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Tree properties - Ash

Botanical name: Fraxinus excelsior

Name origins:
The name "Ash" may relate to "great fire blaze" or "heaven" as the ash, like Oak, seems to attract lightning.

Folklore: The ash appears in Norse mythology as "Yggdrasil", the world tree which links the realms of existence. The word "yggr" derives from the Greek "hydra" meaning the sea or the element of water. The tree of Yggdrasil had its roots extending below our realm of existence into the underworld, the trunk was in our realm known as "middle earth" and its branches extended high above our realm into the upperworlds.

Also in Norse mythology, Odin hung from Yggdrasil for nine days and nine nights to gain the secrets of the runes in exchange for one of his eyes.

In Celtic mythology, the Ash was sacred to Gwydion as a tree of enchantment, from whose twigs he made his wands. It links the three circles of existence - past, present and future - continual birth and rebirth.

Magickal uses: As the ash represents Yggdrasil linking all realms of existence, an ash staff may be placed at the centre of the circle to connect with the realms.

The spiral arrangement of the buds on the ash reminds us of the ancient cycle of death and rebirth. It shows us our connection to the wheel and the wood may be used at rites of passage.

It symbolizes a key to the understanding of how all things are linked and connected. Our thoughts and actions form an endless chain of events in the outer material world aswell as in the inner spiritual realms.

A Druidic Ash wand was found in Angelsey dating from the first century AD featuring a spiral decoration.



Page last updated: 22 September, 2011

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