One lucky reader will win a stunning hamper from the Celtic company 'Moon Mná' in partnership with the Irish Heritage Tree.
The Irish Heritage Tree, an initiative created by IrishCentral, allows our community to plant a native tree in the green forests of Ireland and is an ideal way to honor your family, friends, and Irish ancestry while joining our commitment to keeping Ireland green and growing. Find out more information here.
This month, Moon Mná Women's Celtic Circle is giving one lucky IrishCentral reader a chance to win a hamper which includes the fully illustrated book "Goddesses of Ireland - Ancient Wisdom for Modern Women", leaf jewelry pendant and earrings set, a moonlight candle pot and their iconic 'Phases of the Moon' luxury velvet art cushion.
If you would like to enter the competition to win this Moon Mná hamper all you have to do is complete the form below:
The Hazel Tree: one of Ireland's oldest native sacred trees
An extract from the Moon Mná Diary-Journal 2022 by Dr. Karen Ward.
In Celtic lore the sacred Tree of Wisdom and Knowledge, Hazel is one of the oldest native species with traces found in excavated Mesolithic settlements in Ireland. Its botanical name is Corylus avellana and in Irish Gaelic, it is called Coll. A small deciduous tree, often in bush like form, Hazel can grow up to 20 feet (15m) with large green, rounded leaves that are doubly serrated and covered with fine hairs.
Both the male long yellow catkins and tiny red female flowers grow on the same tree and are pollinated by the wind unusually in Wintertime. The fruit is a light brown nut encased in a hard brown shell covered with a leafy husk and grown in clusters. Hazel likes a moist, mild climate and grows well in Oak or Ash woodlands, living up to 75 years of age with coppicing (cutting right back to a stump) causing strong regrow and extending its lifespan. Hazel likes limestone, particularly the Burren, Co. Clare and the Glens of Antrim.
Did you know... Hazel’s coppiced pliable ‘withies' are used for fencing, shepherd's crooks, wattle and daub housing and basket making? As a rich source of healthy oil, fibre, vitamins and minerals, Hazelnuts make high protein nut flour, ‘Fra Angelica’ liqueur and the popular ‘Nutella’ chocolate spread. Medicinally it is a source of Vitamin E rich oil used for cosmetics and in aromatherapy. Hazel rods are to dowse for hidden sources of water.
As the Ogham tree ‘C’ of the 9th lunar month 5th August - 1st September, Hazel was one of the five sacred trees of Ireland. In the legend of the Salmon of Wisdom, fed by nine sacred Hazelnuts, young Fionn Mac Cuill/Coll (Son of Hazel) gained all the knowledge of the world when he accidentally ate it. Associated with Goddess Brigid’s divine inspiration, for poet W. B Yeats Hazel was the Irish form of the Tree of Life.
Wisdom And Power – a Hazel Tree story extract from the Moon Mná Diary-Journal 2022 by Eileen Quinn, Virtual Assistant, MA Student, Shamanic Practitioner living in Dublin.
"Growing up, the old hazel grove by the lake always drew me. In spring it was alive with colour, the underfloor carpeted in wood sorrel, anemones, violets, and more. In autumn, yellow leaves rustled underfoot whispering winter in. It was a place where a hand could touch mystery. It was where I discovered that hazels prod, poke and inspire and give you words to speak.
Auntie Betty was pure hazel. Inside she skipped and tricked and delighted, right into her late eighties. For her, each moment was a surprise, ever new and fresh, and she met everything and everyone with the suppleness of a hazel wand – even when life knocked her sideways, as it often did. Beauty found Betty everywhere – in the post office sticking stamps on a birthday card, outside the church on a Sunday morning, her head back laughing at a neighbour’s tale, or coming home from town, her shopping bags laden. Whoever crossed her path, she would describe as beau-ti-ful, saying the word slowly, crisply and precisely, as if divining for an unspoken something-ness. Everyone was beautiful in Betty’s presence – that’s simply how she was.
As a young child, Betty’s purse was magic. It was brown leather, soft, worn from constant use and had a fancy metal clasp. The click of it opening was the sweetest sound in the world and out would come the price of an ice cream or a bag of chips or even a new dress. ‘I never open that purse but there’s money in it’, she used to say - and she opened it a lot. Betty spread money around like an economic army of one. In truth, she simply couldn’t bear to think of anyone going without. Time and again, with a tenner in the heel of her hand, you would hear her quietly say to someone’ Here, take that’, and see her slip the money into an empty pocket. Every pore of her being exuded richness.
Covid claimed her. Now, each time I open a drawer or a cupboard, I find Betty waiting. In the dinner plates that arrived when she got her retirement lump sum, in the champagne flutes she insisted no new home could be without, and in the socks that were always out-sized because everyone’s shoes were big, Betty winks up at me. Every corner holds a testament to her kindness. Across three counties, others speak of her, their homes full of Betty too.
Now as I sit again in the hazel grove, I see how the slender, shined beauty of these trees illuminates a Betty-ness. I see her bounty in the coppicing stems. And in the ripening clutch of hazel nuts, I am reminded of how Betty harvested joy - in the ordinary and mundane, effable and ineffable, daily-ness of living.
High in the canopy of trees, she speaks now, telling me that joy is always there, waiting, just as she is. If you come close in and look, I hear her say, you’ll find it right there under the turning leaves…Now take that with you!"
This article is proudly presented in collaboration with the Irish Heritage Tree Program and Moon Mná.
Moon Mná Women's Celtic Circles is an international community of women, whose heart beats with Celtic soul, mná being the word for women in the Irish Gaelic language and pronounced ‘meh-naw’. We commune daily through the pages of the Moon Mná Diary-Journal while gathering online for Lunar Gatherings and ceremonial Rites of Passage Courses. Find out more here.