Down to the deepest depths I peered
I know I hung on that windy tree,
Swung there for nine long nights.
Wounded by my own blade
Bloodied for Odin.
Myself an offering to myself.
Bound to that tree
That no man knows
Wither the roots of it ran.
The Ash tree is represented by the a rune, and the most important tree of all is the great Yggdrasil, an Ash tree. The Eddas tell us the first man, Askr, was made from an Ash tree. The Magical tools of wise men and women where made from the Ash tree. Ash also attracts lightening, which only increases its magical powers and allows it to be a powerful conductor of ‘ond’. Wood taken with thanks from an Ash tree, particularly in the Summer Solstice is a stronger protector against ill wishes. Ash tree leaves are also lucky, especially the rare ones found with an even number of leaves on each side, these are called Even Ashes. An ancient rhyme for good luck is …
“Even Ash, I do thee pluck,
Hoping thus to meet good luck.
If no good luck I get from thee
I shall wish thee on the tree”
The smoke from the burning of an Ash-tree has a strong incense, which will force away evil and bad fate. Ash has been a long time provider of protection, for it was the wood our ancestors made spears from, and it also fashioned the thrones of High Kings and Queens. The black buds and horseshoe shaped scares on the leaves of the Ash denote its dedication to the Odin and it’s springtime covering is dedicated to the Goddess of that season, particularly Frigga and Ostara.
If you give someone a branch or flowers from an Ash tree, it means: “with me you are safe.” Sleeping with leaves of an Ash tree under your pillow increases the magical power and insight of your dreams, and having the Ash tree near you, helps your understanding and visions as you travel amongst the nine worlds. The Ash helps us in a similar way as we meditate. In Sweden pregnant women hugged an Ash tree to ensure an easy delivery.
Ornaments created from the Ash tree can be fastened on to doors, or all about your house to protect you from evil spirits. The Ash tree also has healing properties, sickly children where passed through split ash trees, to grant them health. The Yuletide log is made from an Ash tree, and gives good fortune to the family when it is lit.
In older times, a grove of three Ash trees was a place where fairies could be found. To protect yourself from drowning in the sea, you can carve a sun wheel on to a piece of Ash wood and carry it on yourself while on the waters. The three sacred trees of the ancient Celts where the Oak; Ash and Thorn. To those people, Ash was the span of existence from past to present to future – Abred, Gwynedd, and Ceugant: Creation, balance, and destruction. When working with the Oghams, ‘The Alphabet of Trees’ the Ash stave, represents that all things are linked and that everything becomes connected, earthly and spiritual, from lowest to highest. It demonstrates that ones deeds form part of a far greater, even endless, chain of events, and that ones inner pathways have reactions to the outer world. An Ash-tree was also Gwydion’s steed in the famous Celtic ‘Battle of the Trees’.
The wood from an Ash tree is excellent for forming runes. Another wonderful way of using the Ash tree for rune work is to gather 9 branches and cast them on the ground, search for the runes as they appear, just as Odin did. Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of doing so is it’s pure simplicity and honesty. There are many ways of casting the more standard runes, and the choice is yours as to how many you chose to cast and if you follow a formula as to what each rune means, for example, actions, past events, future events, situation and resolution. But if you cast 9 staves, the Gods direct the amount of runes shown to you.
The Ash tree-lore was found in many different books, all of it was passed down from one person to another of our folk, I would like to thank my Nanna for passing on what she learnt, to me.