With the changes mentioned in previous posts I have, for the first time, become the owner of a dog. Not the "needs little exercise will sleep most of the time" breed that my wife told me she'd look after! No, after a weekend of 'just looking' round various dog home's we came home with Brodie...New Zealand Huntaway that I suspect that is what he is; especially as there was a breeder of Huntaway's in Sussex around the time he was born! He is apparently a one-man dog needing lots of exercise....
The Tree Ogham
However, I had been missing cycling commuting in all weathers since my supervisor took umbrage at my kit drying under my desk. This has meant the past year has been missing a regular contact with nature. Early morning walkies have provided a recent replacement and time to contemplate nature. I realise this land of the Alder Bourne is not like other parts of Sussex I have known. It has the Oak and Ash as expected but few Birches and no Beeches. Instead it has the Willow and Grey Poplar. The Grey Poplar being a cross of the Aspen and the White Alder. It is one of those Druidic coincidences that these trees are reaching out to me at this cross-roads in life when I am between work and torn between financial and spiritual imperatives. Using Coleen Whittaker's excellent resource here is what it says...
Saille / Willow
The willow is another water loving tree. Willow bark contains Salicin which is used in the treatment of rheumatic fever and various damp diseases. Her catkins, which appear in early spring before her leaves, attract bees to
start the cycle of pollination. She indicates cycles, rhythms and the ebb and flux.
Physical: A comfortable relationship to the material world is full of lessons and cycles of changing values. Change is necessary for growth, and values are no exception to the rule.
Mental: To gain understanding of a particular concept, a steady accumulation of facts is the foundation that brings understanding. All cannot be learned in one lesson. Repetition is the key.
Spiritual: This is a period of taking it easy rather than full speed ahead. Learn to play with the cyclical nature of things.
Eadha / Poplar
The Poplar flourishes beside rivers, in marshes and in other watery areas. The pith is star shaped. The upper leaves are green, the underside is silver. The wood was used in the making of shields. Leaves move with
every puff of wind. It is commonly referred to as the talking, whispering and quivering tree. The Poplar's ability to resist and to shield, its association with speech, language and the Winds indicates an ability to
endure and conquer.
Physical: Whatever challenge you now face, you will endure and conquer with determination. You can bend and not break.
Mental: Shield your thoughts from the fears and doubts about the odds you must overcome. A positive attitude will prevail.
Spiritual: Do not give in to worldly pressures, great assistance is yours on your journey to rebirth.
Koad / Grove
Certain groups or groves of trees have always been revered. Their branches are never pruned or loped. It is assumed these are the remnants of Druidic Groves. These groves contained various types of trees, among them the Oak,
and were by a stream. It is here all meetings by the Druids were held 'in the face of the Sun and in the eye of Light". Here grievances were heard and judgements rendered that would settle issues. Grove indicates all knowledge, past, present and future, where all are linked in unity, and the resolution of conflict.
Physical: You may be participating in a resolution of conflict.
Mental: Misunderstandings can be ironed out if all parties will meet, work towards this.
Spiritual: You must try to hold the energy of judgement, of life aligned to the values that are above reproach. By example do we teach others.
The reason to include Koad is that the Grey Poplar forms groves where all the trees are linked by a common root stock. The suckers/scions of the tree root system spread out to propagate it. Pando an Aspen colony, is thought to be one of the largest living organisms. It is amazing to think that this enormous grove could be 10,000 years old and the heaviest organism on the planet, something that is central to Druidry is the power of the trees.
That these three Ogham reach out to me as Brodie and I make our circuit around the fields at this time is interesting. The messages from the Ogham align with the messages I've been giving myself whilst I search for a new job and plan for the future. Another advantage of the regular dog walks in the country is that it has improved both my core & leg strength so my body is more balanced.