Trees of the goddess – 9th month

Jul 28th, 2015 | By | Category: Articles

9th Month: 5 Aug – 1 Sep

By Elen Sentier

Again this month we have the two trees sharing the time and giving us their combined help.

Hazel and apple

art by Judith F Hubbard


I went out to the hazelwood,

Because a fire was in my head,

W. B. Yeats


Yeats was a man of the Faer. The fire in the head he speaks of is wisdom; it sets light to your current habits and patterns and reduces them to ashes … it forces you to get out of the box!

Scotland’s old name, Caledonia, derives from Caldun meaning fort of the hazel. The word cnocach means wisdom and comes from a common word for hazelnut, cno. It’s about a “place of knowing” and the word shaman means “one who knows” while our British word, awenydd, means one who knows spirit and is a spirit keeper. The hazel nut is about this knowing of wisdom and about “keeping” it, holding it, treasuring it.

Hazel is the tree of divination for many who use the V-shaped hazel rod for dowsing; through this is helps us to find wisdom. It also helps us to keep from being elf-shot, confused by all we learn in otherworld, and able to find our way through the twisty maze of wisdom our journey in otherworld will present us with.

The hazel helps us to find the wisdom that brings us to the fire in the head of deep knowing.


Apple has been part of our history and mythology since the Bronze Age. Its name is the root from which the name of Avalon derives. Apples are the life-giving fruit of Avalon, the Isle of Rebirth for the British tradition. They are also the fruit of wisdom and of life. It’s also one of the few host trees for mistletoe, another magical plant but not one of the ogham trees.

Apple is about kenning … that means the ability to know. It’s not about having knowledge of something, not to have learned about something, but to know it deeply in your bones. It is the fruit of truth.

Knowing, kenning, is what the awenydd, the shaman, does. There’s no need for logic in this kind of knowing, no mental-thinking or rationalisation. As an example, try this idea … if I throw a bucket of water over you then you know, absolutely, that you’re wet! You don’t need a weekend course, or to read it in a book, or be told it by some expert with alphabet soup after their name. You know, without any doubt or rationalisation, that you’re wet!

Kenning is like this and apple helps you to get this kind of knowing.


Tress of the Goddess:

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