Monday, May 17, 2010

Celtic Tree Lore - Hawthorne and Its Relationship to the Church

hen  the celebration of Beltane is near, the Hawthorne can play an important role in the pagans’ everyday life . It is often used to construct many a May Pole that will be danced around as it is celebrated. Collecting dew from the flowers of the Hawthorne on the morning of Beltane and then sprinkling it on ones face is said to ensure that they will have lasting beauty. It is often the tree found at crossroads and found near wells which were consider to be holy. Because of this it has association with the Celtic goddess Brigid.

The Hawthorne also has said roots in Christianity lore. The crown of thorns which was worn by Jesus at the time of his death was said to be of the Hawthorne tree. Also some Christians believe that the burning bush which represented the Christian God and spoke to Moses eventually giving him the Ten Commandments was a form of Hawthorne tree. And the staff which Joseph of Arimathea was said to have struck into the ground at Glastonbury is thought to have turned into a Hawthorne tree and flowered only at Christmas time. However at a later time it is said that the Puritans cut the tree down.

Some of such lore could be due to the importance which the pagans held for the Hawthorne tree themselves because of its connection to Beltane as well as the faery folk. Often to gain control and possibly sway the pagans from the Old Ways, the Christian would take such things which held importance and likewise integrate them into their belief structure as a means to help the pagan feel more comfortable.


Dede said...

I was so glad to see your post this morning with all of the bad weather OK has had! Did you get to hold that new baby? I do enjoy reading your posts on Celtic Tree Lore! So relieved that you are okay! Wishing you a wonderful week!


Not Hannah said...

I had no idea of the Christian attachments to hawthorn. Interesting (and a tad groan-inducing...:))

Anonymous said...

Well let's face it - there wasn't much else about Beltane that the Christians could absorb into their religion was there? ;)

Love reading the blog,
Nellie x

Jupiter Greenmoone said...

Interesting that Christians also used some associations from Beltane. I figured they'd stay far away from that one :)

Dede said...

Good Morning Janie! I have something on my blog for you. Wishing you a peaceful, sunshine filled day!