Celtic Meaning of the Hawthorn Tree

Celtic Meaning of Hawthorn Tree

Celtic Hawthorn Tree Meaning

The Celtic meaning of the hawthorn tree deals with balance and duality. The hawthorn is full of contradictions, none of which went unnoticed by the soul-minded Celts.

In May, the hawthorn is in its glory with strikingly beautiful blossoms. These are nestled tightly among the hawthorn's large and lethal looking thorns. Here we see the first of several juxtapositions, giving this tree/shrub its colorful reputation in history.

Excellent herbalists and botanists, ancient Celts understood the superior medicinal value of hawthorn leaves and blossoms. However, it was considered a bad omen to bring its branches inside the home. This is largely due from the smell of cut branches was much the same as decaying flesh (indeed, the chemical components are the same). Here we see life-giving aspects as well as associations of death within the same symbolic tree.

Further, the hawthorn is imbued with male energy, yet it is historically a symbol of fertility and associated with the female goddess aspects (mother, maiden, crone).

What do all these contradictions mean? The hawthorn is a standing testament to the idea of duality; it is a perfect depiction of the concept of yin and yang.

The Celts understood the power of balance. They also knew that what could not be attributed to specific outcomes (as sometimes evident in the dance of contradictions played out by the hawthorn) indicated a great source of magic. In other words, that which cannot be explained contains immense power.

The hawthorn is to be respected in all its diversity and duality. It is a symbol of union of opposites, and serves as a message for us to be more accepting of the unconventional.

Click here to learn about the Hawthorn Sign of the Celtic Zodiac (on this site).

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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!


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