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Ogham | Rowan Tree | Celtic Birth Tree

Rowan Sorbus


Letter: L

Birth Months: Late January - Early February

Divination: Broaden Perspective, Protection, Intuition

Elements: Changeable, Fire, Sun

Folk Names: Mountain Ash, Witchwood

Deities: Brigid, Thor Magical Properties: Inspiration, Psychic Intuition, Protection, Success & power, Healing

Medicinal Properties: High in Vitamin C, Mild Laxative

Personality Traits: Keen Minded, Visionary, Creative, Passionate

Rowan History & Folklore

In Gaelic the name for Rowan is "caorunn" (pronounced coroon).

The Rowan is considered to be so sacred in Celtic and Scottish culture, that it is considered forbidden to use any part of the tree unless in very sacred ceremonies.

Vikings used the wood of the Rowan to create their runes, when they invaded Scotland. They wore the runes for protection from sorcery and the evil eye.

The Druids used Rowan branches on funeral pyres as a symbol of death and rebirth. Rowan trees were planted in cemeteries to keep evil away from the resting spirits.

Rowan is one of the 9 sacred trees to be used for Beltane fires.

In both Irish and Norse mythology, it is said that the first woman was made from the Rowan tree. And is a tree of the fae folk. Story says you can find the fae dancing in circles around the Rowan on the night of a full moon.

In many cultures, the color red is thought to be the most powerful protection against magic. Since the Rowan berries are so red, it is often planted near doorways or gateways for protection into a home, barn, field, or other space. Each berry has a 5 pointed star, like the powerful protection symbol, the pentagram.

Rowan Spells

Use the logs of Rowan to burn during a Beltane festival/celebration. This will ring in protection and rebirth for the new year.

Use the wood from Rowan to carve runes. These can be used for protection and divination.

Rowan Medicine

Though Rowan berries can cause an upset stomach, they are sometimes used with caution, can be turned into a great kidney or toxin cleanse.

When mixed with sugar or honey, you can turn the berries into an immune boosting jelly or jam.

Rowan and Apple Jelly Recipe

450g rowan berries

225g cooking apples


Juice of 1 lemon

Sugar (white cane or granulated)

Rinse and dry the rowan berries, then chop the apples - there is no need to peel them or core them.

Place the rowan berries and the apples into a pan, and then add a little water, about 150ml to 200ml.

Bring the fruit to boiling point and then turn the heat down and simmer it gently for 20 to 30 minutes, mashing the fruit towards the end as it softens.

Ladle the fruit into a jelly bag suspended over a bowl or large measuring jug, and allow to drip overnight, DO NOT be tempted to press or squeeze the fruit, as this will result in a cloudy jelly, although it will still taste good.

For every 600ml of juice collected, that's 1 pint, add 450g (1lb) of sugar to the juice and place it all in a pan with the lemon juice.

Bring to the boil and boil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the setting point has been reached.

Once the setting point has been reached, take off the heat and spoon off any scum that has risen to the surface, then ladle into hot, clean and sterilized jam jars, and seal whilst still hot to create a vacuum.

Label when cold and store in a cool, dry and dark place.

**Setting point**

Flake test - dip a large spoon into the pan of jam and scoop out a spoonful - hold the spoon horizontally over the pan of jam and allow the jam to drip......setting point has been reached when the jam forms a long drip-like webbed feet, and hangs without dropping from the spoon.

Cold saucer test – Place two or three saucers into the freezer; spoon a spoonful of jam onto the cold saucer, and push it with your finger, setting point has been reached when the jam wrinkles and isn't runny.

Temperature test – Use a sugar thermometer and place the thermometer into a jug of boiling water just before testing for a set; lower the thermometer into the jam and setting point has been reached when the reading is 104.5C (220F)

Do you want to further your study or practice of herbal magic and medicine?

Check out Botanical Witchery cards and books for fun ways to get to know your favorite magical plants!

I hope you enjoyed this blog on the Ogham Celtic Birch Tree.

Thank you for taking a moment to spend with me. Please check out more of what I can offer.

~Sarah C LaBrie (Cerridwen Raineach)

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