Showing posts from May, 2021

Imagination needed to reclaim native species

According to the poet Robert Graves, the branches of ash trees were used by the druids to make theirwands. In his rich, esoteric, and often unfathomable, book The White Goddess, Graves equates a number of trees native to Europe with the Ogham alphabet. The ash symbolised the letter ‘N’ in the arcane script which can still be seen carved into standing stones throughout Ireland. Graves writes: “A descendant of the Sacred Tree of Creevna, also an ash, was still standing at Killura in the nineteenth century; its wood was a charm against drowning, and emigrants to America after the Potato Famine carried it away with them piecemeal.” The Irish name for ash is fionnseog and in Old Irish, uinnius. It can be found in townlands such as Ardunshin (Ard Uinseann – height of ash trees) in Clogher, Co Tyrone, and Altnahinch (Alt na hUisne - also height of the ash tree), in the parish of Loughguile in Co Antrim. The ash was often associated with holy wells and because of its flexibility ash was tradit