Tree Wisdom from Hawthorn, Queen of the May
Hawthorn is a generous little tree. She garlands the lanes and fields with her blossoms and then in Autumn stands bedecked with ruby jewels. Birds fill the branches feasting on fleshly delights. Hawthorn rules the Summer half of the Celtic year while Blackthorn rules the Winter.
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The buds looked like thousands of miniature snowballs held delicately by the branches just waiting their moment to burst open and reveal all. This year it was a long winter and spring was late. First came glimpses of green, then tight small dark bunches of green roundels. At last the beautiful round white globes. A lot of hawthorn around me is still opening up its’ blooms even this late into the season. Oh, for the Queen of the May!
For a small tree she is a big presence, in Spring her scent fills the air. At once alluring yet strangely overcoming, honeyed & slightly cloying. She is the glamour that bewitches in the old fashioned sense of the word. Thomas fell asleep beneath her branches and awoke to see the faerie queen. Upon his return from his journey with the queen to Elfland he became a gifted seer who could never tell a lie.
Thomas The Rhymer
Thomas The Rhymer was the first story I ever told. First written down in the middle ages and later turned into a ballad. Like the greatest stories, those which we call fairy tales, it is of course true. Nonsense! I hear you say. “Fairy tales are nothing but the dreams of idlers and dawdlers told to pass the time. They are for children, they are fantasy. Wisps of fancy that fade as dew with the first light”. *
Oh, but that were true perhaps …for fairy tales are often dark and the heroes and heroines have much suffering to undergo. Such is the truth in them for who among us can say they have never suffered? This is our lot, as humans, to experience both joy and pain. If we did not well…then, we would not be human, would not be the animals of flesh and blood as we are. And hawthorn for all her powers as a plant does indeed remind us of our fleshly concerns does she not? She entices and enraptures our senses and pulls us out of the sleeping state so many of us are seduced into by the succubus of modernity.
"This Thorn-Tree, as lang as it stands,
Earlstoun sall possess a' her lands."
Have you not smelt her blossoms? Can you the smell the life in them? Can you smell the death in them? Yes … death for there is in them a chemical that mimics perfectly the smell of dying flesh. (Triethylamine is one of the first chemicals produced when a human body starts to decay and is also found in human semen and vaginal secretions.) Not for nothing do you see her bedecked with the carapaced jewels of insects attracted to such things. She shines with light while darkness becomes her.
We are brainwashed in to believing darkness represents evil yet in this instance it means night and death. A death that feeds the earth. The great circle dance of life with death, each feeding the other.
While lovers frolic beneath her Maytime boughs she says, remember, nothing lasts forever. Remember you too will return to the earth.
This is the end of part one. Join me next time to meet the Queen of Elfland.
Blessings Amanda Claire
* A charter from 1294 mentions "Thomas de Ercildoun, son and heir of Thomas Rymour de Ercildon"
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