Hawthorn is a prickly sort of plant with beautiful blossoms. Called
Huath by the ancient Celts, and pronounced Hoh-uh, the Hawthorn month is
a time of fertility, masculine energy, and fire. Coming right on the
heels of Beltane, this month is a time when male potency is high -- if
you're hoping to conceive a child, get busy this month! The Hawthorn has
a raw, phallic sort of energy about it -- use it for magic related to
masculine power, business decisions, making professional connections.
The Hawthorn is also associated with the realm of Faerie, and when the
Hawthorn grows in tandem with an Ash and Oak, it is said to attract the
Hawthorn Moon Magick:
on keeping a barrier between yourself and things that you don't want.
to push away old problems or lingering irritations. This is a sign
of fertility and death. If born under this sign you have an innate understanding
of the importance of process and the necessity for change.
The Faces of WomanSpirit
A Celtic Oracle of Avalon
by Katherine Torres, Ph.D.
Choices refining life
Emerge from the realm of transfiguration
Will I know or not know?
Will I respond or not respond?
Decisions. Decisions. Life’s a Joyful Game.
What choices are you ready to make?
The fair maiden who, the first of May,
Goes to the fields at the break of day
And washes in dew from the Hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be.
Nature’s Garden 1900
The Fairy Bible by Teresa Moorey
Along with oak and ash, hawthorn forms the “fairy triad” that is especially inviting to fairies. Hawthorn is, in some ways, the fairy tree, forming a portal to the fairy realms and holding strong magic. The hawthorn fairy offers access to the Otherworld, but also protects the unwary, so it is important to be patient with this spirit. She can enchant your life, bringing growth and fertility to all areas, and when the hawthorn flowers in spring, it represents the bridal gown of the young Goddess. Hawthorn is sacred to the Welsh sun goddess Olwen, the “white lady of the day.” Where she trod she left white footprints on hawthorn, and her father, Yspaddaden Pencawr, was “Giant Hawthorn.” Thirteen tasks were demanded of her suitor, Culhwych, before he could marry her and overcome the power of the giant. Thirteen is a number associated with the moon, for the moon makes 13 circuits of the zodiac to one of the sun. Thus the hawthorn suggests union: of sun and moon, male and female. The hawthorn fairy promises cleansing, fulfillment, guardianship, and fertility. Keeping grounded and practical is the best way to access her and use her gifts.
picture is The Hawthorn Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker
THE CELTIC TREE ORACLE
by Liz and Colin Murray
The Hawthorn card represents cleansing and chastity, bringing protection from the inner magical realms - in other words, a period of restraint, waiting or keeping oneself to oneself. Concentrate on mental rather than physical activity as a prelude to the spiritual fertilization, growth and harvesting what will follow, providing such preparation has been properly made as the pure white flowers of the Hawthorn turn to glowing red haws in the autumn.
Merlin and the Hawthorn Tree
from various sources, as told in Myths of the Sacred Tree by Moyra Caldecott
When Merlin was an old, old man (and none could give a count of all his years) a young girl came to King Arthur's court. Some said she was the handmaiden of the goddess who had emerged from the lake to give the sword Excalibur to Arthur. To look upon she was beautiful beyond belief, but none could see into her heart.
Her name was Vivien, and she watched the wonders of the court closely, soon becoming envious of Merlin's great powers. She determined to lear all she could from him and so beguiled him with her flattery and her beauty that he, sighing, followed her wherever she went and easily gave her secrets that were best kept hidden.
But Vivien was not satisfied with what she learned. She claimed that Merlin was teaching her no more than a child could learn. She wanted more and deeper mysteries to be revealed to her. He demurred, saying that she was not ready. Then, afreaid he would not be able to withstand her pleas and knowing that some mysteries were too dangerous and powerful to be entrusted to someone so young and unwise, he left the court and went across the sea to the forest of Broceliande in Brittany.
She followed him, weeping and telling him her heart was broken because he did not trust her.
At last, with a cunning alternation of the granting and the withholding of sexual favors, she wheedled out of him his last and most closely kept secret: how it was possible to imprison a man within a tree. Within seconds of obtaining knowledge of this spell she implemented it. The mighty Merlin, the wisest of all men, was confined forever within a cage of bark - a hawthorn tree.
OGHAM The Celtic Oracle
by Peter Pracownik and Andy Baggott
Intuition is the guide and protector on the spiritual path especially during times of dramatic change and growth. Listen to your heart, not your head, for the parts of your being that are wild and unconditioned by society have much to teach you at this time. Emotional and sexual balance must be maintained or enchantment will lead you astray. The nightcrow is an ally in the land of dreams and all night-visions can hold important information for those intuitive enough to read them. Likewise signs, omens and portents that come to you during the waking hours all have messages to be understood. Remember, everything is significant. An open heart nurtures an open mind.
Hawthorn is the magical protector of small birds and the fairy folk. It is said that at twilight where oak, ash and hawthorn grow together, the spirits of nature dance in celebration of Grandmother Earth's abundant beauty. Where it is found growing around sacred springs, you can be sure that access to the Otherworld is but a thought away, its thorns symbolising the psychic protection needed for all spiritual journeys.
Insight: Hawthorn reminds us that love can be beautiful, and to beware its hidden thorns.
Divinatory Meaning: If hawthorn has been brought to your awareness today, you may need to look into matters of the heart. Lke the hawthorn tree in flower, love is sometimes delightfully joyful. Long and steady relationships bear fruit that sustain us through life's cold and difficult passages. But beware the thorns hidden among the fruits and flowers. It has been said that a true lover's heart is always half broken, and that we tend to hurt those we love best.
Affirmation: O Hawthorn tree, harbinger of summer's light and of lovers' joyful unions, mau I be wise int he ways of love. Help me to celebrate love's fruitful blossoms even as I make light of its thorns.
A Druid's Herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine by Ellen Evert Hopman
The Green Man Tree Oracle
by John Matthews and Will Worthington
CHALLENGE OPENS THE WAY BEFORE US
Challenge does not always have to be threatening - it can also invite us to explore new territory, to test our strength and abilities to the limits. People climb mountains and undertake extreme sports to face the challenges these offer, and most would agree that the experience has given them new insight into their lives, as well as an abundance of energy. The fear and uncertainty that arise in the face of challenge can cause our actions to petrify into immobility, however. Wherever fear is present, power is also possible: one small change of approach and attitude can transmute fear into power, inability into ability, and uncertainty into daring. Your challenge need be no more than simply admitting to yourself that your life is in a rut, and accepting the possibility of change, of finding a new path and new goals. This card encourages you to look more closely at your circumstances, to discover where the challenges lie for you, and then to move forward to face them with as much courage and wisdom as you can muster.
I will choose what I place within my body, and empty myself of all that violates my personal well-being.