Well here we are already turning slowly into our second tree moon, remember the first one that I shared last month? That's right, it was Ash. Well this night sees the world breathing life into the Alder.
Alder is a tree that loves the water but not just the river, you will find her by the side of any source be it marshy, babbling or millpond. I must admit and ashamedly so that I have overlooked her for most of my life, or perhaps its just that she didn't want me to see her yet. The rivers though have coursed through my veins forever and I am madly and deeply in love with them. It wasn't until I began noticing those tight cones that peel apart in time that I realised all my favourite and most peaceful spots at the river were beneath an Alder.
Alder or Fearn as she is known in the Celtic calendar is a tree usually of many trunks that separate with rough bark are lichen bound and carry both male and female parts but there is so much more to her. You see Alder doesn't just thrive by the water she is the water! Her roots will happily remain under the river twisted and knarly unbelievably they grow stronger the longer they are water bound. Her roots are a favourite site for the elusive otter to rest in and I know my alder friend has given up one particular branch to the Kingfisher. So what does that tell us about her teachings?
Well there is balance there for sure, to be above and below, to be male and female, to house the feminine otter and the masculine kingfisher. The most beautiful thing I have discovered is her courage, yesterday I touched her, knowing I would write this I asked 'What do you want to tell me?' on a still spring morning (the first in a while) the wind blew and it blew hard. I thought perhaps she didn't want me there until I looked up and saw that not a single one of her cones or catkins, old and fragile from last year, not one of them blew in the breeze. She my friends is courage in the murk, the easer of fears and anxiety. She stands with one foot in this visible world and one in the depths but she shows no bend or movement. Those waters can seem mighty dark at times with pikes hunting and silt that swallows your toes, yet she seems unperturbed if anything she welcomes the menace and invites you into her betwixt realm.
I decided not long after ash that I would like to draw the tree moons, sharing the more spiritual side of my life fills me with joy. It was apt that I should draw Alder first, I recognise my heart in hers. I spend much of my time between realms and know the urge to drown in what I love but I also know that I must stand tall and bring lessons from the roots unseen. Kingfisher was a strange choice at first, Connected with the god bran means of all the birds Alder is most closely connected to Raven but I was shown that this is my interpretation. For me Kingfisher is a fighter, often to the death. All that battle armour, he will steel into the waters without a second thought and for his courage will often rise with a silver treasure.
I hope you have liked this months tree moon, I hope to paint these sketches and turn them into 'oracle' type cards. Perhaps something to look at and settle our minds. Also before I forget flutes were often made from Alder and if you have a chance listen to one being played. It's as if you are there in the otters deepness, witness to what so many are not.
Author - Lucy
A painter & needle sculptor creating creatures with a tale to tell and a song in their heart.