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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
An Ogham Preserving Shrine

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm starting to study the Ogham, and Yuri Leitch's book, "The Ogham Grove," is setting up a very nice system for me to spend approximately two weeks at a time getting to know one of the letters in this alphabet and the tree it's associated with, as well as other associations, during the time the sun is in that part of his Ogham Year Wheel. I find information online and in the Ogham books I'm starting to collect (like Erynn Rowan Laurie's "Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom"), as well as trying to find the tree in my local area so I can meet it in person. :)

b2ap3_thumbnail_Yuri-Leitch-Alder-Page.png

I'm also putting an image of the tree up as my computer wallpaper during those weeks, and putting its card from The Green Man Tree Oracle in a frame on my desk. I'm bathing in the essense of that tree and the energy of that Ogham few's associations, as it were.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the buds

At this time of year in my corner of the UK, the tree buds change in a noticeable way, and for me this is something to celebrate.

Trees form their leaf buds during the winter. The idea that trees sleep through the winter is a misconception perpetrated by the Pagan community, depending entirely on never looking that closely at trees. If you only ever see trees from a distance then yes, those apparently bare branches may look like nothing is going on, but this isn’t so! Trees make their leaves, and their catkins during the winter months. In January here, the catkins start opening. Somewhere around Imbolc, buds fatten discernibly.

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  • Judith Shaw
    Judith Shaw says #
    Wise words - "New leaves on trees can seem like an event – a sudden arrival of bright new greenness to mark the beginning of the g

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the catkins

The standard issue wheel of the year for the British isles has us celebrating the first flowers at Imbolc, when the snowdrops emerge. This is a bit awkward, because tree flowers – specifically catkins – emerge in January and open. They are also manifestly at odds with the standard issue notion that trees spend the winter sleeping. They don’t. Once the leaves are down, trees get busy making buds ready for the new year, and may also be making their catkins, which have been sat there hard and closed for some time now.

The thing about leaf buds and catkins is that they are small and you probably won’t see them if all you do is look at trees out of windows. Especially not if you are in motion and the windows are in a car. To spot buds and catkins, you have to be within a matter of feet of the trees and looking at them closely. When nature is an abstract concept that you celebrate from the safety of your living room, this is the kind of thing that gets overlooked.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
For the love of leaves

I’ve known years when the trees were bare of leaves by the end of September. In recent years I’ve seen leaves still on trees during my habitual Christmas day walk to my mother’s house. No two autumns ever have quite the same shape, and what turns when has a lot to do with the shape of the land, and where exactly your land is, as well.

This year, some trees started showing autumnal colours fairly early in September. I write this blog at the beginning of October, with an array of yellow, copper and happily photosynthesising greens outside my window. The story of leaves is not one that fits tidily into the wheel of the year, not least because during the part of the winter when the trees are supposedly sleeping, they make their buds, all ready for next year’s growth. the falling of leaves is a process that can start before the autumn equinox and go through to midwinter.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating the rowan flowers

It is of course the rowan berry that most Pagans will think of when considering this tree. The bright, orangey red berries of the rowan or mountain ash have a traditional use in protective magic. However, you don’t get berries without flowers, and the flowers are out now.

It’s a good opportunity not just to celebrate this moment in the life of a rowan, but to also consider the beginnings of things whose ends we engage with. Many trees are in flower - as I write this post the horse chestnut outside my window is resplendent with bright candles of white flowers.

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  • Nimue Brown
    Nimue Brown says #
    Mmm, that's an evocative sort of smell. I'll add the musky smell of fox wee to my list of good-stinky things! I realise there's mo
  • Claudia Priori
    Claudia Priori says #
    Yes! Sometimes it's the stinky things that remind us of the wildness of this earth. I love to walk along the beach where the seawe

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Old Lady Hawthorn

Damn that old lady Hawthorn.

There she goes, knocking my hat off.

Again.

I don't know how old she is. Being a Siberian hawthorn, it could be hundreds of years. Judging by how gnarled and ornery she is, I'd say probably pretty old. Older than me, anyway.

And did I say attitudinous? Old lady Hawthorn is the undisputed ruler of this lawn, and you'd better not forget it.

Before you mow, you'd better tip your hat to her. You'd just better. Likes that, she does.

Otherwise, she'll knock it clean off your head.

Like she just did.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Celebrating Tree Flowers

Early spring brings the blossom – blackthorn, cherry, and other fruit trees. Suddenly, hedges and gardens erupt with scent and blossom, and it’s a sure sign that winter is behind and sunnier days are coming.

One of the great joys of seeing wild fruit trees in bloom is the promise of wild fruit later in the year. What you can see in the photos, are wild plum flowers. The photos in this blog are mine – I’ve recently become acquainted with a camera, so these are very much ‘learner shots’ but enough to give the idea... The flowers are on a wild plum tree that grows beside a cycle path. The cycle path in question used to be a railway line so I wonder if the plum trees (there are three) started life as stones thrown from a train.

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