Today’s card is Heather, also known as Calluna vulgaris in scientific terms. Heather is a symbol of good luck, potency, and longevity and when planted n a circle around a fruit bearing tree, will allow the tree to produce far more fruit than one that stands alone. Pink or purple heather is believed to be stained by the blood of the Pictish warriors that fought and died for Scotland’s freedom. In fact, it is said that no heather will grow on the battlefield of Culodden Moor because of the Brad warriors who died their in 1746, fighting for the cause of Scottish freedom. In the great Celtic poem, Cad Goddeu (The Battle of the Trees), heather brings assistance to those in battle.
While some see this bush as a sign of good luck, others attribute its purple hue to passion and longing. Beer made with heather was also highly prized by the Celts and Picts where it is told that the last living mean and son who knew the recipe for heather ale were captured and threatened with death in order to get them to reveal it. The man begged his captors to throw his some over a cliff rather than torture him; when the son was dead, he jumped from the cliff himself, taking the recipe to the grave with him. Sprigs of white heather are still used to adorn the bride’s headdress in Scotland, for it was believed to bless the marriage and bring fruitfulness to the marriage bed. To this day, you can still buy a heather ‘lucky charm’ from street vendors in Scotland and Ireland.
The Ogam for this plant is Fraoch, meaning ‘bravery’ and ‘fierceness in battle’. In addition, it is the name of an Irish hero of legend. The story of Fraoch tells that he fell in love with the daughter of two Demi-Gods and, in order to win her hand, had to undergo battle with a monster guarding the sacred Rowan tree. Though he was gravely wounded Fraoch still managed to behead the monster with the sword that was given to him by his beloved. Having succeeded in this task, he was taken into the Underworld and restored to health, after which he married his love. These are a variety of names attached to this Ogam and several suggest a link between death and burial, which is not surprising since the Celts believed in the intrinsic link between life, death, and rebirth.
The Green Man Wisdom for this card is ‘Luck Takes Many Forms’ and it tells us that we feel most luck when our confidence is high; it is only when we start to doubt ourselves that our luck ‘turns’. A long run of bad luck can make us doubt that we know our true path but hat is just an illusion. We have more than likely gotten lost along the way and need to take the time for course correction. this card asks us to take a look at our old habits, beliefs, and burdens, and rid ourselves of them in order to move forward. When we return to our truth, we usually find that our luck has improved as well. We are the creators of our own luck (destiny) and when we believe, we can achieve. Remember that it is better to swim upstream than follow the crowd over the waterfall.
May you be possessed with passion, courage, and bravery today and always!