CELTIC LUNAR MOONS
The Celtic Tree Calendar is based on thirteen lunar divisions. Each division has a sacred tree assigned to it that were said to have been chosen by ancient Druids. The trees rich in history and folk lore have many magickal energies associated to them. Please note that the Celtic Tree calendar was written from the Northern Hemisphere.
BIRCH – Beth. December 24th – January 20th
The Birch is a tree of the Goddess. Birch symbolises rebirth, protection and purification. Birch is traditionally used as the ‘bristles’ when fashioning brooms and besoms.
ROWAN – Luis - January 21st – February 17th
The berries of the Rowan tree are said to be food of the Gods. The tree is known for its protection especially against Witches and yet it is known as a Witch tree and greatly revered by us. Rowan is used for banishing and binding spells, divination and vision work.
ASH – Nion - February 18th – March 17th
It is said that the realm between earth and sky is connected by the Ash tree and has long been recognized for its magickal energies and connection to the Gods of the Sea, mainly Lir, a Celtic sea God. The staff of the traditional Witches besom is made from Ash, so too is the Stang. The Stang is a staff that represents the Teutonic world tree, Ygdrasill that connects to the Underworld and the physical world. The prongs, are seen as the antlers of the God. The Ash is said to attract lightening and as Lammas has much thunder and lightning around this season, then ideally you should not stand under the Ash tree during a storm! Ash is also a tree of love, prosperity and protection.
ALDER – Fearn - March 18th - April 14th
When the tree of the Alder is cut, the sap runs red and is seen as blood to the Celts and also a reminder of the sacrifice the tree has given so that it may be used for charcoal, house building and keeping one warm over the cold nights and days. The root system of the Alder is nurturing and provides essential nutrients for the soils, more so than other trees. The Alder is a tree of divination and will make you face up to situations that you have been avoiding, it will of course help you do this and not just leave you alone as you work through these situations.
WILLOW – Saille - April 15th – May 12th
The Willow is the tree that sits by the water and helps ease us into the Summerland. Tree of enchantment, healing, immortality and its branches are used to bind the brushes of the Witches besom.
HAWTHORN – Uath - May 13th – June 9th
The Hawthorn, once known simply as ‘May’ was a traditional tree honoured throughout the British isles and of course due to the flowering of its striking blossoms and the large hidden thorns it has which make it ideal as a protective tree and one for hedgerows to keep animals within their boundaries. A tree of the Fae and protection it was considered a bad omen to bring it indoors however some believe that Beltane is a fine time to decorate with it around the home, in baskets and as a talisman. Keeping in mind for New Zealand our Beltane is not until October when the hawthorn will be blossoming.
OAK – Duir - June 10th – July 7th
The Oak is the known as the King, the tree of the God and protector of the forests. It imparts endurance, courage, fertility, protection and strength. The trees noble presence assured ancient people that with the good will of their Gods, leader and warriors that they could prevail against all odds. The Celtic word ‘Duir’ is believed to mean door and possibly the root word of druid.
HOLLY – Tinne – July 8th – August 4th
Holly is the ruler of Winter and the King of the darker half of the seasonal wheel. While around us many other trees lie dormant the Holly is bright and rich with his greenery and red berries. Due to their prickly leaves they are an ideal herb for protection and are said to guard against lightning strikes and used in defense magick and spells. Bring Holly branches into the home over winter to honour this season and add a touch of greenery and protection to the home and all who reside there.
HAZEL – Coll – August 5th – September 1st
The Hazel tree is considered to be one of great wisdom and throughout the ancients has been utilized for its magick and divination purposes. To the Celts, the Hazel sits at the heart of the Otherworld where nine hazel trees sit over the well of wisdom and drop their hazelnuts into the water that are said to bubble with inspiration and knowledge. The nuts are considered to be potent amulets of wisdom, courage, protection, prophetic dreams and visions.
VINE - Muin - September 2nd - September 29th
The winding vine is an integral part of Celtic knot art work and weavings displayed in tapestries, jewellery, body art and on weapons as protection symbols to those who use them. It also symbolises expansion, fertility and regeneration.
IVY - Gort - September 30th - October 27th
The plant that intertwines and winds itself through cracks and crevices where one cannot enter. A durable plant it searches and forever attempts to move forward. Used in protection, healing and strength magick and spells.
REED – Ngetal - October 28th – November 24th
Reeds were and still are used as thatch for many homes. Placed on the floor they created warmth and insulation as well as being practical. They also made good candles when the tips were lit.
ELDER – Ruis - November 25th – December 22nd
The Elder is a tree of judgement and protection, a sacred tree that protects the Fae and keeps away negative energies and evil spirits. Branches of Elder are hung in doorways and over stable to protect those within.
MISTLETOE - Uil-iok – December 23rd
The Mistletoe is an aerial parasitic plant that grows high in the boughs of trees. It does not have roots and is dependent on its host for survival. It is used in charms for protection against witchcraft, bans evil spirits and brings good luck and blessings.
NATIVE AMERICAN MOONS
The following Moons are named from the Algonquian Tribes however these names may vary depending on the tribe and their locations.
JANUARY – Wolf Moon. Named for when the wolves are howling. Aka Ice Moon, Old Moon and Snow Moon.
FEBRUARY – Snow Moon. It is cold and snowing and also a time of hunger so this moon is sometimes known as the Hunger Moon or Storm Moon.
MARCH - Worm Moon. The last Full Moon of the winter season and named so due to the earthworms that come out at the end of winter. Also known as the Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Sap Moon and Sugar Moon.
APRIL – Pink Moon. Named form the pink flowers that bloom in the early spring. Aka Fish Moon, Hare Moon and Sprouting Grass Moon.
MAY – Flower Moon. This is due to the flowers that are blooming in abundance. Aka Corn Planting Moon or Milk Moon.
JUNE – Strawberry Moon. The time when the little red berries ripen and are ready for picking and eating. Aka Hot Moon, Mead Moon and Rose Moon.
JULY – Buck Moon. This signifies the time when new antlers appear of the Bucks foreheads. Aka Hay Moon, Thunder Moon and Wort Moon.
AUGUST – Sturgeon Moon. This is when there is a large number of fish in the lakes where the Algonquin tribes fished. Aka Fruit Moon, Grain Moon and Green Corn Moon.
SEPTEMBER – Corn Moon. A time to begin the harvest. Aka Barley Moon or Full Corn Moon.
OCTOBER – Hunters Moon. Preparing for the coming winter means hunting, slaughtering and preserving much needed food and other uses of the animals to honour them fully. Aka Blood Moon and Dying Grass Moon.
NOVEMBER – Beaver Moon. This is when Beavers become active while they themselves prepare for winter. Aka Frosty Moon. If the Beaver Moon is the last Full Moon before the Winter Solstice it is also known as the Mourning Moon.
DECEMBER – Cold Moon. Winter has begun and it is a cold time of hibernation.
VIKING MOON PHASES
Mani pronounced as “MAH-nee” means Moon. The Vikings had only two seasons, summer and winter and their year was divided differently from what we have today. The Viking Lunar calendar counts the months from New Moon to New Moon or Full Moon to Full Moon and one must remember that many Scandinavian nights are so bright that the Moon may not be seen at all.
GORMANUDUR - This is the first winter month known as Butcher or Slaughter month. On the first day of this month a feast is held to honour the God Freyr, to thank him for the harvest. This feast is known as Winter Blot.
YLIR - The second month of winter known as Yule month or Odin’s month. This was the longest and coldest time of the year. Odin was travelling around Midgard and visiting the villages.
MORSUGUR - The third month of winter and known as the Blood Sucking month or Fat Sucking month either as it is so cold one feels it in their marrow or due to the month needed fat of the animal to help one see their way through this extremely cold time. This is the month when the Winter Solstice is usually celebrated.
PORRI - The fourth winter month also known as Frozen Snow month or Thorri and when the feast Torrablot is held. Thorri is said to be a winter spirit and is welcomed into the home. Also known as the month of men and when women were to tend to their menfolk
GOI - The fifth winter month that is known as the women’s month. Goi was Thorri’s daughter and a winter spirit.
EINMANUDUR - The sixth and last month of winter known as the Lone month. A month dedicated to the boys.
HARPA - The first of the summer months. This is when the biggest celebration is held, the Summer Blot. A feast to Odin, God of war and to ensure victory and happiness in their travels. The month is also dedicated to the girls.
SKERPLA - The second month of summer. Time to work and prepare.
SOLMANUDUR - The third month of summer and known as the Sun month. The brightest time of the year and usually when the Summer Solstice is held.
HEYANNIR - The fourth summer month and known as the Haymaking month. A time to harvest and dry the hay.
TVIMANDUR - The last summer month and means Two month. Also called the Harvest month or the Corn Cutting month.
HAUSTMANUDUR - Time to get ready for the coming winter.