The Celtic Tree Month of Ivy / Gort/ Gwinwydden runs from Sept 30- Oct 27
“Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,
That creepeth o’er ruins old!
Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,
In his cell so lone and cold.
The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,
To pleasure his dainty whim:
And the mouldering dust that years have made
Is a merry meal for him.
Creeping where no life is seen,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.”
Charles Dickens: The Ivy Green
Ivy is another Celtic tree that is not a tree, although it depends upon a real tree (or brick wall) to give it support. It is actually an evergreen woody vine and is a member of the Ginseng family. It climbs by using a strong aerial root system. This “super vine” has great strength due to it’s ability to force it’s way into solid rock and it was powerful enough to kill a full grown oak tree. The plant is recognizable by it’s long winding vines and stems with leaves that have 3 to 5 lobes. When it grows to the top of it support the vines often hang down and produce small greenish flowers in October often followed by tiny black berries.
The ancient Celts and in particular the Druids, held ivy in high regard. In Wales ivy was related to the goddess Arianrhod, and was used in her ritual of opening a portal into the Otherworld also known as the dark side of the moon and the Realm of Faery. This realm is symbolized by the butterfly and gives ivy a mysterious and mystical aspect. Persephone is also associated with this month, this begins the time when she departs for the underworld for the dark half of the year. This month is time of settlement and reconciliation as it relates to karma. This month also corresponds to the Hunters Moon which is this months full moon. It relates to female hunting animals wolf (Brigid), boar (Garbh Ogh), Lioness (Sekhemet)
This vine is associated with the Goddess because it grows in a spiral pattern.
Ivy is also sacred to the god Dionysus and during the Bacchanal people would run around waving the thyrsus which was actually fir branches that were wrapped with ivy and in ancient Greece it was the custom to give a wreath of ivy to newlyweds as a symbol of fidelity.
IVY IN MAGIC
In it’s magical role it protects against evil spirits negativity and disaster. and is a symbol of loyalty, healing rituals, and longtime friendships. It can be used in love charms to promote fidelity. As a magical name Ivy denotes strength and to give someone ivy as a gift states “attachment” and be mine forever.
People born in this month are balanced by Reed people. In their own right, Ivy people have great stamina and talents that can bring them great public honors. Ivies also tend to radiate success even when they are not so fortunate. They are colorful and unique individuals who can be manipulative and use their power ruthlessly to get what they want. The key for Ivy people is not to abuse this power.
Deities: Dionysus, Artemis, Ariadne, Bacchus, Osiris, Arianrhod, Danu, Hel, Persephone, Rhea, Frey, Ogma, Cerrunos
Sacred Stones: Opal, chysoberyl, Alexandrite
Colors: Blue and light brown/tan
Animals: Butterfly, swallow, mute swan, lark
written by CatSister 2010 sources:
The New Book of Magical Names by Phoenix McFarland
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
Whispers from the Woods by Sandra Kynes