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I have two main tree designs which can be altered to indicate different trees by changing the terminals and colour. (See also Tree Series # 1) This one is based on an image from the Cross of Cong, a 9th c reliquary. I have made it to indicate not only a hawthorn bush, but also blackthorn bush – another tree of significance
It is thought that the early Celts held trees in special esteem. The druids were believed to worship in oak groves, and each Celtic tribe may have had a special tutelary tree. The letters of the Ogham alphabet and perhaps the months of the Celtic year were named after trees.
(ref: Robert Graves, “The White Goddess”)
Hawthorn is also known as ‘may’ and is in general associated with chastity. It is identified with Mary in the Catholic tradition. Because of this connection it has always been considered an unlucky month to marry. It was considered most unlucky to destroy a hawthorn tree. Its Gaelic name is Uath.
The Blackthorn is the tree of strife, and as such is associated with struggle against oppression. A harsh winter was called blackthorn winter indicating associations with strength against adversity. The fruit (sloes) were associated with beauty, and many folksongs and ballads describe the beautiful beloved as having ‘eyes as black as sloes’. Its Gaelic name is Straif