Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Ash

The ash is one of the crowning trees of the British countryside. It grows tall, straight and strong and its grey bark makes it instantly recognisable.
Its qualities make it ideal for spear-making, hence its old name of 'weapon-wood'. TheAnglo-Saxon word 'aesc' meant both ash and spear. It was also used for wheel spokes.
Another characteristic is its stability: the tree rarely topples in even the worst winter storm. The Saxons believed that its roots were anchored into the underworld itself, and so the ash became the symbol of the World Tree, known to the Scandinavians as Yggdrasil and myriad names to other worldwide cultures,  which links Earth with the realms of the Gods.
A 'maiden' ash, self-sown and never pruned, was especially powerful. Its wood would ward off magical harm, and so was carried by riders to protect their horses, and a wizard's magic wand was also often ash.
Next time, another magical tree.

No comments:

Post a Comment