Tag Archive | celtic trees

Thoughts about our Companion ritual

We had our Companion ceremony on Friday night. I’m still trying to process everything. It’s funny but I was really nervous before the ritual almost as nervous as before I was ordained or our first Brighid ritual when we birthed our coven so long ago. For some reason these steps feel very important and as if I have waited a long time for them without exactly knowing what I was waiting for before now. I just know that it is becoming more and more important.

I know it’s partly validation for everything that my grandmother taught me but it is also a lot more than that. I feel like something long forced closed is starting to open up. It feels so right.

I’m writing the first Bard initiation for Spring Equinox and I have so many ideas that they are colliding. I know I want to base it on the old Celtic ritual principles of Earth, Sea and Sky. Water was a gateway into Faery and the bridge to the ancestors. Fire was what represented the Sky World and Trees were the bridge between, particularly, Oak, Ash and Thorn. Ash and Thorn (hawthorn) don’t grow here in California in the wild but Oaks and Willows and Cottonwoods do and Sepulveda Basin does. I think we have to have our own sacred trees here distinct from what grew in Britain. California definitely has enough of its own trees that have been sacred and used by the native peoples here to qualify.

I also want to use the animals that symbolized Earth, Sky and Sea.

Here is my first go at translating the plants. Haven’t got them all and it’s subject to change at any moment. I know that redwood has to be in there somewhere because they are extremely magical trees.

Celtic                          California

ALDER                         White Alder
APPLE (Domestic)   Manzanita
ASH                             California Sycamore
BIRCH                         Aspen
BLACKTHORN          Ceanothus – California Lilac
BROOM                      Mock Orange or Oregon Grape
CEDAR                        Incense Cedar
ELDER                         Elderberry
ELM                             Cottonwood
FIR                                White Fir
FIR (SILVER)              California Redwood
FURZE                         Wild roses
HAWTHORN               Buckthorn
HAZEL                         California Walnut
HOLLY                         California Bay Laurel
JUNIPER                     —
MISTLETOE                Mistletoe
OAK Canyon              Live Oak
PINE                            Jeffery Pine
ROWAN                        —
WILLOW                     Willow
YEW                              —