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  1. This Celtic Moon Tree phase is the Vine. It spans nearly the whole of the modern day calendar of September and brings a new wave of earth energies to us all. As the summer officially departs, we naturally start to look at what opportunities and challenges lie in the months ahead. The Celtic name either derives from the Latin word monÄ“re, ‎which means to remind, advise, teach or influence or from mÅ«nire meaning to defend and protect. Both are relevant to the Vine.

    bramble-846629__180The Celts called any woody vine a tree and it is unclear as to which one they are referring in naming this phase. My advice is to let nature show you. Look around to see what is sharing the messages of the vine. It maybe grape, bougainvillea, clematis, or honeysuckle; but for me it is the blackberry. This grows abundantly here in the UK and during the Vine phase its fruits start to ripen from red to black offering nourishment from nature and a reminder to share in her bounty and wisdom 

    The physical properties of all vines include the ability to cling and climb using roots, stems, tendrils or special adaptations such as stickiness or suction pads. Their purpose is to gain support, reach the light, colonise and multiply. The name vine is from viere which means ‘to twist’ or ‘to weave’ describing their natural nature to entwine as they grow. This creates a level of personal protection from predators and provides shelter and food for insects, small mammals and birds. The blackberry for example, produces prickly canes that grow up to about 9m in length and form impenetrable thickets – a habit giving it the popular name of bramble.

    Blackberry loves bright, sunny conditions. The leaves are compound with three or more oval, toothed leaflets. A mature plant will also produce 5-petalled flowers that are white or pale pink. Blackberry is strongly associated with rebirth, reincarnation and joy. There is a period of dormancy before the plant produces fruits from canes.  When they arrive, flowers, green and ripe fruit are borne simultaneously which I believe reflects this association. The plant is also a messenger of change and transformation appropriate in this phase of the year which is a time for reflection and understanding of wisdoms learnt so far.

    Vines have been used practically for many years as medicine and food, to make barriers offering security, protection and containment for both humans and animals. Its connection around the world flows through many cultures and religions and includes deities such as Guinevere, Brigid, Hera and Dionysus. Many myths claim that the plant holds negative energy, possibly because of its appearance and rampant behaviours. The Celts believed it bore the fruit of the Fae and should therefore not be eaten. Where I live in the UK you will hear tales that blackberries should not be picked after 11th of October, as this is the anniversary date of Lucifer falling from Heaven into a blackberry bush and cursing it. In a practical sense the date is useful as we usually have a first frost by then which can cause the fruits to go mouldy and bitter.vine

    If you were born under the Vine phase you are likely to have a changeable and unpredictable nature. This is not surprising with the autumn equinox showing up during this phase. What this does mean though is you are very adaptable, you see the positive in nearly everything focusing on joy and happiness. Just like the Vine itself you are able to balance and hold yourself strong whilst supporting and bringing others together creating a sense of peace and harmony. Friends will often describe you as loyal, caring and confident and these are also traits you value in others. People as a result will often look to you for inspiration and nurturing in times of need. You have an extremely good eye for detail and love to be surrounded by things that spark happiness, be that people or objects. You are passionate, empathetic and enthusiastic by nature and this can easily be shared with those around you. Sometimes you can be seen as detached but this is usually only when you have used all your reserves of energy being your fast-paced active self. For all your enthusiasm and confidence, you can sometimes be indecisive and lack focus. A negative aspect of Vine is that as you are striving forward, adapting and changing whilst avoiding conflict and drama. You find it difficult to set firm boundaries and, as such, can sometimes be a person who cannot say NO. This can lead to anxiety and stress.

    blackberryWhich brings me to the message of the Vine, its energy and how it may offer its support through its essence. Vine essence allows us to share the plant’s life force and its message of ancient wisdom and knowledge. The positive aspects of Vine essence bring us to a balanced and healthy state for leading, teaching, sharing our abilities, developing potential, spiritual growth, movement and momentum in our emotional support through love, compassion and respect to ourselves, others and the natural world around us. If you are out of balance, Vine essence will help to aid feelings associated with being angry, dominant, aggressive, wilful, bossy or pushy to those around us. It will also protect us against imposing these feelings on ourselves since those needing Vine can be over self–critical and overly sensitive and forget to have fun for fear of showing their vulnerability.

    Vine allows you to recognise, stretch, twist, turn, move and decide on your energies to your own comfortable state of harmony and balance. But it still encourages change, enthusiasm and growth. Use this essence to take you deeper emotionally to your intentions, moving you away from indecision or resistance so that you may reside in harmony and peace which is where you feel most productive, creative and connected.

    Other associations to this phase:

    Animal: Swan

    Colour: Magenta

    Stone: Emerald 

    Plant: Venus

    Element: Water

    Gender: Feminine

    Muin

  2. Holly flower (cr)This Celtic Moon phase is Holly. In this phase the day light is officially getting shorter and the season about to change. Crops are starting to ripen and the harvest is soon to be upon us. Holly is the protector and provider tree of the waning year; a reminder of abundance and fertility. A weaver of hopes and dreams, he reaches defiantly, against all odds, from the earth towards the stars. Being able to germinate with little sunlight and impervious to weather the Holly is a beacon of support in the darker months that lie ahead.

    Holly is an evergreen tree and a great reminder to us of the immortality of nature. He has no fear of the future months and is confident in his ability to conquer the extremes that this time of the year can bring, including the cold weather and reduced sunlight. Slow growing, this tree is often used as a hedge or shrub but, if left, can achieve up to 80ft in height.holly leaves

    Holly is dioecious meaning some trees are male and others female. When they bloom in warmer months you will find small, white, four petalled flowers. To determine the male from the female variety you will need to look closer. The male flowers have 4 yellow stamens each, much more prominent than the female flower that also has inside a green ovary bump. The lower glossy evergreen leaves bear spears or spikes which many of us use to determine its identity. But as the tree grows its leaves become smoother edged as the need for  protection from predators is reduced. 

    Then in the Autumn the female Hollies flourish with red fruits before the journey starts again. The Holly is both generous and kind to those around it providing pollen, habitat, shelter and food for small insects, mammals and birds. It is considered to be unlucky to cut down a Holly tree, as its evergreen status means it is viewed as always living. Its robust strength and resilience to cut backs give way to its understanding of being used by people for protection to ward away negativity and create boundaries to homes. 

    The Holly has been regularly described and recognised in history through its association to suffering and immortality. Connections to blood shed for humanity's salvation through Jesus’ crown and associations to Christmas and Yuletide. The Victorian era saw many people bring Holly inside to remind them of nature and the light returning and resurrecting in the spring.

    It is thought by some that the Celtic word Tinne for this phase means Holm Oak or Evergreen Oak used by the ancients and ancestors to recognise the changing of the year from light to dark and the handing over of the crown or reign from the Oak king to the Holly king.   Its connection flows through many cultures and deities including but not limited to Lugh, Thor, Tannus, and Etruscan.

    Known for magical and medicinal properties by many who know how the berries are actually poisonous so please beware.

    Tradition holds that Holly trees are never struck by lightning. You will find many planted near houses in Britain as a result. There is some truth in this superstition as such incidents are rare compared with oaks. Holly is also associated with protection from historical accounts that witches may not be able to walk across them and has a strong connection with the thunder gods such as Thor and Taranis known for protection of mankind.

    If you were born under the Holly phase you are likely to be a born leader and hold a powerful presence amongst others with skill and poise.  You will take on challenges easily and be confident in your own abilities.

    If not born under this phase but you feel a soul connection to Holly you will have acquired or recognise in yourself some of the same traits. You may find you are well balanced in both strength and kindness and have a solidness about you. Others may look to you for support and guidance and you are probably seen as a protector of truth and justice. You could have warrior-like tendencies to be ready, always vigilant and prepared to fight if needed but also generous, kind and compassionate.

    Sometimes you can be seen as aggressive or angry, but in short it is your way of demonstrating that you are determined, full of love and ready to overcome fear and offer hope to those who need it - just like the Holly tree does to those around it as the nights grow longer and the dark settles in.

    hlers Medizinal-Pflanzen - )Which brings me to the message of the Holly tree, its energy and how it may offer its support through its essence. The side to which our energies and emotions fall depends on the environment around us and our experiences on our own journey thus far; but the Holly brings us a message of style, dignity, luck, protection and reaping what we have sown.

    Holly’s message draws on the positives of knowing its own abilities to bring a second change, a rebirth, and to offer feelings associated to generosity loss and anticipation of hope instead of fear.

    Holly allows us to recognise that what we need can last forever and what no longer serves us can be left behind. It allows us to accept that suffering can bring learnings and or painful consequences and yet it also brings knowledge and an understanding of the greater value too.

    Holly essence gives calmness and stability to those who need it and helps us feel well balanced and prepared. It brings feelings of security and solidarity and recognition of kindness, love and compassion. (As such it can help dissolve negative feelings such as suspicion, hate, jealousy, fear, anger and revenge. It allows us to feel confident, self-empowered, at one with nature and all the infinite grace of the natural world around us.

    Holly drawing (credit By Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen - )

    Other associations to this phase:

    Metal: Silver                                                                              

    Colour: Red

    Stone: Ruby/Bloodstone

    Plant: Mars/Saturn

    Element: Fire

    Gender: Masculine

  3. Oak (DUIR) 10th June – 7th July 

    Toak treehis Celtic Moon phase is Oak. Now at the height of its power the mighty Oak has transcended from the slumber of the winter solstice, to now the present day and continues until just past the summer solstice in all his glory, where he will then pass his crown to the Holly for the later part of the year. 

    In full green and abundant glory this beautiful slow growing tree flowers with delicate tassels in early May, followed by a flourish of green leaves very visible during this phase and then as Autumn approaches will bear its fruit and seed the Acorn.oak flowers
     
    Constantly providing for its community around him the Oak is the grandfather of trees, providing shelter, warmth, food and safety. One of the Isles most ancient trees it is robust and resistant to potentially millions of insects, home to many different birds and animals. It provides without any loss of endurance, strength or fear of its survival. It has been used by people in building construction for the same purpose, just think of those Oak framed houses (especially the Tudor Era here in the UK) still standing tall after hundreds of years and a choice wood for many a famous boat.
     
    Its wood provides warmth in its living state to animals as the bark is thick and sturdy but also as firewood for us, as it burns cleanly and slowly. The mid summers solstice fire is often started by hand drilling two oak sticks together, its wood used as the  Yule log and many other ceremonial fires through time and history.

    Its bark provides medicine for many who know how to use it safely and its apples or gauls provide ink and tanning agents. Its magical properties are many and is association with fertility, abundance, good luck and protection is well known. oak illistration

    When the Acorns drop they provide food for animals to eat and to store for the winter to come. Some replant where they drop or travel through weather and foraging where many find their way to replant and so The Oak’s ancestry continues as his children and children’s children appear all around. It is not surprising then that the Oak is widely associated to ancestors and past lives.

    Taking 70 -80 years on occasion before providing its own acorns the tree plants its roots deep into the ground, it is said the oak’s roots go as deep as the tree is tall and as such hold the wisdom of the earth and the knowledge of the heavens. 

    The Oak has strong connections in history with an association to noble reign, for kings wore Oak crowns and countries showed the oak and its leaves on flags, coats of arms and the military medals still use its symbol all around the world.

    It is thought by some that the word Druid was probably a Gaelic derivation for the word oak, Duir, and had a meaning of ‘men of the oaks’ as many groves were found to be places of ceremony and ritual by the Druids.  Its connection flows through many cultures and deities including but not limited to Dagda, Zeus, Thor, Perun, Hecate, Pan and the green man and many a church was built around oak groves for it was a scared place of worship to many.

    oak sunlight

    If you were born under the Oak phase you are likely to be a strong, responsible and patient person with a sense of duty to nurturer and teach others. You often carry burdens with no complaint, see no limitations in life, are an extremely positive person and a born leader. Even if not born under this phase but you feel soul connection to Oak you will have acquired the same traits.

    You may find you sometimes you take onto much, find it difficult to say no, dislike feelings of restriction or control but equally feel the need for boundaries and order. High achievers, goal setters, dreamers and successful people in all they do, are the Oak people of the world. Sometimes they can feel weighted down by responsibility, frustrated, uneasy, confined, trapped, or even lonely. Helping and supporting others, being a healer, a producer, a provider, a console; can if allowed leave you feeling undervalued and exhausted. The Oak person keeps going no matter what, never gives in, never considers themselves or the option for self-care or rest.

    Which brings me to the message of the Oak tree, its energy and how it may offer its support through its essence. To which side your energies and emotions fall, depends on the environment around us and our experiences on our own journey thus far, but in us we all have a little acorn ready to be the mighty Oak

    Oaks message draws on the positives of all it experiences, it shares its wisdom and endurance, its strength and its support. All without falling. It allows us to recognise and appreciate our limitations and so for example the need for self-care and rest, just as he rests after the summer solstice so must we find the time to rest, so that we may later flourish and thrive in all we do. It allows us to surrender what is not needed like the leaves and acorns in the Autumn so that we may find time to appreciate our accomplishments, give gratitude for lessons and plant seeds for the future, so we may enjoy the energy of rebirth and new beginnings.

    Oak essence gives stability for those who need it, allows us the confidence and ability to express through communication, so we may ask for help if needed, it gives us a strength and a power to push beyond our boundaries whilst still protecting us. It allows us to bring fertile and manifesting energies forward, it energies our willpower and helps us listen to our soul voice whilst staying centred and grounded

    Other associations to this phase:  

    Animal: Wren, Otter, White Horse

    Colour: Black

    Metal: Gold

    Stone: Diamond

    Plant: Jupiter

    Element: Fire

    Gender: Masculine 

    Duir

     

     

     

     

     


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