Celtic Month of Hawthorn

This is the fourth post in the Celtic Tree Calendar series.  The modern Celtic Tree Calendar is based on the idea that each of the letters in the ancient Celtic Ogham alphabet corresponds to a tree. The calendar consists of 13 lunar divisions with a different tree representing each 28 day period.

hawthorn - Celtic Month of Hawthorn
Hawthorn

Happy Huath!

From May 13 through June 10, we celebrate the Celtic month of Hawthorn, Thorn Apple or Huath, which is the 6th month of the Celtic year and represents the letter H in the Ogham alphabet.

Hawthorns (Crataegus), which are native in Maine, are the 2nd largest species of any genus of plants in New England. They are common hedge plants and can grow to be 25-35’ tall. 

A member of the Rose family, the thorns on a Hawthorn can be 1 ½ – 3″ long (not to worry, a thornless variety is available for home landscapes). 

hawthorn fruits - Celtic Month of Hawthorn
Haws

Hawthorn’s fragrant white flowers appear in late spring. Later in the  summer, her red edible fruits, called “haws” (which means  hedge) ripen. They are high in antioxidants and used in  teas, jelly, wine, and liqueurs. 

In the fall she makes a grand exit with a beautiful display of foliage ranging in colors from purple to scarlet to orange.

Sacred for centuries to many indigenous peoples all over the world, Hawthorn is one of the most magical trees in western traditions. She’s strongly associated with love, healing, fairies, the festival of Beltane, the Celtic goddess Brigid, fertility, protection, relaxation, and happiness.

brigid - Celtic Month of Hawthorn

Hawthorn has powerful fairy magic and is also considered an elf tree. It is said that cutting one will bring misfortune from the elves that lived within it, especially if blooming. In 1999 work was interrupted on a main road from Limerick to Galway in Ireland because a Hawthorn stood in its path. The road was re-routed, and construction was delayed for 10 years.

Hawthorns are highly protective and bring us into the present moment. Her thorns signify her power and protection. She offers anyone in need a protective space where they can heal from a wounded heart or spirit.

Hawthorn’s bark, fruit and flowers have strong, gentle medicine. Her most significant benefit is her ability to treat heart conditions, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. 

glass heart - Celtic Month of Hawthorn

She is a very powerful healer of the heart – both physically and spiritually and provides kind but tough love.

Hawthorn is also used to help strengthen the appetite, as a digestive aid, for insomnia, and poor circulation. 

Hawthorns are also a very valuable tree for wildlife. They provide food, shelter, and nesting sites for songbirds, native bees, honey bees, butterflies and other insects and small animals. 

This month, let Hawthorn lift your spirits and fill your heart with her magic.

hawthorn flowers - Celtic Month of Hawthorn

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Celtic Month of Willow

This is the third post in the Celtic Tree Calendar series.  The modern Celtic Tree Calendar is based on the idea that each of the letters in the ancient Celtic Ogham alphabet corresponds to a tree. The calendar consists of 13 lunar divisions with a different tree representing each 28 day period.

willow - Celtic Month of Willow
Weeping Willow

Happy Saille!

On April 15th we welcome the Celtic month of Willow (Salix) or Saille (the 5th letter of the Ogham alphabet). 

Much more exciting than Tax Day, don’t you agree?

The genus name, Salix, means to be near water and all 400+ trees and shrubs in this genus are water babies.

Willows love to be near water.  In fact, their roots will seek out underground water carrying pipes if there are no natural water sources around.  

With their exceptional ability to find water, Willows make excellent dowsing rods.  

Isn’t is fitting that Willow is the tree for April, the month known for its rain showers?

Willow’s relationship to water also means she has a strong connection to the moon and the feminine energies of birth, creation, and intuition.

mourning cloak 2 - Celtic Month of Willow

Willow is a wonderful friend to the pollinators.  Her  flowers, called catkins, are a valuable source of
nectar for early pollinators and she serves as a gracious hostess for the larvae of the Mourning Cloak butterfly, which overwinters in Maine as an adult. 

If you’re wondering where the name Pussy Willow comes from, this is the name given to the smaller species of Willows whose young spring catkins are furry and soft. 

pussy willow 4 scaled - Celtic Month of Willow  

Associated with growth and healing, Willows have been a source of medicine for over 3000 years. Their bark and leaves contain salicin which has anti-inflammatory properties. In the 1800s, salicin was used to develop aspirin.

Besides healing, Willow’s properties include energy clearing, and protection.

It is said that a Willow planted near your home will help ward away danger, particularly the type that stems from natural disasters like strong storms and flooding.

They are often planted near cemeteries, perhaps as a way to keep the evil spirits out. 😊

One way you can clear your home of unwanted energies and creatures is to sweep it with a bundle of willow branches and leaves.

Do you have some wet or problem areas in your landscape? Want to incorporate live art? Think about Willow. She’s great at controlling erosion, serving as a living fence, or being created into a sculpture or basket.

Everyone needs flexible and versatile friends like Willow.

black pussy willow 2 - Celtic Month of Willow





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Celtic Month of Alder

This is the second in the Celtic Tree Calendar series.  The modern Celtic Tree Calendar is based on the idea that each of the letters in the ancient Celtic Ogham alphabet corresponds to a tree. The calendar consists of 13 lunar divisions with a different tree representing each 28 day period.

alder1 - Celtic Month of Alder
Alder Cones & Catkins

Wishing You a Happy Faern!

Welcome to the Celtic month of Alder (Alnus).  Known as Faern by the Celts (the letter F in the Ogham alphabet), it begins on March 18 and ends on April 14.

There are 35 species of Alder.  In Maine, Speckled Alder (Alnus incana) is the native species.  It is speckled with prominent white pores, called lenticels, along its branches.  The flower is a purplish-red catkin, and the fruit is a woody brown cone, which persists through the winter.

alder 2 - Celtic Month of Alder
Alder Cones & Flowers

A member of the Birch family, Alder is known as a pioneer species.  This fast growing small tree or large shrub (10-25’ tall) is one of the first plants on the scene.  With its ability to provide additional nitrogen to successional species, it helps to establish a woodland area.

Alders love cool, wet sites, and grow by streams, ponds, and rivers.  Their roots do not rot, in fact they turn hard as stone when exposed to water, making them wonderful plants for erosion control.  This extraordinarily strong wood is also used for bridge footings.

 A valuable wildlife plant, Alder serves as a host plant for several butterflies including the White Admiral.   Alder also provides food, and cover to a variety of animals and birds including beavers, songbirds, and the American Woodcock.

american white admiral - Celtic Month of Alder
American White Admiral Butterfly

Alder bark is rich in tannin and has been used for mouthwash, as well as a skin tonic to soothe irritation and inflammation.   Historically, Indigenous Americans mixed the root bark with molasses and used it for toothaches.

Alder is known as the “Alder King” or “Elf King” and is the protector (especially of the waters) and warrior of hidden realms.  Alder’s strength helps us face the things we are avoiding.

Aligned with the element of air, Alder is associated with new beginnings, healing, breath, inner confidence, and determination.  

Several dyes are produced from Alder – brown from the twigs, red from the bark, and green from the flowers.  To blend in with the forest, it is said that Robinhood and his Merry Men dyed their clothes green using Alder flowers.

How will you to incorporate Alder into your life this month?

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Celtic Month of Ash

Beginning this month, I will be introducing you to the trees of the Celtic Tree Calendar.  The modern Celtic Tree Calendar is based on the idea that each of the letters in the ancient Celtic Ogham alphabet corresponds to a tree. The calendar consists of 13 lunar divisions with a
different tree representing each 28 day period.

ash - Celtic Month of Ash

We are currently in the month of Ash (Fraxinus), the third month of the Celtic Tree Calendar.  The month began on February 16 and will end on March 17.

Also known as Nion or Nuin, Ash is the 5th letter of the alphabet and one of three trees
sacred to the Druids (Oak and Hawthorn are the other two). 

Ash corresponds to the element of fire.  The genus name, Fraxinus, means firelight and we all know ash is left after a fire has burned out. She also carries power from the sun and rules over water.

Poseidon - Celtic Month of Ash

Ash was sacred to Poseidon.  In ancient times, pieces of wood were carried on ships as good luck charms (to protect people from drowning, accidents, and snakes).  This practice was also carried out by the Irish immigrants crossing the Atlantic to America.  

Ash trees represent strength, health, protection, and courage.  They are associated with life force energy, creative expression, and the power of the spoken word. 

ash Credit Biodome de Montreal - Celtic Month of Ash
© Biodôme de Montréal

For me Ash symbolizes grace, strength, endurance, and welcoming community.

We have two Ash trees.  Each day I am warmly greeted by them.  The tree in our backyard has been a welcoming host to the variety of birds, insects, squirrels, and
chipmunks who seek her out for protection, nesting, and the food she provides, including from the feeders she lets us hangs.  Both trees stand gracefully, unconditionally sharing their strength and wisdom. 

Maine has three native Ash trees – White (Fraxinus americana), Green or Red
(Fraxinus pensylvanica), and Black or Brown (Fraxinus nigra). 

White Ash typically grow in well-drained soils on slopes.  Its bark produces a yellow dye and it’s hard, strong, heavy wood is used to make tool handles, baseball bats, hockey sticks, musical instruments, and furniture.  A valuable timber wood, it’s said that tools made from White Ash are more productive than tools made from other wood.

Both the bark and leaves can be used soothe the itching caused by bee stings, black fly, and mosquito bites.  A bitter tasting syrup can also be made from the sap – pancakes
anyone?

Unlike White Ash, Green Ash grows along streambanks, floodplains, and wet upland sites.  It’s quite resistant to the wind and creates a natural windbreak. 

A red dye can be extracted from the bark and the wood is suitable for making baskets.  The wood is also used for tool handles and furniture, but the quality isn’t as good as White Ash. Medicinally, Green Ash is used as both a bitter tonic and for the treatment of depression and fatigue.  The inner bark can also be eaten cooked or dried.

Black Ash grows in deep cold swamps, along river banks and shores.  It is highly valued for basket making.  The wood easily separates into thin layers and is not as strong as the other two trees. The bark produces a blue dye.

EAB adult8 1 - Celtic Month of Ash
Emerald Ash Borer

Unfortunately, the Ash trees in Maine have not been able to escape the life threatening damage being caused by the emerald ash borer (EAB).  The EAB is a destructive wood-boring pest native to Asia.  It was discovered in North America in 2002 in Michigan

Today, EAB infestations have been detected in 35 states, including 4 counties in Maine. 
FMI or to report sightings of EAB

To learn more about the folklore of Ash and other native trees in Maine, join me on one of my upcoming nature walks OR schedule a private walk for you and your friends.

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Enjoy the Magic of Christmas All Year

Christmas Tree - Enjoy the Magic of Christmas All Year

Christmas trees are magical, aren’t they? 

With their lights and ornaments, you can’t help but have a joyful song in your heart when you’re around one.  It’s sad when we take them down.

Want to capture the magic of your Christmas tree all year long? 

Most of us living in Maine use native Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) for our Christmas tree. 

Did you know that Balsam Fir has powerful healing properties? 

Balsam Fir can be used to help soothe sore muscles; reduce stress and tension; heal respiratory conditions like coughs; reduce arthritis pain; prevent infections of cuts; and it’s an awesome gargle for sore throats.

Teas can be made from the young shoots and leaves.  Using the resin, you can make poultices to put on burns and wounds.  In the winter/early spring the raw bark is sweet and pleasant to chew.

The refreshing, uplifting lemony scent can also help ease the winter blues.  Very magical
indeed!

Capture the magic throughout the year by enjoying a Rosemary + Fir bath to calm and soothe your body, and a Balsam Fir seasoning mix to enhance your culinary delights.  Find recipes below. 

Enjoy making your own magic!!  

*** BEFORE using any part of your tree (or any plant), make sure you know the source and if it was treated with pesticides or any other materials.  IF IT WAS TREATED in any way, DO NOT USE it for food, medicinal or body care products.

Recipes

rosemary - Enjoy the Magic of Christmas All Year

Rosemary + Fir Needle Tub Tea
(Compliments of Kami McBride)
1 tablespoon dried Rosemary* needles/leaves
2 tablespoons dried Balsam Fir needles/leaves
1 muslin tea bag

Put the needles in the muslin tea bag.  Secure it tightly.
Hook or tie the bag under the water spout while the tub is filling with water.

Once the tub is full, remove the bag from the spout and let it float in the tub. 

Squeeze the bag several times while you are in the tub.  Remove the bag when you are finished.

The bag can be used a couple more times, within 2-3 days.  After that, it will get moldy. 

When finished with the bag, you can remove the needles and compost them.  The bag can be washed and re-used.

* Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) is a warming, uplifting herb.  It’s healing properties include improving circulation and relaxing muscles.  A perfect addition to your bath!

** Tip – Make a big batch of this tea and keep it in a container so it’s readily available for all your bath times.

lemon balsam - Enjoy the Magic of Christmas All Year

Balsam Fir Seasoning
(Compliments of Andrea at Frugally Sustainable)
Mix together and then fill a pepper mill or salt grinder with:
1 part dried balsam fir needles
1 part dried balsam fir bark
1 part dried lemon peel                             
1 part peppercorns
1 part course Himalayan pink salt

This seasoning adds a nice lemony flavor to foods and is great on salads, cooked vegetables, chicken, fish, etc.

*** REMEMBER before using any part of your tree (or any plant), make sure you know the source and if it was treated with pesticides or any other materials.  IF IT WAS TREATED in any way, DO NOT USE it for food, medicinal or body care products.

christmas tree 2 - Enjoy the Magic of Christmas All Year

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Willow Power

pussywillow3 - Willow Power
Pussy Willow (Salix discolor ‘Rosea’) in bloom.

My pink pussy willow (Salix discolor ‘Rosea’), a cultivar of the North American native plant, Salix discolor, is blooming.  The catkins are now elongated with tiny, yellowish flowers — a valuable early nectar + pollen source for bees, and food source for songbirds.

As I look at my willow, I am in awe of its healing abilities and the insight it provides.    They encourage us to be flexible with our thoughts, to learn and explore. 

Medicinally, willow has been a source of medicine for over 3000 years.  Its leaves and bark contain salicin, an anti-inflammatory agent and the active ingredient found in aspirin.

Willows are water loving plants and typically grow in moist areas along ponds, streams, marshes, and wetlands.  Because of their relationship to water, they have a strong connection to both the moon and the feminine energies of birth, creation, and intuition. 

I am grateful for willow’s presence in my life.  Sharing space with willow provides me with opportunities to heal, explore, and expand my knowing.

How can you ask willow to be present in your life?

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Unplug: Breathe, Listen, Feel

cosmo - Unplug: Breathe, Listen, Feel
By Amy Melissa Witt
Third post in a 6-part series on the healing benefits of nature.

Are you aware that nature is alive and has a lot to share with you?  Are you paying attention?  One message often being communicated is to slow down, listen, and observe. 

Next time you are walking in nature, really engage your body, mind and spirit.  Find a spot to pause and sit upon the ground or just stand silently and observe.  Take in your c7e62e79 2984 4697 923d ac951951b646 - Unplug: Breathe, Listen, Feelsurroundings.  What do you see?  What are you noticing that you never did before?  Find one thing (plant, tree, stone, bark, or shell) that’s near you and strike up a conversation.  Ask if it likes living where it is; what it has seen over the years; what advice it has for you in that moment. 

Share some of your story.  How you came to be there.  What feelings you are or would like to be experiencing.  Before you go on your way, compliment and thank this being you have been talking with. 

f54c4253 15ad 475a 9e6f 74b9be44058e - Unplug: Breathe, Listen, Feel
Notice how you feel as you continue or end your walk.  Do you feel lighter?  Brighter, calmer, more alive?  Pay attention to your feelings.  What steps will you take to renew these positive emotions when you are out of alignment?

Believe it or not, you have just experienced one of nature’s healing sessions. Trust whatever has come to you and the experience you had. 

Want to go deeper? 

If you are you a woman who is feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities and everything going on in the world that you can’t contemplate taking time for yourself to be in nature, but recognize that you need her healing benefits, then Earth Walkers’ Nature Rejuvenation Therapy is perfect for you. 

Nature Rejuvenation Therapy works with you to restore your mind, body and spirit so that you can experience more joy, better health, lower stress levels, and a deeper connection to authentic self.

This service provides you with eight scheduled, one-hour sessions over a 6-month period.  Each session will include nature-based activities that are individualized to meet your needs and desires. 

I am excited to invite you on this journey to rejuvenate your well-being and experience nature in a way that you’ve never experienced before. 

Want to find out more?  Schedule a free 30-minute discovery call and begin your journey today!

 

 

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Nature Rejuvenation Therapy

rejuvenation therapy rack card title  1170x658 - Nature Rejuvenation Therapy

Are you a woman looking for natural ways to stay healthy but don’t know how to tap into Nature’s healing benefits?

Are you feeling frustrated or overwhelmed by too many responsibilities and all the disruptions going on in the world?

Are you looking for practices to release unhealthy energy in ways that bring peace + joy to your heart? 

bird 300x225 - Nature Rejuvenation Therapy

Here’s what you need to know:

Nature is our best ally against all the toxic stuff. The key to receiving her healing benefits is to:

  • Slow down
  • Pay attention to the natural world
  • Engage your senses
  • Focus on your well-being

When you are completely connected with Nature + experiencing all she has to offer, it’s guaranteed you will feel great!  

Schedule your free consultation.

Earth Walkers guides people on healing journeys in nature through a variety of experiences + opportunities.

Earth Walkers’ Nature Rejuvenation Therapy works with women to assist them with restoring their body + spirit so they can focus on their needs, get more restful sleep, lower their stress level, and experience more joy.

On this journey, you will learn ways to tap into your core gifts and receive Nature’s healing benefits whenever you need to call upon her.

dragonfly 300x225 - Nature Rejuvenation Therapy

Earth Walker’s Nature Rejuvenation Therapy package provides you with: 

  • 8-scheduled, in-person sessions over a 6-month period
  • Regular check-in between sessions
  • Supplementary exercises and techniques
  • Access to additional Earth Walkers’ events

Each session we meet at a location that is rich with nature chosen specifically to meet your needs. From that location we embark on a journey of nature rejuvenation with activities including meditation + mindfulness exercises, guided nature walks, discovering plant spirit guides, and more.

bleeding heart - Nature Rejuvenation Therapy

Sign-up for Earth Walkers’ Nature Rejuvenation Therapy and experience:

  • Improved physical + emotional health
  • Reduced stress
  • Better sleep
  • More joy
  • New outlets for creative expression
  • Deeper inner connection
  • And SO MUCH MORE

This investment for YOUR health + inner peace is
only $350/month for three months.

NUTURE YOURSELF in NATURE!

Let Earth Walkers guide you on your journey
to being HEALTHY!

Schedule your free consultation.

Begin your journey of
HEALING + RENEWAL TODAY!!!

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dragonfly5 604x270 - Nature Shows You How You Can Reconnect With Yourself

Nature Shows You How You Can Reconnect With Yourself

dragonfly5 780x1170 - Nature Shows You How You Can Reconnect With Yourself

Are you feeling exasperated because you are stuck at home during this time of social distancing and stay at home orders?  Do you feel trapped because of all the responsibilities you have including homeschooling your kids, your job, and running your household?  Are you looking for down time, a calmer and simpler life, and ways to re-connect with who you really are?

You might not be able to go to the gym, out to restaurants or clothes shopping, but you can allow yourself to take a deserved break from your day-to-day commitments and experience valuable time to re-charge and take care of you.

The weather in Maine is warming up, there’s more daylight, the nesting songbirds have returned in abundance and nature is bursting with the brilliantly beautiful colors of newly emerged leaves and flowers. 

This is a perfect time to be immersed in nature, to experience the benefits of living simply, of being in the present moment by observing the thriving rhythm of the plants, animals and birds, all of which can help you reconnect to your true self.

Letting go, being one with nature and allowing your mind to quiet down, daydream or wander can lead to some of your most creative moments.

As the world changes and new opportunities unfold, consider what role you want to have as we move forward.  Who do you want to be in this next phase of enlightenment on planet Earth?  What do you want to let go of?  What do you want to create?

Taking time in nature to release daily stress lets you connect with your creative spirit.  One simple activity to engage in is journaling.  Journaling while embraced by nature allows you to slow down and see the natural world and your true self from a different perspective

I’ve experienced a variety of very stressful times throughout my life, both personally and professionally.  Being immersed in nature, even for a few minutes each day, has shown me how enriching a simpler life is, expanded my creativity, and has greatly improved my overall wellbeing.

Earth Walkers can help you start your journey to experiencing a more relaxed and simpler life with our 6 Simple Nature Connection Practices to Declutter Your Mind + Restore Your Spirit.  Get your free guide here and begin the journey of re-connecting with yourself.

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colorful 604x270 - Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates 

Bring extra joy to the
nature lovers + gardeners in your life!
 

Looking for something uniquely special for the nature lovers + gardeners in your life?

No worries!

Earth Walkers’ gift certificates provide services that are tailored to meet each recipients’ needs.

Good news — you don’t have to leave your home to purchase them.

Purchase Nature Walk Certificate

A personalized nature walk is the perfect gift for any nature enthusiast. Walks can be designed for one person or small group up to 5 people.

This is a great way to explore a new trail, learn about native plants + wildflowers, and experience a variety of bird + wildlife habitats.

All guided walks are 90-minutes and take place on trails within 25 miles of Portland, Maine.

Purchase Garden Consult Certificate

A garden consultation is a great gift for all gardeners booking for fresh ideas.

Whether they are a new to gardening, a gardener with a landscape that needs a makeover, a gardener who wants to attract birds + pollinators by incorporating native plants, or a gardener who wants to learn about ecological practices, Earth Walkers will help problem-solve with the perfect recommendations.

On-site consultations are available for properties within 30 miles of Portland, Maine.

Purchase your certificates TODAY!!

 

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