Modern Letter: O
Ruler of the Start of Spring
20th – 22nd March
In general, the appearance of Onn indicates that it is time to gather skills and resources necessary to achieve a desired goal. It is a good indication that the elements needed are already available to you and just need to be gathered. Realization of your goal is at hand and so long as you have the destination firmly in mind you can begin to enjoy the journey. Onn may also indicate that is is time to share your knowledge and resources with others. Taking on the told of leader and mentor can lead to setting the agenda and increasing the impact of your own. Whether you have been blessed with physical, mental or spiritual resources, you will be rewarded for sharing your blessings with others.
Common name: common gorse
Scientific name: Ulex europaeus
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
The common gorse is a robust shrub which is easily confused with other gorse species, including western and dwarf varieties. Unlike these the common gorse has a limited flowering season between January and June, peaking in April and May, though the little yellow pea like flowers from all are edible and a delightful addition to salads. The leaves of the gorse are sharp and spiky and the flower mature into a hairy pod containing 2-3 black seeds when opened by hit weather.
This native species is found throughout the UK, preferring woodlands and rough ground such as wasteland, moorland and un-grazed pasture, and grows up to 2.5 meters in height. This is the best way to distinguish it from the western and dwarf varieties which do not usually get above a meter in height. It is an early booking favourite of many pollen collectors ting insects such as bees.
Planet: the Sun
Themes: Money spells, Hope for the future, Protection & Safety,
Birds: harrier hawk
Color: yellow, gold
Deity: Lugh, Amaterasu Jupiter Zeus, Thor
Sabbat: Ostara / Spring Equinox
Onn Onn OnnSuggested Galdur
Oooo Nnnn Oooo Nnnn
O O Oooo Nnnn
Onn Onn Onn
Carve Onn or the word Gorse into a gold or yellow candle. Light the candle and, facing east meditate on manifesting positive attributes in you life (money, love etc) or protection for yourself and loved ones
To increase money soft boil an egg and carefully eat the contents so that you can save and wash out both sides of the shell. Gather, with thanks to the spirit of Gorse, seven gorse blossoms and seven gorse spines and place them into the shell and return the top. Bury the egg near to your front door either into the ground or into a planter.
To protect against harmful spirits visualise yourself surrounded by prickly gorse branches or craft yourself a charm containing an appropriate number of gorse spines.
Mythology and Literature
There is little direct mythology surrounding Gorse, though it does appear in folkloric discussions of the 1800’s as being a method of warding off the negative influences of the fae. This appears to have been applicable at home, as a hedge or boughs brought into the home to be placed about the afflicted person, or in the pasture. In this case gorse was added to the Beltane fire or planted as a boundary between grazing. By extension if gorse can protect against the fae there are also references to it being used to protect against witchcraft.
In ‘Celtic Folklore -Welsh And Manx’ written in 1901, John Rhys reports that:
‘The break of this day (May 1st) is also the signal for setting the ling or the gorse on fire, which is done in order to burn out the witches wont to take the form of the hare; and guns, I am told, were freely used to shoot any game met with on that morning.’
Another common folkloric refrain is is if the gorse is out of bloom, then you should not be missing your loved ones. Fortunately, enough the non-native gorse flower all year round so kissing season is always in.
“When gorse is out of blossom,”The Song of The Gorse Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker
(Its prickles bare of gold)
“Then kissing’s out of fashion,”
Said country-folk of old.
Now Gorse is in its glory
In May when skies are blue,
But when time is over,
Whatever shall we do?
O dreary would the world be,
With everyone grown cold –
Forlorn as prickly bushes
Without their fairy gold!
But this will never happen:
At every time of year
You’ll find one bit of blossom –
A kiss from someone dear!
Sources and Further Reading
Learn Religion – Ogham
The Goddess Tree
Gorse Tree in Celtic Mythology
Gorse Tree – Celtic Meaning
Trees for Life
RSPB – Managing Gorse for Wildlife