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The Celtic Tree Calendar

THE COUNCIL OF TREES: Text

The Celtic Tree Calendar is based on the ancient Celtic ogham alphabet, the creation of this nature based system is usually accredited to the ancient Druids. The ogham alphabet includes twenty-five letters which are symbols consisting of lines that cross each other and would have been etched into stone in ancient times. The ogham alphabet are associated with twenty-five trees and shrubs with the twenty-fifth letter representing The Sea. The first fifteen ogham letters and their respective trees make up the cycles of The Celtic Tree Calendar. Two of cycles share two trees with The Grove and the Koad ogham assigned to Samhain on the 31st of October. I follow the lunar version of the calendar which begins on November 1st also known as the Celtic or the Witches New Year. The lunar version of the calendar is based on the 13 lunations of the year. I offer the option to choose to assign the Yew tree as belonging at the point of Samhain. For me The Celtic Tree Calendar is a living rooted system supporting us in consciously moving through the seasons of the year.  Acknowledging associated trees and their ogham  and the guidance they offer.

The Celtic Tree Calendar is a beautifully illuminating and deeply mystical natural system for personal growth and the souls evolution.  There is much debate around the Celtic Tree Calendars origin, authenticity and general relevance as a modern spiritual system. I believe that which is created from insight and inspiration needs not be held and dogmatically fixed to a time and place. The Celtic Tree Calendar and ogham will evolve and so will the way in which it lives and breathes in our lives. The ogham had a specific purpose when created that suited the time and place of origin.  However now in this present day or any point in the future we can still discover new and equally truthful ways to rediscover, reveal and relate to something that is a fundamental rhythm of nature.  We can honour our ancestors and those who developed and carried these ancient traditions over time and we can continue support the evolution of this illuminating natural system. We can embrace our own magics and inner divinity working with the trees.  Directing our own synchronisation with wild elements and integrating deeply into the natural world.  We can encourage the ogham and the Celtic Tree Calendar to continue to evolve and flourish in this present day.  I have noticed curious patterns that have offered me an enhanced experience with greater relational depth in the way I access and understand the wisdom available through journeying within The Celtic Tree Calendar.  I would like to share with you an enhanced approach to journeying with the trees.


Take a stroll with me through the woods and I will tell you a story. It is a warm and bright day, the sun is shining brightly.  Deep within the woodland we are enjoying scattered iridescent beams of light filtered kindly through the trees and a gentle breeze. The soil beneath our feet is cool and musky.  Pungent scents of wild plants, humus and sweet pine sap, lap around our thighs. We take our shoes off and inhale deeply, such abandoned freedom. The soles of our feet naked, tender warm skin touching soft bare earth. The air is thick and wet, dripping with heathery aromas. Delicate shadows dance through the thickets and the sweetness of song is the birds own honey.


We follow the path, each step intentional of our love for this place. We are on our way to visit the Great Oak, eternally rooted and always beyond the farthest tree in the distance. We notice as we wander along the path that many more smaller trails open up on either side of us, each one an invitation to go deeper. We continue to walk on.  Soaking up through our legs deeply relaxing earth life force. Our lungs awaken, yawn and stretch. Heart beats soothe our cautious fox within and our mind loosens and lightens. All life slows for a moment. Now I will begin.

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Spiritual Weather

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What if we think of this beautiful walk along this woodland path as the Celtic Tree Calendar. We are always moving forward, meeting each tree along the way and at some point we will reach the Great Oak. We are always moving forward, never getting lost, never challenging our senses. To journey within the trees of the tree calendar is to live in the here and now and fully present. The trees support us as we move through our lives and encountering what I call 'spiritual weather'. Spiritual weather patterns are often the unseen and sometimes seen forces of nature that affect us each day.  Just as normal weather patterns will charge the seasons with associated elements during the cycle of the year, so do spiritual weather patterns affect how we feel and think each day infusing moods into our lives. Psychic winds will blow in and rain upon the intuition debris from many locations for instance the collective unconscious and conscious minds of all living beings and plant life.  Astrological effects of the planets, stars and the moon will saturate the atmosphere. We also feel the energetic forces of water lines, ley lines, sacred sites as they are impacted or energised by seasonal and astrological triggers.  We experience seasonally associated energy through the festivals of The wheel of the year. We are like walking aerials.  We pick up vibes and have feelings in our bones and gut sensations. For some of us spiritual weather is a subtle awareness of something unusual in the air and for others it is a loud and clear weather broadcast. Each tree cycle we journey through invites us to look to the trees for their support during the spiritual weather. We can regard the general guidance of a tree cycle and reflect on how their wisdoms can offer us insights into our daily life experience and support us through how spiritual energy affects us. For instance if it was forecast for rain we would wear wellies and take an umbrella. For snow we might wear gloves and take our sledge out to have fun.  And for a high pollen count, if we have allergies we would stay indoors as much as possible or take precautions.  It is a similar process with spiritual weather. The spiritual weather can affect our attitudes and behaviours, dilute or enhance our life force energy and carry the wind of inspiration to us. For instance as example would be in October we are in the Elder tree cycle and  we are approaching Samhain on the 31st of October represented by The Grove Ogham. The spiritual weather tells us that during this time the spiritual veil between worlds is lifting and we become more susceptible to experience unseen or unknown forces.  We ourselves and those around us may be going through deep soulful transitions during the Elder cycle. We may be facing endings and trying to integrate past life traumas. In the Elder tree cycle we may be feeling emotionally deep and our vulnerabilities might resurface and challenge us. Elder season encourages us to sink into our souls journey, communicate with our spirit and open up to our potential for change. Elder also delivers the invitation for us to reunite with our ancestors and so we might want to sit in sacred space or meditate. The Elder tree cycle encourages to live fully present and harness the potential available to us in the here and now.

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The Council of Trees

THE COUNCIL OF TREES: Text
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Let us come back to our woodland walk. On this unsheltered path we are exposed to the weather, regular and spiritual. It begins to rain heavily. We notice that a mossy trail appears to lead into the woods and curves into a grove of thick umbrella like conifers. Some of us would rather stay on the main path skipping deliriously through every muddy puddle praising the Goddess, I know who you are! We also feel safer on the main path, its brighter, wider and we can see more around us.  But lets take a risk here, we will walk together and choose this new pathway that leads us into a deeper denser part of the woods. We stroll beneath furry giants and to our surprise we find nestled here and there within the shadows woodland creatures.  Rabbits, bumble bees and deer also seeking a little respite from the rain. This winding pathway leads us through an enchanting otherworldly place. The air is different in this place, the sounds and smells are strange yet familiar in some way and the light is filtered into shades of emerald and lime greens. As we wander through the woods we encounter curious and peculiar trees, they observe us as we pass by regarding our intentions. These trees are the guardians and the great teachers of the shadows and they offer hidden wisdoms that can illuminate and inform us on the unseen energies within the deepest realms and depths of our being.  They are the Hidden Trees of the Celtic Tree Calendar.



 The Council Of Trees


These hidden trees reside in the shadows, on the edge of our awareness.  They are reflected upon us from the opposite side of our yearly cycle.  Woven through each tree cycle all along the traditional track of the Celtic Tree Calendar. The hidden trees make up our Council of Trees.  The hidden trees give us an opportunity to view the tree cycles of the Celtic Tree Calendar as we engage them, as a spherical experience as opposed to linear journey. We have the opportunity to move in a spiral each month, spiralling in and out of the hidden cycles at varying depths of relation to receive support and guidance within all areas of our life, mind body and spirit. We will always find our anchor within the present day tree cycle, grounding us in the here and now and revealing to us the full raw potential of a moment of time.  While our tree Council offers us an expanded view of our whole experience acknowledging the affects of the spiritual weather patterns while offering us insight into how we might choose to move through the weather .  Experiencing the year as a spiral we can have a multi time realm experience throughout the year giving us greater freedoms within and control over the direction and depth of our own spiritual journey and everyday lives. Acknowledging the past present and future.  Having taken the mossy path, we have moved more creatively through the woodland of our soul. Had we remained on the main path and on the most direct route to the Great Oak we would never have known our potential for an even greater adventure, we would not have seen the woodland animals or met the hidden trees. When we follow the classical Celtic Tree Calendar from one cycle to the next, we are following a linear timeline, moving forward always, acknowledging an awareness of a rhythm of nature while it endures, until we move into the next tree cycle. Incorporating the hidden tree cycles into the Celtic Tree Calendar expands our capacity for a fuller experience, and for a freer and wilder adventure. I do like to get lost in the woodland, especially a woodland I have explored extensively. I like to find the hidden hollows of woodland creatures, I experience childlike joy in discovering inspiring new tree friends and stumbling on playful curves of the river. Taking new paths or getting a little lost enlivens the spirit. And we will always find our way back to the Great Oak, if we are meant to.

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The Enhanced Celtic Tree Calendar

In the northern hemisphere the tree cycles of the lunar Celtic Tree Calendar run through the year aligned with the seasons. For instance the calendar begins at the end of Autumn, transitioning into winter on November 1st with the Birch tree, birch represents new beginnings, this is also the Witches or Celtic New Year.  The northern hemisphere seasons are polled by the southern hemispheres which are at opposite times with a six month difference.  While the north experiences the Birch in the autumn winter transition, the south experiences Oak and Holly during their spring summer transition.  We meet the Council of Trees when we view our own hemispherical yearly cycle in a similar way to the northern and southern opposition.  We can applying this same method through viewing our own hemispherical yearly cycle as a polled sphere.  We can journey through the Celtic Tree Calendar during our present day tree cycle while also being aware of tree cycles directly opposite at a 6 monthly point.  We journey through Birch November 1st through to the 28th, the southern hemisphere  experience Birch during May 1st through to 28th exactly six month difference.  When we flip the May dates back to our own hemisphere we see that within these dates that the Oak and Holly cycles are present. These are our Council.


Here I will offer you The Celtic Tree Calendar enhanced by The Council of Trees for the northern hemisphere and the southern respectively.

THE COUNCIL OF TREES: Text

Northern Hemisphere

Present Tree Cycle Hidden Tree Cycle


Birch: Nov1- Nov 28                                      Oak & Holly: May1 - May 28

Rowen: Nov 29 - Dec 26                               Holly & *Hazel/Apple: May 29 - June 26

Alder: Dec 27 - Jan 23                                   *Hazel/Apple & Vine: June 27- July 23

Willow: Jan 24 - Feb 20                                Vine & Ivy: July 24 - Aug 20

Ash: Feb 21 - March 20                                Ivy & *Reed/Blackthorn: Aug 21- Sep 20

Hawthorn: March 21 - April 17                    *Reed/Blackthorn & Elder: Sep 21 - Oct 17

Oak: April 18 - May 15                                  Elder, The Grove (Yew) & Birch: Oct 18 – Nov 15

Holly: May 16 - June 12                                Birch & Rowen: Nov 16 - Dec 12

*Hazel/Apple: June 13 - July 10                  Rowen & Alder: Dec 13 - Jan 10

Vine: July 11 - Aug 7                                      Alder & Willow: Jan 11 - Feb 7

Ivy: Aug 8 - Sep 4                                           Willow & Ash: Feb 8 - March 4

*Reed/Blackthorn: Sep 5 - Oct 2               Ash & Hawthorn: March 5 - April 2

Elder: Oct 3 - Oct 30                                      Hawthorn & Oak: April 3 - April 29

The Grove (Yew): Oct 31                                            Oak: April 30



I have included the Yew tree at the point of Samhain where The Grove traditionally is as the Yew tree is deeply associated with the ancestors, stillness and peace, everlasting life and the afterlife and with witches in the druidic tradition of the ovate. Samhain is known as the eve of the witches new year.



Southern Hemisphere

Present Tree Cycle                                        Council of Trees


Birch: May 1 - May 28                                  Oak & Holly: Nov 1 - Nov 28

Rowen: May 29 - June 26                             Holly & *Hazel/Apple: Nov 29 - Dec 26

Alder: June 27 - July 23                                 *Hazel/Apple & Vine: Dec 27- Jan 23

Willow: July 24 - Aug 20                               Vine & Ivy: Jan 24 - Feb 20

Ash: Aug 21 - Sep 20                                     Ivy & *Reed/Blackthorn: Feb 21- March 20

Hawthorn: Sep 21 - Oct 17                           *Reed/Blackthorn & Elder: March 21 - April 17

Oak: Oct 18 - Nov 15                                     Elder, The Grove (Yew) & Birch: April 18 – May 15

Holly: Nov 16 – Dec 12                                 Birch & Rowen: May 16 - June 12

*Hazel/Apple: Dec 13 - Jan 10                     Rowen & Alder: June 13 - July 10

Vine: Jan 11 - Feb 7                                       Alder & Willow: July 11 - Aug 7

Ivy: Feb 8 - March 4                                      Willow & Ash: Aug  8 – Sep 4

*Reed/Blackthorn: March 5 – April 2          Ash & Hawthorn: Sep 5 - Oct 2

Elder: April 3 - April 29                                 Hawthorn & Oak: Oct 3 - Oct 29

The Grove (Yew): April 30                            Oak:  Oct 30

THE COUNCIL OF TREES: Text
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Your Birth Tree

We can find our birth tree by looking at the calendar dates.  Our birth tree will share with us familiar personality traits that we recognise in our ways of being.  When we look to the Council of Trees associated with our birth tree we can unlock deeper soul journey experiences and powerful spiritual themes, influences and inspirations that engage us in our everyday lives.   These will be especially more powerful during the weeks surrounding our birthday or approaching age milestones. For instance,  I was born of 22nd of April during the season of transformation and my birth tree cycle is the Oak. Oak is traversed by the hidden tree cycles of Elder, The Grove (Yew) and Birch, trees also belonging to a season of transformation. At a glance I can see that Oak reflects my core being my grounded nature and my strong will, I am steadfast (stubborn) and I will endure and survive much in my life. I am also loyal, trustworthy and I love the sensuous experiences of nature. My Council includes Elder and the mysteries of death and the afterlife. Elder tells me that I experience continual death birth and rebirth cycles and that I am often integrating past life traumas and living within the souls journeys of reoccurring themes. I have often thought 'I should have been born at Samhain'. I love the Autumn with her deeper moody skies and the cooler air rustling through the waning embers of the crisp auburn leaves, like little bells announcing the visitations of October 31. I also see that The Grove and the Yew tree are also on my Council of Trees. The Grove tells me that I find my deepest healing within my inner realms, my inner grove and from the woodlands and the trees around me. I was born in the light of the spring but my soul is one that also walks comfortably through the night and the deep dark forest. The Yew tree supports my continual evolution and anchors my spirit through cycles of birth and death. Birch offers me the amplified rebirthing vibrations of Elder, the awakening into the dawn of a new day with a strength and courage to begin again. So you see how beautifully and intricately woven into us our Tree Council are.

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Key Words

Celtic Trees

THE COUNCIL OF TREES: Text

Birch - Beginnings, Renewal, Release, Relief, Rest, Cleansing, Rebuilding, Self-Respect, Forgiveness, Deity, Gift, Peace, Delicacy.

Rowen - Synchronicity, Spirit, Hearth & Home, Listen, Comfort, Experience, Observation, Journey , Clarity, Protection, Boundaries, Fae, Magic.

 Alder - Signs, Elements , Masculine & Feminine Energy, Synchronisation, Prophecy, Shapeshifting, Transmutation, Development, Balance, Truth, Exposure, Responsive.

Willow - Receptive, Primal, Feminine, Depth, Awareness, Grounded, Wisdom, Dreams, Values, Spiral, Elders, Nurture, Acceptance, Cycles.

Ash - Dream-Weaving, Manifestation, Potential, Inspiration, Life, Wisdom, Wonderment, Timing, Origin, Messages, Journey.

Hawthorn - Scared Union, Conception, Waiting, Early Stages, Undisclosed Treasure, Wonder, Masculine & Feminine Energy, Protection, Nurture, Be Beside Self, Sacred.

Oak - Birthing, Goals, Fixed, Roots, Growth, Strength, Boundaries, Trust, Self-Belief, Determination, Congruence, Relational Depth.

Holly - Protection, Grip, Mountain, Healing, Hope, Loyalty, Commitment, Reason, Resilience, Regeneration, Action, Focus, Purpose, Manifestation.

*Hazel - Litter Picking, Inner & Outer Landscape, Stewardship, Wisdom, Shadows, Divination, Mystic, Insight, Signs, Knowledge, Tools. 

*Apple - Magic, Balance, Mysteries, Protection, Duty, Responsibility, Abundance, Thrive, Community, Prosperity, Seer,  Devotion, Recycling, Humus.

Vine - Improvement, Fullness, Fruition, Abundance, Relief, Harvest, Attentiveness, Indulgence, Destiny, Wildness, Beauty, Blood, Development, Transformation, Abandon, Ecstasy.

Ivy - Spiral-Dance, Listen, Spiritual Path, Whole-Body, Richness, Slow & Steady, Balance, Joy, Unwind, Entwined, Doorways, Labyrinth, Protection, Camouflage, Erase.

*Reed - Action, Direct, Plough Ahead, Determination, Skill, Final Push, Obstacles, Surrender, Hollow, Conduit, Alchemy.

*Blackthorn - Obstacles, Solutions, Defence, Inner Compass, The Journey, Dark Forest, Preparation, Magic, Sacred Practice of Waiting.

Elder - Death, Rebirth, Souls Journey, Past Life Resurgence, Ancestors, Together, Return, Relationship, Felt Sense, Tentative, Veil.

*The Grove - The Void, Between, Ancestors, Animal Guides, Healing, Life Force, Teaching, Source, Tree Consciousness, Internal Bodily Awareness, Grounding, Sacred Space.

*Yew - Eternal, Peace, Contemplation, Healing, Decay, Guardian, Sacred Rites Paradoxical, (Together Yet Not)

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