Museum of Magic and Witchcraft

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Cecil Williamson

Quite recently I was fortunate to travel down to Cornwall and visited the Museum of magic and Witchcraft in the small coastal town of Boscastle.For those of you unfamiliar with the museum below is what is written on its official website.

The Museum of Witchcraft was the creation of Cecil Williamson, whose interest in witchcraft and magic began in childhood. Cecil initially founded a Museum of Witchcraft in Stratford-upon-Avon but after local opposition, moved to the Isle of Man and in 1951 opened The Folklore Centre of Superstition and Witchcraft. Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern Wicca, was featured as the ‘resident witch.’ As time went on, the two men’s interests became increasingly divergent and Cecil returned to the mainland to set up a succession of witchcraft museums.
http://museumofwitchcraftandmagic.co.uk/history/

These days the Museum is a pilgrimage for witches, Wiccans, pagans and generally anyone who is interested in the occult or just curious to view the thousands of items currently on display. The use of many of those items are very familiar to me and some are totally obscure and serendipitous. However the items that I would like to focus on here concern the use of wands, rods, staffs and blasting sticks – all of which form an essential tool in magic and the Craft. As can be seen in the drawing at the top of the even Cecil Williamson, the founder of the Witch Museum, had in his possession a honeysuckle-twisted walking stick with a silver handle. The original is on display for people to view.

Below is a display of athames and wands, including a pair of hand-carved twisted items.

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Athames and Wands – tools of the trade

No doubt the users of such magical instruments would have either made or constructed their own tools, or had them made for them by someone in their close circle of contacts, or by someone who makes items for magical purpose, either bespoke or for general purchase within the Community. Such wands and sticks most often would incorporate natural honeysuckle-twists or they might be hand-carved. Either  method produces a beautiful working tool for any practitioner of magic and/or divination. The type of tree the item was made from would also been of utmost importance.

Like my predecessors and my contemporaries the wands I produce incorporate many of the same methods as those that have been used by witches, druids, and practitioners of natural magic for many decades. With the added spirit of the ancient Irish Ogham alphabet incorporated in their making I believe this makes them something special to own and use. I hope that one day you may discover that for yourself.

Blessings
W.

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Cecil Williamson Display

 

Easter

Eostre

Easter time is upon us once again and all over the Christian world people will be taking holidays, giving eggs as gifts and going to church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet, there is more to Easter than this. What are the origins of Easter? Why do we have Easter Eggs, what is the Easter Bunny? Why is it a ‘movable holiday’ and how is the date for Easter calculated?

Origins

Easter derives its original name from Ishtar, the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess of love and fertility. The Phoenicians called her Astarte, who was sister and lover to Baal, and as the tradition of celebrating Astarte spread to northern Europe she became known as Ostara, goddess of spring, fertility and the rising sun by the Germanic peoples. Astara is also associated with the rising of the moon in Phoenician tradition.

The ancient Egyptians also celebrated fertility and new life and the hare or rabbit Wenu, yet another symbol of re-birth, was associated with the sun, Ra, and the resurrective powers of Osiris. In Egypt, the hare was also connected with the moon for that was the time when the hare would come out to feed at night.

When the Germanic tribes invaded and settled Britain in the 4th Century onward, they also brought over the tradition of celebrating Ostara/Eostre during the time we now associate with the month of April and they also used the hare as a totem symbol for fertility and spring. According to Anglo-Saxon myth, the goddess Ostara turned her pet bird into a rabbit to delight some children. The rabbit then proceeded to lay brightly coloured eggs, which Ostara gave to the children. This may be a belief which was brought over from their Germanic homelands, as Britain itself did not have any rabbits until the later Norman period, in the 11th Century. The first actual mention of an Easter Bunny was in Germany in the 1500’s.

The tradition of giving eggs also dates from ancient times. The Persians and Egyptians used to dye eggs in bright spring colours and hand them to friends as a symbol of renewed life. Even today there are myths and legends in Eastern and Middle Eastern cultures that tell how the Earth itself was hatched from a giant egg. The painting and giving of Easter Eggs remains to this day, as well as the making of chocolate eggs (which are delightful modern additions to an ancient custom) long after the original tradition has been forgotten.

Easter Becomes a Christian Holiday

Like most ancient Pagan customs and festivals, Easter was later adopted by the Christians. In the second Century AD, Christian missionaries in northern Europe realised that the time when they traditionally celebrated the crucifixion of Christ roughly coincided with the Germanic/Teutonic springtime celebrations. The Christians quickly absorbed the symbols of the triumph of life over death, and of renewal/rebirth. At the same time, it is believed that the early Christians, many of whom were of Jewish origin, adopted the Hebrew festival of Passover, which derives its name from Pasch and Esther, the woman associated with it.

Early Christians believed the week before Easter was a good time to be baptised. They used to wear white clothes to signify new life, and referred to this as “White Week”. It was considered good luck to wear a piece of new clothing on Easter Sunday and it was thought that the wearing of old or used clothes would bring misfortune for the year ahead. The wearing of white clothes also signified light, purity and joy. I believe in more recent years the Easter Bonnet also became associated with this tradition as it allowed women to dress up in fine clothing, putting an end to the dreary winter months.

Prior to A.D. 325, Easter was celebrated on various days of the week, including Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In that year, Emperor Constantine, at the Council of Nicaea, issued the Easter Rule, which stated that Easter was to be celebrated on the first Sunday which occurs after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox.

Easter became known as a ‘movable feast’ as it is celebrated on various dates between March 22nd and April 25th. It also became a principle feast in the Christian year and many other festivals were fixed in relation to Easter. The 40-day Lent season ends on the midnight of the Saturday before Easter Sunday and the Sunday of Advent is also fixed in relation to whatever day Easter falls on in that particular year.

The calculating of the dates for Easter is complicated, even more so because the Roman Christian tradition differs from the Byzantine (Greek Orthodox) calculations of when the first full moon of the vernal equinox occurs. The ecclesiastical ‘full moon’, which is the fourteenth day of a tabular lunation, is used by Roman Christians and Day 1 corresponds to the ecclesiastical New Moon. This does not always fall on the same date as the astronomical full moon. The ecclesiastical vernal equinox is always on March 21st. Therefore, Easter must always be celebrated on a Sunday between the dates of March 21st and April 25th. Still confused? So am I.

Orthodox Christians use the older Julian calendar, whereas Roman Christians, since Pope Gregory XIII, use the Gregorian calendar; hence the Orthodox Easter is always one week later than the Roman.

To save endless yearly calculations, the dates for Easter have already been set for the coming years and centuries. It is easy to look ahead and see that Easter Sunday falls on April 12, 2099 and even further forward to April 16, 2299. The year-to-year sequence is so complicated that it takes 5.7 million years to repeat.

During the Christian conversion of the English in the 7th Century, Pope Gregory the Great demanded that the old Celtic Christian traditions, influenced by the Iona School after Saint Columba, were to be dropped in favour of the Roman traditions. What resulted was the Synod of Whitby in 664 A.D. One of the key issues under discussion was the calculation for Easter Day. Saint Colman represented the Celts and Saint Wilfred the Romans. King Oswy of Northumbria presided over the debate and after much argument he ruled in favour of Rome. King Oswy probably sided with Rome for political reasons but the outcome was that the Celtic Church lost its power over Britain and the English began celebrating Easter on the same date as the rest of the Holy Roman Empire.

Easter Today

Through all the various developments of Easter one tradition has always been retained. The giving of eggs from the ancient Egyptian times, through Anglo-Saxon and the early Christian to the modern day. Nowhere was the decorating of Easter eggs more spotlighted than the beautiful creations by the Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé. Around the year 1885 Fabergé created a jeweled egg filled with many other small items of gold, enamel and precious gems and presented it to Czar Alexander III. Fabergé would make one such egg each year and present it to Alexander every Easter until Nicholas, his son, became Czar. Afterwards, Fabergé made two eggs, one for the current Czar and one for Alexandra, the Czar’s mother.

Easter Parades are still very popular these days and in cities such as New York, people wear their finest clothes and bonnets. This tradition is believed to date back to the American Civil War period, but the origins definitely go much further back, to the “White Week” tradition of early Christianity.

During the 20th Century, there has been much debate on making Easter a fixed holiday. In 1963, the Second Vatican Council agreed to fix a date provided they had agreement from the other Christian churches. The most likely date suggested for the future is the second Sunday in April.

By Witcherman
Copyright 2003

All rights reserved.
(First published in Echoed Voices, April 2003)

Winter Solstice

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Stonehenge Winter Solstice by Witcherman

Winter Solstice by Witcherman

The Winter Solstice – December 21st/22nd

Another cycle of the year has turned and Midwinter in the Northern Hemisphere is upon us. Unlike the image of Stonehenge above the only places in Britain to see snow this Solstice will be the Highlands of Scotland. Thoughts of that beautiful but somewhat inhospitable place brings to my mind the true reason for this Ancient celebration.

The Winter days are long, dark, cold and forbidding. Nature is on hold; suspended, and the first stirrings of spring are still many weeks away. And yet on the longest of days – the Winter Solstice – the sun hangs low on the horizon and holds the land and the people with its spell of future promise. For even in the depths of Winter after the Solstice the days will slowly grow longer and the nights shorter.

Celebration – thousands of years ago all over Britain and Ireland at the great structures such as Newgrange, Stonehenge and Maes Howe, where each ancient construction is perfectly aligned to the Winter Solstice, communities would gather to celebrate the turning of the season.

Stonehenge, which is more popularly known these days for its Summer Solstice celebrations, is less well known for its alignment to the setting sun during the Winter Solstice, and yet it is now believed by historians that more emphasis was placed on it by the people at this time of the year.

At Newgrange the rising Solstice Sun casts its rays through an opening and down the long passageway until it hits the inner burial chamber; lighting up the many strange and wonderful carvings upon its walls. One theory is that spirits of the Ancients would travel along the shaft of light until they reached the Afterlife, thus being reborn.

Rebirth – and thus the Winter Solstice is not only about the rebirth of the sun becoming stronger again, but also the rebirth of the Land, the rebirth of the Spirit, but also the rebirth of the determination of the people who live upon the land. A perpetual cycle of Life, Death and Rebirth, which still continues to this day.

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The poem below is one I wrote some years ago after one of my journeys to Newgrange.

“Renewal”
The silence before dawn…
The stillness of the night,
When the distant stars reach to Infinity
And upon Earth an expected sunrise

There is a long-awaited re-birth…
The re-birth of the Land
And a re-birth of the sleeping soul
Coming from the south-eastern horizon

A cool shaft of midwinter sunlight
Enters the tomb of the Ancestors
Bringing forth awakening to the sleeping
The journey begins anew

The soul stirs with the dawn
And travels along the golden shaft
Re-emerging into the waiting World
And joining with the elements

It joins with the dance of the triple-spiral
A spiral of Life, Death and Rebirth
From the womb the child emerges
Calling to the new dawn “Renewal”
(Copyright R M Carr/Witcherman 2006)

Blessings
W.

Samhain Blessings

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Samhain

Samhain, when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest
Samhain, when we may walk and talk with our Ancestors
Samhain, when we may shed tears and laughter
Samhain, when our hearts beat a timeless rhythm

Let the Spear of Lugh light our way
Let the Sword of Truth speak to us
Let the Stone of Fal sing to us
Let the Cauldron of Murias heal us

Copyright R M Carr/Witcherman Oct 31st 2006

A Journey With Blackthorn

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4 Blackthorn

Blackthorn – such a simple name for a tree, which is based on its appearance, but loaded with deep meaning and resonance. But the Blackthorn tree is far from being a simple tree; in my opinion it is one of the most magically significant trees to be found on the list of Ogham trees.

The flesh of Blackthorn is dark, giving it its name, and the thorns which grow at right angles from the main stem are extremely sharp and can be up to four inches long. Its protective nature is self-evident. It is almost impossible to cut lengths of Blackthorn bare-handed without pricking oneself and shedding blood.

During the springtime, when in flower, it is often mistaken by the ignorant for its cousin the Hawthorn. With its small and delicate white flowers smothering its branches, catching the passive eye as one travels down country lanes, it is indeed difficult to tell it apart from Hawthorn. And that, I believe, is the secret of Blackthorn – one has to know it intimately to understand what it is.

The above I have already stated on my page devoted to the Blackthorn Ogham symbol, and quite happily would have left it at that, but there has recently been a series of occurrences that have pushed Blackthorn to the forefront of my mind that it would be foolish of me to ignore its demanding presence. Let me expand.

Earlier this year an elderly friend of mine passed away and one of the items I inherited from him was a Blackthorn cane, which had along its length a natural honeysuckle twist. A few months later I had it in my mind to make my own Blackthorn cane but unlike the staff I already possess I was planning to fashion its root into a handle. As the spring advanced into summer the thought pushed to the back of my mind. To cut any length of live wood (with just a few exceptions) during the summer months was asking for trouble, especially with a tree with heartwood as dense as the Blackthorn.

Then a couple of months or so ago a reader of Ogham Divination e-mailed to ask if I had any Blackthorn canes for sale. I explained I did not and further informed the reader of the problems of cutting Blackthorn during the summer months and that even if I awaited for the appropriate time any finished hand-made item I could produce would not be available until early next year.

The e-mail reminded me of my own original plan to cut a length for my own personal magical use, which I finally did a fortnight ago on one of my regular visits to Charnwood Forest. I actually cut three different lengths – one for me, one for any potential buyer, and a rather awesome piece that will make an imposing shalaylee. These are all now slowly seasoning at my woodland retreat.

Not that I managed to walk away unscathed that day from my expedition to Charnwood. Finding the appropriate lengths of wood was difficult; I knew more or less where I needed to search but access to the area was arduous – deep banks, nettles, brambles and mud all made the search challenging. Finding straight pieces of the required length was the next task, but I persevered and found what I was looking for (even without the aid of hazel wand). But actually cutting the lengths held its own challenge. Over the years I have come to admire and respect Blackthorn, and to expect some sort of sacrifice for offering itself up for magical use. I walked away from the dark and forbidding Blackthorn grove sporting numerous deep cuts and scratches, but I did not mind. Blackthorn demands and I acquiesced to its needs.

Blackthorn

Regarding Sloe Gin

Most years, at around the time of the Autumnal Equinox (Sept. 22nd) I generally harvest the fruit of the Blackthorn tree – the small dark plum-coloured sloe – with the purpose of making my own sloe gin. I first made this almost thirty years ago and after a long absence began producing an annual batch of sloe gin seven years ago. Earlier this year I had decided not to make any, having still a good quantity remaining from previous years’ production.

This year England has been blessed with a bountiful fruit harvest (the apple is especially good this autumn) and it had not gone unnoticed by me that the number of sloes on certain Blackthorn trees was greater than previous years. Still I only admired the small dark fruits on the trees I walked past most days and resisted the temptation to harvest any. Besides, the whole area around the trees was a deep mass of tall nettles.

And then on the night of September 27th and during the early hours of the 28th the U.K. was blessed with a full ‘blood’ moon, a super moon, and a total lunar eclipse. This trio of occurrences is so rare that the next time it will be witnessed in the U.K. will be 2033. The actual eclipse took place after 2 a.m. in the morning and I was pleased to witness it and capture its beauty with my camera.

The day after the eclipse I walked past the heavily laden Blackthorn trees and realised that a swathe of nettles around them had been cleared, creating an easy access to the trees – and their fruit. I decided there and then that I could resist no more and on my return journey home that evening I picked a good kilo of sloes to make my sloe gin with. As I walked away with my cache I came to realise that the sloes I had picked were riper than I had picked previous years, but that they had an added special magical quality of recently being bathed in the light of a full moon and the red light of the same eclipsed moon. I knew then I had been somehow held back from harvesting the sloes until the time was most appropriate. When I begin production of my slow gin in a few days I can only anticipate with taste-buds tingling what the finished product will eventually taste like when it is ready for drinking around Samhain.

So, for some reason, the energy of Blackthorn has been on the edge of my conscience throughout this year, and my journey with it continues – perhaps culminating into a specific reason by the time I have completed work on the pieces I cut next spring. For certain I will be celebrating with a goblet of my home-made sloe gin.

Blessings
W.

First Anniversary of Ogham Divination

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Autumn Swithland

Dear Visitors,

It has now been exactly one year (September 16th 2014) since I conceived, created, and began work on the Ogham Divination website, although my first actual blog post was not until Sept. 25th. Created initially as a resource site; a base from where I share my accumilated knowledge, work, and experiences over the years, I also decided that it would be a good opportunity to give people around the world the option to learn how to make their own wands and staffs, or if they were also inclined to buy one of my own items. With the specialised pages on offer for viewing I was under no illusion that it was ever going to be a highly popular website. My real hope was that Ogham Divination would attract those people who already knew somewhat, or were aware, of the subject. Ogham is, after all, not the most popular form of divination outside of the Druid population. It took a couple of months for the website to reach its completion and I believe there is enough information available here to give anyone interested in the subject of Ogham something to sink their teeth into.

The tiny acorn I planted a year ago has indeed sprouted and grown into an oak; if not as tall as I was hoping in its first year but certainly healthy and flourishing in a forest. Shaded perhaps by some of the mightier Corperate oak trees, which tenaciously seek to overwhelm, but there is enough light and water to keep my little oak tree saping alive and well and in leaf.

During the past year there have been a few surprises and only a small number of disappointments. The website stats have been most insightful and intriguing, especially regarding the global appeal of the subject of Ogham. It comes as no surprise to me that most visits to the website have come from the U.K and U.S.A. Between them they account for 682 views to the site of the 793 total. Of the remainding 111 surpringly Brazil takes up almost a quarter (29), Denmark 12, Canada 11, Ireland 8, and Australian and New Zealand 16. Surprise visits also came from Nigeria, Turkey, Mexica, Taiwan, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. Visits from Poland, Slovakia and Puerto Rico may have been nothing more than occasional strays. In all 20 countries from around the world with 337 different visitors. I am perhaps a little bit disappointed that I did not receive more visits from Canada (where there is a large pagan/druid element) or Ireland (where Ogham originated from) but overall I cannot complain too much.

The most popular pages have been Wands for Sale (146 visits), Home Page (181), How To Make Wands & Staffs (53), The Ogham Alphabet (33) and About Witcherman (28). All other pages show a healthy interest in each and all of the various Ogham symbols information and the accompanying Ogham card pack. Through the website I have been able to sell a small number of my hand-crafted wands and also interest in some of my staffs. Recently I have also added extra payment facilities for those wishing to purchase a wand from countries outside of the U.K.

So, what now are my hopes for the next year for Ogham Divination? The site, in my opinion as a whole, is as complete as it can be but if you can think of any improvements that can be made please feel free to comment. I am always happy to receive feedback on anything you read or see on the website. I would like to see more activity and interest in the wands that I make. I am not a money-making business, which accounts for the relatively low price I charge for my items, but I would like to see them used for the purpose they were made for by people who can appreciate them for what they are. I have sold many wands over the past few years and never had any complaints about their quality.

I should, perhaps, also spend more time writing blog posts; the seasonal pagan festival posts that I have made seem to be quite popular.

If you have managed to read my rhetoric thus far my gratitude to you for your time and patience. All I now need to decide is how to celebrate the First Anniversary of Ogham Divination: The Wisdom of Trees. So, starting from the Autumn Equinox (September 22nd) and until Samhain (Nov 1st) I am offering a 20% discount on all of my wands currently listed on the Wands for Sale page. I also have more wands not listed on the page so if you cannot see exactly what you are looking for please do not hesitate to email me on the address at the bottom of the Wands for sale page.

Finally I would like to thank each and every one of you who have visited Ogham Divination over the past year, those of you who follow me, and those who have purchased one of my wands.

Blessings
W.

Happy Lammas/Lughnasadh

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Lughnasadh 3The calm twilight of Lughnasadh falls softly
Upon the ground beside my feet
And the summer Warblers are now silent
For they have flown to a new retreat

In the fields beyond this forest of peace
the harvesters will reap no more
They have completed their task this year
Unless they travel to distant shores

My solitude walks beneath the great trees
Within my mind the echoes of summer
Along this arcade of aged Oak Masters
They see centuries of seasons fade and blur

And should I stand in wonder and follow
the creaking voices who call to my ears
Blessed Mother of Earth and giver of life
Who has fed me throughout the year

The gathering wind sings through the leaves
In a voice as dry as memories past
Where is the cool rain to moisten my lips?
In this refuge I hide from season’s blast

Then I join the soft soil beneath my feet
To gladly embrace the Land of my birth
Lughnasadh takes me away into the future
My soul soars like an eagle above the earth

Copyright Rick M Carr/Witcherman 2004

Summer Solstice

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Midsummer Sunrise 2014

First of all I would like to wish readers and visitors (both old and new) a very Happy Summer Solstice 2015. It is a time to celebrate the longest of days and the height of summer. The trees are also in full leaf and those that have already pollinated have done their bit for the continuation of their species – the cycle of life never ceases. Over the next few months they will bear their own fruits, nuts and seeds and they, in turn, will help to propagate their species.

I am reminded of the few tree species that have self-seeded in my own garden. I have a Hawthorn, a Rowan and a Holly tree – all of which I have nursed and tended since I noticed them as a seedling. The three-year old Rowan is already a good fifteen feet high and offers spiritual protection for my property. In the opposite corner of the confines of the property the six foot Holly is still young but already acts as my guardian tree. The Hawthorn also offers magical protection. Three trees – a rather appropriate and magical combination.

The Summer Solstice is also the time for the Oak Tree to become prominent in the yearly calender, as it grows ever more powerful and protective of the many other species which rely on it

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On a more personal note this particular Summer Solstice arrives at a time in my life where much seems a bit devoid of action. It has been a while since I have been very proactive with the local pagan and druid communities, or even felt the need or desire to be so. This does not mean, by any account, indicate I have lost direction or purpose. My energies, especially over the past three years, seem to be more focused in other areas – such as my novel writing (which indeed focus of pagan beliefs), my photography, building up this website and of course my weekly work commitments.

Even today I woke up early and decided to cycle out to my favourite local viewing spot to observe the sunrise. However, due to technical problems with the bicycle delaying me and a partially cloudy morning I shrugged my shoulders and admitted that some things are not always meant to be. Had I indeed gone out I would not now be writing this post! My partner and I also plan to travel out to our little woodland cabin later this morning to mark the occasion. There is also a druid celebration taking place which we plan to go to so it’s not as though I am at a loss for options and opportunities to mark this year’s Summer Solstice in a magical or spiritual way.

As for those of you who follow a pagan path, or just love this time of the year, I hope you have a wonderful and enlightening Midsummer.

Blessings
W.

Sad demise of an old Oak friend

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 ö2004 Winter Scene

For over 200 years there has been a lovely old Oak tree living on a local Leicester park. It watched over me during the 1970’s when I was a wee lad and then a few years later as I walked the family dog each morning before I headed off to work. It even espied me making love to a girlfriend one warm springtime evening – whispering its encouragement beneath a cloudless, starlit mantle. I have seen and heard tawny owls amongst its high branches and countless other smaller creatures pass through its dense leafy growth – and even the ubiquitous grey squirrels dance and leap from branch to branch – when they were not dodging the acorns which dropped during ripe autumn seasons.

In more recent years it has been a constant companion as I made my way to work and back each day. Sometimes think I see a face on the eastern side of its trunk but mostly I liken its shape to that of a hand – multiple fingers splayed out from its rugged palm. A fanciful imagination you might think, but when we gaze carefully and longingly at something natural for so long we do seem to see what is not always evident at first glance.

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I have witnessed its annual cycle of life over the years, through the seasons in all weathers – through gale force winds that have brought younger trees to the ground, during hot summers of drought and even in more recent summers of high rainfall and floods, where the tree has become an island in the midst of a temporary pond. No doubt this Oak tree – perhaps the oldest tree on the actual park – has seen much more than my own personal fleeting words can recall and is the keeper of many, many more secrets than my own. That is how it should be.

I always expected that such a magnificent, prominent and venerable tree would outlive my own brief lifetime but alas I learned just a few weeks ago that this would not be so. Apparently it was diagnosed some years ago with a disease, which was very slowly affecting it its health. Along with some of the younger trees on the park the old Oak tree was scheduled for removal.

Evington Oak Cutting 01 copy

Today, as I made my usual journey to work, I realized that the day had finally arrived for the tree to be taken down. I quickly took some photos with my cellphone, knowing that the next time I would see it the Oak would have undergone a severe change. By midday its canopy had been completely removed and most of the major limbs also amputated. By evening all that remained was its large trunk and limbless stumps. It still stood proud and indomitable but when the tree surgeons return another day it will be no more.

Evington Oak Cutting 10 copyOther trees will eventually be planted to replace the old Oak, and decades from now the local residents with enjoy the replacement trees, but for me I will always miss my old friend who has watched over me for much of my relatively short span of years.

I guess this post is my way of paying tribute to the Oak tree. Perhaps I will even salvage some of its wood to make a nice staff and a few wands.

Blessings
W.

Just as an appendum to the above post – the tree surgeons and wood – cutters have now finished their work on the remains of the oak tree, and left future visitors to the park with their own tribute to the tall and beautiful tree which once stood there. I approve of their attempt but I will always miss what once stood in its place.

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Bradgate’s Ancient Oak Trees

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A few years ago (2008) I attempted to estimate the age some of the ancient Oak trees that currently live on Bradgate park and Swithland Woods. Armed with a camera, a tape measure and a notebook I spent a pleasurable few hours surveying my own particular favourite trees. I think my own estimates were fairly accurate but it’s always nice to have a second opinion.

Thankfully the Bradgate Park Trust has now surveyed around 2000 of its tree population, including many other species (Hawthorn, beech, holly etc) and placed its findings on the above link. Each tree now has its own individual number, which can be cross-referenced against the survey list.

For 2015 I have now set myself the task of not only comparing my own age estimates with the official register, but also to expand my list. I also aim to include on Ogham Diviniation new images of some of the Oak trees, with their age estimates.

As the Oak Tree has been my own personal guardian tree for most of my life I am now really excited about getting to know many of the Oaks on Bradgate Park even more personally than before. Another challenge is to locate the tree that is over 800 years-old.

Blessings
W.