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Monday, December 24, 2012

The Celtic Tree Months

The moon is perhaps humankind's oldest form of marking time. According to some scholars, the Celts used a Lunar Calendar that consisted of 13 months, each 28 days in length. Each month of the Celtic Lunar calendar bears the name of a tree, which also stands for one of the consonants in the Celtic 'tree alphabet'. There are basically two different versions of this Lunar calendar: the Beth-Luis-Nion (which begins on the Winter Solstice) and the Beth-Luis-Fearn (which begins on Samhain).


Beth-Luis-Nion version of The Celtic Tree calendar:
  • B - Beth - Birch Month (December 24th - January 20th)
  • L - Luis - Rowan Month (January 21st - February 17th)
  • N - Nion - Ash Month (February 18th - March 17th)
  • F - Fearn - Alder Month (March 18th - April 14th)
  • S - Saille - Willow Month (April 15th - May 12th)
  • H - Huath - Hawthorn Month (May 13th - June 9th)
  • D - Duir - Oak Month (Jun 10th - July 7th)
  • T - Tinne - Holly Month (July 8th - August 4th)
  • C - Coll - Hazel Month (August 5th - September 1st)
  • M - Muin - Vine Month (September 2nd - September 29th)
  • G - Gort - Ivy Month (September 30th - October 27th
  • Ng - Ngetal - Reed Month or Elm Month (October 28th - November 24th)
  • R - Ruis - Elder Month (November 25th - December 23rd)

 The five vowels I, A, O, U, and E have corresponding tree names to the nights of the solstices and equinoxes:
  • I - Idho - Night of the Yew - Winter Solstice Eve
  • A - Ailm - Night of the Silver Fir - Winter Solstice
  • * - Herb too sacred to have a Celtic name - the Night of Mistletoe - Day after Winter Solstice
  • O - Onn - Night of the Gorse Bush, - Vernal Equinox
  • U - Ura - Night of the Heather - Summer Solstice
  • E - Eadha - Night of the White Poplar, Alban Elfed - Autumnal Equinox

The Trees:
  • Birch - 1st Moon of the Celtic Year - (Dec 24 - Jan 21)
  • Rowan - 2nd Moon of the Celtic Year - (Jan 22 - Feb 18)
  • Ash - 3rd Moon of the Celtic Year - (Feb 18 - March 17)
  • Alder - 4th Moon of the Celtic Year - (March 18 - April 14)
  • Willow - 5th Moon of the Celtic Year - (April 15 - May 12)
  • Hawthorn - 6th Moon of the Celtic Year - (May 13 - June 9)
  • Oak - 7th Moon of the Celtic Year - (June 10 - July 7)
  • Holly - 8th Moon of the Celtic Year - (July 8 - Aug 4)
  • Hazel - 9th Moon of the Celtic Year - (Aug 5 - Sept 1)
  • Vine - 10th Moon of the Celtic Year - (Sept 2 - Sept 29)
  • Ivy - 11th Moon of the Celtic Year - (Sept 30 - Oct 27)
  • Reed or Elm - 12th Moon of the Celtic Year - (Oct 28 - Nov 24)
  • Elder - 13th Moon of the Celtic Year - (Nov 25 - Dec 23)
  • Furze - Tree of the Spring Equinox (Aprox. March 20)
  • Heather - Tree of the Summer Solstice (Aprox. June 20)
  • Poplar - Tree of the Fall Equinox - (Aprox. September 22)
  • Yew - Tree of the day before the Winter Solstice (Aprox. December 21)
  • Fir - Tree of the day of the Winter Solstice
  • Mistletoe - Tree of the day after the Winter Solstice (Aprox. December 23)
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Copyright 1999-2006 Sarah Nunn
Image from: Geordie Milne

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