Today’s card is the Rowan, also known as Sorbus aucuparia in scientific terms. This tree has a long history of magickal ability and is known most specifically for its protective powers. It is thought that the Rowan got its name from the Norse word Runa, meaning ‘Charm’. It is often found in the yards of homes and churches because it was seen as a powerful tool against evil magick. You may even see a twig of Rowan wound with red cord or yarn, used as a wand to turn aside magick cast by others, pinned above some of the doors in the British Isle, a sign that this lore has carried forward into modern times. This tree is especially sacred among the Celts; rowans, along with oaks and ash, were often planted by the Druids in their sacred groves. In fact, in Ireland the tree is still known as Fid Na Ndruad, or ‘the Druids Tree’. It was commonly believed that a healthy Rowan growing anywhere on your property can shield you from harm.
The sheer brilliance of its colors alone, deep green and bright red, announces its presence wherever it may grow. the berries, associated with life and death, were believed to represent the blood of the Gods themselves, and the legend of Thor tells of his salvation by a Rowan tree; as he was being swept away in a flooding torrent, the Rowan tree reached forth its branches to pluck him from the raging river. In Scandinavian myth, the first woman, the equivalent of Eve, was formed from a Rowan tree. Rowan is also ruled by the Sun and, as such, is associated with Brigid and Brigantia, both of whom are Sun Goddesses in the British Isles. Both of these Goddesses were said to carry a bow and arrows made from this magickal wood; as tools of Spirit, the arrows could catch fire in mid flight when necessary.
The Ogam letter associated with this card Luis, and the Green Man wisdom for this card reads ‘Safe in the Knowledge of Protection’. Protection, by definition, means that we are being looked after by a power that is stronger than oneself. Whether we look to Gods and Goddesses, angels or guardians, for this help, we are being advised to recognize that protection in every aspect of our lives. Just as it would be foolish to climb a mountain without safety harnesses, rope, and proper climbing gear, so is it dangerous to enter into any activity for which you are not trained and do not have a guide or protector. Rowan has the ability to magickally shield us from negative forces and intentional evil intent, while offering insight into the dangers of invoking higher forms of wisdom until we are prepared. Druids were known to breath in the smoke of the rowan tree to invoke visions of threats, both on the physical plane as well as the spiritual one, before taking on any battle, journey, or magickal endeavor. When this camaraderie appears in a reading, it is telling us that we are being protected by the Divine during our current situation.
May you find that angels have your back today as you scale the heights of new understanding!