In Celtic mythology, the ash tree – Uinsinn, pronounced ooshin - is The Tree of Life. It’s said to have roots equal in length and spread to its branches. Imagine, then, all that’s happening beneath the surface – the pull of opposites, each side reaching, stretching just as far as it can. From their struggle? A magnificent creation of beauty and light.
Ancient folklore noted the balance of three in this scenario - branches representing the gods, the trunk linked to humanity, roots entrenched in the underworld. Thus, “Everything is connected, and no action taken without widespread consequences.” It’s good to think about that in a world gone crazy. How the even the smallest acts born of ignorance or fear can begin to poison the whole. Yet, ipso facto, the opposite holds true. A loving act at the roots will strengthen the entire tree.
What if human beings were to think as trees?
Witch lore credited the ash with magical properties and witches made tea from the bark to attract their true love. They burned ash wood for prosperity, slept with the leaves under their pillows to woo prophetic dreams, and carved broomsticks from the branches.
Saint Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland with an ash branch and Irish emigrants to America brought pieces of ash with them as a charm against drowning
Ah, to remember our magic? What we could do!
In British folklore, the ash was credited with a range of healing properties, mostly to do with pediatric health. Newborn babies were given a teaspoon of ash sap, and ailing children were passed naked through a cleft carved in the tree. Afterwards, the cleft was bound together to heal over as the child also healed.
Imagine, in a world bereft of healers, having that gift at your fingertips, in your heart. Imagine the faith it takes to open yourself and bind other’s wounds.
And yet, here, in the midst of the lunacy we call life, is the tree. It’s no mistake that green is color of the heart chakra, which represents love, forgiveness, compassion, hope – and neither is it hard to believe that God created the tree a few days ahead of mankind.
Maybe someday we’ll catch up.
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