The Rowan Moon
January 21st heralds the start of the Rowan Moon in the Celtic calendar. Lasting until 17th February this moon is also called the 'whispering' tree which ties in nicely with its links to divination. Traditionally, rowan has been used to make runes and divining rods for metal, both of which whisper knowledge to the user. Burning rowan branches is also said to aid divination, allowing the seer glimpses into the future. Some say that this allows visions to come more freely and gives the seer a sense of great wellbeing.
The rowan is also known as Mountain Ash, which is deceptive as it bears no relation to the ash tree. It has gained this name due to the fact that it grows well at altitude and its leaves are similar to the ash tree.
Rowan has long been linked to protection and it is said that it's Celtic name means 'wizard's tree'. Its red berries, rich in vitamins C and A, although they should not be eaten raw, have been used as a symbol of protection and often rowan trees were grown in gardens or cemeteries to protect those close by from evil spirits. It is said to protect from the harm of others, the evil eye and many other dangers. In the past it was also used to make wooden spoons that could then stir milk to prevent it from curdling.
A charm made from rowan will protect the wearer and a wreath placed in the home will protect the home and those living in it. Tying the charm with white and red ribbon, or thread, will be symbolic of the rowan in both flower and berry and will add power to the charm.