Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Ogham Tree Alphabet May into June

From my little book  The Ogham sketchbook by Karen Cater.  The Hawthorn is the tree that stands for the letter H written in Ogham top left below. Also representing the number 6 for the 6th Lunar month.

The Saxon name for the Hawthorn was Haegthorn = hedgetree



 One of several big hawthorn trees on my meadow.


Several superstitions surround the Hawthorn

 For protection
Beware the oak, it courts a stroke,
Beware the Ash, it courts a flash,
Creep under the Thorn,
It will save you from harm.


From the mid C17 it was considered unlucky to bring Hawthorn blossom into the house due to the fact that people with the  plague had the scent of  May flowers about them.

Before that time Hawthorn branches were woven into a globe and hung in the rafters of the kitchen to protect from fire. Taken down when the May flowered the following year it was then burnt and the ashes scattered on the vegetable garden for fertility.

Back Tomorrow
Sue


23 comments:

  1. I didn't know hawthorn was "unlucky". I did get told off for putting lilac in a vase in the OAP home where I worked. "there will be a death" said angry residents, and hadn't my Gran told me? I said she didn't hold with such stuff, and she used to sing "We'll gather lilacs" so I thought it was OK.

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    1. I understand that the lilac flowers are reminiscent of the plumes on the horses pulling the coffin carriages.

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    2. My gran and my mum were both superstitious about lots of things and not having lilac in the house was one

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  2. Funny how so many superstitions are rooted in something quite explainable. I love your book. I remember having to study the Ogham stones and alphabet in history, as we have the largest number of Ogham stones outside Ireland in my county.

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    1. I hadn't heard of it until I read the crime mysteries set in 6C Ireland

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  3. Hawthorn blossom is gorgeous and I am sure the birds are all delighted at the feast to come.
    xx

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  4. the ogham alphabet would make a wonderful cross stitch cushion , i will file it in ideas for another day .....its a very big file. lol

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  5. Another reason for not bringing May into the house and probably more relevant than the one I know. Mum would have 40 fits if I tried to bring any in!! The one I knew was that Christ's crown of thorns was made from Hawthorn. We have a big tree of it in the paddock and I love walks this time of year as they punctuate the landscape so beautifully.

    I've crept right INSIDE a thorn hedge when it was pouring with rain when I was out on a walk once. Although it had been trimmed, it was still dense and kept the worst of the weather off.

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    1. I though OUCH when I saw that last sentence!

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  6. I always wondered why a flower as sweet as hawthorn was considered unlucky - now I know :)

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    1. There are so many folk tales around passed from generation through the ages

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  7. My mother would never bring hawthorn into the house and nor will I. Same with ivy, it is unlucky. Ivy is associated with bad luck. I was watching the Chateaux DIY programme the other night and one of chateau owners decorated the interior with ivy. I thought to myself this man is going to get some bad luck. Almost within hours things started to go wrong, the water wouldn't work, the toilets blocked, he couldn't get hold of a plumber and they hd 150 guests coming. That's ivy for you. Holly on the other hand is considered a good omen. Hawthorn blossom is associated with death and I would not touch it with a barge pole, It is nice to look at in the hedgerows, that is all and where it should remain.

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    1. Never heard that about Ivy - thought it has always been used at Christmas

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    2. I think it is considered that it should be outside the door not in but there is an exception for Christmas Day when it can be brought in just for the day. My mother had a superstition for everything. Life was like walking on eggshells in case you had accidentally done something that was going to bring about the end of the world. A lot have rubbed off on me though!

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  8. I knew about, Lilac and Hawthorn but did not know about Ivy which is my Mums name and a nicer person you would not know she would do anything for anyone.
    I enjoy reading about the customs of years ago.
    Hazel c uk 🌈🌈🌈

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  9. Rachel - I never knew that Ivy was unlucky. I saw that Chateau programme too - Angel uses a lot of it! We bring it in at Christmas and make our outside wreath using ivy as a base.

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    1. I haven't noticed Angel using ivy although she uses plenty of other hedgerow plants. The programme in question was where the two men are doing a chateau on behalf of a consortium. I wonder how they are faring now!

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    2. Yes, ivy is for outside the door, not in.

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  10. The Hawthorns in our woodland look beautiful when they erupt into blossom every year, although it doesn't last long. I've never even thought about bringing any in ... good job eh!!

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