By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Ivy! How I adore Ivy! You may be able to see that by the photos of our items in our Etsy shop. Most pictures will be adorned with a sprig or more of lush, green Ivy. Ivy is also a wood of the Celtic Birth Tree calendar, an Ogham tree. It is Gort, the 11th month of Celtic Tree calendar, 30th September – 27th October, and the 11th consonant of the Ogham alphabet. It is not a tree, obviously, however, in England the vine can get very thick like a tree limb. The Ivy person has determination, patience, and able to accept change. The Ivy person is your go-to source for attaching dreams with reality, just like Ivy wraps around our visions and helps us bring them into the real world. The Ivy-born are good for creating healthy bonds with friends, family, and co-workers.
As you might tell from our shop photographs, there are many species of Ivy but for the Ogham, there are only two acceptable species, i.e., Hedera Helix [English Ivy] and the Australian species, which is confined to the southern Continent. There is an Australian version of the Ogham and I have read there is also a Florida [US] version using species of trees indigenous to that area which are much the same in most cases as the original Ogham. You must work with what you have, sometimes! Mind, most people can simply buy an Ogham set from a British maker unless they prefer making one out of their own indigenous trees.
Folklore / History /Magick
Ivy has been used for various purposes throughout history and is associated with Bacchus because it was supposed to grow all over his fabled homeland, Nyssa. Its leaves formed the poet’s crown, as well as the wreath of Bacchus, to whom the plant was dedicated, probably because of the practise of binding the brow with Ivy leaves to prevent intoxication, a quality formerly attributed to the plant. It was said that the effects of intoxication by wine are removed if a handful of Ivy leaves are bruised and gently boiled in wine and drunk. Please don’t try this at home. Ivy is poisonous if ingested.
Ivy wood is very porous, and the ancients thought it had the property of separating wine from water by filtration, an error arising from the fact that wood absorbs the colour of the liquid in its passage through the pores. On the Continent it has sometimes been used in thin slices as a filter.
In former days, English taverns bore over their doors the sign of an Ivy bush, to indicate the excellence of the liquor supplied within; hence the saying ‘Good wine needs no bush’.
In England it was once believed that if ivy refused to grow on a grave it meant the soul was unhappy in its other world.
If it flourished on a young girl’s grave, it meant she died of unrequited love.
Greek priests presented a wreath of Ivy to newly-married persons, and the Ivy has throughout the ages been regarded as the emblem of fidelity.
The custom of decorating houses and churches with Ivy at Christmas was forbidden by one of the early Councils of the Church, because its pagan associations, but the custom remains.
As Ivy grows in the shape of a spiral, it is considered to be of the Goddess.
Use ivy in fidelity and love charms.
Wherever Ivy is grown, it guards against negativity and disaster.
Ivy is magickally paired with Holly and is often woven together into crowns.
Planet: Moon, Saturn
Symbolism: Fidelity and Fertility, Protection, Healing
Bird: Lark, mute Swan, Swallow
Deity: Ariadne, Artemis, Arianrhod, Pasiphae, Dionysus, Bacchus, Osiris
“Oh, roses for the flush of youth,
And laurel for the perfect prime;
But pick an ivy branch for me
Grown old before my time.”
~Christina Georgina Rossetti, 1862
Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x