Ruler of the 2nd Lunar Month
21st January – 17th February

In divination Luis reminds us to be aware of, and trust in, your intuition. You need to be able to distinguish between good from bad so keep your wits about you to avoid being taken in by the sweet words of others or a false sense of security. All these skills are available to you, but Luis reminds you to make full use of them. Keep true to your beliefs and ideals and grounded in times of doubt and you will be protected from emotional, physical or spiritual harm. Be not afraid.

Luis – – The Irish Ogham by Lunaria Gold

Rowan Tree

Common names: rowan, mountain ash, witch wiggin tree, keirn, cuirn
Scientific name: Sorbus aucuparia
Family: Rosaceae
Origin: native

The Rowan tree is another pioneer species and can be found all over Asia and Europe. There are a variety of sub species worldwide but in the UK sorbus aucuparia is most common and easily recognisable with its bright white flowers in spring and rich red berries in later summer / early autumn.

The common name of mountain ash derives from the similarities between the leaves of the rowan and that of the ash tree, with “mountain” recognising that it prefers the well-drained soils of mountain areas. That being said the Rowan is not a picky species, and is happy to grow in full sun or partial shade and it is also commonly found lining suburban streets.

Mature trees can grow to 15-20m in height (depending on species), reaching their mature height in 20-30 years, and can live for up to 200 years.

Rowan is a very important food source throughout the year. In spring some species of caterpillar feed on the leaves whilst in autumn others feed on the berries.

The dense cluster of white, five pointed flowers are important for pollinating insects such as bees. It is interesting to note that the flowers are hermaphroditic, containing both male and female parts. On successful pollination the flowers turn into bright red berries which are an important autumn resources for songbirds such as the blackbird, mistle thrush, who disperse the seeds in return.

Rowan berries can also be eaten by humans – though it is not advisable to eat them raw. They are sour but rich in vitamin C, and can be used to make a tart jams, flavour gin and make for a light and fragrant fruit tea when brewed.

Rowan Tree – alcija


Planet: Sun / Moon
Element: Fire
Gender: Hermaphroditic
Themes: Protection, inspiration
Stone: Tourmaline
Birds: Duck, Quail
Colour: Green
Deity: Lugh,  Dagda, Brigid, Cerridewn, Thor, Hecate/ Hekate, Virgin Mary
Sabbat: Imbolc, Candlemass

Magical Uses

Luis Luis Luis
Luuu Iiiis Luuu Iiiis
Lu Lu Lu Lu Iiiis
Luis Luis Luis

Suggested Galdur

Rowan trees were traditionally planted by a garden gate to protect against unwanted visitors and witches.

You can also bind the rowan twigs together with red thread into a solar cross or pentagram to make a mighty protective talisman for your home, car, or your desk or locker at work.

Protective amulets can be made from rowan by cutting in protective bind runes into a disk or twig and wearing them about your person.

Hang a string of rowan berries by your door to repel malign influences.

Cure an illness by making a small slit in the bark of the rowan trunk, taking a hair from the sick person and pushing it into the cut. The illness will heal with the bark.

Rowan Cross with Bells – Pinterest

Mythology and Literature

The Rowan Tree, sometimes called the Witch Tree, is held to be one of the most sacred trees in Scottish folk tradition. In this tradition the timber, bark leaves and flowers may only be harvested and cut at certain time and only for sacred purposes in part because of the tree’s association with the Goddess Saint Brighid. As if to strengthen this association rowan wood has been traditionally used to make spindles and spinning wheels, a craft associated with this patroness of spinning and weaving (amongst other things).

Some sources maintain that the word “rowan” comes from the Norse word “rune” manning charm or secret, whilst others maintain that the word derives from Scottish, effectively meaning “the red one”. There are arguments to be made for both positions, with the wood being used to create rune staves, or as the base for rune sets, as well as being associated with red thread in magical practice. Whatever the case the wood of the Rowan has been used in the process of divination, be that as a charm to increase psychic powers or as a rod used to divine for precious metals in the same way hazel is used to locate hidden water sources.

In Greek Mythology the origin of the rowan berries can be found in a tale where Hebe, goddess of youth, lost her magical chalice to demons through her inattention. To ensure that the God’s would not loose access to its rejuvenating power Zeus sent his eagle to recover it and a fight ensued in which many feathers, and much blood, were shed. Where the two fell together a Rowan tree sprang up, blood red berries nestled amongst the feather like leaves.

The protective quality of Rowan cannot be understated and it has a long and still popular history of being used as a way of protected against witches and enchantment. There are many reasons for this, ranging from the tiny five pointed star (pentagram) found on each berry and the association of red with protection. Crossed twigs, bound in red thread with little crowns of berries have been a standard charm for both herd, home and person throughout the ages for as an old Scottish rhyme suggests “Rowan tree and red thread make the witches loose their speed”.

Oh rowan tree, oh rowan tree,
Thoul’t aye be dear to me,
Entwin’d thou art wi’ mony ties,
O’ hame and infancy.
Thy leaves were aye the first o’ spring,
Thy flowr’s the simmer’s pride
There was nae sic a bonnie tree,
In all the country side.
Oh rowan tree.

Except Lady Carolina Nairn, 1766-1845

Sources and Further Reading

Learn Religion – Ogham
Ogham Lyberty
Living Library
The Goddess Tree
Eco Enchantments
OBOD – Trees
Tree Symbolism
Trees for Life
Woodland Trust
Love The Garden

Author: knotmagick

Weaving Magick and Crochet in the madhouse I call home. I am a devotee of Hekate and a follower of Pan.

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