Celtic Hazel Tree Meaning
One look at the hazel tree and it's easy to see why the Celtic meaning of the hazel tree deals with creativity, and why the druids held it in such high regard amongst the Ogham ranks.
The hazel's unusual branch formations make it a delight to ponder, and was often used for inspiration in art, as well as poetry.
The bards, ovates and druids of the Celtic day would intently observe its crazy curly-Q branches. Doing this would lead them into other worlds of delightful fantasy. Much the same way our modern imaginations can be captured by a good movie, the creative Celts were artistically motivated by the seemingly random and wild contortions of the hazel.
A more commonly known fact is that the hazel is considered a container of ancient knowledge. Ingestion of the hazel nuts is proposed to induce visions, heightened awareness and lead to epiphanies. Indeed, the legend of Fionn Mac Cumhail tells of his gaining the wisdom of the universe by simply coming in contact with the essence of the hazel nut.
He did this through the salmon, which was known to eat the hazel nuts that dropped around a sacred pond encircled by nine hazel trees. It was fabled that from their diet of the nuts, the salmon too were keys to infinite knowledge. Fionn burned his finger while preparing a soup of these very salmon. Instinctively, Fionn thrust is finger in his mouth to soothe the burn and by this slight contact he became enlightened.
Interestingly, in modern times the hazel nut has proven itself to be a brain food. Pound for pound the hazel nut have double the protein, and good fats than eggs, making them natural nourishment for brain function.
When you are creatively stuck, or your intellectual growth seems stagnate, call upon the energy of the hazel tree. Better yet, eat a few hazelnuts, or make a necklace from the nuts. Often such necklaces were worn for protection as well as to illicit visions. Likewise, hazelnuts were (still are) eaten just before engaging in divinatory, foretelling or meditative practices.
Post script: Pick your hazelnuts after they have fallen from the tree. It is considered bad form to pick them unripe off the branches.
Don't stop now - click on the tree branches below for more Celtic meanings of trees!
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!