The Celtic Tree Calendar, Astrology and Birthwoods
The Celts belonged to a western group of 'Indo-European' peoples, who spread out to Europe after the Scythians, who wandered through the Russian Steppes, began to spread out and force the Celts first to the West and then all over Europe including Britain and Ireland. They came to their prime in about 950-52 BC when their religious and cultural unity, their linguistic and economic cohesion was an empire in all but name.
The Druids were the leaders of the Celts who believed in An Other World, the immortality of the soul and reincarnation. They are remembered for their knowledge of nature , where trees were used for many purposes as well as for studying plants and their effects. Their herbal lore lies at the root of modern Western herbalism.
The word drui in the Celtic language is a generally accepted term for an 'Initiate'.
Druids were thought of as knowledgeable and far seeing, who ventured to go deep into the woods and overcame the fear of darkness and inner-life. The religion of the Druids and the Celts was water, the trees, the wind, stars, the sun, the moon and all of nature. And so we start to see the ways that nature along with the celestial bodies were their 'gods'.
In Celtic times, the year was divided onto 13 months, unlike our 12 months. This is because they followed the cycle of the moon which is 28 days. A tree was associated with each month and the months were set out like this:
Birch Moon 24th December - 20th January
Rowan Moon 21st January - 17th February
Ash Moon 18th February - 17th March
Alder Moon 18th March - 14th April
Willow Moon 15th April - 12th May
Hawthorn Moon 13th May - 9th June
Oak Moon 10th June - 7th July
Holly Moon 8th July - 4th August
Hazel Moon 5th August - 1st September
Vine Moon 2nd September - 29th September
Ivy Moon 30th September - 27th October
Reed Moon 28th October - 24th November
Elder Moon 25th November - 23rd December
A Tree Alphabet
Interestingly enough the trees are also associated with the Oghams, which is ancient text found on stones and wood in parts of Ireland and the UK. It is supposed to be invented by the god Ogmos and is based on the Latin alphabet, but is also a symbol or letter representing different sacred trees in Old Irish. Here is a representation of the tree calendar. You can see below the tree and its associated Ogham symbol.
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You can find your birthwood jewellery under the Birthwood collection on the Shop page. Just look above to the tree list to find where your birthday falls and see which tree is your birth tree. All of the wood is from Irish trees that have been sourced in Waterford , Kilkenny and Tipperary County near to where we live. . The wood is either storm fallen or has been naturally pruned. It is treated with walnut oil to help protect it.
Below you can see the Calendar with the Ogham as well as Old Irish and English names of trees.