Celtic Meaning Elder Tree

celtic meaning elder tree in druid ogham
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Celtic Meaning Elder Tree in the Druid Ogham

Celtic Meaning of the Elder Tree in the Ancient Ogham

The elder tree ruling time is within the cycle of the thirteenth moon. This is also the end of the old year at the time of Samhain. This is where the elder derives its symbolism of endings and/or death.

In this same vein, the druids and ancient Celts recognized the elder had natural banishing abilities.

The essence of its leaves, and the odor of its pretty white flowers were proven to ward off pesky insects. This origin might have been expanded upon in Celtic lore where we learn branches were hung over doors to ward off evil spirits.

Right on the heels of its associations of banishment and death come the elder’s attributes of rebirth and renewal. The elder earns these symbolism’s honestly as it has long been recognized as a prized medicinal tree. Everything from bark to berries has been used to treat all manner of ailments. The ancient Celtic people recognized its healing abilities, and honored the elder for the gifts of good health.

Symbolic Celtic Meaning of the Elder Tree

  • Death
  • Cycles
  • Rebirth
  • Renewal
  • Creativity
  • Regeneration
  • Transformation

“To cherish the earth is the only true hope of survival.”

~Wendell Berry

The elder tree is known as a transformative Celtic symbol because it is associated with the realm of fairies. Celtic lore indicates that if you stand near an elder tree at Midsummer’s Eve the land of the fairies will be revealed to your searching eyes. Furthermore, fairies love music – particularly the lulling notes of a flute made from elder wood.

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

Thanks for reading these thoughts about the symbolic Celtic meanings of the elder tree.

Continue on to more Ogham meanings by clicking on the branches below:

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