Friday, 8 November 2013

Oak & Ash & Thorn - The Faerie Trees

Moonbeams dance on Oak and Ash and Thorn,
The magic people they here adorn.
By each of these three fairy trees,
To dance and sing on midnight breeze.

Grandfather Oak, home of the fay,
King of the forest leads the wise Druids way.
By Oak apples and acorns, by leaf and by branch,
Mysteries revealed - understandings advance.

MoonMother Ash brings harm to none,
Connecting this world with the Others as one.
Her wisdom found in runes and sees,
As above - so below, established with ease.

Hawthorn of the Witches and the Beltane and We,
Unlucky be those who ever cut thee.
Guardian of our chambers, holy wells and hills,
Gateway to the underworld of faerie free wills.

These sacred trees, empowered - revere,
The LuNanTiShee fae and many others here.
Yet death has come creeping into our lands,
Seizing our trees with insatiable hands.

Morning and evening hear the Goblins cry:
Come die! - Come die! with bacteria we fly...
Polutants unpecked and Blooms unsuspect,    
All ripen together under our tender neglect.

Come die! come die! - see the stems bleed and cry,
Blackness bubbles and drips awry.
Towering trees now release the dark sky,
Come die! - call the Goblins as they hobble and pry. 

GleAwGesCyrrpan the White Dragon,
In the gloaming does happen.
Without sweetness he finds,
An Oak very transformed around which the death windes.

Moonbeams dance on Oak and Ash and Thorn,
The magic people in sorrow now adjorn.
GleAwGescyrrPan the White Dragon he flees,
To tell the Faeries on breath of bees.

Mankind calls it Ash Dieback and Acute Oak Decline,
The trees of our island and their magic combine.
To withstand Goblin assault from their netherland,
A radiance is needed to overcome the dark hand.

Silver Faerie comes all pensefull - stumbling alone,
To assay the foul damage that Goblin has sown.
His heart collapse broken between the laying of leaves,
His tears fall as black, as deaths poisoned fleas.

Healing cantation with loves power to mend,
Bring pain and bring sickness to their singular end.
I will it so and thus weeping I weave,
Stand fast then! Bear well! I will now leave.

To WoodWose Greene we upon the wind,
With Henkie Troll and OtherWivet Toad winged.
For wisdom seek we the Lord of Trees,
The OfWundrian keeper of the magical keys.

Across the wide veils of the day and of night,
A terrible burden to somehow set right.
This party of three passed all kind of terrors,
Lest we never suceed - HeOnOn and EllEllEs. (from here and otherwise)

To WoodWose  temple of lifes greengrowing delight,
An audience with wisdom in luminous hyght. (bliss)
Blow upon us a cleansing for the trees of the earth,
He delivered a blide blessing of infinite worth.

So returned we GeberScipe of three for the trees, (party)
with a Men-Nisc-Nis of a LeodSong in ancient tongue these. (incarnation / poem-Chant)
Gathered all to the Oak Tree in advance to intone,
It is arrived - a terrible vanquishing to lead good health home.

Disease! Disease! I beseech you away,
Each tree by heart spells be healed I pray.
With this invocation I will cast out your dark doing,
Breath blasted wickedness tis your time for the hewing;

Ic BonNan AbRreCan GastLic HaeLan,
GeBlanDan FraCod Adl Ge Nu HweorFan.
EoWer GamEtiGan LangLice Her EndE,
Se Maere Beams FreOþian FeLaMin FreondE.

(I summon a storm of spiritual healing)
(corrupt wicked disease now you must go)
(your empty time here ended)
(leave the illustrious trees care to my many friends so)

Grandfather Oak roots deep in the earth,
May new sun bring you strength, and joy and mirth.
May new moon bring you peace and rest to your fill,
By the fellowship of the Greenwood - overcome all your ill.

I will it thus, and so with this spell,
May you be ever happy, twice healthy, thrice well.
And as everything yet does come so in threes,
To you dear friend listener I also say please...

O people of the wisling world, be empowered and attest,
If Goblin tree sighted, summon from your wise men the best.
Take care of the shimmering and chanting of Oaks,
The faerie trees need all your prayers and your bright hopes.

Moonbeams dance on Oak and Ash and Thorn,
The magic people here are sworn.
By each of these three fairy trees,
To cherish and protect as natures trustees.

c. Celestial Elf 2013.

Oak, Ash, and Thorn - 
These three trees are called the Faerie Triad because groves which include all three of these trees are places where you can see the faeries. All three are Druid sacred trees and part of the Celtic Tree Calendar which is a Lunar Calendar of 13 months, each 28 days in length. Each month of the Celtic Lunar calendar bears the name of a tree, which also stands for one of the consonants in the Celtic ‘tree alphabet’. It is terribly bad luck to cut down a faerie tree or damage it in any way, as it is said that you will never know a good nights sleep again for the rest of your life. Unless you are a friend you should also stay away from the trees at full moon because if you hear music coming from the trees a faerie kingdom is celebrating the full moon and if you touch the tree you may be swallowed up and kept by the Faeries forever.  Pookas, Cluricaunes and mysterious white-clad women have all appeared near these trees and bushes.

Of all the trees that grow so fair, Old England to adorn,
Fairer are none beneath the Sun, Than Oak and Ash and Thorn.

Rudyard Kipling. (Kipling's Oak and Ash and Thorn poem Here)

As of February 2015, the number of sites affected by ash dieback in the UK, has tripled to around 1000. With the entire country now looking to be affected, our nation’s 126 million ash trees are now at risk. This disease has swept through Europe in two decades leaving 60-70% of ash trees infected. Ancient woodland is irreplaceable. Wooded since at least 1600, it is ecologically our richest land-based habitat, home to many rare and threatened species. Creating woods with a wider variety of native species and more diversity in age and structure will better enable our trees to withstand the inevitable arrival of those diseases that do get through the net.
If a method of halting, or even treating, the disease is not found soon, the ecological consequences could be utterly devastating. It is predicted that, as it stands, around 95% of ash trees in the UK alone will die. Not only does this threaten the ash population, many species of wildlife are also at risk of losing their habitats. These include bats, wood mice, wrens, beetles, and bullfinches. In total, around 1000 species will be affected, with 45 facing extinction if the disease cannot be halted. Of these, four lichen species, eleven fungi, and 29 invertebrates are found solely on the ash.
( Support Woodland Trust Here )

A mystery disease causing Britain's oak trees to "bleed to death" has prompted a £1.1m research effort to identify its cause.  Acute Oak decline is a  new disease to the UK that infects Britains mature Oak trees of over 50 years old of both Britain's native oak species (Quercus Robur, known as Pedunculate or English Oak, and Quercus petraea - Sessile Oak).

Dr Sandra Denman, lead scientist on the project to identify its cause, said: "AOD is a serious problem for both of Britain's native Oak trees. Oak is our most important native broad-leafed tree species and is iconic to Britain...The disease can be seen on affected trees as a black, tarry-like resin bleeding from the tree bark''... Key symptoms are black weeping patches on stems (called stem bleeds); lesions and necrotic tissue underlying the bleed points, and larval galleries are usually present weaving a sinuous path along the cambial zone.
It is thought to be caused by a bacterial infection and symptoms include “bleeding” cankers (areas of dead bark from which a black exudates) on the stem of the oak tree.  The extent and potential spread of this disease is presently under investigation by Forest Research and confirmation on the cause of the disease and its likely threat to our native woods is due within the next 6-12 months.
studies indicate that a similar condition has been observed in continental Europe since 1918, spreading southwards and westwards since then. In some instances the disease is accompanied by insects attacking the trees too, particularly the buprestid beetle, We also have a highly significant co-occurrence of the native buprestid or oak jewel beetle (Agrilus biguttatus) with the lesions in symptomatic trees. These are not thought to be the cause of the disease but rather they are opportunistically taking advantage of already weakened trees; such infestations further weaken and can hasten the death of trees.

With a cure yet to be found, there is no plan for dealing with AOD so diseased trees must be left to die naturally over the five to 10 years it takes for AOD to take hold. If the cause can be identified, a plan can be put in place to prevent the disease spreading.
In the meantime, it is hoped that the public can help by using the Forestry Commission's Tree Alert tool to report suspected cases.

We encourage people who work in or visit areas with affected oak trees to help us limit the spread of the condition by not touching affected trees if possible, cleaning their footwear between woodland visits, disinfecting tools after working on trees in affected areas, and not taking any plant material such as leaves and sticks out of affected woodlands.

( More information on Managing Acute Oak Decline Here )

( Report Infected Trees with free Google Tree Alert App Here )

Oak Tree Lore;
Oak is one of the most sacred trees, traditionally prized by the Celts and Druids. Carrying any piece of the Oak draws good luck to you (remember to ask permission and show gratitude.)  Oak beams are often used to make doors, but the tree itself is a great portal to the other realms. Witches often danced beneath the Oak Tree for ritual. The druids would not meet for ritual if there was not an Oak tree present. The oak tree endures what others cannot. It remains strong through challenges, and is known for being almost immortal, as is often attested to by its long life and ability to survive fire, lightning strikes, and devastation. ''I honor the energy of oak, the doorway to the mysteries. I will call upon the strength of the Horned One when I feel in need of protection. So mote it be''
Magickal properties:  "Oaken twigs and strings of red Deflect all harm, gossip and dread." Dreaming of resting under an Oak tree means you will have a long life and wealth. Climbing the tree in your dream means a relative will have a hard time of it in the near future. Dreaming of a fallen oak means the loss of love. If you catch a falling oak leaf you shall have no colds all winter. If someone does get sick, warm the house with an oakwood fire to shoo away the illness. Carry an acorn against illnesses and pains and to increase fertility and sexual potency. ( More Oak Tree Lore Here )

Ash Tree Lore;
The most famous Ash was the Norse World Tree, Yggdrasil, on which Odin hung, to receive the wisdom of the runes, thus Ash possesses indescribable knowledge Ash is associated with communications of all sorts. Witches were believed to fly on ash-handled broomsticks, while Viking ships were made of ash. Many ancient cultures believed that humans originated within the Ash - for instance, souls were born in the branches of Yggdrasil. In some places in the world people leave locks of human hair hanging from an ash tree in so their wishes will come true.
Magickal properties: Ash leaves attract love and prosperity. Burn Ash wood at Yule to receive prosperity. Sleep with them under your pillow and you will have psychic/prophetic dreams. Sleep with them in a bowl of water next to your bed to prevent illness. Wearing garters of green ash bark protects against the powers of magicians. Ash is the key to healing the loneliness of the human spirit, forming a link between the gods, humans, and the dead in the spirit world. Ash holds the key to Universal Truth and Cosmic Wisdom, and it takes on the important role as a Tree of Initiation.   ( More Ash Tree Lore Here )

Hawthorn Tree Lore;
This trees it also called the "Whitehorn" or "May" tree and is probably the most sacred tree to the faeries. If you sit under the Hawthorn tree on Samhain, Midsummer Eve, or Beltane you can commune with the faeries. To rid yourself of troubles make a ball of last years foliage, tie it with a white ribbon, and burn it on a bonfire new years day. Then, make a ball of fresh thorn brances and leaves and keep it for next years bonfire. The original May Poles were also made of Hawthorn.
In Irish folklore the Hawthorn is sometimes referred to as the faerie bush, due to the belief that fairy spirits inhabit the tree as guardians, and since early times it has always been considered bad luck to cut or damage the tree in fear of offending them.  However after due regard to the guardian spirit, the collecting of sprigs and flowers from the tree particularly during the May Day celebrations was allowed, and thereafter place in the home to banish evil influences. However, do not take a blossoming hawthorn branch inside your house lest this cause your mother to die.  
Magickal properties: The tree essence cleanses the heart of negativity and stimulates love and forgiveness. ( More Hawthorn Tree Lore Here )
In 2010 and 2012 the most well known British thorn, The Glastonbury Thorn has been savagely vandalised, whilst our prayers are for the trees recovery, our fears are also for the miscreants who carried out these acts.

The Faeries;
Faery-sprites are also known as the Sidhe, Gentlefolk, Little People, Elemental Nature Spirits and more. Various theories about who the faeries are and their origin have developed over time ( none put forward by the faeries themselves however), including the following view that they represent a conflation of disparate elements of folk belief, influenced by literature and learned speculation. In Alchemy in particular they were regarded as elementals, such as gnomes and sylphs, as described by Paracelsus. In folklore, they are variously regarded as nature spirits, a hidden species, or as spirits of the dead, (even, by Christians, as descendants of their own fallen angels or demons). Another theory is that the faeries were originally minor goddesses, such as nymphs or tree spirits, later displaced by incoming Christianity, a trend now being reveresed as many spiritually reawaken to the ways of nature and the interconectedness of all things.

The Lunantishee, or Lunantishess, are a tribe of fairies who guard blackthorn bushes (one of the Fairy Trees). They will not allow that a blackthorn stick is cut on May 11th (originally May Day) or November 11 (originally All Hallows Eve). Should on person cut a stick some misfortune will befall them, those who damaged the tree go from being healthy to sick, become paralysed, eventually going mad or in the worst cases have died.

GleAwGescyrrPan the White Dragon symbolizes purity and wisdom. White Dragons are associated with the light and righteousness, in general Dragons represent the primal forces in nature and the universe.

A Goblin is a small, swarthy, malicious being. They sometimes appear in the shape of animals which appropriately reflects their bestial nature. They are the thieves and villains of Faerie.

Trolls, frequently observed performing a curious lop-sided dance called 'Henking' gives rise to their name in some parts as Henkies. It is also thought by some that the Trows of Orkney and Shetland are 'shrunken' version of the monstrous, gigantic Norse trolls brought by the Norwegians when they settled these regions.( )

Toad's signify a connection to Earth, Fortune and Fertility, they also are a connection to the Otherworld, serving as guardians for those who passed over. In earlier times the services of Toadmen were employed on farms to help with breeding and other farming matters. It's likely that they drew their 'powers' from an esoteric knowledge of herb-lore.

Woodwose Greene is a woodland spirit who protects wild animals and the forestsand is sometimes depicted with a tail, hooves, and horns comparable to the faun of classical mythology, - another manifestation of the  Green Man, Guardian and God of vegetation and plant life.
A person who befriends a Woodwose can learn the secrets of earth magic, from protection of creatures to guardianship of the forests. Farmers and shepherds often used to make pacts with these spirits to protect their crops and sheep.

This Is Not A Dream.
The modern tendency to prettify fairies in children's stories represents a remarkable trvialisation of what was once a serious and even sinister folklore tradition. The fairies in earlier times were both respected and feared as dangerous and powerful beings who were sometimes friendly to humans but could also be cruel or mischievous. Conversely they could be the best of friends if you have earned their trust or friendshipo and as for loyalty, their protection of the Earth and all the natural residentrs therupon is second to none.

Faeries- Enchanted Eco Warriors;
Forerunners of our modern eco-warriors, legends and myths about the faeries regulated the relationship between humans and nature, and the rules of human society. It was vital to not take more from nature than you needed, or you would upset a supernatural people believed to live underground. And these subterranean people were known to extract their revenge on greedy humans. Myths also helped maintain the set standards and roles in society, in earlier and wilder times If you strayed from the norm you risked serious consequences such as physical danger or social ostracism which could lead to death without a community to belong to. It could ironically be argued that whilst this rule held in earlier times when people and their lives were more bound to nature and her ways, but that now as a culture we have moved ever further from such involvement, wether to conform to an 'un-nature-all' norm is still the best course to follow, perhaps we should follow the faeries once again as in times of yore.

To learn more about Faeries and the Faerie Faith I strongly recommend  The Faery Faith: An Integration of Science with Spirit by Serena Roney-Dougal, ( my review here )

By Oak and Ash and Thorn, Bright Blessings ~

Celestial Elf xx ~