Celtic Meaning of the Blackthorn Tree
Among the Celts, this sacred tree of the Ogham was considered a portent of challenges ahead, but with the promise of improvement once we push through those challenges.
The Druids recognized portents struggle intuitively in the formation of the blackthorn tree's growth. This tree has some wicked thorns that are ominous looking at best. Indeed, when cut by these thorns the human flesh can turn septic fairly rapidly.
In autumn it turns a sulfurous yellow and when these leaves drop they expose a contorted body. This mangled imagery brought the concept of strife and suffering to the Celtic mind.
These visual observations made the blackthorn a symbol of the other half of life that we often shrink back from. When the blackthorn showed itself in Ogham oracle practices, it could be considered as a portent of war, illness or discouragement. It was a sign to get ready and brace yourself.
The blackthorn is not all bad. On the contrary, the Celts observed that this tree produced some of the sweetest berries among the sacred tribe of trees. However, these berries were at their most succulent and sweetest after a hard frost. Here again we see symbolism of strife - but in this light we are shown that the blessing comes after the challenge.
In this way the blackthorn shows us that our very best fruits sometimes come after trials, setbacks and tribulations. We would do well to keep this in mind as we are in the midst of our challenges. We will come out on the other side better and sweeter than we were before.
Furthermore, the blackthorn is a message that preparation is often the best solution for any difficulty. When we encounter the blackthorn in our experience, (either in our nature walks or by oracle), it is a time to honor the bounty we already have, and take practical measures to button up any loose ends we might trip over in the future. The message of the blackthorn should not be observed as all gloom. Rather, it can be a message of opportunity if we embrace our experiences as an avenue for growth.
Don't stop grooving through the groves! More Celtic meaning of trees can be found by clicking on the branches below:
An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings
Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.
This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."
Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)
As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!