Well I have sold the last of this years crop of Rowan berries and as I was carefully packing them up for their journey across the Atlantic, I thought about the amount of powerful magic that is contained within these tiny red fruits and within the wood of the Rowan tree.
Rowan crosses have been used for centuries within the Isles of Albion to ward off evil from the home, animals and the buildings used to house animals. It was feared and still is in many parts, that unless protected, the animals and family living within the buildings, could fall prey to unfriendly fairies , evil sprites and the “evil eye”.
The crosses of the Wytchen tree are also employed to keep maleficus witches away and to protect from the evil eye and their malevolent spells and bewitchments; therefore they are hung above doorways and at windows.
The Wytchen tree’s magical protective power is believed to come from its red berries. Berries from the Rowan tree have a small pentagram on them at the base of the berry making it very important and magical to the Druids; the pentagram being the most ancient and universal symbol of protection and especially protection from enchantments and sorcery. The Rowan’s old Celtic name is Fid na ndruad which means Wizards Tree and this shows its long tradition of being associated with Druids, sorcerers and magical folk. The name Rowan also has roots in the old Norse word “Runa”, meaning a charm and so it again shows its importance within Western Europe as a powerful magical amulet. It may well have roots in the old Swedish “Roon” too, which means “Red”.
The Rowan was planted near ancient stone circles, cairns, barrows and in churchyards to protect the spirits of the dead.
The Rowan is also associated with visions and portents, with vitality and reawakening and with spiritual strength. It is also closely linked with serpents and dragons and so protects earth energies in ley lines and standing stones. The smoke from Rowan is used to call up spirit guides and to foretell the future of lovers. Carrying a talisman of Rowan, such as the berries worn as a necklace or bracelet, increases psychic powers and is believed to increase the chances of success in all areas. The berries are also believed to bring good luck when incorporated into a charm or talisman.
In the Irish Romance of Fraoth, the berries of the Rowan were guarded by a dragon and contained the nourishment of nine meals. They could heal the wounded and add a year to a person’s life. In the legend of The Quickening Tree of Dubhous, the Rowan had wonderful berries that could turn a one hundred year old man into a youthful thirty year old.
There are many uses for the magical Wytchen Tree berries within sorcery; their importance and use have spanned many ages – a true testament to the continued belief and reliance on their magical properties.