19 February 2011

Divination: Celtic Ogham - Fearn

Tree: Alder
Letter: F and V
Color: Crimson
Element: Water
Bird: Raven (some sources say Gull)
Deities: Lugh, Bran,
Month: March/April (some sources say January)
Planet: Mars
Crystal: Amethyst
Chakras: Sacral, base and solar plexus

Alder is about balance, compassion and self-preservation. Its root systems are said to return poor soils to healthy pH levels. The Druids regarded Fearn as indicating balance between the male/female energies within the individual.

Associated with death and resurrections, Alder sticks were once used to measure graves. When cut cleanly, a branch first 'bleeds' white, then turns red. In addition, it regenerates itself by sprouting from remaining stumps.

Alder grows in wet places near rivers, streams and in swamps. Its wood, resistant to rot, was used for things that needed to last, like building foundation pilings, milk buckets, bridges and boats. In fact, the wetter it gets, the stronger it gets - let it dry out, and it'll get brittle and break. It was also used to make magical whistles, a figurative bridge between earth and heaven.

It was once said that if you cut one down, its angry spirit might burn your house. Which makes sense, because its charcoal was an excellent ingredient for gunpowder.

When Fearn appears in a reading, it is reminding you to keep a lid on your temper. Keep your eyes open for the unique qualities alive in others. Be a bridge of mediation in a dispute. Look for the unusual or what's "off" or out of place/balance. Stop talking and start listening...then be the voice of reason. Let your intuition be your guide. Fearn is a symbol of the evolving spirit.

The ancient Celts used Alder to make their shields, and used their instincts to know when to attack, when to shield, and when to use their strength to promote peace among warring peoples.
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