9/06/2010

Rowan

Something random about the name Rowan which I am terribly fond of :p

The rowan tree is a shrub commonly found in northern Europe as well as in the north east parts of North America. Also known as the mountain ash, the rowan tree is believed to have magical properties by various cultures for many years. There are many different legends pertaining to this tree:
1. According to Finnish legend, the land was barren & devoid of life until a goddess, Rauni landed & took the form of the rowan tree. The tree was struck by lightning, described as the mating between Rauni & Ukko, the god of thunder, hence all plants & animals sprang forth from the rowan tree.

2. In England, the tree is where the Devil hanged his mother. Morbid, no?

3. The tree is prominent in Celtic folklore, providing protection against evil spirits. Rowan trees were planted at churchyards to keep the restless spirits in their graves & to protect the church. Women would wear necklaces of rowan berries strung with red thread & the twigs placed over the door/under the bed.
4. The Irish legend Forest of Dooros tells of faeries who love to eat the berries of the rowan trees brought from Fairyland. One of the seeds fell to earth & sprouted, producing berries that are not only sweet but can grant immortal life. To protect the magical tree, the faeries called upon the giant Sharvan in the forest & the few who dared to disturb the tree were never heard of again.

Today the rowan tree is a treasured material for magical practices. It's not only the preferred wood for making wands & amulets, it also purportedly can enhance the seer within by improving psychic abilities.
Laidley Wood (traditional Celtic ballad):
The spells were vain
The hag returned
To the Queen in a sorrowful mood
Crying that witches have no power
Where there is no Rowan tree wood

There's even a song about this tree!

Oh rowan tree, oh rowan tree, thoul't aye be dear to me,
Entwin'd thou art wi' mony ties, o' hame and infancy.
Thy leaves were aye the first o' spring, thy flowr's the simmer's pride
There was nae sic a bonnie tree, in all the country side.
Oh rowan tree.

How fair wert thou in simmer time, wi' all thy clusters white.
Now rich and gay thy autumn dress, wi' berries red and bright
On thy fair stem were mony names which now nae mair I see.
But there engraven on my heart, forgot they ne'er can be.
Oh rowan tree.

We sat aneath thy spreading shade, the bairnies round thee ran
They pu'd thy bonnie berries red and necklaces they strang.
My mither, oh, I see her still, she smil'd our sports to see,
Wi' little Jeannie on her lap, wi' Jamie at her knee.
Oh rowan tree.

Oh, there arose my father's pray'r in holy evening's calm,
How sweet was then my mither's voice in the martyr's psalm
Now a' are gane! we met nae mair aneathe the rowan tree,
But hallowed thoughts around thee twine o' hame and infancy,
Oh rowan tree.

An interesting bit to find out about the name of my online persona :)

Disclaimer: I was inspired to use the name after reading the Mayfair Witches saga (the protagonist is Rowan Mayfair, a powerful witch) :p

3 comments:

Radin87 said...

Wah, A guardian tree. How lovely.. (^_^)

aMMerZ said...

so should i call u, miss mayfair, the powerful witch??@_!

Marcel said...

Well, i did find something that might help here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil_With_the_Three_Golden_Hairs

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms/29devilgoldhairs.html